Media relations

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, 641-269-3404; 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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Advisory: Social Entrepreneurs group finalist in White House competition

Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

The Social Entrepreneurs of Grinnell (SEG), a student-run nonprofit microfinance lending organization at Grinnell College, is one of 15 finalists in the White House “Campus Champions of Change Challenge.”

SEG was chosen from more than 1,400 submissions and is the only small college finalist and the only from Iowa. The Campus Champions of Change initiative highlights innovative ideas on college campuses across the country and aims to inspire others to get involved in their communities.

In its five years of operation, SEG has expanded from providing international loans in remote communities to also working to improve conditions in local communities. The microfinance organization has loaned more than $37,000 to 44 countries, with $13,000 going to 25 individuals in the Grinnell area.

The project selected for the competition—SEG’s Local Loans Project—provides emergency, no-interest microloans to individuals for medical expenses, automobile repairs, education, and repayment of high-interest loans from payday loan sharks.

Voting for the Challenge continues until Sat., Mar. 3 at 11:59 p.m. EST. The top five finalists will be invited to an event at the White House, will be featured on mtvU and MTV Act, and the overall winner will host an episode of mtvU’s signature program, “The Dean’s List.”

To speak to a SEG student coordinator, please contact Cindy Deppe, communications, deppec@grinnell.edu, 641-269-4834.

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First Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize Symposium Oct. 25-27

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell, IA
10/5/11

Grinnell College will host its first symposium dedicated to the Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize on October 25-27. The Symposium – co-sponsored by the college’s Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations and Human Rights – includes an awards ceremony and presentations by the 2011 prize winners: Boris Bulayev and Eric Glustrom (Educate!); James Kofi Annan (Challenging Heights); and Rabbi Melissa Weintraub (Encounter). Noted civil rights lawyer Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, will present the keynote address, “With Justice for All,” on the final day.

The Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, established by Grinnell in 2010, recognizes 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 2011 winners, selected from more than 1,000 nominations from 66 countries, will receive $100,000 awards, half to the individuals and half to their respective organizations. On Tuesday evening, Oct. 25, President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., will honor the inaugural winners during an awards ceremony.

Over the next two days, winners will deliver public presentations on their work:

• Boris Bulayev, co-founder and executive director, and Eric Glustrom, co-founder and president, Educate! (shared award / presentation), on “Why I Quit the Basketball Team to Join Educate!- Jumping in the Deep-End”

• James Kofi Annan, president, Challenging Heights, on “Passion, Commitment, and Innovation: The Critical Success Factors in Community Project Sustainability”

• Rabbi Melissa Weintraub, founding executive director emeritus, Encounter, on “Authentic Peace-building: A Justice That's Not Just Us”

In addition to formal presentations, award winners will meet with students, faculty and staff in classrooms and informal settings to discuss their approach to social justice, sources of inspiration and success in overcoming obstacles.

“Social justice has been an integral part of the Grinnell mission since our founding in 1846. It contributes to our academic programs and culture on campus, and it inspires our alumni throughout their lives,” explained Kington. “The Grinnell College Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize and Symposium program underscores our deep commitment to fostering positive social change.”

Public events during the three-day symposium on the Grinnell campus include:

• Oct. 25, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Grinnell Prize awards ceremony.

• Oct. 26, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Kofi Annan, Challenging Heights.

• Oct. 26, 8 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Bulayev and Glustrom, Educate!

• Oct. 27, 11 a.m., Herrick Chapel: Convocation by Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center.

• Oct. 27, 4:15 p.m., Herrick Chapel: Presentation by Weintraub, Encounter.

The Symposium coincides with the Call for Nominations for the 2012 Young Innovator for Social Justice Prize, with entries accepted through November 14, 2011. Details of the program and the nomination process are available at www.grinnell.edu/grinnellprize.

For additional information about symposium events, contact Sarah Purcell, director of the Rosenfield Program,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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"Listening, Learning, Leading on the Global Stage" by World Food Prize lecturer Jo Luck

Monday, Sep. 26, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - 2010 World Food Prize laureate Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, will deliver a public lecture at Grinnell College on Wed., Oct. 12 about her experiences in leading the world hunger assistance organization. Her lecture, “Listening, Learning, Leading on the Global Stage,” will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Harris Center Cinema on the Grinnell campus. A light buffet dinner will precede in the Harris Center atrium. At 6:30 p.m., following the lecture, there will be a public reception in the atrium with music by Too Many Strings Band.

Luck served as president and CEO of Heifer International from 1992 to 2010, and director of international programs from 1989 to 1992. Under her leadership, the organization, which brings food- and incoming-producing livestock to impoverished families, grew from 20,000 to 500,000 supporters and expanded scope of efforts throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia and the South Pacific, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Grinnell has hosted World Food Prize lecturers for more than six years as part of a World Food Prize outreach program at Iowa educational institutions during the week the prize is awarded. The 2011 World Food Prize will be awarded at the state capitol Oct. 13 to John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana, and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, who led significant hunger and poverty reduction efforts in their respective countries.

Luck’s lecture is sponsored by the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights. Harris Center is located at 1114 10th Ave. on the Grinnell campus. For more information about the Rosenfield Program, 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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"Live in HD" bringing the Metropolitan Opera to Harris Center

Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College has partnered with New York City’s Metropolitan Opera to offer the final three shows of the 2011-12 season “Live in HD” at the Harris Center Cinema on the Grinnell campus. Each show will be preceded by a half-hour opera talk by Jennifer Williams Brown, associate professor of music at Grinnell.

On Sat., Feb. 25, the Italian opera “Ernani,” composed by Giuseppe Verdi, will be presented with English subtitles. Audience members should plan to arrive by 11:30 a.m. for the opera talk, with the performance to begin at noon.

The French opera “Manon,” composed by Jules Massenet, will be performed on Sat., Apr. 7. Audience members should arrive by 10:30 a.m. for the opera talk, with the English-subtitled performance to begin at 11 a.m.

Verdi’s “La Traviata” will be performed on Sat., Apr. 14 at noon, with the opera talk to begin at 11:30 a.m. The opera will be sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Synopses of the shows are available at http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/history/stories/. Details for the 2012-13 “Live in HD” season will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are required for each performance and can be purchased at the Harris Center on the day of the show: $15 for adults, $10 for students. Tickets will also be on sale at the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell, beginning Feb. 17. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3235.

Harris Center is located at 1114 10th Ave., with available parking east of the center on 10th Ave. 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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"Family Album" reconstructs memories at Faulconer Gallery

Friday, Jun. 10, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Family photos, old and new, reconstruct memories in the summer exhibition opening at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery on June 24.

Using digital photographic techniques, California-based artist Liz Steketee offers creative insights into the art of photographs that explore the dynamics of family life and the lasting effects of memories. The artist combines old and new family photographs as a means of revisiting “the epic scenery of the everyday,” documenting her life as a wife and mother, and “the joy, the agony, and the irony of life’s experiences.”

“‘Family Album’ makes an immediate connection with gallery visitors because nearly everyone has or takes family photos,” said Daniel Strong, curator of the exhibition and associate director of the gallery. “Many of the scenes depicted in Steketee’s works will be familiar: family gatherings, trips to the beach and to the ice cream parlor, or sitting at home in front of the TV.

“We also hope the exhibition will encourage visitors to experiment in their everyday lives with photography’s creative potential. Not everyone is inclined to draw or paint but everyone takes pictures, and thanks to the genius of a camera on every cellphone, we’re all artists now.” Faulconer Gallery will host several “Family Album” public events this summer:

  • Fri., June 24, 11 a.m.: exhibition opens.
  • Sun., June 26, 3 p.m.: flute and piano concert with Rebecca Stuhr and Royce Wolf.
  • Thursdays, June 30-Aug. 18, 12:15-12:50 p.m.: yoga with Monica St. Angelo.
  • Sun., July 24, 3 p.m.: concert by Turlach Ur, including traditional and contemporary bagpipe tunes
  • Thurs., Aug. 4, 5-7 p.m.: Families@Faulconer, an exhibition and reception for young artists who created work during summer outreach programs.
  • Fri., Aug. 26, 4:15-6 p.m.: “Family Album” back-to-campus reception.
  • Thurs., Sept. 1, 4:15 p.m.: gallery talk by artist Liz Steketee.

“Family Album” is open June 24 through Aug. 21 during summer gallery hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Monday. From Aug. 23 to the exhibition closing on Sept. 4, “Family Album” will be open during regular gallery hours: 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.

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"Can China Save the World?" convocation by modern China historian Karl Gerth '88

Monday, Sep. 19, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Modern China historian Karl Gerth will question “Can China Save the World?” at a Scholars’ Convocation on Thurs., Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus.

Drawing on research in his latest book, “As China Goes, So Goes the World: How Chinese Consumers are Transforming Everything,” Gerth explains how—from brand choice to environmental quality—citizens around the world are affected by the everyday choices made by the Chinese population.

Gerth, a 1988 Grinnell graduate, has conducted research in China and Japan for more than 25 years, with special interests in consumerism, nationalism, environmentalism, and everyday life under communism. His previous book, “China Made: Consumer Culture and the Creation of the Nation,” focused on the role of nationalism in forming a consumer culture in pre-World War II China. He currently teaches at the University of Oxford, where he is a fellow and tutor at Merton College.

Gerth’s Grinnell lecture is part of the college’s ongoing Scholars’ Convocation series. 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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Rockjazz pianist ELEW to perform in Herrick Chapel

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Rockjazz pianist ELEW will bring his physical playing style to Grinnell College, Thurs., Mar. 1, at 7:30 p.m. in Herrick Chapel on the Grinnell campus. ELEW combines ragtime, rock and pop with “mesmerizing piano theatrics” to create a style that has complemented tours for artists such as Josh Groban, Wynton Marsalis, Elvin Jones, Roy Hargrove, and Cassandra Wilson, among others.

Known as an “imposing, explosive force” at the keyboard, ELEW released his first album in 2010 featuring “blistering piano recreations” of tunes by Coldplay, The Killers, and others in his own rock-jazz tradition. His second CD, “ELEW Rockjazz Vol. 2,” is expected to be released early this year with interpretations of classics from Michael Jackson to Katy Perry to the Doors.

Tickets are required for the Grinnell performance and may be obtained at the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts box office, beginning Mon., Feb. 27, noon-5 p.m. Limited tickets are also available from the Pioneer Bookshop in downtown Grinnell. For ticket questions, call 641-269-3101 or go tohttp://www.grinnell.edu/car/confops/publicevents/.

The ELEW performance at Grinnell is sponsored by the college’s Public Events Committee. Herrick Chapel is located at 1128 Park St. 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 orcalendar@grinnell.edu.

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New dean of admission and financial aid appointed

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

Grinnell College President Raynard S. Kington has appointed Joseph P. Bagnoli, Jr., of Berea College to lead Grinnell’s strategic recruitment and financial aid programs. Bagnoli will join the Grinnell staff on Feb. 23 as vice president for enrollment and dean of admission and financial aid.

Bagnoli currently serves as dean of enrollment and academic services at Berea, his alma mater, with responsibility for admission, financial aid, athletics, academic services, and student records and accounts. Berea College, located in Berea, Ky., is recognized for its abolitionist founding as the first interracial, coeducational college in the South and its unique student labor program in which all students participate to earn a tuition-free education.

“Joe’s impressive record of service at Berea, both personally and professionally, demonstrates high-level commitment to the goal of strategically enrolling a diverse student body, while balancing challenging demographics and economic times,” Kington said. “He shares Grinnell’s drive for social good and academic excellence, and our desire to extend educational opportunities to disadvantaged college-bound students.”

Bagnoli previously served as director of admissions and financial aid at Concord College in West Virginia and as an admissions counselor at Berea. He holds a master’s degree in student personnel services from Eastern Kentucky University and is completing his Ph.D. in educational policy studies and evaluation at the University of Kentucky.

“Grinnell’s history of social action and its reputation as a leader in access to higher education among elite liberal arts colleges compelled me to pursue this position,” Bagnoli said. “I believe Grinnell can play an increasingly important role in the diversification of higher education nationally by acting upon its own convictions, and I look forward to engaging in that work.” Bagnoli is the second member of his family to join the Grinnell campus; his oldest daughter is currently a first-year student.

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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Writers@Grinnell hosts sportswriter Marty Dobrow Feb. 16

Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012 4:00 pm

Grinnell, IA - Writers@Grinnell expects to increase its RBI with a Feb. 16 reading by noted sportswriter Marty Dobrow. The author of “Knocking on Heaven’s Door: Six Minor Leaguers in Search of the Baseball Dream” and “Going Bigtime: The Spectacular Rise of UMass Basketball” will read from his books and talk about his lifelong passion for sports at 8 p.m. in Room 101 of the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center on the Grinnell College campus. During a 4:15 p.m. roundtable discussion with Grinnell students, Dobrow will talk about the sportswriting craft for which he has received numerous national awards.

On Feb. 24, fantasy and short story writer Kevin Brockmeier will read from his published works which include two children’s novels, two fantasy novels, and two story collections. The Little Rock, Ark.-based writer is teaching a short course in fiction writing at Grinnell, as well as teaching at the University of Iowa this semester. Brockmeier will read at 8 p.m. in Faulconer Gallery in the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts.

In April, Writers@Grinnell will continue with weekly activities featuring Shakespeare, novelists, poets, and memorists. 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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