January 7, 2013

Volume 7, Issue 20 January 7, 2013
The Fountain

How will the “fiscal cliff” legislation affect you?

The Office of Human Resources provides the following information to help break down the complexities of the “fiscal cliff” legislation. Telara McCullough, manager of compensation and benefits, reports on changes to Social Security/FICA and Medicare deductions:

Beginning with your January 2013 paycheck, you will see increased deductions, meaning more money will be taken out.

On Jan. 1, 2013, Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8). While the legislation addresses an array of fiscal issues, it does not include an extension of the 2 percent payroll tax cut of the Social Security (FICA) employee tax. The two percent FICA tax cut was originally enacted in 2010 and extended through 2012.

Social Security FICA tax deductions will go up, effective with the January 2013 payroll. The employee-paid portion of the Social Security FICA tax will increase on all wage earners from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) increased to $113,700 from $110,100 as of January 2013. The portion of the tax paid by employers remained at 6.2 percent of employee wages, for a total Social Security FICA tax of 12.4 percent.

Also, the Medicare tax will rise for higher earners. Unlike Social Security, the amount of compensation subject to the 1.45 percent Medicare FICA tax is uncapped. However, in 2013, for those single tax-payers whose income is above $200,000 and for married joint filers whose combined annual income exceeds $250,000, the Medicare tax rate rises to 2.35 percent under a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

If you have any questions, call or email Human Resources – x5941 or mcculltl@whitman.edu.

Whitman hosts week-long celebration of MLK Jr.

Whitman will celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with a week of activities Jan. 21-25 aimed at engaging the campus and community. Featured events range from a public lecture by Rebecca Walker, acclaimed author and daughter of Alice Walker (“The Color Purple”), to a performance by Seattle hip-hop artist and social justice advocate International Mo B.

“This year, MLK celebrations are spread across five days of programing,” says Matt Ozuna ’10, interim director of the Intercultural Center. “Student leaders—as well as myself—are hoping for increased interest and participation in these new, bold, and engaging MLK events for both the Walla Walla and Whitman communities.”

Click HERE for more information and to access the full schedule of events.

“Whitman Teaches the Movement” returns for second year in Walla Walla Public Schools

Whitman will again be partnering with the Walla Walla Public School district and Southern Poverty Law Center this year to present the civil rights education project Whitman Teaches the Movement.

The project provides opportunities for Whitman students to teach age-appropriate lessons about the Civil Rights Movement to students in grades 2, 5, 7 and 11. Teaching days will be between Jan. 22 and Feb. 1.

For a list of upcoming events related to Whitman Teaches the Movement, see Campus Events.

Faculty news brief

James Winchell

James Winchell, adjunct assistant professor of foreign languages, recently published a new article in Tablet Magazine, titled: "'Speed'" Levitch, Neo-Hasid." The article explores the character of Timothy “Speed” Levitch, a philosopher-tourguide who stars as himself on the Hulu-produced, online travelogue series, “Up to Speed.” Winchell focuses on Levitch's freely-associative, eclectic personality as well as the relationship between his “psyche, his viewers, and the urban-symbolic mythos that humans construct in cities.” See the article at: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/120684/speed-levitch-neo-hasid/.

Staff Profile: Krista Meyer
Administrative Assistant for the President’s Office

Krista Meyer

Birthplace: Walnut Creek, Calif.

Education: B.S. Communications. It is real, but always good for a chuckle :-)

Years at Whitman: 1.5

Favorite film: Grease (the first one was the best!)

Favorite sculpture on campus: Styx amazes me how bronze can look like driftwood!

Best travel experience: With my family on the road.  We have great tunes, visit some great places and have great times together!

Interests/pleasures: I love to sing, play cribbage, ski, and spend time with my kids.

Favorite aspect of Whitman: The people here are great!  Always kind, smiling and have good conversation.

Favorite quote:  Que Sera, Sera (Whatever will be, will be), a popular song written by Jay Livingson and Ray Evans in 1956.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

MUSIC: See all upcoming music events here.

Tuesday 1/15
Lecture: “Innocent on Death Row.” A lecture by human rights activist Victoria Thorpe, sister of death row inmate Kerry Lyn Dalton and author of “Cages.” 7 p.m. in Olin 130.

Thursday 1/17
Lecture: “Harassing the Harassers: Police Surveillance in Birmingham, 1961-63.” A presentation by Professor Bob Withycombe. 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall Foyer.

Monday 1/21
Candlelight March: Join the annual peace march in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., as Whitman commemorates the holiday with a week of campus activities. March departs at 4 p.m. from Reid Campus Center foyer and continues downtown where a brief ceremony will be held before returning to campus for a post-march reception in Reid Coffeehouse. Warm beverages and refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday 1/22
Faculty Panel: “What Does It Mean to Teach Civil Rights in Walla Walla in 2013?” Professors Lisa UddinCatherine Veninga and Erin Pahlke discuss the implications of this question for Whitman Teaches the Movement through the lens of faculty research. Moderated by Walla Walla Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Linda Boggs. 7 p.m. in Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom B.

Wednesday 1/23
Lecture: “The Legacy of Dr. King.” Writer, feminist and intellectual Rebecca Walker speaks on issues of race, gender, sexuality and power. Daughter of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker ("The Color Purple"), and esteemed civil rights attorney Mel Leventhal, her memoirs include The New York Times Bestseller "Black, White and Jewish" and the critically acclaimed "Baby Love." 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Thursday 1/24
BSU Dinner: Whitman’s Black Student Union hosts the annual Soul Food Night in celebration of African American culture and cuisine. 5:30 p.m. in Prentiss Dining Hall. A flash mob/dance routine will encourage audience participation while honoring First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" initiative to combat childhood obesity. Posters of prominent black leaders will also be hung throughout the dining hall.

Friday 1/25
Music: “Impeach the President, Long Live the King.” A hip-hop concert featuring Seattle artist International Mo B. with a guest appearance by Warm Gun. International Mo B. recently released a new album in tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., and his core belief in social justice. Tickets are limited with first priority to students and a select number available to faculty and staff. Tickets available free of charge in Reid Foyer on days prior to event. 8 p.m. in Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom.

Thursday 1/31
VWRS: The Visiting Writers Reading Series presents a reading by Johanna Stoberock, novelist and adjunct assistant professor of English. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

The last rays of the setting sun illuminate the winter clouds over Memorial recently. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Fiscal Cliff
MLK Jr. Week
Whitman Teaches the Movement
Faculty News Brief
Staff Profile
Campus 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