Pierre Gooding’s family, Harlem had always been home. But after he
was born in 1984, his mother had to face some unfortunate facts: The
neighborhood in the Manhattan section of New York City, rife with
unemployment and homelessness, simply wasn’t a place to raise a
child, or provide him with the schooling he deserved.
she uprooted the family, landing more than 200 miles north in
Haverhill, Massachusetts. The decision bred success: Gooding excelled
in his studies and fostered a desire to help others by pursuing
degrees in law and education.
he’s taken that passion back to his birth city. Proud to once again
call himself a “Harlemite,” he is a Reform Party candidate on the
November 7 ballot in New York City’s 9th city council district.
political arena can be an efficient way to help people, if it’s
utilized correctly,” Gooding says. “This city needs someone who
Not much changed
he had long had an interest in politics—his mother likes to recall
how he stayed up all night during presidential contests to watch the
Electoral College process pan out—he didn’t consider that one day
he’d be reinvesting himself in Harlem.
up in Haverhill, he was able to capitalize on his talents in debate,
teaching and athletics: He participated in the Johns Hopkins’
Center for Talented Youth, as well as the Princeton University Summer
Institute for the Gifted; he scored a 1,020 on his SATs in just the
8th grade; and he ran track and cross country and served as captain
of his high school tennis team.
law was the goal. As he puts it, “I always liked to interact with
people, and I thought law was a great way to do that.”
went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a
bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology in 2006, and
with a corporate law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law
School in 2011. He served on many boards and committees throughout
his college years—including student government—and he also earned
his master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in 2008.
the while, others around him saw a reformer in the making. He was
eventually approached by the nonprofit Teach for America, whose corps
of teachers provides education in low-income schools. It was then
that Gooding thought: What better chance to give back than to
children in Harlem, where he was born?
saw the potential to provide his expertise in other ways, as well; he
served as legal counsel for Teach For America’s inaugural alumni
association, and also helped to create the organization’s current
seemed like a powerful opportunity,” he says, although he adds that
his parents were at first apprehensive about the teaching aspect,
because it meant he would had to defer law school. “For me it was a
returning to the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City to
teach English as a Second Language (ESL), he was dismayed to see that
not much had changed since his youth. Affordable housing was paltry,
unemployment was in the double digits and a good education was hard
latter particularly struck him: His mother had sacrificed to provide
him with opportunities he likely wouldn’t have had if they’d
stayed in Harlem. For example, just on a basic literacy level, there
are currently just four working libraries and two librarians in the
Harlem school district.
has always drawn me to New York City: The need for education reform
in the place I was supposed to go to school,” says Gooding, adding
that, more than 25 years later, “the place I was supposed to go to
school is still struggling.”
Many issues to tackle
is just one vital element to be addressed, he says.
also notes a 13 percent unemployment rate, record incidences of
homelessness and a widespread housing crisis. Throughout Harlem and
New York City, outsiders are buying up prime investment properties
and causing rental prices to “skyrocket,” he says. In the end,
that creates a vicious cycle that perpetuates other social problems
such as access to education and decent-paying jobs.
suggests aggressive policy reforms that ensure locals are not priced
out of Harlem housing, and that incentivize new companies taking root
in the neighborhood to hire locally and invest in training and
have to ensure that longtime residents can benefit from the changes
that come with gentrification,” Gooding says.
there are the simpler micro changes that can help to improve
day-to-day life. In particular, he laments the axing of the “Fair
Fares” subsidy program, which allowed qualifying lower income
residents to purchase discounted subway tickets. Meanwhile, the
neighborhood has to push to retain its identity. (You may recall the
firestorm over rebranding Harlem as “SoHa” earlier this year.)
ahead, Gooding says there are a plethora of opportunities for
public-private partnerships that could promote technological advances
and even agricultural projects in Harlem. One example of the latter
is Street Leafs, a community-based hydroponics and vertical farming
effort that he has been in discussions with.
have to be creative, proactive, see what’s going on, respond, and
make sure that what you want to see happen is in conjunction with
what the community wants,” he says.
helping to promote a better life in Harlem comes down to a “personal
fight” for him.
Harlemite deserves the opportunity to receive a great education, a
great job and affordable housing—right here,” Gooding says. “To
make that happen, Harlem needs elected officials that reflect the
values of the community.”
30 days, he was essentially a stow- away on a container ship set on a
course thousands of miles across the open sea.
moody ocean vacillated between violence and tranquility; the scenery
was at times turbulent, blissful, and teeming with life — but
whatever each day brought, the experience was endlessly powerful and
sgraffito artist Tim Christensen, bound for Sydney, Australia, spent
hours above deck studying the changing pat- terns of the water, the
sky and the wildlife, then rendering his observations in dozens of
sketches and notes, filling a journal to the bindings.
trip is chronicled in the solo exhibit “30 Days at Sea,” now on
view at the Center for Maine Craft Gallery in Gardiner. Through Nov.
19, viewers can experience dozens of Christensen’s prints, world-
renowned clay work, and the weather- worn notebook that made the
passage with him across the ocean.
see the entire trip as one great performance piece,” said
Christensen, who also blogged throughout the journey. “I made some
of the best work of my career on this trip.”
those lucky enough to travel to Australia from the states, there is
often an initial dread in the logistics of arriving safely Down
Under: The time-intensive- ness of a 24-hour-plus flight; the exhaus-
tion of ensuing jet lag; the instant culture shock upon stepping off
Christensen saw a whole different opportunity. When he received an
invite to the annual “Smoke on the Water” conference at the
Ceramic Centre for Excellence, Inc., in Queensland, Australia, he
began casting around for ways to turn what could be a cumbersome
travel experience into something more creativity-inspiring.
had larger, more underlying rea- sons, as well. The Maine native has
long been a steward of the environment, doing whatever he can to be
conscientious and courteous while minimizing his impact. He lamented
that he’s already seen signif- icant changes to the Earth in his
going to see the demise of 40 to 60 percent of the animals I grew up
with,” he said. “I’m writing a requiem for things I really
love.” Original story link.
Go to: Page 23 for my profile of underachiever-turned-overachiever Samantha Santiago; Page 24 for my write-up of Eugene Bah, a dual MD/PhD student inspired by his Cameroon upbringing; and page 25 to meet Jolene Jennings, a self-described "late bloomer" whose mission is to help illiterate adults learn to read and write.
Harvard, MA – “Moby Dick”: Herman Melville’s
classic tale of obsession. Adored by academics and mere lovers of the English
word; abhorred by others forced to dissect and regurgitate it in high school
But for Greg Lookerse? It’s not only an
inspiration for art — it is art.
For his solo exhibition, “Literary Soil,” the
California-born artist tore pages from his copy of the 1851 classic, then
smeared them with pigments to simulate roiling waves or thick oil slicks, and
grew salt crystals atop them to create a briny, crusty sensation.
The end result is a tactile representation of
the written word.
“Overall the show for me is about the roots
and ideas that come from reading,” said Lookerse, “and so each piece is somehow
tied to a specific book or story or legend or myth.”
The exhibit will be on display at Fruitlands
Museum in Harvard, Mass., through August 20; the work was crafted during
Lookerse’s 2017 artist-in-residence at both Fruitlands and The Old Manse in
Lookerse, who describes himself as a “reader
who does not know how to write,” creates complex, thought-provoking pieces that
intertwine elements of classic literature and religious practices, and explore
what he calls the “incongruities” between the physical and metaphysical planes.
“A huge influence of my work is looking at
western art history and the ways in which religion and philosophy intermix,”
said the artist. “I’m trying to come full circle and think about all of these
different disciplines, all of these different ideas, and see how it works
within the context of the literature pieces.”
For example, in one piece he cut and folded
pages from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature and Other Essays,” arranging them in a
mandala pattern that could be a flower — or an ornately-decorated cathedral
Meanwhile, Henry David Thoreau’s journal is
transformed into a labyrinth encircling and curling around a stark praying
Other pieces in the show — around 30 in total
— include a wall of 50 black icons with a kneeling bench, and rocks of various
sizes, colors and shapes encased under glass domes.
Lookerse, who identifies as a sculptor,
painter and performance artist (among other descriptors,) embraces abstraction.
Words, after all, he said, are just that.
“Abstraction as a whole I think is really
misunderstood outside of the academic art culture,” he said.
He added that, “There’s a level of absurdity
through all art, and then there’s the artist asking the audience to have a bit
of faith in what they’re presenting,” whether that’s purely enjoying the
aesthetics, thinking about its implications, or developing their own
Lookerse’s particular style of abstraction
arises not only from his themes, but his process.
He describes himself as “a little like a Swiss
Army knife,” using whatever tools and materials he needs in the studio —
manipulating them to explore their limitations and figure out new ways to use
them – to bring tangibility to an idea. There’s a lot of tinkering; a lot of
“It’s a process of exploring and trying new
things,” he said. And eventually, “you find a little nougat of ‘Hmmm, that was
(“Greg Lookerse: Literary Soil” remains on
view through August 20 at Fruitlands Museum, 102 Prospect Hill Rd., Harvard,
Mass. For more information, call (978) 456-3924.).
image of an outdoor mural depicts what would no doubt be a culture
shock for many westerners: Eight swords, flanked by elegant Arabic
writing, pointing at two women — one completely veiled in black,
the other uncovered, long hair falling to her shoulders.
latter? Marked with an “X.” Her properly-dressed, anonymous
counterpart, meanwhile? Given full approval with a check mark.
if in contrast, a group of young girls, all dressed in frocks of
various shades of pink, are hard at work adding their own
illustrations to the painting — yet as a looming reminder, they are
overseen by a shapeless, faceless figure enshrouded in black.
still from Saudi artist’s Njoud Alanbari’s “Elementary 240,”
it is all at once eerie, haunting, ironic, unexpected — even a
is the nature of “Phantom Punch: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia
in Lewiston,” on view at Bates College Museum of Art through March
18. The exhibit features the unexpected and though-provoking work of
more than a dozen Saudi artists.
TARYN PLUMB; ILLUSTRATION BY JONATHAN REINFURT
history and culture are a rich fusion of influences; its people are
proud, innovative, and environmentally fastidious; its picturesque
harbor greets looming mountains that are home to an array of exotic
and endangered plants and animals. Many factors make Wellington a
unique and unrivaled location. That’s what ultimately convinced
professor of organizational studies Michael Elmes that it would be a
prime spot for one of WPI’s project centers. After visiting the
country as a Fulbright Scholar in 2005, he championed the Wellington
Project Center, and students have been visiting and working there for
really quite a dynamic place for being such a small country,” says
Elmes, who runs the center with assistant teaching professor Ingrid
Shockey. “It’s a great place to visit, and it’s a great place
to do interesting, challenging projects.”
those four years, IQP teams have been involved with more than two
dozen such initiatives—among them, researching endangered dolphins,
investigating prospects for hydrogen fuel, studying the food rituals
of native birthday parties, raising awareness of tsunamis, and
examining flood and climate change.
engineering major Paige Myatt ’17, who spent the winter of 2016 at
the center, said of the experience, “I felt like I’d found
another home.” Students are very often struck by what Elmes calls
the starkly beautiful natural environment, plus the country’s high
happiness index and quality of life. “They do have some kind of
secret formula there,” he says.
center works with diverse sponsors, from the Māori communities, to
the Greater Wellington Regional Council, to the Museum of New Zealand
Te Papa Tonga-rewa. Elmes says it’s a mutually beneficial
relationship, and a way to show off WPI’s excellence.
have so many repeat project sponsors because they’re so impressed
with the quality of the work that our students do. I can’t tell you
how many times people over there say, ‘Your students are just
was in a group that created a feasibility report for a hydroponic
greenhouse that would tap excess electricity from a micro-hydro power
system operated by Māori in the rural town of Horohoro. The
experience had such a profound impact on her life and career path
(she intends to go on to study renewable energy) that she’ll be
going back in winter 2017 for her MQP. Her plan is to work with that
Māori community again to help them design the greenhouse for which
she and her IQP teammates created the feasibility study.
recalls a Māori proverb: “What is the most important thing in the
world? It is people, it is people, it is people.” Not, she
emphasized, that people are more important than the natural world and
its creatures, but that they are ultimately responsible for taking
care of it.
Māori try to be very aware of how they’re impacting their
environment. They’re efficient with their resources,” Myatt says
of the Māori and of kiwis at large. “It’s a very refreshing
viewpoint to experience.”
Joseph Sarkis Among “Highly Cited Researchers”
Business School department head frequently referenced in academic
recognized by your peers is probably one of the most satisfying
accomplishments one can experience as a professional.
that respect, Professor Joseph
distinguished himself. A department head within the Foisie
Sarkis recently made the esteemed “Highly
list for 2016. The distinction is based on Thomson Reuters’s vast
database of research journals and articles, which is used to identify
writers who are frequently referenced in academic scientific
publications. The mass media firm ultimately calls the group the
“Most Influential Scientific Minds.”
the first time I’ve received it,” Sarkis says, adding, “I was
list names a total of 3,200 researchers whose work varies widely in
discipline. “The database for Thomson Reuters is very exclusive,”
says Sarkis, who is one of only 150 researchers to be listed in the
engineering category. “It’s typically used as gold standard for
journal indexing in which only the top journals in each academic
discipline are included.”
inclusion is based largely on his research in the burgeoning field of
green and sustainable supply chains. He has authored and co-authored
hundreds of publications, and his 2004 paper, Relationships
Between Operational Practices and Performance Among Early Adopters of
Green Supply Chain Management Practices in Chinese Manufacturing
is his most highly referenced—it’s been cited 1,333 times,
according to his Google Scholar page.
Sarkis has been identified by a publication in Scientometrics
the most productive researcher in the field of supply chain
management from the years 1995 to 2015.
was one of the early people involved in researching the area,” says
Sarkis. “The field is still young. There are lots of
he explains it, the work so far has been highly focused on China, as
the majority of supply chains have ties to the emerging superpower.
Emphasis has been on promoting “good practices,” investigating
various pressures to supply chains, and identifying ways to manage
those supply chains in efficient ways. His research has also focused
on developing models to help businesses and organizations reduce
their environmental footprint, as well as manage hazardous waste
materials use and resource depletion.
it’s going beyond the financial aspects and the business aspects in
the supply chain to think about ethical, social, and environmental
issues,” he says.
recently, the work has broadened to include developing suppliers,
helping them to be greener and more proactive about their business
practices when it comes to the environment. “The environment needs
to be considered by industry because of all the damage that’s
occurring,” says Sarkis. As he notes, the question becomes, “How
do you help suppliers become greener or more environmentally sound?”
it’s a rewarding field of study he says he plans to keep focusing
on for years to come. “One of the things that attracts me to this
research is that it’s doing good,” he says. “Social good and
impact is an important aspect of this research.”