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Nelson Ogbuagu ’16 Wins Short Story Contest

Grinnell College senior and winner of the Nick Adams Short Story Contest, Nelson Ogbuagu Nelson Ogbuagu ’16 has been named the winner of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest 2016 Nick Adams Short Story Contest. His story, "Playing it Safe," was selected from the 32 stories submitted by students from ACM colleges.

Author Bill Hillman, who served as the final judge for the contest, awarded first prize to Ogbuagu, praising his story as “a psychological thriller and a coming of age tale of an introspective and sensitive youth” that “works on a lot of levels.”

A Chicago native, Ogbuagu is an economics major. His interest in writing, inspired by his love for hip-hop music and storytelling, started in high school, where he served as both an arts and entertainment and a sports editor.

He began to write short stories in a creative writing course he took at Grinnell with author Dean Bakopoulos, assistant professor of English.

“His mentorship, teaching, feedback, and general support as I developed in his classes and outside of them not only made me a better storyteller through writing, but also encouraged a type of self-exploration that made me believe that I had meaningful stories to tell,” Ogbuagu said.

These workshop-based courses require students to read each other’s work and give extensive critiques in class discussions. “After all of that feedback, we’d go and make a revision that was very deep, very heavy,” said Ogbuagu. “You really get a very sharp sense as to the different ideas that different types of writers have for the directions you can go with a story. It really informed how I could take a certain experience and craft it in a way that I hadn't originally considered.”

In addition to writing, Ogbuagu serves as co-chair of the All Campus Events Committee of the Student Government Association and co-leads the Latin American Dance club. This fall, he will join LinkedIn’s Business Leadership Program for global sales in San Francisco. He plans to continue writing and eventually pursue a master’s degree in fine arts.  

Grace Lloyd ’16, a senior from Allentown, New Jersey, was awarded honorable mention for her story "Crush." She is an English and theatre major with a concentration in technology studies. She is currently writing a novella with the mentorship of Bakopoulos and plans to continue writing after graduation.

The Nick Adams Short Story Contest has been held annually since 1973 by the ACM. Winners receive $1,000, made possible by a gift from an anonymous donor.

Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives

In a free, public event, Damon Williams ’14 will present “Bigger Than the Cops: Racialized State Violence and the Movement for Black Lives” at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in ARH Auditorium, Room 302.

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English. Alexandra Odom ’17 will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology.

Event sponsors include Alumni in the Classroom Program, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Center for the Humanities, Peace and Conflict Studies, the Departments of Sociology, American Studies, and Economics, and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

About Damon Williams ’14

After a brief presentation, Williams will join in a one-on-one conversation with Shanna Benjamin, associate professor of English at Grinnell College. Senior Alexandra Odom will introduce participants and set the stage for the discussion.

At 5 p.m., there will be a break for refreshments. Attendees will return at 5:15 p.m. for a workshop with Williams and Kesho Scott, associate professor of American studies and sociology at Grinnell.

Williams is a community producer, organizer, radio host, hip-hop performance artist, actor, teacher and public speaker from the south side of Chicago. He has performed across the country with his sister, Kristiana Colón, as the poetic duo April Fools. He also co-hosts "AirGo Radio," a weekly show on WHPK, Chicago Community Radio.

In addition, Williams co-chairs the Chicago chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a national political organization comprised of black youth ages 18-35. He co-edits the #LetUsBreathe Collective, an artistic activist organization that serves underprivileged people and creatively disrupts the anti-black racist status quo.

Committed to addressing economic inequality, Williams also serves as the co-director of the Ujamaa Jr. Investment Club, which promotes financial literacy and investment strategies.

Golf Course Season Pass Rates

Grinnell College welcomes you to play at the Grinnell College Golf Course, a public golf course located at 933 13th Ave.

April Hours

Thursday–Sunday, from noon–6 p.m.

Daily rates only, cash or check.

Rates

Daily

  • 9 Holes - $15
  • 18 holes/unlimited - $25
  • Cart (9 holes) - $10
  • Cart (18 holes) - $15

Season Passes

Look for future announcements regarding summer hours and activities.
 

A Book Talk with Dr. Edward C. Cohn

Grinnell College Libraries presents a book talk with Dr. Edward C. Cohn on Friday, April 15, at 4:15 p.m. in Burling Lounge. Dr. Cohn, Associate Professor of History, will discuss his book, The High Title of a Communist, published by Northern Illinois University Press in 2015. 

The High Title of a Communist analyzes the Soviet Communist Party’s system of internal discipline in the The High Title of A Communist by Ed Kohntwenty years after World War II, focusing on investigations of corruption, war-time collaboration with the Nazis, drunkenness, and sexual misconduct among Communists. Professor Cohn has now begun a new research project on the KGB’s efforts to fight dissent and political unrest in the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. In particular, this project focuses on the tactic known as the “prophylactic conversation,” in which the KGB sought to prevent low-level offenders from becoming hardened enemies of the regime by “inviting” them to supposedly informal “conversations” or “chats.”

Edward Cohn came to Grinnell in 2007 after completing a Ph.D. in Russian history at the University of Chicago. A 1999 graduate of Swarthmore College, he worked for a year as a journalist before entering graduate school and specializes in the social and political history of the Soviet Union in the decades after World War II. Professor Cohn is also the chair of the Russian, Central, and Eastern European Studies concentration (RCEES). He travels frequently to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union and is always happy to work with students on independent research projects related to the region.

Grinnell College welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If you plan to attend this event and need accommodation, please contact Burling Library as soon as possible to make your request.

Celebrate the Earth

Grinnell College will host a series of events throughout April and early May in celebration of Earth Month. The free, public events will be focused on local food, creativity, volunteering, and exploration.

The events will take place throughout the campus and city, with a focus toward "getting rooted in the community." Featured events include Fred Magdoff’s lecture “Capitalism and Agriculture” on April 11, the National Water Dance on April 16, and the Eco Fair on April 23.

Some events will take place off-campus at Arbor Lake Park and the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), including a lake cleanup and woodland wildflower hike. Free transportation is provided from Grinnell's campus to these events. RSVP to Elizabeth Hill  for transportation.

Calendar of Events

Local Food

Monday, April 11

Fred Magdoff

4 p.m. Noyce 1022 (Roundtable)

7:30 p.m. Joe Rosenfield ‘25 Center, Room 101 (Public Talk)

Fred Magdoff, Professor Emeritus of Soils at the University of Vermont, will give a roundtable on “Soil and Soil Health” and a public talk on “Capitalism and Agriculture.”

Saturday, April 16

Spring Fest

Noon-4 p.m. Ecohouse

Join Ecohouse members for a celebration of spring, local foods, music, and community. Explore Ecohouse’s environmental projects and take part in seed planting. Enjoy live music from student performers, springtime crafting, and more!

Wednesday, April 20

Richard Oppenlander

7:15 p.m. ARH Auditorium, Room 302

Consultant and researcher Richard Oppenlander, author of Food Choice and Sustainability, will guide the audience through a fact-filled journey of the food choice-animal agriculture-environment connection, revealing why humanity is currently on a path of pseudo-sustainability.

Friday, April 29

Food For Thought May Day Celebration

5-8:30 p.m. Cleveland Beach

Join members of Grinnell College’s Food For Thought group to celebrate early May Day. Bring a dish to the potluck and enjoy face-painting, music, and a discussion about campus food activism. Come and find out what Food For Thought is doing to increase the amount of “real food“ on campus!

Creativity

Saturday, April 16

National Water Dance

3 p.m. CERA

Join campus and community dancers and musicians in celebrating the importance of water in our lives.

Email Jan Graham to reserve transportation. Van leaves the Rosenfield Center drop-off zone at 2:15 p.m., and Mayflower Community at 2:25 p.m.. If driving on your own, meet at CERA’s Environmental Education Center at 2:50 p.m.

Monday, April 18

Site-Specific Studio Critique

1­–4 p.m. CERA

Join Professor Lee Emma Running and her Site Specific Studio class for the critique of their place-based art installations at CERA. Student art installations explore how we connect to the Iowa landscape.

Email Elizabeth Hill to reserve transportation

Wednesday, April 20

Ecohouse Movie Night

9 p.m. Bob’s Underground Café

Join Ecohouse members to watch The Secret Life of Plants, a 1979 documentary based on the book of the same name. The film features time-lapse photography of plants and fungi growing and an original score by musician Stevie Wonder.

Friday, April 22

20 Minutes @ 11: Culling the Herd

11 a.m. Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Faulconer Gallery/Room 131

Explore our human relationship to white-tailed deer with Professor Lee Emma Running, who will present her recent project “Cure” in which she carves and gilds the bones of roadkill, and CERA Manager Elizabeth Hill, who will provide background on deer management in Iowa.

Learn

April 12 and 14

Undergraduate Research Symposium

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Rosenfield Center, various locations

Undergraduate research panel and poster presentations include many student talks on local and global environmental and food justice topics. Arrive at 11 a.m. to grab a free lunch and full presentation schedule.

Panel presentations in Rosenfield Center, Rooms 202, 203, 209, 225-227

Poster session in Rosenfield Center, Room 101

Tuesday, April 19

Fracture: Essays Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America

7:30 p.m. Rosenfield Center, Room 101

Join Taylor Brorby (ed.) and Iowa-based writers and thinkers Debra Marquart, Carolyn Raffensperger, and Frederick Kirschenmann for a book reading and question and answer session on the impacts of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Saturday, April 23

The Power is Ours!, Spiritual Reflections on Earth Day

12:30 p.m. Grinnell United Church of Christ

Join UCC members in welcoming Grinnell College faculty Liz Queathem and David Campbell, together with Associate Chaplain and Rabbi Rob Cabelli, who explore spiritual connections to Earth Day and climate change.

Thursday, April 28

Ecofeminist Organizing Workshop

4-5:30 p.m. ARH 102

Learn about inclusive organizing with two extraordinary activists! Join Bakken Resistance Pipeline Coalition co-founders and Women Food and Agriculture Network board members Ahna Kruzic and Dr. Angie Carter for a workshop on ecofeminist activism and organizing.

Explore

Saturday, April 23

Eco Fair

11 a.m.–1 p.m. Rosenfield Center, 1st floor and outdoor patio

SEC and Off-the-Grid students will present posters and demonstrations on topics pertaining to sustainable and off-the-grid living, including the tiny home movement, water sanitation and heating, backcountry camping tips, permaculture, urban gardening, and composting toilets.

Sunday, April 24

Arbor Lake Cleanup

2 p.m. Arbor Lake Park, 123 Pearl Street

Join IOWATER club in removing waste and beautifying Arbor Lake Park. Be prepared to get dirty, please wear rain boots and old clothes.

Email IOWATER to register.

Meet at GORP room in Harris Center or at Arbor Lake Park.

Tuesday, April 26

Woodland Wildflower Hike

4:15-6:15 p.m. CERA

Join CERA Manager Elizabeth Hill on a 1.5 mile spring ephemeral wildflower hike at CERA.

Wear sturdy walking shoes. Hike starts 4:45 p.m. at CERA.

Van leaves from Rosenfield Center drop-off zone at 4:15 p.m. Email Elizabeth Hill to reserve transportation

Saturday, May 7

Tallgrass Audubon Bird Banding

8 a.m.-noon Bob and Connie VanErsvelde’s house

Join members of the Tallgrass Audubon Society to learn about bird banding and the natural history of migratory birds. Families welcome!

Van leaves from Rosenfield Center drop-off zone

Email Elizabeth Hill for transportation or address

Event Sponsors

Center for Prairie Studies, CERA, Environmental Studies, Faulconer Gallery, Peace and Conflict Studies, Food for Thought, Iowater, Student Environmental Committee, Ecohouse, Poweshiek County SWCD, Advancing Animal Compassion Together, Student Government Association.

These Heavy Sands

John RommereimThese Heavy Sands, a concert of new and recent music by John Rommereim, Blanche Johnson Professor of Music, will be presented at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 17, in Herrick Chapel.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, includes four world premieres:

  • Together with the Voca String Quartet, soprano Rosie O’Brien ’16 will perform the premier of the featured work on the program: “These Heavy Sands Are Language,” with text by James Joyce.
  • The premiere of two songs will be sung by Rommereim with pianist Marlys Grimm: “The Gift” (text by Louise Erdrich) and “Elegy for a Walnut Tree” (text by W. S. Merwin).
  • Grimm, the College organist, will premiere “Veritas and Humanitas,” a piece written for the College’s annual commencement and reunion celebrations. 

Jazz saxophonist Mark Laver, assistant professor of music, will join with Rommereim to present improvisatory music for saxophone and piano. In addition, Laver will accompany the ensemble in a performance of Rommereim’s “Amara [grace].”

Flutist Claudia Anderson will perform “Weather Conversations,” a work for flute and electronics co-composed with Rommereim.

The Voca String Quartet will also perform “Illimitable Distance” from Rommereim’s 2004 string quartet, and selections will be offered from Rommereim’s chamber opera, “Rheingold,” a reimagining of Wagner’s opera commissioned by the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and performed with Craig Quintero’s Riverbed Theatre in Taipei in 2014. 

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. You can request accommodations through Conference Operations and Events.

About John Rommereim

Rommereim conducts the Grinnell Singers and the Grinnell Oratorio Society and he teaches composition. He has conducted the Grinnell Singers on concert tours across the country and in Estonia, Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

Rommereim’s choral works have been performed by distinguished ensembles across the United States, including Magnum Chorum, the Princeton Singers, VocalEssence, Voces Novae, Roomful of Teeth, and The Rose Ensemble, for which he served as 2008-09 composer-in-residence.

The New York Times praised the “richly expressive” character of his work for voice and piano, “Into the Still Hollow (2006).” In addition to his numerous choral works, Rommereim has composed a chamber opera, songs, electronic music, and works for piano, organ, guitar, flute, saxophone quartet, brass quintet, and string quartet.

Swing into Spring Contra Dance

Grinnell College's Contra Dance club is holding its Second Annual Contra Dance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22. The free, public event will take place in Main Quad Dining Hall.

The dance will feature live music by Can I Get an Amen, one of Chicago's foremost folk bands. Nikki Herbst, a renowned contra dancer from Iowa, will be calling the social dances.

Contra dance is an American folk tradition, similar to square dancing. Fun for both skilled and beginner dancers, this live dance is a unique opportunity to experience one of America's folk traditions firsthand.

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

This event is supported by the Grinnell Department of Music with funds from the Terri Thaler ’82 Memorial Endowment.

Mini-Grant Awards

A dozen local projects and initiatives will benefit from $35,000 in grant support this year from the Grinnell College Mini-Grant Program.

Community Enhancement and Engagement supports the College’s mission by helping our hometown become an energetic place to live, work, and study through grants that enhance the experience of life in Grinnell.

One grant program that provides catalyst funding for small- to mid-scale off-campus projects is the Mini-Grant Program. These grants focus on arts and culture, as well as recreational and educational initiatives that address human needs and enhance the safety, beauty, and economic vitality of the area. Since 2002, the program has directed more than $348,000 towards 164 community initiatives.

“We are pleased to help support so many wonderful projects in Grinnell that make our community even stronger. It is amazing to see all of the initiatives funded in 2016 and the amount of strength they will give to Grinnell, both now and in future years,” said Sarah Smith, program and communications manager for Community Enhancement and Engagement.

The College has awarded mini-grant funding to the following 12 initiatives for 2016:

  • Grinnell Newburg Educational Excellence, towards the purchase of a grand piano for the Grinnell High School Auditorium to enable all students in the Grinnell Newburg School district to have the opportunity to hear the quality of music produced by a Steinway Grand Piano. ($5,000)
  • Grinnell Area Arts Council, toward the purchase of an iPad to incorporate STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) concepts and learning into the Arts Academy. ($2,000)
  • Grinnell Area Arts Council, for the Grinnell Public Art Initiative and the vitality these pieces of art will bring to the community. ($5,000)
  • Grinnell Community Daycare and Preschool, for professional development for the entire staff to increase the quality and programs offered at the daycare and preschool. ($1,335)
  • Grinnell Historical Museum, for “Our Prairie Town,” a third-grade social studies text, which will help students gain understanding and appreciation of the history of their hometown. ($2,500)
  • Grinnell Regional Medical Center, towards the purchase of a Patient Care Simulator to enhance GRMC’s employee training and practice-care techniques prior to caring for patients. ($2,582)
  • Grinnell Outdoor Adventure Club Scaling Frozen WaterfallGrinnell-Newburg Community School District, for the Grinnell Outdoor Adventure Program to offer students an opportunity to experience the outdoors while also developing leadership skills. ($5,000)
  • Grinnell Little League, for new softball equipment, which will contribute to the safety and enjoyment of the children involved in the program. ($2,000)
  • Imagine Grinnell, for a bicycle repair station to assist cyclists who use the Grinnell Area Recreational Trail. ($2,500)
  • Poweshiek County Fair Foundation, for renovation of the kitchen at the fairgrounds to increase utilization of the fairgrounds through improved facilities. ($2,000)
  • Poweshiek County Heritage Park, towards construction of a sidewalk, ramp, and porch at Heritage Park, which will enhance safety and accessibility ($2,583)
  • St. John’s Lutheran Church-Grinnell Giving Gardens, for improving access to fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit to individuals experiencing low incomes or food scarcity. ($2,500)

For more information about the mini-grant program, contact Sarah Smith, 641-269-3900. Learn more about the College's community contributions at Community Investments.

Dave Stamey & Grinnell Symphony Orchestra

The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra will perform with celebrated Western musician Dave Stamey in concert at Grinnell College on Saturday, April 16.

A singer, songwriter and guitarist, Stamey also has been a cowboy, a mule packer, a dude wrangler, and is now one of the most popular Western entertainers working today. His "Vaquero Song" is widely considered one of the best Western songs of all time.

The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel. No tickets are required for this event, which is free and open to the public.

Stamey also will conduct a songwriting workshop from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. Friday, April 15, in Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, Room 103. The workshop, which is free and open to all, offers a great chance to talk with Stamey and learn about the art and business of songwriting.

In 2010, 2011, and 2013, Stamey was named True West Magazine's "Best Living Western Solo Musician." The Western Music Association has voted Stamey Entertainer of the Year seven times, Male Performer of the Year six times, and Songwriter of the Year five times. He also received the Will Rogers Award from the Academy of Western Artists.

Stamey says he has long dreamed about it, but this will be his first time performing with a symphony orchestra, said Grinnell Professor of Music Eric McIntyre who directs the Grinnell Symphony Orchestra. Stamey will sing 10 of his songs that McIntyre has arranged for orchestra.

"The orchestra has a long history of performing with soloists and ensembles that are not from the standard classical tradition," McIntyre said. "These include collaborations with Grinnell College's Young, Gifted and Black gospel choir, Jazz Ensemble, a hip-hop DJ narrator, and even a traditional German Oompah band.

"This performance will be the first time the orchestra has worked with a singer/songwriter," McIntyre added. "It is a wonderful opportunity to expand our range of styles and savor the experience of working with a popular artist."

McIntyre noted that Stamey has a big following and that the College has received inquires from people who plan to travel to Iowa to hear Stamey perform with an orchestra.

"It's going to be an amazing show," he said. "We recommend that people come early to get good seats."

The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra is comprised of student musicians representing all disciplines within the College who are unified by a love of music and a dedication to the art of orchestral performance.

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

Roberto Devereux, Live in HD

Grinnell College will stream the Metropolitan Opera's production of Gaetano Donizetti's Roberto Devereux at noon on Saturday, April 16, at the Harris Center Cinema.

This will be the fifth opera of the spring season in which the Met is celebrating its 10th anniversary of "Live-in-HD" movie theater transmissions.  

Set in Westminster Palace in London between 1599 and 1601, the opera follows Queen Elizabeth I as she is compelled to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves, Robert Devereux. Soprano Sandra Radvanovsky plays Queen Elizabeth I, one of Donizetti's three Tudor queens she will play this season. No actress has played all three Tudor Queens in one season since Beverly Sills in the 1970s.

Radvanovsky will star alongside tenor Matthew Polenzani, who portrays Roberto Devereux. Maurizio Benini conducts. There will be no opera talk before this broadcast.

Refreshments will be available for sale in the lobby of the cinema before the opera and during intermission.

Tickets are available at the Pioneer Bookshop, the Grinnell College Bookstore and at the door on the day of the show. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, children, and Met Opera members.

The Office of the President has generously funded tickets for Grinnell College faculty, staff, and students, and tickets are available for free at all locations. Family members not employed by the College are required to purchase tickets.

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Visitor and accessible parking is available in the lot to the east of the Harris Center. You can request accommodations from the event sponsor or Conference Operations and Events.