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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.

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.

Science historian to discuss weather and climate control at Apr. 5 Scholars' Convocation

Friday, Mar. 23, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Science and technology historian James R. Fleming will discuss his recent book, “Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control,” at a Grinnell College Scholars’ Convocation on Thurs., Apr. 5 at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus.

“Fixing the Sky” has drawn attention for its chronology of man vs. nature attempts at climate control, the latest in geoengineering. Fleming studied astronomy and atmospheric science before earning a Ph.D. in history at Princeton. A professor of science, technology and society at Colby College in Maine, his teaching bridges the sciences and humanities, with research interests in the history of geophysical sciences.

Fleming was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2003 for his “pioneering studies on the history of meteorology and climate change,” and is the founder and first president of the International Commission on History of Meteorology.

Fleming’s Grinnell lecture is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series. 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.

Wadzanai Motsi ’12 awarded Watson Fellowship

Friday, Mar. 16, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA
3/16/12

Grinnell College senior Wadzanai Motsi has been awarded a prestigious Watson Fellowship for one year of independent study and travel abroad. Motsi, an independent major in international relations from Zimbabwe, is one of only 40 students nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation.

Motsi plans to use the Watson Fellowship to learn about the motivation for political activism among students and youth in Tunisia, Ghana, the Czech Republic, and Cambodia.

“My objective is to attend student union meetings and work with youth organizations as these countries gear up for national elections,” Motsi said. “I plan to examine why young people are politically active and why they choose specific avenues to express their views.”

At Grinnell, Motsi has served as vice-president of the student government association, a member of the women’s varsity tennis team, and led a service trip to Nashville, Tenn. She hopes to return to Africa following her Watson year.

The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent exploration and travel outside of the U.S. to foster effective participation in the world community. Within the past 10 years, 18 Grinnell students have won Watson Fellowships.

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.

 

Service projects benefit from alumni volunteerism, endowed awards programs

Tuesday, Jun. 5, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Four Grinnell College alumni were recognized during the recent Alumni Reunion Weekend for their involvement in service organizations— two received Joseph F. Wall Alumni Service Awards of $25,000 each for service projects in their selected non-profit organizations, and two received Lori Ann Schwab Alumni Grants for service organizations in their home communities.

The Wall Alumni Service Awards are named for the late Joseph F. Wall, a Grinnell College alumnus and long-time professor of history who inspired an ideal of social responsibility in his students. The Wall Alumni Service Awards are open to all Grinnell graduates who engage in service projects, programs and organizations dedicated to improving the lives of others. The 2012 Wall Alumni Service Award winners are:

 

The Schwab Alumni Grants are named for the late Lori Ann Schwab who died while an arts student at Grinnell in 1994. The $1,500 grants are open to Grinnell graduates from 1992 to 1998 who are staff members or volunteers in non-profit service organizations and public schools. The 2012 winners are:

Chase Strangio ’04Chase Strangio, a 2004 Grinnell graduate from Jackson Heights, N.Y., who developed the Lorena Borjas Community Fund to provide legal, financial and logistical support to low-income LGBTQ immigrants in New York City. Nora Bloch ’92Nora Bloch, a 1992 graduate of Grinnell from Jamaica Plain, Mass., volunteers at the Rafael Hernandez Two-Way Bilingual School in Boston, where she assists and promotes fine arts instruction.

Amy Smith ’95Amy Smith, a 1995 Grinnell graduate from San Francisco, works with Bay Area organizations to assist incarcerated individuals at San Quentin State Prison in their transition to release.

 

Kathy Hansen Waddell ’96Kathy Hansen Waddell, a 1996 Grinnell graduate from Edmond, Okla., supports the Oklahoma City YWCA Hand in Hand Learning Center that provides trauma services to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

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.

Advisory: Social Entrepreneurs group finalist in White House competition

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG), a student-run nonprofit microfinance lending organization at Grinnell College, is one of 15 finalists in the White House “Campus Champions of Change Challenge.”

SEG was chosen from more than 1,400 submissions and is the only small college finalist and the only from Iowa. The Campus Champions of Change initiative highlights innovative ideas on college campuses across the country and aims to inspire others to get involved in their communities.

In its five years of operation, SEG has expanded from providing international loans in remote communities to also working to improve conditions in local communities. The microfinance organization has loaned more than $37,000 to 44 countries, with $13,000 going to 25 individuals in the Grinnell area.

The project selected for the competition—SEG’s Local Loans Project—provides emergency, no-interest microloans to individuals for medical expenses, automobile repairs, education, and repayment of high-interest loans from payday loan sharks.

Voting for the Challenge continues until Sat., Mar. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The top five finalists will be invited to an event at the White House, will be featured on mtvU and MTV Act, and the overall winner will host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

To speak to a SEG student coordinator, please contact Cindy Deppe, communications, deppec@grinnell.edu, 641-269-4834.

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Rosenfield Program to sponsor global financial crisis symposium Feb. 21-23

Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights will sponsor a Feb. 21-23 symposium on the global financial crisis with professionals from the Federal Reserve, Standard & Poor’s, the Washington Post, and academia.

Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program, said the symposium topic continues to be of great interest and concern, “as our students look for jobs, in an election year, and as the intensity evolves from day to day.

“The global finance issue touches all three of our program areas―public affairs, international relations, and human rights―, and we are very fortunate to have experts joining us who can address these from their vantage point in the financial world,” Purcell added, noting that one of the key speakers is Grinnell graduate John Chambers who chairs the S&P’s sovereign rating committee.

The symposium will include the following free, public events to be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus:

• Tues., Feb. 21, 8 p.m.: John Chambers, managing director of Standard & Poor’s and a 1977 Grinnell graduate, will reflect on the crisis in the European Union with ”Dislocations in the Euroarea. A fiscal or external problem?”

• Wed., Feb. 22, 4:15 p.m.: “Picking Up (and Rearranging) the Pieces: Global Financial Governance After the Great Recession,” will be the focus of a talk by Mark Copelovitch, assistant professor of political science and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin. Copelovitch teaches courses about the international political economy, and in 2010 published a book on the International Monetary Fund.

• Wed., Feb. 22, 8 p.m.: A screening of “Inside Job,” an Academy Award-winning documentary about the 2008 global economic crisis with interviews from financial insiders in the U.S., China, England, France, Iceland, and Singapore, will be co-sponsored by the campus Cultural Films Committee.

• Thurs., Feb. 23, 11 a.m.: Washington Post business and economics columnist Steven Pearlstein will deliver the Scholars’ Convocation on “The Crisis is Over. Now Comes the Hard Part.” Pearlstein received the Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for commentary that anticipated and interpreted the recession. He is also the Clarence J. Robinson Professor of Public and International Affairs at George Mason University.

• Thurs., Feb. 23, 4:15 p.m.: Federal Reserve economist Elizabeth Laderman will close the symposium with “The Financial Crisis and Lending in Low-Income Neighborhoods.” Laderman, a 1980 Grinnell graduate, works for the Federal Reserve’s San Francisco region.

For more information about the symposium, contact Sarah Purcell,purcelsj@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3091. 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.