April 6, 2009

Volume 3, issue 32
April 6, 2009
The Fountain

Get to Work Green Day designed to raise consciousness – April 24

No, it isn’t St. Patrick’s Day revisited. Get to Work Green Day is an effort designed to raise the community's consciousness of the value of green transportation and to inspire commuters to make it their routine.

Whitman is participating in this community-wide effort. On Friday, April 24, any staff or faculty member who arrives at work by foot, bike, scooter, bus or carpool (two or more people from different addresses) is invited to enter a drawing for prizes provided by the President’s Office. To enter, e-mail Cindy Matern, director of human resources, at materncl@whitman.edu, and tell her how you got to work. For car poolers, include the names of your passengers/driver.

The drawing will be held April 27. Prizes include copies of “Where the Great River Bends” by Professor Bob Carson, water bottles, gift certificates for walking and cycling gear, and a designated car pool parking space.

Whitman joins such green-minded organizations as QualitySmith, Providence St. Mary Medical Center, Banner Bank and Baker Boyer Bank in participating in Get to Work Green Day.

Pioneer to publish graduation edition; salute your favorite grads with ads

In addition to building a national award-winning Web site, the Pioneer is launching another new and exciting initiative this year – a special Graduation Issue, which will be focused on graduating seniors. It will publish the week before Commencement and will be available on campus through graduation day, according to Co-Editor in Chief Kim Sommers. “We hope that this issue will be a centerpiece for the Whitman community, documenting the members of the class of 2009 and their accomplishments and serving as an important part of seniors’ remembrance of Whitman, as the college has no yearbook,” she said.

Of particular note to staff and faculty is the opportunity to salute your favorite grads – perhaps student employees or research partners – by purchasing a “celebration ad.” The ads can include pictures and text; the Pioneer production staff will work with you to develop personalized ads.

Start planning now; the ad deadline is April 17. More information is avalable at the Pioneer.

Or if you have questions, send an e-mail to graduation@whitmanpioneer.com.

Staff, faculty asked to participate in greenhouse gas audit

Karlis Rokpelnis ’09, campus sustainability coordinator, asks all faculty and staff members for their help on a current project.

“This semester, a team of 10 students is conducting a campus greenhouse gas audit,” said Rokpelnis. The team is using a nationally recognized carbon calculator program to determine how much Whitman students, faculty and staff contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. The team will need to account for Whitman’s electricity and fuel usage, resource consumption and student, staff and faculty travel to obtain a real world experience in examining how sustainable large institutions are.

“In the coming weeks, we will be asking all faculty and staff to respond to a survey regarding their daily commuting patterns,” said Rokpelnis. “After the completion of this audit, we will have a clear understanding of the college’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

Faculty accomplishments

Janis Breckenridge, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures (Spanish), has published “Text and the City: Design(at)ing Post-Dictatorship Memorial Sites in Buenos Aires” in the book “Latin American Jewish Cultural Production,” edited by David William Foster. The book describes “How Jewish writers and artists have interpreted their experiences in a continent dominated by Catholicism and with a history of anti-Semitism.”

Marion Götz, assistant professor of chemistry, Tim Machonkin, assistant professor of chemistry, and Frank Dunnivant, associate professor of chemistry, took 11 students to the National American Chemical Society Meeting in Salt Lake City during spring break. Students attended research talks, visited the exhibition hall, explored Salt Lake City, and presented research in poster form. Pictured: (bottom, l-r) Will Laxson, Thanh-Tam Truong, Hanna Main, Marion Götz, Kristen Smith, Kevin Chung, and Jake Ginsbach. (top l-r) Amy Doerner, Bailey Arend, Tim Machonkin, Madeline Polivka, Anee Daud, Jessica Bruhn, and Frank Dunnivant. Funding was provided by the Dean of Faculty’s office.

Zahi Zalloua, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures (French) and general studies, recently edited a feature on Posthumanism that appeared in the January/February 2009 issue of American Book Review. The issue focuses on posthumanism’s relation to four distinct, yet interrelated, notions: science, sexuality, the animal, and globalization. American Book Review’s Web site is http://americanbookreview.org.

Easy access to Baker Ferguson Fitness Center hours on portals

Access to the online posting of the hours of the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center just got a little easier. Now there’s a link on the Staff and Faculty portals, in the Campus Resources section. To make it even easier, simply bookmark the site: www.whitman.edu/content/athletics/facilities/bffc#hours

Faculty Profile: Nick Bader
Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology

  • Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
  • Education: Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz; M.S. from the University of Arizona; B.A. from Earlham College.
  • Years at Whitman: 2 1/2
  • Courses: Geographic Information Systems, Soil Ecology, Hydrology, Earth History, Physical Geology, Environmental Geology, Intro to Environmental Studies.
  • Favorite…
    • Book: Whichever one I'm currently reading!  Well, I guess that's a cop-out. How about Solzhenitsyn's "Cancer Ward?"
    • Favorite sculpture on campus: After "Styx" I like "Three Stories” (the carp).  Also "Joined Together, Let No Man Split Asunder" immediately after the falling tree split it asunder.
  • Best travel experience: My favorite trip probably remains the winter term off-campus program I did as an undergrad, hiking through the Southwest.
  • Interests/pleasures: Chasing my 17-month-old daughter, Jane, around the house, cooking, playing the bass, brewing beer, hiking.
  • Recent accomplishment: I got this great job at Whitman College!  Oh, I guess you knew that. I have a daughter who seems healthy and happy.
  • What people don’t know about me: I am inordinately fond of cephalopods.
  • Why I teach: Because we live in an amazing world, and I have to tell someone about it.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: The students are so consistently talented that they make teaching easy. Walla Walla is great, too.
  • What I’ve learned here: That I love my job.
  • Quote: "In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" – Homer Simpson

Whitman Cycling Club to race in Tour of Walla Walla; route enters campus

Ten Whitman cyclists will race in the annual Tour of Walla Walla, Friday, April 17, through Sunday, April 19, and for the first time, the race’s criterium will take place at dusk on a 1.1 mile course through downtown Walla Walla and the Whitman campus.

“The Tour of Walla Walla is very excited to have Whitman students race again this year,” said Beth Swanson, tour marketing director. “It gives the local community and Whitman students, faculty and staff a chance to see the Whitman team, and it provides top quality local racers to many of the fields.”

The Saturday race, from 5:45 to 10 p.m., will enter campus on Boyer and turn right on Park Street. “We hope to have a very large crowd on campus to watch the race,” said Swanson. For more information, go to the tour’s Web site at www.tofww.org.

Comings and goings

The college extends a warm welcome to Noah B. Meeks, custodian; and notes that Julianne Hoppen, formerly library assistant, cataloging, is now library assistant, serials

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday, April 6
Lecture: Historicizing Muslim Exceptionalism: Islamic Modernism versus Fundamentalism” presented by Mansoor Moaddel. 7 p.m., Olin 130. Call 522-4428.

Monday, April 6
Lecture: “The Archaeology of Grasshopper Pueblo, Arizona: Boom Times and Bust of a Prehistoric Farming Society” presented by J. Jefferson Reid, distinguished professor in the college of social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson. 8 p.m., Maxey 206.

Tuesday, April 7
Conference: Whitman Undergraduate Conference celebrates students’ scholarship and creativity. Classes are cancelled; presentations and performances take place throughout campus. See the schedule here.

Wednesday, April 8
Concert: Whitman Jazz II Spring Concert, Dave Glenn conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music. x5232.

Wednesday, April 8, through Sunday, April 12
Theater: “Medea’s Children,” a contemporary classic from Sweden that looks at the classic Greek tragedy of Medea and Jason through the eyes of their children, will be presented by Harper Joy Theatre on the Freimann Stage. Wednesday, April 8, through Saturday, April 11, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, April 11, and Sunday, April 12, 2 p.m. matinee. For information, tickets and reservations, call HJT box office at x5180.

Wednesday, April 8
Concert: Whitman Jazz II Spring Concert, conducted by Dave Glenn, 8 p.m., Chism Recital Hall. x5232.

Thursday, April 9
Poetry: Charles Simic, former U.S. Poet Laureate, will present the annual Walt Whitman Lecture. 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. x5186.

Friday, April 10
Recital: Fridays at Four presents “Works of Mompou,” featuring Amy Dodds, violin, and Laura Curtis, piano. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. x5232.

Friday, April 10
Lecture: “An Evening with Marjane Satrapi,” author of “The Complete Persepolis.” 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall. Tickets available at the Bookstore or at the door. x5134.

Friday, April 10
Concert: Whitman Jazz Ensemble I Spring Concert, conducted by Dave Glenn, 7 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music. x5232.

Monday, April 13
Lecture: “Using the First Foods to Direct Natural Resources Restoration and Monitoring” will be presented by Eric Quaempts, director, Department of Natural Resources, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR). 7:30 p.m., Maxey 206.

Monday, April 13
Music: John Fedchock Jazz Improv Clinic. 6-7:30 p.m., Hall of Music Room 127. x5232.

Tuesday, April 14
Music: John Fedchock Composition and Arrangement Clinic, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Hall of Music Room 202. x5232.

Tuesday, April 14
Music: John Fedchock Jazz Ensemble I Clinic. 4-5:30 p.m., Hall of Music 127. x5232.

Tuesday, April 14
Concert: Whitman Symphony Orchestra Spring Concert, conducted by Edward Dixon. 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall. x5232.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Leaving the recent Lynn Scarlett lecture a bit early, I stopped for a quarter-second in the freezing rain to snap this photo of Penrose Library. I was tempted to think we've had just about enough rain, till I remembered an ancient Hebrew proverb – “Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of gifts he does not give.” So, we accept the rain and await the gift of sun and warmth!.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Green Day
Grad Ads
Greenhouse Gas Audit
Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
BFFC Hours
Faculty Profile:
Nick Bader
Tour of Walla Walla
Comings and Goings
Coming Events
Parting Shot

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