Feature Stories Campus Events

Oh, the Places They Went! Whether doing research on campus or traveling across the world for internships and projects, W&L students made the most of summer 2017. In the new year, we invite you to take a look back at everything they accomplished.

FullSizeRender-800x533 Oh, the Places They Went!Bryan D’Ostroph ’19 poses in Peru.

As 2017 draws to a close and winter settles over Lexington and the Washington and Lee campus, our imaginations are lured back to summer break and all the exciting and educational experiences that occurred for our students.

When summer classes ended, dozens of students continued their education with research projects on campus and beyond, while others worked at internships in their fields of interest. They traveled to China, Vietnam, Rwanda, South Korea, Greece, England, Hollywood and Capitol Hill, among many other places. They studied Chinese folk singing, hydroelectric power, and historical artifacts surrounding a turn-of-the-century murder. They reported big stories through print and broadcast journalism, opened a store in Cameroon, built a STEM center for children in Mexico, and shadowed doctors in Thailand and Ecuador.

In the new year, we invite you to take a look back at all the spectacular places they visited, the inspirational people they met, and the challenging experiences that will prepare them for careers after graduation.

Click here to see a round-up of all our student profiles from summer 2017.

IMG_5372-800x533 Oh, the Places They Went!Yoko Koyama ’19 (left) and Maren Lundgren ’19 flank a group of children who are showing off musical instruments they made in a camp activity organized by Koyama and Lundgren.
Related //

Connecting the Dots of the Liberal Arts Monica Musgrave '18 is already double-majoring, but that didn't stop her from spending six-weeks in England studying two completely different subjects.

“Opportunities like this enable students like myself, who are interested in subjects outside of their intentional studies, to explore academic spheres that they’re interested in despite not specializing in them, enabling them to have a fuller academic experience during their time in higher education.”

FullSizeRender-Monica-Musgrave-1-800x533 Connecting the Dots of the Liberal ArtsMonica Musgrave ’18 is already double-majoring, but that didn’t stop her from spending six-weeks in England studying two completely different subjects

Majors: Politics and Spanish
Minor: Poverty and Human Capabilities
Hometown: Clayton, NC

Q. What did you do this summer?

I participated in the Virginia Program at Oxford (VPO), a six-week summer program designed to teach students from six different colleges and universities in Virginia about the history and literature of Renaissance England. It’s an interdisciplinary program open to students of all majors, which is what initially caught my eye.

Q. Where did this opportunity take place? 

The program is carried out at St. Anne’s College of Oxford University in Oxford, England. I was able to visit London a couple days before I came to St. Anne’s, but I can definitely say that I much prefer Oxford; it’s much more homey. My favorite part of Oxford, however, was the University Parks where I go running. There’s a lot of open green space that backs up against a river that’s peaceful to follow along. If you keep going beyond the river, you end up in fields and farmland, and sometimes I’ll run into cows and horses on my route!

IMG_2415-Monica-Musgrave-e1504193935795-400x600 Connecting the Dots of the Liberal ArtsMonica with the Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, and one of the oldest libraries in Europe.

Q. What does an average day for you look like?

A normal day in the program started with a hearty English breakfast (I’m a massive fan of the beans!) and then lecture at 9:30 a.m. from world-renowned English Renaissance scholars. After lectures, we had tea and coffee and time for discussion. I usually went on a run after this, finishing with time to make it to lunch at 1 p.m. Then I spent the afternoon reading for my tutorial courses held on Fridays, with particular emphasis on the topic I was writing about that week, either English or history. Some afternoons, I was a little less studious, and I headed into town to explore — my favorite place downtown was the Ashmolean museum, the first public museum in the world! After dinner at 7 p.m., I either got back to my studies or headed to the pub for a pint with friends.

Q. What was the most rewarding part of your experience?

For me, the most rewarding part of this program was the fact that I was able to exhaustively study subjects I wouldn’t have time for at W&L. Since I’m planning to graduate with two majors and a minor, there isn’t often room in my schedule to pursue other subjects I’m interested in, like English and history. Being able to immerse myself in those two subjects wholeheartedly was immensely satisfying, particularly in regard to the literature-focused portion of the program. If I could pick up a third major, it would certainly be English.

Q. What was the biggest challenge you faced?

The biggest challenge I faced in this program is the fact that I had to gear up again for academics. Prior to the start of the program, I had been in Spain working as an au pair, so to switch into the rigorous study mode necessary for the kind of work I wanted to produce was definitely a difficult transition from poolside afternoons in Madrid, where I took care of two girls while helping them with their middle school-level homework.

Q. What have you learned at W&L that helped you in this endeavor, and what will you bring back to your life on campus?

I think that one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned during my time at W&L, in traditional liberal arts fashion, is that everything is connected. W&L has done a really fantastic job at integrating its students in the interdisciplinary world, through various means such as the courses it offers, the speakers it hosts, or the discussions it often holds. In instilling this appreciation for learning outside of one’s major(s), I have really been able to fully take advantage of the opportunity VPO has placed before me, and given me a different perspective from which to undertake all that I’ve learned. This distinct approach helped me to wholly embrace the program and bring back a deep understanding of a period in history of which I had previously been largely unfamiliar.

Q. Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?

While I’m not going to return to W&L to pick up a major in English or history, my experience with VPO has enabled me to make more and more connections with my other studies. While learning about the history of the monarchy during Renaissance England, I am able to analyze the power dynamics through the political lens given to me by my politics major whilst comparing them to their contemporary monarchs in Spain, of whom I have learned of through my Spanish major. Through VPO, I’ve been able to add further to my web of knowledge of the world to complement my directed studies at W&L.

Q. Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?

Primarily, opportunities like these enable students like myself, who are interested in subjects outside of their intentional studies, to explore academic spheres that they’re interested in despite not specializing in them, enabling them to have a fuller academic experience during their time in higher education. Beyond this, the ability to go abroad and experience different cultures is important in creating the worldly and mindful students W&L endeavors to cultivate.

Q. Describe your summer adventure in one word:


If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

The Year in Photos A selection of our favorite W&L photos from 2017

As another year draws to a close, we take a look back at some highlights of 2017 on the Washington and Lee University campus and beyond! Photos by University Photographer Kevin Remington (unless otherwise noted).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Keen Named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Hamilton College

Suzanne_Keen-400x600 Keen Named Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Hamilton CollegeSuzanne Keen

Suzanne Keen, dean of the College and Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee University, has been named vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York. She will begin her new role on July 1, 2018.

W&L Provost Marc Conner said Keen will remain in her current position through the current academic year. The process for hiring her replacement will be announced this winter.

“It is difficult to adequately express how important Suzanne Keen has been to W&L since her arrival in 1995,” said Conner. “She has been one of the great teachers of the university, a gifted and passionate educator who has taught thousands of students the joys and challenges of great literature. In her roles as chair of the English Department and on many important university-wide committees, she has been a leader and an eloquent voice of reason and commitment in everything she has done.”

Keen, who was acting chair of the Department of English from 2003 to 2004, and chair from 2010 to 2012, teaches courses in British fiction and postcolonial literature and a number of first-year and upper-level seminars. She has published widely on the topic of narrative empathy, and authored several books, including a textbook on narrative form and a volume of poetry. In 2008 she received an Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia (SCHEV), one of 12 awarded state-wide.

She served as interim dean of the College in 2012-2013 before assuming the position permanently in 2013. In that role, she hired dozens of faculty, with an emphasis on improving faculty diversity and cultivating a younger generation of campus leaders; created Teacher-Scholar Development Cohorts; added Arabic language instruction and Experiential, Global Learning and Perspectives course designations; carried out strategic planning for the College; advocated for the future of STEM pedagogy; and launched W&L’s Digital Humanities Initiative.

In her new role at Hamilton, Keen will serve as the chief academic officer and as the primary voice of the faculty on the president’s senior leadership team.

“While I have had the privilege of working with Suzanne for only one year, it is clear to me that she has had an enormous impact on W&L during her tenure at the university,” said W&L President William C. Dudley. “Suzanne’s passion for her students, the faculty, and teaching are evident in everything she does. She will be a great asset to both the faculty and the senior leadership at Hamilton.”

“I have been forged as a faculty member and senior administrator at W&L,” said Keen. “I am proud to have been part of a faculty so accomplished and so dedicated to our teaching mission. I have witnessed wonderful development in both the quality and diversity of our students since 1995, and the hardest part of this departure involves leaving my W&L teaching behind. My sweetest memories take place in the Payne Hall seminar room.”

More information about Keen’s appointment is available on the Hamilton College website.

Related //,

W&L Law Student Contributes to Report on Juvenile Detention Center

holllieweb-270x350 W&L Law Student Contributes to Report on Juvenile Detention CenterHollie Webb ’18L

Washington and Lee law student Hollie Webb ‘18L offered her experience representing unaccompanied youth immigrants for a recent media report on conditions at a regional juvenile detention center.

Webb is a student attorney in W&L’s Immigrant Rights Clinic, directed by law professor David Baluarte. Both Webb and Baluarte offered insight into an investigation of the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton, Virginia. A WMRA report on conditions at the center centered on a class action lawsuit alleging that roughly 30 juvenile immigrants faced brutal and inhumane treatment while confined at the center.

Webb and Baluarte explained how unaccompanied juveniles often flee to the U.S. to escape violence in their home countries. And once detained, it can be very difficult for these children to get asylum and begin to recover from their experiences.

“They’re running from terrible situations that most people can’t imagine…the kinds of violence and things that they’ve been through and seen, it would be comparable to a soldier coming back from a war,” Webb said in the report.

The full report, available online at wmra.org, also features W&L poetry and Spanish professor Seth Michelson, who works with children at the detention center.

No Such Thing as a Typical Day As a geology summer research assistant in Crete, Greece, no two days were the same for Chantal Iosso '20.

“This experience will probably lead me to do more research in the future, likely with some of the skills I’ve acquired this summer.”

— Chantal Iosso ’20

Hometown: Falls Church, Virginia
Majors: Geology and Environmental Studies

Q: What did you do for the summer?

My summer opportunity involved a total of 10 weeks of work with Professor Jeffrey Rahl in the Geology Department. First, we spent two weeks in Crete collecting 12 samples of peridotites and serpentinites from the uppermost unit. These rocks used to be part of the floor of an ocean that closed as the African plate subducted beneath the island. For the other eight weeks, back in Lexington, I analyzed the crystallographic preferred orientation of minerals in these samples, which will provide more information about the deformation history of the uppermost unit. This research was funded by a Mellon Grant and the R. Preston Hawkins IV Geology Award.

Q: What was your favorite part of working in Greece?

It’s difficult to pick what I liked best. The island is beautiful: beaches that lead to crystal clear water, dramatic topography with gorges and mountains, clear blue skies. On a more academic note, it was amazing to see such a variety of rock types in such a small area, all telling the story of plate movements and terrain millions of years ago. On the first day, we drove through four different units right next to each other which tracked the closing of an ancient ocean.

Q: What did an average day for you look like?

One of the best things about this research was that there wasn’t really an average day; I did a huge variety of different things. While we were in the field in Crete, the typical day started with data logging from the previous day at breakfast. Then we’d consult our maps, hop in the van, and drive to an outcrop.

Once we arrived, we used our hammers and chisels to extract samples, and we used our hand lenses to try to identify whether the sample was sufficient for our needs. If it was, we’d take some photos, jot down the orientation of the sample, and bag it. Then we’d go back to the maps and the van, and lather, rinse, repeat until dinner, which usually involved gyros and some fantastic sunset views over beautiful blue water.

Back in Lexington, I spent a few days slicing the rocks into chips on the rock saw. While waiting for the chips to be processed and polished, I read articles and got ready to interpret my samples. Once my samples returned, I’d use the scanning electron microscope and electron backscatter diffraction technique to analyze them.

Q: What was the biggest challenge you faced?

The rocks I am studying are part of an ophiolitic complex, or section of ocean floor that has been emplaced on land, on Crete. Outcroppings of this complex are relatively rare. Additionally, the papers that we were using to guide us to the outcroppings often didn’t have roads marked on the map, and the road map didn’t have outcroppings marked, so trying to find the roads to the outcroppings proved a challenge.

Another problem: The rocks I’m studying, peridotites, easily weather at the earth’s surface and can undergo serpentinization, which uses up the minerals of interest. This meant that once we found the outcrop, we had to search for a relatively unaffected sample. There were some days that we spent more than eight hours searching and only gathered one or two samples. However, we did manage to get a few good samples that will provide interesting data. Having succeeded despite the difficulty makes the results even more rewarding.

Q: Who served as a mentor to you this summer, and what was the best thing they taught you?

Professor Rahl also taught my introductory geology class, so between that and this summer’s research, most of what I know about geology comes from him. This summer in particular I learned a lot about mineral identification and lab tools, such as the EBSD, from him.

Q: Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?

As a sophomore, I’m not entirely sure where I will be headed three years from now, but this summer’s experience provided useful insight in geology research. This experience will probably lead me to do more research in the future, likely with some of the skills I acquired this summer.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?

In-depth research over the summer adds dimension to a specific subcategory of geology that even an advanced class can’t provide. The amount of background reading and the hands-on elements result in more learning, which results in more questions and then even more learning. And of course, working close to a professor is extremely educational. Going to Crete doesn’t hurt either!

Describe your summer adventure in one word:


If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

Related //

William H. Fishback Jr. ’56, Member Emeritus of Washington and Lee’s Board of Trustees, Dies at 83 Fishback was a member of the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2010.

Scans-8-400x600 William H. Fishback Jr. ’56, Member Emeritus of Washington and Lee’s Board of Trustees, Dies at 83William H. Fishback Jr.

William H. Fishback Jr., a member of the Washington and Lee University Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2010, died on Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He was 83. He graduated from Washington and Lee in 1956 with a degree in journalism.

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Fishback grew up in Savannah, Georgia. He was a reporter and editor with the Richmond (Virginia) Times-Dispatch from 1956 to 1966, when he joined the administration of President Edgar F. Shannon Jr. (W&L Class of 1939) at the University of Virginia and embarked upon a distinguished career there. He served as UVA’s chief public relations officer for 25 years, becoming associate vice president of University Relations; a special adviser to President John T. Casteen III; and a special consultant to the university’s first billion-dollar campaign. He retired from the administration in 1995 but continued at UVA as a senior lecturer, conducting courses in newswriting and advising the staffs of the student publications. He retired from the UVA faculty in 2008.

Also at UVA, Fishback served on the founding boards of the Center for Politics and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. He belonged to the Raven Society, the oldest and most prestigious honorary society at UVA, and received its Raven Award in 2004 for his scholarly pursuits and his dedication to the ideals of UVA.

While a student at W&L, Fishback was a dormitory counselor, the president of Pi Kappa Phi social fraternity, a member of Sigma Delta Chi (Society of Professional Journalists), a member of the Ring-tum Phi staff, and senior class secretary.

Fishback served Washington and Lee as a trustee, as a class agent, as chairman of the Communications Advisory Board, and as a member of the 250th Anniversary Commission. In 1993, along with his wife, Sara, he established the Fishback Program for Visiting Writers in memory of his parents, Margaret Haggin Haupt Fishback and William Hunter Fishback. The program brings outstanding writers to W&L to meet with students and give public lectures.

Fishback also was a former member of the board of trustees of the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation, the oversight board for the Washington National Cathedral and its schools. He had been a senior warden and member of the vestry of St. Paul’s Memorial Church, Charlottesville, and served on various committees of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. His other board service included the Charlottesville-Albemarle Chamber of Commerce, the Charlottesville/University Symphony, the Tuesday Evening Concert Series and Madison House. He also belonged to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L.

Fishback is survived by Sara Fishback, his wife of 61 years; a brother, John Randolph Fishback; three children, William Praleau Fishback ’82 (Christine), Jean Fishback Elwood (James) and Sara Fishback Bissett (Peter); and four grandchildren, Will, John and Robert Elwood and Laura Bissett.

A private service will be held at the University of Virginia columbarium. A memorial service will take place on Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Paul’s Memorial Church, 1700 University Ave., Charlottesville.

In the Belly of the Beast Skyler T. Zunk ’19 was an intern at the White House's Office of Political Affairs.

Skyler-Zunk-800x533 In the Belly of the BeastSkyler T. Zunk ’19

“It was incredibly eye-opening to meet and acquaint myself with some of the some of the smartest, most dedicated civil servants in the entire world.”

Skyler T. Zunk ’19
Hometown: Moseley, Virginia
Major: American Politics

Q: Tell us a little bit about your summer opportunity:
I had the privilege to intern in the White House Office of Political Affairs this past summer. I worked under the regional political director for the Midwest region facilitating research and projects to help fulfill the president’s agenda. It was incredibly eye-opening to meet and acquaint myself with some of the smartest, most dedicated civil servants in the entire world — their devotion to our nation and its continued success was truly inspiring and encouraged me to work harder every day.

Q: What was your favorite aspect of D.C?
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was quite a change in pace compared to Lexington and my hometown. Though city life required a bit of adjustment, I most enjoyed being in the “belly of the beast,” in the center of the country’s attention. Seeing events transpire during the workday and then returning home to hear the media coverage of these same happenings quickly put into perspective the consequential work of all those surrounding me.

Q: What did an average day look like?
The Office of Political Affairs is truly the intersection of politics and policy. Accordingly, my day to day consisted of preparing regional research briefs on national, state and local topics that affected policy and the president’s agenda. On numerous occasions throughout the summer, I attended White House events, such as the Made in America Product Showcase, the Congressional Picnic, and a speaker series inclusive of counselor to the President KellyAnne Conway and Secretary Ben Carson. Every day at the White House was a great day, but no two days were exactly alike.

Q: Who served as a mentor to you this summer, and what did they teach you?
Like every W&L student, I am blessed with an expansive alumni network, especially in Washington, D.C. I had the opportunity to meet several notable alumni, several of whom provided me with exceptional advice on how to navigate D.C careers, life after W&L, as well as how to be a better intern. I’m incredibly thankful for the time and guidance of Professor Bill Connelly, Andrew Olmem ’96 ‘01L, Riley Barnes ’09 and Mr. Rich Spence ’91, among the several others who took the time to launch me in the direction I want to go.

Q: What have you learned at W&L that helped you in this endeavor, and what will you bring back to your life on campus?
In Washington, as at W&L, the importance of relationships is paramount. Washington and Lee thrives because of the relationships students are able to build between themselves, their professors, and the community at large. Washington, D.C. is a big city, but in many ways, it is a small town where people matter and relationships rule.

Q: Has this experience impacted your studies or future plans in any way?
If anything, this experience invigorated my passion for American government and the importance of public service. I have a better idea of how graduate programs can help in different capacities (law, business, policy), but I will likely work for a couple of years prior to any graduate school programs.

Q: Why is this kind of experience important to W&L students?
It is important for all students to intern or work for government at some level because it helps to put into context the challenges we face as a nation and personalizes the efforts by those in the legislature and the executive to improve our country. It is easy to stand back and commentate, commiserate and criticize the political battles of the day; it is another thing to roll up one’s sleeves and try to make meaningful change. When you are up close, you learn that most everyone in government believes they are doing what is best for the nation; the disagreements come when deciding how to make America great.

Q: What kind of funding helped make this experience possible?
Johnson Opportunity Grant, John Warner Public Service Award

If you know a W&L student who would be a great profile subject, tell us about it! Nominate them for a web profile.

Art Goldsmith on Race, Interdisciplinarity and Jerry Garcia Economics professor Art Goldmsith was recently interviewed by the American Economic Association.

“Our family motto is, you are not here to critique how other people live, but instead to learn from them and see where it takes you.”

Art Goldmsith, Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics at Washington and Lee, was recently interviewed by the American Economic Association.

An Economist Who Has Learned to Challenge Convention
By Sarah Jackson

GoldsmithArt_102108_0501-350x234 Art Goldsmith on Race, Interdisciplinarity and Jerry GarciaArt Goldsmith

Art Goldsmith is a closet sociologist. At least that’s what his daughter tells him. The Washington & Lee labor economist has for many years used psychology, sociology, and history in his research and teaching in addition to economics. He finds the boundaries between most of the social sciences to be artificial and problematic.

“When I teach economics and conduct research, I draw on insights that can help me get a richer understanding of the questions we are exploring, I don’t worry about the discipline credited with advancing those ideas,” Goldsmith says.

Often those questions involve issues of race and the labor market. Goldsmith, who grew up as the son of working-class Jewish immigrants outside Washington, DC, was drawn to studying questions of race because of his father, who imbued in Goldsmith a structural understanding of the extreme poverty in the low-income black neighborhoods near where the family lived in the 1950s.

“My dad’s explanation, at the time, was that black Americans faced even more discrimination than Jews and immigrants,” he said.

Along with his older brother, Goldsmith was the first in his family to go to college. As immigrants, his parents saw the world as not always just and fair. “They believed education was the best hope for a better life.”

Goldsmith says his parents taught him and his two brothers that “in a world in which Jews were stereotyped, in many ways the best thing we could do was acquire enough formal schooling that would overcome any negative stereotypes we would face.”

But when he got to graduate school and began studying economics, Goldsmith said his father’s view of race and poverty contradicted the conventional view being taught at prestigious graduate programs at the time—namely, that the poor are poor because they “failed to have the foresight or talent to acquire sufficient human capital—education—to succeed,” he said. And that “African American communities were somehow dysfunctional or flawed because youth did not acquire enough schooling.”

“I learned this, but I was skeptical about it. I kept thinking why would parents or kids not want to obtain the attributes that would increase chances for success?”

After joining the economics faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he met his colleague William “Sandy” Darity, whom Goldsmith admired for his commitment to reading widely beyond economics and his willingness to critique conventional beliefs in economics. Shortly thereafter Goldsmith followed suit and began challenging standard explanations for racial gaps in life outcomes.

He and Darity began to collaborate on papers with a focus on issues of race and socioeconomic mobility. The pair used insights from other disciplines, examining, for example, the social and psychological consequences of unemployment, arguing that joblessness had both economic and emotional costs.

Goldsmith’s work went on to challenge some of the prevailing stereotypes about African Americans and the labor market. For instance, the relatively high rate of unemployment blacks experience could be due to prior discrimination that led to joblessness, which subsequently caused emotional strains, making them less attractive workers to potential employers. Moreover, employers might adhere to this perspective even though jobless African Americans may be more resilient to the emotional consequences than whites. His current work focuses on the role of the family in explaining life course outcomes.

While he likes economics for its analytical structure and the associated hypotheses, these are also the same things that can get the profession into trouble. “It can be very stuck in a set of conventions or standard stories,” he said. “These things have generally been helpful, but young scholars should be encouraged to think of these as stories and always be willing to think very carefully, and challenge them when necessary.” Especially around race, these stories can be very stigmatizing and at times racist, he says.

If you want to tell a story where you are racializing things, you need to begin with a hypothesis that is grounded in a reasonable explanation for why there might be a difference in racial outcomes. This is very important since race is a social construct. I’m opposed to the notion of simply saying “in this study we controlled for race.’”

Goldsmith tries to teach in ways that honor the important insights from other disciplines, not as a way of undermining economics, but as a way of enriching it.

Economics students, he says, will always get plenty of formal modeling experience, but they don’t always get enough practice engaging in critical thinking. He uses his class time and mentoring with students to help them tackle tough topics and engage in deep thinking and listening.

Goldsmith tries to pass on those principles to his own children. “Our family motto is, you are not here to critique how other people live, but instead to learn from them and see where it takes you.”

Proust Questionnaire

A salon and parlor game of the 19th century, made most famous by Marcel Proust’s answers, the Proust Questionnaire (adapted here) gets to the heart of things….

What’s on your nightstand? The NewYorker.

What is an ideal day? Swimming in the ocean, playing a little golf, listening to some music, doing some social science.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Martin Luther King, Jr. Just because of his focus on social justice and because my kids hold my feet to the fire on that on a daily basis.

What trait do you most deplore in other people? False confidence.

What trait do you most admire in the people? Curiosity and self-reflection, and a willingness to recognize the error in your ways.

What is your greatest extravagance? I raised my kids about a third of their lives on the Gold Coast of Australia.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Raising two young adults who are now doing meaningful work. They are respectful, loving people who are out there enriching the world, as opposed to only drawing things from it. My wife was a huge partner in that.

Who’s your favorite hero of fiction, movies, or music? Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. What I like most about his music was that it changed all the time. It wasn’t set in its way. That flexibility is a good thing to carry into your work.

Mountain or beach vacation? Beach

Maynard Keynes or Milton Friedman? Keynes

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Get through graduate school.

W&L’s Michelmore Discusses the Evolution of Tax Policy on PRI’s The Takeaway History professor Molly Michelmore discusses the evolution of tax policy in America, and how Republicans became the party of tax cuts.

molly_michelmore_spot W&L's Michelmore Discusses the Evolution of Tax Policy on PRI's The TakeawayMolly Michelmore

Molly Michelmore, associate professor of history at Washington & Lee University and the author of “Tax and Spend: The Welfare State, Tax Politics and the Limits of American Liberalism,” discusses the evolution of tax policy in America, and how Republicans became the party of tax cuts on The Takeaway from Public Radio International.

Listen to Michelmore’s interview online at WNYC.org.

Related //,