When Donald Trump returned Frances Stead Sellers’s call, he didn’t reach her at the Washington Post’s high-tech newsroom on K Street — she was at her kitchen table, so that’s where she interviewed him about how his reality TV experience helped him run for the U.S. presidency. It was near the end of the tumultuous campaign of 2016, in which Frances’s job as a senior writer also had her interviewing skeptical Germans in Trump’s ancestral village and drinking moonshine from a jam-jar with Appalachian voters. This wasn’t the career path she expected when she got her master’s in linguistics at Penn (though her German came in handy at Kallstadt, as her French did when she interviewed heroic doctors after the Paris bombings). “Being a journalist means that I am paid to do what all Thouron scholars like doing most of all – talking to people about how their world works. It’s a license to trespass not only into other people’s lives but across topics — in my case, from the arts and sciences to politics. I get to work on what might, rather grandly, be called the search for truths.”