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Energy & Climate: Breaking the Link

Richard Wolfson, Benjamin F. Wissler Professor of physics at Middlebury College, will give a free public talk, "Energy and Climate: Breaking the Link," at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in Alumni Recitation Hall Room 302.

In his talk, Wolfson will discuss energy consumption, the sources and uses of that energy, and the most recent evidence of its impact on climate. He will conclude the talk by offering suggestions for breaking the energy-climate link, which could lead to a future where Americans can enjoy the benefits of energy without damaging the planet.

Wolfson will also present a  seminar on solar physics, “Wild Sun: A Drama in Three Acts,” at noon Tuesday, April 14 in Noyce Science Center Room 1023. Food will be served.

Wolfson, who teaches Climate Change in Middlebury's Environmental Studies Program, completed his undergraduate work at Swarthmore College, where he majored in physics and philosophy. He also holds a master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in physics from Dartmouth College. His current research involves the eruptive behavior of the sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, as well as terrestrial climate change and the sun–Earth connection.

He is the author of several books, including the college textbook titled Energy, Environment and Climate. He also interprets science for those who are not scientists through his contributions to Scientific American and his books, Nuclear Choices: A Citizen's Guide to Nuclear Technology and Simply Einstein: Relativity Demystified.

Both talks are sponsored by the Harold W. ’38 and Jean Ryan ’38 Squire Lectureship in Physics.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. ARH is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator at the south end and accessible restrooms on the third floor. Automatic door operators are located on the southeast and southwest sides of ARH. Several accessible parking spaces are available along Park Street. Accommodation requests may be made to conference operations.


Rosenfield Program Seeking Applications for Student Members

Now is the time to apply for student membership on the Rosenfield Program Committee for 2015-16. All current 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year students who have an interest in public affairs, international relations, and human rights are urged to apply. The committee consists of faculty and students. The Rosenfield Program holds two or three major symposia each year, sponsors speakers, and funds summer internships. Membership requires a substantial time commitment in planning programs and hosting visitors.
To apply, please submit a 500-600 word statement to Laureen VanWyk by noon on Friday, April 10.  This statement should include:

  • Your interest in public affairs, international relations, and human rights
  • Your comments on Rosenfield Program events you have attended
  • Ideas for events you would like to attend in the future
  • Your major (if declared)
  • Class year
  • Activities which relate to the purposes of the Rosenfield Program

If you have any questions about being a student member on the Rosenfield Program Committee, please contact the interim director, Ed Cohn at (515) 269-3107.  Or talk to a student committee member – Nipun Basrur ’15, Keaton Cameron-Burr ’15, Roni Finkelstein ’15, Andres Cambronero ’15, David Leitson ’16, Danielle Chorne ’16, Strahinja Matejic ’17, Adriana Zenteno Hopp ’17, or Anesu Gamanya ’17.

The Roman Mosaics of Tunisia

Nejib Ben Lazreg, archaeologist and senior researcher at the National Heritage Institute of Tunisia, will deliver a free public lecture on “The Roman Mosaics of Tunisia” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101. Refreshments will be served.

Tunisia has one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics in the world, since it was once a prosperous Roman province. Its collection reflects a high degree of luxury along with a remarkable level of craftsmanship. The mosaics were in effect carpets, made of recycled stones and easily washable. Their subjects were not only decorative but also meant to bring good luck and ward off evil, and at the same time satisfy their patrons’ desire for ostentation. The lecture will discuss the construction, themes, styles, and social context of the mosaics.

Ben Lazreg received a master’s degree in ancient history and a doctorate in archaeology from the Faculty of Letters and Humane Sciences in Tunis. He is the curator of two museums in Tunisia as well as several archaeological sites. His specialty is Tunisia’s Roman and early Christian mosaics, though he has studied many other types of remains in the course of his archaeological surveys and excavations, and he has published extensively on the ancient sites and artifacts of Tunisia. His discoveries include many mosaics as well as a Christian chapel, catacombs, and baptistery. He has also made a lecture tour of the United States under the sponsorship of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Ben Lazreg is teaching a short course this spring under the sponsorship of Grinnell College’s Center for International Studies along with the Department of Classics.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot to the east. Room 101 is equipped with an induction hearing loop system. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations.

Alumna Pledges $4 Million to Start Global Learning Program

Susan McCurry  ’71, a member of Grinnell College’s Board of Trustees, has pledged $4 million to the College.

McCurry’s gift, a portion of which will come from the Roland and Ruby Holden Foundation, will establish the Global Learning Program at Grinnell College.

Susan McCurry ’71

“Susan McCurry’s generous gift combines her dedication to Grinnell College with the vision and foresight to advance our mission in strategic fashion,” said Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington. “The Global Learning Program will provide students at all levels and in all academic departments with opportunities to gain global competence and leadership in ways that distinguish Grinnell from our peers.”

According to Kington, the Global Learning Program (GLP) will have three core components – GLP Tutorials, GLP Designated Courses, and GLP Scholars Fellowships. Describing the GLP as a comprehensive set of international learning experiences, Kington added, “The Program will strengthen the international dimension of courses in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, as well as the Grinnell faculty’s international knowledge.”

Kington emphasized that GLP Tutorials particularly reflect McCurry’s desire to create global study opportunities for first-year students. Under the GLP Tutorial program, 25 first-year students will participate in interdisciplinary tutorials that include a four-week, multi-country travel component for comparative studies.

“The necessary critical thinking and inquiry based learning disciplines from GLP Tutorials will prepare students for the four-week travel component,” said Susan McCurry. “We expect the travel experience to influence the student’s course of studies for the next three years at Grinnell and beyond. The opportunity to foster interest in internships abroad as well as future careers may develop from the Global Learning Program. We envision many lifelong benefits from GLP and are enthusiastic about being part of launching this international program.”

The Global Learning Program will be directed by the Center for International Studies (CIS), in cooperation with the Dean of the College, and individual academic departments. It will be staged over a 10-year period. Faculty members are currently building the architecture for classes to begin next spring.

“This outstanding gift puts Grinnell in the forefront of international education,” said CIS Interim Director David Harrison. “By permitting Grinnell faculty to take students on course-embedded trips to multiple sites outside of the United States, the Global Learning Program provides a set of learning opportunities that no other liberal arts college can offer. Simply put, the gift liberates the creative energy of faculty and students alike to make the world their classroom.”

Susan McCurry graduated from Grinnell College with a B.A. in psychology. From 1971 to 1975, she held several positions as director of pre-schools and day care centers while she continued her education in early childhood development and administration in San Diego.

In 1978, she joined the family business as Chief Financial Officer of Holden’s Foundation Seeds, Inc., headquartered in Williamsburg, Iowa. She also served as Secretary/Treasurer for Hawaiian Research, Ltd., in Molokai, Hawaii. Both companies specialized in seed research and development. She remained involved in the company until it was sold in 1997.

“Our parents had a long history of international business relationships and travel. All of our family benefitted from their experiences and knowledge,” McCurry added. “They emphasized the value gained from international site exposure. We believe the travel component of the GLP will offer a worldwide learning laboratory for students.”

McCurry was elected to the Grinnell College Board of Trustees in 2003. She also serves as a board member for the Holden Family Foundation, Highland Ridge Retirement Community, and the University of Iowa Cancer Advisory Board. She is also a trustee at the Naples Children and Education Foundation. She resides in Naples, Florida, and Coralville, Iowa.

“We are extremely grateful for Susan McCurry’s investment in the future of Grinnell College,” said Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Shane Jacobson. “It is a demonstration of philanthropic leadership that aligns perfectly with the core values of the college.”

China’s Second Continent

Howard French, associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and two-time Pulitzer Prize nominee, will lecture on the topic of his new book China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa.

The free public lecture is at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, in Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, Room 101.

French has a distinguished career in journalism. After working as a French-English translator and English teacher at the University of Ivory Coast, French was a freelance reporter for the Washington Post. He was hired by The New York Times in 1986, and served as bureau chief for various regions overseas.

A noted writer on global affairs, French has received two Overseas Press Club Awards. In addition, the Guardian named China’s Second Continent one of the best books of 2014.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. The Rosenfield Center has accessible parking in the lot 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.

The Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights, global development studies, environmental studies, and African and Caribbean Students Union are sponsoring the event.

BAX Student Exhibition

The Bachelor of Arts Exhibition (BAX), which features works in the creative arts by students at Grinnell College, will open with a reception at 4:15 p.m. Friday, April 10, at the Faulconer Gallery, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

BAX is an exhibition of works by advanced art students. This year, the exhibition will feature works by 26 students. Though many of this year's artists major in studio art, some are pursuing an additional major such as anthropology or computer science. Other majors represented include English, theatre, and biological chemistry. Works on view include painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media, and installations.

Students on the art and art history department's student educational policy committee organize the exhibition. This year's organizers are Becky Garner ’15, Eden Marek ’15, Maria Shevelkina ’15, David Cambronero-Sanchez ’16, Hannah Condon ’16, Eliza Harrison ’16, Glenys Hunt ’16, Hazel Batrezchavez ’17, Xena Fitzgerald ’17, and Lauren Roush ’17. The organizers designed a catalog to accompany the exhibition.

The exhibition is designed by Faulconer Gallery director of exhibition design Milton Severe and coordinated by director Lesley Wright. The exhibition is adjudicated by artist in residence Laleh Khorramian, a visual artist from New York with extensive experience in painting, drawing, animation and digital media. Khorramian will select most of the yearly prizes in studio art, which will be announced at the opening reception.

The exhibition will be on view through May 3. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, and admission is free.

Grinnellians Take Manhattan

Twenty Grinnell students will navigate Manhattan during the second week of spring break, March 23-28, in search of career potential in the fields of international relations and human rights, with a little help from their friends in the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights, and from alumni who have volunteered to share their work experience and career insights.

The New York City break tour is the third industry tour organized by the Center for Careers, Life, and Service (CLS) and the Office of Development and Alumni Relations (DAR). In 2012, a dozen Grinnellians learned the wonders of startups in Silicon Valley; in 2013, 12 students blew into the Windy City to observe  careers in nonprofits with social impact.

“The idea of industry tours came out of the college’s strategic planning process that identified post-graduate success and alumni engagement as key initiatives,” says Mark Peltz, Daniel and Patricia Jipp Finkelman Dean, CLS. “What students walk away with from these tours is compelling — career advice, internship leads, enriching experiences, and networking opportunities.”

The tour topics are also informed by student interests, and “cut across where alumni are working, varying geographic locations and the diverse pathways of our graduates.”

Student interest is growing — this year, there were 59 applications for only 18 seats, plus two student leaders. It’s also a diverse group of participants — from Serbia to Rio; from first-year undecideds to senior international development majors.

When Sophia Neems ’16, an anthropology and Spanish double major from Iowa City, Iowa, attended the Chicago tour, she said she “gained a better understanding of the diversity of jobs that have to do with social justice.

“The CLS tour exposed me to many different areas of social justice work in a myriad of fields that I had never considered before,” Neems says. “It was a great opportunity to meet other like-minded Grinnellians that I would not have otherwise met. I learned a lot regarding the diversity of successful career paths that different Grinnellians have embarked upon.”

For Andrew Lange ’13, the Silicon Valley trip reinforced the value of a Grinnell degree. “The Silicon Valley industry tour got me excited about entrepreneurship and business.  Meeting a French major with a business career and a biology major working in advertising showed the diverse opportunities that a Grinnell liberal arts education allows. 

“The CLS tour was a bridge between the Grinnell academic experience and the business world. It was an opportunity to see the ways that alumni have used their liberal arts education to develop various successful careers. Lange, a studio art graduate, is a marketing agent in Carroll, Iowa

“The biggest impact for students is the opportunity to connect with alumni in their place of work, in areas students are interested in; for alumni, it’s a reason to reconnect with the college, share their knowledge and influence future leaders,” says Nate Dobbels, assistant director of alumni relations for career programs.

Dobbels coordinates the industry tour, along with Ed Cohn, interim director of the Rosenfield Program, and two student leaders who promote the tours to the campus, participate in the selection process, research trip sites, and help to navigate on site. Because the tour is funded in part this year by the Rosenfield Program, the student leaders are also Rosenfield Committee members: Roni Finkelstein ’15, a history major from New Jersey, and Anesu Gamanya ’17, an undeclared major from Zimbabwe.

Students will meet alumni in their workplaces – The New York Times and the United Nations, for example – and at evening networking events at the Center for Constitutional Rights and Neo Futurists Theater. 

Industry tour funding is provided by the Rosenfield Program, CLS, and DAR.

Theresa Geller Wins Mellon Research Fellowship

GellerTheresa Geller, EKI associate professor of film theory and history in the English department, has received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Mid-Career Fellowship entitled “Thinking the Humanities in the 21st Century” at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University for the 2015–16 academic year. 

According to Yale, the fellowship is directed toward faculty at four-year liberal arts colleges who have received tenure within the last five years. It will welcome three outstanding scholars in each of the academic years 2015–2018, where they will pursue research programs in any area of the humanities and related fields and enter into intellectual exchanges with faculty, fellows, and other visitors to the Whitney Center. 

During Geller’s research year, she will work on a book-length project titled Modes of Entrustment, which will examine affect and intersubjectivity in contemporary queer film and media. Geller says, “As someone in the rare position of teaching film studies as humanities, I have been compelled to think through the ways media model humanistic inquiry broadly conceived.”



Randye Jones on Negro Spirituals

Soprano and researcher Randye Jones, accompanied by pianist Marlys Grimm, will present two free public performances in April:

  • “Interpreting the Negro Spiritual in Classical Vocal Performance,” 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, Lawson Lecture Hall, Bucksbaum Center for the Arts
  • Recital “Dat Promised Lan’,” 4 p.m. Sunday, April 19, Herrick Chapel
Marlys GrimmMarlys Grimm, pianist

In a lecture/recital, “Interpreting the Negro Spiritual in Classical Vocal Performance,” Jones will discuss how several composers used this American folk music as source material for their songs and explain some of the decisions musicians must make in performing the works. Jones and pianist Marlys Grimm will perform works by H.T. Burleigh, John Carter, Robert MacGimsey, Moses Hogan and Hale Smith to demonstrate how interpretive decisions can dramatically affect the musical presentation of spiritual settings.

“Dat Promised Lan’ ” is a recital of spirituals that contains select songs from Jones’ The Art of the Negro Spiritual project that explore how this American folk music has been reset for performance on the concert stage. Jones and Grimm will perform works by Roland Hayes, Hall Johnson, Carter, Burleigh, Julia Perry, Hogan, Uzee Brown Jr. and R. Nathaniel Dett.

“The spiritual is an original American music,” Jones said. “Its impact on other music styles—from gospel to popular music—continues to this day. What we are presenting in these programs represents how composers have used the spiritual to create an art song for the classical musician.”

Jones holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education from Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, and her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, Tallahassee. She is currently a doctoral student in Vocal Literature at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Jones has gained recognition for her research of and published writings on African American vocalists and composers and as a performer and lecturer through her project, The Art of the Negro Spiritual.

She regularly presents lecture-recitals and concerts at events such as the Research, Education, Activism and Performance National Conference on Spirituals, African American Art Song Alliance Conference and the Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium VIII in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Jones serves as the Burling media room supervisor on the library staff at Grinnell College.

Grimm attended Sheldon High School and Central College, where she studied piano with Donald Gren. She has collaborated at Dordt, Northwestern, Grinnell, and Central colleges in student and faculty recitals. Grimm has accompanied high school, college, community and professional singers, instrumentalists and choruses throughout Iowa and for National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions. With husband, Norm, conducting, she has played for numerous conferences, district and regional choral festivals, including the 1993 Opus Boys Honor Choir. Grimm is currently the accompanist for the Grinnell Oratorio Society and staff accompanist at Newton High School.

For more information about the performances, call 641-821-0188. Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations.

2015-2016 Financial Aid Deadline is April 15

Current students: All materials required to apply for need-based financial aid for the 2015-2016 academic year are due April 15, 2015.  Log in to the Online Financial Aid Office to view the status of your required documents.

Help is available on our Apply for Aid web page.  If your FAFSA is selected for verification, go to the Federal Verification page for detailed instructions.

Students with non-need based awards only, such as scholarships and campus employment, will receive an email later this spring notifying them of the renewed award.

Students not applying for need-based aid, but who wish to borrow the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, must complete the FAFSA.

Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if you have questions.