Mike Latham and others look to crowd on second story during his farewell event.

Grinnell Farewells

Season 1 Episode 15

On this episode, the season finale, we say some heartfelt goodbyes, explore the importance of intercultural education, and take time to slow down and appreciate meaningful conversation, bread, and summer’s arrival.

Mike Latham, outgoing assistant vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College, came to Grinnell in 2014 from Fordham University. During his 5 years as dean he championed initiatives such as the Institute for Global Engagement and prioritized making research opportunities available for every Grinnell student. He recently accepted the position of president at his alma mater, Punahou High School, in Hawaii. It’s the largest independent k-12 school on a single campus in the United States. Before Latham left for Punahou, he discussed the value of global educational opportunities, the connections between primary school education and Grinnell, and reflected on what he learned from working at the College.

Mike Latham waving to participants in his farewell

Continuing the theme of global education, we talk to the language assistants from this past year, Mélanie Izrael, Maria Kustova, and Carla Wagner, from Argentina, Russia, and Germany. The language assistants work in collaboration with the language departments and serve as linguistic and cultural resources for Grinnell students.

The language assistants live with students in the language houses, teach language and conversation courses, and tutor students in the language labs. They bring their perspectives from all around the world to Grinnell, Iowa, the middle of everywhere, and quickly adapt to their new surroundings in Grinnell. In our conversation, this year’s language assistants reflected on the diversity they experienced at Grinnell and their favorite memories from the past year.

Language assistants

Then we talk with Ania Chamberlin ‘19, who sat down in the Smith Gallery outside of the dining hall for a week straight, inviting visitors to eat her homemade bread while she drew them. It was performance art, yet there was nothing performative about it. Chamberlin greeted guests with her freshly-baked bread and received their time and some enlightening conversations in return. I talked with her after the week-long bread extravaganza was over and she had some time to reflect on the experience.

Ania Chamberlin ‘19 upends dough onto floured board
Ania led a breadmaking workshop at Grin City Bakery in spring 2019

To finish off the episode, we recap this year’s Summerfest, which provides participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in the academic, cultural, and social atmosphere of the College for a day-long celebration of learning and discovery through workshops, creative performances, and other activities.

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and how to opt out, please refer to our website privacy policy.