Dear Arts and Science community,
As the university announced recently, the College of Arts and Science has received a $5 million gift from John (BS’95) and Laura Arnold in support of public policy and quantitative social sciences.
The Arnolds’ gift will help strengthen innovative interdisciplinary initiatives in the college and help us prepare students for effective civic engagement, graduate studies in the social sciences, and professional opportunities involving social science data analysis.
I am grateful to two distinguished groups of Arts and Science faculty who have been working hard on laying the groundwork for these initiatives. Under the leadership of Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Political Science Alan Wiseman, an interdisciplinary group of faculty from the departments of economics, political science and sociology drafted a proposal for a new major in quantitative social sciences that would build on existing strengths in Arts and Science and Peabody College. A second group, chaired by William Collins, the Terence E.
Adderley Jr. Professor of Economics, has designed a revised Public Policy Studies major, adding depth and breadth to a course of study that has been of growing interest to students.
Both initiatives will offer possibilities for immersion experiences by students participating in capstone projects or internships and respond to our students’ interest in public engagement and the pursuit of evidence-based policy analysis.
Dean, College of Arts and Science
Nelson O. Tyrone, Jr. Professor of History
A&S in the
The New Yorker: “Arrow,” a poem by Beth Bachmann, writer in residence in English and a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow in poetry, appears in the April 10, 2017, issue of The New Yorker.
The Tennessean: How ‘Hamilton’ changed one of Vanderbilt’s most popular classes: Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos and Alice Randall,
writer in residence in African American and Diaspora Studies, have teamed up to reimagine Zeppos’ Federalist Papers course, weaving songs from the hit musical Hamilton with historical documents tracing the founding of the U.S. The course is taught at Fisk University with a blend of Fisk and Vanderbilt students.
Futurity: Scientists hunt for new drugs in plant ‘ammo’:
Plants create hundreds of thousands of small molecules (also called specialized
or secondary metabolites)—including chemicals like cocaine, nicotine and
capsaicin—to use as "chemical ammunition" to protect themselves from predation.
Now, a new Vanderbilt study suggests a new method for identifying the gene networks that plants use to create anti-predator chemicals could lead to more effective drugs. Study co-authors Jennifer Wisecaver, a postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt, and Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences, are quoted. Undergraduate researcher Alexander Borowsky, who worked on the study, is mentioned.