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Faculty

The College Vote: A Waking Giant

By Deborah Bennett, associate professor, Liberal Arts and Sciences

"I Voted" sticker

Image used by permission via the Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license

If the mid-term elections of 2018 taught us anything, it is that the youth vote is seen as a threat to the Republican party. Upending the stereotype of an uniformed, unenthusiastic constituency, a  79% jump in voter turnout amongst youth tilted the scales for Democrats in senate and gubernatorial races in places like Wisconsin, Nevada and Montana.  A younger, more diverse host of candidates such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts inspired young voters in 2018. Two years later, some are asking if 2020 will be the year of the youth vote, while others worry that voter disenfranchisement will put this waking giant back to sleep.

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In Memoriam: Dave Samuels

Dear members of the Berklee community,

As you heard recently, Dave Samuels, a former longtime faculty member in Berklee’s Ensemble Department, passed away on April 22 at age 70 after a long illness.

Dave was a renowned vibraphonist and percussionist who was best known for his work over several decades with the band Spyro Gyra. He was also a member of Gerry Mulligan’s sextet, and had played with musicians such as Carla Bley, Frank Zappa, David Friedman, and Paul McCandless. He cofounded the groups Double Image, Gallery, and the Skylight Trio, and released several solo albums throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

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In Memoriam: Janet Haas

Dear members of the Berklee community,

As you heard recently, Janet Haas, assistant professor in the Music Education Department, passed away last month at age 59 after a brief battle with brain cancer.

“I speak for our whole department in saying that Janet was an exceptional musician, educator, mentor, and colleague,” said Cecil Adderley, chair of Berklee’s Music Education Department. “A highly respected member of the string world, she was humble and cared about all her students, from the beginner to the most accomplished players. Her wit and passion will be missed.”

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In Memoriam: Bill Gitt

Dear members of the Berklee community,

On June 8, William “Bill” Gitt, former faculty member and chief engineer at Berklee, passed away at age 86.

Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Bill got his start at Dartmouth College in the early 1950s, as a student building electronics for the college’s radio station. He joined the U.S. Army after college, where he expanded his knowledge of electronics. Bill contracted at RCA for the army on the first silicone-based computer in Camden, New Jersey.

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In Memoriam: John Marasco

Dear members of the Berklee community,

This week Berklee lost a longtime colleague, mentor, collaborator, and educator, John Marasco, who passed away after a long illness on September 11, 2018, at the age of 65. John was a faculty member in the Guitar Department for more than 30 years, and his loss is felt deeply by all who knew him throughout his long career as a musician and a teacher.

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