October 12, 2009

Volume 4, issue 8
October 12, 2009
The Fountain

Visiting Writers Reading Series receives grant from Washington Humanities

Katrina Roberts, Mina Schwabacher associate professor of English and the humanities and director of the Visiting Writers Reading Series program, received notification last week that Washington Humanities has awarded her a $6,000 grant to help defray the expenses of this year’s VWRS program, including Sherman Alexie’s visit in April, National Poetry Month. Alexie, a noted poet, occasional comedian and renowned writer of all forms of fiction, is one of three writers who will be spotlighted in April. He will read from his works on Thursday, April 15. “This is simply thrilling good news in a tough economic time,” Roberts said.

Science outreach helps middle school teachers

Mary Burt, Howard Hughes Medical Institute science outreach coordinator, hit the ground running in August when she assumed duties of the newly established part-time position being funded by the $800,000 HHMI grant Whitman received last year.

Burt, who holds an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry and a master’s in education, is well-suited for the job of outreach coordinator and already has set in place a series of workshops for local middle school science teachers. The first workshop is Saturday, Nov. 21, titled “Emerging Viruses,” and will be held in the Hall of Science. The event features a lecture by Jim Russo, associate professor of chemistry, as well as other sessions on such topics as lab activities.

Burt is also developing a program that will match Whitman students with science teachers at Pioneer and Garrison middle schools.

Whitman rules the radio airways Thursday

On Thursday, Oct. 15, both local radio talks will feature Whitman. On KUJ, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., host Jim Bock will interview Michelle Y. Janning, associate professor of sociology, and David Alinsky, son of Saul Alinksy, as a preview to the opening of Whitman’s symposium on Alinsky that begins Thursday evening (see coming events).

From 8:15 to 9 a.m. on KTEL, host Emily Jaceks will interview senior Sean Bradley about the collaboration between Whitman, the YWCA Adventure Club, and the Willows Art Gallery to produce an art exhibit on diversity, created by the children in the Y’s after school program. The projects will go on display and sale at the Intercultural Center, second floor, Reid Campus Center.

On the flu front: facts and updates

  • The Welty Health Center has exhausted its supply of seasonal flu shots.
  • To date, 15 students have been treated at Welty Health Center for flu-like illnesses since the beginning of the school year, and no more than five have been out of class for multiple days at any one time. Only students who actually visit the center are included in this count, so exact figures of flu illness are not known. Still, this is a very manageable rate of contagion, says the health center staff.
  • According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), the nationwide attack rate last week was 18.9 cases/10,000 students, which is 6 percent lower than the prior week’s rate.
  • The County Department of Health expects a six-week cycle of illness, meaning that new outbreaks are expected every six weeks.
  • Health care providers are among the top priority recipients of the first batches of the H1N1 vaccine.
  • When Whitman receives its supply of the H1N1 vaccine, it will be reserved for high-risk students – those with potentially severe respiratory complications. Faculty and staff who wish to receive the H1N1 vaccine for themselves and their family members will need to contact their health care provider.
  • Whitman will continue to communicate and promote the steps that can be effective in limiting the spread of the virus, including frequent hand-washing and use of hand sanitizer, coughing/sneezing into sleeve and self-isolation if you have symptoms.
  • Visit Whitman’s flu Web site for information, resources and links.

Faculty accomplishments

Katrina Roberts, Mina Schwabacher associate professor of English and the humanities and director of the Visiting Writers Reading Series program, will present a reading from her works at 7 p.m. tonight (Monday, Oct. 12) at Gonzaga University, Spokane.

Gary Rollefson, professor of anthropology, organized an international conference on Jordanian prehistory, which he co-hosted this past summer in Amman, Jordan. He will co-edit the publication that resulted from the proceedings, which includes 39 contributions.

Kirsten Nicolaysen, assistant professor of geology, notes that senior Courtney M. Porter also will present her research at next week’s 2009 annual meeting of the Geological Association of America in Portland. Porter, who did a summer internship at PNNL, will present “Textural Features of Columbia River Flood Basalts: Implications for the sequestration of anthropogenic carbon dioxide.” (Last week’s Fountain noted that Nicolaysen, Kevin Pogue, professor of geology, and Elise Otto ’11 would present at the meeting.)

Whitman’s green grade gets one grade greener

Whitman’s green grade jumped to a B- on the recently released 2010 green report card distributed by the Sustainable Endowments Institute. This year’s rating is a full grade higher than last year, said Jed Schwendiman, associate to the president.

“Students, faculty and staff all have been working very hard to make our college more sustainable. The improvement in our green gpa to the B-level is a testament to that effort while serving as a reminder that there is plenty more work to be done,” said Lisa Curtis ’10, campus sustainability coordinator.

A chance to help brand, name the WW baseball team

Following the recent announcement that Summer League Baseball will return to Walla Walla in 2010, the team’s management is looking for some community input to “finalize the brand,” reports Zachary Fraser, general manager of Pacific Baseball Ventures, which owns the expansion franchise.

Through the process, one local family will win season tickets to the inaugural season. The winner will be chosen in November when the name and brand identity of the team is launched, according to Fraser. Visit wallawallabaseball.com to participate. You can also stay tuned to what’s happening with the club on Facebook and Twitter.

“We’re looking forward to your comments and ideas,” Fraser said. “Please pass the news along – the more community participation we get, the more fun this will be!”

Free financial seminars scheduled on campus

The Staff Fringe Benefits Committee (SFBC) has organized free financial seminars for faculty and staff, presented by Kendra Edlin of the School Employees Credit Union (SECU). The seminars will take place Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 12 and 13. Here’s the schedule:

Monday, Oct. 12 – Memorial 316

  • 9-10 a.m. – Financial Yoga: Stretching your Hard-earned Dollars
  • 11a.m.-noon – Identity Theft
  • 1-2 p.m. – Solving the Mystery of the Credit Report
  • 3-4 p.m. – Retirement Planning: The Basics

Tuesday, Oct. 13 – Olin 157

  • 9-10 a.m. – Retirement Planning: The Basics
  • 11 a.m.-noon – Solving the Mystery of the Credit Report
  • 1-2 p.m. – Identity Theft
  • 3-4 p.m. – Financial Yoga: Stretching your Hard-earned Dollars

Also, Edlin will be available 10-11a.m., 2-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. both days to answer your questions about the SECU. For more information, contact SFBC member Jennifer McNeil at mcneiljl@whitman.edu.

Comings and goings

Whitman welcomes Lindsey J. Charlip, nurse; Amie L. Green, nurse; and Alison H. Barlow, assistant director, Student Engagement Center. Dawn Chlipala, formerly nurse (regular status), is now nurse (on-call status).

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Thursday, Oct. 15
: “Sikh-Americans: Experiences and Challenges (1890s to Present)” will be presented by Harinder Singh, director of the Sikh Research Institute in San Antonio, Texas. Singh, whose lecture is sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, will present the talk at 7 p.m. in Olin 157. x5156

Thursday, Oct. 15
Roundtable discussion: “Stonewall at 40: The current state of queer activism and scholarship” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Olin faculty lounge, Olin 141. Participants include Gayatri Gopinath (NYU), Robert Tobin (Clark University), and Melissa Wilcox, Whitman assistant professor of religion. Participants' papers will be made available before the round table discussion. Whitman students, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

Thursday, Oct. 15, Friday, Oct. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 17
Symposium: “Alinsky at 100: Community organizing in the 21st century” – a symposium, workshop and training in honor of the centennial of Saul Alinsky’s birth. Whitman will host this special event combining historical reflections about Alinsky, current discussions about community organizing and practical training sessions in Alinsky’s organizing techniques. This symposium is part of a national series of events at colleges and universities throughout 2009 to remember Alinsky and learn from his work and legacy. All symposium events are free, however some require a free registration. For more information and directions on how to register, see the symposium site.

Friday, Oct. 16
Art opening and reception:
“The Art of Collecting: The Work of Emile Lahner from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. John A. Peterson,” 5:30 p.m. Sheehan Art Gallery. This exhibit runs through Nov. 22. Call the Sheehan Gallery at x5249 for more information.

Sunday, Oct. 18
Guest piano recital by Becky Billock, Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music, 3 p.m. x5232.

Save the dates

Monday, Oct. 19 – Saturday, Oct. 24
Canada Week: Sponsored by the Canadian Studies Association, a week full of events:

  • Monday, Oct. 19 – Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner, Prentiss Dining Hall, 5:30-6:30 p.m. Regular meal plans and fees apply.
  • Monday, Oct. 19 – Documentary film: The Undefended Border (2002), part 1, "Toughening Up." 7 p.m., Olin 130. (60 minutes)
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 – Documentary film: The Undefended Border, part 2, "Immigration Task Force." 7 p.m., Olin 130 (60 minutes)
  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 – Documentary film: The Undefended Border, part 3, "End of the Line." 7 p.m., Olin 130. (60 minutes)
  • Thursday, Oct. 22 – Recent treatment of border issues on Canadian television. 7 p.m., Olin 130.
  • Saturday, Oct. 24 – Feature film: Frozen River (Courtney Hunt, 2008). 7 p.m., Kimball Theater, Hunter Conservatory. (97 minutes)

For more information on Canada Week, contact Jack Iverson, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures (French), at iversojr@whitman.edu

Thursday, Oct. 22
The Visiting Writers Reading Series
: The series opens with a reading by Wayne Miller. Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory, 7 p.m.

Thursday–Sunday, Oct. 22–25
Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. A “pair of star-crossed lovers” defy their families, risking all they have to be together. Shakespeare’s tragic romance, rich in poetry, atmosphere and dramatic events, transcends the ages, and is as alive today as it was 400 years ago. Alexander Stage. 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Call the Box Office for reservations at x5180.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Photo tip of the week: Clear out the clutter and turn a simple scene into a compelling photograph.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
VWRS Grant
Science Outreach
On the Air
Flu Update
Faculty Accomplishments
Green Grade
Name That Team
Financial Seminars
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