Dressing smart

Dan Trepanier ’09CC, an aspiring fashion designer from Ontario who graduated with a bachelor’s in psychology in May, was selected recently as Esquire magazine’s 2009 Best Dressed Real Man in America. Esquire editor Nick Sullivan wrote that Trepanier was chosen from among more than 1000 online contestants for his “damn good mastery” of a “haut-preppy wardrobe,” in addition to an “everyman quality.” For a peek at his looks, go to:

Heavenly cities

Twenty-eight-year-old Christian Victor de Vietri ’09SOA recently received a $500,000 commission to create a sculpture at St. George’s Cathedral in Perth, Western Australia. His artwork will consist of an 18-meter-tall chrome tube emitting a beam of light into the sky at night… Amanda Burden ’92GSAPP, the New York City planning commissioner, will receive the Urban Land Institute’s J. C. Nichols Prize for outstanding achievement in responsible development this fall, in recognition of her 30 years in urban planning. She is the first woman to win the $100,000 award.

One by sky, one by sea

NASA has appointed Gregory H. Johnson ’85SEAS, a retired Air Force colonel, to pilot next year’s space shuttle flight to the International Space Station. The mission will include three space walks and the installation of a particle physics detector on the exterior of the station… David P. Pekoske ’89SIPA became vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard on August 7, after more than two decades of service.

Posting headlines

The Web site, created by Kelly Golnoush Niknejad ’06JRN and edited in her parents’ suburban Boston home, became a must-read for those following news about the disputed Iranian elections this summer. The site offers firsthand accounts of political developments in Iran from writers inside the country… Anup Kaphle ’08JRN, a digital media fellow at The Atlantic, recently investigated the effectiveness of Afghanistan’s underpaid, resource-deprived police. His article, “Policing Afghanistan”, published September 3 on The Atlantic’s Web site, suggests that security in the country is doomed without a better trained, more disciplined police force.

Servant leaders

Diahann Billings-Burford ’02LAW (above, right) was appointed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg as the city’s first chief service officer in June. Billings-Burford, a former middle-school teacher and corporate lawyer, will lead NYC Service, a new city program that promotes volunteerism… David H. Thorne ’71JRN took a leave of absence in July from Adviser Instruments, an asset management firm that he co-founded, to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Italy... Judy Cheng-Hopkins ’78SIPA, formerly the assistant high commissioner for refugees at the United Nations, was appointed assistant secretary-general for peacebuilding support at the UN this summer… Preet Bharara ’93LAW (above, left) has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next United States Attorney for the southern district of New York.

Stand-up scientists

James E. Hansen at a June 23 coal-mining protest in Sundial, West Virginia. / Photo: Antrim CaskeyColumbia climatologist James E. Hansen was arrested in June, along with actress Daryl Hannah and several dozen residents of Coal River Valley, West Virginia, for trespassing on the property of the coal-mining company Massey Energy. They were participating in a peaceful protest against the practice of mountaintop removal, a form of strip mining that releases large amounts of toxins into the environment. Hansen, who is best known for his outspokenness on the dangers of global warming, was profiled in The New Yorker on June 29. Microbiologist Mark A. Wainberg ’72GSAS has won the 2009 Canadian Medical Association Medal of Honor for his research on antiviral drugs and vaccines for HIV/AIDS. Wainberg was one of the first Canadian scientists to study AIDS and since the early 1980s has advocated for prevention, care, and treatment programs.

Who's your draddy?

The Draddy Trophy, given annually to the top scholar-athlete in college football, has been renamed for Bill Campbell ’62CC, ’64TC, chairman of the software company Intuit, a former Columbia football player and head coach, and the current chair of the University Trustees. The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame made the announcement in early September.

Film buzz

Kathryn Bigelow ’81SOA has won several festival awards for her latest film, The Hurt Locker, a war thriller about an elite Army bomb squad unit in Iraq. Bigelow is considered a favorite to be nominated for an Oscar for best director… Eric Drath ’94GS directed and produced Assault in the Ring, a documentary about a 1983 boxing match in which a trainer removed the padding from his fighter’s gloves, which led to that boxer’s conviction and imprisonment. The documentary has been shown on HBO and will be available on DVD in the United States in October. Liz Chae, a student in the School of the Arts, won the Gold Medal in the Short Documentary category at the 2009 Student Academy Awards for her film The Last Mermaids, about an indigenous community off the coast of South Korea in which women support their families by diving for seafood.


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