WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/78488

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Page 81 of 211

The Brain Trust dents to assist in providing individual feedback to business-oriented students. And others have worked to assist in tutoring and evaluating the sustainability of a city block near Wellesley College. Phillip Levine Perhaps the most famous college in the two towns is Wellesley College—having educated world leaders such as Hillary Rodham Clinton and Madeleine Albright. Today, Phillip Levine, professor of economics, is studying the US teen pregnancy rate and the impact of economic opportunity. Using statistics, Levine hypothesizes that if you are a teenager with a "less than rosy path for the future, then having a child out of wedlock might not be as detrimental for you." He believes that income plays a large role in teen child-bearing rates—with the US having higher teen child-bearing rates than the rest of the developed world and greater economic inequality. The results of Levine's statisti- cal work have direct implications for public policy. "There are bipartisan approaches to reducing teen pregnancy. The right preaches abstinence; the left wants to create easier access to con- traception. Both are missing the point; we need to focus on improved economic opportunities for young people," Levine says. Levine is not a stranger to influencing public policy. He served in the Council of Economic advisors for the Administration in 1996—just after the welfare reform bill was passed, which eliminated things such as cash benefits for welfare recipients. Levine's work was to find ways to "soften the blow" of the bill that was signed due to political pressure. "People who make policy are almost always interested in seeing what research shows…but they might not always incorporate it due to political pressures. [My] job is to focus on putting the research out there, so that it can influence the policy. " Wendy Lement Similarly, Wendy Lement, professor of theater at Regis College, has recently used her classroom to increase awareness and highlight mis- doings by large, international fishing companies. Regis's most recent play, Six Pairs of Hands, focuses on the Gloucester Fishermen's Wives Association which was started in 1969 in an effort by the wives to lobby for their husbands. The wives, most of Sicilian background, went to and testified in front of Congress about conditions to craft fair fishing laws. A bill was eventually passed that international companies could not fish a certain number of miles from the nation's coasts, pro- tecting local fishermen. Originally the play was supposed to be a politi- cal satire but, after interviewing the wives, the students decided that there was nothing comical about the situation. The play was crafted as 80 WellesleyWeston Magazine | fall 2012 ELLEN SARGENT KORSH KATHLEEN DOOHER

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