May 4, 2015

GiveBIG: Whitman joins Seattle Foundation for annual stretch

GiveBIGStaff and faculty are invited to stretch their gifts to Whitman College by donating during GiveBIG day on May 5, 2015. GiveBIG puts extra power behind your gifts by increasing the amount with funds from a stretch pool contributed by The Seattle Foundation.

All gifts to Whitman via GiveBIG 2015 will benefit students, strengthening their educational experiences, and will count as gifts toward the Annual Fund and staff/faculty campaign.

Farewell celebrations for President Bridges begin

SEC honors President BridgesOver the past few weeks, the Student Engagement Center has hosted President George Bridges in a series of events that celebrated his support of the many programs sponsored by the SEC. Over the last five years, Bridges' commitment to and investment in Whitman students' success has contributed to thousands of educational and professional experiences that have significantly impacted both students and the Walla Walla community.

Bridges visited Green Park Elementary School's bilingual program, where student mentors work one-on-one with Spanish-speaking students, as well as the Walla Walla Downtown Foundation, where Whitman interns have worked with the WWDF staff on highlighting downtown Walla Walla. Pictured above at Green Park: School Principal Gina Yonts, Elissa Picozzi '15 (2014-15 intern), Bridges, Devyani Gupta '15 (program creator and prior intern).

Read more on the SEC's blog.

Professor James Winchell to retire

James WinchellAdjunct Assistant Professor of Foreign Languages and Literatures (French) James Winchell has announced his retirement effective this June.

"If you count grad school, I've been teaching pretty much nonstop since 1978, which adds up to about 37 years," Winchell said. "It's time I got some days off!"

After completing a graduate diploma at the Université de Paris IV (in Sorbonne), Winchell went on to earn a Ph.D. in comparative literature at the University of Washington in 1988. He subsequently taught as assistant professor of French at Stanford University for five years before going on to achieve the rank of associate professor of French at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Winchell then spent a decade helping to establish and gain accreditation for a new arts- and project-based independent secondary school in downtown Portland, Oregon, The Northwest Academy.

"Helping to create and ensure continuity for a cutting-edge school for young artists is one of my proudest accomplishments," he said.

In 2008, Winchell was hired to teach in Whitman's year-long required course for first-year students, called at that time "Core: Antiquity and Modernity." By 2010 he was teaching courses in both Encounters and in French language and literature, his area of specialization. Winchell has published numerous articles on a wide range of topics, treating works by Flaubert, Oscar Wilde, Jorge Luis Borges, cinéaste Eric Rohmer and the history of Holocaust Memorials in France. He is a founding and contributing editor of the journal Paradoxa: Studies in World Literary Genres, and has recently published a series of essays online for Tablet Magazine: A New Look At Jewish Life.

He will continue to offer literature courses in the Quest program for lifelong learners at Walla Walla Community College. But most importantly, he says, "I'm excited to be free to write full-time, with uninterrupted days to work." His ongoing book-length project, with the working title Cinema Year Zero, treats films made by directors in defeated countries in the decades after World War II. Winchell's son Ezra will be a junior next year at Wa-Hi and his spouse, Jennifer, will continue to serve as stewardship coordinator in the development office.

Whitman recognized for experiential learning successes

Whitman's leading role in national conversations about liberal arts education has been recognized by a new report on experiential learning.

"Best Practices in Experiential Learning at Liberal Arts Institutions," conducted by Hanover Research, selected Whitman as one of four exemplar institutions, highlighting unique ways in which Whitman provides students with access to high-impact experiences.

Kimberly Rolfe, director of business engagement at the Student Engagement Center, provided information to the researchers about Whitman's programs. Victoria Wolff, internship coordinator at the SEC, was also asked to comment.

The report, which was prepared for an unidentified college in New England, "focused on administrative structures, internship program management, student engagement and marketing, implementation strategies, and the relationship between liberal arts skills and the current job market" and was completed in April.

Read the full report here.

Hanover Research

Faculty news brief

Nicole Pietrantoni and Devon WoottenAssistant Professor of Art Nicole Pietrantoni just completed a 10-week artist residency at the Anderson Ranch Art Center outside Aspen, Colorado, as part of her spring semester sabbatical. Pietrantoni was selected to be an artist-in-residence through a competitive jury process. During her time at Anderson Ranch she completed several new installations, met with curators and critics, and also spent a week collaborating with poet Devon Wootten, adjunct assistant professor of general studies and Language Learning Center manager. Together they created a new bookwork titled Havened, which functions as both an installation and a series of nine accordion books featuring Wootten's poems. More of Pietrantoni's new artwork can be seen at

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Intercultural Center candidate meet-and-greet

The search committee for the position of co-assistant director of the Intercultural Center would like to invite members of the Whitman community to meet the second of their three candidates at an open session on Monday, May 4, at 4 p.m. in the Glover Alston Center.

The second candidate is Raymond Plaza. The final candidate will be on campus May 11 at the same time (4 to 5 p.m.) and in the same location. If you would like background information on the candidates, please contact Sonja Aikens at

Staff Coffee with the President

Staff Coffee

New hires

Please welcome our newest additions to the Whitman College staff and faculty.

Marshall Lynch
Security on-call

Jaimee Maurer
Administrative Assistant for Alumni Relations

Craig McKinnon
Security on-call

Chad Pederson
Security on-call

Nicole Redman
Administrative Assistant for the Health Center

Ali Walker
Administrative Assistant for Development

Campus Events

Performance: Hair - The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical

Tickets available now. Box office hours: 9.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, or call (509) 527-5180. Book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, music by Galt Macdermot. A searing indictment of the war in Vietnam and a plea for freedom, love and understanding, Hair's iconic songs include "Aquarius," "Good Morning Starshine," "Hair" and "Let the Sunshine In." Join the tribe as they take over Harper Joy Theatre, presenting a fresh new take on one of the most revolutionary musicals of all time. $12 for adults, $8 for seniors 60 and over and students, free for Whitman students.

Tickets available April 24. Performances May 7 to 10, May 21 to 23, Harper Joy Theatre, Alexander Stage

TKE/Red Cross Blood Drive

Give Blood to save a life. The TKEs will be sponsoring a blood drive for the Red Cross. Sign up for your donation time here or here.

May 5 at 9 a.m. 

Jazz Band II Spring Concert

The Department of Music presents a concert by the Whitman Jazz Band II under the direction of Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Gary Gemberling. If the weather does not cooperate, this concert will take place in the Reid Campus Center Coffeehouse. Free of charge and open to the public.

May 4 at 5 p.m. Reid Campus Center, Reid side lawn. 

Lecture: Julia Baldwin - Geology's Clocks and Measuring Time in Mountain Belts

Join the geology department for a talk by Professor Julia Baldwin of the University of Montana, exploring methods of dating rocks and uplift in mountain ranges. Baldwin received her doctorate from MIT and completed a post-doc at the University of Maryland. In her current position at the University of Montana, she has been awarded several National Science Foundation grants and teaching awards. Her research involves geologic fieldwork and computer modeling to understand the timescale of metamorphism, with a particular emphasis on rates of burial and exhumation of mountain belts. She is also passionate about improving science education at the college and K-8 levels. This talk is open to the general public.

May 4 at 7.30 p.m. Hall of Science, Brattain Auditorium.

Thursday, May 7

Visiting Writers Reading Series: Whitman Reading

May 7 at 7 p.m. Hunter Conservatory, Kimball Theatre. 

Friday, May 8

Staff Coffee with the President

May 8 at 8.30 a.m. Olin Hall, Olin 130. 

Saturday, May 9

Day Rock Climb

Outdoor climbing trip to Spring Mountain in Oregon or Vantage, Washington. Great for beginner or intermediate climbers! Sign up at the Outdoor Program Rental Shop. Cost: $45.

May 9 

Service Saturday Canoe Clean-up

This trip is co-sponsored by the Office of Community Service's Service Saturday program. Clean up trash at the mouth of the Walla Walla River from your canoe and/or on the nearby trails. Sign up for Service Saturday by contacting Forrest Arnold '17 in the Community Service office.

May 9 

Whitman College Orchestra Spring Concert

The Department of Music presents the Whitman Orchestra Spring Concert, conducted by Assistant Professor of Music Paul Luongo. Free and open to the public. If you are unable to join us in person, watch online at this livestream link.

May 9 at 3 p.m. Hall of Music, Chism Recital Hall.

Sunday, May 10

Standup Paddleboarding

Spend the day learning to standup paddleboard on the Walla Walla or Columbia Rivers. Sign up at the Outdoor Program Rental Shop. Cost: $35.

Senior Recital: Karl Mering '15

The Department of Music presents a piano recital featuring Karl Mering '15. This recital is free of charge and open to the public.

May 10 at 3 p.m. Hall of Music, Chism Recital Hall.

Monday, May 11

SEC Community Involvement Dinner

May 11 at 5 p.m. Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom.

Parting Shot

By Matt Banderas, visual editor/photographer

Parting Shot - May 4, 2015

Kris Barry, international student and scholar adviser, talks to students at last week's dinner in honor of the Friendship Family Program, which pairs international students with local families in the Walla Walla community.

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Compiled by: Bryce Heuett