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PAW is Princeton University’s editorially independent magazine by alumni, for alumni. On the monthly PAWcast we interview alumni, faculty, and students about their books, their work, and issues that matter to the Princeton community.
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After speaking on the PAWcast with three students about mental health at Princeton, PAW invited columnist Jess Deutsch ’91 and director of Counseling and Psychological Services Calvin Chin to add their perspective on the issue. Addressing points the students raised, they discussed the pressure Princeton students feel to achieve, what services the U…
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Welcome to the first podcast from PAW’s new Book Club, where Princeton alumni read a book together and send PAW their questions for the author. We received some terrific questions for our very first author, Jennifer Weiner, Class of ’91, about her latest novel, “The Breakaway.”Jennifer is a prolific writer and frequent topper of bestseller lists. “…
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Concerns have been rising about student mental health on college campuses over the past few years — including at Princeton. To examine this issue, PAW asked three students who have been leaders and mentors in this area to discuss what’s going on: Chioma Ugwonali ’24, Isaac Lunar ’24, and Issa Mudashiru ’25. In a wide-ranging conversation, they disc…
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Jeff Burt ’66, Jim Hitch ’71, and Peter Pettibone ’61 might know a bit more about Russia than the average Princetonian. All three headed up the Soviet and Russian practices of the international law firms where they were partners: Arnold & Porter, Baker & McKenzie, and Hogan Lovells, respectively. On Sept. 20, the same day that Ukraine President Vol…
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Today I am very pleased to tell you: I have good news. Morality is not actually declining in our country or anywhere else. The widespread belief that morality is declining is an illusion. That’s the conclusion Adam Mastroianni ’14 reached in a study recently published in the journal Nature. With Harvard psychology professor Daniel Gilbert *85, Mast…
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Bob Surace ’90 is heading into his 13th season as Princeton’s head football coach, but his history with the Tigers goes back much further. On the PAWcast, he spoke about his time as an All-Ivy center for Princeton and what experiences like coaching in the NFL taught him about the game and the players. He also gave his thoughts on two hot-button iss…
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In 1960, the lives of three men born to immigrant families during the Great Depression collided. A doctor helped a prisoner get paroled, and then that prisoner shot and killed a police officer. Many years later, journalist Lisa Belkin, Princeton Class of 1982, heard this story from the doctor, who had recently become her stepfather, and she had a q…
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Princeton University’s valedictorian for the Class of 2023 is Aleksa Milojević, a mathematics major from Belgrade, Serbia, who has focused on combinatorics while at Princeton and has already written three papers. In addition to earning 16 A pluses at Princeton, he has been a recipient of the Freshman First Honor Prize, the Class of 1939 Scholar Pri…
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For years, Bill Eville ’87 has been writing down his life in bits and pieces, publishing essays about parenthood, childhood memories, and yes, being a Princeton alum. Now he’s gone further and written a book, a memoir called Washed Ashore that’s filled with his thoughts about high school wrestling matches, marrying a minister who fought breast canc…
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Princeton University is positioning itself at the forefront of research that could help to throw the brakes on climate change, from its zero-carbon goals to the way it’s using the campus as a living laboratory. One person with a front row seat to all this is Forrest Meggers, a jointly appointed professor in Princeton’s architecture and engineering …
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Majka Burhardt, Princeton Class of ’98, has always wanted more. More challenges, more achievement. It’s what pushed her to become one of the world’s top professional rock and ice climbers, chasing adventure around the world and eventually beginning to build her own conservation organization at a mountain in Africa. Then in 2015, she discovered she …
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While he was a history student at Princeton, and editor of The Daily Princetonian, Jonathan Ort, Class of 2021, began researching the Firestone company. Yes, that Firestone; the one that once dominated the rubber and tire industry and the one that donated the $1 million to build Princeton’s world-class library in 1944. What he found was recently pu…
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Only one creature, other than humans, substantially engineers the landscape around it: the beaver. Many millions of these furry dam builders once busily trapped water in ponds across North America, keeping the landscape lush and fertile, until colonists in the 1600s discovered the lucrative fur trade. In her new book, titled “Beaverland: How One We…
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What happens when a donor kidney becomes available to somebody who needs one? In the U.S., a hundred thousand people are waiting on lists, all with different ages, complications, and circumstances. How do you decide who gets it? In his new book, Voices in the Code, David Robinson ’04, a scholar and co-founder of the equity-focused NGO Upturn, takes…
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Washington Post columnist Christine Emba ’10 has been watching the approach that young, single people are taking to sex these days, and it isn’t pretty. What’s more, often it’s bad. It’s bad sex, full of unwanted, unsatisfying encounters, influenced more by porn than pleasure, that women and men are nevertheless consenting to. Why? In her new book,…
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Internships are a staple of the business world, and a step almost mandatory for young people entering many areas of the workforce. But how many are full of busywork? How many are unpaid? Rob Khoury, who founded and runs his own consulting company, Agile Rainmakers, wants internships to reach their true potential, as fulfilling experiences that mutu…
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Tom Szaky ’05 says everything we own eventually comes to the end of its lifespan, whether it’s a shirt you’ve worn for years or the cup from a coffee you bought this morning. Where does it all go? How much actually gets recycled? And with evidence mounting that all this waste is damaging our world, how can we throw on the brakes? Over the 20 years …
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Just a few days before graduating as valedictorian of Princeton’s Class of 2022, Natalia Orlovsky spoke with PAW about her love for both the sciences and humanities and her hopes for going into academia. As a student she worked in a bioengineering lab, served on the peer review board of the Princeton Undergraduate Research Journal, was an undergrad…
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Leo Damrosch *68 is a Harvard professor of literature, emeritus, who has written biographies of Jonathan Swift, William Blake, and others. In his new book, titled Adventurer, he tackles Giacomo Casanova — the real Casanova, separate from the many fictionalized accounts that his name has inspired over the centuries, and separate from the version he …
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a flood of refugees seeking safety in Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere. As president of Refugees International, Eric Schwartz *85 has had an eye on the situation, and on refugee crises in places that aren’t receiving as much attention. Schwartz spoke to PAW in mid-March about what he saw in Ukraine during a …
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That little cellphone in your pocket can do more than you think. On the latest PAWcast, Rosa Wang *91 describes her work bringing mobile banking and digital financial services to some of the world’s poorest and most remote places. Using her background in investment banking, she found that cellphones have incredible potential for empowering women. I…
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Why do some people step up to help or speak up in a crisis, while others don’t? On this episode of the PAWcast, Amherst professor Catherine Sanderson *97 explains how she analyzed the psychology of this phenomenon for her new book, Why We Act. She explains the science behind how we’re wired to behave as bystanders and shows that with the right tool…
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Having a baby shouldn’t be a high-pressure experience — yet somehow it has become one. Emily Lammers ’06 worked hard to carve her own path through parenting, and then she wrote a book about it: No Drama First-Time Mama. On this episode of the PAWcast, Lammers breaks down the pressures directed at first-time moms, from breastfeeding to helicopter pa…
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Ghosts and monsters, strong families and a connection to the Earth fill the two young adult novels penned by Darcie Little Badger ’10. Readers also find traditional Lipan Apache storytelling elements that Badger, a member of the Lipan Apache tribe, learned from her family while growing up in Texas. Badger spoke with PAW about her books — Elatsoe an…
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As a practicing dermatologist, Christine Ko ’95 is usually in the doctor’s seat. But when her son was diagnosed with profound deafness at two years old, she suddenly found herself on the patient’s side of the relationship. What she learned and experienced over the next few years led her to write a new book, titled How to Improve Doctor-Patient Conn…
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A criminal record can stand firmly between a potential new hire and a company that needs to fill an open job. But should it? On this episode of the PAWcast, business strategist Jeff Korzenik ’85 discusses his book, Untapped Talent, making a strong case for why smart companies will meet the coming global talent shortage with second-chance hiring. An…
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On the north coast of Maine, about as far as you can go before reaching Canada, lies a wild, poor, beautiful place known as Downeast. Many people there make their living on lobster boats, and many have deep family roots, interwoven over generations. Gigi Georges *96 spent four years here, starting in 2016, following the lives of five teenage girls,…
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Robert Masello ’74 has carved a niche in the writing world: His novels place real historical figures in fictional stories with a touch of the supernatural. One follows Albert Einstein into a battle between good vs. evil at Princeton; the latest sends H.G. Wells through a haunted adventure. With a second edition of his nonfiction book about writing …
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As a journalist, Cate Holahan ’02 covered some dark stories, like the Bernie Madoff scandal. Today, she uses what she learned to write domestic psychological thrillers. Karma always comes for her characters, but there are no perfect villains, and no one emerges a complete hero. In her fifth and latest book, “Her Three Lives,” Holahan probes the way…
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Taishi Nakase, an operations research and financial engineering concentrator who hails from Melbourne, Australia, was named Princeton’s valedictorian for the Class of 2021. He spoke with PAW about his research into measles vaccinations campaigns, his plans for medical school, and the challenges and lessons of being a Princeton student in this pande…
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Wisconsin’s Appleton Coated nearly became the next American paper mill to go under, even as state officials fought to bring in a massive new electronics plant, Foxconn, with public subsidies. But Appleton didn’t go under, thanks to a fight by the mill’s workers and the county executive, Thomas Nelson *04. Nelson’s book, “One Day Stronger: How One L…
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Birds arrived in Julia Zarankin’s life at a moment of change. In her memoir, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, she writes that the career she worked so hard for had become unfulfilling, and her first marriage had fallen apart. Her search for meaning took her to a birding group in Toronto, where she fell hard for the red-winged blackbird. Th…
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Princeton 43, UCLA 41. Twenty-five years after the final backdoor layup dropped through the net, the Tigers’ memorable 1996 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament upset win lives on in the memories of fans — and not just Princetonians. On this month’s PAWcast, we talk about how Princeton knocked off the defending national champs with the starting five fr…
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Jeffery Schwartz *87, the author of Work Disrupted: Opportunity, Resilience, and Growth in the Accelerated Future of Work, leads the Future Work practice for Deloitte. Over the last decade or so, his team has said that we are on the precipice of major transformations in how and where we do our work. In this PAWcast, he speaks about his findings ove…
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Our guest this month is Maria Tatar, the John L. Loeb Research Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and of Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. Maria, who received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1971, has recently published a book, Fairest of the Them All: Snow White and 21 Tales of Mothers and Daughters, which explores Disney’s Sn…
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Eleanor Roosevelt was many things: an orphaned child in a prominent family, a stellar student, an ambitious social reformer, a savvy political spouse, a tireless humanitarian, and a syndicated columnist whose daily dispatches were followed by millions of readers. According to David Michaelis, author of the new biography Eleanor, the former first la…
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This month, Cara Jones ’98 and her father, Farley Jones ’65 discuss their relationship with the Unification Church created by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. Cara grew up deeply devoted to the religion, like her father, and accepted a marriage arranged by the Rev. Moon. But in a new documentary, Blessed Child, she explains how that marriage ultimately led…
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Jennifer Howard ’85 has just released a book called “Clutter: An Untidy History.” Faced with the daunting task of cleaning out her elderly mother’s chaotic and jam-packed home, Howard began to ask herself: “Why is this scenario so common? And what drives our need to acquire and accumulate so many things? And what becomes of our belongings when we, …
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This month Bart Gellman ’82 discusses his work on the Edward Snowden disclosures, the subject of his new book, Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State. Gellman discusses the drama that unfolded around receiving and publishing the news about the NSA’s unlawful surveillance of Americans, and weighs in on his opinion of Snowden…
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Jordan Blashek is from the Class of 2009, and his co-author, Chris Haugh, is a UC, Berkley graduate; the pair met while in law school together at Yale. Blashek served for five years as an infantry officer with the United States Marines and is now part of a new company called Schmidt Futures, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Class of 1976,…
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In this Commencement episode of the PAWcast, valedictorian Nicholas Johnson ’20, an operations research and financial engineering concentrator, reflects on his time at Princeton. Johnson’s achievement is especially notable because he is the first black valedictorian in the University’s 274-year history. “It’s extremely overwhelming and a lot to tak…
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Most people in the developed world can control the amount of wildness in their daily lives by simply shutting the door and adjusting the thermostat. But the COVID-19 outbreak has reminded us that the uncertainty and discomfort of the biological world is never completely locked away. Limiting our interactions with the nature has consequences, accord…
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As the COVID-19 pandemic began to seize the globe in late March PAW revisited a podcast conversation from 2019 with Ashoka Mody, a visiting professor in international economic policy. In his book, EuroTragedy, Mody detailed the fragility of the European single currency. Now, amid global economic distress, he weighs on what the coming months will en…
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Adrienne Raphel ’10 speaks with PAW about her new book, Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them. Raphel explains the history of the crossword puzzle, the different stylistic flourishes of The New York Times’ crossword editors, and the puzzle world’s biggest quandary: gender disparity a…
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The science is in and your friendships are not optional. Author and science writer Lydia Denworth ’88, author of the new book Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond, explains how until very recently, there was very little scientific examination given to interpersonal relationships. But today, new stud…
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On this month’s PAWcast, Peter Yawitz ’80, author of the new book Flip Flops and Microwaved Fish: Navigating the Dos and Don’ts of Workplace Culture, gives advice on communicating with your coworkers, dressing the part in an office environment, and preparing for difficult conversations with your boss. He also has a few tips for managers who tend to…
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PAW's Carrie Compton speaks with Ferris Professor of Journalism Kush Choudhury '00. Kush has extensive experience as a reporter in the United States and in India. After emigrating from Calcutta with his parents at age 12, he had always longed to return — and once he graduated from Princeton, he did just that. For a transcript of this interview, vis…
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Tyler Lussi ’17, a forward for Portland Thorns F.C. in the National Women’s Soccer League, broke the Princeton records for career goals and career points in her senior year. Since then, she’s been chasing new goals in pro soccer in a city that is deeply invested in its team. In an interview for the PAWcast, Lussi shares her ideas for getting more f…
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When President Dwight Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act in 1958, Charles "Pete" Conrad '53 was training as a U.S. Navy test pilot. Eleven years later, he’d become the third person to walk on the moon. Nov. 19 marks the 50th anniversary of Conrad’s moonwalk, part of the Apollo 12 mission, and to mark the occasion, PAWcast spok…
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The Equal Rights Amendment, which guarantees gender equality, is only one state away from being added to the United States Constitution, thanks to revived grassroots campaigns that took hold in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election. Linda Terry Coberly ’89, the chair of the ERA’s Legal Task Force, speaks with host Carrie Compton about the many…
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