May 14

Volume 6, Issue 38 May 14, 2012
The Fountain

2012 Faculty Awards recognize outstanding teaching, mentorship

faculty awards 2012
From left: Leena Knight, Don Snow, Tim Machonkin, John Cotts, Jenn Blomme and Sarah Hurlburt received Distinguished Faculty Awards at last week's reception.

Staff and faculty gathered in Cordiner Hall Foyer on May 8 for the Annual End of the Year Faculty Reception and awards presentation. President Bridges thanked the faculty for their many contributions to the intellectual and personal development of Whitman students, and Tim Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty, commended award recipients as well as faculty who have dedicated 25 years to teaching at Whitman.

“This event is a celebration of Whitman College faculty in its entirety,” he said in his comments. “I consider it my extraordinary good fortune to be a member of a faculty for whom my respect and admiration is considerable.”

Kaufman-Osborn also expressed his gratitude to Susan Bennett, senior academic assistant, and Michelle Janning, assistant dean of the faculty, for their efforts in making the event possible.

Distinguished Faculty Awards were presented to:
Leena Knight, assistant professor of biology – Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring and A.E. Lange Award for Distinguished Science Teaching
Jenn Blomme, head swimming coach – George Ball Award for Excellence in Advising
John Cotts, associate professor of history – Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Teaching in Social Sciences
Sarah Hurlburt, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, French – Thomas D. Howells Award for Distinguished Teaching in Humanities and Arts
Tim Machonkin, assistant professor of chemistry – G. Thomas Edwards Award for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship

Other awards and recognition:
Award for 25 years of service:
Bill Bogard, Deburgh Chair of Social Sciences
Tom Davis, associate professor of philosophy
Russ Gordon, professor of mathematics

Award for Distinguished Service to the Alumni Association
Don Snow, senior lecturer of environmental humanities

Award recipients will be acknowledged at Commencement and featured in the printed program.

Staff coffee with the president this Wednesday

staff coffee

All staff members are invited to attend a meeting with President Bridges, Wednesday, May 16 at 8:30 a.m. in Olin 130. The president will address staff regarding the May governing boards meeting, progress on the campaign, and will take questions. Please bring your own cup/mug to help support campus sustainability efforts.

“Movement that Matters” wellness program resumes for summer session

The popular employee wellness program “Movement that Matters” will launch its second session Monday, June 4 and continue for 10 weeks through August 17. Initially developed by the Fringe Benefits Committee to address the fitness needs of staff and faculty, the program was designed and implemented by Michele Hanford, fitness facilities director, and Deb Wright, student accounts manager.

The inaugural session, which ran from January to March, was met with high attendance rates and enthusiasm from participants. Accordingly, Wright reports that the number of classes per week during the summer session has been increased from four to five, with classes still being offered during the lunch hour and after 5 p.m. to accommodate work schedules.

“It’s 50 classes for $40, which is a fantastic value,” she says.

Due to popular demand, core conditioning has added an additional session per week, and yoga and spinning will be offered at the end of the workday. There will be one week during the summer session with no classes (July 2-6) to accommodate vacation schedules.

For a complete schedule and more information about “Movement that Matters,” click HERE.

Staff transitions and changes


Effective May 15 – David Sprunger becomes the new director of instructional and learning technology in WCTS. In his new role he will focus on serving the campus community with technology that supports or enhances student learning and enables excellent teaching. Previously he was the assistant director of multimedia development and services and served as an academic technology consultant to Division II.

Faculty news briefs

mare art
 “Archive:threshold” by Mare Blocker

Mare Blocker, lecturer of art, and Charly Bloomquist, adjunct assistant professor of art, were recently awarded first and second place, respectively, for their entries to the 2012 Open Regional Photography Exhibit at the Pendleton Center for the Arts. The exhibit is a juried show held bi-annually in Pendleton.

mare art
 “Fire” by Charly Bloomquist

The title of Blocker’s piece is “Archive:threshold,” achieved through non-traditional photographic processes from the studio of Charly Bloomquist, hand-stitched and pierced paper drawings and archived in a series of 10 Artists’ Books. An online digital, print on demand version of the book will be available later this year. Bloomquist’s art work is titled “Fire," from the Domestic Debris series, and is a digital scan that was printed at a very high resolution, 18 inches square.

vandiverElizabeth Vandiver, Clement Biddle Penrose Associate Professor of Latin and Classics, is spending six weeks at Oxford University as an academic visitor in Classics. She is working on completing two articles on Classics and First World War poetry and will give a lecture at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies on May 21. The lecture is titled “Wandering through Eliot’s Waste Land: Richard Aldington’s A Fool i' the Forest (1925) and the Appropriation of Ancient Epic, Tragedy, and Comedy." She has also been invited to be the American representative on the organizing committee of the English Association’s British Poetry of the First World War: Centenary Conference, to be held at Wadham College, Oxford, in September 2014.

Class of 1962 returns to celebrate 50th reunion

Campus community members are encouraged to join the Alumni Office in welcoming members of the Class of 1962 back to Whitman on the occasion of their 50th Reunion. Festivities begin on Thursday, May 17 and end with the members of the class marching in the Commencement processional. To view the schedule of events and the list of attendees, go to

PARKING NOTE:  Due to activities scheduled at Baker Faculty Center, the driveway will be closed Friday, May 18.

Join “Whitman Reads” summer reading program at the public library

Interested staff and faculty are invited to sign up to lead a session in “Whitman Reads,” a summer enrichment program for kids grades K-5 who are part of the YWCA Summer Program. Each session will take place on a Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Walla Walla Public Library and will also be open to the public. Options for “Whitman Reads” include reading a favorite kid’s book or two, bringing in something fun for show-and-tell, introducing a hobby, career, or language – anything that will be interesting for kids. You can also coordinate something with a colleague or friend. Dates are as follows: June 21, June 28, July 12, July 19, July 26, Aug 2, Aug 9 and Aug 16.

For more information or to reserve a date this summer, contact Mary Burt, HHMI Science Outreach Coordinator, at

Balloon Launch on Ankeny
Courtesy of Cara Lowry ’12, The Whitman Pioneer

faculty awards 2012

Whitties braved the brisk morning air in the middle of the spring finals week to watch a hot air balloon launch from Ankeny Field on Friday, May 11. One of several that morning, the launch kicked off Walla Walla's 38th Annual Balloon Stampede.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday, 5/15
Music: The Department of Music presents an alumni recital with Marla Nelson, piano; Nathan Shiu, McKenna Milici and Michael Blackwood, voice. 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Wednesday, 5/16
Staff Coffee: President Bridges will address staff regarding the May Governing Boards meeting and progress on the campaign, and he will take questions. Coffee and light refreshments provided. 8:30 a.m. in Olin 130.

Saturday, 5/19
Reading: Commencement Speaker Eric Schlosser delivers a short reading from his New York Times best-selling book Fast Food Nation. Moderated by Aaron Bobrow-Strain. 4:30 p.m. in Reid Campus Center’s Young Ballroom.

Saturday, 5/19
Baccalaureate: Welcome by President Bridges; speeches by Adam Kirtley, Patrick Frierson, Rich Jacks; student presenters and musicians. 3:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Sunday, 5/20
Commencement: With Commencement speaker Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation,” and senior class speaker Matt Dittrich ’12. 11 a.m. on Memorial Building South Lawn. Light luncheon to follow. Visit the Commencement website for all details.

Save the Date
Staff Appreciation Day: Friday, June 1. Watch The Fountain and campus email for details.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Last week Whitties were asked to finish the sentence “Faith is ...” in front of Penrose library. Free ice cream sweetened the invitation. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Faculty Awards
Coffee with the President
Movement that Matters
Staff transitions and changes
Faculty News Briefs
Class of 1962
Whitman Reads
Balloon Launch on Ankeny
Campus Events
Parting Shot

Past issues
The Fountain

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