Home » Media Relations

Media Relations

New College Preschool Laboratory construction plans announced

Thursday, Mar. 3, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Grinnell College Preschool Laboratory, where many area preschoolers begin their worldly adventures, will have a new home on Park St., with construction to begin this spring. The popular laboratory program is currently housed in a 1970s-style building at 1207 Park St. that was intended to be temporary and now requires new construction to meet current and future educational needs.

The preschool, directed by Karen Veerhusen-Langerud, serves approximately 50 local children each year and holds a five-star rating from the Iowa Department of Human Services, The facility also serves as a real-time laboratory for approximately 100 Grinnell College psychology students who observe and interact with the preschoolers for introductory coursework. An additional 20-40 upper-level students conduct developmental psychology research projects there.

“Our high-quality preschool program has outgrown this aging facility that was only intended to be temporary when it was moved in 40 years ago,” said Marci Sortor, vice president for institutional planning. “Both the community children in attendance and the Grinnell students conducting research there need appropriate space and up-to-date facilities that match the quality of the educational program.”

The planned construction site for the new $1.75 million preschool laboratory is in the 1000 block of Park St., on the south perimeter of the campus, near Drake Community Library. The college will offer the two-story house at 1022 Park St. for sale for $1 with removal in April at owner expense. The current preschool structure will also be removed following construction of the new facility.

A community comment session about the construction plans is set for Thurs., Mar. 10 at 7 p.m. at Drake Community Library. Members of the community who are interested in learning more about the proposed construction plans are invited to attend. Questions about the house removal may be referred to Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement, CHAVEZSM@grinnell.edu.

-30-

Black History Month events feature author, Black Library on campus

Thursday, Feb. 3, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - [[{"fid":"572","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Danielle McGuire","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"height":560,"width":372,"style":"height: 301px; width: 200px; margin: 20px; float: right;","class":"media-element file-default"},"link_text":null}]]Author Danielle McGuire will deliver a Black History Month lecture titled “At the Dark End of the Street: Sexual Violence and the Civil Rights Movement—A New History,” at Grinnell College, Wed., Feb. 23, at 4:15 p.m. in Alumni Recitation Hall, Room 302.

McGuire’s lecture is based on her first book, “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power,” published last year. In 2006, McGuire, who is assistant professor of history at Wayne State University, published the essay “It Was Like We Were All Raped: Sexualized Violence, Community Mobilization and the African American Freedom Struggle” in the “Best Essays in American History” anthology.

Burling Library will also host a Black History Month event featuring the college’s Black Library. The Feb. 9 event at 8 p.m. in Burling Library on Grinnell’s central campus will explore the 1970s student actions that led to the creation of the Black Library, a collection focused on African American culture and history.

The Black History Month events are co-sponsored by Concerned Black Students; the Departments of History and Sociology; the Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies Program; Grinnell College Libraries; Intercultural Student Affairs; and the Office of Diversity and Achievement. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact the event’s sponsoring organization as soon as possible to make a request.

-30-

Social Justice Prize selection committee chaired by George A. Drake '56

Monday, Mar. 7, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College today announced the 10-member selection committee that will determine winners of the 2011 Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize. The award program, which received more than 1,000 nominations from 66 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.

The selection committee will be chaired by George A. Drake, a 1956 graduate who served as Grinnell’s president from 1979 to 1991 and is currently professor emeritus of history and president emeritus at the college. From 1991-93, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, teaching English in a Catholic mission school.

Selection committee members will pick one to three winners to receive an award of $100,000, half to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social change for a total of up to $300,000 in prize monies. The pool of nominees spans a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, childhood education, environmental issues, literacy, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQA youth services, hospice care, children’s mental health, and global peace, among many others.

In addition to selection committee chair Drake, the nine other members – largely Iowa-based – are recognized individuals who work for social change in various capacities. Their backgrounds, accomplishments and experiences reflect the diversity in both Grinnell and the state. These members include one representative each from the college’s faculty, student body, alumni, staff and trustees, plus prominent individuals not formally affiliated with Grinnell.

  • Rekha Basu, columnist for The Des Moines Register. She focuses on human rights, racial and gender issues, and cultural trends. Her byline has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The International Herald Tribune and The Nation, among other publications.
  • Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement, Grinnell College. She is responsible for building partnerships and identifying opportunities for Grinnell College’s participation in community improvements.
  • Laura M. Ferguson, M.D., member of the Grinnell College board of trustees and a 1990 graduate. She practices medicine in Grinnell and is a member of the Grinnell Regional Medical Center Board.
  • Emily Westergaard Hamilton, executive director, Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation and a 2002 graduate. Her organization works with at-risk youth to help every student graduate from high school and go to college.
  • Ben Offenberg, Grinnell College senior and student body president. He is a biological chemistry major, has lettered in varsity football and varsity track and field, and is a member of the Grinnell Mock Trial team.
  • Suku Radia, president and CEO, Bankers Trust. He is active in numerous professional, economic development, educational and charitable organizations, including United Way of Central Iowa and the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
  • Suzanne E. Siskel, director of social justice philanthropy, Ford Foundation. She oversees efforts to mobilize philanthropic resources for social change and promote social justice throughout the world.
  • Marsha K. Ternus, former chief justice, Iowa Supreme Court. As chief justice, she made the improvement of court oversight of child welfare cases a priority for the Iowa Judicial Branch.
  • Eliza Willis, professor of political science, Grinnell College. She teaches courses on Latin American politics, global development, international political economy, and the political economy of developing countries and previously served as chair of the Grinnell faculty.

“We are delighted these 10 exceptionally talented, experienced and socially conscious individuals have agreed to be selection committee members for The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize,” said Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “In creating this prize program, we seek to recognize young individuals who embody our core values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world for the better. I am confident our selection committee members will bring extraordinary knowledge, sensitivity and passion to that goal.”

The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize directly reflects Grinnell’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.” Nominations were open to U.S. citizens as well as nationals of other countries and were encouraged 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. Special efforts were made to seek nominees who worked in areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. No affiliation to Grinnell College was required.

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.

"The Contingency Plan" premieres Oct. 7-10

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA—The Grinnell College Department of Theatre and Dance will premiere the U.S. production of “The Contingency Plan” by British playwright Steve Waters, Oct. 7-10, in Flanagan Arena Theatre in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell campus.

The play, which debuted in London and was hailed by critics as a “massive achievement,” focuses on current debates about responses to environmental disasters caused by climate change. The production combines elements of family drama, farce and thriller, with a conservative British government in power and a young, maverick glaciologist predicting catastrophe.

The Grinnell premiere is an adaptation of Waters’ BBC radio play, redesigned for the stage by director Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre and dance. Waters, a lecturer at the University of Birmingham (England), collaborated with the Grinnell student cast during a two-week campus residency which was sponsored by the college’s Center for International Studies and included a playwrighting short course.

Curtain times are 7:30 p.m. for the Oct. 7, 8 and 9 performances and 2 p.m. for the Sun., Oct. 10 performance. Tickets are required for this free event and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts ticket office beginning Oct. 4 from 12-5 p.m. daily. The Bucksbaum Center for the Arts is located at 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell College campus. Box office and ticket information is available at http://web.grinnell.edu/theatre/facilities/box_office.html or by calling 641-269-4444.

-30-

Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize announced

Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College today announced the creation of a $300,000 annual prize program to honor 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 Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize will carry an award of $100,000, half to the individual and half to an organization committed to the winner’s area of social justice. One to three awards will be given each year for a total of up to $300,000 in prize monies.

The program directly reflects Grinnell’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.” Nominees may be U.S. citizens or nationals of other countries; no affiliation to Grinnell College is required. Entries are encouraged 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. The program will make a special effort to seek nominations of individuals who work in areas that may not have been traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business.

The idea for The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize originated with Grinnell’s new president, Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., who began his tenure as the college’s thirteenth president in August, 2010. “I was attracted to Grinnell, in part, by the college’s longstanding belief in social justice as a core tenet of its liberal arts academic mission,” said Dr. Kington. “In creating this prize, we hope to encourage and recognize young individuals who embody our core values and organizations that share our commitment to change the world.”

Details of the program and its nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize. Each year, Grinnell will assemble a diverse panel of judges to evaluate the nominations and select winners who have demonstrated leadership, innovation, commitment, collaboration and extraordinary accomplishment in advancing social justice within their chosen fields. Judging criteria will also focus on how nominees embrace the values of a liberal arts education, including critical thinking, creative problem-solving, free inquiry and commitment to using and sharing knowledge for the common good.

“This prize represents a significant expansion of Grinnell’s educational philosophy,” said David White, chair of the board of trustees and Grinnell College class of 1990. “It extends the college’s mission beyond our campus and alumni community to individuals anywhere who believe, as we do, in the importance of social justice throughout the world.”

Nominations for the 2011 Prize are due by Feb. 1, with winners to be announced in May 2011, as the capstone of President Kington’s inaugural activities. In October of 2011, the college will hold a special symposium on campus featuring public lectures by prize recipients regarding their experiences and perspectives in shaping innovative social justice programs.

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.

###

"Kind Favor, Kind Letter" exhibition open at Faulconer Gallery

Friday, Jan. 14, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - “Kind Favor, Kind Letter, “ a collaborative exhibition by Grinnell College faculty artist Lee Emma Running; Tatiana Ginsberg of Mount Holyoke College; and Santa Fe sculptor Kate Carr, will open Jan. 28 at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery.

The installation of handmade paper, fabric, thread, and pre-printed material is based on the artists’ previous collaborative exhibition at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in 2009. The three first worked together while training as papermakers at the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

“Hand-making paper is an aesthetic we learned together,” Running said. “The techniques have informed our practices as individual artists. We didn’t need to speak when making paper; our unspoken gestures were our dialogue.”

Gestures also play into the exhibition title, which is based on symbols or gestures from Gregg Shorthand, a phonetic writing system once used for speedy note-taking. The three artists wrote letters to one another as they began their collaboration, and their letters influenced the work on display in the Grinnell installation. “The text connected us across the country, and the garlands in the exhibition represent that connection,” Running said.

The three artists gathered in Grinnell in early January to install the works together. “We wanted to build an environment for the site-specific installation instead of discrete works. And we wanted to bring the show to Grinnell because of the collaborative model so student artists can see how they can stay connected to other artists,” Running said. Her works of paper will also be on display at Upper Iowa University and in Kansas City this spring.

Faulconer Gallery events related to “Kind Favor, Kind Letter” include:

  • Jan. 28, 4:15-6 p.m.: Opening reception.
  • Feb. 15, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by Lee Emma Running, assistant professor of art, Grinnell College.
  • Mar. 2, 7:30 p.m.: Open mic night co-sponsored by Grinnell College Libraries
  • Mar. 10, 4:15 p.m.: “Unmapped Topography” gallery talk by Tatiana Ginsberg, Mount Holyoke College.
  • Thursdays, beginning Feb. 3, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: yoga in the gallery with Monica St. Angelo

“Kind Favor, Kind Letter” runs through Mar. 20 concurrent with “Of Fables and Folly,” an exhibition by South African artist Diane Victor. “Kind Favor, Kind Letter” is coordinated by Daniel Strong, associate director of Faulconer Gallery, and will be on display during regular gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: noon – 5 p.m.; Thursday, Friday: noon – 8 p.m. or by appointment. All exhibition events are held in Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell campus, unless otherwise noted. For more information about the exhibition and related programs, call 641-269-4660 or visit www.grinnell.edu/faulconergallery.

-30-

Six Mellon Mays Fellows going to head of class

Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010 11:30 am

 

GRINNELL, IA—Six Grinnell College students are preparing to go to the head of the class as the next generation of college professors. The Mellon Mays Fellows were selected as second-year students through a program made possible with a $500,000 four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Mellon Mays grant program encourages students, especially those in culturally underrepresented groups, to earn Ph.D.s in the arts and sciences, pursue college teaching careers and demonstrate a commitment to eradicate racial disparities. The Grinnell fellows are mentored by current faculty and receive funding for conference attendance, loan repayment support for graduate school, and other resources that will connect them to a national network of future college professors.

The six aspiring professors join a group of four who were named in 2009. The 2010 Mellon Mays Fellows are: Nidia Bautista, a political science and gender, women’s and sexuality studies major from Sun Valley, Calif.; Sophie Fajardo, an sociology major from Glenwood, Ia.; Lizeth Gutierrez, a sociology and Spanish major from Kenmore, Wash.; Maria Higgs, a biology major from Houston, Tex.; Isaiah Iboko, a gender, women’s and sexuality studies major from Los Angeles, Calif.; and Melissa Vasquez, a sociology and Spanish major from Huntington Park, Calif.

Shanna Benjamin, assistant professor of English and faculty coordinator for the Mellon Mays fellowship program at Grinnell, said that the Mellon fellowships help the aspiring professors to be intentional and deliberate about their choices to teach while conducting independent research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

-30-

Activist artist to discuss "Intervention and Public Art" at Dec. 2 Scholars' Convocation

Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010 12:30 pm

GRINNELL, IA—Artist and activist Steven Kurtz will deliver the final Grinnell College Scholars’ Convocation of the fall semester on “Intervention and Public Art,” Thurs., Dec. 2 at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus.

Kurtz, who is professor of visual studies at State University of New York-Buffalo, will review models for presenting art in public, including the use of tactical media, “artivism,” neo-avant-gardism, and other public forms of cultural provocation. He will illustrate his lecture with examples from the internationally acclaimed art and theatre group Critical Art Ensemble (CAE), of which he is a founding member.

CAE is a collective of tactical media practitioners who focus on exploring the intersections of art, critical theory, technology, and political activism. The collective has produced a variety of projects for international audiences at diverse street, museum, and Internet venues. The group has also written six books, including “The Electronic Disturbance” (1994); “Digital Resistance: Explorations in Tactical Media” (2001); “Molecular Invasion” (2002); and “Marching Plague” (2006).

A screening of “Strange Culture” about Kurtz’s personal journey through bio-art and persecution is scheduled for Tues., Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m. in Room 302 of Alumni Recitation Hall, 1226 Park St., on the Grinnell campus. Kurtz will also speak at the University of Iowa on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. in Shambaugh Auditorium.

Kurtz’s Grinnell lecture is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact the event’s sponsoring organization as soon as possible to make a request.

-30-

"Corn Belts: Iowa and International Agriculture" symposium Nov. 16-18

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA – The agricultural commodity that has long dominated Iowa and makes the state the leading U.S. producer will be the focus of an interdisciplinary symposium at Grinnell College, Nov. 16-18.

“Corn Belts: Iowa and International Agriculture” will offer a program of international experts on the nature of “king corn” and its dominance in world markets as the leading crop by weight. The symposium is co-sponsored by Grinnell’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights, the Center for Prairie Studies, the Center for International Studies, and the Luce Program in Nations and the Global Environment.

“Corn provides a lens through which to look at many worldwide connections and issues—environmental, agricultural, economic, and political,” said Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program. “We’re taking a liberal-arts approach to this influential commodity by bringing together a variety of viewpoints from around the world.”

While corn is generally considered a food product, less than three percent of the U.S. crop is directly consumed by humans; 43 percent is fed to livestock, 30 percent goes to ethanol manufacture, eight percent to sweeteners or starch, and 15 percent to export.

“The supply and demand for corn touches on such diverse areas as climate change, biodiversity, intellectual property, and obesity,” said Jon Andelson, director of the college’s Center for Prairie Studies. “The symposium will look critically at the treadmill of production and the consequences of our dependence on corn.”

The Corn Belts symposium will include the following free, public events:

  •  Tues., Nov. 16, 7 p.m.: Kendall Lamkey, chair of the agronomy department at Iowa State University, will lay the groundwork for the symposium with “The Origin, Production and Utilization of Corn.” •
  • Wed., Nov. 17, 4:15 p.m.: Two speakers will provide international viewpoints—Daniela Soleri of the University of California at Santa Barbara on “Views from the Campo: Traditional Maize Agriculture in Oaxaca, Mexico,” and Carmen Martinez Novo, John R. Heath Professor of Social Sciences at Grinnell, on “Notes on Subsistence Agriculture and Food Sovereignty in Ecuador.”
  •  Wed., Nov. 17, 7 p.m.: C. Ford Runge, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Applied Economics and Law at the University of Minnesota, will discuss trade implications in “Rivers of Gold: Where Does Corn Flow and Does it Make Sense?” Runge is also the subdirector in charge of commodities and trade policy at the university’s Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
  •  Thurs., Nov. 18, 11 a.m.: The Scholars’ Convocation, “Corn: Africa’s Story in Four Acts,” will be delivered by James McCann, who leads research in Africa on the link between malaria and maize cultivation. McCann also writes about agricultural and environmental history and has consulted for humanitarian and civil rights organizations worldwide. His books include “Maize and Grace: Africa’s Encounter with a New World Crop,” “Green Land, Brown Land, Black Land: An Environmental History of Africa,” and “People of the Plow: An Agricultural History of Ethiopia.”
  •  Thurs., Nov. 18, 4:15 p.m.: A panel discussion on “The Business of Corn” will include Matias Mino Navarette of the Monsanto corn processing facility near Grinnell; Craig Lang, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau; local farmer Mark Dimit; and Jon Andelson, moderator.
  •  Thurs., Nov. 18, 7 p.m.: Fred Kirschenmann, former director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, will close the symposium with perspectives on “Corn and the Sustainability of Iowa Agriculture.”

All symposium events will be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus, unless otherwise noted. For more information about the symposium, contact Sarah Purcell, purcelsj[at]grinnell[dot]edu, 641-269-3091, or Jon Andelson, andelson[at]grinnell[dot]edu, 641-269-3139.

-30-

Former White House correspondent on campus week of May 2

Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Former White House correspondent Richard Benedetto will talk about his political journalism career while on the Grinnell College campus during the week of May 2 as part of the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program. Benedetto will visit English, political science and history classes throughout the week, have informal meetings with students, and give two free public lectures.

• Mon., May 2, 7:30 p.m.: Benedetto will discuss “What It’s Like to Cover the White House,” based on his 40-year career.

• Tues., May 3, 4:15 p.m.: Benedetto will offer his perspectives on “Political Coverage: Who Are the Media Talking To, Voters or Themselves?”

Both lectures will be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus.

Benedetto was a founding staff member of USA Today and wrote the paper’s first cover story. In addition to reporting on the White House and national politics, he wrote a weekly political column for the Gannett News Service, covering every presidential campaign from 1984-2004. Retired since 2006, he continues his involvement in journalism as a consultant for C-Span and as an adjunct faculty member at American University’s School of Public Affairs.

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows Program brings to campus prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, and business leaders to make connections between the academic and non-academic worlds. Benedetto’s Grinnell lectures are sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights. For more information about the program, contact Sarah Purcell, director, purcelsj@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3091. Grinnell welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact641-269-3235 as soon as possible to make a request.

-30-