School is back in session. First-year students roam the Quad clutching copies of the Iliad, frisbees arc across the Great Lawn, and Commons echoes with talk of teleology and telomeres. No one revels in that sense of exuberant possibility more than Milyon Trulove, vice president and dean of admission, who shoulders the formidable responsibility of assembling each year’s crop of new Reedies.
So how do you go about selecting students for one of the most rigorous and distinctive colleges in the nation?
When Trulove first arrived on campus two years ago, he asked his student tour guide how she first heard about Reed. Back in high school, she had been talking about her college search at a restaurant. The waitress overheard her conversation and wrote a suggestion on a paper napkin. It was Reed, of course.
HAIL, HAIL, THE GANG'S ALL HERE. Class of ’20 converges on the Great Lawn at Convocation. Photo by Leah Nash
The trumpeting fanfare of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks marked the beginning of convocation on Wednesday, as Reed welcomed the Class of 2020 to campus. In addition to the robes and the regalia, there was both wordplay and swordplay, courtesy of Prof. Darius Rejali [political science 1989–], who delivered the year’s inaugural Hum 110 lecture on the question of friends and enemies in the Iliad, punctuated by the cut and thrust of a saber (Prof. Rejali is a fencing enthusiast).
Some 357 strong, the Class of ’20 boasts some formidable statistics: 10% were valedictorians of their high school classes and another 2% were salutatorians. 32% ranked in the top 5% of their class. The median scores on their SAT tests were 680 math, 710 verbal, and 680 writing, which puts them at the 96th percentile.
The class was drawn from the largest pool ever—5,705 applicants—and is the most selective in Reed’s history, with an admittance rate of 31%. Another 42 students entered as transfers.
Working in the mailroom during his senior year, physics major Mike Sommer ’16 turned to his coworker and declared "Well, my life just changed forever."
Mike had just read an email with the news he had won the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship, which helps pay for a master’s degree in return for a three-year commitment to teaching in a high-need public school.
Now, a mere two months after graduation, Mike agrees that his life has definitely changed—“for the better,” he chimes.
Studio art major Leila Pyle ’17 was recognized for her commitment to the environment, leadership potential, public service, and academic achievement.
Studio art major Leila Pyle ’17 has won a prestigious scholarship from the Udall Foundation recognizing her commitment to the environment, leadership potential, record of public service, and academic achievement.
The foundation’s announcement describes Leila as:
… passionate about environmental education and action through art. Both in her own work and in teaching others, she tries to communicate how the materials we use and the stories we tell through art can be used to generate a positive cultural relationship with the natural world. Leila also loves working with children and is an active Girl Scout leader. She attended the 2016 World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts Helen Storrow Seminar as a representative of the United States. She gathers wonder from gardening, singing, hiking, and climbing trees.
Russian major Isabel Meigs ’16 won a Fulbright award to teach English in Ukraine. During her time at Reed, she edited the Quest, lived in the Russian House, and taught a Paideia course in the ancient art of psysanky.
Congratulations to our talented Reed students and alumni who just won Fulbright awards to study overseas. They are going to embark on some fascinating journeys!
Russian major Isabel Meigs ’16 has been chosen to serve as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Ukraine. Isabel edited the Quest, wrote for The Grail, is a house advisor in the Russian House, spent a semester abroad studying in Russia, and has taught Paideia courses in pysanky, the ancient art of Ukrainian egg-dyeing.
Recent grad Annelyse Gelman ’13 won a Fulbright award to create “poetry films” in Germany. Annelyse wrote her thesis on improvisation and comedy with Prof. Allen Neuringer [psych] and recently published a book of poems, Everyone I Love is a Stranger to Someone.
Dance/music major Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies ’16 and art/dance major Grace Poetzinger ’16 are first-ever winners of Reed’s new Jim Kahan Performing Arts Fellowship.
The purpose of the fellowship is to provide students with the means to be able to spend their summer working on a music, dance, or theater project, which is performed at Reed during the following year.
Both students took creative risks with their projects. Grace travelled to Vienna to study an obscure but influential modern dance movement. Hannah, a talented dancer, spent the summer learning the clarinet. They performed a joint concert (or was it a Kahan-cert?) of music and dance in October.
A trio of Reed psych majors won a prize at a scientific conference last month for their research into ghrelin—sometimes known as the “hunger hormone.”
Biochem major Eliotte Garling ’18, bio-psych major Lia Zallar ’16, and psych major Hannah Baumgartner ’16 won the Neuroscience/Psychology Poster Prize at the 24th annual Murdock College Science Research Program held in Vancouver, WA, for their research into the mechanisms by which ghrelin affects appetite, metabolism, stress, and reward signaling.
Working with Prof. Paul Currie [psych], the students performed a series of experiments on rats to investigate the effects of ghrelin when injected into different parts of the brain.
LEAP OF FAITH. Xander Harris ’16 seizes the day as Reed students triumph over alumni in epic Ultimate match. Photo by Jordan Yu ’16
The Berserk—Reed’s men’s ultimate team—narrowly defeated an all-star alumni team 9–8 on the sports field near Sullivan Hall, Saturday, September 5. The victors gave an impressive demonstration of speed, endurance, and determination that left the alumni panting.
The game was held to honor the wedding of two Reed ultimate coaches: Shane Rubenfeld ’06, who has coached the Berserk since 2011 and played ultimate all four of his years at Reed, and Whitney Mount, who coached the Reed women’s team last year. Alumni ultimate players converged on Portland to celebrate the occasion and decided to seize the opportunity to play a game against the students.
The alumni team was the odds-on favorite—last time they faced the students, they racked up a score of 17-8. But Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, was not on their side in this contest. While the alumni demonstrated superior skill and cunning, the students had the hustle and energy to run down the disc.
Reed students infiltrate NeuroFutures 2015. From left: Jason Swinderman ’15, Rose Driscoll ’17, lab associate Greta Glover (kneeling), Mical Yohannes ’17, and James Fisher-Smith ’17. Suzy Renn
Reed biology research students took a field trip to the future this summer at the 2nd annual NeuroFutures conference sponsored by the Oregon Health & Science University Brain Institute in Portland last week.
Scientists at top institutions from around the nation presented their cutting-edge research on new technologies in brain imaging, brain mapping, and brain implants used to treat disease. One scientist presented her recent work on how to turn a gene that senses heat from a chili pepper into a remote-controlled brain “stimulation electrode.” She also talked about her work in engineering a device that could manipulate brain cells by shining a blue light down a microscopic tube implanted in a patient’s spine.
Other talks dealt with the massive effort to map the circuitry of the brain, and how the development of new automation techniques has drastically improved the rate of progress on this complex project. The presentations riveted the Reed students who attended, took notes, and asked questions.
From the farthest edges of the globe to the inner mechanics of the cell, Reedies have always loved to explore. Since 1977, Reed's study abroad program, run by the indefatigable Paul DeYoung, has sent out students to see world while making sure they come back in time to graduate. Reedies always return with stories to tell; here we present an occasional report of their adventures.
Amy Egerton-Wiley '13 was born and raised in Los Angeles. She fell in love with Chinese literature when she got to Reed, and decided to make it her major in her sophomore year. That spring she spent a semester abroad at Capital Normal, a Reed-approved university program located in Beijing. She chose Capital Normal (over an American-run program) because she wanted a truly Chinese educational experience, but the school's language-learning program, with its heavy emphasis on memorization, was uninspiring. So Amy to turned Beijing into her school: her Mandarin grew stronger with every conversation on a subway train or in a public park.
Though the summer sun is still shining in Portland, fall semester is fully underway. The last few weeks have seen freshlings transformed from awe-struck new arrivals to awe-struck new arrivals who are behind on their Hum 110 reading.
One of the most remarkable things about the Class of '16 is that there are fewer of them: 320 this year, as compared to an average of 370 over the past three years.
For more than 100 years, Reed students have written papers, conducted physics experiments, and even occasionally danced to the sound of jazz. Now a new generation is clamoring for its turn in the spotlight at a storied music club next week.
The Reed College Jazz Ensemble will perform at Jimmy Mak's on Tuesday, May 8, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The legendary Mel Brown Septet, with Gordon Lee (Reed's jazz coach) on piano, follows the Reed bands. There will be a $3 cover for the Reed bands and a $6 cover for Mel Brown Septet.
Lee had this to say about how the Reed jazz ensembles have grown exponentially (from two to four) over the last three years: "There is a hunger for these young people to express themselves musically through the American discipline of jazz. There is hope for the future!"