Walking through the permanent exhibit of the Chinese immigrant experience at the Museum of Chinese in America in Manhattan inspires many thoughts, but one in particular stands out. Most ethnic and cultural groups who emigrate share some common experiences. Arriving in a new country, many deal with prejudice and discrimination; they struggle; and at some point and in varying degrees, assimilate into mainstream life here. Of course, the Chinese experience was unique, and thanks to some hardworking and committed alumnae, this story is brought vividly to life in the museum’s collection of artifacts. A current exhibit, “Front Row: Chinese American Designers,” puts the past in dramatic contrast with the present.
Fifty-two posters from the two World Wars that defined much of the 20th century were a gift to the College from Lida Orzeck ’68 in honor of her late father, Dr. David Orzeck.He put together a collection of several hundred during his lifetime. Looking through the examples—all from the Second World War—in this issue, while grappling with today’s headlines, we can’t help but wonder: Will we as a people ever be so united in one common purpose again?
This issue features excerpts from Debora Spar’s new book, Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection, a carefully researched work that’s easy to read, yet full of compelling and thoughtful suggestions about women’s roles today and how to make the best of the myriad choices available to us.
Those who struggle with mathematics, but remain fascinated by it, will find in the profile of distinguished mathematician and Barnard Professor Dusa McDuff a poignant illustration of how someone pursued a career in the field with determination and encourages young women to do so as well.
We detail a popular environmental law course that introduces students to the legal profession and prepares them with the basics, such as how to do research and how to write a brief, to survive that first year of law school.
We hope you find a cozy chair and discover some thought-provoking ideas in this issue.