April 29, 2013

Volume 7, Issue 36 April 29, 2013
The Fountain

Three cheers for TEDxWhitmanCollege!

Justin Lincoln, assistant professor of art, addressed “Educating to Create.” His talk explored how education in the arts might challenge a culture of increasing standardization and intellectual conformity.

After months of planning and anticipation by organizers and participants, the inaugural TEDxWhitmanCollege event debuted last Saturday, April 27, to a sold-out audience. Tickets for the live event in Kimball Theatre sold out within hours of going on sale; by Friday, tickets for both live streaming venues on campus had also sold out.

Modeled on the acclaimed TEDTalks format, Whitman’s TEDx event featured talks and performances by seven speakers, including a Whitman faculty member, two students and an alumna, as well as members of the Walla Walla community. Their topics ranged from art education to RAPtivism and aquaponics to herpetology.

“After the event, I watched from the Hunter lobby as our last two speakers, Jordan Benjamin ’13 and Theo Ciszewski '15, were surrounded by Whitman and community folks vying for their attention, their energy, and their ideas – and I realized that this was exactly as we imagined it,” said Juli Dunn, director of academic resources and one of the event’s lead organizers.

If you missed Saturday’s event, don’t worry–video of the talks will be available online in the coming weeks. Watch campus email and The Fountain for more information. For photos, visit the Whitman College Facebook. To view live tweets, check out the Whitman College Twitter.

Hats off to retiring Registrar Ron Urban – party April 30


The staff of the Registrar’s Office invites all faculty and staff to a retirement party in honor of Ron Urban, who is leaving Whitman on June 30 after serving the college for 28 years. Join in the celebration of his many accomplishments and good spirit. The staff will share the funny stories they have stored away for this occasion. Refreshments will be served. The party takes place Tuesday, April 30, 3-5 p.m. at the Baker Faculty Center.

Environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben speaks on campus today


Acclaimed environmental writer and activist Bill McKibben will address “350: The Most Important Number in the World,” at Whitman today, Monday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. The title of his talk refers to the number of parts-per-million of CO2 in the atmosphere that scientists believe is the safe upper limit to avoid a climate “tipping point.”

Called “the planet’s best green journalist” by Time Magazine, McKibben is the founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, and the author of “The End of Nature” (1989), which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change.

For more information about this event, click HERE. To learn more about McKibben, visit his website.

Whitman welcomes alumnus Jonathan Sposato ’89 for talk on entrepreneurship May 6


Staff and faculty are invited to attend this year’s William M. Allen-Boeing Lecture, presented by Jonathan Sposato ’89 next Monday, May 6 at 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre (Hunter Conservatory). His talk is titled “Everything I learned in Business, I Learned Owning a Bar.” The Boeing Lecture was established to bring corporate leaders in the fields of industry, finance, technology and manufacturing to campus to share their knowledge of business.

A Whitman politics major and lacrosse player, Sposato is chairman of Geekwire LLC, a news site that reports on technology. He also has led several tech companies and worked for Microsoft and Microsoft Game Studios. His talk will explore the themes of scaling internet business to millions of users while hiring strong teams and maintaining the correct balance for gender appeal of end-user facing products.

For more information about this event, click HERE. To learn more about Sposato, visit his Vizify page.

“Upcycled!” exhibit features sustainability-oriented creativity


Last week, the creative talents of sustainability-minded staff, faculty, family and friends were on display in the “Upcycled” exhibit in Memorial. The display showcased the creative reuse of old items that might otherwise have wound up in landfills. Instead, they have been transformed into useful and decorative items. Among them: vases and drink cups made from glass jars and bottles, a woven basket made from folded magazine pages and a decorative wreath made from wine bottle corks.

“Upcycled” was organized by Tana Park, sponsored program coordinator; Ariga Grigoryan, administrative assistant for the dean of students; and Becci Moore, administrative assistant for development. All three also contributed items to the exhibit.


Other staff and faculty exhibitors were Dan Park, Machelle Hartmann, Sadie Knott, Kellie Emigh, Ruth Ladderud, Lore Fauver, Rachna Sinnott and Bob Carson. The family members and friends who displayed items were Samantha Manierre-Kofler ’05 (niece of Nancy Jungmann), Katie Harvey (daughter of Peter Harvey) and Amanda Randall (friend of Machelle Hartman).
“I have heard several positive comments about the exhibit. I think people really appreciated the creativity of people who ‘upcycle’ and make pretty and useful things out of random materials,” said Rachna Sinnott, director of foundation and corporate relations and chair of Whitman’s Sustainability Advisory Committee. “Our goal for the ‘Upcycled’ exhibit, as well as for the sustainable campus and landscape tours that were held this month, was to develop educational events for faculty/staff for Earth Month, in order to raise awareness of what we are doing on campus in the area of sustainability. Based on feedback I’ve received, I think we succeeded.”

Save the Date: Annual End of the Year Faculty Reception is May 7

Faculty and staff reception invite

All staff and faculty are invited to attend the annual reception celebrating the close of the academic year. It takes place next Tuesday, May 7, 4-6 p.m. in Cordiner Hall Foyer. In addition to the announcement of the 2013 Faculty Awards and Alumni Association Faculty Award for Service, the reception will honor retiring staff members Ron Urban, registrar, and Sally Hooker, associate to the provost and dean of faculty. Also being honored for 25 years of service to the college is Roberta Davidson, professor of English.

Faculty news briefs

Madelyn Peterson ’13 (left) and Janis Breckenridge

Janis Breckenridge, associate professor of Spanish, and Madelyn Peterson ’13, a politics/environmental studies major, recently presented their collaborative research at the 8th Annual Spanish Matters Colloquium at the University of Puget Sound (part of the NW5 Consortium). Their session, titled “Envisioning Equality: Drawing Upon Childhood Memories in Lila Quintero Weaver’s Darkroom,” focused on visual representations of race and ethnicity in a graphic memoir chronicling an Argentine girl’s coming-of-age in rural Alabama in the 1960s. Prof. Breckenridge discussed the interaction of text and image to depict immigrant identity in the graphic novel, while Peterson analyzed visual and textual strategies for presenting racial tension and prejudice during the civil rights movement. Their collaborative project has been generously supported by the Adam Dublin Award for the Study of Global Multiculturalism.

From left: Fred Tomlin ’13, Frank Dunnivant, Mark Juhasz, Devan Courtois ’13, Steve Hughes, Tim Machonkin, Tyler Hurlburt ’13, Stephanie Steiner ’13, Paul Chang ’13 and Jeremy Schofield ’14.

Mark Juhasz, assistant professor of chemistry, along with four fellow faculty members and six students from his department recently attended the 2013 Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, La. Professors Nathan Boland, Frank Dunnivant, Steve Hughes and Tim Machonkin joined 15,000 other chemists from around the world to share research. Students Paul Chang ’13, David Courtois ’13, Tyler Hurlburt ’13, Jeremy Schofield ’14, Stephanie Steiner ’13 and Fred Tomlin ’13, all chemistry or BBMB majors, presented research posters. Steiner and Tomlin, who work in Prof. Marion Götz’s lab, won the Chemistry Ambassadors “Speak Simply” contest after sharing an eloquent description of their research to former ACS president, E. Ann Nalley.


Kevin Pogue, professor of geology, was featured in an April 25 New York Times article written by Eric Asimov, who recently visited Whitman. Asimov writes: “Nobody would call Kevin Pogue a rock star, but in the smallish world of the Washington wine industry, few would dispute that he is Dr. Rock.” The article showcases Pogue’s expertise in the terroir of Washington State.

Click HERE to read the Times article.

Tibetan monks to construct sand mandala in Reid this week


The Whitman Events Board (WEB) invites all faculty and staff to participate in a week of events and activities accompanying the construction of a sand mandala in Reid Campus Center. Monks from the nonprofit group the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation will be on campus to build the mandala over the course of the week and then dismantle it. In Tibetan Buddhism, a mandala represents the dwelling place of a deity, and is used as a tool to develop creative potential and psychic wholeness.

WEB will also host a public lecture on Wednesday, May 1, during which the organization’s executive director, Karma Tensum, will provide a personal account of his escape from Tibet.

Questions? Send an email to culturalevents@whitman.edu.

Walla Walla U invites Whitman community to lecture exploring morals and competition

Walla Walla University welcomes Sharon Stoll, Ph.D. as its 2013 Distinguished Scholar Lecture titled, "Gaining an Advantage: Moral or Immoral Activity in the Competitive Arena?"

Dr. Stoll is the director for the Center of ETHICS* and professor of movement sciences at the University of Idaho- Moscow. She is one of America’s top scholars in the area of competitive moral education intervention techniques for college-aged students. She has published eight books, including “Who Says It's Cheating?” and "Sports Ethics: Applications for Fair Play," and has served as a consultant for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, the Idaho Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the President's Commission of the NCAA. The lecture takes place Sunday, May 5, at 6 p.m., Melvin K West Fine Arts Center Auditorium, Walla Walla University. 

For more information, visit click here.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Music: See all upcoming music events here.

Monday 4/29
Lecture: "Framing a Collective Gay Legal Identity: The Lasting Impact of Lawrence v. Texas.” A talk by 2013 David Nord Award Recipient Dana Boesch ’13, sponsored by the David Nord Endowment and Whitman College GLBTQ. 5 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Monday 4/29
Lecture: "350: The Most Important Number in the World." A talk by Bill McKibben, environmentalist, author and journalist specializing in climate change. 350 is the number of parts-per-million of CO2 in the atmosphere that scientists believe to be the safe super limit to avoid a climate tipping point. 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Tuesday 4/30
Lecture: "How I Stole Warren Buffet’s Wallet: Practical Strategies for Investing.” A talk by Hilla Skiba, assistant professor of finance at the University of Wyoming. She is a leading expert in the field of behavioral finance whose research has appeared The Wall Street Journal. Noon in Reid Campus Center Room G02. Lunch provided.

Tuesday 4/30
Lecture: "Faithiest: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious.”  Author and interfaith activist Chris Stedman discusses his work as a queer atheist working to foster positive and productive dialogue and collaborative action between faith communities and the non-religious. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Wednesday 5/1
Lecture: "Leith Races.” A talk by Sharon Alker, associate professor of English, on the poem by Robert Fergusson. Part of the English department’s Faculty Wednesday Night Lecture and Discussion series, made possible by a grant from the Teagle Foundation. 7 p.m. in Olin 221. Reception to follow.

Wednesday 5/1
Lecture: "Pain and Progress in Exile: A Refugee’s Story.” A personal account by Karma Tensum, executive director of the Tibetan Children’s Education Foundation, on his own journey from a nomadic tent in Tibet, escape across the Himalayas in childhood, life in exile in India, the miracles of education and more. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Thursday 5/2 to Sunday 5/5 (with repeat performances during Commencement Weekend)
Theatre: “Floyd Collins (The Musical).” Based on true events, HJT presents the spellbinding musical that tells the story of Collins, a man who becomes trapped while exploring a cave in Kentucky in 1925 and sets off a media circus. Tickets available starting April 19. For tickets and information, call x5180 or click here.

Thursday 5/2
VWRS: Whitman Reading. The Visiting Writers Reading Series presents a reading by Whitman creative writing students, who will present samples of their own work. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.  

Saturday 5/4
Lecture: "I Love You Man: Friendship and Brotherhood Across Sexual Orientations.” A talk by 2013 David Nord Award Recipient Maikor Pereira Azuaje ’14, sponsored by the David Nord Endowment and Whitman College GLBTQ. 2 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Monday 5/6
Lecture: "Everything I learned in Business I Learned Owning a Bar.” Entrepreneur and Geekwire LLC chairman Jonathan Sposato ’89 delivers the 2013 William M. Allen-Boeing Lecture. His presentation explores themes of scaling internet business to millions of users while hiring strong teams and maintaining the correct balance for gender appeal of end-user facing products. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Saturday 5/18
Music: "Lux Aeterna.” Honorary degree recipient and composer Morten Lauridsen ’65 discusses his highly acclaimed choral work, composed of five movements set to various Latin texts about light. Performance to follow by the Whitman College Chorale, conducted by Jeremy Mims, with organist Melissa Loehnig ’05. 11 a.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Saturday 5/18
Baccalaureate: Welcome by President Bridges; remarks by Adam Kirtley, Ron Urban and Kendra Golden as well as student speakers and musicians. 2:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. For details, visit the Commencement website.

Saturday 5/18
Lecture: "From Monty Python to Spamalot: A Discussion with Eric Idle.” English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer, composer and 2013 Whitman College Commencement Speaker Eric Idle discusses his career and takes questions from the audience. 4 p.m. in Cordiner Hall, immediately following Baccalaureate.

Sunday, 5/19
Commencement: Featuring commencement speaker Eric Idle, playwright of the Broadway musical “Spamalot,” and senior class speaker Cornelis Adrianu T. Knook ’13. 11 a.m. on Memorial Building South Lawn. Light luncheon to follow. For details, visit the Commencement website.

Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Tennis (Bratton Tennis Center or outdoor courts, weather permitting)
Sunday, May 5 at noon vs. Lewis-Clark State College

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Will Erickson '16 (top) and Robby Dorn '16 took advantage of the summer-like temperatures to hoist the hammocks and get their reading done on Ankeny last Friday. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Retirement Party
McKibben Lecture
Sposato Lecture
Faculty Reception
Faculty News Briefs
Sand Mandala
Walla Walla U Lecture
Campus 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