July 2, 2012

Volume 6, Issue 45 July 2, 2012
The Fountain

What’s up with Lakum Duckum? And what’s the construction at the east side of Mem?

Lakum Duckum

Temporarily, Lakum Duckum is missing a central component – the water. Landscape supervisor Bob Biles ’74 reports that the water has been drained to clean it out and clear out the algae. Here’s the full scoop from Biles:

“There are two primary types of plants that have hit a propagation threshold and have rapidly begun to multiply: string algae and duck weed. That growth mixed with such organic matter as leaves, duck feces, dirt and pollen has resulted in the lake becoming a ‘living stew’ of assorted creatures. The six to 12 inches of muck on the bottom is home all sorts of anaerobic bacteria, which is brewing up some methane gas. If left alone for 10 million years or so, the muck either becomes oil or coal. Who would have thought all of this going on in Lakum Dukum?

“So, we have drained the pond. We removed the six koi/carp and relocated them to the lower pond behind Hunter, and we placed ramps so the little ducks can get out. After the area dries out for a week or so we will scrape all of the ‘goo’ out of the pond basin and haul it to a nearby organic farm. There it will be mixed with some other organic matter and turned into some very nutrient rich compost, which will be used to grow vegetables.

“We are going to experiment with some pond aeration components, which are designed to supply the lake with more oxygen. This will create a more favorable habitat for aerobic bacteria that should help consume much of the organic matter as it begins to build up, hopefully keeping the water clear and clean. 

“In the near future Lakum Duckum again will be a good home for many kinds of creatures, like frogs, turtles, crawdads and, of course, the ducks. It is going to look and smell bad for the next week or so – the pond was last cleaned out 17 years ago this month. At that time, the landscaping was overhauled, and it is when the waterfall and large rocks were placed.”

CALC meetingBiles says the clean-up project is expected to be completed by next week.

Also – the construction on the east side of Mem will result in an enclosure for the aesthetically challenged transformer box as well as for trash, which currently is kept for pick-up under the Mem stairs. The enclosure will feature a brick façade that will replicate the look of Mem.

Campus hosts national liberal arts college IT conference

Lakum Duckum

Last week, Whitman played host to the annual conference of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges (CLAC), an organization composed of many of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges. Its mission is to explore and promote the use of information technology in the service of liberal arts education. Conference attendees included primarily IT professionals but also library staff, faculty and administrators. This year’s theme was “Fermenting Grape Ideas: Transforming Learning in the Liberal Arts.”

“The name plays off of the robust viticultural influence here in the Walla Walla Valley,” says David Sprunger ’96, director of instructional and learning technology. “WCTS was excited to host this year’s conference and get together with our colleagues in an environment where we could work together to ‘ferment’ great ideas.”

A number of Whitman staff members presented at the conference or served as moderators, and many more were involved in the planning process. Sprunger especially thanks Lisa Perfetti, Don Terrio, Joelle Chavre, Mike Osterman ’96, Ronelle Partlow, Rich Hinz, Michael Quiner, student designer Kaity Curry ’14, all WCTS staff, Bon Appétit, the conferences and events staff, and “anyone else who contributed to making the conference a great success.”

For an in-depth look at last week’s proceedings, including photos and a list of keynote speakers, click HERE.

Want publicity and communications support for a public event? Send info early

Even though it’s summer, staff and faculty are asked to look ahead to public events planned for the 2012-13 school year and send event details and information to Gillian Frew ’11, media relations officer, at frewga@whitman.edu.

Helpful hints and considerations for effective event promotion:

    • Consider advertising. If your budget allows, NPR (see below) and the UB provide effective advertising opportunities.
  • Would you like a poster designed and distributed on campus? Advance notice is appreciated.
  • Compile and send in all the details as they become available: who, what, when, where and why. If applicable, also include the sponsor or host of the event, contact information for people who are interested in learning more and price of admission.
  • Provide appropriate photos and/or graphics as well as bios of speakers.

ALSO – Be sure to contact the Conferences and Events Office at x5251 to schedule a facility for your event and get it listed on the Campus Calendar.

For more information about promoting a Whitman event, see the Online User’s Guide.

Using NPR to promote your public events

Promoting your event on Northwest Public Radio is as simple as sending us the time, location and a few details. The broadcaster will play a pre-recorded script on-air with your event information. The standard “package” deal is 10 slots for $125. If you are interested in promoting your event on NPR, please email frewga@whitman.edu or call x4917. 

Please note: If you have advertised on NPR before, you will notice that these rates reflect an increase in price (the first in more than a decade) of $25 per 10 spots. Feel free to contact us with questions.

Staff and faculty news briefs

Paul Apostolidis

Paul Apostolidis, T. Paul Chair of Political Science and director of the State of the State of Washington Latinos, has written an opinion piece for The Seattle Times, published June 30. Titled “Closing the wide gap between Latino population and representation in much of Washington," the piece proposes that “Washington is doing a dismal job of electing Latinos that represent their rapidly growing populations… We can, and should, enact state voting reforms to change that. Apostolidis credits former students Zach Duffy, and Seth Dawson, Ian Warner and Nick Dollar for conducting the research that made this guest op-ed possible. Read the full piece HERE.

Barry Balof

Barry Balof, associate professor of mathematics, recently presented at the 15th International Conference on Fibonacci Numbers and Their Applications in Eger, Hungary. About 100 experts from 20 countries attended the conference. Balof’s talk was titled “Restricted Tilings, Coordination Sequences, and Bijections,” and it involved analyzing different types of combinatorial objects that are counted by the same formula and looking for links between the objects that explain why they have the same formula. The talk also involved some elements from geology. “While the conference was mostly mathematicians, there were also musicians and artists giving talks, so it was quite the ‘liberal arts’ setting,” he reports.

Aaron Bobrow-Strain

Aaron Bobrow-Strain, associate professor of politics, reports that his latest book, "White Bread," has been reviewed by The Atlantic (July/August 2012) and The New York Times, (June 29, 2012).

Brian DoheBrian Dohe, director of annual giving, has been named president of the Exchange Club of Walla Walla. The club announced his new position at a special ceremony last week. The Exchange Club serves the community in a variety of ways, with the central goal of preventing child abuse in the Walla Walla Valley. Dohe shares this piece of Whitman trivia: “The first co-president of Exchange Club in 1949 was John Tuttle, Whitman College Class of 1937.”

Staff changes and transitions

Phil Thompson

Effective July 1 – Promotion: Phil Thompson is now the online content manager, responsible for managing the college’s online presence and contributing to the strategic process of using online vehicles to help advance the mission of the college. He also will lead the transition to and implementation of the new content management system, and he assumes supervisory responsibilities. Reach Thompson at thompsps@whitman.edu.

Michael Cox

Effective July 1 – New appointment: Michael Cox is the online content assistant, responsible for the day-to-day upkeep and maintenance of content on the college website, various ongoing posting duties and supporting the content management system. Cox joined Whitman in a temporary capacity in January and was hired for this position following a search process. Reach Cox at coxmr@whitman.edu.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Mirror, mirror, on the wall: Participants in this year's Summer Dance Lab bend and glide to the rhythm of the music. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Lakum Duckum
Publicity Support
Staff and Faculty News Briefs
Staff Changes and Transitions
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