December 13, 2010

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Volume 5, issue 17
December 13, 2010
The Fountain
  yellow form Open enrollment

Open enrollment process underway

All employees eligible for benefits should have received Open Enrollment packets last week. The Open Enrollment information is also available online on the Benefits section of the Human Resources Web site.

You do not need to return the yellow form if there are no changes to your current dental, medical, or cash benefit in lieu of medical, and you did not participate in the Flexible Spending Plan in 2010 and do not want to participate in 2011.

The deadline for returning the yellow 2011 Open Enrollment form is Friday, Dec. 31. However, HR staff will be available only through Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 4 p.m. to help you and answer questions. You are advised to contact HR earlier than later, to be assured of getting the help you may need and to avoid a last-minute rush in the HR office.

Graduation rates put Whitman in the media spotlight

Some logos

Though the campus community has long understood why the Whitman graduation rate is so high, recently it has been generating interest and attention from the media. Following a Chronicle of Higher Education article, The Seattle Times published one focused on grad rates among colleges and universities in Washington State. On the heels of that, Puget Sound’s National Public Radio station, KUOW, invited Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and enrollment, to do a live interview with “The Conversation” host Ross Reynolds. Click here to listen to the interview; the segment begins at the 10 minute mark.

Learning, interaction at PAC New Staff Orientation

PAC Larry North peaks to the PAC group outside of the Hall of Science.

Last week’s inaugural New Staff Orientation, organized by the Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC), drew 25 staff members who have joined the Whitman community since September 2009. Designed to help staff meet one another and gain an understanding of the college from perspectives beyond their specific job responsibilities, the event featured a range of tours, presentations and activities including:

  • The history and mission of Whitman College, by John Bogley, vice president for development and college relations
  • Tour of Penrose House and talk by Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid
  • Tour of WCTS facilities and talk by Keiko Pitter, chief technology officer
  • Tour of the Hall of Science and talk by Larry North, science technician
  • Tour of Penrose Library and talk by Donna LaFran, library administrative assistant
  • Tour of Baker Ferguson Fitness Center and talk by student employee Kirsten Vaculik ’12, manager on duty
  • Talk on Student Life by Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students – student programs and activities, and tour of Reid Campus Center
  • Alumni House walk-through and meeting the alumni relations staff
  • Tour of Glover Alston Center and talk by Ben Wu ’07, Intercultural Center program advisor, and Mukulu Mweu, associate dean of students - intercultural programs and services
  • Lunch and a trivia quiz. Click here to view the presentation.

Serena Aufderhar, admission receptionist and Whitman employee of less than one month said of the orientation, “It was a great opportunity to get out of my little bubble and see the campus. I enjoyed the tour across campus as well as the tour through Whitman’s history. It's nice to know more about the community that I am becoming a part of.”

Members of the PAC are:

Larry North; Shannon Shearer, executive assistant to the VP for development and college relations; Ali Barlow, assistant director, Student Engagement Center;
Serena Aufderhar, admission receptionist; Brian Griffith, WCTS system administrator/developer; Cheryl Stone, custodian; and Cindy Matern, director of human resources.

Library’s inaugural Curriculum Development Grant recipients announced

  Sharon Alker Sharon Alker Michael Paulus Michael Paulus

Sharon Alker, assistant professor of English and general studies, in collaboration with Michael Paulus, archivist and special collections librarian, has received the inaugural $5,000 Library Curriculum Development Grant for Manuscripts, Archives, Rare Books and Other Special Collections Materials. The grant will help support a third-year Special Topics Course on Book History. The proposal identified materials that will provide students with opportunities to experience and engage with sample physical materials they currently use through digital, virtual formats. A priority purchase will be a facsimile medieval illustrated book so students can have a sense of the difference of encountering such a work.

“As a result of several generous bequests, Library Curriculum Grants of up to $5,000 for Special Collections Materials are available periodically to fund faculty-library collaborations that connect the college's archives and special collections with the curriculum,” reported Dalia Corkrum, director of Penrose Library. “This initiative aims to enhance use of current library resources as well as develop new resources in conjunction with existing or new courses. Funds can be used to locate, prepare, acquire or work with materials. Archives and special collections materials, as both texts and artifacts, provide unique learning and research opportunities for undergraduates. They also enhance a liberal education by cultivating critical thinking about primary resources, the creation and dissemination of knowledge and communication methods and media. Because of their uniqueness and rarity, archives and special collections inspire curiosity, reveal new information and deepen understanding of various subjects.”

Winterim Workshop applications

Due Dec. 15th by 11p.m.

Download a Winterim application here.

Do you have an interest or skill you don't usually get to share with others at Whitman? Host a Winterim Workshop and teach others about it!

Winterim Workshops are an informal opportunity for students, faculty and staff to lead others in just about any kind of activity they can dream up. The workshops will take place the first weekend back from Winter Break (January 21-23). If you have any questions, please email Kelley Hall at Sponsored by the Whitman Events Board (WEB).


Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Now Open
Art: "Seeing Landscapes Whole," a collection of photography from 2010 Semester in the West participants displayed in the Stevens Gallery, Reid Campus Center.

Friday, 12/7
Holiday Party: All Whitman employees, along with a guest, are invited to attend the Whitman Winter Holidays Party. Refreshments and beverages will be served and festive attire is encouraged. Please bring a canned or boxed food donation for the local food bank. 7:30-10:30 p.m., Reid Campus Center Young Ballroom and Cafe ’66.

Monday, 1/17
MLK: In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the campus is hosting a series of events including community service projects and a candlelight march. For details click here.

Tuesday, 1/18
Art: The Sheehan Gallery presents “New and Returning Whitman Studio Art and Faculty Exhibition.” Artist and curator talks to be announced. Click here for a complete schedule of the 2010-2011 Sheehan Gallery Exhibitions.

Wednesday, 1/19
Lecture: Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents “Roots: Genealogy, Genetics and African American History.” 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Click here for a listing of all events.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Spared the need to study for any finals with her participation in the 2010 Semester in the West, Madelyn Peterson ’13 could afford to sit outside Penrose in the freezing cold Tuesday morning and doodle in her doodle book. Yes, she said she “just loves fresh air.”   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Open Enrollment Reminder
Graduation Rates
PAC Orientation
Library Grant
Coming Events
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. Editor: Ashley Coetzee. Managing Editor: Ruth Wardwell Online: