April 26, 2010

Volume 4, issue 35
April 26, 2010
The Fountain

Prof. Machonkin receives NSF grant

The study of enzymes that Tim Machonkin, assistant professor of chemistry, is conducting could result in providing the answers needed to allow for the future development of engineered enzymes capable of neutralizing pollutants such as PCBs.

The National Science Foundation, which only funds projects it thinks will work, is on board, awarding him a three-year, $259,000 grant. Machonkin and student researchers are working to understand how bacteria have evolved the ability to neutralize the effects of certain chlorinated organic molecules that are dangerous pollutants in the environment. The grant will enable him to pursue further research designed to unlock the mystery of how certain enzymes can bind to these chlorinated molecules and carry out chemical transformations.

“This National Science Foundation grant is a significant indicator of the caliber of Whitman’s science faculty as well as the research its members conduct,” said Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty.

“Professor Machonkin’s grant is especially intriguing because it involves a collaboration with a large research university. Whitman students will spend summers working with graduate students at the University of Rochester, and that will provide them a wonderful opportunity to get a sense of what is involved in doing graduate work in chemistry.”

Read more here.

The Princeton Review recognizes Whitman’s green efforts

Whitman College is included in the 2010 edition of “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 286 Green Colleges,” which is “focused solely on colleges and universities that have demonstrated an above-average commitment to sustainability activities and initiatives,” according to a Princeton Review news release announcing the free guidebook.

The guide is published in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The 268 colleges and universities are included in the guide based on the “Green Rating” scores the schools received in the summer of 2009, when The Princeton Review published them for 697 schools in its online college profiles and/or annual college guidebooks.

Among highlights in Whitman’s profile in the guide:

  • Whitman College, a member of AASHE, has formally adopted a set of environmental principles encouraging sustainable practices inside and outside of the classroom.
  • On the main campus, all new construction must meet LEED standards,
  • Whitman is a bike and pedestrian-friendly campus.
  • The administration employs students as coordinators and interns to develop on-campus recycling and sustainability initiatives.
  • Whitman offers a $25,000 Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund for projects.

Whitman’s profile is on page 147 of the PDF at this link. Find the Princeton Review guide here.

Whitman wins big by commuting green

The 80 Whitman faculty and staff members who utilized environmentally friendly methods of transportation such as walking, biking or carpooling helped get the Green Commute Challenge off to a great start on Earth Day, April 22. The cumulative commute was 393 miles, saving a total of .192 tons of carbon dioxide – roughly the equivalent of planting four trees. Thursday was the first day of a four-week competition between Whitman and Walla Walla Community College and was a community-wide day of green commuting. At the Earth Day celebration at the Farmers’ Market, Whitman was recognized as the school with the highest rate of participation out of the four that participated.

At the market, Whitman’s participants were entered into a raffle for prizes. Sonja Aikens of the Intercultural Center won a bottle of sustainably harvested red wine for carpooling, Matt Reynolds, assistant professor of art history, and Andrea Seymour, geology technician, each won a $10 gift certificate to A Stone’s Throw Café for walking, Leesa Phaneuf-Reynolds, administrative assistant for development, won a free lunch at Stone Soup Café for biking, Becky Kennedy, director of advancement services, won a $35 gift certificate to Green Valley Nursery for walking, and Kris Barry, international student adviser, won the grand prize of a Trek 7000 bicycle from Bicycle Barn for taking the bus to work. The deluge of prizes awarded to Whitman participants prompted Earth Day Coordinator Dan Clark to remark that “it’s just like the Oscars, we’ve clearly got a favorite.”

Whitman Sustainability Coordinator Lisa Curtis accepted the prizes on behalf of the winners and will distribute them this week. Faculty and staff who didn’t receive a prize still have a chance by commuting green for the next four weeks.

Admitted Students Day sets records

Admission Officer Cate VanOppen ’08 thanks all campus community members who played roles in last week’s Admitted Students Day event, which set attendance records. By the numbers:

  • 419 total guests, including family members
  • 190 admitted students
  • 4 juniors
  • 22 states represented, from Washington to Maine and California to Louisiana

The admitted students participated in a range of opportunities, including attending a sample class with a faculty member and learning about student life and co-curricular activities. They also took part in “Get Whitties” opportunities, such as practicing with the Ultimate team, getting on KWCW, writing an article for the Pio, and seeing the rugby and baseball teams in action.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Through April 30
Art: "Off the Streets! Out of the Vault!” An exhibition of selections of Harper Joy Theatre’s Freimann poster collection, curated by seniors who are art history and visual culture studies majors. Critique Exhibit Space, Fouts Center for Visual Arts 101.

Tuesday, April 27
Music: Spring Jazz Bash. Performing Groups: Jazz Ensemble II, directed by David Glenn; Klezmerchants Band, directed by Bo Sagal; Matt Bachmann Sextet, directed by Matt Bachmann; Whitman Jazz Collective, directed by Ross Eustis; and Jazz Ensemble I, directed by David Glenn. 4:30 p.m., Reid Side Lawn (Reid Center Coffee House in case of rain).

Thursday, April 29
Lecture: “Dating, Sex and Public Sociology,” presented by Visiting Educator Pepper Schwartz, University of Washington Department of Sociology, relationship expert and PerfectMatch.com creator. Sponsored by the Department of Sociology and the Provost and Dean of the Faculty Visiting Educator Fund. 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. Call x4952.

Thursday, April 29
Genevieve Perry Lecture in Economics: "The Worst Macroeconomy since the Great Depression," presented by J. Bradford DeLong, professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley. 7:30 p.m., Olin 130. Contact x5174.

Thursday, April 29
Lecture: By Wendy Larson, Asian Studies endowed lecturer. 7 p.m., Gaiser Auditorium, Hall of Science.

Thursday, April 29
Visiting Writer: A reading by Sarah Vap. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, April 30
Music: Fridays at Four Recital Series presents The Free Range Saxophone Quartet, featuring Vanessa Sielert, Greg Yasinitsky, Todd DelGiudice and Saul Cline performing works by Northwest area composers and arrangers including a new piece written for quartet by David Glenn. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

April 30-May 1
Dance: “More Gory Gorey and other dances,” presented by the Whitman Dance Theater, directed by Vicki Lloid, adjunct instructor of dance. 8 p.m., Cordiner Hall. Click here for more details.

Saturday, May 1
Triathlon: Whitman Spring Triathlon, open to all campus community members. 8 a.m. For more information contact Jenn Blomme, head swimming coach, at blommejb@whitman.edu.

Sunday, May 2
Music: Taylor Montminy Junior Piano Recital. 3 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Monday, May 3
Lecture: Scott Manning Stevens presents a visiting educator lecture, titled “The Indian in the Cupboard: Museums, Libraries and Native American Culture.” 4 p.m., Oilin 130.

Wednesday, May 5
Lecture: “Effective Lawyering,” presented by Joe MCray ’64, renowned labor and auto defects lawyer. 4:15 - 5:30 p.m., Hunter Conservatory, Room 107. Contact: Jim Hanson at hansonjb@whitman.edu.

Wednesday, May 5
Lecture: Ralph Nader will discuss “Going Green: Getting it to the Bottom Line.” Cordiner Hall – doors open at 6:30 p.m.; lecture begins at 7 p.m. Book signing follows. Tickets required: Beginning Thursday, April 29, staff and faculty may pick up tickets in Reid 202. You must present your Whitman ID and will be able to receive one free ticket. Beginning Saturday, May 1, if tickets remain, they will be available for purchase in the Bookstore for $5 each.
For more information contact the Whitman Events Board at lectures@whitman.edu.

Monday, April 6
Visiting Writer: Whitman Reading. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

May 6-9
Theatre: Harper Hoy Theatre presents “The Secret Lives of Coats,” a new musical
book by Stephanie Fleischmann, music by Christina Campanella. Directed by Cynthia Croot, assistant professor of theatre. Three coat-check girls while away a long night in their booths, confiding in each other their hopes and dreams. Besieged by snooty customers and dodging the bullets of an oily-headed maître d’, Lila, Leeanne, and Lisette take us on a vaudevillian romp through the coat closets of the service industry. Thursday - Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., Thursday and Friday, May 20-21, at 8 p.m. For tickets call the Box Office at x5180, between 10 a.m. – noon and 1-4 p.m. weekdays.

Friday, May 7
Music: Walla Walla University String Quartet, 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, May 7
Music: Elizabeth Linxwiler Senior Piano Recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Saturday, May 8
Music: Faculty Recital with Lee D. Thompson, piano, and Karen Zizzi, soprano. 3 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Saturday, May 8
Music: Divertimento Chamber Orchestra Concert, conducted by Jackson Maberry ’11. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, May 9
Music: Harry Fulop Senior Voice Recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

What to say? Shimmering sunshine. Sparkling waters. Beautiful blooms. All were present when I set up to take this photo. The student in a bright red coat and blue backpack was a delightful bonus. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
NSF Grant
Princeton Review Green Recognition
Earth Day Green Commute
Admitted Students Day
Coming Events
Athletic Events
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to 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