Archive for September, 2009

Legal Rebels Invade Law School

rebelstourThe American Bar Association Journal has embarked on a cool new project that is anything but buttoned down. It’s called the Legal Rebels Project, and it’s designed to profile 50 innovators and the innovations that they’re undertaking to remake the legal profession in response to the economic meltdown. The project is using lots of social media tools, including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc., along the way and, what’s really cool is that Lexington was one of their early stops. The Legal Rebels team visited the School of Law last week, interviewed Mary Natkin, assistant dean for clinical education and public service, and two third-year students and posted a profile on the Legal Rebels’ page. The posting includes the video interviews. You can a behind-the-scenes look at the visit on The Brief, the law school’s blog. The 3L curriculum continues to draw raves in the legal profession and is what undoubtedly brought the Legal Rebels to town. Here’s a link to the Legal Rebels post.

W&L Alum Leading Research in Kenya

Jagger Harvey (Photo by Dorine Adhoch, ILRI)

Jagger Harvey (Photo by Dorine Adhoch, ILRI)

As a Washington and Lee student in the late 1990s, one of Jagger Harvey‘s favorite courses was an environmental studies class then taught by current W&L President Ken Ruscio. Today Jagger, a biology, natural sciences and mathematics major in the Class of 1998, is applying some of those early lessons to his current career as a research scientist in Nairobi, Kenya. As an article in Science recently reported, Jagger is leading research on plant-viral diseases affecting African crops. His story is part of a special report on careers. Born in Haiti, Jagger was always predisposed to helping those less fortunate than he, and he recounts a story in a second article in the edition of Science about how he once realized how poor his friends in Haiti were. Said Jagger: “The first time I really realized how poor my friends in Haiti were was when I was scolded for eating dinner at one of their homes. I had not thought about the fact that they fed me more than they eat in a day. This selfless generosity … galvanized my desire to devote my career to helping the citizens of the developing world.” Prior to his current post at the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) Hub, Jagger did graduate work at the University of California at Davis and then postdoctoral research at Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich and at the University of Cambridge, both in the United Kingdom.

Listen to W&L Law Professor’s Bioethics Discussion

Robin Fretwell Wilson

Robin Fretwell Wilson

With health care reform the center of contentious debate these days, Washington and Lee law professor Robin Fretwell Wilson discussed a different aspect of health care — bioethics and research involving human subjects — today when she appeared on the National Public Radio talk show, Virginia Insight. You can listen to the program above. Wilson is co-editor of a recently published book about bioethics, Health Law and Bioethics: Cases in Context and contributed a chapter on the Jesse Gelsinger, who died 10 years ago at age 18 as the victim of a gene therapy experiment that went awry at the University of Pennsylvania. Gelsinger was the first American to die while participating in gene therapy research, and, Wilson contentds that very little has changed in the last decade to protect those who participate in future studies. She was the author of an opinion piece on the subject in the Arizona Daily Star.

MetroLex Makes Coolest Small Towns List

lexingtonThe October issue of Budget Travel magazine has a feature on America’s 10 Coolest Small Towns. Lexington is right there between Cayucos, Calif., and Beaux Bridge, La. What constitutes cool in the magazine’s view: “Every now and then, you stumble upon a town that’s gotten everything right—great coffee, food with character, shop owners with purpose. These 10 spots have it all, in perfectly small doses.” The Lexington blurb, subtitled, “right out of Norman Rockwell,” cites five of the town’s businesses: Hull’s Drive In, 1868 Magnolia House Inn, P.S. Pumpkinseeds, George and Bob, and the Red Hen. Surprisingly, there is no mention of either Washington and Lee or VMI. 

Intelligent Investment with W&L Alum Warren Stephens

Warren Stephens

Warren Stephens

Each week on, CEO and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes conducts a one-on-one video interview with “the investment world’s most influential strategists, forecasters and money managers.” This week Washington and Lee alumnus and trustee Warren Stephens took a turn answering Forbes’ questions. Warren is a 1979 graduate who is president and CEO of Stephens, Inc., an investment banking firm in Little Rock. (He’s also co-chair of W&L’s new campaign, “Honor Our Past, Build Our Future.”) You can watch the entire video from this link, but you can also download a pdf transcript of the interview here.

What’s So Funny About Vampires?

58158If you’re up for some bloody humor, the early reviews promise that two Washington and Lee actors, Rob Mish, director of the Lenfest Center, and senior Kevin Mannerling, who are performing this weekend in the Lime Kiln Theatre production of Dracula or How’s Your Blood Count, both give boffo performances. Rob plays two separate roles in the comedy — Renfield and Van Helsing — while Kevin, who is from West Roxbury, Mass., plays Jonathan Harker. Both Rob and Kevin were cited in a recent story on the performance in the Augusta Free Press. The first performance is tomorrow night, and the show runs through Saturday.

Alumna Wins Javits Fellowship

When she graduated from Washington and Lee in 2007, Liane Carlson won a distinguished Fulbright grant to study in Germany. After that year abroad, she returned to enter graduate school at Columbia University, where she’s pursing her goal of earning a Ph.D. in religion with an emphasis on the philosophy of religion. Liane got a major boost along the way, when she was recently named one of 72 Jacob K. Javits Fellows. Announcement of the award was made by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Javits fellows pursue graduate study within selected fields of the arts, humanities and social sciences. Selected from 764 applicants, fellows are chosen on the basis of superior academic achievement, exceptional promise and financial need. They are chosen by panels of academic scholars selected by the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Board. Each fellow receives a $30,000 stipend, and the institution he or she attends receives a payment of $13,552. Congratulations, Liane!