News and Analysis


Michelle Rattinger

is the senior photo editor! Shes from Palm Beach, Fla and misses the beach every second. She's been working for The Hatchet since her freshman year, moving up from photographer to assistant photo editor to photo editor. Michelle is a psychology major with a minor in mind-brain studies. She's come a long way from photographing trash cans in Thurston, and is excited to see what awesome assignments the next year will bring!

Gupta's father, Vinod, began the memorial speaking proudly of his son's accomplishments that include working for former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel as well as the State Department. The family reported Gupta, 28, died in his sleep. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Correction appended

Family and friends gathered Thursday to remember Benjamin Gupta, a 28-year-old law and business student who died in his sleep Monday.

An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of death.

Jess Gupta remembered the comedic faces his brother used to make at family functions – faces he said he was “grateful” he was able to see just a month ago during Thanksgiving.

“I’ll keep him in my heart forever, and I know all of you will do the same,” Jess Gupta said.

Kris Balderston, the managing director of the Global Partnership Initiative, said Gupta brought his unique listening, problem solving and comedic skills to the office daily.

“He was an old wise man trapped in a young man’s body and a member of the State Department family,” Balderston said.

The JD and MBA candidate worked as a partnership coordinator for the Global Partnership Initiative – a program that brings together public and private groups to collaborate on diaspora, economic, health and sustainability-related projects.

Vinod Gupta said it was “not easy” to send his son off to private school at the age of 14, as he was “continuously worried about his health and happiness.”

Gupta attended the Phillips Exeter Academy and Boston University, where he received a bachelor of arts in economics and psychology. The Omaha, Neb. native worked as a staff assistant for then-Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., in 2007.

The family asked that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to the World Education Foundation in Omaha.

The University will host an additional memorial service when students return to campus in January.

University President Steven Knapp said Gupta’s death was a tragic time for GW as this was the third graduate student to die this semester. Jenny Gonzalez Perdomo died Dec.13 from a sudden illness and Patrick David Casey, an Afghanistan war veteran, died following a physical assault in September.

This post has been updated Dec. 23, 2011 to reflect the following: The Hatchet misspelled Vinod Gupta’s name as Vinoid Gupta.

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President Barack Obama, HIV, AIDS

President Barack Obama speaks to the importance of HIV/AIDS prevention at The Beginning of the End of Aids event in the Jack Morton Auditorium Wednesday morning. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Bono, U2, HIV, AIDS

Lead singer of Irish rock band U2, Bono, greets audience members before the start of the panel discussion. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

HIV, AIDS, Florence Ngobeni-Allen

Florence Ngobeni-Allen is applauded for her powerful commentary on HIV/AIDS education and prevention. Ngobeni-Allen is HIV positive and lost two children to the disease. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

President Barack Obama, AIDS, HIV

President Barack Obama receives a standing ovation in Jack Morton Auditorium. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor



Bono, sitting alongside Dr. Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah, far left, and musician Alicia Keys, middle, speaks with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, about growing HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta serves as the panel discusison moderator at the HIV/AIDS awareness event. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

HIV AIDS panel Jack Morton

The star-studded panel included renowned musicians Alicia Keys and Bono, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Calif., Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as well as other distinguished HIV/AIDS activists. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

Bill Clinton

Former President Bill Clinton addressed the crowd via satellite. Other guests to grace the big screen included former President George W. Bush, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, and musical artist Elton John. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor


President Barack Obama is surrounded by media and enthusiastic audience members as he exits Jack Morton Auditorium after his address Wednesday morning. Michelle Rattinger | Senior Photo Editor

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