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In Focus: 10/09/2009

A weekly newsletter published by the Communications Office

Top News

SOUTHWESTERN RECEIVES $100,000 FROM MELLON FOUNDATION TO CONTINUE ENGAGED DIVERSITY PROJECT

Southwestern has received a $100,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue a program it started four years ago to promote student exchanges between two predominantly white universities and three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

Other universities involved with the project are Dillard University in New Orleans, Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, Morehouse College in Atlanta and Rhodes College in Memphis.

The program, which is called Engaged Diversity, gives students at participating institutions the opportunity to participate in yearly conferences that explore issues related to diversity and to participate in semester or yearlong “tuition neutral” student exchanges.   Since the program started, more than 50 students have participated in leadership workshops held on the various campuses. Two students have participated in exchange programs: a student from Morehouse College spent a semester at Southwestern in 2008 and a student from Southwestern is spending this semester at Dillard University (see below).   Students who participate in the annual conferences are expected to return home and implement diversity projects on their campuses.   Read the rest of the story here.

SOUTHWESTERN STUDENT SPENDING A SEMESTER AT DILLARD UNIVERSITY AS PART OF THE ENGAGED DIVERSITY PROJECT

Even after study abroad trips to Jamaica and South Africa, senior Charles Prince wanted another cross-cultural experience. As a result, he is spending this semester as an exchange student at Dillard University, a historically black university in New Orleans.

Prince is the first Southwestern student to study at another school as part of the Engaged Diversity program, which is sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

In addition to taking classes at Dillard and Xavier University this semester, Prince is teaching early U.S. history and Louisiana state history at the Sophie B Wright Charter School under a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher.

Read the rest of the story here.

Events

WRITER’S VOICE TICKETS AVAILABLE

Tickets for the 2009 Writer’s Voice lecture featuring fiction writer and memoirist Tobias Wolff will be available to the general public beginning Oct. 12.

Wolff will give a lecture at Southwestern titled “Saved by Stories: This Writer’s Life” at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in the Alma Thomas Theater. The event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets may be reserved on the library web site.

Read more about the 2009 Writer’s Voice speaker here.

Media Coverage

Max Taub, associate professor of biology, was quoted in The Scientist about a study that showed how increased levels of carbon dioxide would impact cassava plants, which are a staple for millions of people who live in the tropics.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about a new book on the Price family, whose children attended Southwestern in the early 1900s.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article on the upcoming Writer’s Voice lecture.

The Williamson County Sun ran an article about NITLE’s new Advisory Board.

The Williamson County Sun covered a fundraising event that Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity sponsored to raise money for the Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.).

Notables

Alex Anderson, associate director of Career Services, had an article published in the September issue of the NACE Journal, which is published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The article is titled “Campus Collaborations to Measure the Effect of Career Services on Student Outcomes: A Research Model and Case Study.”

A 2008 graduate, Rachel Osborne, did the research for the project as an independent research project under Traci Giuliano, professor of psychology. The research looked for correlations between students’ post-graduation outcomes (e.g. employment, continuing education) and their contacts with Career Services (e.g. appointments, program attendance). NACE is the main national professional organization for career services staff and recruiters of college graduates.

Nikos Bentenitis, assistant professor of chemistry, had a paper published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Physical Chemistry. The article was titled “A Kirkwood-Buff Derived Force Field for Thiols, Sulfides and Disulfides.” Junior chemistry major Nick Cox was co-author on the paper.

Laura Hobgood-Oster, professor of religion, gave a presentation at Yale University Divinity School this month about animals in Christian liturgy.

Jinelle Sperry, a postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental Studies Program, recently had a paper she co-authored accepted for publication by the journal Ecology. The paper is titled “Latitudinal Variation in Seasonal Activity and Mortality in Ratsnakes (Elaphe obsoleta).” Sperry also co-authored a paper that has been accepted for publication in the April 2010 edition of American Midland Naturalist. That paper is titled “Ratsnakes and Brush Piles: Intended and Unintended Consequences of Improving Habitat for Wildlife?”

Mary Visser, professor of art, has had one of her sculptures selected to be featured in the Winter 2009 issue of Creative Quarterly. The sculpture is titled “Circle of Life” and features nine female gymnasts in a circle. Visser made it using rapid prototyping. The sculpture received the Silver Award in the Fine Arts Professional division. A second sculpture of Visser’s, “Women in Movement,” was selected as a runner-up for the issue and will be featured in a special online gallery on the magazine’s Web site.