For more than 50 years, PAW has sought talented students to do what the editors cannot: Tell stories of Princeton through the eyes of those who currently live and study here. It’s a job description that always brings out some of Princeton’s best writers. But we also look for students who are intensely involved with undergraduate and graduate life, so they’ll never lack something to write about. This year, we hit the jackpot.
Three of our writers have returned from PAW writing stints last year. History major Chip McCorkle ’09 is a member of the University Press Club and is especially well-positioned to tell PAW readers about life in the residential colleges, as he’s a peer adviser in Whitman College. Isia Jasiewicz ’10, whose column on Princeton Facebook groups appears on page 17, is concentrating in art history; she edits the weekly arts and culture section in the Prince. And Melinda Baldwin GS, who wrote about “Quiz Night” at the Graduate College’s Debasement Bar for this issue, often covers graduate-student life, including precepting. That’s a topic she knows well, as preceptor for a history course on “Science in the Modern World.”
Paavana Kumar ’10, a comp-lit major from London, is a fixture in Princeton’s arts scene: She has sung with several student groups, played piano in solo and chamber-music collaborations, and is stage-managing a senior-thesis production. Anthropology major Jessica Lander ’10, who last told PAW readers how students view Frank Gehry’s Lewis Library (they like it much more than alumni do, judging from the letters we have received), studies Swahili, writes creative nonfiction, sings folk songs, and scales Princeton’s climbing wall. When Catherine Mevs ’09, an English major, isn’t at work helping to edit the Prince, she may be found leading an Orange Key tour of Princeton— experience that prompted her recent column about Orange Key’s decision to translate its virtual campus tour into four languages.
Our lone sophomore is Nikki Leon ’11, a violinist in several campus groups who recently wrote about how the University orchestra struggles to fund its trips abroad. Nikki’s media work goes beyond her PAW columns: She is assistant news director at WPRB, distribution manager for Tiger magazine, and a blogger at http://arrivalsand.blogspot.com. We hope to showcase some of her nontraditional work at paw.princeton.edu.
In each issue, these students tell stories that can help us remember what it was like when we lived in Princeton’s dorm rooms and studied in its carrels — and help us understand how dramatically some things have changed.
Marilyn H. Marks *86