Letters: Fall 2011

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Summer 2011

Despite the recent hullabaloo [see p. 6 in print magazine]over WDAV World of Opera program host Lisa Simeone and her alleged role in organizing Occupy Washington, D.C., protests, I strongly commend WDAV’s recent decision to retain Ms. Simeone and to find alternative ways to distribute her program for national syndication to other NPR affiliates. While I understand why NPR feels compelled to distance itself from association with the Occupy movement, given how there is legislation currently pending that seeks to eliminate all federal funding for NPR, it is no longer realistic or appropriate to hold journalists to a standard where they must behave as apolitical automatons without bias or personal opinion, particularly when it comes to arts and culture programming. New ethical standards are evolving in journalism, where, as others have said, “transparency is the new objectivity.” I am sorry that Ms. Simeone lost her job as program host for Soundprint, and I wish her well in her endeavors, musical and advocacy alike.

Sara D. (Smith) Longsmith ’97

As many of you know, Professor Kelly Ameri Chaston passed away in October 2010, after a courageous fi ght against cancer. To the end, she continued to be an inspiration. All of us who knew Prof. Chaston are better people because of her. Students who were fortunate to have her for one, two, three, or even four courses know the care and attention she brought to her classes. They know the concern, the compassion, and the honest advice she would provide them. Kelly loved teaching, and she was a gifted professor. She was the well-deserved recipient of the college’s Thomas Jefferson Award in the fall of 2010. She was continuously chosen by her colleagues for service and leadership on important college committees—evidence of her abiding good sense, work ethic, and effectiveness. While she excelled in the classroom and in her service to Davidson College, what Kelly cherished most was family, not just her natural family, but her family of friends and former students. Their lives were enriched by her gift for living. The Department of Economics intends to honor her memory with the Kelly A. Chaston Award, to be presented each spring to the student who best exemplifi es Kelly’s love of economics and who appreciates how the insights of economics can be used for improving the human condition, whether promoting gender equity, ensuring access to health care, or building social capital across socioeconomic classes and borders. If you would like to contribute to the endowment supporting the Kelly Chaston Award, please go to www.davidson.edu/ giving, the Davidson College Web site for making gifts, and designate your gift for the Kelly A. Chaston Award. If you prefer, you can send checks to Denise Hart Howard, Director of Donor Relations, Davidson College, Box 7174, Davidson, NC 28035-7174. If you have remembrances of Professor Chaston that you are willing to share, please send them to me, and I will collect them for Kelly’s husband, Masoud Ameri.

Peter Hess Doe Professor of Economics

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