Alumni Ink

Get Fit Quick

According to official recommendations from health experts, we're supposed to get at least thirty minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days a week, plus two to three days a week of strength training, plus at least two to three days of stretching. In Fitter Faster: The Smart Way to Get in Shape in Just Minutes a Day, health journalist Robert Davis 90MPH teamed up with celebrity personal trainer Brad Kolowich Jr. to create a system that helps turn this daunting prospect into an enjoyable everyday activity that takes as little as fifteen minutes per day. Davis outlines methods to incorporate high-intensity interval training in short bursts with gentler exercises to produce easy, customizable workouts that promise results. Davis is president of the health media firm Everwell.

Unpacking Grief

Marketing executive, mother, and grieving widow-turned-philanthropist Sally Mundell 00C wrote Packaging Good: The Healing Therapy of Giving to share her journey of loss, discovery, and triumph as she channeled the pain of losing her husband into the creation of the Packaged Good, a nonprofit on a mission to empower kids to give back. Mundell relays the lessons she learned along the way that helped her create something beautiful out of tragedy and forge a path of healing for herself and her daughters by giving to others. Complete with a step-by-step guide to create your own nonprofit and a list of easy ways to start giving back today, this book provides practical advice for achieving fulfillment and healing through giving in today's busy, success-driven society.

Life of Tides

Pat Conroy's memoirs and autobiographical novels contain a great deal about his life, but My Exaggerated Life is the product of a special collaboration between the American author and oral biographer Katherine Clark 87G 92PhD, who recorded two hundred hours of conversations with Conroy before he passed away in 2016. In the spring and summer of 2014, the two spoke for an hour or more on the phone every day. No subject was off-limits, including aspects of his tumultuous life he had never before revealed. In this biography, Clark shares Conroy's story about surviving and overcoming the childhood abuse and trauma that marked his life—a journey full of struggles and suffering that culminated ultimately in redemption and triumph. Clark is also author of the biography Motherwit: An Alabama Midwife's Story, and novels The Headmaster's Darlings, All the Governor's Men, The Harvard Bride, and The Ex-suicide.

Sick Thoughts

The experience of illness—both mental and physical—figures prominently in the critical thought and activism of the 1960s and 1970s, though it is largely overshadowed by practices of sexuality. In Indirect Action: Schizophrenia, Epilepsy, AIDS, and the Course of Health Activism, Lisa Diedrich 01PhD explores how and why illness was so significant to the social, political, and institutional transformation beginning in the 1960s through the emergence of AIDS in the United States. Indirect Action places illness in the leading role in the production of thought during the emergence of AIDS, ultimately showing the critical interconnectedness of illness and political and critical thought.

Hedging Bets

Jonathan Starr 98C, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. In It Takes a School: The Extraordinary Story of an American School in the World's #1 Failed State Starr tells the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as he set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust, and it's the story of the students themselves. Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT. It Takes a School tackles the question: "If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?"

Made for All

"All too often," wrote disabled architect Ronald Mace, "designers don't take the needs of disabled and elderly people into account." Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability by Aimi Hamraie 07C 13PhD investigates twentieth-century strategies for designing the world with disability in mind. Commonly understood in terms of curb cuts, automatic doors, Braille signs, and flexible kitchens, universal design purported to create a built environment for everyone, not only the average citizen. Blending technoscience studies and design history with critical disability, race, and feminist theories, Hamraie interrogates historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts in Building Access, offering a groundbreaking critical history of universal design.

Common Sense

A grand tour of the edges of our lives, where glory and significance riot against the logic of living and the pall of tragedy, The Making Sense of Things is a collection of twelve stories that pulse with memory, magic, and myth. Author George Choundas 92C 95L treats readers to vivid and unforgettable characters: A fiercely independent woman puts the man who loves her to unconscionable tests, never guessing that arson, suicide, and canine obesity will yield a magical kind of happiness. A honeymooner in Venice, addled by fever and second thoughts, commits by dumb error a double murder. A brisk lawyer founders when a car wreck claims his son and ex-wife, then discovers that the desperation of grief is a kind of hope. Choundas, a former FBI agent, has published work in more than fifty publications and is the author of The Pirate Primer.

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