December 19, 2011

Volume 6, issue 18
December 19, 2011
The Fountain

Submit your photos from the Winter Holidays Party!

Neil Christopherson and Keith Farrington perform with their band, Orange Fight.

DJ Jon Loney heats up the dance floor with some cool beats.

The president’s office reports that staff and faculty raised hundreds of donations of socks and sunscreen for the YWCA.

Did you take fun photos at the Winter Holidays Party last Friday? With your subjects’ permission, e-mail photos to for inclusion in a photo gallery that will link from the Jan. 3 edition. Please submit photos by 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. Questions? Contact Gillian Frew, interim media relations officer at x4917 or

Staff Profile: Mara Sorkin
Events Coordinator in the President’s Office

  • Birthplace: Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Education: B.A., music theory, Yale University
  • Years at Whitman: Almost five months
  • Favorite…
    • Film: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”
    • Book: “The Wind-up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: “Styx” by Deborah Butterfield. I was amazed to discover that what I thought was a driftwood sculpture is actually made entirely of chemically treated bronze.
  • Best travel experience: Two summers ago I embarked on a 50-day Great American Road Trip during which I traveled more than 6,000 miles, couch-surfing with hosts in more than 15 states. I experienced a traditional Wisconsin dairy breakfast, went rock-climbing for the first time, learned how to milk a goat, and stood inside one of the largest trees in the world! Looking ahead, I’m excited for my upcoming ski trip in France, where I’ll enjoy all the pleasures of the Southern Alps, from Swiss chocolate to fondue to fresh powder!
  • Interests/pleasures: The great majority of my free time is spent with my two dogs, Winter and Smudge. What little time I have left over is devoted to organizing potlucks with friends, exploring the great outdoors with my wonderful partner Greg, and painting the rooms of our house intense, saturated colors.
  • Recent accomplishment: Despite a crippling fear of public speaking, I’ve decided to teach two different student workshops next semester: Bacon Appreciation and Chocolate Appreciation. I figure I’ll have a decent shot of getting past stammering and blushing in front of an audience if I’m distracted by two of my favorite foods.
  • What people don’t know about me: I’ve gone to Burning Man seven years in a row and own an entire trunk full of costumes and desert survival gear.
  • A day in the life/on the job: I definitely have the coolest job on campus. Whether it’s planning dinners and luncheons, organizing major campus events, arranging guest speaker visits, or spending quality time with color-coded spreadsheets, there’s never a dull moment in the President’s Office. I feel incredibly lucky to be on such a great team with responsibilities that challenge and inspire me every day.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: I’m just tickled pink that there is a people-sized birdbath on campus.
  • What I’ve learned here: Don’t spend too much time answering survey questions when you could be cuddling with puppies.
  • Quote: “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln

Faculty news brief


Johanna Stoberock, adjunct assistant professor of English and general studies, has been selected as one of 12 writers for the 2012 Jack Straw Writers Program. The program introduces writers to the medium of recorded audio, encourages the creation of new literary work and provides new venues for publication. Each year a curator selects 12 writers out of many applicants based on artistic excellence, diversity of literary genres, and a cohesive grouping of writers. The program features voice and presentation training, in-studio interviews, public readings, a published anthology and internet podcasts. All live readings are recorded, and selected portions are produced for podcasts and radio broadcast. Stoberock will be working on stories for a collection tentatively titled “The Maze.”

Registration open for winter youth baseball camp

Baseball Camp

Assistant baseball coach Mark Michaud reports that registration is open for Whitman’s three-day winter youth baseball camp, which takes place Dec. 28-30 in the Sherwood Athletic Center. It’s designed for kids aged 8 to 18 and costs $100 per player. With questions or to register, contact Michaud at x4438 or For more information, click here.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday, 1/16
Candlelight March: Join the annual peace march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with The Testostertones, Whitman’s premier men’s a cappella ensemble. Departs at 5:45 p.m. from Reid Campus Center foyer and continues downtown. Post-march reception with live music from Three Strikes Trio and refreshments at 6:30 p.m. in the Glover Alston Center.

Wednesday, 1/18
Panel: “Visions of the Future: Students Reflections on Civil Rights.” Whitman’s Black Student Union hosts a panel discussion on the Civil Rights Movement today as part of the week-long celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Moderated by Nina Lerman, associate professor of history. Audience Q&A to follow. 7 p.m. in Jewett Main Lounge.

Thursday, 1/19
Lecture: “Reflections on the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King, Jr,” by civil rights leader Samuel B. McKinney. He was the pastor at Seattle’s Mount Zion Baptist Church from 1958 to 1998 and a friend of Martin Luther King Jr. McKinney convinced King to speak in Seattle in 1961, King’s only visit to Seattle, and he marched in Washington D.C. in 1963 and in Selma and Montgomery in 1965. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Basketball
Monday, Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. vs. La Sierra University (Sherwood Athletic Center)

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

While heading back to Mem at halftime of a recent women’s basketball game vs. Santa Cruz, I stopped for 1/30th of a second to get this shot of the clocktower framed by frosted trees. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Party Photos
Staff Profile:
Mara Sorkin
Faculty news brief
Winter Baseball Camp
Coming Events
Athletic 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: Gillian Frew. Managing Editor: Ruth Wardwell. Online: