August 2, 2010

Volume 4, issue 49
August 2, 2010
The Fountain

Help Wanted for Opening Day Directing traffic Anne Thatcher, associate director of admission, directs traffic during opening day last year.

Maxwell Interested in helping to meet and greet new students and their families on opening day, Thursday, Aug. 26? If so, Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students, programs, would like to hear from you ( or x5208). Specifically, Maxwell is looking to recruit staff to assist with two fun opening day tasks:

  • Greeting students/families and providing unloading instructions as they move into Jewett and Lyman from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (in shifts).
  • Assisting with the photo ID process in Reid Campus Center from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (in shifts).

“Opening day is magical. The staff always goes above and beyond to make it the first of many wonderful experiences for our new students and parents,” she said. “Be part of the magic and volunteer!”

New communications staff ready to help you

As the college gears up for the academic year, two new staff members in the Office of Communications are excited to meet members of the campus community and help you meet your communications goals. Whether you are publicizing an event or want to share word of a research grant with a larger audience, staff and faculty can call on these new Whitman team members to get the word out.


Ashley Coetzee, the interim media relations officer who joins the staff today, will coordinate media activities, including publicizing campus events. She will help coordinate event advertising, write news releases, and write stories for Web headline news, The Fountain and Whitman Magazine. Coetzee earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations at Walla Walla College in 2009 and interned in the Whitman Office of Communications that summer. She spent a large portion of the last year writing grant proposals and newsletters for a relief agency in Tanzania. Contact Coetzee to publicize your event: x4917 or


Joe Gurriere, writer, will focus his efforts on telling the Whitman story through articles for Whitman Magazine and other internal and external publications, as well as headline news stories and Web profiles. With his extensive background in marketing communications, he also will lend his expertise to media relations activities. His professional career spans multiple industries and roles, having worked for two global public relations firms and served as director of communications for a leading regional real estate network. Prior to joining Whitman on June 14, he operated an independent communications consultancy, providing public relations and writing services to a variety of clients. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Central Washington University. Introduce yourself to Gurriere and send him your story ideas: x5156 or

Need more help figuring out where to find answers to publicity, design or mailing questions? Our online User’s Guide can help. Just click here.

Deadline to update campus directory information is Aug. 2

The staff in the Office of Human Resources requests your help in collecting data for the next printed campus directory, which will be distributed this fall. Saving considerable amounts of time and paper, the new streamlined collection process asks staff and faculty to visit the Whitman People Search page, type in your last name to find your profile and carefully review the information currently on file. Once you have reviewed your information, send an e-mail to Mary Luckstead, administrative assistant for human resources, at with any changes, corrections or your approval by Aug. 20. Later this summer, the directory will be available online for final proofing before it is printed.

Do you know of an upcoming change in name, title or office location? Even if you don’t have all the details yet, let the H.R. staff know about your pending changes, and they’ll make a point to follow up with you later.

Faculty Accomplishments


Doug Juers, associate professor of physics, has been awarded a $202,400 grant from the National Institutes of Health. The three-year grant, titled, “New Predictive Methods for Cryoprotection in Macromolecular Crystallography,” will support Juers’ student-faculty research to develop more rational techniques for high resolution, three-dimensional molecular X-ray structure determination. Detailed knowledge of macromolecular structures such as proteins and nucleic acids is important for understanding the molecular basis of biological function and aids in developing effective treatments for disease. In 2007, Juers and several other Whitman faculty members received a $465,934 grant from the National Science Foundation to purchase X-ray diffraction instrumentation for interdisciplinary faculty-student research.

Chemistry faculty, students visit molecular sciences lab

  Dunnivant Frank Dunnivant Machonkin Tim Machonkin

Several members of the Chemistry Department recently visited the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) in the Tri-Cities. EMSL is one of the top analytical service laboratories in the world and has one of the best collections of state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation.

Allison Campbell, director of EMSL and a former visiting faculty member at Whitman, gave a presentation on the history of the Department of Energy and EMSL and a lab-by-lab tour of the mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and super-computing facilities. Whitman people in attendance included Tim Machonkin, assistant professor of chemistry; Frank Dunnivant, associate professor of chemistry; and students Nicole James, Matthew Goldfogel, Julia Warren, Stephanie Steiner, Alex Schnepper, Haya Jamali, Clark van Horne, Kyle Byrd-Fisher, Nathan Mallon, Laura Coulson and Johnny Zimmerman.

High school debaters on campus for annual debate institute

Hanson One hundred high-school debaters are spending part of their summer on campus for the 10th annual Whitman National Debate Institute, which opened July 18.

Jim Hanson, professor of rhetoric and Whitman debate coach, is the organizer of the event, which ended for some students July 30. Others will continue with a public forum and the third-week session on campus through Aug. 6. “Students seem happy and a lot of education is going on,” Hanson said.

“The staff at the camp is working tirelessly to make sure the students are safe and to provide one-on-one instruction,” he said. Camp staff includes Nick Robinson, Whitman parliamentary debate and individual events coach, and many Whitman student and alumni debaters.

Smile! Drop in Tuesday or Wednesday to have a new photo taken


Unhappy with your photo in "People Search" or is it just finally time for a change? Do you need a new head shot to send to your publisher or professional organization?

Come to the Office of Communications’ temporary photography studio in Memorial Building 314 during one of these two time slots:

Tuesday, Aug, 3 — 12-3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 4, 9 a.m. to noon. No need to call or e-mail ahead.

A hint: White shirts don’t photograph well, so brighten things up with some color!

If 314 is empty when you arrive, pop into 315 and ask for Greg.

Art imitates life banner

Whitman’s iconic clock tower is featured on new lamppost banners installed on campus last week.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Whether it was meditation time or it had a lot to pray about, this praying mantis spent literally all day clinging to one spot on the underside of “Joined Together, Let No Man Split Asunder” (er, that’s the Giant Paper Clip to most of us) last week. It flinched as I moved in for a close-up, so I know it was alive.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Opening Day Help
Communications Staff Changes
Campus Directory
Faculty Accomplishments
Molecular Sciences Lab Visit
Debaters On Campus
Photo Shoots
New Banner
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: