Lauren Anderson ’04 has been named the William Jeffers Director of Engineering, succeeding Prof. Scott Hummel, who held the chair for 10 years. Anderson earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Lafayette and completed her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at University of Virginia. She returned to Lafayette as a faculty member in 2009 and served as head of the chemical and biomolecular engineering program. Her research in the area of tissue engineering, specifically the interface between cells and materials, explores thermoresponsive polymers for their ability to serve as an alternative cell-culture substrate for growing cell sheets for eventual transplantation. “My hope is to build on the strengths of Lafayette engineering’s people, facilities, programs, and reputation, and ensure that everyone sees themselves reflected in our community,” Anderson says. “We will continue to enhance our programs and spaces so that they reflect our core values.”
Justin Smith, assistant professor of computer science, has received a $60,000 award from the Google Research Scholar Program to support research focusing on understanding how to make machine learning systems more ethical. Smith will use the Google grant to help address the work of day-to-day software developers and how they consider ethics when they create a machine learning system. Computer science ethics are wide ranging, affecting everything from political polls to product advertising. Criminal justice systems use software to predict whether a person will commit a crime and often factor those results into bail and sentencing decisions, Smith says, adding that algorithms need to be written to prevent racial bias. “There hasn’t been much research that looks at the perspective of the people who are actually creating the systems and writing the code line by line that implements machine learning into software,” he says. “How can we better support them? That’s really the big gap in the literature that this work is trying to address.”
Caroline Séquin, assistant professor of history and historian of modern France, was awarded the Council for European Studies Gender and Sexuality Research Network’s 2022 Best Article Prize. Her article, “Marie Piquemal, the ‘Colonial Madam’: Brothel Prostitution, Migration, and the Making of Whiteness in Interwar Dakar,” was described by the judges as “a truly fascinating account of the interactions between gender and race,” and that it “stood out for its contribution and originality.” The paper—and Séquin’s lengthy research—reconstructs the life of Marie Piquemal, a French woman turned colonial madam, to explore the world of white prostitution in colonial Dakar, Senegal, in the first half of the 20th century.
Joe Woo, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received a National Science Foundation grant to study the properties of atmospheric aerosols, to better understand their effect on climate change. “My research looks at atmospheric aerosols, which are little particles in the atmosphere that can either grow to become clouds or they can absorb light,” Woo says. “So smoke, haze, fog—any sort of thing that is like a solid or liquid floating around in the atmosphere.” Atmospheric aerosols contribute to public health and the warming of the atmosphere, he says, adding that the $200,000 NSF award will help him and his team of student research assistants understand the chemistry of the particles and how they react to sunlight.
Harrison Bailey III ’95 made history in 2013 by being appointed the first African American principal of Liberty High School in Bethlehem, Pa. In 2021, a New York Times article lauded him for establishing a leadingedge wellness center at Liberty, a model emulated by other institutions in addressing the ongoing mental health crisis in schools. In 2021, he was selected from among 3,500 Pennsylvania school leaders as the state’s secondary school Principal of the Year. Bailey is the co-founder of the Multicultural Student Leadership Conference, and he speaks at national conferences, community events, professional and board development programs, and commencements.
Walter A. Scott ’59 is a steadfast supporter of scholarship and student success across Lafayette College. Scott provided service as a Lafayette Trustee from 1988 to 2006—when he retired from the Board and was elected Trustee Emeritus—and as chairman of the Board’s Committee on Financial Policy from 1991 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2006. Over many years, Scott and his wife, Kate, made a number of significant gifts to support academic initiatives, including faculty awards, endowed scholarship, endowed faculty positions, and faculty research. In recognition of Scott’s unwavering commitment to the College, the renovated Scott Hall on Sullivan Lane was named in his honor in 2009.
Charles “Chip” Bergh ’79 delivered Commencement addresses to the Class of 2022 and the Class of 2020. His work has touched the lives of millions across the globe who, on a daily basis, utilize the iconic brands of which Bergh has been at the helm over the course of his 36-year career in brand management. As president and chief executive officer of Levi Strauss & Co., Bergh revitalized the brand and solidified its status as a staple of modern fashion. At Procter & Gamble, he created and revived household products that enhance our daily lives, including the Swiffer, Old Spice, Gillette, Folgers, and Jif Peanut Butter.
Two alumni began serving five-year terms as members of Lafayette College’s Board of Trustees July 1. The new trustees are: Jonathan “Jon” S. Ellis ’98, director of research/portfolio manager on the investment team at Axiom Investors in Greenwich, Conn. Ellis studied economics and business at Lafayette and graduated with honors in 1998. He received an MBA from Columbia University Business School in 2006. Ellis has been an engaged member of the Lafayette community. In 2020-2021, Ellis served on Lafayette’s presidential search committee. He is immediate past president of the Alumni Association. During his tenure, the Alumni Association focused on “Connecting Lafayette to You” and the “3P’s” for active alums that included partaking in events, participating by donating to the College, and promoting the school at any opportunity. Kamaka R. Martin ’04, senior vice president of client services at Legility LLC in San Diego, Calif., is an expert in the field of legal technology and intellectual property law. Martin graduated cum laude from Lafayette with degrees in history and government and law in 2004. She received her J.D. from University of Melbourne School of Law in 2008. Martin served as chapter president in the Bay Area and helped promote, plan, and coordinate local events. She became chair of Lafayette’s West Coast Advisory Council in July 2021 after serving as vice chair. In 2020-2021, she served on the presidential search committee, and she has been a panelist for several alumni relations events.