February 19, 2008

Volume 2, issue 25
February 19, 2008
The Fountain

President’s breakfast

President George Bridges hosted the second staff breakfast in as many months Friday morning to update staff on a variety of key issues for Whitman.

Bridges spoke about various initiatives and projects on campus and shared good news about the administration’s recent meeting with the college’s Board of Trustees.

Here are some key points in the president’s discussion:

  • Last week’s meeting with the Board of Trustees was “one of the smoothest budget meetings… in my career,” Bridges said. “Everything that we asked for was approved.” Among the budget items that received trustee approval are salary increases and new staff and faculty positions. “[The trustees] are very excited about the work we’re doing.”
  • Response by invited alumni to the president’s ongoing “dialogue dinners” in various cities “has been very positive,” Bridges announced. “Alumni have come away [from the dinners] very energized.”
  • The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities sent official word to Bridges that Whitman will be accredited for the next 10 years. The lone recommendation by the committee, Bridges noted, was a need to “close the loop on our assessments of Whitman’s academic and administrative programs by documenting and demonstrating how we use assessment information in institutional and strategic planning.” The college will deliver a progress report two years hence.
  • Michael Quiner, director of administrative technology, reported that the college’s new campus-wide emergency notification system is in place. The first test of the network will take place on Feb. 20. Bridges encouraged staff and faculty to complete information forms for the system directory.
  • Bridges noted the passing of longtime Whitman Trustee William Deshler ’64, chief executive officer of Electrical Construction Company in Portland and a mathematics major at Whitman. “Bill always asked the really good questions about the budget,” Bridges said. The Board of Trustees has quickly moved to establish a scholarship for students in Deshler’s name.
  • In lieu of the traditional Staff Development Day, a Staff Appreciation Lunch is slated for June 4 beginning at 11 a.m. A series of smaller lunches for staff (dates to be announced) on various topics such as estate planning will supersede the usual one-day event for staff.
  • Dan Park, director of the Physical Plant, announced that renovation of Sherwood Athletic Center will begin during spring break. Racquetball courts are expected to remain open during most of the renovation.
  • Bridges announced that an outcome of recent “campus sustainability efforts” is a revenue fund to pursue energy-saving projects, savings from which will feed back to retire the loan to create the fund. The college has made an initial commitment of $100,000 to the fund.

School Employees Credit Union offers great interest perk

All faculty and staff are eligible for membership in the School Employees Credit Union of Washington. Last week credit union marketing representative Kendra Edlin was on campus and encouraged everyone to give the credit union a try, because it offers some real benefits without requiring people to drop their current bank. For example, if you make automatic payroll deposits to a savings account you earn 7.71% on the first $750. This is an excellent way to save up an emergency fund, added Cindy Waring, director of administrative services. “We have the applications and forms in Human Resources.”

Additional benefits include:

  • Low loan rates and the ability to apply online or by phone;
  • Free checking and checks;
  • Free online banking;
  • Free online bill paying;
  • Free online transfers between the credit union and your other financial institutions;
  • Free ATM use for deposits and withdrawals;
  • Free financial counseling.

If you missed Edlin’s visit and would like to learn more about the credit union, contact Human Resources in Memorial 102, or Edlin at kendra.edlin@secuwa.org or 1-888-628-4010. More information is available on the credit union’s Web site.

First Aid/CPR training offered free

The College Safety Department is offering free Adult CPR/First Aid classes to any Whitman College staff or faculty member during spring break. This is an excellent way to make sure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies at work or at home.

Class dates are March 10, 11 & 12. Adult CPR/AED will be taught from 9 a.m. to noon and first aid from 1 to 4 p.m. You can choose to attend one full day, or you can attend over two days, but you must take the CPR class before the first aid class.

Contact Kathy Rogers at rogerska@whitman.edu or at x5946 to reserve a space or for more information.

Faculty Profile: Melissa Clearfield
Associate Professor of Psychology

  • Name: Melissa Clearfield
  • Department: Psychology
  • Birthplace: New York City
  • Education: B.A. in Psychology from Middlebury College, Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Indiana University
  • Years at Whitman: 7
  • Courses: Developmental Psychology, Psychology of Women and Gender, Historical and Contemporary Issues, Philosophy and Psychology of Language, Theories of Knowledge Acquisition
  • Favorite book/film/music/play/art/etc: Books: “Basic Instinct” by Mark Blumberg, “Disgrace” by J.M. Coetzee, “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry. Music: anything 80s.
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: Styx covered in bees.
  • Best travel experience: Kauai with my husband.
  • Interests/pleasures: exercise, movies, travel.
  • Recent accomplishment: buying land and designing a house.
  • What people don’t know about me: I’m very active in local organizations that work to improve the lives of children and families. I mentor a family through the HomeTeam Parent Aid Program, and I am also involved in the Children’s Forum and the Early Learning Alliance.
  • Why I teach: To instill/inspire deep curiosity about how people work and where knowledge comes from.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: Students who genuinely want to learn.
  • What I’ve learned here: I work with very smart people who do really interesting things.
  • Quote: “I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat.” — Rebecca West, 1913

Faculty Accomplishments

Patrick Henry, Cushing Eells Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Literature, reconsiders the Holocaust in his latest book, “We Only Know Men: The Rescue of Jews in France during the Holocaust” (The Catholic University of America Press, 2007). The focus of “We Only Know Men” is the rescue of Jews on the plateau Vivarais-Lignon between the years 1939 and 1944. Henry also examines the influence this rescue activity had on the writing of Albert Camus’ novel, “The Plague,” and he underscores the important role that Jewish people played in the rescue of other Jews throughout France. The book has been praised by numerous authors and professors.

“‘We Only Know Men’ is a wonderful book, thoughtful, sensitive, engaging and beautifully written [which] provides readers with the context, content, and controversies about rescue during the Holocaust. It is a must read for scholars, teachers, clergy and students who ponder what it was that motivated and enabled ordinary people to risk their lives,” said Carol Rittner, Distinguished Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. Henry’s book has been translated into French and will be published in France later this year by Être et Connaître.

Coming Events
Free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, Feb. 19
Whitman College Symphony presents the Winter Concert, conducted by Ed Dixon, at 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Wednesday, Feb. 20
The O’Donnell Lecture: “From Annapolis to Jerusalem: A View from Damascus, The Prospects for Peace in the Middle East following the Annapolis Conference.” By Dr. Ahmed Rhazaoui ’68, Officer in Charge, United Nations Development Program in Damascus, Syria, at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Thursday, Feb. 21
Visiting Writers Reading Series presents Jon Clinch, author of the acclaimed “Finn: A Novel,” at 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, Feb. 22
“Curse of the Golden Flower,” presented by CAS at 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Saturday, Feb. 23
The Music Department presents a faculty recital featuring Genevieve Baglio, voice, and Lee D. Thompson, piano, at 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, Feb. 24
“Curse of the Golden Flower,” presented by CAS at 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Whitman College
In This Issue
President’s Breakfast
Credit Union
CPR Training
Faculty Profile:
Melissa Clearfield
Faculty Accomplishments
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