January 13, 2014

Volume 8 | Issue 19 | January 13, 2014

Faculty News Brief

Associate Professor and Chair of History John D. Cotts just received an award for his second book, “Europe’s Long Twelfth Century.” Cotts’ book was named an Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 by “Choice,” the magazine of the American Library Association. “Choice” subject editors select the winners based on several criteria, including their scholarly quality, their relevance to other literature in the field, their originality and their value to undergraduate students. The list is published every January and this year includes 663 titles in 54 disciplines and subsections.

“Choice” says of Cotts’ book: “Well written and clearly argued, this excellent survey of the 12th century should be on every undergraduate medieval history reading list.”

Tips for avoiding the winter flu from the Welty Health Center

It’s winter time again and with it comes the flu bug. Influenza is spread through air droplets, usually from an infected person coughing or sneezing. But the virus may also be transmitted from surfaces such as door knobs, faucets and counters.

We at the Welty Student Health Center encourage you to protect yourself and those around you. A few simple measures can help you resist the virus, making Whitman College a healthier environment.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you have not received a flu vaccine, it is still possible and advisable. Vaccinations are available at many pharmacies in town and at the Walla Walla Public Health Department.

If you do develop flu-like symptoms (fever, body aches, and fatigue):

  • Isolate yourself from others if you are ill, even if that means missing class or work. (Students may be assessed at the Welty Health Center.)
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.
  • See a medical provider if your symptoms worsen.

For more information, go to www.cdc.gov or contact the Welty Student Health Center (x5295).

Whitman Wellness
Contributed by Fitness Facilities Director Michele Hanford

Remember to sign up for Movement that Matters classes.

Healthy Guts 101

Water cooler talk aside, standing around and talking about digestion is not always the most delicate of conversations, and most of us prefer not to talk about it – at least not out loud!

However, if you consider the fact that approximately 92 to 97 percent of the nutrients we consume are absorbed through the intestinal walls/tract, it may not be discussion-worthy, but it’s most definitely noteworthy for continued health and wellness.

The absorption of nutrition from our food takes place in the “treads” or cells that line the small intestine. Think of them as little brushes with thousands of tightly-packed bristles that project into the gut tunnel or lumen (picture your intestines sort of like big truck tires that have been turned inside out) and that form a brush border that absorbs nutrients and protects the body from intestinal bacteria.

When these brushes (or treads) get “stuck up with gunk,” they become less efficient at their job. Then your food (and the great potential of those nutrients) can “spin out,” making your guts less effective. Often it is this “need to be clean” that causes those things which we don’t like to discuss!

The solution is, at a fundamental level, very simple:

  • Eat foods with fiber. The old adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” is in fact quite realistic. The pectin or fiber in apples is a great bristle cleaner. Bran, oats, popcorn, peas, dates, nuts, potatoes, broccoli, carrots – the list is long. If you’re on the go, consider the greatest craze ever, Gummy Fiber! You can also purchase probiotic fiber tablets. The goal is to keep your guts clean as possible.
  • Drink fluids often. Water is great, but keeping moisture in your system helps more then we sometimes remember. Caffeine and alcohol are both dehydrating so consider a replacement cup of water with every 1 or 2 servings of caffeine or alcohol.
  • Consider the pH of your system. Another standby: apple cider vinegar. A teaspoon in some water helps keep your system in balance and also helps to “clean the brushes!”
  • Avoid simple sugar, or limit its intake, to 10% or less of your daily nutrition.
  • Consider probiotics. We’ve all seen the “Activiahhhhhh” commercials, and while I'm not campaigning for this brand of yogurt (almost all yogurts contain probiotics), they can help. Probiotics are live microorganisms that live in your body’s digestive system. Although most of us already contain hundreds of different types of bacteria that are beneficial and necessary to the digestive process, there is research that backs up the use of specific bacteria that help to regulate gastrointestinal conditions (those “non-water cooler” discussions) such as diarrhea, constipation, gas and or inflammatory bowel disease!

Eat well, be well. I hope to see you in class or in the gym!


Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Saturday, Jan. 18
Benefit Dinner. Many displaced Syrians and Syrian refugees are currently without food or shelter in freezing winter weather. 1.1 million are children. The Catholic Social Concerns Ministry is hosting a benefit dinner titled Walla Walla Feeds Syria’s Children on Jan. 18 at St. Patrick’s Church, Blanchet Hall, 408 W. Poplar, from 4 to 7 P.M. in support of this humanitarian crisis. All proceeds will go to UNICEF Syrian Relief. USAID is offering a 4 to 1 match for all donations. Food will be prepared by Syria-born local caterer Antoinette LaRondelle, featuring lamb donated by parishioner Mary Jane Fehrenbacher. Tickets available at the Whitman College Bookstore. Adults $15, Family $40, Children (5-12) $5.

Monday, Jan. 20
Community Event
The Whitman and Walla Walla community is invited to participate in this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. march and candlelight vigil on Jan. 20. Meet in the Reid Campus Center Ballroom (corner of Park St. and Boyer Ave.) at 4 P.M. to begin the march, which will include a vigil and short musical performances at 1st Ave and Main St. The march will return to the Reid Campus Center for a reception at approximately 5:30 P.M. Free and open to the public.

Parting Shot
By Matt Banderas, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Professor of Biology Heidi Dobson and Biology major Ted Younie '14 work together to take cuttings from a "Ficus lyrata" or fiddle leaf fig tree in the foyer of the Hall of Science. The duo are trying several propagation methods for the tropical African tree in hopes of selling some at one of the greenhouse plant sales in the future.

Looking for more photos? Follow Whitman College on Instagram.

Whitman College

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications.
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Editor: Karah Kemmerly
Web Content: Michael Cox
Managing Editor: Daniel Le Ray

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