Acclaimed writer and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates gave a talk titled “Race in America” in LeFrak Gymnasium on Tuesday, Sept. 13. For an hour, Coates spoke on the history and his own experiences of being black in America, then spent another half hour answering questions from the audience.

The talk was open to the public, with seating preference given to members of the Amherst community, and the gymnasium was filled to capacity with nearby overflow locations streaming the talk.

President Biddy Martin announced the selection of Dr. Norm Jones as the College’s chief diversity officer to the Amherst community in an email on June 16. Jones officially joined the college staff on July 15.

A captain of the football team and a leader Amherst’s Christian Fellowship, Chris Gow fulfills his roles with a combination of purposeful direction and easy charisma. In addition to being a natural leader, he has sought academic challenges, double majoring in religion and mathematics. His dedication to playing passionately, learning deeply and serving wholeheartedly is clear to the many whom Gow has influenced in some way.

A majority of the faculty voted to approve the Statement of Academic and Expressive Freedom during a faculty meeting on Tuesday, May 3. The statement, which lays out and clarifies the college’s position on freedom of speech and expression, was written by the Committee of Six.

Renowned scientist and environmental activist David Suzuki ’58 gave a lecture on the effects of economic development on climate change, titled “The Currency of Change: How do We Define and Resolve Our Environmental Crisis?” on April 20 in the Cole Assembly Room. The talk is part of the Questions of Consequence speaker series, which aims to bring influential alumni of color to discuss issues relevant to the college and the world.

Amherst College was named one of five finalists for the $1 million Cooke Prize for Equity in Educational Excellence on Tuesday, April 12. The college was listed alongside Davidson, Pomona, Stanford and Rice.

The Cooke Prize, sponsored by the Jack Kent Cooke foundation, is intended for an elite college or university that has demonstrated a large amount of support for high-performing low-income students. The goal of the prize is to allow the institution to further work against unequal barriers to admission.

Michael Harmon ’16 created his own interdisciplinary major “Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.” His thesis focuses on a trip he took by train in South Africa and Zimbabwe. His advisers are history professor Sean Redding, European Studies professor Ronald Rosbottom and political science professor Amrita Basu.

Q: What is your major and what is your thesis about?