March 10, 2008

Volume 2, issue 28
March 10, 2008
The Fountain

Sherwood staff moves to temporary “home”

Scott Shields, associate professor of sport studies and head women’s soccer coach, starts packing for the move to 216 Stanton while Sherwood Center is renovated.
216 Stanton

The temporary home for the Sherwood Center staff is literally that — it’s the college-owned house at 216 Stanton. Coaches and staff begin moving this week, in anticipation of the project to renovate Sherwood, which begins later this month. The project is slated for completion by August 2009, although the main gym, dance room and racquetball courts will re-open this fall. Significant modifications to the exterior and interior are planned, including enclosure of the climbing wall and resurfacing of the exterior with brick that is consistent with other campus buildings, such as Baker Ferguson Fitness Center and Penrose Library. The project also includes a second large gymnasium, two new dance rooms, new office space and renovated locker rooms. During the renovation, the Sherwood staff will operate from the Stanton house. Tennis, swim and ski coaches will remain in BFFC, where the athletic training room will also be located during the renovation. All phone numbers stay the same.

Smart Spaces: Technology enhances group study

A recent technological advancement on campus that is enhancing learning is called “Smart Spaces.” Installed in Olin, Douglas and the Hall of Science by the WCTS team, Smart Spaces uses a technology called Team Spot that allows groups to work collaboratively using displays as interactive digital work-surface. Once the client software is downloaded and installed, students can work together on a large display screen while interacting from personal laptops. The system is already being used successfully at many large commuter institutions. Whitman is partnering with Vassar and Davidson colleges to test its value at small residential colleges. The idea to bring SmartSpaces to Whitman stemmed from a demonstration on learning spaces that Chief Technology Officer Keiko Pitter and other Whitman staff observed at a meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges. “I remember that Chuck Cleveland turned and said, ‘We have to have that!’” Pitter said. Read more about Smart Spaces here.

Whitman Investment Company offers real-time, hands-on experience for students

Advisers Pete Parcells, associate professor of economics, and Raechelle Mascarenhas, assistant professor of economics, recently accompanied the student members of the Whitman Investment Company (WIC) to a Seattle meeting with alumni and investment professionals for a look at the “real world.” The students who serve on the WIC manage a Whitman endowment, funded through the William Allen-Boeing Endowment, worth about $320,000. The Seattle professionals provided the students with an analysis of the WIC portfolio, including a discussion of its strengths and weaknesses, and exposed them to different aspects of investing such as equities, alternative investments, bonds and venture capital. They also toured the Boeing plant before returning home.

“The William Allen-Boeing endowment has, in my opinion, a primary goal of educating students and faculty about the world of finance and manufacturing, as this is where William Allen made his impact. The trip and the tour of the Boeing plant were wonderful extensions of educational opportunities,” said Parcells. “It was a wonderful opportunity for students involved with WIC to meet people working in finance,” added Mascarenhas, “and I was impressed with the involvement of Whitman alumni.”

Faculty Accomplishments

Kirsten Nicolaysen, assistant professor of geology, delivered two presentations at the Alaska Anthropological Association's yearly conference in Anchorage, Alaska, on Feb. 28. The presentations highlighted results of a senior thesis by Taylor Johnson ’07 and laboratory research undertaken by her petrology class (GEOL 346). Talks included “Provenance of obsidian fragments recovered from ADK-11: Evidence for long distance transport” and “Characterization of organic molecules associated with stones in an archaeological context: Adak Island, Alaska.” Both papers will be published in a monograph on archaeology of the central Aleutian Islands later this year.

Bob Carson: former student “rock star” now champion extreme skier

Ingrid Backstrom

Bob Carson, professor of geology and environmental studies, notes that his former student Ingrid Bergstrom ’96 has become one of the world’s leading extreme skiers. Ingrid is featured in “Steep,” a new film due for release later this month and last week she was spotlighted in an NPR interview. Bob recalls that she was a solid student and all-around athlete who “discovered geology” while at Whitman, which changed her original plans to become a doctor. Learn more and see some fabulous, unbelievable shots at the “Steep” movie Web site, and at

Staff Profile: Anuree Bennett
Administrative Assistant, Admission Office

  • Birthplace: Chonburi, Thailand
  • Education: B.Ed from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
  • Years at Whitman: 2 years
  • Favorite book/film/music/play/art/etc: I am fond of many films and kinds of music and appreciate the variety available. Of particular enjoyment is Thai music and film because it is not mainstream in our culture here. That is why hearing new Thai music or seeing a new film in my native tongue is really a treat to me.
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: I like all of the sculptures because they each are individual to the landscape on campus. I have always felt the scenery is very peaceful and relaxing. The various art pieces help create Whitman’s unique identity.
  • Best travel experience: My husband and I were married in Hua Hin, Thailand. It is a beautiful sea resort with tropical sandy beaches, great outdoor shopping in the night plaza, and excellent authentic Thai cuisine.
  • Interests/pleasures: I enjoy spending time with my family, going out to dinner, and taking the children to the park, getting to visit my family and home in Thailand, and knowing my daughter has successfully potty trained!!
  • Recent accomplishment: I am almost finished with two college courses in English and chemistry.
  • What people don’t know about me: I was on a debate team during my freshman year of college.
  • A day in the life/on the job: At this time of year, I help get the application files ready for the admission officers to read and also make sure that the prospect students’ test scores have been properly imported into their files.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: The diversity on campus.
  • What I’ve learned here: Learning never ends at Whitman!
  • Quote: The values of humans are reflected through their hard work. — Thai Proverb

Staff: Got news? Send it to the Fountain

Have you participated in a conference? Maybe you’ve been elected to a position with your professional associate or served on a committee or have other news to share with the Whitman Community. If so, the fountain wants to publicize your accomplishments, in part to keep a record of the activities of staff as part of the life of the college. Please don’t be shy! Send your news to

Save these dates

Monday, March 24
Annual Hosokawa Journalism Lecture: Salim Muwakkil, senior editor of In These Times and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, will present “Presidential Politics: Race, Gender and the Media Frame” at 7 p.m. in the Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center. Learn more about the speaker at the In These Times Web site.

Wednesday, March 26
March of Peace Lecture: Patrick Henry, professor emeritus at Whitman College and a long time speaker for the Jewish Foundation of the Righteous, will present a public lecture Wednesday, March 26, “Why Learn about the Rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust?” at 7 p.m., Congregation Beth Israel, corner of Alder and Roosevelt.

Parting Shot

…Game over Photo by Sarah Abdurrahman, communications officer/photographer

Whitman College
In This Issue
Sherwood moves
Smart Spaces
Whitman Investment Company
Faculty Accomplishments
Bob Carson,
Extreme Skier
Staff Profile:
Anuree Bennett
Got news?
Save These Dates

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at 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: