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Grinnell College Professor Named Distinguished Educator

Monday, Nov. 9, 2009 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA—Henry M. Walker, Samuel R. and Marie-Louise Rosenthal Professor of Natural Science and Mathematics and professor of computer science at Grinnell College, has been named a Distinguished Educator by the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.

Walker is one of only 10 educators to receive the distinguished educator designation since the award was established in 2006. The award recognizes ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience who have made a significant impact on the computing field and is based on nominations and letters of support from professional colleagues.

A member of the Grinnell faculty since 1974, Walker chairs the college’s computer science department and has been a member of ACM since 1979. He has served in numerous capacities within ACM’s international Special Interest Group on Computer Science Education, including chair for six years, secretary/treasurer for eight years, and in conference development.

At Grinnell, Walker developed a workshop-style approach to introductory computer science courses that emphasizes collaboration among students. He has written eight undergraduate textbooks, been active in curriculum development for national liberal arts colleges, organized numerous workshops for high school teachers, and been a guest faculty member at Nanjing University in China and Unitec in New Zealand. He currently serves on the Advanced Placement Computer Science Development Committee. Walker also served as a building liaison during the two-part renovation of the college’s Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Centercompleted in 2008. More information about Walker’s professional activities is available athttp://www.cs.grinnell.edu/~walker/.

For more information about the ACM international computing organization, go to http://www.acm.org/.

Evolutionary Biologist to Deliver Scholars’ Convocation at Grinnell College

Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA—David Sloan Wilson will present “Evolving the City: Using Evolutionary Theory to Understand and Improve the Human Condition” at the Scholars’ Convocation at 11 a.m. on Thurs., Nov. 19 in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus.

Wilson, an evolutionary biologist, will talk about the relevance of the theory of evolution to many aspects of human affairs, including how evolutionary theory can help solve problems ranging from the quality of neighborhoods to large-scale social interaction.

Wilson has a wide range of interests, including natural selection as a hierarchical process, the nature of intraspecific variation, the evolution of ecological communities, and human evolutionary biology. Publisher’s Weekly called his recent book, “Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives,” “by far the most accessible account of evolution for a general audience, as well as the farthest ranging.” He is a professor in the Departments of Biology and Anthropology at Binghamton University and is a SUNY Distinguished Professor.

Wilson’s lecture is part of Grinnell's Scholars’ Convocation series. For more information about the speaker series, go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/car/confops/convocation/. The Joe Rosenfield '25 Center is located at 1115 8th Ave. on the Grinnell College campus.

Grinnell Ensembles, Guest Artists, Composer Combine for Afternoon of Jazz

Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 12:30 pm


GRINNELL, IA—The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra and Grinnell Jazz Ensemble will combine performances with guest artists James Bovinette on trumpet, vocalist Kimberly Fitch, and composer Robert Nelson for an afternoon of jazz, Sun., Nov. 15 at 4 p.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell College campus.

The jazz performance will feature Nelson’s “Up South” for jazz band and orchestra, with solos by Bovinette and saxophonist Damani Phillips. Nelson, who will be present for the performance, premiered “Up South” in 2003 while on the faculty of the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. The program also includes Nelson’s arrangements of Creole songs sung by Fitch, mezzo-soprano.

Fitch, who has performed with several Grinnell ensembles previously, is an active artist and accompanist for Des Moines area groups including the Des Moines Symphony and the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus. Guest trumpeter Bovinette directs the jazz ensemble at Iowa State University and has recorded with his own jazz quartet.

Phillips, who directs the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble and teaches jazz composition, history, and improvisation, is actively sought as a guest artist, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the U.S. He joined the Grinnell faculty in 2007 and will release an album next year of original compositions and arrangements that combine traditional jazz with a string quartet.

The Grinnell Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Eric McIntyre, associate professor of music, is an auditioned ensemble that performs five to seven concerts annually. The combined November performance is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. on the Grinnell campus. For more information about the Grinnell ensembles, go tohttp://web.grinnell.edu/music/ensembles.html.

First Mellon Mays Fellows Named at Grinnell College

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009 12:30 pm


Four Grinnell College students are preparing to go to the head of the class as the next generation of college professors. The first cohort of Mellon Mays Fellows, made possible through a $500,000 four-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, has been selected from among third-year students at Grinnell who aspire to teach at the college level.

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 four aspiring professors are: Rane Baldwin, a history major from McPherson, Kan.; Juan Garcia, a Russian and sociology major from Woodbridge, Va.; Laura Garcia, a mathematics major from Los Angeles, Calif.; and Rosalie “Zasha” Russell, an anthropology major from Houston, Tex.

Shanna Benjamin, assistant professor of English and faculty coordinator for the Mellon Mays fellowship program at Grinnell, said that the students are beginning their fellowships by conducting independent research under the guidance of faculty mentors.

“Faculty mentors provide an important connection in this program because they reflect the success to which these students aspire,” Benjamin said. “The Mellon Mays fellowship helps the students selected to be intentional and deliberate about their choices to teach, plan, and invest in their own success.”

St. Lawrence String Quartet to perform at Grinnell College

Friday, Oct. 23, 2009 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—The St. Lawrence String Quartet will perform on Thurs., Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell College campus.

The St. Lawrence String Quartet—violinists Geoff Nuttall and Scott St. John, violist Lesley Robertson, and cellist Christopher Costanza—is among the world-class chamber ensembles of its generation. Since winning both the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in 1992, the quartet has entertained audiences with its spontaneous, passionate, and dynamic performances. In concert, they deliver traditional quartet repertoire and perform the works of living composers. Since 1998 they have held the position of Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University and have worked to open music to players and listeners in their annual summer chamber music seminar at Stanford.

Tickets are required for this free public performance and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center box office, beginning Mon., Nov. 2, noon to 5 p.m. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3235 or go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/car/confops/publicevents/. A limited number of tickets will be available at the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell.

The performance is sponsored by the Grinnell College Public Events Committee. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. on the Grinnell College campus. For more information on the St. Lawrence String Quartet, go tohttp://slsq.com/home/index.html.

LEED Certification for Two Grinnell College Buildings

Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 11:30 am


GRINNELL, IA—Grinnell College has added two more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified buildings to its green campus commitments.

The Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center, the campus center opened in 2006, and the Robert N. Noyce ’49 Science Center’s second phase construction completed in 2008, are the two latest additions to Grinnell’s LEED building certifications. The science center received the LEED silver designation, and the student center received the base certification.

In 2006, the college’s environmental education center at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA) became the first building in Iowa to receive the LEED gold designation, and a group of newly constructed residence halls received base certification. Designed by Chicago architects Holabird & Root, the CERA building was later awarded the Design Excellence Award for Sustainability by the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects. The CERA site also includes a wind turbine which supplies a majority of the education center’s electricity.

The Noyce Science Center, also designed by Holabird & Root, received the silver certification for features in the second phase of a two-part construction project, which involved both addition and renovation. “Science buildings have very complex ventilation and technical systems,” said Jim Swartz, director of the building project and the college’s Center for Science in the Liberal Arts, “so to receive a silver certification is especially rewarding because it recognizes the efforts to gain greater efficiencies and still remain true to our core purpose of creating a flexible and welcoming space for teaching and research.”

The science center’s certification was based on features including heat recovery on laboratory exhaust systems, motion sensors on fume hoods and lighting, rainwater collection for use in the greenhouse, energy-efficient windows, dual-flush toilets and low-flow lavatory fixtures, use of local and regional materials, and recycling construction waste.

The Rosenfield Center, a hub for student activities and dining designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli, was cited for the following energy-efficient features: Energy Star reflective roof, heat recovery system for coolers and freezers in dining operations, motion sensors and direct-digital control for indoor lighting, triple-glazed windows, variable air volume exhaust hoods, and variable speed fans and pumps.

In addition to the LEED certifications for buildings, Grinnell’s ongoing energy-efficiency measures throughout campus include reflective roofing, digital controls for lighting and temperature, motion sensors for lighting and vending machines, energy-efficient windows, and lighting retrofits. The college also incorporated geothermal wells and heat pumps for heating and cooling the CERA education center and the natatorium currently under construction.

Other green campus initiatives include food waste composting, building material recycling, coordination of residence hall recycling and awareness programming, local foods purchasing, and a campus project house that serves as a demonstration point for sustainable efforts.

LEED certification is a four-level rating system by the U.S. Green Building Council for design and construction of energy-efficient, high-performance buildings in six categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.

For more information about Grinnell’s environmental stewardship, go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/etal/green/buildings/.

Pioneers earn spot in MWC Championships

Fri, 2009-10-09 00:00 | By Anonymous (not verified)

The Grinnell College volleyball team has secured a spot in the Midwest Conference Championships for the first time since a qualifying system was implemented in 2005. Grinnell's fate was up in the air entering Saturday, but a loss by Ripon College loss propelled the Pioneers into the tournament and all the way up to the third seed. That means Grinnell, which finished 5-4 in the league, will take on second-seeded Beloit College in the first round this coming Friday at St. Norbert College in DePere, Wis. The top seed and host Green Knights will face Ripon in the other first-round match.

Reeder named MWC Performer of the Week

Mon, 2009-09-28 00:00 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Claire Reeder, a 6-foot junior middle hitter from Grinnell College (La Grange Park, Ill./Lyons Township), has been named Midwest Conference Volleyball Performer of the Week.Reeder was named to her fourth all-tournament team in as many outings this season during the Grinnell College Volleyball Invitational. She averaged 3.20 kills per set during the four matches, hit at a.239 efficiency clip and recorded 10 blocks. For the season, Reeder averages 3.47 kills per set and is hitting .265. [file:42113]

Reich voted to Academic All-America First Team

Wed, 2009-06-03 00:00 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Grinnell College's Henry Reich '09 has been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Men's Track and Field/Cross Country First Team. Reich was one of 15 athletes named to the elite team in the College Division. He is the third Pioneer athlete to earn Academic All-America honors for Track and Field/Cross Country, but the first to be voted to the First Team. Reich, a physics/mathematics major from Mahtomedi, Minn., has three conference titles to his credit this school year, winning the Midwest Conference individual cross country crown in 2008 (25 minutes, 51 seconds) and MWC indoor titles in the 3000- and 5000-meter races (8:46.61 and 15:09.55). He led Grinnell to just the third perfect cross country score in league history last fall (1 through 5 finish) and guided the Pioneers to the NCAA National Meet. The ESPN The Magazine Academic Team is co-sponsored by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America).

Grinnell's Kieselbach named All-America Scholar

Tue, 2009-05-05 17:39 | By Anonymous (not verified)

Grinnell College's Pete Kieselbach '10 (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy) has been named a Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar.To be eligible for the honor, an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70-percent of his team's competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championships, have a stroke-average under 79.0, and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2.A recipient must also be of high moral character and be in good standing at his college or university.