January 4, 2010

Volume 4, issue 19
January 4, 2010
The Fountain

New scanning electron microscope unveiled

Just before break, faculty and staff in the Hall of Science celebrated the arrival and installation of a gift that will keep on giving in the form of enhanced science learning and research: a scanning electron microscope (SEM) funded by the National Science Foundation. They held an open house to show off the $408,000 SEM, which will help enable students “to be trained as working scientists” using an instrument that has become the “workhorse of the geology and biology research communities,” said Kirsten Nicolaysen, assistant professor of geology, and a driving force behind getting the SEM.

Nicolaysen already has several students lined up to use the SEM starting in January for such research as characterizing the host basalt for a carbon sequestration pilot project, two projects investigating the history of volcanic eruptions in Alaska and the local Columbia River plateau, and a project that will investigate the ties between the sedimentary record of Greenland glaciers and climate change. Read more about the new SEM here.

Pictured: A single hair on a leaf of an Arabidopsis plant, magnified about 300 times. The leaf hair is actually about half the diameter of a fine human hair and less than half a millimeter in length.

Faculty/Staff Profile: Randy Coleman
Maintenance Supervisor

  • Birthplace: Spokane
  • Education: AAS; Heating, Air Conditioning, Refrigeration certificate; electrician training
  • Years at Whitman: 1988-1994 and 1997-present
  • Favorite…
    • Film: “Lord of the Rings”
    • Book: “Lord of the Rings”
    • Play: I don’t have a favorite play, but I do enjoy going to HJT. I recently saw “The Merry Wives of Windsor” with my wife.
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: Styx
  • Best travel experience: Disneyland with my wife and two kids when they were little.
  • Interests/pleasures: I enjoy soccer, camping, fishing, hunting, and walking or running with my dog. I cheer for the Pittsburg Steelers and listen to classic rock ’n’ roll. I enjoy holding my new grandson.
  • Recent accomplishment: I’m a first-time grandpa. Clayton was born Nov. 20, 2009. (Now I can feel proud of my gray beard, when I grow one.)
  • What people don’t know about me: I have four brothers and two sisters. All of them have blue eyes and names that begin with R, and so do my parents. I enjoy spending time with each and every one of them.
  • A day in the life/on the job: I try to get here at least a half-hour early to prepare for the dilemmas the day has to offer. My morning is usually spent organizing maintenance work as information comes to me via office phone, cell phone, e-mail, two-way radio, security reports, work order system and people walking in. Usually, two or three of these at a time. Mix in meetings, construction projects, contractor estimates, signing time sheets and invoices, and before I know it, it’s lunch time. When I’m lucky, I get to go out on campus and see how projects are going and how we are taking care of our buildings and colleagues. When I am unlucky, I spend the day tending to emergencies such as failed plumbing or electrical systems. I’m tired at the end of the day, but it feels like I have only been here for a couple hours.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: The overall beauty of our campus and the respect that we show for each other.
  • What I’ve learned here: Just about everyone has a different way of looking at things, and there is an opportunity to learn new things by staying open to other people’s ideas. You do not have to agree, but it is beneficial to have an open mind.
  • Quote: My favorite quote is the Prayer of Serenity: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Faculty Accomplishments

Paul Apostolidis, Judge and Mrs. Timothy A. Paul Chair of Political Science, has been invited by the City Club of Portland to give a lecture on Jan. 29 on the intersections between the politics of immigration, labor and food. He also will discuss his new book, “Breaks in the Chain: What Immigrant Workers Can Teach America About Democracy,” to be published in 2010 by the University of Minnesota Press. In addition to the several hundred community, business and educational leaders who will attend, the talk will be broadcast live on public radio to an audience of 15,000-20,000.

Send event info to communications staff

Are you coordinating any public campus events for the spring semester? Are they posted on the Events Web site yet? If they’re not, please submit information by e-mail to wardwers@whitman.edu. And please be sure to include whether or not you will be purchasing paid advertising and/or needing a poster for your event, so we can prepare for that. If your event is posted but is missing information or isn’t accurate, please submit corrections and additions. Questions? Call or e-mail Ruth Wardwell, director of communications, x5768.

2010 Mariners Caravan to visit campus

The 2010 Seattle Mariners Caravan will be in Walla Walla on Wednesday, Jan. 13, in the Sherwood Athletic Center from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Select players, the Mariner Moose and members of the Mariners broadcast team will be available for autographs and photos. Learn more about the caravan here.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Jan. 1418
Special Event: Shelter for Freedom, a series of fundraising and awareness events to be held at Whitman and Walla Walla University in support of the Walla Walla Helpline Women’s Shelter and to fight against human trafficking. Click here for a complete schedule of events.

Jan. 18
Martin Luther King Jr. Day Community Service projects. 2-4 p.m. Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom.
MLK Jr. Day Volunteer Fair. 4-4:30 p.m. RCC Ballroom.
MLK Jr. Day Panel Discussion. 4:30-5:30 p.m. RCC Ballroom.
MLK Jr. Day March. 5:45-6:30 p.m. A candlelight peace march will begin at RCC and proceed to downtown Walla Walla and return to the Whitman campus.
Glover-Alston Center Open House. 6:30 p.m., 26 Boyer Ave. The post-march open house will include live music and refreshments.

Jan. 19Feb. 19
Art: The Sheehan Gallery presents “Critical Junctures: The Sculpture and Installations of Eileen Doktorski.” Opening reception is Friday, Jan. 22, at 5 p.m.; the artist will speak at 5:30 p.m. Olin 130.

Jan. 27
Lecture: Zahi Zalloua, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures (French), delivers the G. Thomas Edwards Lecture. "Fidelity to the Unruly, or Reading Literature Ethically." 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre.

Click here for events posted on the Whitman Web site.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Basketball (Sherwood Athletic Center, George Ball Court)
Friday, Jan. 8 – 6 p.m. vs. George Fox University
Saturday, Jan. 9 – 6 p.m. vs. Pacific University

Men’s Basketball (Sherwood Athletic Center, George Ball Court)
Friday, Jan. 8 – 8 p.m. vs. George Fox University
Saturday, Jan. 9 – 8 p.m. vs. Pacific University

Swimming (Harvey Pool)
Saturday, Jan 23 – 3 p.m. vs. Whitworth University

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

A sleepy Whitman resident found an interesting resting spot on a windowsill of the Reid Campus Center during finals week.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Happy New Year!
Microscope Unveiled
Faculty/Staff Profile:
Randy Coleman
Faculty Accomplishments
Send Event Info
Mariners Caravan
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