June 2, 2008

Volume 2, issue 40
June 2, 2008
The Fountain

Don’t forget staff appreciation lunch June 4

The Personnel Advisory Committee has planned a staff appreciation celebration featuring a delicious lunch, a performance by the popular Whitmanaires (led by Paul Dennis, choir director and administrative assistant for the Reid Campus Center), a few surprises, a few awards and an introduction of new staff hires.

The festivities begin in Reid Campus Center Wednesday, June 4, at 11 a.m. and will end at about 2 p.m. Cindy Waring, director of human resources, asks that you pick up your nametag and find your seat between 10:45 and 11 a.m. because the event will begin on time with a Whitmanaires performance.

“This is a celebration of all of our wonderful staff,” said Waring, so please invite anyone in your department that does not work in the summer. If you are scheduled to work and attend the luncheon, you will have the rest of the afternoon off with pay. If you cannot attend, please led her know, so an accurate count for lunch is available.

Be sure to thank the PAC committee members for the time, energy and creativity they have invested in this event: Denise Mann, associate controller; Darla Schuster, data and gift processing assistant; Larry North, science technician; Anuree Bennett, administrative assistant, admission office; Margaret Ely, administrative assistant, Career Center; and Joelle Chavre, academic technology consultant.

Mailing Services schedule altered for Staff Recognition Day

Due to the Staff Recognition event Wednesday, June 4, only mail that is picked up by the campus courier on the morning run (10 a.m.) will go out that day. That pick-up includes USPS and FedEx parcels. The Reid Campus Center Post Office window will close at 10 a.m. If you have specific needs, please contact Betti Linke at x5793 or Marge Jesse at x5903 in advance.

Penrose Library launches new, feature-rich Web site

A library may be a quiet place, but only in terms of decibels. The activity level at Penrose Library is anything but quiet, starting with the June 1 launch of its new Web site www.whitman.edu/penrose.

For more than a year, library staff members have been working on the project. Their goal was to design a user-friendly, feature-rich site with a contemporary look. New features include a persistent navigation menu for easy access to important resources and a catalog search box available on every page. Based on comments received during user-testing, the site is tailored to fit the needs and behaviors of faculty, staff, and students who frequently use it.

A signature feature of the new site that is being tested over the summer is the “Ask a Librarian” live chat service. During library hours, members of the Whitman community will be able to chat with a librarian whether they are on campus or across the state, country, or world. “We hope that ‘Ask a Librarian’ will offer assistance to Whitman community members wherever they are this summer,” said Lee Keene, head of reference and information literacy. To access this service click on the “Ask a Librarian” link on the library homepage.

“Our talented staff worked very hard to produce such a well-designed and user-friendly site, and this step forward in making materials more easily accessible will enhance the library experience for the Whitman community,” said Dalia Hagan, college librarian. “We would also like to thank those who volunteered their time and effort to the project during the testing phase.”

Staff Accomplishments

Tracee Anderson, counselor, has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Washington State Youth Suicide Prevention Board. She is the first representative on the board from a college or university, and her election signals an effort to enhance outreach to college-age youth. She’ll serve in an advisory capacity regarding such aspects as programming and fundraising as well as help make critical decisions about the direction, mission and vision of the organization. The goal of the organization is to help create a "state where youth suicide is a rare event, where young people are nurtured and supported, where individuals and families are aware of risk factors for suicide, and actively seek help from accessible, effective community resources.” Learn more at www.yspp.org.

Michelle Ferenz (left), associate professor of sport studies and women’s basketball coach, and Dean Snider (right), athletics director, have been selected to serve as chairs of their respective panels within the Northwest Conference. Ferenz will chair the Senior Women’s Administrators group, leading its annual meeting. As chair of the Athletic Directors group, Snider will host and organize four meetings, including one with the NWC President’s Council.

“Live Chat” a new option to get assistance from WCTS

Keiko Pitter, chief technology officer, reports that WCTS has a new option to help with your technology questions. “Live Chat” can be found on the staff and faculty Web pages, lower right hand corner, in the red box that lists WCTS contact information. This live option connects you with a real person in the WCTS office during regular business hours, says Pitter. “When you click on the “Live Chat” option, you will be prompted to enter your Whitman username/password and you can “start” chatting. When you enter a question, there is someone there on the other end to answer. This new option is an alternative to calling on the phone or visiting us in person. Try it and let us know what you think.”

Whitman professors offer intensive writing class to Nixyaawii students

Three Whitman professors will lead an intensive writing workshop on campus June 2, 3, and 4 for a group of sophomores, juniors and seniors from the Nixyaawii Community School.

Kay Fenimore-Smith, assistant professor of education, has been working with the school, located on the Umatilla Indian Reservation, since it opened in 2004. She said a $25,000 grant from Washington Mutual allowed the college to forge a partnership between Whitman and Nixyaawii, and this workshop is the most recent event in that partnership.

Don Snow, senior lecturer of environmental studies and humanities, will teach the first session Monday. He will focus on teaching the students to write a self-introduction. Jennifer Karson, adjunct instructor of anthropology, will take over Tuesday, beginning with a walking tour around Whitman and Walla Walla that will include viewing Treaty Rock, the statue of Marcus Whitman, and the statue of Peu-Peu-Mox-Mox located downtown. The students, who will be journaling their experiences as they look at “history and place,” will also visit Whitman Mission. On Wednesday, Katrina Roberts, Mina Schwabacher Associate Professor of English/Creative Writing and Humanities, will conclude the workshop with exercises that will include the idea of “naming,” building on what the students learned from the two previous professors, as well as some poetry, and a look at the “whimsical.”

Year-end party features great music, food, conversation

Though the weather forced the party indoors, it also fueled some creative decorating by Maggi Banderas ’05 and Jennifer Casper of the president’s office: note the tropical floral décor on the umbrellas. Staff and faculty who attended last week’s year-end party experienced the musical side of Adam Kirtley, Stuart Coordinator of Religious and Spiritual Life. Kirtley and his group, The Rogues, provided the musical entertainment. They’ve been playing together in Walla Walla since 2001, specializing in traditional tunes and Celtic pub ballads. Joining Kirtley on guitar and vocals are Jerry Yokel on fiddle and Joel Fitts on mandolin and vocals. To go along with the music and conversation were pounds of guacamole, salsa and cheese sauce and mounds of chips. See more photos here.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff Appreciation Lunch
Mailing Services Schedule
Library Web Site
Staff Accomplishments
Live Chat
Writing Class
Year End Party

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. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain