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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.

 

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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"Listening, Learning, Leading on the Global Stage" by World Food Prize lecturer Jo Luck

Monday, Sep. 26, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - 2010 World Food Prize laureate Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, will deliver a public lecture at Grinnell College on Wed., Oct. 12 about her experiences in leading the world hunger assistance organization. Her lecture, “Listening, Learning, Leading on the Global Stage,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Center Cinema on the Grinnell campus. A light buffet dinner will precede in the Harris Center atrium. At 6:30 p.m., following the lecture, there will be a public reception in the atrium with music by Too Many Strings Band.

Luck served as president and CEO of Heifer International from 1992 to 2010, and director of international programs from 1989 to 1992. Under her leadership, the organization, which brings food- and incoming-producing livestock to impoverished families, grew from 20,000 to 500,000 supporters and expanded scope of efforts throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Grinnell has hosted World Food Prize lecturers for more than six years as part of a World Food Prize outreach program at Iowa educational institutions during the week the prize is awarded. The 2011 World Food Prize will be awarded at the state capitol Oct. 13 to John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, who led significant hunger and poverty reduction efforts in their respective countries.

Luck’s lecture is sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights. Harris Center is located at 1114 10th Ave. on the Grinnell campus. For more information about the Rosenfield Program, 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.

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"Live in HD" bringing the Metropolitan Opera to Harris Center

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College has partnered with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera to offer the final three shows of the 2011-12 season “Live in HD” at the Harris Center Cinema on the Grinnell campus. Each show will be preceded by a half-hour opera talk by Jennifer Williams Brown, associate professor of music at Grinnell.

On Sat., Feb. 25, the Italian opera “Ernani,” composed by Giuseppe Verdi, will be presented with English subtitles. Audience members should plan to arrive by 11:30 a.m. for the opera talk, with the performance to begin at noon.

The French opera “Manon,” composed by Jules Massenet, will be performed on Sat., Apr. 7. Audience members should arrive by 10:30 a.m. for the opera talk, with the English-subtitled performance to begin at 11 a.m.

Verdi’s “La Traviata” will be performed on Sat., Apr. 14 at noon, with the opera talk to begin at 11:30 a.m. The opera will be sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Synopses of the shows are available at http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/history/stories/. Details for the 2012-13 “Live in HD” season will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are required for each performance and can be purchased at the Harris Center on the day of the show: $15 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets will also be on sale at the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell, beginning Feb. 17. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3235.

Harris Center is located at 1114 10th Ave., with available parking east of the center on 10th Ave. 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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In Memoriam: Former Grinnell College President A. Richard Turner

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

 

Former Grinnell College President A. Richard Turner died on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, at the age of 79, following a battle with cancer. He was president of Grinnell College from 1975 to 1979. His inaugural address recommitted the College to “an ongoing examination of the nature of truth,” “flexibility of spirit,” and the development of “men and women who … are broad-gauged enough to adjust to changing circumstances while maintaining a humane perspective.”

2012 nominations for Social Justice Prize open through Nov. 14

Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell, IA 9/7/11

Grinnell College today announced the call for nominations for the 2012 Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. This prize program, now in its second year, 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. Up to three $100,000 awards will be divided evenly, with half going to the individual(s) and half to the organization(s) committed to each winner’s area of social justice.

Last year’s winners of the Grinnell Prize, selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, include Boris Bulayev, president, and Eric Glustrom, executive director, Educate! (shared award); James Kofi Annan, executive director, Challenging Heights; and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, co-founder and director emeritus, Encounter. They will receive their awards on campus at the Social Justice Prize Symposium October 25-27.

Grinnell encourages entries for 2012 from across a wide range of fields, including science, medicine, the environment, humanities, business, economics, education, law, public policy, social services, religion and ethics, as well as projects that cross these boundaries. Nominations are also encouraged from areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. Nominees may be U.S. citizens or nationals of other countries; no affiliation to Grinnell College is required.

A selection committee will evaluate the nominations based on how candidates have embraced the values of a liberal arts education, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, free inquiry and commitment to using and sharing knowledge to better humanity. The selection committee will be chaired by George A. Drake, a 1956 graduate who served as Grinnell’s president from 1979 to 1991. Committee members are recognized individuals who work for social change in various capacities – largely Iowa-based – and represent the college’s faculty, student body, alumni, staff and trustees, plus prominent individuals not formally affiliated with Grinnell.

The Grinnell Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize program directly reflects the College’s historic mission to educate men and women “who are prepared in life and work to use their knowledge and their abilities to serve the common good.”

The idea for the Grinnell Prize originated with Grinnell’s president, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., who began his tenure as the college’s thirteenth president in August, 2010. “Given the college’s longstanding belief in social justice as a core tenet of its liberal arts academic mission, I am proud to recognize and honor young individuals who embody our values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world,” said Kington. “With this award, we’re honoring those who practice what we teach. Our 2011 winners have made extraordinary contributions in the pursuit of positive social change, and I look forward to an even larger group of outstanding candidates for our 2012 Prize program.”

Nominations for the 2012 Prize are due by November 14, with winners to be announced at the beginning of the academic year in 2012. In the fall of 2012, the college will hold a special symposium on campus featuring public lectures by prize recipients regarding their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative social change. Details of the program and its nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize.

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.

Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) offered by faculty this summer

Thursday, May. 26, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College will offer the Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) throughout the summer with courses taught by faculty in anthropology, biology and French. The free courses, co-sponsored by the Community Education Council and Grinnell College, will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Room of the college's Old Glove Factory, located at 733 Broad Street in Grinnell. Registration is requested to assist instructors in preparing for class needs. To register, send email to calendar@grinnell.edu, or call 641-269-3178.

Courses for summer 2011 include:

“Americans in Paris: Through the Looking Glass”

June 15, 22

Taught by Jan Gross, professor of French, and Dan Gross, director of the Alternate Language Study Option (ALSO) Program

As an international meeting place for revolutionary and artistic movements, and a refuge from racial, gender and political barriers, Paris has been many things to many Americans. This course will examine the myths and realities associated with the City of Light through literary readings, films, memoirs, essays and sites of American interest.

Jan and Dan Gross have been regular visitors to Paris for more than 40 years. Jan, who is Seth Richards Professor in Modern Languages, has taught French at Grinnell since 1977. Her area of research is contemporary performance and how theatre expresses identity. She taught a tutorial for first-year students on the ACES topic. Dan specializes in language self-instruction and pedagogy. He created the college’s self-instructional ALSO program and serves as an officer of the National Association of Self-Instructional Language Programs.

“Vaccinations and Society”

June 29, July 6

Taught by Shannon Hinsa-Leasure, assistant professor of biology

Class participants will discuss many aspects of vaccinations, including the discovery of vaccines, compliance and non-compliance with recommended guidelines, and the responsibility to provide effective low-cost vaccines to the world. Discussions will include how race, gender and religion influence choices.

Shannon Hinsa-Leasure holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from Dartmouth Medical School. Her research investigates traits important for bacterial survival in the extreme environment of the Siberian permafrost; specifically, she examines the genes necessary for bacteria to attach to surfaces and form biofilms under a variety of environmental conditions.

“Rethinking Local History for the Sake of a Local Future”

July 13, 20

Taught by Jon Andelson, professor of anthropology and director, Center for Prairie Studies Small-town Iowa has a past that deserves to be preserved and remembered. But does small-town Iowa have a future? What will the future be? Does the past we remember have anything to do with the future we create? The class will explore these questions while sharing and rethinking local history.

Jon Andelson, Rosenfield Professor of Social Science, studies intentional communities, the relationship between humans and nature, sustainability, agriculture and religion. He is currently working on a book about the Amana culture and history. Jon co-founded the Grinnell Area Local Foods Alliance, served on the Imagine Grinnell board, and serves on the board of Grinnell-Newburg Educational Excellence.

“The French Revolution: History and Present-day Consequences”

July 27, Aug. 3

Taught by David Harrison, associate professor of French, and director, Center for International Studies This class will explore how religion, democracy, elitism and state authority emerged during the French Revolution and Enlightenment. Harrison will lead the class in discussion of how these ideas apply and are contested in contemporary France.

David Harrison teaches French and the literature and culture of the 17th and 18th centuries. He has published scholarly articles on French writers of these periods and is currently researching the 17th century French novel. As director of the Center for International Studies, he oversees initiatives to increase the global dimensions of student and faculty work.

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Two alumni receive Wall Awards for service projects

Monday, Jun. 13, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA
 
6/13/11

Two Grinnell College alumni have been awarded Joseph F. Wall Alumni Service Awards of $25,000 each for service projects in their selected non-profit organizations.

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 Grinnell students. The awards provide financial support for Grinnell graduates to engage in service projects, programs, and organizations that are dedicated to improving the lives of others.

Since the inception of the Wall awards in 1996, more than $750,000 has been distributed to the service projects of more than 30 Grinnellians.

The 2011 Wall Alumni Service Award winners are:

Wall Award winner Leah Bry '04• Leah Bry, a 2004 Grinnell graduate, who works with GreenLeaf, a Denver-based organization encouraging youth to grow fresh foods. The young people also grow by challenging themselves in an environment that creates lasting, just and sustainable social change, in addition to health and nutrition knowledge.

 

 

Wall Award winner Jeff Mok '02• Jefferson Mok, a 2002 Grinnell graduate, who developed radio programming in Burundi to open information flow to citizens in the civil war-torn country. The radio show offers a sustainable public forum and community participation in sharing of perspective and individual experiences of life in Burundi.

The Wall Alumni Service Awards are open to all graduates of Grinnell College with a service commitment to benefit others. For more information, go to:http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/socialcommitment/awards/wall/.

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.

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Two third-year students awarded competitive Goldwater Scholarships

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell, IA

3/30/11

Two Grinnell College students have been awarded Goldwater Scholarships for up to $7,500 toward tuition and expenses for the 2011-12 academic year. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.

Boanne MacGregor, a third-year math and physics double major from Fairfield, Ia., and Emily Blythe, a third-year biological chemistry major from Kalamazoo, Mich., received Goldwater Scholarships to complete their Grinnell educations.

MacGregor plans a career in theoretical physics and to teach at the university level.

As a Grinnell student, MacGregor has served as a teaching assistant and member of the student educational policy committee for the physics department and as a volunteer for Grinnell Women in Science.

 

Blythe plans a career in biomedical or pharmacological research.

As a Grinnell student, she has been involved in the Student Environmental Committee; Grinnell Women in Science; the student educational policy committee for biological chemistry; Grinnell Swing Society; a contributing artist to the student literary magazine; and an actor for the Neverland Players.

Kevin Jennison, a third-year biology major from Lake Geneva, Wisc., received honorable mention in the national scholarship competition.

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.

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