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Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

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Mark Christel Named Librarian of the College

Mark ChristelMark Christel, director of libraries at the College of Wooster in Ohio, will be the next Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of Grinnell College. He was selected through a national search and will begin his new position on Aug. 1.

"Mark Christel brings an impressive record of leadership and innovation to the Grinnell College Libraries," said Michael Latham, vice president for academic affairs and dean of Grinnell College. "His experience in promoting student and faculty research, interdisciplinary digital initiatives, external grants and collaborations, facilities design and strategic planning makes him well suited to this role. I am confident that he will provide outstanding leadership for the Grinnell College Libraries, and I am grateful to members of the search committee for their efforts."

Christel has served with distinction in positions of increasing responsibility over the past 22 years at Hope College, Vassar College and the College of Wooster. Since joining Wooster as Director of Libraries in 2008, Christel built close collaborations with faculty to support student learning, carefully stewarded collections, and championed emerging technologies to promote open access and scholarship. 

He is a committed advocate for the application of digital technologies in teaching and research. He also was the lead author of two Mellon Foundation grants awarded to the Five Colleges of Ohio and has served on the steering committee for the Institute for Liberal Arts Digital Scholarship. 

"I am so honored to be joining Grinnell and its exceptional library staff," Christel said. "Grinnell’s foundational commitment to undergraduate research and teaching creates an exciting context for exploring the traditional and evolving facilities, services and collections offered by contemporary academic libraries.  

"I look forward to many engaging conversations about what the libraries are and might become, and then working with key campus partners and my colleagues within the libraries to achieve that vision over the coming years."

Christel succeeds Julia Bauder, who was named interim director of Grinnell's libraries last October after Richard Fyffe, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Librarian of the College and associate professor, began permanent medical leave. He died on Nov. 5, 2015, due to complications from ALS.

"It is very humbling," Christel said, "to follow in the footsteps of Richard Fyffe, a friend and colleague whom I greatly admired."

An award-winning librarian, Fyfe made vital contributions to many national partnerships and consortia. He also was an eloquent advocate for libraries' central role in fulfilling the educational mission at Grinnell and other liberal arts colleges.

In announcing Christel's appointment, Latham said, "I want to thank Julia Bauder for her great commitment and dedication in serving as interim director of the libraries. At a time when Grinnell sought to recover from the loss of Richard Fyffe, she brought great energy and vision to a challenging task, and she excelled at it. We are all in her debt."

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Symposium

The Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Symposium will take place in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center and will feature the work of over 70 students.

Please come support the students as they present their papers, posters, readings, and performances.

Tuesday, April 12
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Poster Sessions and Panels, Rosenfield Center, various rooms
Wednesday, April 13
8 a.m.-4 p.m., Posters on display, Rosenfield Center, Room 101
Thursday, April 14
11 a.m.-1 p.m., Moderated panels, Rosenfield Center, various rooms

Detailed Symposium Schedule

April 11–14, 2016

Monday, April 11: Opening Reflections

7–9 p.m. Opening Reflections – Faulconer Gallery

Please join us as David Cook-Martin, Eliza Kempton, and Lee Running reflect on the value of research and creative work to their own scholarly pursuits, and then join us to view the Studio Art Faculty Exhibition and BAX: Bachelor of Arts Exhibition, a juried show featuring the work of third- and fourth-year students. These events will be followed by a dessert reception.

Tuesday, April 12: Poster Session and Moderated Panels

A light lunch is available in Rosenfield Center, Room 101

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Poster Session – Rosenfield Center, Room 101

  • Ana Karin Kozjek ’17
  • “Efficacies and Kinetics of Potential PET Ligand Agonists of α7 nAChR Differ”
  • Ian Dixon-Anderson ’17 and Thomas Robinson ’16
  • “Ionic Conductivities of Silyl and Carbonate Blend Electrolytes”
  • Michael Fitzpatrick ’16
  • “Morphological and Physiological Characterization of a Novel Subpopulation of Perisynaptic Schwann Cells”
  • Minna Montgomery ’16
  • “Synthetic Investigations Toward Biologically Active Derivatives of Polypeptide Macrolactones”
  • Nathan Kolacia ’16
  • “Synthesis and Characterization of Molybdenum(V) Imido Complexes with N-Salicylidene-2-Aminophenol”
  • Ryan Davis ’16
  • “Sex-Specific Antipredator Response to Auditory Cues in the Black Spiny- Tailed Iguana”
  • Helen Colliton ’16 and Maddy Pesch ’16
  • “Substituted Chalcones”
  • Peter Anderson ’16
  • “Police Use of Excessive Force Against People of Color in Baltimore”
  • Hannah Brown ’16
  • “Improving Clinical Trial Transparency”
  • Glorianne Dorce ’17
  • “Cuban Adjustment Act Reform”
  • Sophia Shin ’16
  • “Asian-American Mental Health Policy”
  • Sarina Farb ’16
  • “Setting Federal Nutrition Guidelines that Best Reflect Nutrition Science”
  • Jacob Ziontz ’16
  • “Effect of High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity on Spatial and Declarative Memory”
  • Maile Leathem-Rietz ’17
  • “CAFO in Poweshiek County, Iowa, Is a Reservoir for Carbenicillin Resistance Genes”
  • Caroline Graham ’16
  • “Marine Policy in the Arctic: Looking to the Future”
  • Deborah Msekela ’17
  • “Dissolved Organic Matter Sulfidization and Impact on HgS Bioavailability for Methylation”
  • Connor Mulligan ’17
  • “Organosilyl Electrolyte Conductivities, Lithium Transference Numbers, and Solvation Shells via PFG-STE NMR Diffusion Experiments and Their Application in Lithium-Ion Batteries”

11 a.m.–noon Studying Grinnell: Exploring Our Local Community – Rosenfield Center, Room 209

  • Sarah Henderson ’16
  • “Increasing Attendance at the Grinnell Historical Museum”
  • Samantha Snodgrass ’16
  • “Water and Landscape Management in Grinnell”
  • Summer Jones ’17
  • “Determining Students’ Postsecondary Plans: A Program Evaluation of the Tools Used by Grinnell High School’s Counseling Department”
  • Roselle Tenorio ’17
  • “Food Security Barriers for Rural Food Pantry Clients”

11 a.m.–noon Colonization and Hybridity – Rosenfield Center, Room 227

  • Aminata Kinana ’18 “Discourses on Mixity: How Identity and Difference Are Viewed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania”
  • Willa Collins ’16 “Cult Classic: The Academy and Popular Religion in Colonial and Post-Renovation Vietnam”Sofia Mendez Subieta ’19 “Rethinking the Defeat of the Aztec Empire”
  • Rebecca Wong ’17 “Negotiating the Boundary Between Christianity and Filial Piety in Modern-Day Hong Kong”

11 a.m.–noon Culture, Confrontation, and Dislocations – Rosenfield Center, Room 226

  • Hening Zhang ’16
  • “A Search for Liberal Arts Studenthood in Modern China: Student Activism in Yenching University, 1918–1949”
  • Fangda Li ’16
  • “Through the Eyes of Shanghai Jewish Refugees: German, Austrian Jews in Shanghai”
  • Fenyi Wu ’17
  • “Red Amnesia: Responses to the Cultural Revolution in Contemporary Chinese Art”
  • Alyssa DeBella ’19
  • “Ritual Action and Social Spectacle: The Creation and Systematic Destruction of The Hunger Games”

11 a.m.–noon Interventions in Media Studies – Rosenfield Center, Room 225

  • Sophie Donlon ’16
  • “Confronting the Gaze: Reconfiguring Spectatorship in Untitled (Kitchen Table Series) by Carrie Mae Weems”
  • Lily Seibert ’19
  • “I Can’t Tell What’s Real Anymore: Paying the Price of Reality Television and Media”
  • Kai Vorhies ’19
  • “Capitol Whistleblowers: The Ethics of Mass Surveillance”
  • Meredith Carroll ’16
  • “The Marvelous and the Modern: Selling the Phonograph in Victorian London”

11 a.m.–noon Representations of Space and Time – Rosenfield Center, Room 202

  • Cameron Frank ’16
  • “Spatial Dependence in Newton-Cartan Gravity in Noninertial Reference Frames”
  • Jun Taek Lee ’18
  • “Randomness of Multifractal Systems”
  • Kaiqian Zhang ’17 and David Koychev ’16
  • “New Formulas from LU Matrix Decomposition”

Noon–1 p.m. Cognition, Meta-Cognition, and Knowledge – Rosenfield Center, Room 202

  • Lizzie Eason ’17
  • “Priming Epistem Stances”
  • Krista Matthews-Saugstad ’16
  • “Investigating Gestures”
  • Isabel Monaghan ’16
  • “Priming Epistem Stances”

Noon–1 p.m. Production, Consumption, and Capitalism: Across Time and Place – Rosenfield Center, Room 203

  • Rosemarie O’Brien ’16
  • “Chinese Art Today: Rural Aesthetics vs. Urban Commodities”
  • Jenny Samuels ’16
  • “Moral Capitalism and Democracy in the Third New Deal: Keynesian Fiscal Policy after the 1937–1938 Recession”
  • Mari Holmes ’17
  • “Analyzing the Multiplicity of Childhood and Who Gets Access”

Noon–1 p.m. Environmental Challenges and Responses – Rosenfield Center, Room 209

  • Jackson Dunnington ’16
  • “Cross-Temporal Analysis of Sociocultural Response to Drought in the American West”
  • Greg Margida ’16
  • “Racism of Climate Apathy”
  • Cassandra Miller ’16
  • “An Analysis of the 17th Karmapa as an Effective Environmentalist”

Wednesday, April 13 Posters on Display

8 a.m.–4 p.m. Posters on display – Rosenfield Center, Room 101

Thursday, April 14 Moderated Panels

A light lunch is available outside Rosenfield Center, Room 209

11 a.m.–noon Performances – Rosenfield Center, Room 101

  • Ivy Kuhn ’16
  • “The National Water Dance: Somatic and Site-Specific Dance-Making”
  • Alexandra Barnard ’17
  • “I Dream Before I Take the Stand”
  • Aaron Israel Levin ’17
  • “Brass Quintet”

11 a.m.–noon Women of Color Negotiating Agency and Representation – Rosenfield Center, Room 225

  • Alexandra Odom ’16
  • “Perceptions of Impact Among African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement”
  • Jocelyn Acosta ’16
  • “Race, Class, and Sex Work”
  • Jermaine Stewart-Webb ’16
  • “Discussing Black Female Sexuality with Private Letters: The Nellie McKay and Nell Irvin Painter Correspondence”

11 a.m.–noon Education and Pedagogy – Rosenfield Center, Room 226

  • Carlina Arango ’16
  • “An Evaluation of Al Exito’s Impact on Participants in the Program’s First Three Years (2006–09)”
  • Paulina Campbell ’16
  • “Pedagogy and Social Change”
  • Katherine Tucker ’16
  • “The Gendered Nature of Social Class: How Intersecting Identities Inform College Students’ Plans for Relationship and Family Formation”

11 a.m.–noon Explorations in the Digital Humanities – Rosenfield Center, Room 227

  • Emily Hackman ’16
  • “Civil War Memory and GIS”
  • Paige Wheeler ’16 and Julia Marquez-Uppman ’17
  • “Blood vs. Love: Power in Early Modern Spain”
  • Noah Schlager ’16
  • “Digital Amanas”

Noon–1 p.m. Novella Readings – Rosenfield Center, Room 101

  • Hannah Condon ’16 River Valley Natives
  • Emma Thomasch ’16 Where We Go From Here
  • Leo Abbe-Schneider ’16 French Rollins
  • Phoebe Mogharei ’16 Careless
  • Grace Lloyd ’16 Saccharine

Noon–1 p.m. Individuals and Nations – Rosenfield Center, Room 203

  • Lauren Yi ’18
  • “The Religion of Victimhood in North Korea: How Juche Ideology Shaped a New Nation”
  • Dhruv Gupta ’17
  • “Variables Underlying Trust in Nation-States”
  • Colleen Moser ’16
  • “West African Communities in France: Contemporary Challenges for Malian Village Associations and Transnational Development”

Noon–1 p.m. Surveying Sex at Grinnell College – Rosenfield Center, Room 209

  • Melissa Melloy ’16
  • “Love for One or Love for All: Polyamory at Grinnell College”
  • Mara Rosenberg ’17
  • “Queering High Street: Investigating Strategies for Same-Sex Hookups at Grinnell College”
  • Elaina Notman ’16
  • “Preference for Intoxication in Consensual Sexual Encounters”

Noon–1 p.m. Intimate Surfaces: Troubling the High/Low Divide – Rosenfield Center, Room 202

  • Eliza Harrison ’16
  • “Early Sonia Delaunay: The Avant-Garde at Home”
  • Lauren Roush ’16
  • “Fabric Portraits”
  • Mai Pham ’16
  • “Traces of Pop in Dinh Q. Lê’s Art”

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College.

The dean’s office wishes to thank Vance Byrd, Jennifer Dobe, Andrew Graham, Jan Graham, Kelly Maynard, Casey Oberlin, Terri Phipps, Andi Tracy ’99, Tilly Woodward, and the Dining Services staff for their assistance in organizing this symposium.

If you require an accommodation in order to attend or fully participate in any of these events please contact Maria Tapias or the coordinator of disability resources, Autumn Wilke, or call 641-269-3702.

Antibiotic Resistance and Microbial Diversity

Shannon Hinsa-LeasureShannon Hinsa-Leasure, associate professor of biology, along with her students and collaborators, are researching ways to develop novel technology to study the diversity of antibiotic-resistance genes and how the genes can be transferred between bacteria.

The research is funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant of $999,346 awarded to a team of researchers including Hinsa-Leasure, along with her collaborators at Iowa State University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service.

In addition, Hinsa-Leasure has received a one-year $20,262 grant from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to expand on the USDA grant by investigating bacterial community structure in soils fertilized with animal manure. Both grants will support undergraduate research at Grinnell College.

The grants will enable researchers to monitor hundreds of genes related to antibiotic resistance, the spread of resistance, and microbial diversity in environmental samples at one time, providing a more in-depth characterization of environments than current technologies. The technologies can be used for many types of environments including, hospitals, farms and water systems, and will allow researchers to study if and how antibiotic resistance genes move in particular environments.

“I am delighted that Shannon has received these grants that will create new opportunities for our students to conduct collaborative, cutting-edge research,” says Michael Latham, dean of Grinnell College. “This research reinforces Grinnell’s commitment to active scholarship and inquiry-led learning opportunities that reach beyond our campus.”

Adina Howe, assistant professor in agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State, leads the three-year USDA grant. This grant will support technology development, field sampling, laboratory experiments and workshops to disseminate the open-access bioinformatics pipelines to the broader research community.

“I feel very fortunate to be collaborating with a tremendous team of scientists, who are all sharing their expertise to address an important environmental issue — how do we detect and monitor movement of antibiotic-resistance genes in the environment,” Hinsa-Leasure says.

Hinsa-Leasure, an environmental microbiologist, first began investigating antibiotic-resistance genes in the environment near Grinnell in 2014. This project was instigated by one of her former students, Evan Griffith ’15, who was interested and concerned about the local environment.

“Evan and I began this work with a directed reading course to learn what was happening in the field,” recalls Hinsa-Leasure. “That course led us to the USDA in Ames and the development of a partnership that continues to flourish today.”

“I am excited that this project is continuing and that I made a small contribution,” says Griffith, who received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Grinnell. He recently returned from Australia, where he worked as a research intern on a project between Arid Recovery and the University of New South Wales. He hopes to pursue a master’s degree in conservation medicine at Tufts University.

Griffith is one of eight Grinnell undergraduates who already have participated in the project he and Hinsa-Leasure initiated.

“I am thrilled,” Hinsa-Leasure says, “that through this funding additional Grinnell students will have access to cutting-edge technologies and bioinformatics, which will allow us to advance the field.”

ACM Student Film Conference and Festival

The inaugural Associated Colleges of the Midwest Student Film Conference and Festival will be held April 1-3 at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisc.

The event showcases work from student filmmakers, screenwriters, and scholars from ACM affiliated campuses, including Grinnell College.

Theresa Geller, associate professor of English who specializes in film theory and history, is one of three faculty from across the country who secured a grant for lodging and meals for student participants.

Grinnell students are encouraged to submit materials no later than Jan. 1, 2016, and participate in the conference.

  • Film, video, and new media works of all lengths, modes, and genres, including documentary, narrative, animation, experimental, music video, PSA, and new media
  • Screenplays in every genre and of any length
  • Scholarly papers on topics from a variety of theoretical, cultural, and historical approaches to film studies and visual culture.

There is no entry fee, and multiple works are accepted.

Maria Tapias Book Discussion

Embodied Protests: Emotions and Women's Health in Bolivia, Maria Tapias (book cover)Grinnell’s Department of Anthropology and the Office of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College are delighted to celebrate the publication of Maria Tapias’ Embodied Protests: Emotions and Women’s Health in Bolivia (University of Illinois Press).

Please join us on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, for a dessert reception at 7 p.m., and reading and panel discussion at 7:30 p.m.  

Panelists include: Brigittine French, Carolyn Lewis, and Liz Queathem.

This event will be held in the Burling Library.

Maria Tapias earned her doctorate in anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and has been teaching at Grinnell since 2001. Her research interests include women's and infants' health, the anthropology of emotions, the impacts of neoliberalism on health, international migration, transnationalism, and Latin American studies.

She has been conducting fieldwork in Bolivia since 1996 and among Bolivians in Spain since 2006. Her research has been published in journals such as Medical Anthropology Quarterly, Body and Society, and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Maria Tapias Selected for Leadership Academy

Maria TapiasMaria Tapias, associate dean of Grinnell College, is one of 28 mid-level administrators in higher education nationwide selected by the Council of Independent Colleges to participate in a year-long Senior Leadership Academy.

The program, which is for administrators in higher education who are nominated by their institutions, is designed to prepare prospective leaders to assume positions as the chief officers in higher education. As a program participant, Tapias will hone her campus leadership skills by developing a professional experience plan and attending two seminars held in the Washington, D.C., area.

Tapias, who holds degrees in cultural anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, serves in several capacities at Grinnell. In the office of the dean, she serves as associate dean of the College and the president’s senior adviser for diversity.  She is also associate professor of anthropology, having taught in the anthropology department since 2001.

During her time at Grinnell, Tapias has served in numerous roles, including interim chair of the department of Spanish, chair of the department of anthropology, and chair of the Latin American studies concentration. She was a visiting scholar at the Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies at the University of California-San Diego in 2004. Her research interests include women’s and infants’ health, the anthropology of emotions, transnationalism, and Latin American studies.

Tapias was selected to participate in the program from a diverse pool of applicants. “Competition for the available places in the program was intense,” says Richard Ekman, president of the Council for Independent Colleges, “and the review committee and I believe that Ms. Tapias has the potential for highly effective leadership in a position of senior responsibility on campus.”

Expanding the Use of Digital Technology

Grinnell College and the University of Iowa have received a $1.6 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop humanities-centered collaborations that expand the use of digital technology among faculty and students.

The new partnership is distinctive because it is the first time the Mellon Foundation has supported a collaborative digital project between a private liberal arts college and a public research university — institutions with different missions and strengths.

The project, titled “Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry,” will support increased integration of digital resources into the undergraduate curriculum at Grinnell and the UI over four years. The grant will support creative collaboration between Grinnell and the UI involving faculty, postdocs, graduate students, undergraduate students, library faculty and staff, and IT staff.

“The faculties of Grinnell College and the University of Iowa have different institutional environments but a shared commitment to scholarship, teaching, and public engagement,” said Erik Simpson, professor of English and principal investigator for the grant at Grinnell.

“This grant will enable us to build on the digital projects already underway at both schools to establish new communities of thought and practice. Teams involving faculty, staff, students, and community partners will be able to use digital tools to produce new forms of analysis, creativity, and critique that are fundamental to our disciplines.”

Through this initiative, faculty members in the humanities will build their digital skills, develop innovative new courses, and collaborate with students on ambitious digital projects and research programs. The project also will provide support for UI graduate student instructional technology assistants who will help faculty incorporate digital technology into their courses, and the creation of postdoctoral positions at UI to train future faculty for careers in the digital liberal arts and public humanities.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for faculty to bring new, innovative approaches into their teaching and scholarship. The benefits for students will be transformative as well,” said Michael Latham, vice president of academic affairs and dean of Grinnell College. “As they use new technological resources to study the humanities, they will also develop greater digital literacy, gain valuable skills in collaborative writing and research, and create knowledge for broader, public audiences. Those experiences will serve them well throughout their professional lives.”

Grinnell students already are developing digital literacy through research projects such as “Mapping the Global Renaissance.” Directed by Assistant Professor of English James Lee, this project applies “big data” techniques (natural language processing algorithms, data mining, topic modeling, and mapping) to examine 50,000 early modern texts. By using these techniques to analyze early modern England's early representations of different people and their geographical contexts around the world, students acquire a better understanding of how race and racial differences were understood at that time.

UI students also are gaining digital literacy through the university's Public Humanities in a Digital World initiative, the Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities and the new graduate Digital Humanities Certificate. Roy J. Carver Professor Ed Folsom is co-founder of one of the nation's earliest and most successful digital projects, The Walt Whitman Archive; students, scholars, and high school teachers from Iowa and around the world have contributed to the project. Assistant Professor Blaine Greteman welcomes his students into the study of the Renaissance and book history through his digital project Shakeosphere: Mapping Early Modern Social Networks. He and Professor Lee are already planning ways to collaborate across the two campuses.

Teresa Mangum, director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and professor of gender, women and sexuality studies, and co-principal investigator Jim Elmborg, associate professor in the School of Library and Information Science anticipate that faculty and students alike will be inspired by working with art, languages, history, literature, philosophy, and world religions in the “hands on” ways digital work encourages: “Jim and I have already benefited from conversations with our colleagues at Grinnell,” Mangum said. “Among the innumerable advantages of this partnership, we look forward to mining the rich potential of shared, project-based learning. We picture professors and students working side-by-side in linked classrooms that connect Grinnell and Iowa, as they archive and visualize their research projects, sharing their discoveries and insights with diverse virtual audiences across the world.”

Major activities to be funded by the grant, which begins this month, include:

  • Faculty development initiatives, such as summer institutes, collaborative projects between Grinnell and UI faculty and training in digital liberal arts techniques.
  • Undergraduate curricular development initiatives, such as new digital liberal arts courses or course modules, developing courses that bridge the two institutions and supporting student-faculty collaborations.
  • Engagement with the broader digital liberal arts community, including a conference to be held at the UI in 2018, support for conference travel to share exemplary digital projects and learn from the work of others, and a web presence for the project that features an online inventory of digital projects.
  • Support for library and instructional technology faculty and staff members who help make digital projects possible, including professional development funds as well as funding for software, digitization, and other research expenses.  

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Patricia Williams of Columbia Law School and Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic will come to Grinnell College for events on Jan. 19-20. All events are free and open to the public, and will take place in Joe Rosenfield '25 Center, Room 101.

Patricia WilliamsOn Monday, Jan. 19, Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University and recipient of a 2000 MacArthur "genius grant," will give a "teach-in" on "Hoping Against Hopelessness: An Anatomy of Short Lives." The teach-in, an interactive mix of lecture and discussion, will start at 10:30 a.m. and resume at 1:30 p.m. after a break for lunch.

Ta-Nehisi CoatesOn Tuesday, Jan. 20 at 6 p.m., Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic, will give a lecture titled "The Case for Reparations." Coates's June 2014 cover story of the same name, which focuses on race relations in America, set a record for number of downloads in a single day from The Atlantic's website.

"Fostering respectful interactions in a diverse community is a critical part of Grinnell's mission," says Poonam Arora, chief diversity officer and associate dean of Grinnell College. "It is an honor to welcome Mr. Coates and Professor Williams to Grinnell, and I look forward to hearing their words as we come together to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day."

Sponsors include the Office of Diversity and Inclusion; the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights; the Office of the President; the Peace and Conflict Studies Program; the Center for Religion, Spirituality, and Social Justice; the Student Government Association; the Office of the Dean; and the Center for the Humanities.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center is located on Eighth Avenue, with accessible parking on the east side of the building. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Real Conversation, Removing the Mask

Iowa State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, who has represented the state’s 35th district, including Des Moines, since 2007, will speak at Grinnell College at 8 p.m. Monday, May 5.

His talk, “Real Conversation, Removing the Mask,” will take place in the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. This free lecture is open to the public.

About Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad

Currently serving his third term in the Iowa House of Representatives, Ako Abdul-Samad is an assistant minority leader who sits on the Administration and Rules, Education, Human Resources and Public Safety committees. Before being elected to the House, he was a member of the Des Moines School Board.

Abdul-Samad is the CEO/Founder of Creative Visions Human Development Center, a Des Moines organization designed to help economically vulnerable individuals, families and communities become self-sufficient through education and economic empowerment.

In 2009, Abdul-Samad received the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Activist award for his commitment to improving the quality of life in his community and in the state of Iowa. In 2004, he received the Caring Institute’s National Caring Award, which recognizes caring, compassion and service.

Abdul-Samad recently published his first book, A Deeper Truth, Revelations of the Soul, a collection of poems depicting experiences and events within his own life and the lives of others he has encountered.

About Abdul-Samad’s Talk at Grinnell College

Ako Abdul-Samad’s talk at Grinnell College is presented by Man(hood) and sponsored by the College’s Office of Intercultural Engagement and Leadership, and the Dean’s Office.