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Profiles

Tiffany Ruby Patterson: Raising the voices of the unheard

Feb. 17, 2021—From a young age, Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies Tiffany Ruby Patterson loved to learn. She read voraciously throughout her childhood: a set of World Book encyclopedias purchased by her uncle, an entire library left behind by the former owner of her family’s apartment building. That early love of books continued into...

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Renã Robinson: Helping others through the power of research and representation

Feb. 11, 2021—For Associate Professor of Chemistry Renã Robinson, science has long been about helping people. She was an avid scientist-in-training throughout her childhood and went to college intending to become a cardiac surgeon. But when she got close to the end of her undergraduate career, she said, “I realized I just didn’t have another 12 years...

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Vanderbilt Debate overcomes COVID-19 challenges to break new ground in civic engagement

Jan. 22, 2021—One year ago, Sahil “Sael” Soni ’21, a chemistry and economics double major, had just returned from a blue-ribbon performance in Vanderbilt Debate’s first-ever international competition. He was looking forward to finishing the 2019-2020 season on a high note, as were his teammates. For the last 30 years, Vanderbilt Debate has been a national leader,...

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Antonis Rokas elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Dec. 9, 2020—Antonis Rokas, Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Biological Sciences, has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The lifetime honor, first awarded in 1874, recognizes pre-eminent scientists who engage in pioneering research; excel at teaching, mentoring, and collaborating; and advance public understanding of science. The AAAS said in a...

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A&S classes take student’s career ambitions in an unexpected direction

Nov. 9, 2020—Growing up, William Schmid excelled at math and science. He assumed that meant he was destined for a career in engineering: after all, his father was an engineer, and most of the people in his immediate family had studied the subject in college. “It seemed like the obvious choice for me,” he said. But after...

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Persistence in a pandemic: College of Arts and Science students work for social change through nonprofit organizations

Oct. 30, 2020—Though the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled many students’ original summer 2020 plans, College of Arts and Science students adapted quickly. Through technology, creativity, and determination, they found ways to expand their horizons and continue preparing for life after Vanderbilt. Students Rashmi Bharadwaj and Joe Miller both want to make an impact on society. This summer, they...

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Persistence in a pandemic: College of Arts and Science students complete summer internships with innovative businesses

Oct. 23, 2020—Though the COVID-19 pandemic scuttled many students’ original summer 2020 plans, College of Arts and Science students adapted quickly. Through technology, creativity, and determination, they found ways to expand their horizons and continue preparing for life after Vanderbilt. Students Emery Little, Lucas Ludgate, Brooke Ellis, and Jaime Perez all used their summers to complete internships...

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Professor uses centuries-old martial arts form to educate students about Brazilian democracy

Sep. 15, 2020—On a hot, muggy August evening, a group of masked students followed Gilman Whiting, associate professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, onto the lawn in front of Wilson Hall. There, they took up socially distanced positions and began working their way through a series of exercises designed to encourage rhythm, flexibility, balance, and cooperation....

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Seizing the Opportunity to Accomplish Lifelong Goals: Alfred Prah, BA’19

Sep. 4, 2020—As a student in Ghana, Alfred Prah, BA’19, didn’t have access to a laptop or personal cell phone at the boarding school he attended. Despite that, he was captivated by the potential of technology to enrich his education and had dreams of using AI to make technology more useful and accessible to everyone. He knew...

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The Power of Mentoring: Susan Gessner Stewart, BS’90

Jul. 20, 2020—When Susan Gessner Stewart, BS’90, first came to the College of Arts and Science, her mind was firmly grounded on this planet—in the world of architecture, to be precise. Then a string of unexpected circumstances led her to the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where one professor’s mentoring changed the path of her life. Now...

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