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Advisory: The case for a new medical college admission test

Friday, Apr. 6, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Who: Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., available to comment on New England Journal of Medicine article released today: “Building a Better Physician — The Case for the New MCAT”  

What: The case for evaluating the behavioral and social sciences in medical entrance exams and education

  • Kington is co-author of an article that supports changes in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) by 2015 to include evaluation of knowledge in the behavioral and social sciences and critical analysis and reasoning.
  • It is not enough for physicians to understand “hard” sciences like anatomy or pathology. Today’s doctors need to understand the role of behavioral and social factors in wellness and outcomes. For example, how can a patient from a high-crime neighborhood get exercise to manage diabetes?
  • Health behaviors and social circumstances help explain a substantial portion of life expectancy differences among groups defined by income, race, sex, or age.
  • The proposed revisions to the MCAT recognize that physicians need foundational knowledge in the behavioral and social sciences similar to that expected in the basic sciences.
  • Kington can address the ties between social factors and physical health; issues of social justice and wellness; and the importance of broad-based preparation for aspiring physicians.
  • He previously served at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including as NIH Principal Deputy Director and NIH Acting Director, NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  Prior to NIH, he was a division director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he led the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one of the nation's largest studies assessing the health of the American people. 

Contact: To interview Raynard Kington, Grinnell College, contact Jim Reische, communications, reischej@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3400; to interview co-author Robert M. Kaplan, NIH, contact Ann Benner, annb@nih.gov, 301-594-4574; to interview co-author Jason Satterfield, contact jsatter@medicine.ucsf.edu.

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Winners of 2012 Grinnell Prize for social change announced

Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College has announced the winners of the second annual  Grinnell Prize honoring young innovators for social change: Cristi Hegranes, executive director and founder, Global Press Institute; Jacob A. Wood, president of  Team Rubicon, and William B. McNulty III vice president of Team Rubicon (shared award); and Jane Chen, CEO of Embrace Innovations and co-founder, Embrace, and Linus Liang, Embrace co-founder and COO (shared award).

The Grinnell Prize, which received nominations from 45 countries, honors individuals under the age of 40 who have demonstrated leadership in their fields and who show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change.  Each winning entry receives $100,000, half to the individual(s) and half to an organization the winner(s) designates, for a total of $300,000 awarded this year in prize monies.

The pool of nominees for the Grinnell Prize spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, disaster relief, childhood education, economic development, the environment, literacy, community-produced news, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, restorative justice, public access to healthcare delivery, children’s mental health, urban agriculture, and global peace, among others.

“I’m delighted to announce these truly inspiring individuals as the winners of the 2012 Grinnell Prize. These young men and women embody Grinnell’s long-standing mission to prepare students to go out into the world and use their education for the benefit of the common good,” said Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “Since we launched the Grinnell Prize two years ago, we have learned about a remarkable number of young people who are striving to make the world a better place. Our 2012 winners represent the ideals of the prize program in every way possible.”

Details for the second annual Grinnell Prize winners are as follows:

After observing numerous problems within her profession while working as a foreign correspondent in Nepal, Hegranes founded the Global Press Institute (GPI) to confront two specific challenges she observed: “the decline of quality international journalism and the need for more women’s economic empowerment.” Through GPI, Hegranes uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.

Hegranes has built a network of professional women journalists throughout the developing world – all of whom earn a fair wage for reporting about their communities. Their unique coverage of issues, specifically those often overlooked by the mainstream media, contributes directly to community development and empowerment and also brings greater transparency and change to the way the world views their people and cultures.

To help combat reintegration problems faced by many U.S. veterans, Wood and McNulty founded Team Rubicon to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with medical professionals who deploy first-response teams to disaster areas. Since its founding in January 2010, Team Rubicon has successfully affected thousands of lives, including victims of global and national disasters and returning U.S. military veterans. While providing aid on the streets of Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Team Rubicon veterans realized that natural disasters present many of the same problems that confront troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: unstable populations, limited resources and horrific conditions. The skills cultivated by those on the battlefields – emergency medicine, risk assessment and mitigation, teamwork and leadership –are invaluable in disaster zones. By helping veterans transfer these critical skills, Team Rubicon has given hundreds of military men and women  a renewed sense of purpose and has pioneered a new paradigm in disaster response that  helps fringe victims outside the scope of where traditional aid organizations venture.

In 2007, Chen and Liang created a $200 infant warmer in response to a challenge posed during a Stanford University course and following a trip to Nepal where they witnessed firsthand the high infant death rates in developing countries due to hypothermia. Reduced from the normal $20,000 cost of an incubator, the infant warmer can be used in remote regions of the world without a continuous supply of electricity. Realizing that their innovation solved a small part of a large problem – specifically poor maternal and child health outcomes in developing countries – Chen and Liang are also working on preventive measures including education in remote areas such as Jhagadia, India and Banadir, Somalia, where their infant warmers are provided.

Embrace is also investing in research and development to create additional, low-cost health innovations to improve both women’s and children’s well-being.  Early this year, Chen and Liang created the for-profit venture Embrace Innovations, which will license the technology from Embrace and work on manufacturing, distribution and research for new products.

The winners will visit the Grinnell College campus the week of November 12 to participate in the Grinnell Prize Symposium and awards ceremony.  Through public lectures and interactions with students and the campus community, the winners will share their experiences and perspectives of how they were able to create innovative programs to effect positive social change.

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, will be the keynote speaker on Nov. 14. Before age 30, Greenfield and business partner Ben Cohen opened an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vt., that has since spawned a global brand. Though known for its ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s also has a strong commitment to “a sustainable corporate concept of linked prosperity.” Greenfield and Cohen are devoted not only to product and economic missions, but also to a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that “seeks to meet human needs and eliminate injustices” in their local, national and international communities by integrating the social concerns of their mission into day-to-day business activities.

Nominations for the 2013 Grinnell Prize are open through Nov. 5.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa.  Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations and pre-professional programs.

Writers@Grinnell kicks off fall semester

Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 9:30 pm

Grinnell, IA - Writers@Grinnell will open its fall semester program with a reading from novelist and essayist Natalie Bakopoulos on Thurs., Sept. 13. All readings will be in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center on the Grinnell College campus at 8 p.m. unless noted.

"We have an incredible group of writers coming this year," said Dean Bakopoulos, assistant professor of English, who is directing this year's program. "Some of the most entertaining readers and engaging teachers of writing in the country are coming to Grinnell this year. I'm excited for our students."

Natalie Bakopoulos will hold a roundtable discussion in Room 226 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center at 4:15 p.m. Bakopoulos recently released her first novel "The Green Shore," which paints a finely-etched portrait of one family, whose heartbreaking stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of the late 1960s Greek military dictatorship. She has also written essays for "Granta," "Salon," and "The New York Times" about Greece's current economic crisis. She is the sister of Dean Bakopoulos, who will join her for the roundtable discussion entitled "Sibling Rivalry: Writing About Family Without Getting Disowned."

Historian, biographer, and journalist Sam Tanenhaus, a 1977 Grinnell College graduate and visiting faculty in English, will give a presentation on Thurs., Sept. 27. Tanenhaus is the editor of "The New York Times Book Review" and the author of "The Death of Conservatism" and "Whittaker Chambers: A Biography."

On Oct. 4, author Charles Baxter, acclaimed fiction writer, critic, and one of the nation's most beloved creative writing teachers, will read from his most recent story collection, "Gryphon: New and Selected Stories," recently published by Pantheon/Random House. Baxter is also the author of a dozen other books, including the National Book Award finalist "The Feast of Love."

May-lee Chai, a writer, educator and 1989 graduate of Grinnell College, has participated in past Writers@Grinnell series and will be back on Thurs., Oct. 11 to lead a roundtable discussion on "Writing after Grinnell" at 4:15 p.m. in Room 226 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center. Following the roundtable, Chai will read from her new memoir "Hapa Girl." This event will be held at the college's Faulconer Gallery at 8 p.m.

On Thurs., Nov. 1, Ronald Wallace, will read from his poetry, including selections from "Long for this World" and "For a Limited Time Only." Wallace will also lead a roundtable presentation on formal poetry at 4:15 p.m. in Room 209 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center. Praised as "one of our liveliest, most readable poets" by Charles Harper Webb, Wallace's trademark warmth and wit makes poetry lovers out of the form's sworn enemies.

Brothers Davy and Peter Rothbart began FOUND Magazine in 2001. The magazine spawned the 2004 bestseller "Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World," as well as two other collections in 2006 and 2009. On Sun., Nov. 11, Davy will read selections from his new essay collection "My Heart is an Idiot" and will be accompanied by musical selections composed and performed by Peter. True performers, the Rothbart brothers have sat on David Letterman's interview couch and have been featured on the radio show "This American Life."

Students of the Grinnell Review will round off the fall semester readings on Thurs., Dec. 6, with readings from the campus's literary journal, which is edited and designed entirely by Grinnell students.

The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center is located at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus. Faulconer Gallery is located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts at 1108 Park Street, also on the college's campus. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar@grinnell.edu.

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Rosenfield Program hosts education symposium Sept. 11-13

Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Release update 8-29-12

Grinnell College's Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights will host athree-day symposium, Sept. 11-13,* to discuss "Who Should Teach Our Children? Education and Democracy Worldwide."

The Office of the President and the Grinnell College Department of Education are co-sponsoring this symposium. Jean Ketter, professor of education, explains, "We have invited speakers who will provide different perspectives on teacher preparation and alternatives to traditional teacher prep programs. Our goal is to create a critical conversation centered on the current debate about teacher preparation and teacher quality in Iowa, the U.S., and internationally."

To build on that point, Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program, said, "The liberal arts have something to contribute to this political debate about teacher certification and quality. This symposium will raise questions that need to be considered in looking at the future of educational systems in an ever-globalizing world. It will also allow students interested in pursuing careers in education to hear the stories and experiences of those in the field."

The three-day * symposium will include the following free, public events to be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center on the Grinnell campus (unless otherwise noted):

  • Tues., Sept. 11, noon *: "Education and Democracy Worldwide," a teaching panel, will feature two members of the Grinnell College faculty, as well as one alumnus. Jean Ketter, professor of education, George Drake, professor emeritus of history, Kesho Scott, associate professor of sociology, and Dan Covino, a 2010 Grinnell graduate and Grinnell High School teacher, will open the symposium. Lunch will be provided.
  • Tues., Sept. 11, 4:15 p.m.: Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education, will discuss "Building a World-Class Education System for Iowa." Under Glass' leadership, the Department of Education has set goals to focus on the values of demonstrating courageous leadership, promoting innovation in education, and acting as a servant to schools and communities in Iowa.
  • Tues., Sept. 11, 8 p.m.: Jim Wyckoff, Curry Memorial professor of education and policy, will present "Preparing Effective Teachers." Wyckoff has done extensive research on education policy and directs the Education Policy Ph.D. program and the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness.
  • Wed., Sept. 12, noon: Suzanne M. Wilson, a university distinguished professor, chair of the department of teacher education and director of the College of Education's Center for the Scholarship of Teaching at Michigan State University, will lead a Scholars' Convocation titled "The Wild World of Teacher Preparation: Evolution or Revolution?"
  • Wed., Sept. 12, 4:15 p.m.: Helen Claire Sievers, executive director, WorldTeach, will discuss "Teaching in Developing Countries: Why Do It?" WorldTeach partners with governments and other organizations to provide volunteer teachers in developing countries.
  • Wed., Sept. 12, 8 p.m.: "Social Justice Starts in the Classroom: Teach For America's Approach to Ending Educational Inequity," led by Lindsey Ciochina, senior managing director of Midwest recruiting at Teach for America.
  • Thurs., Sept. 13, 4:15 p.m.: A post-graduate teaching and service fair on the 2nd floor of the Joe Rosenfield '25 Center will provide an opportunity for students to learn about Teach For America, the Peace Corps, Grinnell's Teaching Certification Program, MAT Programs, and others.
  • Thurs., Sept. 13, 5 p.m.: A reception and round-table discussion of insights from the symposium will include Paul Hutchison, assistant professor of education; Deborah Gallagher, University of Northern Iowa; and Kevin Seney, Grinnell High School principal.

For more information about the September education symposium, contact Sarah Purcell, purcelsj@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 or calendar@grinnell.edu.

* Date and time for "Education and Democracy Worldwide" has changed from Mon., Sept. 10, 4:15 p.m. to Tues., Sept. 11, noon, making the symposium three days instead of four.

Civil War Era drawings to display at Faulconer Gallery

Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

More than 100 original drawings by Civil War era artist-reporters will be on display at Grinnell College's Faulconer Gallery, opening Aug. 31. "Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection," a travelling exhibition from Boston College's McMullen Museum of Art, includes hundreds of drawings by Joseph Becker and his colleagues, 19th-century artists who worked as artist-reporters for "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper," observing, drawing and sending back for publication images from the camps and battlefields of the Civil War.

"These artist-reporters were the embedded journalists of their day. Joseph Becker was one of these artists, and his collection of historical art had gone unnoticed until first shown in 2009," said Daniel Strong, associate director of the gallery and curator of exhibitions. "Engagement with the college curriculum is also one of our objectives, and this show lends itself well to engaging with faculty and students, as well as those interested in early American history." For example, Civil War historian and Grinnell faculty member Sarah Purcell will teach a fall semester senior seminar that will require students to interpret pieces from the exhibition, culminating with presentations by the students discussing their conclusions.

Faulconer Gallery will host the following public events related to the Civil War drawings:

  • Fri., Aug. 31, 4:15-6 p.m.: Opening reception, refreshments will be served.
  • Sat., Sept. 15, noon-5 p.m.: Community Day with a living history camp presentation by the Sons of Union Veterans on the lawn just north of the Faulconer Gallery. Families can also enjoy Civil War era games, hands-on activities, refreshments and tour the exhibition.
  • Thurs., Sept. 20, 4:15 p.m.: "Seeing Corpses: Death and Visual Culture during the U.S. Civil War," a gallery talk by Associate Professor of History Sarah Purcell whose scholarship focuses on the meanings of death in Civil War. Purcell will discuss how the spectacle of death helped to shape the political and social meanings of the Civil War through photographs, print culture, material culture, ephemera, paintings, and other visual forms.
  • Sat., Sept. 29, 2 p.m.: Grinnell Orchestra, under the direction of Eric McIntyre, associate professor of music, presents a concert of Civil War-related music, with tenor Michael Oxley singing popular songs from the era.
  • Tues., Oct. 2, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by curator Judith Bookbinder of the McMullen Museum. Bookbinder will talk about the exhibition and the Becker Collection at Boston College.
  • Mondays and Thursdays, Sept. 6-Oct. 11, 12:15 p.m.: Yoga in the gallery with Monica St. Angelo, for beginners and experienced practitioners. Mats provided. Co-sponsored by Faulconer Gallery and Live Well Grinnell.

"Civil War Era Drawings from the Becker Collection" is open Aug. 31 through Oct. 14 during regular gallery hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.; open Thurs. and Fri. until 8 p.m.; closed Monday. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660or visit www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.

Endowed chairs honor faculty achievements

Wednesday, May. 9, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Grinnell College Board of Trustees recently approved the installation of six senior faculty members to endowed professorships for the 2012-13 academic year:

·         William (Bill) Ferguson, professor of economics, named the Gertrude B. Austin Professor of Economics, an endowed professorship created in 1963 by 1909 alumna Gertrude Bishop Phillips Austin and instructor Charles Burgess Austin.

·         M. Johanna Meehan, professor of philosophy, named the McCay-Casady Professor of Humanities, an endowed chair created in 1993 by alumni Dale and Rose Casady McCay.

·         Astrid Henry, associate professor of gender, women’s and sexuality studies, named to the Louise Noun Chair in Women’s Studies, endowed in 1985 by alumnus Joseph Rosenfield  in honor of his sister and alumna, Louise Rosenfield Noun.

·         Scott Cook, professor of Chinese, named to the Cowles-Kruidenier Chair of Chinese Studies, created by a 1988 grant from the Gardner and Florence Call Cowles Foundation.

·         John Christian Rommereim, professor of music, named the Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, created in 1997 by Harold B. Johnson Jr., in memory of his aunt, Blanche Johnson.

·         Clark Lindgren, professor of biology, named the Patricia A. Johnson Professor, an endowed professorship created in 2000 by Harold B. Johnson Jr. to honor his mother, Patricia Armstrong Johnson.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa. Founded in 1846, Grinnell enrolls 1,600 students from all 50 states and from as many international countries in more than 26 major fields, interdisciplinary concentrations, and pre-professional programs.