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People & Profiles

Throughout a life dedicated to education and the struggle for equality, Johnnetta Cole ’59 MA, ’67 PhD, ’92 H has drawn on her training as an anthropologist to ask fundamental questions about humankind.Questions like “What makes us similar and different?” and “Where do systems of inequality come from?” have shaped a remarkable career in education and the arts. “Even today, when I’m not teaching cultural anthropology and doing fieldwork in some part of the world, I continue to wear what is like a pair of glasses — anthropological lenses through which I see and try to understand the world,” Cole says.

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johnnetta cole 2018 alumni medalist
A few years back, classmates Hana Schank ’93 and Elizabeth Wallace ’93 met for dinner and realized that they were both orbiting around a crisis. Since their undergraduate days, they had been told to dream big.

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schank and wallace
Philadelphian Sam Ballam fell in love with surfing as a teenager at his home break in Ocean City, N.J. After earning his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management, he spent five years working and surfing in Hawaii, where he was president of the Northwestern alumni club during the late 1970s.

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sam ballam
In the fall of 1986, Northwestern offered Timothy Stevens ’82 MA, ’90 PhD the job of acting University chaplain, an appointment intended to last one year. “It’s been a long year,” says Stevens.

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tim stevens
On the outer edge of the color spectrum of visible light lies a mysterious place on the far side of violet. As red morphs to orange and then fades to yellow and so on, the wavelengths become shorter and shorter.

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vadim backman in lab

'Shroom Art

Fall 2018
The San Francisco–based art collective FoldHaus enlisted tech help from then-undergrad Bomani McClendon ’17 when it was building Shrumen Lumen for Burning Man 2016. McClendon, now a software engineer for Facebook, worked as a programmer on the 12- to 18-foot tall mushrooms, which are now on display at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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shrumen lumen
People often ask Robert Simonson, the New York Times cocktail writer for more than a decade, what drinks he makes at his home bar. His latest book, 3-Ingredient Cocktails: An Opinionated Guide to the Most Enduring Drinks in the Cocktail Canon, helps answer that question.

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robert simonson three-ingredient cocktails
Samir Mayekar ’06, ’13 MBA has had no shortage of purple pride since his days as a drum line captain in the Northwestern University “Wildcat” Marching Band. He began volunteering for the Northwestern Alumni Association more than a decade ago and was elected as the NAA’s youngest president in history in September.

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samir mayekar
A common cause of death following traumatic head injury is subdural hematoma, when blood builds up between the brain and the covering over the brain beneath the skull. This condition, which is often the result of a fall and relatively common among older adults, causes headaches, seizures or even death, and conventional treatments involve invasive surgery, such as drilling a hole in or removing a part of the skull to drain the blood.

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knopman hematoma
My Northwestern Direction

Medill Professor Was My Guiding Light

Fall 2018
One day during my freshman year, I was sitting in the McCormick Foundation Center during an introductory journalism course where different professors would come in and give us a cursory overview of different sectors in the industry: digital, broadcast television and magazines. But the lecture that day was the one I had been waiting weeks for: radio.

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my northwestern direction antonia cereijido