October 4, 2010

Volume 5, issue 7
October 4, 2010
The Fountain

Cyber security issues to be in spotlight during October


The month of October has long meant harvest festivals and Halloween. But now the month has a new, more serious designation spotlighting a critical area of technology – National Cyber Security Month.

Long before the National Cyber Security Alliance began a public effort to draw attention to the issue, the WCTS staff has been actively involved. The recent appointment of Mike Osterman ’96 to IT security officer (half-time) reflects the importance the college is placing on cyber security.

He is leading a task force in an effort to educate the campus community about IT security risks, threats and preventative measures, and he will launch a campus effort in October. Through various communications and activities such as quizzes (with prizes!), the effort is designed to:

  • Raise awareness of cyber security issues that are pertinent to the campus community.
  • Educate the community about things we can do to keep ourselves and the college secure.
  • Raise awareness of procedures the college has in place to protect security and privacy.

“Cyber security is a far-reaching issue,” Osterman said. “Today’s mobile environment adds even more levels of threat and risk, given the prevalence of laptops, smart phones, public WiFi and so much more.”

He reports that "WCTS has been working tirelessly for years to keep the college network, services and information secure. Most of this work, however, has been happening in the background, such that many members of the Whitman community may not be aware of the extent to which the college focuses on cyber security.”

Among regular activities long since under way by WCTS:

  • Perform regular security audits of the network infrastructure and financial systems to locate potential vulnerabilities in systems, business processes and general computer use.
  • Provide infrastructure that ensures secure transmission of all sensitive data, including usernames and passwords.
  • Monitor the network and systems for attempted break-ins.
  • Patch systems frequently to address constantly emerging security vulnerabilities.
  • Keep up with ever-changing regulations and industry standards.

Here’s the first chance to test your cyber security knowledge and maybe win a prize! Osterman reports: “Each week, we’ll reveal a section of a security awareness quiz. Don’t worry, we won’t grade you. When you complete the quiz, you’ll have the option to enter your name for a chance to win a prize. If you enter your name for all four quizzes, you’ll have a chance to win the grand prize: an iPod Shuffle! Which, incidentally, could come in handy during the Baker Ferguson Fitness Challenge.”

Click here to take the first Cyber Security Awareness Quiz!

“Zeitoun” event packs Cordiner Hall to culminate Summer Read
Dave Eggers addresses Noah Leavitt's “Social Problems” class.

“Zeitoun” author Dave Eggers, together with book subjects Kathy and Abdulrahmen Zeitoun, in a discussion moderated by Jocelyn Hendrickson, assistant professor of religion, made for a fascinating culmination to the 2010 Summer Read.

“I felt tremendously honored to have this opportunity to meet and interact with Dave Eggers and the Zeitouns,” Hendrickson said. “I don’t know if saying I loved the book is the right word, because it’s a such painful story – but I very much appreciated Eggers’ bringing this very important story to light. As a professor of Islam constantly battling stereotypes about Muslims, I also found it refreshing and courageous of Eggers to introduce us to two Muslim American heroes. Kathy and Abdulrahman Zeitoun may insist they are just regular people, but to me they are amazing and inspirational,” she said.

In addition to sharing his admiration for the Zeitouns, Eggers also commended the college and Whitman students. He observed students to be “together, inspired and idealistic. What’s so great about a school like Whitman is that it emphasizes global thinking. It’s part of the culture and part of what draws people to a school like this, that has a strong liberal arts program with a global outlook.”

The day after the Cordiner discussion, Eggers visited the “Social Problems” class of Noah Leavitt, visiting assistant professor of sociology and general studies. Read a wrap-up of the event here.

Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
Play Festival
Theresa DiPasquale, right, and student Tyler King ’13 act out a scene during the Instant Play Festival. Photo credit: Simon Van Neste ’12

  Hinz Director Rich Hinz ponders a scene. Photo credit: Simon Van Neste ’12

A number ofstaff and faculty got their “act” on in the Instant Play Festival, Sept. 25 and 26. Participants are listed below along with the year(s) they have participated. According to festival director Christopher Petit, assistant professor of theatre, “Every year I try to get a number of faculty and staff involved in the festival, which helps to make it a truly special event.”


  • Sarah Hurlburt, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, 2010 and 2008
  • Chris Leise, assistant professor of English, 2010
  • Amy Blau, visiting assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, 2010 and 2009
  • Theresea DiPasquale, associate professor of English, 2010
  • Douglas Carlsen, director of the bookstore, 2010 (directed in 2008)


  • Dana Burgess, professor of classics, 2010, 2009, 2008
  • Rich Hinz, developer, application support, 2010, 2009, 2008
  • Nancy Simon, Garrett professor of dramatic art, 2010, 2009, 2008
  • Cindy Croot, assistant professor of theatre, 2010

Band: Orange Fight. They have played at the festival all three years. Band members:

  • Neal Christopherson, director of institutional research
  • Michelle Janning, associate professor of sociology and Garrett Fellow
  • Keith Farrington, Laura and Carl Peterson Endowed Chair of Social Sciences
  • Matt Prull, associate professor of psychology
  • Norrie Gregoire ’89

“The Trainer is In”


Michele Hanford, director of the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center, is offering campus community members the opportunity to tap into her fitness expertise as well as communicate with her about fitness center issues.

“I’m happy to make myself available to people seeking advice and assistance on their fitness programs and workouts, and to help with ideas and concerns about the fitness center, but I’m not always there in person when they might need me. So I’m offering assistance through an online form, and I will respond via e-mail. Plus, we’ll have forms at the fitness center desk. Just fill one out with your questions and comments, and I’ll get back to you.”

Click here to access the online form. Questions? Contact Hanford at hanformk@whitman.edu or x5025.

Welcome to the Whitman Family

  Baby Evan Evan Eugene Shafer

Michelle Shafer, science lab and imaging coordinator, and her husband, Eric, announce the birth of their first child – son Evan Eugene Shafer, born Sept. 10, at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and 21.5" long. “We are all healthy and doing well,” Shafer said.

Baby Ibrahim Ibrahim Nerses Shamoun  

Elyse Semerdjian, associate professor of history, and Gibran Shamoun are the proud new parents of son Ibrahim Nerses Shamoun, born Sept. 16. He weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces and measured 21 inches long. Ibrahim is the first child for both parents and the first grandchild for grandparents Nerses and Sandra Semerdjian. “He strongly resembles his paternal grandfather, after whom he was named,” the new mother said. She also expressed thanks to all of her Whitman colleagues and friends for their continual support and reported that Ibrahim’s father immigrated to Walla Walla from Damascus, Syria, and is currently studying nursing at Walla Walla Community College.

Generous alumni give back to alma mater

According to Brian Dohe, director of the annual fund, fall reunion fund gifts presented over Alumni Weekend were above and beyond expectations. Among the many generous contributions were two notable donations.

The Class of 1985 surpassed its $85,000 goal with a reunion fund gift of $195,931 in gifts and pledges.

48605The Class of 2000 set a new record for the 10th Reunion Fund by raising $48,605 in gifts and pledges.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday, 10/4
Presentation: "Comedy, Economics, and Climate Change,” presented by stand-up economist and former Whitman Professor Yoram Bauman. Cookies and punch reception to follow. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre.

Tuesday, 10/5
Lecture: O’Donnell Visiting Educator Magnus Isacsson, an independent documentary filmmaker, presents “Granny Power, the film.” 7:30 p.m., Olin 130.

Wednesday, 10/6
Film Clip and Panel Discussion: “Who Are We? The Question of Race,” featuring Delbert Hutchison, associate professor of biology, Austin Archer, professor of psychology and education at Walla Walla University and Linda Clark, information services specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau. Presentation followed by public discussion. 7 p.m., Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom.

Chekhov for Children

Thursday, 10/7
Film: Sasha Waters Freyer will show her feature documentary, “Chekhov for Children,” with a question-and-answer session to follow. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre.

Thursday, 10/7
Lecture: Keith David Watenpaugh, associate professor of modern Islam, human rights and peace, who teaches in the religious studies program at the University of California, Davis, brings to Whitman a lecture titled “Finding the Lost: Human Trafficking, the Armenian Genocide and the Origins of Modern Humanitarianism.” 7:30 p.m., Olin 157

Thursday, 10/14
Visiting Writers Reading Series: A reading by Nick Flynn of his most recent book, “The Ticking is the Bomb.” 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre.

Friday, 10/15
Art: “ReMapping: The Expanding Landscape of Ceramics,” curated by Joseph Page, visiting assistant professor of art, opens. Curator’s talk by Page in Olin 130, celebration in Sheehan Gallery to follow. For details contact Dawn Forbes, gallery director, at forbesdm@whitman.edu.

Friday, 10/15
Music: Fridays at Four Recital Series presents The Alex Abram’s Trio. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre. See all Department of Music Events here.

Click here for a listing of all events.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Volleyball (Sherwood Center)
Friday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m. vs. Lewis & Clark

Saturday, Oct. 9, 5 p.m. vs. Willamette

Women’s Soccer (Athletic Fields)
Sunday, Oct. 10, 12 p.m. vs. Lewis & Clark

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Oscar Waggoner continues to work diligently to make the Sherwood Athletic Center plaza more like the beaches of Acapulco … or maybe the sand is to make the walkway more safe during frosty winter mornings (sorry to use the “w” word so early.)   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Cyber Security Month
“Zeitoun” Event
Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
“The Trainer is In”
New Babies
Reunion Fund
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. Editor: Ashley Coetzee. Managing Editor: Ruth Wardwell Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain