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Poet Dana Gioia, ’73, MBA ’77, has returned to Southern California, appointed professor of poetry and public culture at USC. The Hawthorne native, onetime food industry executive and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, who delivered Stanford’s Commencement address in 2007, talked with the L.A. Times about applying business techniques to art and why reading matters.

For several years, Stanford’s Rural Education Action Project has studied malnutrition among rural Chinese schoolchildren and conducted randomized interventions to find the best remedies. Their recent trials show that one provincial government initiative—giving students an egg daily—may have little effect on the pervasive problem of anemia, whereas groups of children taking chewable vitamin pills had reduced anemia and improved academic test scores.

The latest work of Pulitzer-winning experimental composer David Lang, ’78, had its premiere at Stanford in January, followed by a performance at Carnegie Hall. Death Speaks is based on the lyrics of Schubert songs.

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