February 22, 2010

Volume 4, issue 26
February 22, 2010
The Fountain

March 3 deadline for innovation grant proposals

Faculty, staff and collaborative teams with ideas for projects that would transform the learning experiences of Whitman students are asked to submit their proposals by 5 p.m. March 3. That’s the deadline to apply for the 2010-2011 Support for Innovation in Teaching and Learning Grants. This year, despite tough economic times, $75,000 is available on a competitive basis — thanks to gifts provided specifically for this purpose — for pursuing new approaches to instruction and student learning as well as innovative approaches to existing courses. Grants typically range from $500 to $10,000 and don’t exceed $20,000. Click here for full details on proposal requirements and a link to past recipients’ projects.

Staff coffee recap

President Bridges opened last week’s staff coffee meeting by recapping the service held to honor the memory of student Richard O’Brien, whose tragic death in a skiing accident has left many campus community members hurting deeply. About 750 students, staff and faculty attended the service, which President Bridges called “one of the most moving events I’ve ever seen.” He and members of the counseling staff encouraged us all to see this is an opportunity to grow closer to the students and to understand that it is important to simply listen to them as they grieve and work through their pain. He also reported that Richard’s parents shared their gratitude for the love and support of the Whitman community, shown both in this time of sadness and during Richard’s time here. “They spoke of never having felt more supported and about how grateful they were to have the opportunity to know just how much Richard was loved and cared for at Whitman,” the president said. “Richard’s impact on our campus was profound, even though he was with us for only six months. We are honored that he was a member of the Whitman community.”

Next, the president discussed the February trustee meeting, reporting that:

  • The trustees have approved the 2010-11, budget, which allows for merit raises.
  • He and the trustees appreciate the restraint departments have shown in their budgets.
  • Financial aid dollars budgeted for students will increase, although there is never as much as we would like.
  • Three staff positions will be funded: a WCTS position for security and administrative technology; a custodian to help support Olin and Maxey, given the expansions; and a new security officer, based in large part on student requests.

Construction updates included a look at the renovation plan for Harper Joy Theatre, which will begin this summer. Some highlights of the plan include new faculty offices to enable the faculty to be housed together, a building addition to create a new black box acting studio, enhancements to the lobby, new seating in the Alexander Theatre, new lighting and electrical/mechanical equipment and a second story atop the addition that will house a new costume/teaching shop. “Details are still being worked out to enable the theatre to be as operational as possible, but it will be a construction zone for 12 to 15 months,” said Peter Harvey, CFO/treasurer. “The teaching classrooms will be relocated, and there will be a temporary ticket office.” Construction will begin in early summer 2010.

Also on the construction front: Seismic renovation of Memorial will begin this summer, and the Maxey expansion will be completed. There also will be work on about 35 life cycle projects this summer.

Deadline April 9 for sustainability proposals

Lisa Curtis ’10, Whitman’s campus sustainability coordinator is looking for more projects that would result in further efficiency and conservation of resources at Whitman College.


Bon Appétit Executive Chef Christian G. Chemin (right) accepts delivery of the rooftop garden’s first crop of greens from Natalie Jamerson ’13 (left) and Zoe Pehrson ’13 (center)

So far, loans from the Sustainability Revolving Loan Fund have helped launch three projects including a rooftop farm on the Hall of Science that student farmers successfully started to increase local produce in student dining halls. For more information on the results of that project, click here.

Now the call is out for more project proposals. The spring 2010 application process is underway and open to students, faculty and staff. The fund is a $25,000 line of credit the college allocates for any project that “significantly benefits Whitman’s sustainability efforts by conserving resources and improving efficiency.”

Last semester’s three projects were awarded a total of $7,339. In addition to the rooftop farm, the two other recipients were Tyler Harvey ’10, who received a loan to replace all faucet aerators in on-campus buildings with low-flow aerators, a 25-percent energy savings; and Karen Smith, chemistry stockroom manager and laboratory coordinator in the chemistry department, who requested the purchase of a solvent recycler. Savings realized from Harvey and Smith’s projects will be used to pay back their loans. The student farmers are paying theirs back with profits earned from selling their produce to the college’s food service.

For more information, contact Curtis at curtislm@whitman.edu.

Campus community celebrates Founder’s Day

Rogers Miles, as the Rev. Cushing Eels, greets a student. In the background, Cathy Highberg Williams ’70.

The Rev. Cushing Eells, looking dapper for a man celebrating his 200th birthday, greeted students in the Reid Campus Center foyer on Feb. 16. Eells — artfully portrayed by Rogers Miles, senior adjunct assistant professor of religion and general studies — was at Reid Campus Center for the Founder’s Day celebration hosted by the Whitman College Alumni Association. Nancy Mitchell, associate director of alumni relations, and Cathy Highberg Williams ’70, Alumni Association board member, organized the event. Passersby enjoyed birthday cake, looked at historic photos and browsed through Waiillatpu yearbooks. Students chatted with Eells (aka Miles) about Whitman’s early history. Miles has portrayed Eells many times at Fort Walla Walla Museum and Whitman events, including alumni Summer College. Eells may make an appearance on campus again soon: Every spring, he visits Miles’ “Religion in America” class.

Renowned photographer’s exhibit at Sheehan in March

Photographer Kathryn Cook, whose work has appeared in various publications including The New Yorker, Time and Newsweek, will give seminars and talks at Whitman College in March. And an exhibit of her photography, which focuses on the disputed history of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, will be at Sheehan Gallery on March 2.

The exhibition is made possible by The Ashton J. and Virginia Graham O’Donnell Visiting Professorship and Global Studies Endowment and curated by Elyse Semerdjian, associate professor of history. Semerdjian, while on a Fulbright in Syria, served as Cook’s translator and guide as Cook photographed sites of the Armenian Genocide and descendants of survivors in Syria and Lebanon.

Cook events: 7 p.m. March 3 in the Sheehan Gallery: “Photographer and Translator, A Collaboration: Travels Along the Armenian Genocide Trail,” a presentation by Kathryn Cook and Elyse Semerdjian; 5:30 p.m. March 5 in Sheehan Gallery: Opening of “Memory Denied” photo exhibit, and a talk by Cook, followed by a reception.

Cook will also offer two seminars for students: “The Image World” and “Truth in Photography.” To sign up, click here.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, 2/23
O’Donnell Lecture: “Challenges of Foreign Aid in the 21st Century,” by Inder Sud, an economist with extensive background and experience in economic development in developing countries. 7 p.m., Olin 130. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, 2/23
Lecture: ”Burial and Society in the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age in Albania,” by Dr. Laurenc Bejko of the University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania. 7:30 p.m., Olin 157.

Thursday, 2/25
Reading: Visiting Writers Reading Series presents author Elizabeth Bradfield. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. Click here for more information.

Friday, 2/26
Music: Spring Composers Concert. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music. Contact x5232. Click here for more Whitman music events.

Saturday, 2/27
Symposium: The 2010 Global Studies Symposium focuses on “Contagion.” 1-4 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. Click here for details and speaker information.

Monday, 3/1
Henry M. Jackson Lecture: “Rethinking Global Climate Justice: Capabilities, Vulnerability and Adaptation.” Presented by David Schlosberg, professor of politics and international affairs and director of environmental studies at Northern Arizona University. 7:30 p.m., Olin 130. Click here for more information.

Tuesday, 3/2
Music: Student Violin/Viola Recital with Kristin Vining-Stauffer, Nathan Shiu, and Rachel Wishkoski, piano at 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

3/4 – 3/7
Theatre: Harper Joy Theatre presents “Around the World in 80 days. Click here or contact Nancy Simon x5292 or Qi Jia x5279 for details.

Thursday, 3/4
Hosokawa Lecture: “Media as Watchdog: Exposing Corporate Scandal,” presented by Bethany McLean, author and Vanity Fair contributing editor, and one of the first journalists to expose the Enron scandal. 7 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. Click here for more information.

Thursday, 3/4
Lecture: “Living Downstream: Environmental Protection as Cancer Prevention” by ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Friday, 3/5
Art: Artist talk and opening reception for Sheehan Gallery’s exhibit, titled “Triptural: Photographic Views.” 5:30 p.m., Olin 130. Exhibition runs March 2 – April 15. Click here for details.

Friday, 3/5
Music: Marshall Baker senior composition recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music

Saturday, 3/6
Music: Jacqueline Kamm senior voice recital. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, 3/7
Music: Divertimento Chamber Orchestra Concert, conducted by Jackson Maberry ’11. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music

Click here for a listing of all coming events.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Tennis (Bratton Tennis Center)
Noon Saturday, Feb. 27 – vs. Pacific University
10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28 – vs. Linfield College

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Photographer Greg Lehman and the “official” Parting Shot will be back next week. In the meantime, here’s a shot from this time last year to help us appreciate our recent mild weather!   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Innovation Grants
Staff Coffee Recap
Call for Proposals
Founder's 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