What activities were you involved in while a student, both within the RC and elsewhere on campus?
Prospect Magazine, Student Co-ops, Food Gatherers
What are some highlights of your career - or side projects - that you’re most proud of?
I'm the author of Ravenous, a new book about a gay scientist of Jewish descent who survived the Nazis and changed the way we think about cancer and diet. Teaching has definitely been a highlight of my career. I'm now teaching full-time at Johns Hopkins, but I've taught creative writing classes at the University of Pennsylvania for the last decade. (RC fun fact: Huey Copeland, my East Quad roommate during my first in the RC, now teaches at UPenn as well.)
What are you doing lately that you’re passionate about?
I'm teaching in the MA in Science Writing and MA in Writing programs at Johns Hopkins.
What about it makes you so passionate? What is the underlying reason or cause you’re doing what you’re doing?
I'm inspired by the enthusiasm of my wonderful students. They always leave me wanting to be a better writer and teacher. I decided to write Ravenous after becoming aware of the connection between poor metabolic health and cancer. My aim was to write a book that would not only makes for an interesting read but also draws attention to the ways that high-sugar diets make us sick. (Michigan fun fact: CBS This Morning did a segment on the book and the host, Dana Jacobson, turned out to be a Michigan grad. We spent all the off-camera time talking about U of M.)
How does something you did in the RC relate to this?
I studied creative writing in college and wrote my first stories in East Quad -- where I also met my future wife!
If you could have dinner with anyone, fictional or real, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I suppose it would be Otto Warburg, the famed scientist at the center of my new book Ravenous. I spent years researching his life, but there are still so many questions I want to ask.
What’s your favorite food to make, and why?
I eat a lot of (free-range) eggs because they're delicious and so healthy.