Lamplighter Teacher Not Just Eye of Legal Storm

From left: Simon Dalley (ILCAC  treasurer); Usha Kulshreshtha (2010 Awardee); Tobia Frederico (ILCAC Secretary); Cedric Lorce (2010 Awardee); James Vary (ILCAC board member); Asmita Mukherjee (2009 awardee); Ben Bakker (former chair); Chueng Ji (ILCAC Chair); Wayne Polyzou (ILCAC vice-chair).

Unless you were a fourth grader at Lamplighter in the past 43 years, you probably know Sheila McCartor best as the eye about which the Lamplighter storm is turning. As scores of commenters on the Facebook page dedicated to her reinstatement can attest, she is much more. (I should say that it has been a relative pleasure to have my requests for comment rejected by Ms. McCartor. Each time, she has been unfailingly gracious and polite.)

She’s still keeping mum on McCartorgate 2010, but she did send along an announcement along two days ago announcing the most recent recipients of the Gary McCartor Award. Gary, Sheila’s late husband, was a professor of theoretical physics at SMU. In 2008, two years after his death, Sheila established the annual award, which covers travel expenses for two young scientists to attend the annual meeting of the International Light-Cone Advisory Committee, an organization dedicated to advancing research in quantum field theory of which Gary was a founding member.

At a banquet on June 16 at this year’s conference in Valencia, Spain, 2010 award winners Cedric Lorce and Usha Kulshreshtha and 2009 winner Asmita Mukherjee accepted the $2,000 grants.  Sheila was unable to attend this year’s conference because of the Lamplighter mess, but she sent along a press release from the 2008 event.

“To conclude, Mrs. McCartor presented Hannafious and Honkanen with the simple gift of pencils, ‘In my
observations, it seems that a very good theoretician needs to have a very good pencil,’ said McCartor.
Providing extra erasers, she added, ‘This is not to suggest that you will ever make mistakes in your
calculations, but should you, a fresh eraser always makes it easy to begin anew.'”

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