March 30, 2009

Volume 3, issue 31
March 30, 2009
The Fountain

Janice Abraham Award nomination deadline is April 17

Nominations for the Janice Abraham Award are currently being accepted; the deadline is Friday, April 17. The award recognizes staff members who have made significant contributions and provided outstanding service to Whitman College. It honors and celebrates staff members who have gone above and beyond job expectations, brought forward creative and innovative ideas, promoted the philosophy of "customer service" and contributed to the excellence found at Whitman. Click here to learn more about the award and to see a list of past winners.

Send nominations to Cindy Matern, director of human resources, at or as a hard copy via campus mail. For further information, please call Human Resources at x5172.

Also: Save the date for the award presentations, to be made at the Spring Recognition Ceremony at 4 p.m., May 12, in the Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom. Staff and faculty are invited to attend.

Perry Summer Research Awards go to 23 student-faculty research teams

Twenty-three teams of Whitman faculty and students will pursue a wide range of projects this summer as recipients of Perry Summer Research Grants, supplemented this year by the generous support of the Parents Fund Student-Faculty Research Fund. The Perry awards were established to honor Louis B. Perry, Whitman’s eighth president (1959-1967) and an emeritus member of the Board of Overseers.

The following teams were awarded 2009 Perry awards:

  • Sharon Alker, assistant professor of English and general studies, and junior Nanda Maw Lin: War Space: Literary Representations of Combat Zones 1642-1715.
  • Susanne Beechey, assistant professor of politics, and junior Emily Percival: Framing Social Security in the Media: Gender, Race, Class, Age and Face of Social Security Receipt during the 2005 Privatization Debates.
  • Julie Charlip, professor of history, and sophomore Jaspreet Gill: Consider the Source: Documents in Latin American History.
  • Tom Davis, associate professor of philosophy, and junior Yuman “Gary” Wang: Paper for journal submission examining the significance of an apparently inexplicable mistake by Alcibiades in Plato’s Symposium.
  • Heidi Dobson, professor of biology, and juniors Alexandra Graves and Katie Hallett: Floral Traits as Modulators of Flower-Bee Interactions.
  • Frank Dunnivant, associate professor of chemistry, and junior Nathan Conroy: PCB and DDT Concentrations in Remote Alpine Lakes in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Scott Elliott, assistant professor of English, and juniors Christine Texeira and Miriam Cook: Grandfather recordings.
  • Keith Farrington, Laura and Carl Peterson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences, and junior Carol Schaeffer: The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated…Or have they? The Decline – and Ultimate Demise? – of Rock ‘n Roll 1977-2008.
  • Alberto Galindo, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures-Spanish, and sophomore Josh R. Meuth Alldredge: The Fictions and Histories of 9/11/2001.
  • Brien Garnand, assistant professor of history, and junior Sarah Godlewski and sophomore Cameron Murray: Sicilian Scandinavia Archaeological Project, Mt. Polizzo Excavations in Salemi, Italy/ASOR Punic Project, Carthage Tophet Excavations 1976-1979 in Tunis-Carthage, Tunisia.
  • Kurt Hoffman, professor of physics, and senior Tyler Harvey: Nano-crystal formation in Sol Gel glasses.
  • Sarah Hurlburt, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures-French, and junior Hannah Lyman: Examine the impact of American Motion Picture Production Code (MPPC) censorship on the representation of gender and agency in cinematic remakes.
  • Julia Ireland, assistant professor of philosophy, and sophomore Lara Mehling: Translations of Martin Heidegger’s Holderlin’s Hymns “Germania” and “The Rhein,” Holderlin’s Hymn “Andenken.”
  • Thomas Knight, assistant professor of biology, and junior Evan Aegerter: Neural control of eye and head movements in the mouse: functional connections between eye and head premotor regions.
  • Timothy Machonkin, assistant professor of chemistry, and junior Paul DaRosa: Mutagenesis Studies of Ring-Cleaving Diosygenases Involved in Biodegradation of Chlorinated Pollutants.
  • Kari Norgaard, assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies, and junior Spenser Meeks: Human and Environmental Health on the Klamath River: Are Traditional Karuk Foods Contaminated with Heavy Metals?
  • Gary Rollefson, associate professor of anthropology, and junior Elizabeth Janna Rozar: Conduct archaeological investigations in the desert “panhandle” of Jordan.
  • David Schmitz, Robert Allen Skotheim Chair of History, and junior Destiny Cowdin-Lynch: Two research projects: biography of Brent Snowcroft and a study of American nationalism in foreign policy.
  • Lynn Sharp, associate professor of history, junior Liam Nance and junior Lauren Schneider: Esternay and Agriculture: Research, Translation, and Teaching through the Esternay Archive.
  • Robert Sickels, associate professor of rhetoric and film studies, and junior Benjamin Spencer: On the Edge of Nowhere (documentary).
  • Jonathan Walters, professor of religion, and junior Hannah Payne: The Ceylon Show: Orientalist Zoology in Germany, 1883-1930.
  • Jacqueline Woodfork, assistant professor of history, and junior Seth C. Bergeson: Research at the National Archives in Dakar, Senegal, regarding the history of World War II and its impact on Senegal and its peoples.
  • Zahi Zalloua, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures-French, and general studies, and junior Olivia Johnson: Philosphy’s Others: Arabs, Jews and the Ethics of Alterity.

Click here for more information on the Louis B. Perry Research Award

Staff Accomplishments

Nancy Tavelli, associate dean of students: campus life, residence life and housing; and Sean Gehrke, assistant director of residence life and housing, wrote “Collaborative Academic Partnerships in the Liberal Arts” which appeared in the March Life-Line newsletter.

Congratulations John and Emali

Emali and John Porchowsky, project engineer, physical plant, were married Saturday, March 7, in a small, private ceremony. Emali was a receptionist in the admission office before returning to school last year.

Staff Profile: Tracee L. Anderson
Counselor, Counseling Center

  • Birthplace: Spokane, Washington
  • Education: MSW from UCLA
  • Years at Whitman: 17
  • Favorite…
    • Book: “The Education of Little Tree” by Forrest Carter.
    • Film: Amelie
    • Music: Acoustic guitar and musical theater.
    • Opera: Aïda.
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: Soaring Stones.
  • Best travel experience: Snorkeling in the tropics with my children.
  • Interests/pleasures: Guitar/singing, photography, making movies, reading, sports, traveling.
  • Recent accomplishment: Completing Whitman College's Pandemic Response Plan.
  • What people don’t know about me: I speak French and Spanish; I was in a film when I lived in Belgium; and I can water ski on my bare feet.
  • A day in the life/on the job: Providing hours and hours of 'listening' to student stories and struggles and working hard to positively regard and honor each one as unique and crucial to their development.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: My colleagues and the amazing resiliency of the students.
  • What I’ve learned here: Take every opportunity, try your best, and never give up.
  • Quote: This is something my youngest daughter, Bailey, wrote when she was 8, and I think of it every day: "Live your life. Live it well. Don't be afraid.”

Grants and fellowships bloom in spring like flowers

While the campus is still waiting for nature’s burst of spring, blossoming of another kind is well under way – with spring come announcements of prestigious national grant and fellowship awards, and Whitman’s blooms are numerous.

“Winning these awards will always be an aim, but a more meaningful measure of success, I think, is the initiative of all our grant applicants to undertake that essential interior search in the face of intense competition and great odds,” said Keith Raether, director of fellowships and grants. “This year, more than 90 Whitman students and alumni applied to more than 20 major fellowship, scholarship or grant programs. If I could adequately convey the critical thinking and soul-searching they’ve invested in that process, and the self-awareness that’s come of it, I wouldn’t need to explain the exhilaration of this job.”

Click here for an overview of announcements to date; the page will be updated with forthcoming announcements.

Innovations in Teaching and Learning offered for a second year

The Innovation in Teaching and Learning Fund Grants will be offered for a second year thanks to gifts to the college designated for this specific purpose.

Applications are due April 1, 2009. Complete details are available online here.

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee established in consultation with the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Division Chairs. Grant recipients will be announced by May 1, 2009, and funding will become available June 1, 2009.

Whitman’s Sheehan Art Gallery announces 2009-10 exhibition schedule

During the 2008-09 season, Sheehan Art Gallery experienced the highest level of involvement by Whitman and Walla Walla community members in recent history, according to Dawn Forbes, gallery director. She says the gallery’s 2009-10 schedule, which showcases the extraordinary talents of students and faculty at Whitman as well as those of visiting artists, is “very exciting,” and she expects the record level of interest to continue.

The schedule is:

Aug. 26-Oct. 22, 2009 New and Returning Visual Art and Art History/ Visual Culture Faculty Exhibition.
Oct. 15-Nov. 22 Spectra, Stream, Strata: A Retrospective Exhibition of the Works of Neil Meitzler.
Dec. 3-18, 2009 Winter Art Student Salon.
Jan. 19-Feb. 19, 2010 The Effluence of Affluence: The Sculpture and Installation of Eileen Doktorski.
March 2-April 16, 2010 Resistance and Rescue in Denmark: A Photographic Record/Response to Genocide. Curated by Humanity in Action
Memory Denied: The Photography of Kathryn Cook. Co-curated by Elyse Semerdjian, Whitman College assistant professor of history.
April 23-May 23, 2010 Visual Art Majors Senior Thesis Exhibition

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, March 31
Lecture: 2009 Rempel Lecture will be presented by Harry W. Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of graduate studies at Cornell University. "North American Pleistocene Rewilding," 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium; post-lecture reception in foyer. Contact information: Delbert W. Hutchison, x5135

Wednesday, April 1
Two Lectures: “Women, Suffering and Emergent Chronic Illness in Brazil” and “Contesting the Autistic Subject: Biological Citizenship and the Autism/Autistic Movement in Canada and the U.S.” will be presented by Ann Miles, professor of anthropology, Western Michigan University, and Michael Orsini, associate professor, school of political studies, University of Ottowa, respectively. Sponsored by Latin American Studies and Canadian Studies, 7 p.m. Kimball Auditorium, Hunter Conservatory. x5162

Wednesday, April 1
Lecture: Andrew Schotter, New York University, will present the annual Genevieve Perry Lecture in Economics, “The Neuroeconomics of Fear and Bidding in Auctions,” at 7 p.m. in Gaiser Auditorium, Hall of Science. x5718

Wednesday, April 1
Lecture: The annual Matthew Shepard Lecture will feature Dr. Kate O'Hanlan, founder of the Laparoscopic Institute for Gynecologic Oncology in Portola Valley, Calif. "The Intersection of Medical Science, Health and Civil Rights" 7:30 p.m. Maxey Auditorium. x5134

Thursday, April 2
Lecture: “The Three Things Americans Don’t Understand About the War in Iraq Right Now” will be presented by Thomas Ricks at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. Ricks is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and #1 New York Times bestselling author of “Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq,” which was published to critical acclaim in 2006. He is a senior Pentagon correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has covered the U.S. military since 2000. For more information, see the Washington Post.

Thursday, April 2
Lecture: Classical liberalism speaker Lynn Scarlett, an environmental consultant working with a national environmental organization on climate change, ecosystem services and landscape-scale conservation, will present "Choices, Consequences and Cooperative Conservation – A New Environmentalism?” 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. x5974

Thursday, April 2
Lecture: "Goddesses, Whores, Vampires and Archaeologists: Excavating Ancient Mytilene (Lesbos)," by Hector Williams, University of British Columbia. 7:30 p.m., Olin 130. Sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America.

Thursday, April 2
Concert: Whitman Chamber Singers, conducted by Robert Bode, present “Finland and Estonia” at 12:15 p.m. in Hunter Conservatory Foyer. x5253

Friday, April 3
Book Event: O. Alan Weltzien, author of “The Norman Maclean Reader” and of “A Father and an Island: Reflections of Loss," will discuss both books when he visits the college bookstore from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Weltzien, an English professor at the University of Montana Western, attended Whitman as an undergraduate and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Virginia. x5274

Friday, April 3
Recital: Fridays@Four Recital Series presents Leonard Gibson, flute; Shannon Scott, clarinet; Jackie Wood, piano. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. x5232

Saturday, April 4
Vocal Concert: The Whitman Chorale, conducted by Robert Bode, and the Whitman Wind Ensemble, conducted by Peter Crawford, featuring "Carmina Burana," 7:30 p.m. Cordiner Hall. x5232

Sunday, April 5NEW TIME: 2 p.m.
Music: Senior recital by Katherine Moyer, piano, 2 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music. x5232

Monday, April 6
Lecture: Jefferson Reid, distinguished professor in the college of social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona, Tucson, will present "The Archaeology of Grasshopper Pueblo, Arizona: Boom Times and Bust of a Prehistoric Farming Society." 8 p.m., Maxey 206. x4938

Monday, April 6
Mansoor Moaddel will present "Historicizing Muslim Exceptionalism: Islamic Modernism versus Fundamentalism." 7 p.m., Olin 130. 522-4428

Tuesday, April 7
Conference: The Whitman Undergraduate Conference, a day of presentations, performances and exhibitions reflecting original work by Whitman students. Read the schedule of events here.

Save the dates

Thursday, April 9
Reading and Lecture: Charles Simic, former U.S. Poet Laureate, will give the 2009 Walt Whitman Lecture. He will read from his own works in Maxey Auditorium at 7 p.m. Sponsored by the Office of the President, the English Department and the Mabel Groseclose Fund. x5186

Wednesday, April 8, through Sunday, April 12
Theater Presentation: Medea's Children by Per Lysander and Suzanne Osten will be presented by Harper Joy Theatre. This contemporary classic from Sweden views the story of Medea and Jason through the eyes of their children. Little Jason and Little Medea take the audience on a moving, often funny journey into the real world of children torn apart by divorce. For information, reservations and ticket prices, call the Harper Joy Box Office at (509) 527-5180. 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Freimann Stage.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Sorry about another muddy-knees-and-elbows shot, but I’m having so much fun on my free time seeing the unseen with a newly rediscovered micro lens. Though I’ll leave the deep thinking to the Philosophy Department, I think there’s a powerful parable here as these delicate flowers push their way through the dead leaves outside Penrose Library. Flower Power indeed!     Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Deadline for Abrahams
Perry Awards
Staff Accomplishments
Porchowski Wedding
Staff Profile:
Tracee L. Anderson
Grants and Fellowships
Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Gallery Schedule
Coming Events
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: