Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College announces a $40,000 community challenge to help the Grinnell Area Arts Council build an endowment. For every two dollars in new endowment gifts given to the Arts Council, Grinnell College will donate one dollar toward immediate capital needs, including improvements to the Arts Council building and equipment purchases.
Monica Chavez-Silva, director of Community Enhancement and Engagement, explains the gift is intended to help the Arts Council maintain its strong momentum in redeveloping the Stewart Library building while continuing to expand its public offerings.
"Grinnell College is proud to provide this challenge grant to support the Grinnell Area Arts Council, its creative programming and its restoration of the Stewart building. The arts are an important part of any community's well-being," said Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., adding, "One of the things my family has enjoyed since moving to Grinnell is the wide variety of cultural offerings available to the community. We are very fortunate to live in a town with such an active arts community."
Tom Lacina, president of the Grinnell Area Arts Council, says the Arts Council is thrilled to have this support from Grinnell College to kick off the public phase of the endowment campaign. “The College recognizes by their gift for immediate use that the needs of today do not disappear during an endowment campaign. The business of today and all the tomorrows need support.”
Grinnell College’s Arts Council endowment challenge is the latest in a pattern of support for local cultural programming including prior gifts totaling $12,000 to the Stewart Building re-development and equipment needs; bulk ticket purchases to Arts Council and Grinnell High School theatrical performances for faculty, staff, and students; and “Volunteer Initiative Program” donations to the Arts Council in recognition of the volunteer efforts by employees Connie Newport and Claire Moisan. For more information about Grinnell College’s community investments and sponsorships, visit: http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/communityenhance.
Grinnell, IA -
Grinnell College faculty will offer courses in biology, chemistry, economics, and statistics through the Adult Community Exploration Series (ACES) this summer. The free courses, co-sponsored by the Community Education Council and Grinnell College, will be held on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in the Caulkins Room at Drake Community Library, 930 Park St. Registration is requested to assist instructors in preparing for class needs. To register, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 641-269-3178.
Courses for summer 2012 include:
June 6, 13
“Water,” with Luther Erickson, professor emeritus of chemistry
These lectures will focus on water as a unique chemical substance (H2O) with unusual properties and as an essential resource to meet individual and collective needs. The source, composition, treatment, distribution, and cost of water—provided by Grinnell, area communities, and bottled water companies—will be examined and compared. Engineering projects and associated conflicts to manage and redistribute water flow will also be discussed, along with progress toward the articulation and acceptance of a water ethic.
Luther Erickson, professor emeritus of chemistry, taught courses in physical, inorganic, and analytical chemistry and pursued an active research program with Grinnell undergraduate collaborators described in about 40 scientific publications. He also taught a First-Year Tutorial about water for 25 years of his 50-year career at Grinnell and developed a drinking-water analysis module for the introductory analytical chemistry course that continues in use.
June 20, 27
“Thinking About Evolution, A History,” with Ken Christiansen, professor emeritus of biology
This course will consider early thinking concerning the diversity of living organisms and, later, the various attempts to explain “the enigma of fossils.” For example, it is commonly believed that Darwin was the first to offer ideas about evolution. Not so! How about Aristotle? By the 18th century, ideas of evolution were in the air, and theories were developed by natural philosophers, including Lamarck. The course will cover the Darwin years and end with recent changes in views of evolution.
Kenneth Christiansen, professor emeritus of biology, taught many courses in biology, including evolution. His research interest began with the study of dragonflies and later moved to the study of collembola in caves, an ideal laboratory for the study of evolution. Christiansen has published several books and numerous articles, many co-authored with Grinnell students.
July 11, 18 [July 18 session will meet at 1:30 p.m., instead of 10 a.m.]
“Fools and Their Money” with Mark Montgomery, professor of economics
This course will examine how financial markets thwart smart people and reflect on the nature of society. For example: in 1720, Sir Isaac Newton, one of history’s most brilliant intellects, lost his life savings investing in a bogus trading company; in 1995, London’s Barings Bros. Bank, which had helped finance the Louisiana Purchase, was bankrupted by speculations of an employee in a Singapore office; during the 1990s and early 2000s, Bernie Madoff’s investment clients included some of the wealthiest people and most prestigious institutions.
Mark Montgomery is Donald L. Wilson Professor of Enterprise and Leadership and professor of economics. He teaches mathematical economics, the economics of education, and environmental economics. His research has appeared in numerous economics journals, and his essays have been published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Dallas Morning News, The Mystery Readers Journal, and various edited volumes. He is also co-author with Tinker Powell, associate professor of economics, of the mystery novel, “Theoretically Dead.”
July 25, August 1
“Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics,” with Jeff Jonkman, associate professor of mathematics and statistics
These lectures will focus on some of the reasons people mistrust statistics and some of the effects of that mistrust. Mark Twain, who attributed the quote to Benjamin Disraeli, popularized this description of the “three kinds of lies” over 100 years ago. Today, many of us are still reluctant to trust statistics. The course will explore ways that people and organizations use statistics to “spin” study results, and some of the possible consequences for modern research. The course will also consider the use of statistics as vital for generating new knowledge.
Jeff Jonkman, associate professor of mathematics and statistics, came to Grinnell in 2009, after a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School and faculty positions at Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Jonkman’s primary research is in the area of meta-analysis, which deals with statistical methods for combining results of different studies about the same treatment or phenomenon. He has also worked on statistical methods for dose-response data in pharmaceutical studies.
Grinnell, IA -
The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG), a student-run nonprofit microfinance lending organization at Grinnell College, was named by the White House this week as one of the top five winners of the “Campus Champions of Change Challenge.”
SEG represented the only Iowa college and the only small college in the 15 finalists of the White House challenge, which began last fall to highlight innovative ideas on college campuses and to inspire community involvement.
“The work of the Social Entrepreneurs is an excellent example of creative collaboration and compassion in a global context,” said Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “Current Grinnell students, recent alumni and community partners have reached out locally and globally to improve the lives of others.”
In its five years of operation, SEG has expanded from providing international loans for small projects in remote communities to also assisting individuals in the local community. The microfinance organization has loaned more than $37,000 in 44 countries, with $13,000 going to 25 individuals in the Grinnell area. A volunteer board of Grinnell students, alumni and local residents oversees the lending and fundraising.
This is the second White House recognition for a Grinnell program in two years. In January 2011, the Grinnell Science Project was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring of students underrepresented in the sciences.
The SEG award also represents Grinnell’s long-standing commitment to social justice. In 2010, the college initiated The Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize program to recognize individuals under 40 whodemonstrate leadership in their fields and show creativity, commitment and extraordinary accomplishment in effecting positive social change throughout the world.
Six SEG members will attend an event at the White House on Mar. 15. The Grinnell organization will be featured—along with UCLA, University of Chicago, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and University of Arkansas—on an upcoming segment of mtvU.
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.