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Briefly: upcoming events

Friday, Apr. 13, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - >Grinnell Singers to perform Duke Ellington jazz Fri.

On Fri., Apr. 20, the Grinnell Singers will perform Duke Ellington’s “Sacred Concerts” with the Grinnell Jazz Ensemble and the Grinnell Oratorio Society. The concert at 7:30 p.m. in Sebring-Lewis Hall will also feature baritone Christopher Johnson and soprano Graciela Guzman. Ellington declared the "Sacred Concerts" to be the most important work he had ever done. This masterwork combines elements of jazz, gospel, classical, blues, and tap.  The Singers will also perform the Ellington works in downtown Des Moines on Sun., Apr. 22 at 4 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 600 6th Ave.

Student groups raise awareness to prevent sexual assault

Several student groups will co-sponsor events during the week of Apr. 23 to raise awareness and promote the prevention of sexual assault.  On Tues., Apr. 24 at 8 p.m. in JRC 101,  Real Men will host author and speaker Katie Hnida to share her story of sexual assault by a teammate, years of silence and now spreading awareness. On Sat., Apr. 28, Real Men will join with Iowa Valley Community College (IVCC) to "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes," a march to end sexual assault and domestic abuse.  The walk begins at Drake Community Library, 5th and Park, at 4 p.m. All proceeds from the walk go to Poweshiek County Emergency Services. Real Men would like to thank the Department of Athletics, SGA, Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice, Community Enhancement and Engagement, and Prof. Laura Armstrong at IVCC for supporting these activities.

Global Brigades chapter plans event to promote trip to Honduras

The campus chapter of Global Brigades will hold a fundraiser on Apr. 25 in Quad Dining of Main Hall to support a medical relief trip by 25 Grinnell students to Honduras in May.  Global Brigades, the world's largest student-run global health and sustainable development organization, sends brigades to Honduras, Panama, and Ghana to focus on developmental work. The Grinnell brigade will work with licensed physicians who will provide free medical and dental services to members of a rural community and local orphanage in Honduras. Each Grinnell brigader is expected to contribute $1,700 to cover the cost of housing, airfare and a contribution to Global Brigades for the May 21-27 trip. Tickets for the fundraiser may be purchased by contacting Xioaxi Yang ’14, Lisa Eshun-Wilson ’14, and Joseph Abraham ’14.

 UMOJA Conference Apr. 27-29

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More than 100 students from 36 Midwest institutions will join the Grinnell College African and Caribbean Students Union (ACSU) on campus Apr. 27-29 for the annual Umoja Conference.  The conference works to promote unity among the black student diaspora in the Midwest, encourage networking and host discussion on the experiences and challenges on campuses. The conference theme, according to ACSU organizers Alicia Afrah-Boateng ’12 and Nikeisha Sewell ’12, is ubuntu, the Bantu philosophy of “I am who I am because of who we all are.”  The weekend conference will feature a keynote speaker, guest performers and academic workshops.  Check out the various public events on the calendar.      

$1 million "capstone award" from HHMI boosts intermediate-level science education

Thursday, May. 24, 2012 7:30 pm | Contact: Des Moines Register; e! Science News; Iowa Higher Education

Grinnell College has received a $1 million science education “capstone award” from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), one of the nation’s largest private funders of biomedical research and education.

Grinnell Prize selection committee announced

Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College has announced the 10-member selection committee to determine the winners of the 2013 Grinnell Prize. The award program honors young innovators 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.

Nominations for the 2013 Prize will be accepted beginning Sept. 5, when the winners of the 2012 Prize will be announced, and are due by Nov. 5, 2012. Winners of the 2013 Prize will be announced in the fall of 2013. Details of the program and its nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/socialjusticeprize.

“Each year, the Grinnell Prize selection committee is required to select Prize winners from hundreds of qualified and impressive nominations,” said Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “With the prize program entering its third year, the quality of these nominations continues to impress us, and we are thrilled to have a selection committee with so much experience and passion for effecting positive social change.”

The selection committee will be chaired by Eliza Willis, professor of political science, Grinnell College. Willis teaches courses on Latin American politics, global development, international political economy, and the political economy of developing countries. She previously served as chair of the Grinnell faculty.

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 Grinnell students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the state.

  • Meg Jones Bair, director of donor relations, Grinnell College. She has served in a variety of positions in the Development and Alumni Relations office during the past 17 years and also served on the Poweshiek County Foster Care Review Board and the Grinnell College Collection Committee.
  • Emily Westergaard Hamilton, executive director, Des Moines “I Have a Dream” Foundation and Grinnell College 2002 graduate. Her organization works with at-risk youth to help students graduate and attend college.
  • Chris Hunter, professor of sociology, Grinnell College. He has served as coordinator of the college’s Minority Opportunities through School Transformation Program, a faculty representative on the Associated Colleges of the Midwest Committee on Minority Concerns, and on the boards of Mid-Iowa Community Action and the public library.
  • Kristi Knous, president and COO, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.  She also serves on the boards of Bravo Greater Des Moines, Midwest Housing Equity Group, and the Iowa State University Foundation Women and Philanthropy Advisory Committee.
  • Colleen Osborne, Grinnell College senior and student body president. She is a political science major hoping to pursue a career in women’s advocacy and international relations.
  • 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 Siskel, executive vice president and chief operating officer, The Asia Foundation. She oversees the foundation’s day-to-day operations and works on strategy and policy issues in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Marsha 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, and in 2012, was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.
  • Barrett Thomas, member of the Grinnell College board of trustees and a 1997 graduate. He is an associate professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Iowa and is active in the fields of process improvement, logistics, and dynamic programming.

Selection committee members will pick one to three winners to receive an award of $100,000, half awarded 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. Past nominations have spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, childhood education, environmental issues, literacy, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, youth services, hospice care, children’s mental health and global peace, among many others.

The Grinnell 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 are open to U.S. citizens as well as nationals of other countries and 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. Special efforts are made to seek nominees who work in areas that may not be traditionally viewed as directly connected to social justice, such as the arts and business. No affiliation with Grinnell College is 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.

Mateo Jarquín awarded Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study

Saturday, Apr. 14, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell IA - Grinnell College student Mateo Jarquín has been awarded a $34,000 competitive Beinecke Scholarship for graduate study. Jarquín, a third-year history major from Nicaragua, was nominated by Grinnell for the national competition based on his academic record, post-graduate plans and financial need.

Jarquín’s career goal is to pursue a Ph.D. in Latin American history and to become a professional commentator on Latin American affairs.   As a Grinnell student, Jarquín was selected as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and has conducted research on the relations of Latin American revolutionary regimes with the U.S. government. He has also served as a Spanish tutor, writing mentor, technology consultant, research assistant at Burling Library, and as a member of the history department’s student educational policy committee. 

The Beinecke Scholarship, administered by the Sperry Fund, “enables highly motivated students . . . to pursue opportunities and to be courageous in the selection of study in the arts, humanities and social studies.” Since the scholarship program began in 1975, more than 500 college juniors from more than 100 undergraduate institutions have been supported by the Sperry Fund.

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.

Advisory: The case for a new medical college admission test

Friday, Apr. 6, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Who: Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., available to comment on New England Journal of Medicine article released today: “Building a Better Physician — The Case for the New MCAT”  

What: The case for evaluating the behavioral and social sciences in medical entrance exams and education

  • Kington is co-author of an article that supports changes in the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) by 2015 to include evaluation of knowledge in the behavioral and social sciences and critical analysis and reasoning.
  • It is not enough for physicians to understand “hard” sciences like anatomy or pathology. Today’s doctors need to understand the role of behavioral and social factors in wellness and outcomes. For example, how can a patient from a high-crime neighborhood get exercise to manage diabetes?
  • Health behaviors and social circumstances help explain a substantial portion of life expectancy differences among groups defined by income, race, sex, or age.
  • The proposed revisions to the MCAT recognize that physicians need foundational knowledge in the behavioral and social sciences similar to that expected in the basic sciences.
  • Kington can address the ties between social factors and physical health; issues of social justice and wellness; and the importance of broad-based preparation for aspiring physicians.
  • He previously served at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including as NIH Principal Deputy Director and NIH Acting Director, NIH Associate Director for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and Acting Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.  Prior to NIH, he was a division director at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he led the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), one of the nation's largest studies assessing the health of the American people. 

Contact: To interview Raynard Kington, Grinnell College, contact Jim Reische, communications, reischej@grinnell.edu, 641-269-3400; to interview co-author Robert M. Kaplan, NIH, contact Ann Benner, annb@nih.gov, 301-594-4574; to interview co-author Jason Satterfield, contact jsatter@medicine.ucsf.edu.

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Winners of 2012 Grinnell Prize for social change announced

Thursday, Sep. 6, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College has announced the winners of the second annual  Grinnell Prize honoring young innovators for social change: Cristi Hegranes, executive director and founder, Global Press Institute; Jacob A. Wood, president of  Team Rubicon, and William B. McNulty III vice president of Team Rubicon (shared award); and Jane Chen, CEO of Embrace Innovations and co-founder, Embrace, and Linus Liang, Embrace co-founder and COO (shared award).

The Grinnell Prize, which received nominations from 45 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.  Each winning entry receives $100,000, half to the individual(s) and half to an organization the winner(s) designates, for a total of $300,000 awarded this year in prize monies.

The pool of nominees for the Grinnell Prize spanned a diverse array of social issues, including hunger relief, disaster relief, childhood education, economic development, the environment, literacy, community-produced news, youth arts, fair housing, violence prevention, immigration, GLBTQ, restorative justice, public access to healthcare delivery, children’s mental health, urban agriculture, and global peace, among others.

“I’m delighted to announce these truly inspiring individuals as the winners of the 2012 Grinnell Prize. These young men and women embody Grinnell’s long-standing mission to prepare students to go out into the world and use their education for the benefit of the common good,” said Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D. “Since we launched the Grinnell Prize two years ago, we have learned about a remarkable number of young people who are striving to make the world a better place. Our 2012 winners represent the ideals of the prize program in every way possible.”

Details for the second annual Grinnell Prize winners are as follows:

After observing numerous problems within her profession while working as a foreign correspondent in Nepal, Hegranes founded the Global Press Institute (GPI) to confront two specific challenges she observed: “the decline of quality international journalism and the need for more women’s economic empowerment.” Through GPI, Hegranes uses journalism as a development tool to educate, employ and empower women to produce high-quality local news coverage that elevates global awareness and ignites social change.

Hegranes has built a network of professional women journalists throughout the developing world – all of whom earn a fair wage for reporting about their communities. Their unique coverage of issues, specifically those often overlooked by the mainstream media, contributes directly to community development and empowerment and also brings greater transparency and change to the way the world views their people and cultures.

To help combat reintegration problems faced by many U.S. veterans, Wood and McNulty founded Team Rubicon to unite the skills and experiences of military veterans with medical professionals who deploy first-response teams to disaster areas. Since its founding in January 2010, Team Rubicon has successfully affected thousands of lives, including victims of global and national disasters and returning U.S. military veterans. While providing aid on the streets of Port-au-Prince in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, Team Rubicon veterans realized that natural disasters present many of the same problems that confront troops in Iraq and Afghanistan: unstable populations, limited resources and horrific conditions. The skills cultivated by those on the battlefields – emergency medicine, risk assessment and mitigation, teamwork and leadership –are invaluable in disaster zones. By helping veterans transfer these critical skills, Team Rubicon has given hundreds of military men and women  a renewed sense of purpose and has pioneered a new paradigm in disaster response that  helps fringe victims outside the scope of where traditional aid organizations venture.

In 2007, Chen and Liang created a $200 infant warmer in response to a challenge posed during a Stanford University course and following a trip to Nepal where they witnessed firsthand the high infant death rates in developing countries due to hypothermia. Reduced from the normal $20,000 cost of an incubator, the infant warmer can be used in remote regions of the world without a continuous supply of electricity. Realizing that their innovation solved a small part of a large problem – specifically poor maternal and child health outcomes in developing countries – Chen and Liang are also working on preventive measures including education in remote areas such as Jhagadia, India and Banadir, Somalia, where their infant warmers are provided.

Embrace is also investing in research and development to create additional, low-cost health innovations to improve both women’s and children’s well-being.  Early this year, Chen and Liang created the for-profit venture Embrace Innovations, which will license the technology from Embrace and work on manufacturing, distribution and research for new products.

The winners will visit the Grinnell College campus the week of November 12 to participate in the Grinnell Prize Symposium and awards ceremony.  Through public lectures and interactions with students and the campus community, the winners will share their experiences and perspectives of how they were able to create innovative programs to effect positive social change.

Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, will be the keynote speaker on Nov. 14. Before age 30, Greenfield and business partner Ben Cohen opened an ice cream shop in Burlington, Vt., that has since spawned a global brand. Though known for its ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s also has a strong commitment to “a sustainable corporate concept of linked prosperity.” Greenfield and Cohen are devoted not only to product and economic missions, but also to a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that “seeks to meet human needs and eliminate injustices” in their local, national and international communities by integrating the social concerns of their mission into day-to-day business activities.

Nominations for the 2013 Grinnell Prize are open through Nov. 5.

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.

10 Alumni Award winners recognized during Reunion Weekend

Monday, Jun. 4, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College recognized the professional accomplishments and service contributions of 10 alumni during Alumni Reunion Weekend, June 1-3 on the Grinnell campus. Alumni Award winners are members of reunion classes who have distinguished themselves in their careers and communities and embody Grinnell’s mission of life-long learning and service.

The recognized alumni include:

  • Audrey “Bunny” Howard Swanson, a member of the class of 1943 from Belle Plaine, Minn., for her dedicated service to Grinnell and the League of Women Voters.
  • Linda Miller Staubitz, a member of the class of 1962 from Highwood, Ill., for her volunteer service to the college and local opera.
  • James Holbrook, a member of the class of 1966 from Salt Lake City, for his efforts in international dispute resolution.
  • Jacque “Jack” Reynolds, a member of the class of 1968 from Olathe, Kan., for sharing his medical expertise through local community service.
  • Mark Hamilton, a member of the class of 1971 from Ames, Ia., for advancing community journalism.
  • Barry Zigas, a member of the class of 1973 from Washington, D.C., for his advocacy in low-income housing policy.
  • Kimberly Kuncl, a member of the class of 1987 from Atlanta, for local and national work in women’s healthcare.
  • Anthony Weeks, a member of the class of 1991 from San Francisco, for his award-winning second career in filmmaking.
  • Devora Kimelman-Block, a member of the class of 1993 from Silver Spring, Md., for her work in community-supported food production.
  • Seth Gitter, a 2002 graduate from Silver Spring, Md., for his global development work.

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. -30-

Goldwater Scholarship for excellence in math and science to Alice Nadeau '13

Friday, Mar. 30, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College student Alice Nadeau has been awarded a Goldwater Scholarship for up to $7,500 toward tuition and other expenses during the 2012-13 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.

Nadeau, a third-year mathematics major from Waterloo, Ia., plans to pursue a Ph.D. and teach at the university level. “I am currently trying to explore as many areas of mathematics as available to me,” Nadeau said. “This is important in both teaching and research since connections and correlations can and frequently do come from outside one’s own specific field of study.”

As a Grinnell student, Nadeau serves as a student assistant for the Grinnell Science Project pre-orientation program; works in the costume studio for the theatre department; swims for the varsity swim team; and is an active participant in student government.

Grinnell student Rebecca Mandt, a third-year biology major from Mendota Heights, Minn., was named honorable mention in the competition. She plans a career in biomedical research.

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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"Africa's Role in International Arena" symposium Apr. 9-13

Monday, Mar. 26, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Africa’s current and future roles in the international arena will be the focus of a week-long symposium at Grinnell College, Apr. 9-13, sponsored by the college’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights. A former ambassador to Ethiopia, scholars of African politics and economics, and a recent leader of Africare will share first-hand experiences about the continent.

“Africa is a continent of contrasts that has tremendous importance for the rest of the world—international relations, economic growth, cultural affairs,” said Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program. “We want to get at that importance by taking a look at Africa’s regional issues, as well as its effective relationships with the rest of the world.”

The week-long symposium will include the following free, public events to be held in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell campus (unless otherwise noted):

  • Mon., Apr. 9, 8 p.m.: Lahra Smith, assistant professor in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, will discuss “Old Trade-Offs and New Realities: Challenges of Economic Development and Political Reform in Africa” in Alumni Recitation Hall, Room 302.
  •  Tues., Apr. 10, 4:15 p.m.: Boniface Dulani, a member of the faculty at the University of Malawi, will consider recent political movements in “Neither Consolidating nor Fully Democratic: The Evolution of African Political Regimes, 1999-2008.”
  •  Wed., Apr. 11, 4:15 p.m.: Africa’s place in the arts world will be the topic for Kelly Askew, associate professor of anthropology and Afroamerican/African Studies at the University of Michigan, in “Poetry and Politics along the Indian Ocean Littoral.” Askew is also director of Michigan’s African Studies Center.
  •  Wed., Apr. 11, 8 p.m.: Ambassador David Shinn, former U.S. ambassador to Burkina Faso and Ethiopia, will compare “China and Africa: An Evolving Relationship.” Shinn is adjunct professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University.
  •  Thurs., Apr. 12, 11 a.m.: Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Julius Coles will deliver the Scholars’ Convocation on “Prospects for Africa in the 21st Century.” Coles, the former president of Africare, is director of Morehouse College’s Andrew Young Center for International Affairs.
  •  Thurs., Apr. 12, 4:15 p.m.: The role of women will be the topic of a talk by Pearl Robinson, associate professor of political science at Tufts University, in “African Muslim Women and Civic Islam.”
  •  Fri., Apr. 13, noon: The symposium will close with a lecture in South Lounge of the College Forum by Assefa Mehretu, professor of geography at Michigan State University. Mehretu, who is also director of the Center for Integrative Studies in Social Science at Michigan, will discuss “The Rise and Decline of America's Soft-Power in Africa: The Case of Ethiopia.”

The African and Caribbean Students Union will host a film festival in connection with the symposium, offering “Umkhungo” at 8 p.m. on Apr. 12; “Teza” at 7 p.m. on Apr. 14; and “Ties that Bind” at 4:15 p.m. on Apr. 15. All films will be shown in Alumni Recitation Hall, Room 302.

For more information about the symposium, contact Sarah Purcell, 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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