February 27

Volume 6, issue 27
February 27, 2012
The Fountain

Staff coffee recap – budget, campaign, admission highlights

Last week’s Staff Coffee followed a campus memo that reported on the 2012-13 college budget and the recent meeting of the Board of Trustees. At the meeting, President Bridges shared that he “came away with the full support of the trustees for the budget. I view this as a sign that we are emerging from one of the most difficult financial times the college has experienced in the last 30 years. I hope the U.S. economy follows our lead!”

He stated that a critical piece of the budget is staff positions, both adding new ones and supplementing existing positions. Another is approval of a salary increase pool, effective with the new fiscal year. This is in addition to the mid-year increase that went into effect in January.

While the college will continue on a course that is financially prudent and cautious, Bridges says he is “very optimistic. We are thriving, but many colleges are not. I am deeply grateful to you for your efforts.” Though optimism is realistic and justified, “the trustees remain concerned about costs,” Bridges said. “I am looking forward to discussions about our values and to articulating what we want a Whitman education to be. We need to look at ways to manage costs and generate new revenue that align with our mission.”

The president also commented on the Now is The Time campaign, offering kudos to the development staff and reporting that the total to date is $102 million. “This is nothing short of phenomenal. We will succeed in achieving the goal, and now we need to extend the reach of the campaign.”

There also was good news reported on the admission front – Early Decision I applications are up nearly 20 percent from last year. And, of all ED admits, about 17 percent are students of color, up from 11 percent last year. The discount rate has increased by a percentage point, which will provide resources to further support need-based aid, particularly important for increasing diversity and recruiting first-generation students.

Bridges recognized the efforts of the Tuition Working Group and reported that the trustees will finish reviewing the proposal and make a decision at the May meeting.

NEWS UPDATE: The $102 million campaign total reported at the staff coffee quickly became old news. As of Thursday, Feb. 23, the total reached $104.4 million, reports John Bogley ’85, vice president for development and college relations.

Fourth annual Global Studies Symposium broadens issues across disciplines

global studies symposium

Whitman students and faculty members took the stage with professors from Princeton University, Vassar College and the University of Notre Dame at the 2011-12 Global Studies Symposium on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Maxey Auditorium. The theme was “Places/Peripheries: Intersections of the Global and the Local.”

In his opening remarks, Associate Professor of Politics and Director of the Global Studies Initiative Bruce Magnusson said, “One of the purposes of the Global Studies Initiative is to broaden awareness of global issues across disciplines… and to help us understand complex global phenomenon. This annual symposium is an opportunity to do just that: take a global theme; bring the expertise of visiting scholars, faculty and students from a variety of perspectives to bear on that theme; and then open the discussion to the broader Whitman community.”

Visiting professors included Simon Gikandi, Robert Schirmer professor of English at Princeton University; Himadeep Muppidi, associate professor of political science on the Betty Goff Cook Cartwright Chair in international studies at Vassar College; and Carolyn Nordstrom, professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Hannah Johnson ’12, Daria Reaven ’12 and Hari Raghavan ’13 presented student responses. Lynn Sharp, associate professor of history; and Nicole Simek associate professor of foreign languages and literatures (French) and general studies, presented commentaries on the panel.

“I’m so glad I did it,” Raghavan said after the symposium, adding that he learned that “no one view of globalism is wholly correct. I think the most that each of us as individuals can do is cast sideways glances at it, and I think that’s what most important to recognize. In the future, if we want to address some of the problems posed, we have to adopt this interdisciplinary approach where we incorporate each of these perspectives.”

Gikandi and Himadeep said they enjoyed the “freshness” of student perspectives.

“It was quite impressive, because they’re so engaged with all these issues,” Gikandi said. “They take these issues seriously. I found myself learning from them. They’re not trying to use this kind of forum to facilitate their own networking skills and strategies. …We go to symposiums where you hear stuff which is so familiar and rehearsed, so when you hear students coming from their own experiences and interests, that’s wonderful.”

Faculty News Briefs

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, associate professor of politics, wrote an article, titled “What Would Great-Grandma Eat,” that was published in The Chronicle Review, Feb. 26, 2012. The article addresses the “shortcomings of our industrial food system” and complements his new book, White Bread. “I wrote a book about ultrasoft, mass-produced sliced white bread because I wanted to understand America's fraught relationship to industrial eating in all its contradictory ferment….what I found was that America's love-hate relationship with this fluffy stuff has been wrapped up in a series of much larger questions about who we are as a nation, how we understand progress, how we envision America's role in the world, what we believe counts as responsible citizenship, and, ultimately, how we relate to each other across our differences,” he writes in the article. Click here to read the article.

Amy Dodds

Amy Dodds, adjunct assistant professor of music, reports that three of her chamber music students, a string trio, recently volunteered to play at an Autism Awareness benefit at Jacobi’s Restaurant. The students were Ryan Jacobsen ’15, violin, Katri Gilbert ’13, viola and Robin Miller ’12, cello.  “I try to provide my students with opportunities to connect with our community on a regular basis, and I am proud of them for doing so,” Dodds says. The students performed works by Haydn and Mozart for the benefit. Music students are also scheduled to perform at an upcoming concert at Wheatland Village Retirement Community. “I have found that many folks at some of these places were in regular attendance at Whitman concerts for years, so it is nice to be able to bring the music to them when they can no longer travel easily,” she says.

Matt Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds, assistant professor of art history and visual culture studies, reports that his article titled “A Glamorous Gentrification: Public Art and Urban Redevelopment in Hollywood, California,” appears in the current issue of The Journal of Urban Design published by Routledge. The essay explores how public art projects are used to brand urban space in Hollywood by reinforcing the city’s historical connection to the film industry and the often unintended social consequences of this branding.

Robert Sickels, professor of film and media studies, reports that Sterling Hallard Bright Drake, the short film he and student Zack Ellenbogen ’12 made last summer with a Perry film posterGrant, will screen at several upcoming film festivals. The film recently screened at the Dam Short Film Festival in Boulder City, Nev., and again last weekend at the Big Muddy Film Festival based at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. It will make its world premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, Calif. in Over Land, Over Sea, a shorts program with a “distinctly international flavor.” Sickels and Ellenbogen, a rhetoric and media studies major, will attend the screenings.

Nohemy Solórzano-Thompson, associate professor of Spanish, reports on two trips and the recent publication of a co-authored essay in the newly published Dictionary of Latin American Cultural Studies (University Press of Florida, 2012). The essay presents the etymology and scholarly usage of the term “identity,” along with a discussion of the relevant contributions by intellectuals and scholars. solorzano-thompson groupOriginally published in Spanish by the Mexican think tank Instituto Mora, the book is the first to focus on the significance of cultural studies concepts in Latin America. Early this month, Solórzano-Thompson was invited to Kenyon College as a guest lecturer for a transnational feminisms course, and delivered a public lecture about a documentary on the murders of young women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She also recently participated in a planning meeting for the Association for Jotería Arts, Activism, and Scholarship at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas. The organization emerges from the Joto Caucus of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, at group that formally recognized Solórzano-Thompson’s contributions to the field in 2008 when she was named a “Madrina” (Godmother) at the 15th Year Anniversary of the Caucus.
Pictured: AJAAS meeting at UNLV (Solórzano-Thompson appears on the lower left corner)

Staff Profile: Colleen Mitchell ’11
Evaluator and Registration Assistant

Colleen Mitchell

  • Birthplace: Crystal Lake, Ill. (about an hour northwest of Chicago)
  • Education: B.A. in art, Whitman College, Class of 2011
  • Years at Whitman: Four years as a student, and almost seven months as a staff member.
  • Favorite… I fail at picking just one thing! So, in alphabetical order…
    • Film: Fantasia, Funny Girl, Raiders of the Lost Ark
    • Book: The Hobbit, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Small Gods
    • Play: “Antigone” (the Anouilh version), “Les Miserables,” “Our Town”
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: Three Stories. I really had no idea what I was doing at the end of high school, besides that I wanted to go to college far away, so I applied to Whitman largely because of a picture of Three Stories, the fish sculpture in front of the library, that was featured on an Admissions pamphlet. I’m still quite fond of the fish.
  • Best travel experience: Driving out to Whitman from Illinois during the summer of 2009 with my family – we went through the Black Hills and Badlands in South Dakota and stayed at Yellowstone National Park for a few days along the way. You really don’t appreciate how ridiculously huge this country is until you’ve driven through a large chunk of it. I couldn’t help but marvel at everything.
  • Interests/pleasures: Almost all things artsy, musical, and baking-related. And more – the list constantly expands.
  • Recent accomplishment: Graduating, perhaps? Being ahead of schedule on my student loan payments? Making a German Pancake last week? I’m really terrible at setting specific goals, so I figure making it through each day is an accomplishment to be celebrated.
  • What people don’t know about me: I have taken 17 years of piano lessons, 15 years of dance lessons, nine years of horn lessons, and can tell you more than you could possibly want to know about a confusingly varied range of topics, but I still cannot properly blow a bubble in gum.
  • A day in the life/on the job: I hit “snooze” at least three times on my alarm, then groggily stumble out of bed to take a shower, all the while wondering how I got away with going to bed at 2 a.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. as a student. After that, the day gets much better. At work I get to meet new people all the time and help them with all sorts of problems. No two days are exactly the same, and sometimes I even get to make artsy things for work (like our bulletin board in the hallway).
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: The people! And also the weeping cherry trees near the Amphitheater, which usually bloom in late April. And ducklings.
  • What I’ve learned here: Patience and understanding (a work in progress). Whitman seems to attract the most interesting and varied people, and everyone has a backstory that earns them the benefit of the doubt in my book. I am constantly impressed by the strength of character of the people I meet here, and by all the small and surprising ways in which we are similar to one another. It’s a funny old world.
  • Quote: People say far too many interesting, entertaining, and/or profound things all the time to stick with just one quote.


News from the US Postal Service – facility closure will delay mail delivery


Currently, the US Postal Service mail-sort facility that services Walla Walla is located in Pasco. Recently the USPS announced that the Pasco facility is closing, and beginning in May our mail will be processed at the Spokane facility. This is expected to delay most mail delivery by at least one day, possibly three. Campus community members who use USPS for mailings, especially time-sensitive materials, are encouraged to keep this in mind as you plan your production/mailing timetables.

Students request staff and faculty support for volunteer, philanthropy efforts

Faculty and staff are invited to participate in two philanthropic events this weekend, both organized by Whitman sororities. Kappa Alpha Theta will present “Walla Walla’s Best Dance Crew,” a dance competition and fundraiser in support of the local Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A) chapter this Friday. And on Sunday, Kappa Kappa Gamma is teaming up with the Walla Walla Library to host Dr. Seuss Day, a family event aimed at promoting children’s literacy.

“Walla Walla’s Best Dance Crew” takes place Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. Interested faculty and staff can support the effort by buying tickets, donating raffle prizes or making a monetary donation. Tickets are available for purchase now at Book & Game downtown and all this week from noon to 1 p.m. in Reid Campus Center for $5 ($7 at the door). With questions or to make a donation, contact Rachel Tougher ’12 at tougherr@whitman.edu or send her a clearly labeled envelope with your name and contact information via campus mail. Any donated item or monetary donation of more than $50 will be recognized in the event program.

Dr. Seuss Day is an annual celebration of reading that is free and open to the public. Faculty and staff are encouraged to bring their young children and enjoy the festivities. It takes place Sunday, March 4 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center basement and Young Ballroom. Questions? Contact Sara Graham ’14 at grahamsl@whitman.edu.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday 2/28
Lecture: "Digital Dissidents: Inside Egypt's Youth Movement," by O'Donnell Visiting Educator David Wolman, contributing editor to Wired. 7 p.m. in Olin 130.

Wednesday 2/29
Film: Director Bradley Beesley screens his film Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo on campus. Venture behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo in a state with the highest female incarceration rate in the country. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Thursday 3/1
Lecture: “The Lower Snake River: DAMS versus SALMON.” The Environmental Studies Program presents Sam Mace of Save Our Wild Salmon; Steve Hawley, reading from his book, Recovering a Lost River; and Jim Norton, presenting his film, Salmon: Running the Gauntlet. 7 p.m. in Olin 130.

Thursday 3/1 – Sunday 3/4
Theatre: "Hello Failure." Harper Joy Theatre presents a neo-realistic comedy involving seven submarines’ wives, a counterfeit civil war ghost and others. Tickets available now. Performed on the Alexander Stage. For more information and ticket prices click here.

Friday 3/2
Music: The Music Department presents a Faculty Recital with Jackie Wood, piano, and Amy Dodds, violin. Works by Grazyna Bacewicz and Amy Beach. 4 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Tuesday 3/6
Lecture: “All Tomorrow’s Parties: Feminist Optimism and Buddhist Ethics.” The Lecture Series in Asian and Comparative Philosophy presents Amy Donahue, visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Kennesaw State University. Her talk will address the intersection of Buddhist epistemology, ethics and feminism. 6:30 p.m. in Olin 130.

Friday 3/9
Music: The Fridays at Four Recital Series presents Gary Hemenway, jazz piano. 4 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Monday 3/26
Film: “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds.” Award-winning filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Kevin McKiernan presents a screening of his acclaimed film, which delves deeply into U.S. complicity in a human rights disaster in Turkey. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Wednesday 3/28
Film: “Bringing King to China.” Award-winning filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Kevin McKiernan presents a screening of another acclaimed film, which premiered last year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Thursday 3/29
Lecture: The 2012 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture. David Boardman, executive editor and senior vice president of The Seattle Times, delivers the 2012 Hosokawa Lecture. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Tennis (Bratton Tennis Center or outdoor courts, weather permitting)
Friday, March 2 at 4 p.m. – vs. Pacific University

Men’s Baseball (Borleske Stadium)
Saturday, March 3 at 11 a.m. – vs. University of Puget Sound (doubleheader)
Sunday, March 4 at 12 p.m. – vs. University of Puget Sound

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

With fans wearing shorts, sunglasses and baseball caps, it seemed an awful lot like spring Friday afternoon at Borleske Stadium, where Whitman opened a four-game series with Eastern Connecticut. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff Coffee Recap
Global Studies Symposium
Faculty News Briefs
Staff Profile
USPS Facility Closure
Student, Staff and Faculty Philanthropy
Coming Events
Athletic Events
Parting Shot

Past issues
The Fountain

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: Gillian Frew. Managing Editor: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain