Communication

Grinnell students to implement Davis Project for Peace in China

Saturday, Mar. 17, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College students Tinggong Zhan and Xiaorong Yin will implement an international peace project in China this summer, thanks to a $10,000 award throughDavis Projects for Peace. Davis Projects for Peace are funded by internationalist and philanthropist Kathryn Wasserman Davis, who committed $1 million to fund grassroots projects through a competition on 90 college and university campuses.

Zhan and Yin, who are both second-year mathematics majors from China, will work this summer to create an Internet-based micro-lending program to assist peasants in Yiyuan County, China. The program would allow those with sufficient resources to make a loan via the Internet to improve peasants’ living conditions and productivity.

The Davis Projects are designed to encourage and support motivated college students to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world.

Grinnell College is a nationally recognized, private, four-year, liberal arts college located in Grinnell, IA. 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.

College provides mini-grants to community-based projects, initiatives

Tuesday, Mar. 13, 2012 11:30 am

 

Twelve Grinnell area organizations will benefit from $25,000 in grant support from the Grinnell College Mini-Grant Program for community-based projects and initiatives.

“The grant process was highly competitive with nearly 30 applications and $120,000 in requests,” said Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement. “Given the large number of requests, the committee focused on projects that have the greatest community impact and hold promise for longer term sustainability.”

Educational programming for "Sandow Birk's American Qur'an" continues in March

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Public events surrounding Faulconer Gallery’s showing of “Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an” continue in March on the Grinnell College campus. The Faulconer Gallery exhibition includes 85 panels of handwritten English translations and handpainted illustrations of the sacred text. Six of the panels in the exhibition are part of Grinnell College’s permanent art collection. The exhibition, organized by The Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh, will be on view through Mar. 18.

The educational programming events, organized by Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and public outreach, provide opportunities “to learn about Islam, everyday American life, cultural differences and commonalities,” Woodward said. All of the events sponsored by Faulconer Gallery are free, open to the public, and located in the gallery unless otherwise noted:

• Feb. 28, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by artist Sandow Birk, discussing his ongoing project.

• Mar. 1, 4:15 p.m.: Author Michael Muhammad Knight will read from and discuss “The Taqwacores,” about the Islamic punk music scene. Co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 2, 4:15 p.m.: Panel discussion by author Knight, film director Omar Majeed, and musicians from Pakistani-American punk rock band The Kominas, who will talk about evolving Islamic punk culture in the U.S.

• Mar. 2, 7 p.m.: Screening of “Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam,” followed by a director’s talk. The feature documentary traces the progression of the Muslim Punk scene. Co-sponsored by Cultural Films Committee, Student Government Association Films, Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 7, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by artist Harrell Fletcher on socially engaged and collaborative interdisciplinary projects. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and the Center for the Humanities.

• Mar. 8, 4:15 p.m.: Workshop led by Fletcher exploring art and social practice. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art and the Center for the Humanities. Bucksbaum Rotunda.

• Mondays and Thursdays through Mar. 15, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: Yoga with Monica St. Angelo. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats provided for beginners and experienced practitioners.

Faulconer Gallery, located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell campus, is open Tuesday-Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visitwww.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.

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Briefly: upcoming events

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - >Broken Mirrors on stage Mar. 8-10

Broken Mirrors, three short stories by Salman Rushdie, will be performed by an ensemble of 15 in Flanagan Theatre, Thur., Mar. 8, Fri., Mar. 9, and Sat.,Mar. 10 at 7.30 p.m.  The Sun., Mar. 11 performance is at 2 p.m.  Tickets are free at the Bucksbaum box office starting at noon, Mon., Mar. 5. 

  Adapted and directed by Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre and dance, the three stories are set in imaginative and conflict-laden times and places: following the 1964 theft of a religious relic in Kashmir, in a dystopic near future in New York where everything is for sale, and in the swinging but also anti-immigrant London of the 1960s, where Rushdie came of age.   The production includes violent subjects and adult language.

Festival of Humanities Mar. 6-9

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Grinnell’s first Festival of Humanities, Mar. 6-9, will include two key speakers and a wide range of student presenters. On Tues., Mar. 6, Richard Handler, director of the Program in Global Development Studies at the University of Virginia, will give a talk on “Global Development Studies in a Liberal Arts Curriculum: Humanistic Approaches to Global Modernities” at 4:15 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center.  Handler served as dean of the undergraduate College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia between 2000 and 2010. He is a cultural anthropologist whose research interests include nationalism, ethnicity and the politics of culture.

On Wed., Mar. 7, Harrell Fletcher, associate professor of art and social practice at Portland State University, will give a 4:15 p.m. gallery talk in Faulconer Gallery on making public art.   Fletcher will also lead a social practice workshop on Thurs. at 4:15 p.m. in the Bucksbaum Rotunda. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged, collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s, including work shown at the Berkeley Art Museum, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay area, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, Apex Art, and Smackmellon in New York City, and the Seattle Art Museum. His lecture is co-sponsored by the Art Department, Center for Humanities, and Faulconer Gallery. 

Student presentations begin on Thurs. at 11 a.m. in JRC 101 and continue through Fri. p.m. in various campus locations. Topics range from “Deciphering the Source” to “Culture and Hybridity” and “Telling Stories, Making Music,” among others.

Questions about the Festival of Humanities? Contact Shuchi Kapila, director, Center for the Humanities, kapilas@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3655.

Early Music from Aula Harmoniae Baroque Trio

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New York-based baroque trio Aula Harmoniae will perform on Tues., Mar. 13, at 7:30 p.m., in Sebring-Lewis Hall of Bucksbaum Center for the Arts. The early music trio includes Sang Joon Park on flauto traverso, Martha McGaughey on viola da gamba, and Arthur Haas on harpsichord. The group made its debut in 2009 at the Boston Early Music Festival and is dedicated to a repertoire of Renaissance and classical works.

First Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium Oct. 25-27

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA
10/5/11

Grinnell College will host its first symposium dedicated to the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize on October 25-27. The Symposium – co-sponsored by the college’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights – includes an awards ceremony and presentations by the 2011 prize winners: Boris Bulayev and Eric Glustrom (Educate!); James Kofi Annan (Challenging Heights); and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub (Encounter). Noted civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will present the keynote address, “With Justice for All,” on the final day.

The Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, established by Grinnell in 2010, recognizes 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. The 2011 winners, selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, will receive $100,000 awards, half to the individuals and half to their respective organizations. On Tuesday evening, Oct. 25, President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., will honor the inaugural winners during an awards ceremony.

Over the next two days, winners will deliver public presentations on their work:

• Boris Bulayev, co-founder and executive director, and Eric Glustrom, co-founder and president, Educate! (shared award / presentation), on “Why I Quit the Basketball Team to Join Educate!- Jumping in the Deep-End”

• James Kofi Annan, president, Challenging Heights, on “Passion, Commitment, and Innovation: The Critical Success Factors in Community Project Sustainability”

• Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, founding executive director emeritus, Encounter, on “Authentic Peace-building: A Justice That's Not Just Us”

In addition to formal presentations, award winners will meet with students, faculty and staff in classrooms and informal settings to discuss their approach to social justice, sources of inspiration and success in overcoming obstacles.

“Social justice has been an integral part of the Grinnell mission since our founding in 1846. It contributes to our academic programs and culture on campus, and it inspires our alumni throughout their lives,” explained Kington. “The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize and Symposium program underscores our deep commitment to fostering positive social change.”

Public events during the three-day symposium on the Grinnell campus include:

• Oct. 25, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Grinnell Prize awards ceremony.

• Oct. 26, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights.

• Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Bulayev and Glustrom, Educate!

• Oct. 27, 11 a.m., Herrick Chapel: Convocation by Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center.

• Oct. 27, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Weintraub, Encounter.

The Symposium coincides with the Call for Nominations for the 2012 Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, with entries accepted through November 14, 2011. Details of the program and the nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/grinnellprize.

For additional information about symposium events, contact Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program,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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Rockjazz pianist ELEW to perform in Herrick Chapel

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Rockjazz pianist ELEW will bring his physical playing style to Grinnell College, Thurs., Mar. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell campus. ELEW combines ragtime, rock and pop with “mesmerizing piano theatrics” to create a style that has complemented tours for artists such as Josh Groban, Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Roy Hargrove, and Cassandra Wilson, among others.

Known as an “imposing, explosive force” at the keyboard, ELEW released his first album in 2010 featuring “blistering piano recreations” of tunes by Coldplay, The Killers, and others in his own rock-jazz tradition. His second CD, “ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 2,” is expected to be released early this year with interpretations of classics from Michael Jackson to Katy Perry to the Doors.

Tickets are required for the Grinnell performance and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts box office, beginning Mon., Feb. 27, noon-5 p.m. Limited tickets are also available from the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3101 or go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/car/confops/publicevents/.

The ELEW performance at Grinnell is sponsored by the college’s Public Events Committee. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. 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 orcalendar@grinnell.edu.

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New dean of admission and financial aid appointed

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington has appointed Joseph P. Bagnoli, Jr., of Berea College to lead Grinnell’s strategic recruitment and financial aid programs. Bagnoli will join the Grinnell staff on Feb. 23 as vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid.

Bagnoli currently serves as dean of enrollment and academic services at Berea, his alma mater, with responsibility for admission, financial aid, athletics, academic services, and student records and accounts. Berea College, located in Berea, Ky., is recognized for its abolitionist founding as the first interracial, coeducational college in the South and its unique student labor program in which all students participate to earn a tuition-free education.

“Joe’s impressive record of service at Berea, both personally and professionally, demonstrates high-level commitment to the goal of strategically enrolling a diverse student body, while balancing challenging demographics and economic times,” Kington said. “He shares Grinnell’s drive for social good and academic excellence, and our desire to extend educational opportunities to disadvantaged college-bound students.”

Bagnoli previously served as director of admissions and financial aid at Concord College in West Virginia and as an admissions counselor at Berea. He holds a master’s degree in student personnel services from Eastern Kentucky University and is completing his Ph.D. in educational policy studies and evaluation at the University of Kentucky.

“Grinnell’s history of social action and its reputation as a leader in access to higher education among elite liberal arts colleges compelled me to pursue this position,” Bagnoli said. “I believe Grinnell can play an increasingly important role in the diversification of higher education nationally by acting upon its own convictions, and I look forward to engaging in that work.” Bagnoli is the second member of his family to join the Grinnell campus; his oldest daughter is currently a first-year student.

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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Briefly: Media and Politics

Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - The Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights will sponsor a Feb. 1 campus visit from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Executive Editor David Shribman. Shribman will discuss “American Politics and the Press in a Period of Transition” at 4:15 p.m. in JRC 101.

Shribman joined the Post-Gazette in 2003 from The Boston Globe where he was assistant managing editor, columnist and Washington bureau chief. His previous experience includes national politics coverage for The Wall St. Journal and The New York Times, as well as reporting for The Washington Star and The Buffalo Evening News. In 1995 he received a Pulitzer Prize for his “My Point” column which is syndicated nationally.

Shribman’s visit to Grinnell will also include meetings with students and the Career Development Office to arrange potential journalism internships.

"Sandow Birk's American Qur'an" open in Faulconer Gallery

Friday, Jan. 20, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - “Sandow Birk’s American Qur’an” will open Fri., Jan. 27 at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery. The exhibition, organized by The Andy Warhol Museum of Pittsburgh, will be on view in Grinnell through Mar. 18.

Birk, a California-based artist, has been engaged for the past six years in transcribing and illustrating an English translation of the 114 Suras, or chapters, of the Qur’an, Islam’s sacred text. Based on traditional models of manuscript illumination, Birk’s adaptation combines handwritten text with images drawn from contemporary American life. The Faulconer Gallery exhibition includes 85 painted panels from the ongoing project, which the artist plans to complete in 2014.

Birk was drawn to the Qur’an out of curiosity, seeking to educate himself about a book that many have formed opinions about, but fewer have actually read. “Given the global situation, the Qur’an may be the most important book on Earth, but few Americans know anything about it,” Birk told the New York Times in 2009. “I’m attempting to create visual metaphors that go along with the text and hopefully make it more accessible to Americans, more relevant to American life.”

Six of the panels in the exhibition, representing chapters 36 and 37 from the total 114, are part of Grinnell College’s permanent art collection, purchased in 2010.

“The purpose of the college’s art collection is education, and it is the Faulconer Gallery’s mission to use the collection in provocative ways to foster greater understanding,” said Daniel Strong, associate director of the gallery and curator of exhibitions. “Here is an artist who, when he’s completed the project, will have spent a decade of his life studying and interpreting the Qur’an solely for the purpose of educating himself about it.”

Strong explains that while most of the imagery is relatively benign, the artist found it impossible to avoid controversial events that have recently defined American life, such as devastation by Hurricane Katrina (one of the chapters in the college’s collection) and at the World Trade Center (in a chapter titled “Smoke”). “Art is a perfect means to launch the discussion. The Qur’an can’t be reduced to a few incendiary passages, nor can they or should they be disregarded. This exhibition is a quest for fuller understanding through beautifully executed art,” Strong said.

Educational programming, organized by Tilly Woodward, curator of academic and public outreach, also provides a wide variety of platforms to learn about Islam, including an open invitation for reading of the Qur’an. “Gallery visitors are invited to read aloud from the Qur’an in any language that feels right to them. We believe their experience will be enhanced from listening and reading. All are welcome to come,” Woodward said.

All events sponsored by Faulconer Gallery are free, open to the public, and located in the gallery unless otherwise noted:  

  • Jan. 27, 4:15-6 p.m.: Opening reception.
  • Jan. 30, 4:15 p.m.: Panel discussion on “Islam in Iowa” with Kamal Hammouda, adjunct Muslim prayer leader; Mervat Youssef, assistant professor of French and Arabic; and Imam Taha Tawil of the Mother Mosque of America, who will speak on their experiences as Muslims in the state.
  • Feb. 9, 4:15 p.m.: Student roundtable on “The Qur’an in America,” facilitated by Caleb Elfenbein, assistant professor of religious studies and history.
  • Feb. 11, 1:30-3:30 p.m.: Community Day with a variety of hands-on activities.
  • Feb. 15, 7:30 p.m.: Open mic night, co-sponsored by Grinnell Review and Grinnell College Libraries, featuring original works by Grinnell students and others who wish to share favorite writers or composers.
  • Feb. 16, 4:15 p.m.: “Visualizing Islamophobia” discussion with Max Leung, lecturer in sociology, based on his research on the identities of Arabs and Muslims in America.
  • Feb. 28, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by artist Sandow Birk, discussing his ongoing project.
  • Thursdays, Feb. 9-Mar. 15, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: Yoga with Monica St. Angelo. Co-sponsored by Live Well Grinnell. Mats provided for beginners and experienced practitioners.

More educational events will be offered in March. Faulconer Gallery, located in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell campus, is open Tuesday-Wednesday, noon to 5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, noon to 8 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.

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Events to honor Martin Luther King Jr. as second semester opens

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

As classes open Jan. 23 for the second semester, Grinnell College has scheduled two events to honor the late Martin Luther King, Jr.: a Jan. 26 lecture by White House director John Silvanus Wilson, Jr., and a Jan. 30 lecture by Civil Rights author Tomiko Brown-Nagin.

Wilson, who is executive director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), will speak on “Martin Luther King and ‘the Beloved Campus’” at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center. Wilson accepted the White House position in 2009 with the challenge from President Barack Obama to ensure that the country’s 105 HBCUs are a significant force in reaching the U.S. goal for the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020. His career includes 16 years as an administrator at M.I.T. and later as executive dean at George Washington University. The Jan. 26 event is co-sponsored by the Grinnell College Office of the President and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights.

On Jan. 30, Brown-Nagin will speak on “Wealth Inequality as a Civil Rights and a Women’s Rights Issue: What History Teaches” at 7:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Rosenfield Center. Brown-Nagin is the Justice Thurgood Marshall Distinguished Professor of Law and professor of history at the University of Virginia School of Law. Her book “Courage to Dissent,” about lawyers, courts and community-based activism during the Civil Rights era, was recently published by Oxford University Press. The Jan. 30 event is co-sponsored by the Rosenfield Program and the University of Iowa College of Law. A book-signing will be held at the campus bookstore at 4:15 p.m. on Jan. 30.

For more information about the Rosenfield Program, contact Sarah Purcell, purcelsj@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3091. The Rosenfield Center is located at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell campus. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. Information on parking and accessibility is available on the college website. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations at 641-269-3235 orcalendar@grinnell.edu.

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