April 28, 2008

Volume 2, issue 35
April 28, 2008
The Fountain

Howard Hughes Medical Institute rewards life sciences with $800,000 grant

Associate Professor of Chemistry Jim Russo coordinated and wrote most of the grant proposal. Andrea Dobson ’82, associate professor of astronomy and gender students and a Garrett fellow, spearheaded the outreach component. Rachna Sinnott ’93, director of foundation and corporate relations, and Tamara Tinhoff, director of donor communications and relations, contributed background writing for the institutional component.

For their efforts, Whitman will receive $800,000 from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to enhance undergraduate instruction and research in the life sciences. Specifically, the grant will expand student-faculty collaborative research on campus and through Whitman’s association with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; create a new faculty line in bioanalytical chemistry; renovate the BBMB laboratory; and expand outreach partnerships with middle- and high-school science programs and teachers in Walla Walla Valley.

“This is an exciting opportunity to build on Whitman's existing strength in the sciences,” said Provost and Dean of the Faculty Lori Bettison-Varga. “It provides resources for our creative team of faculty to expand undergraduate research experiences in the life sciences and educational outreach to the community.”

“We have a unique interdisciplinary science program in BBMB,” Russo said. “We’re incorporating at the undergraduate level science that historically has been done at the graduate level. The Hughes grant will enhance our program by expanding research opportunities as well as course opportunities.”

The new award is Whitman’s third success with HHMI, the nation’s largest private supporter of science education. A joint grant to the biology and chemistry departments in 1989 bolstered student research and equipment. Another award in 1996 ushered in the biophysics division and provided new computers for the biology and physics labs.

For more on Whitman’s award, visit the HHMI Web site and click on “follow this link” directly under the map.

State of the State for Washington Latinos project sets public meeting

The students of Paul Apostolidis, professor of politics, and Gilbert Mireles, assistant professor of sociology, will make a public presentation in the third installment of the ongoing project on “The State of the State for Washington Latinos” Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in Olin 130. Apostolidis and Mireles co-taught a seminar this semester in which each of nine students researched an aspect of “Public Mobilization and Voting Rights among Washington Latinos,” focusing on the eight central and eastern Washington communities of Walla Walla, Pasco, Toppenish, Granger, Wapato, Quincy, Othello and Yakima.

Apostolidis’ seminar classes in 2005 and 2006 created two “State of the State for Washington Latinos” reports on a range of social issues; this year he and Mireles focused on topics of voting and election rights.

“The State of the State for Washington Latinos” remains the only broadly inclusive report on social and political conditions for Latinos in Washington State, and has drawn the interest of regional media, Latino leaders and members of Gov. Gregoire’s staff. In attendance at the May 1 event will be Sheila Collins, Eastern Washington Representative of Gov. Gregoire; Uriel Iniguez, director of the Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs; Ricardo Rico, executive director of the Washington State Chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest Latino civic organization in the United States; and Ed Gonzalez, president of the Pierce County Chamber of Commerce.

Whitman tennis team Northwest Conference champs

The Whitman men’s tennis team captured its first Northwest Conference title since 2004 on Saturday, April 19, at the Yakima Tennis Club. “We were playing to win,” said Jeff Northam, associate professor of sport studies and head men’s tennis coach. “This team is still relatively young with a lot of sophomores and freshmen, and we played with great intensity from start to finish. I’m really proud of the way guys stepped up.” For more about the title tournament, see this Whitman news release.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments

Scott Elliott, assistant professor of English, has published an expansive article on magical realism in fiction in the Summer 2008 issue of Writer’s Chronicle. In “Warranted Magic: Writing and Discussing Magical Realism,” Elliott traces the origin of the invention and enumerates the challenges that arise, particularly in writing workshops, when the fiction under discussion flouts the bounds of traditional realism, traveling from the ordinary to the extraordinary. “The article comes from my interest in a tradition of magical realism in North America and is an attempt to articulate, for myself, what makes successful literary fictions in this mode work,” Elliott said. “It’s also an attempt to come up with better ways of talking about students’ magical realist stories in workshop classes.”

    Wally Herbranson
    Rich Jacks

Wally Herbranson, associate professor of psychology, and Rich Jacks, associate professor of psychology and associate dean of students for health and wellness, along with psychology majors Breanna Adams, Tyson Berry-Wogan, Sara Bowman, Daniel Dennedy-Frank, Sarah DeVries, Meheret Endeshaw, Rachel Hahn, Becca Johnson, Lindsay Morse, Chelsea Nash, Elizabeth Sher, Emily Shubin, Lauren Simpson, Max Weber and Caitlin Wilson presented research at the 88th annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association in Irvine, Calif., April 10-13.

Kate Jackson, assistant professor of biology, gave a talk Sunday, April 27, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Jackson is the author of “Mean and Lowly Things: Snakes. Science and Survival in the Congo,” published earlier this month. The book is a “field journal” described as an “unvarnished account of her research on the front lines of the global diversity crisis-coping with interminable delays in obtaining permits, learning to outrun advancing army ants, subsisting on a diet of Spam and manioc, and ultimately falling in love with the strangely beautiful flooded forest.” Her collection is on display in the NMNH.

Historical essay on student activism available online

G. Thomas Edwards, professor of history emeritus, has written an essay titled Student Activism at Pomona, Willamette, and Whitman: 1965-1971, that has been published by Whitman College and Northwest Archives. It is a study of student activism and the transformation of three small liberal arts colleges during the years 1965-1971 and features a forward by Robert Allen Skotheim. Archivist Michael Paulus reports that a digital version of the essay is available online, in the college’s new institutional repository.

Coming Events
Free unless otherwise noted

Monday, April 28, and Tuesday, April 29
Documentary: “Memoirs of Immigration” by Yamina Benguigui, France, 1997/1998. 7 p.m., Olin 130. Second and third of three 53-minute segments; part of a touring exhibit organized by ArteEast. In this seminal documentary, a triptych of stories spells out the painful fate of two generations of Maghrebi immigrations  to France. First, the story of men who left North Africa to forge their way in the paradise of France, only to discover that their paradise is built of mud and tin roofs. Then, the women who fared little better when they came to join their husbands struggling in sad poverty. Finally, the stories of the children whose identity is blurred and forgotten as the pervasive French culture absorbs their Arab heritage. Contact Jack Iverson x 4750 for info.

Tuesday, April 29
Recital:  Student recital by Alex Abrams, cello; assisted by Geneva Falkner, violin, Clare Tochilin, violin; Alixandria Bowman, viola; Nathan Shiu, piano. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Tuesday, April 29
Dance: Dance group Rudrakshya, performing Oddissi, considered India’s earliest classical dance style. 7:30 p.m., Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center.

Wednesday, April 30
Recital:  Hall of Music presents Jeff Wilson’s Senior Composition Recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Thursday, May 1
Recital: Music Department presents the Whitman Flute Choir Spring Recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Thursday, May 1 – Sunday, May 4
Play:  Harper Joy Theatre presents “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, conceived by Walter Bobbie, with music by Mark Nichols and musical arrangements by Fred Wells. 8 p.m., Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.  Alexander Stage.

In fear of their lives, Rosalind and Celia flee to the Forest of Arden. Escaping what they fear most, they discover what they most love. Rosalind, disguised as a boy, tempts the man she loves to fall for the boy she isn’t. This modern version uses music, song and dance to evoke the timeless tale where the boundaries of reality and fantasy merge in a comic masterpiece of love and life.

For tickets and reservations call (509) 527-5180 or fax (509) 522-4406. Box Office is open 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. daily. During performance weeks, Box Office is also open 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and 45 minutes before each performance.

Thursday, May 1
Reading: Whitman writers read. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Thursday, May 1
Presentation: The third “State of the State for Washington Latinos” project, with 2008 topic of “Voting Rights and Political Mobilization,” will be presented by the students of politics 404A, taught by professors Paul Apostolidis and Gilbert Mireles this semester. Discussion to follow presentation. 7 p.m., Olin 130.

Friday, May 2
Recital:  Music Department presents Fridays at Four: Jacqueline Kamm’s Voice Recital. 4 p.m., Kimball Theater, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3
Poetry and Dance: Whitman Dance Theater will present “I Have Never Wanted To March,” a poem by poet Tess Gallagher, former visiting professor, staged for music and dance by Vicki Lloid, adjunct instructor of dance; the anti-war poem will be read by Mary Hanna, professor of politics emerita. The score has been sampled and re-composed by Ivan Raykoff.  8 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

At 7 p.m. in the Cordiner Foyer Tess Gallagher will read from her new book, Barnacle Soup.

Friday, May 2
Concert:  Music Department presents the Whitman Cello Choir Spring Concert, conducted by Edward Dixon. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Saturday, May 3
Recital: Music Department presents Justin Greenberg’s junior piano recital and Lauren Coker’s sophomore piano recital. 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Sunday, May 4
Recital: Department of Music presents the Con Fuoco String Quartet, with Rhea Edelman, Sarah Judkins, Amy N.S. Dodds and Emma Wood. 3 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, May 4
Recital:  Hall of Music presents the Student Brass Recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Monday, May 5
Concert: Divertimento Chamber Orchestra, conducted by student Lee Mills ’09. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Save the dates

Thursday, May 15, through Saturday, May 17
Play: Harper Joy Theatre presents “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare, conceived by Walter Bobbie, with music by Mark Nichols and musical arrangements by Fred Wells, at 8 p.m. on Harper Joy’s Alexander Stage. Tickets and info (509) 527-5180.

Friday, May 16
Recital: Marianne Symeonides, senior recital. 4 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, May 18
Commencement: The commencement ceremonies for the class of 2008. Speaker is William Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 11 a.m., Memorial lawn.


In last week’s issue, Maggi Banderas ’05 should have been identified as the previous WISE program coordinator in the story about the panel presentation at the Pacific Northwest American Studies Association. The current WISE program coordinator is Andrés Dankel-Ibáñez, assistant director of the Intercultural Center. Maggi previously was the administrative assistant for the Intercultural Center before moving to events assistant in the president’s office.

Whitman College
In This Issue
HHMI Grant
State of the State
Tennis Champs
Faculty Accomplishments
Tom Edwards Essay
Coming Events

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at thefountain@whitman.edu. Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Editorial Assistant: Marcy Manker ’10. Managing editor: Lana Brown. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain


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