April 9

Volume 6, Issue 33 April 9, 2012
The Fountain

Reminder: Whitman Undergraduate Conference is tomorrow

The 14th annual Whitman Undergraduate Conference takes place Tuesday, April 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in venues across campus. Visit the conference website for details on locations and presenters. The conference showcases the scholarship and creativity of Whitman students, who become instructors for a day. The full day of student presentations will explore topics that reflect every academic area of the college. Students present the original work they have produced in their courses, senior theses, summer internships and study abroad. Topics this year range from “Sesame Street” in South Africa and a study of ancient rivers in Eastern Washington, to the Australian lungfish genome and an analysis of the consumption patterns of Starbucks customers. An all-campus lunch will be available at noon in Reid.


Call for nominations: staff, faculty and student awards

Staff and faculty are invited to submit nominations for the following upcoming awards: The Suzanne Martin Award, The Graham and Willoughby Awards, the Delta Gamma-Hattie Fry Award and the Janice Abraham Award. Nominations are due by Monday, April 23 for all awards except the Janice Abraham Award, for which the deadline is Friday, May 4. Detailed information on the criteria can be found in an email sent by Donna Cummins, assistant to the dean of students on April 4.

The Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring honors former faculty member and Associate Dean of Students Suzanne Martin. It will be awarded to a staff or faculty member in recognition of his or her achievement in mentoring and for extraordinary engagement in the Whitman community. Nominations should be submitted to Clare Carson, associate dean of students, at carsonc@whitman.edu.

The Robert W. Graham and Colleen Seidelhuber Willoughby Awards for Excellence in Student Leadership and the Delta Gamma-Hattie Fry Award recognize outstanding graduating seniors. The former recognize one male and one female student who have contributed to the campus as student leaders, while the latter will be awarded to a student in the Greek System who has demonstrated strong character and leadership skills. Nominations for these awards are due to Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students: student programs and activities, at maxwelba@whitman.edu.

The Janice Abraham Award is named for former Whitman treasurer and CFO Janice Abraham and celebrates staff members who have gone above and beyond job expectations, brought forward creative and innovative ideas, promoted the philosophy of "customer service" and contributed to excellence at Whitman College. Direct nominations to Mary Luckstead, administrative assistant for human resources, at luckstd@whitman.edu.


Announcing the 2012 Green Commute Challenge

Once again, Whitman’s Sustainability Advisory Committee is organizing a friendly campus-wide Green Commute Challenge in honor of Earth Day, April 22. During the week of April 16-20, staff and faculty are encouraged to commute to and from work using environmentally-friendly modes of transportation. These include bike, bus, walking, carpool, scooters, etc.

Participants will compete as part of a departmental team. Everyone will receive an email with a link to the Green Commute Challenge survey to record their method of travel to and from work during the week of April 16-20. The winning department (the one with the greatest number of green commuting trips) will receive an ice-cream party courtesy of the President’s Office. Several randomly-chosen participants will receive fabulous prizes.

Whitman’s Green Commute Challenge is part of a larger community-wide Earth Day challenge. The college will be competing with other local organizations to see who has the best Green Travel program.

The competition begins April 16. Questions? Contact Rachna Sinnott, Chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, at sinnotrs@whitman.edu.


Faculty news briefs

Matthew Fox, adjunct assistant professor of general studies, reports the publication of his new book, a verse translation of Lucan’s Civil War, a Latin epic poem dating to the 1st century CE. It portrays the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great which ended the Roman Republic. Fox’s book was released in February as part of the Penguin Classics series, and replaces the prose rendition by Robert Graves that Penguin published in the 1950s. In a review of the publication, The New Republic wrote that “Fox’s approach renders Lucan’s pithy aphorisms and paradoxes especially well” and that his translation style gives modern readers “a sense of the forward momentum that is such a powerful feature of the original.” Civil War is available for purchase online now and will be available soon in the Whitman Bookstore.

Helen Knowles, visiting assistant professor of politics, was recently quoted in a front page article in The New York Times about health care reform. Headlined “In Health Case, Appeals to a Justice’s Idea of Liberty,” the article analyzes the likelihood that Justice Anthony Kennedy will vote to uphold the constitutionality of the health care reform law currently before the Supreme Court. Knowles told the Times she doesn’t think Kennedy yet knows how he is going to vote, adding, “When you think about liberty relative to Kennedy, the element most important to him will be the idea of individual responsibility. He thinks the government has the power to ensure that the responsible exercise of liberty be done in an educated manner.” Knowles also wrote an op-ed piece that recently appeared in The Seattle Times, in which she relates the health care debate to her research into the 1937 Supreme Court ruling in West Coast Hotel v. Parrish. And last week, she delivered a presentation at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center entitled “Elsie Parrish Goes to Court: How a Wenatchee Chambermaid Became the ‘Minimum Pay Law Joan D’Arc.’”

Elyse Semerdjian, associate professor of history, announces the publication of her new article, titled ‘“Because He is So Tender and Pretty’: Sexual Deviance and Heresy in Eighteenth-Century Aleppo,” which appeared in the March 2012 volume of Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation, and Culture (Routledge). The article offers a close analysis of a shari‘a court case that constitutes the only successful conviction for same-sex intimacy identified in her survey of Aleppo’s shari‘a court archives. The publication examines the arrest of a young pre-pubescent boy named Muhammad who was convicted and subsequently expelled from his neighborhood for his continual association with male lovers.  The article was generated from a key note address that Semerdjian delivered at “Islam and Sexualities,” a symposium held at the University of Chicago in May 2009. The articles in the volume examine diverse subjects ranging from sexual discourse in pre-modern Islamic texts to contemporary sex practices in the countries of Turkey, Iran and Malaysia. Semerdjian’s contribution was one of many cases uncovered while researching sex crime in the shari‘a courts of Ottoman Aleppo. Her findings were published in a book titled “Off the Straight Path”: Illicit Sex, Community and Law in Ottoman Aleppo (Syracuse University Press, 2008).


Students invite staff and faculty to participate in “Humans vs. Zombies” game

Students in Whitman’s Campus Gaming club invite staff and faculty to partake in a fun campus tradition, “Humans vs. Zombies,” the week of April 14-21. The game pits “human” competitors against a growing mob of undead aggressors. Nerf guns optional. For more information or to register for the campus-wide event, click HERE. With questions, contact Kyle Scott ’12 at scottkd@whitman.edu or Michael Schier ’12 at schiermw@whitman.edu.


Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Wednesday 4/11
Lecture: Political columnist, author and award-winning blogger Meghan McCain, daughter of Senator John McCain, discusses her personal experiences on the campaign trail and her observations on the future of the Republican Party. 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. Click here for more information.

Wednesday 4/11
Music: The Whitman College Wind Ensemble presents their spring concert. Directed by David Glen. 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Wednesday 4/11 to Sunday 4/15
Theatre: HJT presents “The Birthday Party,” Harold Pinter’s chilling comic riff classic, in the Studio Theatre. Tickets available March 30. Call x5180 for prices and information.

Thursday 4/12
VWRS: The Visiting Writers Reading Series presents readings by Srikanth Reddy and Suzanne Buffam of the University of Chicago. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Friday 4/13
Lecture: “On Pins and Needles on Broadway.” The Department of Music presents a guest lecture by Dr. Trudi Wright. 12 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Friday 4/13
Music: The Fridays at Four Recital Series presents guest artist Tia Lehman-Pearsall, piano. 4 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Friday 4/13
Music: The Department of Music presents the Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, directed by Doug Scarborough. 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Saturday 4/14
Music: The Department of Music presents a shared piano recital with Phoebe Horvath ’14 and Hari Raghavan ’13. 3 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Saturday 4/14
Music: The Department of Music presents the Whitman Chorale and Chamber Singers Spring Concert. Directed by Jeremy Mims. 7:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Sunday 4/15
Music: The Department of Music presents a senior cello recital by Carrie Sloane; assisted by Marla Nelson, piano. 3 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Sunday 4/15
Music: The Department of Music presents a senior violin recital with Annie Cooper; and with Jackie Wood, Melissa Loehnig and Joyce Chen, piano. 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.


Athletic Events – Home Games

Men’s Tennis (Bratton Tennis Center or outdoor courts, weather permitting)
Saturday, 4/14 at 10 a.m. – vs. Lewis & Clark College

Men’s Baseball (Borleske Stadium)
Saturday, 4/14 at 12 p.m. – vs. Willamette University (doubleheader)
Sunday, 4/15 at 12 p.m. – vs. Willamette University


Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Soaking wet with rain and unusable for tennis, the Whitman courts provided a new way to see some of the large trees on campus. Full size.


Whitman College
In This Issue
Whitman Undergraduate Conference
Award Nominations
2012 Green Commute Challenge
Faculty news briefs
Humans vs. Zombies
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