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Profiles

Professor, Chemist, Mentor: Steve Townsend, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Oct. 28, 2019—Steve Townsend’s office has a lot of the hallmarks you would expect to find in a chemistry professor’s office: models of chemical bonds sitting on the desk, academic and industry awards lining the bookshelf, and published papers pinned to the corkboard outside. But these ordinary items also hint at Townsend’s professional success. This year alone,...

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At the Intersection of Black Expressive Culture: Emily Lordi, associate professor of English

Oct. 2, 2019—Black feminist scholars. Bessie Smith. James Baldwin. Beyoncé. All have been the subject of Emily Lordi’s academic and public scholarly work.

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‘Ethics Backwards and Forwards’: Diana B. Heney, assistant professor of philosophy and Greg S. Allen Dean’s Faculty Fellow in Philosophy

Oct. 2, 2019—“How do I flourish in the long shadow of my own death?” That is a question, says Diana B. Heney, assistant professor of philosophy, that everyone must answer for themselves. In an undergraduate course she is teaching this fall on death and dying, her students are asked to consider that question and more, including how philosophy intersects...

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Interpreting Politics’ Impact on Daily Life: John Sides, professor of political science

Oct. 2, 2019—John Sides has a maxim he likes to share with students. “I tell my students that you don’t have to like politics in order to care about them,” says the political scientist and writer, who joins Vanderbilt’s faculty this year.

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The Poetics and Politics of Black Literature: Anthony Reed, associate professor of English

Oct. 2, 2019—Anthony Reed’s deep interest in the intersections between black literary forms and politics was sparked during the 1980s, when, as a child, he discovered hip-hop and rap music.

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Public Policy through an Economics Lens: Lesley Turner, associate professor of economics

Oct. 2, 2019—One of the hottest policy discussions today centers on college affordability and the role government can play in making higher education accessible to more students. Lesley Turner blends a passion for public policy with the tools of economics in search of those answers.

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Elsa Mercado Sanchez, PhD’20 | Stronger together: the future of VU’s Latinx community

Sep. 27, 2019—Elsa Mercado Sanchez has not always had a clear or easy path to the Ph.D. she is pursuing. She grew up in an urban, racially-segregated neighborhood in Milwaukee, Wis., with Mexican immigrant parents who didn’t speak much English. Education was a top priority for her parents, but college was never a guarantee. Mercado Sanchez’s parents...

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Find Your Impact: Jeffrey Bennett shows how much words matter in the treatment of diabetes

Sep. 24, 2019—September 24, 2019—Communication studies professor Jeffrey Bennett wants everyone to understand how the way we talk about health shapes the way we understand and treat disease.

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Janet Jernigan, BA’66: From activism to advocacy–a lifetime of caring

Aug. 16, 2019—A&S alumna and former head of Nashville nonprofit FiftyForward looks back on 50 years of work in the community   Janet Jernigan has never seen herself as exceptional. As an undergraduate English major at Vanderbilt in the mid-1960’s, she saw herself as simply a reflection of all the other young women on campus. “I guess...

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Puxin Xuanyuan: Chemistry major says creativity is key

Jul. 22, 2019—Chemistry major Puxin Xuanyuan says creativity is key to her passion for scientific discovery. She put her creativity to good use this summer while splitting time between an immersion experience at a medical biotech startup in Toronto and conducting cancer-fighting research on the Vanderbilt campus. “Scientific inquiry, scientific discovery and research are some of the...

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