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Media Relations

Adult Community Exploration Series offering free summer courses

Tuesday, Jun. 8, 2010 11:30 am | Contact: To register, send email to calendar@grinnell.edu; for questions, call 641-269-3178.

GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College will offer the Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) throughout the summer with courses taught by faculty in political science, English, and chemistry. The courses are free, and registration is requested to assist instructors in preparing for class needs. All ACES classes will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Room of the college's Old Glove Factory, located at 733 Broad Street in Grinnell, unless otherwise noted. To register, send email to calendar[at]grinnell[dot]edu; for questions, call 641-269-3178.

Courses for summer 2010 include:

“Can Technology Save Democracy?”

June 16, 23

Taught by Barbara Trish, associate professor of political science

The Internet age has created politics marked by abundant information and new paths and techniques for political actors to compete. Citizens, journalists, campaigns, and government also jockey to capitalize on Internet opportunities, seen by some as the key to political success and by others as the key to effective democracy. This course will explore the new Internet-based politics and consider the extent to which these developments are fundamentally new or the high-tech version of politics-as-usual, and whether technology can save democracy.

Barbara Trish teaches courses on U.S. politics, research design, and quantitative reasoning. Her scholarship focuses on political parties and campaigns, and she has most recently examined Organizing for America, the governing-era iteration of President Obama’s campaign organization. Trish is an administrator of the college's Program in Practical Political Education (PPPE) and is actively involved in Grinnell's long-standing relationship with Nanjing University.

“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”: Studies in the African American Sonnet Tradition"

June 30, July 7

Taught by Shanna Benjamin, assistant professor of English

Literary critics and historians have argued that prosody, the rhythm and intonation received from America’s colonial masters, faced a powerful insurgency in the 19th century with Whitman’s sweeping “Song of Myself” and Emerson’s declaration of artistic independence from “the courtly muses of Europe.” African American poets sought ways to imbue so-called “white” forms with the rhythm and imagery of black life. This course will examine representative poems by Claude McKay, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Wanda Coleman to understand how they adapt the sonnet to express the vibrancy and vulnerability of African American life.

Shanna Greene Benjamin teaches African American and American literature and culture and seminars on neo-slave narratives, black women writers, and black literature beyond race. A graduate of Johnson C. Smith University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Benjamin serves as faculty coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program for students of color interested in college teaching.

“Mass Spectrometry and Magnetic Resonance: From CSI to MRI, the science behind ‘popular’ spectroscopy”

July 14, 21

Taught by Andrew Mobley, associate professor of chemistry

Please note: this course will be held in the Robert N. Noyce ‘49 Science Center, Room 2022

This course will cover the basics of the science behind the mass spectrometry seen on popular TV shows that feature forensic science such as “CSI,” “Law and Order,” or Mobley’s personal favorite “Bones.” The modern imaging technique called Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) will be covered from the standpoint of its chemistry equivalent, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). By the end of the course, participants should have a basic understanding of what these techniques can and cannot do, by analyzing data from Grinnell College instrumentation.

Andrew Mobley has taught organic chemistry at Grinnell since 1999. He received a B.A. from Carleton College and then worked with Professor Robert Bergman at the University of California at Berkeley where he received his doctorate. He became interested in his specialty, NMR spectroscopy of organometallic compounds, during a post-doctoral fellowship in Germany.


2010 Pulitzer Prize winner gives reading at Grinnell College

Wednesday, May. 11, 2011 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA—Paul Harding, winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, will read from his work in the final event of the Writers@Grinnell series at 8 p.m. on Thurs., May 6 in the Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell College campus.

Harding’s first novel “Tinkers” was awarded the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. National Public Radio’s John Freeman includes Harding’s “devastating first book” in his list of the “few perfect debut American novels.” He is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. He received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has taught writing at Harvard University. He currently teaches at the University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop and is teaching a six-week short course in fiction at Grinnell College.

On May 13 at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, student writers will read from their work in The Grinnell Review, the student-run literary and art magazine of Grinnell College. The winners of the Writers@Grinnell writing contests will be announced, with student literary prizes including the James Norman Hall ’10 Aspiring Writer Award, the Henry York Steiner Memorial Prize for Short Fiction, the Lorabel Richardson/Academy of American Poets Prize, and the Selden Whitcomb Prize in Poetry.

For more information about the Writers@Grinnell program, go to http://www.grinnell.edu/academic/english/creative/conference/. The Bucksbaum Center is located at 1108 Park St. and the Rosenfield Center at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus.

Grinnell College ensembles present end-of-year concerts

Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2010 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—The Grinnell College Symphonic Band and the Percussion, Marimba, and Steel Pan Ensemble will present their spring programs during the week of April 25. Both groups are directed by Mark Dorr and will perform in Sebring-Lewis Hall in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts on the Grinnell College campus.

The Symphonic Band will perform on Sun., April 25 at 2 p.m. The program will include James Barnes’ new work “Beautiful Oregon;” the hauntingly beautiful “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen; Ralph Vaughan Williams’ classic “Sea Songs;” “Puszta,” a collection of Gypsy dances by Jan Van der Roost; as well as a Prokofiev march, a Sousa novelty, and Jack End’s “Blues for a Killed Kat.”

The Percussion, Marimba, and Steel Pan Ensemble’s performance is on Fri., April 30 at 7:30 p.m. and spans a variety of international musical styles and composers. The program includes Alan Hovhaness’ “October Mountain;” “Field of the Dead,” from “Alexander Nevsky” by Sergei Prokofiev; and the unusual Larry Spivack tune “Quartet for Paper Bags.” The Steel Pan Ensemble will perform the world premiere of “June Samba,” a newly commissioned work from composer Tom Miller; “Suzie” by Ray Holman, one of the innovators of the Caribbean steel pan movement; “Coconut Champagne” by Maynard Ferguson; and the ever-popular Caribbean favorite dance tune “Jump in the Line.”

Both performances are free and open to the public. The Bucksbaum Center for the Arts is located at 1108 Park St. on the Grinnell College campus.


Moon, Saturn featured objects at observatory open house

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA--The moon and Saturn will be the featured celestial objects at an open house at Grinnell College’s Grant O. Gale Observatory, Thurs., April 22, at 8:30 p.m.

Robert Cadmus, Breid-McFarland Professor of Science, professor of physics, and director of the observatory, will lead the free, public observation. If the weather is cloudy, the program will consist of computer imaging demonstrations and videotaped views through the telescope.

The Grant O. Gale observatory is located on the north perimeter of the Grinnell College campus, north of 10th Ave. and adjacent to Les Duke Track. To receive notification of future observatory open houses, contact Robert Cadmus, Department of Physics, Grinnell College, 641-269-3016 (office), 641-269-3014 (observatory),cadmus[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir in concert in St. Paul, Milwaukee

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA.—Grinnell College’s Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir will present public concerts, March 20-23, in St. Paul and Milwaukee as part of a spring break tour. The choir’s concert repertoire, directed by Barry Jones, will include traditional gospel and contemporary selections as well as spiritual dance and a praise team, accompanied by percussion and guitar.

The YGB singers’ tour schedule will include the following public concerts:

Mar. 20: St. Paul, Minn., St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 6:30 p.m.

Mar. 21: Watertown, Wisc., Christ United Methodist Church, 6:30 p.m.

Mar. 22: Milwaukee, Wisc., St. Francis of Assisi Church, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 23: Milwaukee, Wisc., Wisconsin Black History Museum, 10 a.m.

The Young, Gifted, and Black Gospel Choir formed on the Grinnell campus in 1967 with five members and has grown to more than 40 today. The choir has toured in several U.S. major cities with the goal of sharing the powerful experience of gospel music.

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.


"Hybrid Media" exhibition challenges digital, traditional art assumptions

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012 11:30 am

GRINNELL, IA— Artists John F. Simon, Jr. and Matthew Kluber build works that challenge assumptions about digital art in the exhibition, “Hybrid Media: John F. Simon, Jr. and Matthew Kluber,” opening Friday, April 9, in Faulconer Gallery on the Grinnell College campus.

Both artists combine traditional media with digital technology to create a hybrid visual experience. Kluber, who is associate professor of art at Grinnell, mixes light and paint in his work. He projects software-based moving images onto meticulously painted aluminum panels, transforming their colors and imparting motion and rhythm to the work.

New York artist John F. Simon, Jr. has been at the forefront of digital art since the early 1990s. His artworks house algorithm-based animations on LCD screens in elaborate wall reliefs that point to the way computers and screens have become phones, maps, calendars, and art.

Public events associated with “Hybrid Media” include:

  • Fri., April 9, 5 p.m.: Opening reception and gallery talk by Simon and art critic and writer Barbara Pollack.
  • Thurs., April 15, 7:30 p.m.: Fresh Flutes 20th anniversary concert with premiere of student commissioned work.
  • Fri., April 16, 4:15 p.m.: Panel discussion by University of Iowa graduate students on the role of hybrid media in contemporary art.
  • Sat., April 24, 1 p.m.: Community Day, with opportunities to learn more about the exhibitions; make silkscreen prints with the Moving Crew; make art with stripes, overlays, and transparencies; and make an accordion poetry book.
  • Mon., April 26, 4:15 p.m.: Gallery talk by Kluber, who will discuss the ways hybrid media impact daily life.
  • Wed., April 28, 7:45 p.m.: Open mic opportunity to read and perform original works or the works of favorite writers and composers. Co-sponsored by Burling Library.
  • Thurs., April 29, 7 p.m.: Concert of hybrid music by Talking Computron/Creme De Mentia. Co-sponsored by Student Government Association.

“Hybrid Media,” which runs through June 6, will share the Gallery for the month of April with “but here all dreams equal distance,” an exhibition of collaborative text and images by poet Terri Witek and artist Cyriaco Lopes. The text and image exhibition will culminate in a performance-based work entitled “the day you left,” weaving together poetry and video, on April 22 at 8 p.m. in the gallery.

Witek, a member of the English faculty at Stetson University, and Lopes, a member of the art and music faculty at John Jay College, will be on the Grinnell campus for a week-long residency co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell and presented in conjunction with an upcoming Center for the Humanities symposium on space, place, and memory.

All events are in Faulconer Gallery unless otherwise noted. Gallery hours through June 6 are 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.


Stephanie Cheung '11 wins Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in science

Tuesday, Apr. 13, 2010 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA--Grinnell College student Stephanie Cheung has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for up to $7,500 toward tuition and other expenses during the 2010-11 academic year. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress to encourage excellence in science and mathematics for American undergraduate students with excellent academic records and outstanding potential.

Cheung, who is a third-year chemistry and sociology double major from Honolulu, Hawaii, is the 12th Goldwater scholar at Grinnell in the past 10 years. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in renewable energy sciences and teach at the university level. Cheung is an active member of the Grinnell College Asian and Asian American Association, works as a chemistry assistant and tutor, volunteers with Mid-Iowa Community Action, and tutors at a local elementary school.

Laura Mertens, a third-year chemistry major from St. Louis, Mo., was named honorable mention for the Goldwater scholarship, the fifth Grinnell student to receive that designation since 1999-2000.

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.


Randye Jones, Michelle Crouch to present spirituals recital


GRINNELL, IA -- Soprano Randye Jones and pianist Michelle Crouch will present "The Art of the Negro Spiritual" on Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell College campus. The program will feature familiar spirituals such as "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," "O Freedom," and "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child." The recital is free and open to the public.

“These spirituals describe the trials and tribulations of life, belief in the power of prayer, and assurance of redemption,” Jones explained. “Many of them communicate layers of meaning that have as much significance today as they did when these songs were first sung.”

Jones, who is on the library staff at Grinnell College, has gained international recognition for her research of African American vocalists and composers through her website, Afrocentric Voices in Classical Music. She also conducts research and presents lectures and recitals on the Negro spiritual, and has served as a consultant for The Kennedy Center Honors and The Washington Chorus. Crouch is completing a doctorate in voice performance at the University of Iowa. She has performed in Calgary and Toronto and with the University of Iowa’s Center for New Music.


President Osgood to discuss importance of humanities in Scholars' Convocation

Monday, Apr. 19, 2010 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College President Russell K. Osgood will deliver his final Scholars’ Convocation address on Thurs., Apr. 29, at 11 a.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell campus. The convocation is also the annual recognition of the college’s new Phi Beta Kappa scholars.

Osgood, who will retire from the Grinnell presidency on July 31, will discuss the importance of the humanities in a liberal-arts education. “Today’s students need the best possible education for the dramatic employment changes they will face over their lifetimes,” Osgood said. “The humanities teach ethical reasoning, critical thinking, civic responsibility, and introduce other cultures, arts, and religions.

“The Phi Beta Kappa scholars who will be recognized at the convocation exemplify the opportunities that come with deep, broad education that supports personal growth and contributions to open societies.”

Osgood was named Grinnell’s 12th president in 1998 and has led the nationally ranked liberal-arts college through a period of growth in academic programs and facilities. One hallmark of his tenure is the enhancement of the college’s generous financial aid program, which amounted to a financial aid budget of more than $34 million in the 2009-10 academic year.

During Osgood’s presidency, the college built state-of-the-art science and fine arts facilities, a new student center and residence halls, and an athletic center and natatorium. Osgood also focused on strategic planning and faculty growth and development to support innovative academic programs in international studies and humanities, biological chemistry, neuroscience, and experiential education and mentored advanced projects for Grinnell students. Osgood will continue his Grinnell connection this fall by teaching in the college’s study abroad program in London.

Phi Beta Kappa is a national honorary society devoted to those engaged in intellectual pursuits. Grinnell’s Beta of Iowa chapter celebrated its centennial in 2007-2008 and currently includes more than 50 student members in the classes of 2010 and 2011.


Center for Humanities to sponsor symposium on relevance of place and memory

Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2010 11:30 am | Contact: For more information, contact Daniel Reynolds, reynolds@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3097.

GRINNELL, IA – The Grinnell College Center for the Humanities will sponsor a symposium, April 21-23, on the role that place and memory play in remembering historic events, configuring public spaces, and shaping private experiences.

“We hope that people will take away from the symposium the richness and relevance of place and memory, and appreciate the complexities of how we choose to remember and memorialize events and choices,” said Daniel Reynolds, director of the center and symposium organizer.

“Place and memory defines both the experience of the present and how we choose to represent the past. Scholars in anthropology, human geography, Judaic studies, and liturgical studies will explore the place of public memory in monuments, street names, roadside shrines, and remote locations.”

The schedule for the three-day symposium includes:

  • Wed., Apr. 21, 8 p.m., Rosenfield Center, Room 101: Margaret Critchlow Rodman, professor of anthropology at York University in Toronto, will open the symposium with “Charting Memory’s Course: Thoughts on Dynamics of Place in the South Pacific,” focusing on the legacy of colonialism in that region.
  •  Thurs., Apr. 22, 11 a.m., Rosenfield Center, Room 101: James E. Young, professor of English and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, will deliver the Scholars’ Convocation on “The Stages of Memory in Berlin and New York.” Young was a member of the committee to choose the design for Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
  •  Thurs., Apr. 22, 4:15 p.m., Rosenfield Center, Room 101: Derek Alderman, associate professor of geography at East Carolina University, will discuss “Memory, Race, and the Politics of Place: Naming Streets for Martin Luther King Jr.,” with emphasis placed on the American South.
  •  Thurs., Apr. 22, 8 p.m., Bucksbaum Center for the Performing Arts, Room 131: Poet Terri Witek and artist Cyriaco Lopes will perform a collaborative work of poetry and video entitled “the day you left.” Witek, a member of the English faculty at Stetson University, and Lopes, a member of the art and music faculty at John Jay College, will be on the Grinnell campus for a week-long residency co-sponsored by Writers@Grinnell.
  •  Fri., Apr. 23, 12 noon, Alumni Recitation Hall 102: Lizette Larson-Miller, visiting scholar and lecturer in the humanities at Grinnell, will conclude with a discussion of the importance of memorials in “Public Places and Private Sorrows: Constructing Memory in Plain Sight.”

The “Place and Memory” symposium is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Daniel Reynolds, reynolds[at]grinnell[dot]edu, 641-269-3097.