Archive for January, 2009 Why not?

groupereyeTed Williams, a 2007 Washington and Lee graduate, has developed a Web-based recruitment company with a most curious name: What does GrouperEye mean, exactly? Interviewed for a story about his company by a reporter for, a Web site for recruiters, Ted said that while he wishes he had a clever story behind the name, he doesn’t. He chose a name that would be “unique and memorable” like the experience he hopes his company will create for college students who are looking for internships. So what’s GrouperEye do? It’s a recruitment site for college students but with a twist. Companies post projects to GrouperEye and students are invited to submit proposals to win internships and prizes. For example, The Motley Fool Newsletters group has posted a case in which students are asked to develop a new premium newsletter and must submit a two-page presentation that includes pricing and marketing strategy. The winner gets $100, a free newsletter subscription, lunch with some Motley Fool officials, and, probably most importantly, noticed by the folks at Motley Fool. In the article on, Ted provided a wonderful description of what he’s trying to do: “You can ask any college student and they will tell you the system is dumb. Unless you have close to a 4.0 (GPA) or know wealthy people who can hook you up with a job, finding a job is the wild, wild West. Companies need to discover and hire the best talent. Students need a way to get noticed for their ideas and originality.” Be sure to read Ted’s blog on the GrouperEye site. He has a great story about selling paper door to door (not for Dunder Mifflin). And you can also check out his online VisualCV, and you can see everything he’s been up to and can also take a look at the sitcom pilot activities and also view the sitcom pilot that he and classmate Billy Arnold shot at W&L in their senior year.

From Organic Chemistry to Kids’ PJs


A while back we blogged about a former pre-med major at W&L who has made his mark as a prize-winning barbecue chef. So how about this? Introducing a W&L chemistry major who has created a company that manufactures and markets 100 percent certified organic cotton pajamas for children. Nicole Johnson Weinberger is a 1999 W&L grad who spent several years as an organic chemist before deciding that she wanted to devote her time to finding ways to reduce kids’ exposure to chemicals and toxins. So she got an M.B.A. from Rutgers and founded the company called New Jammies. The initial line of sleepwear is decorated with fruits and vegetables and each pair comes with with a storybook that promotes healthy eating. (You’ll find the tag line “Eat Right, Sleep Tight” on the New Jammies Web site.) Nicole is the author and illustrator of the storybooks. A recent design for the PJs has sports themes like golf and tennis. Weinberger’s product is getting lots of positive buzz in the media with a column in the New York Daily News and another on A liberal arts education anyone?

Meet the Bin Ladens

If you want to know about pretty much everything that is known about the Bin Laden family, you shouldn’t miss the Fishback Visiting Writer, Steve Coll, when he lectures on “Osama Bin Laden and the Globalization of Terror” at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Stackhouse Theatre. To get a sense of how closely Coll has come to know the story of the Bin Ladens, you could take a peek at an interview he did with Democracy Now! last September. Or you might want to take a look at the interview he did with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show last April.

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And, for good measure, click on Coll’s blog, Think Tank, on The New Yorker site where he examines a very wide range of issues.

W&L Alumna Reporting on the Economy for Wall Street Journal

If you’re going to cover economics for The Wall Street Journal, this is a pretty interesting time to have that beat on that newspaper. And you can bet that Kelly Evans, a 2007 Washington and Lee alumna, is keeping plenty busy these days as an economics reporter for the Journal. Kelly’s byline is showing up often on stories about everything from global trade to retail sales — and, when those economic crises weren’t enough, she interviewed passengers of that U.S. Air jetliner that landed in the Hudson River earlier this month, too. But true to the W&L Department of Journalism and Mass Communication’s emphasis on the convergence of new media tools, you can also watch Kelly as a frequent contributor to the Journal’s online digital network. The Office of Career Services has posted one of Kelly’s videos from the fall on its site (scroll to the bottom of the page). But if you go to the Journal’s Video Center, you can find all of the videos that she’s done (do a search for her name), including the one below from Monday when she focused on corporate layoffs. Nowadays it seems you’ve arrived when you can get the “talking head” label, and Kelly’s got 110 images on the Web site where you can cast a vote for her as your favorite “talking head.”

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W&L Professor’s Play Feature at Orlando Playfest

booth_001In his new play titled “The Tragedy of John Wilkes Booth,” Chris Gavaler, visiting assistant professor of English at Washington and Lee, casts the motivation for Booth’s assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in theatre rather than political terms. Gavaler, whose one-act play”Man Woman Hombre Mujer” won all the top awards the Pittsburgh New Works Festival in the fall, has staged several readings of his Booth play, including readings this week at Playfest in Orlando, Fla. In December the play was also featured at the Hamner Theatre as part of the Virginia Playwrights Initiative (VPI). In an interview this week with The Orlando Sentinel, Gavaler said that the play had been revised significantly since the reading in December. Gavaler is in good company in Florida. Actress Olympia Dukakis is appearing later this week as Prospera in two readings of Another Side of the Island, her new adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

W&L’s Judge Wisdom Subject of New Biography

wisdom_book“Champion of Civil Rights,” published this month by the LSU Press, is the first full-length biography of John Minor Wisdom, a 1925 graduate of Washington and Lee. Joel William Friedman, the Jack M. Gordon Professor of Procedural Law and Jurisdiction at Tulane University Law School, is the author of the book, which examines Wisdom’s impressive legal career. Judge Wisdom, who died in 1999, was a trustee at W&L (1957-75) and received an honorary degree in 1999. A native of New Orleans who received his law degree from Tulane, he practiced law for almost 30 years before being appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit by President Eisenhower in 1957. His story illuminates some of the key moments in the Civil Rights Movement since he ruled on such critical cases as the admission of the first black student to the University of Mississippi and the initiation of contempt proceeding against Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett. Reviewing the book this week in the Times Picayune, Book Editor Susan Larsen concludes: “Readers of legal history will welcome this readable, accessible biography of an all-too-often overlooked figure.