November 24, 2008

Volume 3, issue 13
November 24, 2008
The Fountain

The perfect Thanksgiving dessert — courtesy of Bon Appétit

If you’re looking for something different yet traditional, sweet but healthy (well, pumpkin is in the vegetable family), you might want to try the pumpkin cheesecake recipe below. Bon Appétit Executive Chef Christian Chemin recommended this original delight, created by Heather Mansker, Bon Appétit pastry chef, for a place on your Thanksgiving table.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
Makes 1 x 8-inch cake

Ingredients for the cheesecake:

  • 42 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract or one vanilla bean scraped
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 11/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 11/2 cup ground ginger snaps
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. Mix together ingredients for the crust, then press into the bottom of a spring form pan. Wrap pan with aluminum foil 3 times to avoid leakage in water bath. Bake crust for five minutes at 350°. Take out of oven and set aside.
  2. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; slowly add egg one at a time while mixer is running. Scrap sides of bowl and paddle after each egg addition. Add sour cream, pumpkin puree and spices; make sure the mixture is smooth.
  3. Pour cream cheese mixture into pan with crust. Place in a water bath with water coming to 1 to 11/2 inch up the side of the pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 2–21/4 hours, or until the cake is set around the edges. It will be jiggly in the center but will cook as it cools.
  4. Remove cake from water bath and run knife around the sides to loosen. Remove aluminum foil as well. Cool to room temperature; refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove sides of spring form pan and enjoy.

Turn off computers to help the environment, $ave electricity costs (lots)

Nearly every Whitman office and student room has at least one computer. This results in significant electrical consumption on campus, especially since many machines are left on 24 hours a day. Nationwide, computers and electronic office equipment contribute to a rapidly growing electrical load. It is estimated that more than $3 billion annually, or 5 percent of U.S. energy, is used by electrical equipment that is left on but not in use.

Your patterns of computer use can make a big difference to the environment and to the college’s electrical bill. Michael Quiner, director of administrative technology, projects that Whitman could save between $25 to $70 per year per computer by turning them off when not in use. That means annual savings between $48,000 and $136,000 with an equivalent reduction in Whitman’s carbon footprint.

WCTS encourages all campus community members to turn off your computer equipment when you are not using it. This means shutting it down before leaving at the end of each day, or at minimum every weekend. And definitely over holiday breaks, including Thanksgiving and the extended winter break in December.

An important exception to the shut down request: Leave your computer on during the night that you install automatic updates. To find out when your system is set for auto install updates, follow these steps:

Click on the Start at the bottom left, click on Control Panel, select Automatic Updates. The day and time that windows will install updates should be displayed.

In case you have never shut your system down, here are instructions:

  • Windows computers: Click on the Start at the bottom left; click on Turn Off Computer or Shut Down, then select the Turn Off or Shut Down Option
  • Macintosh: Go to the Apple Icon, then click Shut Down.

If your computer is plugged into a surge suppressor or power strip, turn its switch off for additional power savings.

As always, you are encouraged to call the WCTS help desk (x4976) if you would like additional help in shutting down and conserving energy.

2009 health benefits update: cost increases to preserve coverage

Peter Harvey, treasurer and CFO, made two presentations last week about the 2009 Great West Medical Plan Benefit Modifications. Cindy Matern, director of Human Resources, and Carol Harris, manager of human resources, helped field questions from the audience. The modifications are below. If you have questions, contact Human Resources. If you have suggestions, please contact your representative on the staff benefits committee.

Premiums for medical care will increase 17 percent. Premiums for dental care will increase by 3 percent. The dependent contribution will remain at 50 percent.

Deductibles will increase from $250 per individual to $350 per individual and from $500 per family to $700 per family.

The amount paid by GW for coinsurance will decrease from 90 percent in-network and 70 percent out-of-network to 80 percent in-network and 60 percent out-of-network.

The coinsurance breakpoint will decrease from $15,000 for an individual to $10,000 and $30,000 for a family to $20,000.

This means that the out-of-pocket exposure for an individual using in-network services will increase from $1,500 to $2,000; for families it increases from $3,000 to $4,000. “By making these changes, we were able to keep the increase to 17 percent instead of 21 percent,” Harvey said.

Overall, an individual using in-network services and incurring more than $10,000 in medical bills can expect to pay $600 more in 2009 than in 2008.

No changes: vision plan, prescription drug plan and $20 co-pay for an in-network physician visit.

When a network provider is used, it can reduce your out of pocket expenses significantly.

USPS regulations update: bad addresses costly

Last year, the USPS introduced a new set of regulations affecting postage rates based on dimensions and weights of parcels. Now, a new set of regulations concerning data — specifically, the quality/accuracy of mailing addresses for bulk mailings — goes in effect Nov. 23. Amber Woodworth, communications operations manager, has been studying the regulations to ensure that Whitman remains in compliance and eligible to continue receiving the discounted rate for mass mailings (minimum 200 pieces). In short, bad addresses can result in significant expense to the department doing the mailing. It is advised that all mailing lists be pulled from official college data sources, including Millennium and Datatel as opposed to using individual databases managed by departments. Amber has created a presentation, available for reference here.

Also, she is happy to work with departments and answer any questions you may have. Reach her at or x5160.

Staff Accomplishments

Rich Hinz, technology services; Douglas Carlsen, director of the bookstore; and Summer Singer, conferences and events coordinator, are participating in the current Little Theatre of Walla Walla production of “Angel Street,” a Victorian thriller written in 1938. Carlsen and Hinz are co-directors; Singer portrays Mrs. Manningham.

Staff Profile: Wayne Dennis

  • Office: Physical Plant Services
  • Birthplace: Kalispell, Mont.
  • Education: High School
  • Years at Whitman: 12
  • Favorite:
    • Magazines: Super Chevy and Street Rodder; any Harley Davidson book.
    • Films: Comedies and spooky movies.
    • Music: Good ol’ rock ’n roll, and some country; no “rap."
    • Art: I like all kinds of art, and I’m pretty good at drawing cartoon people.
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: Probably the horse.
  • Best travel experience: When we took our Harley to Milwaukee for the 100th anniversary of Harley Davidson. What a memorable experience.
  • Interests/pleasures: Street rodding, or just riding Harleys; being around my two grandchildren. They can pretty much melt this “stone cold heart” with just a smile. Fishing, hunting, four-wheeling with my son in the mountains on our Polaris 4x4s, shopping on E-Bay, visiting with friends, snuggling up next to a warm fire with my wife, and playing around with my giant schnauzer, Moose.
  • Recent accomplishment: Designed and built our 6,500-square-foot home.
  • What people don’t know about me: I’ve been married to the same beautiful woman for the last 37 years. I have two wonderful kids. My daughter, Tabatha Jean, is 36, and my son, Wayne Jr., is 32. And I’m still just 19 in my head. I have a very large collection of green Depression glass in our home. I’m a great housekeeper, and a pretty good mechanic. I’m 57 years old and I’m like a magnet to little kids and dogs; must be my aura!!
  • A day in the life/on the job: Everyday is something different. That makes it fun.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: All the friendly people, and the whole campus is just beautiful throughout all the seasons.
  • What I’ve learned here: Just how fortunate I am to be part of this college. This is a great place to work.
  • Quote: I take pride in everything I build, and I think it shows. It’s nice to know that a lot of the bigger projects I’ve been involved with on campus will still be here long after I’m gone.

Save the date

Thursday, Dec. 4, and Friday, Dec. 5
Dance: The Whitman Dance Theater Fall Performance features dance instructor Vicki Lloid’s “Tree-Speak,” which is divided into 10 movements and features a growing number of dancers who tell the complex story of the dance. In a number of cultures the tree represents the story of man and his trials and inspirations, said Lloid, and the form of this dance is meant to be an allegorical meditation on man’s condition. Lloid’s choreography combines elements of the earthy as well as the abstract, allowing dancers to appear both human and mystical at the same time.

This performance also features pieces by choreographers Sebastian Grubb and Osvaldo “Ozzie” Angel. Grubb, a recent Whitman graduate who currently works in San Francisco, offers “What Autumn Teaches Me about Love,” which illustrates the efficient use of the body through space as well as the way gravity works on the body.

The piece by Angel opens as if it is hip hop, but soon becomes an amalgam of styles from rally squad to ballet. 8 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Parting Shot

Student photographer Cody Clifton ’12 was on the ball and camera ready when this rainbow presented itself over Lyman Hall and Ankeny a couple weeks ago. Cody shot two frames — one of each end of the rainbow — and Greg Lehman combined them in Photoshop for a single beautiful panorama.

Click for larger view

Whitman College
In This Issue
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Shut it Down
Benefits Update
New Postal Rules
Staff Accomplishments
Staff Profile:
Wayne Dennis
Save the Date
Parting Shot

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. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: