January 26, 2009

Volume 3, issue 22 January 26, 2009
The Fountain

Staff coffee with the president Jan. 28

The next all-staff coffee meeting with President Bridges will be Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 8:30 a.m. in Olin 130. President Bridges will give an important update on planning for next year’s budget and take questions. Please remember to bring your own beverage cup to help support conservation efforts. No RSVP required.

Campus community members share Obama inauguration

Students, staff and faculty filled Maxey Hall to capacity last week to watch the live feed of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, thanks to the organizational efforts of Susanne Beechey, assistant professor of politics, and the media services staff. Several staff and faculty members shared their reactions to both the event itself and having the opportunity to watch it in the company of Whitman friends and colleagues:

Ron Urban, registrar — “I can’t remember when a single event stirred so many different emotions in me. Watching the activities preceding and during the actual inauguration, and seeing and hearing the reactions of others in Maxey, I felt as if I was part of a profound and positive historical transformation. I even had to wipe away a tear, realizing that I was fortunate enough actually to be witnessing something that for most of my life I had regarded as impossibly utopian. At the same time, even during Obama’s inspiring speech, I wondered how any one person could redirect social processes in the face of the determined resistance that he’s likely to experience. For the moment, though, I was uplifted, humbled, and incredibly proud.”

Kari Norgaard, assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies — “I made a point of watching the Inauguration in Maxey. To experience all of us clapping together, to stand up together, laugh at various parts of the speeches and expressions was important. This is a collective victory, and it is a victory that is about renewing our sense of public participation, of thinking and acting collectively for our country, so it was important for me to be together with others in acknowledging and celebrating what we have done, and in thinking about what we need to do together next. I feel that the significance of what we have done in electing this man is yet to be understood, certainly yet to be seen. In electing someone who has such a vision of public involvement and who dares to speak honestly about inequality and justice, there is an opportunity to renew a sense of hope in our system that many of us have felt our entire lives.

Rachna Sinnott ’93, director of foundation and corporate relations — “It was pretty exciting to witness the inauguration with such an enthusiastic group; it made an already much anticipated event even more exciting to witness. The group atmosphere was a lot of fun and the spontaneous cheering and clapping made it quite a memorable moment for me.”

Staff and faculty accomplishments

Helen Kim, assistant professor of sociology, and Carole Wilson ’09 have been awarded the 2009 Dublin Award for Global Multiculturalism for their project “Social Dissolution and the Rwandan Genocide: A theoretical explanation of the 1994 genocide.” This award was established in the fall of 2003 by then Board of Trustees Chair-elect Kari Glover and her husband, Thaddas L. Alston, to support scholarly or creative work relating to multiculturalism in the United States or abroad. Kim and Wilson will make a public presentation based on the project at the end of the 2008-2009 academic year.

Susan Weiler, senior research assistant, biology, has accepted an invitation to serve a one-to-two-year term as program director for the Lower Atmospheric Research Section of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Atmospheric Sciences Division. This section handles grants dealing with atmospheric chemistry, weather, climate change, and other physical processes. As the first person ever to be hired within the Lower Atmospheric Sciences Section to specifically handle interdisciplinary and cross-cutting proposals, Weiler will be responsible for defining her new position. In accepting the position, Weiler takes a leave of absence from Whitman, effective Feb. 1, 2009.

Climate Challenge Teach-In

Whitman will participate in the national teach-in on the environment scheduled for Monday, Feb. 2, to Friday, Feb. 6 with a series of educational lectures and events focusing on global climate change and sustainability, according to Jesse Phillips, Whitman Campus Climate Challenge.

The tentative schedule for the week:

Monday, Feb 2: Sustainable Food Systems

  • Noon, Reid G02 — Matt Eppelsheimer (Daily Market Cooperative): The Global Food Crisis.
  • 7:30 p.m., Olin 130 — Joel Huesby (Thundering Hooves): A Local Business Perspective.

Tuesday, Feb 3: Our Energy Future

  • Noon, Reid 207 — Professor Bob Carson: Is the Clean Energy Future a Pipe Dream?
  • 7:30 p.m., Olin 130 — Don Snow, senior lecturer of environmental humanities: Energy Policy in the New Administration.

Wednesday, Feb. 4: On Campus

  • Noon, Reid 207 — Karlis Rokpelnis: Whitman & the Sustainable Campus.
  • 7 p.m., Olin 130 — "First 100 Days" National Webcast on Climate Solutions.
  • 7:30 p.m., Olin 130 — Mind-Opening Mic: Reflections on Living in an Unsustainable Society.

Thursday, Feb 5: Looking Ahead

  • 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium — Keynote speaker, Dr. John Fyfe: The Science of Global Climate Change.

Recycling Center hours

The Whitman Recycling Center will be open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until noon this semester, according to Karlis Rokpelnis ’09, campus sustainability coordinator. Detailed information about recycling at Whitman is available at the Whitman Sustainability Wiki.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Tuesday, Jan. 27
Lecture: Tim Egan, online op-ed columnist for The New York Times, will present “The Politics of Possibility” at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. He will talk about how the Obama election changed the cartography of American public life and what to expect in the coming year. He will sign copies of his books after the lecture.

Save the date

Thursday, Feb. 5
Lecture: Former U.S. Attorney John McKay, who was “fired” by the Bush administration, will present the annual Langlie Lecture, “Ethics and Transcendence in American Politics,” at 8 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Ysbrand Nusse ’09 powers his way through the butterfly leg of the 200-meter individual medley during the Whitman men’s 167-22 victory over Willamette, Jan. 17 at Paul Harvey Pool. Nusse also won the 200-meter backstroke. The women’s team also won its meet, 132-65.  Click for full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff Coffee
Obama Inauguration
Staff and Faculty Accomplishment
Climate Teach-In
Recycling Center
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