Thanks for a Great 2013

Thanks for a Great 2013

2013 was a extraordinary year at Knox. We celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Peace Corps Preparatory Program -- the very first program of its kind in the nation -- and received a $600,000 award from the National Science Foundation to establish an innovative program to prepare students for careers in the sciences.

Knox men's soccer teamThe Prairie Fire men’s baseball team captured the Midwest Conference south division title and the men’s soccer team secured a spot in the Midwest Conference Championship for the first time in more than 20 years.

This fall, we welcomed the third largest entering class in four decades. And just as students were arriving on campus, construction officially began on Alumni Hall, which is set to be completed in fall 2014.

Alumni, parents, and friends make these successes possible. Your gifts directly support Knox faculty, students, and academics. Please give by December 31 online or by calling 888-566-9265.*

*If you make your year-end gift by phone, please note that the College will be closed for the holidays from December 24 to January 1. An Advancement staff member will check the toll-free number throughout the week, and the office will be staffed on December 31 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. if you have any questions about your gift. Thank you and happy holidays.

Career Summit Offers Networking Opportunities with Alumni

Knox students picked up job-search tips and career advice from Knox alumni at the inaugural Career iMPACT Summit. The event also provided networking opportunities with more than a dozen Knox graduates who are building careers in various fields, including law, education, health care, business, and publishing. Learn more about the event.


From the Editors

New Year, New Look for

Bigger pictures. Less text. More calls to action. You’ll see these changes -- and more -- on the Knox website by the New Year. In an effort to meet the needs of today’s prospective and current students and to provide a contemporary web experience for all of Knox’s constituents, the College is undergoing a website redesign. The first stage in this project is the launching of an interim website. This site will have a new look and feel but will not alter the overall organization of the site -- you’ll still be able to find what you need, whether you’re looking for a campus event, need to make a gift, or are checking the latest Prairie Fire basketball scores.

Over the next six months or so, we will continue to work behind the scenes to address more than the look and feel of the site, but also its overall structure and organization. And we’ll keep you posted on our progress along the way -- stay tuned for more updates on this ongoing project throughout the year.

Enjoy the new site!

Follow the Renovation of Alumni Hall As It Happens

Follow the transformation of Alumni Hall at View photos of construction, learn about the history of Alumni Hall, and see what’s planned for the finished building. Recent posts include a video of graffiti that covered the interior walls of the building prior to the start of renovation and a photo of the original Gizmo. When you visit the blog, be sure to share your memories of Alumni Hall with the Knox community.

Make Those Last Minute Holiday Purchases at the Knox Shop

Time is running out! Order your Knox gear today for holiday delivery through the Knox Shop. If you order now, all orders over $55 receive free shipping. Visit to see order cut-off dates for holiday delivery and to find the perfect items to give this season.

Campus News

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway to Give 2014 Commencement Address

Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate of the United States Natasha Trethewey will be the speaker at the 2014 Commencement exercises to be held  June 7 on the South Lawn of Old Main. Trethewey is the nation's 19th Poet Laureate and the author of four collections of poetry. "From its earliest days in which students organized literary societies to the present-day awards garnered by our student literary publications, Knox College has always sought to honor the poetic imagination,” said Knox President Teresa Amott. “The selection of a poet as this year's speaker affirms the critical role of the arts and humanities in the lives of our students and graduates." Read more about Tretheway.

Electric Car Aids Student Community Service

Knox College students traveling to community service jobs in Galesburg are benefiting from a newly acquired electric car, provided by a grant from the PNC Foundation. Read more about the car.

Knox Students End Term with Time-Traveling Superheroes

Time traveling superheroes can do just about anything -- they're time-traveling superheroes, after all. They even help Knox students get better grades, based on students’ design presentations of imaginary characters created in the fall term class “Design and Technology for Stage and Screen. View more fun final projects at Knox.

Students Strive to Solve Environmental Challenges Locally, Globally

Students Strive to Solve Environmental Challenges Locally, GloballySocial justice, climate change, consumerism, and socially responsible agriculture were just a few of the topics at the third Prairie Fire Bioneers Conference, which brings together people seeking to solve some of the world's biggest environmental and social challenges. The conference at Knox featured presentations from the National Bioneers Conference and interactive workshops on issues in the Galesburg area. Learn about the conference.

Student News

Renowned Musician Brings “Audacious Sci-fi Jazz” to Knox

Student musicians and poets performing with Ben AllisonKnox music and writing students collaborated and performed with renowned bassist and composer Ben Allison during Knox's inaugural Mirza Jazz Residency. Allison 's work with several groups of Knox students culminated in a performance featuring student musicians and poets performing with Allison. Learn more about the residency.

Students Investigate Relics Unearthed by Professor

Analyzing materials in the new labHistory Professor Danielle Fatkin is giving Knox students hands-on experience analyzing some of the ancient pottery materials she has uncovered while working on an archaeological dig in Jordan. Fatkin has been working at the archaeological site for about 10 years and has taken Knox students to the site for the summer field season. Read more about the new lab.

Computer science students and facultyComputer Programming Students Make Strong Showing at Contest

Knox's Team X-Ray placed second among 15 liberal arts colleges that competed in an intense regional contest involving programming teams from colleges and universities in five states. Learn more about the competition.

Alumni News

John Podesta ’71Podesta Named Presidential Advisor

John Podesta ’71 will join the White House staff as a senior counselor to President Barack Obama. Podesta previously served as chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and a transition advisor to President Obama. He is also founder and former president of the Center for American Progress. Podesta is on the Knox Board of Trustees and has been a Commencement speaker, honorary degree recipient, and Alumni Achievement Award winner. Read more about Podesta.

Book Explores JFK’s Formative Years in the Senate

John "Jack" Shaw '79
November 22 marked the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and decades after his death, JFK remains one of the most fascinating political figures in American history. But before he was an iconic president, he was a junior United States Senator. JFK's eight years in the Senate is the focus of a book by John "Jack" Shaw '79, JFK in the Senate, which tracks his transformation from a lowly former House member into a formidable political force. Read more about Shaw and the book.

Jim Lynch ’97
Jim Lynch ’97 Receives 40 Leaders Under Forty Award

Vice president of development at the Greater Peoria Business Alliance, Jim Lynch ’97 is among the young leaders recognized by InterBusiness Issues magazine as one of “40 Leaders Under Forty.” Read more about Lynch.

Alumni Notes

Maurice Stamps ’39 is featured in a Daily Iowegian article about the five books he has written since he turned 92. He is now 98. Read more about Stamps.

Just in time for the holidays, Wise Men and Other Stories: Lessons from the Holidays on Santa, God, Heaven, Death & More Fun Stuff from Someone Who Still Has a Lot to Learn is a collection of holiday-related essays that blends humor and poignancy by Mike O’Mary ’80. The book is ranked 23rd in The New York Times Best Sellers in the non-fiction e-book category for the week ending December 7. Read more about the book.

Coaches want their players to succeed in the real world. Todd Monken ’89, head football coach at the University of Southern Mississippi, is backing that up by buying a suit for every graduating member of the senior class on his team. Read more about the gesture.

University of Illinois English Professor Audrey Petty ’90 documents life in Chicago public housing in her new book High-Rise Stories: Voices from Chicago Public Housing. Read more about Petty and her book.

Trey Morrison ’96 co-authored an article on the liquefied natural gas industry and fire protection regulations in the journal Fire Protection Engineering. Read the article.  

Correction: In the November 2013 Gizmogram, the company where Douglas Domenick ’93 is employed, Schiff Hardin LLP, was misspelled. We apologize for the error.

Faculty & Staff News

Three Knox Faculty Named to Endowed Professorships

Three Knox College faculty members -- Catherine Denial, Karen Kampwirth ’86, and Rob Smith – have been appointed to endowed professorships in recognition of their distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to the College.

  • Catherine Denial, Karen Kampwirth ’86, and Rob SmithDenial will hold the Burkhardt Distinguished Chair in History.
  • Kampwirth will hold the Robert W. Murphy Chair in Political Science.
  • Smith will be the first recipient of the John and Elaine Fellowes Distinguished Chair in English.

Read more about the professors.

Fred Lee HordPassion for Social Justice Defines Hord’s Poetry

Fred Lee Hord's passion for social justice defines his work in the classroom as chair of the Africana Studies program. His drive to explore issues of race, gender, and class is also apparent in his fourth book of poetry, Into Africa, Being Black, published by Third World Press. Read more about the book.

Sarah ScullinDoes it Hurt?
Professor Studies Subjectivity of Pain

What is pain? Does everyone feel pain the same way? Is pain a reliable symptom for diagnosis? Sarah Scullin, visiting assistant professor of classics, focuses her research on the subjectivity of pain and how pain has been experienced through time, starting with ancient Greek medical texts. Read more about her research.

Faculty and Staff Notes

Monica Berlin ’95, associate professor of English, and Beth Marzoni '04 have published another poem from their ongoing collaboration. [All the particular places we've known window sometimes & sometimes] appears in the October issue of Better: Culture & Lit.

A chapter by Elizabeth Carlin-Metz, Smith V. Brand Endowed Chair  of Theatre Arts, “The Neuroscience of Performance Pedagogy,” was included in the book Embodied Consciousness: Performance Technologies. Learn more about the book.

John Dooley, William and Marilyn Ingersoll Chair in Computer Science, presented "The Signal Intelligence Service and Cipher Machines: 1930-1940” at the National Security Agency Center for Cryptologic History Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland.

Professor of Psychology Tim Kasser gave a guest lecture on “The Psychology of John Lennon” in a personality class at Amherst College. He also had a blog posted in the Society for Personality & Social Psychology's monthly e-newsletter titled "Venturing Out of Reductionism: Taking a Deeper Look Through John Lennon’s 'Lucy.'”  Read the post.

Jason Nethercut, visiting assistant professor of classics, presented "Lucretius' Water Cycle and the Subversion of Literary History," at the Conference on Lucretius in Theory: Literary-Critical Approaches to the De Rerum Natura at the University of Edinburgh.

Julio Noriega, assistant professor of modern languages (Spanish), presented "La guerra del agua y También la Lluvia" at the third Semi-Biennial Conference of the Society for Amazonian and Andean Studies in Orlando, Florida.

Jennifer Smith, associate professor of dance, presented "Movement Session: The Benefits of Human Contact: Understanding the Connection Between Touch and Authentic Movement" at the International Association of Dance Medicine & Science Annual Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Three faculty participated in the German Studies Association Annual Meeting in Denver:

  • Gizem Arslan, visiting assistant professor of modern languages (German): "Berlin-World: Textual and Spatial Fragmentation in Yoko Tawada"
  • Emre Sencer, assistant professor of history, seminar convenor: "Not So Quiet on the Eastern Front: New Directions in World War I Studies"
  • Todd Heidt, assistant professor of modern languages (German), panel moderator: "Diversity and Diversion in Film and Television," and panel commentator: "The Weimar Republic Novel in its Social Contexts"

In This Issue

Knox Events

January 25, 2014
Musical Instrument Museum
January 25, 2014
Jazz Concert with Colorado Symphony
February 12, 2014
The Chapel Grill, Naples
February 13, 2014
Tim Kasser Book Discussion
March 28, 2014
Denver Nuggets vs. San Antonio Spurs
May 18, 2014
once: at Denver Performing Arts Complex

Gizmogram Archive

Knox Links

Knox Profiles

Phongkiet Sisaikeo, junior

I have been working with a lot of intelligent automobile engineers and technicians, and they have taught me things that cannot be found in a regular textbook. My name is Phongkiet Sisaikeo, junior, and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox students.

Aaron Thornton '06

The pace and rigor that is expected from students at Knox truly gave me a leg up on my colleagues while in graduate school. My name is Aaron Thornton '06, global marketing manager at BASF Corporation, and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox alumni.

Jessie Dixon '89

Knox students are intense. They're engaged in learning more. They have a true zeal for knowledge. My name is Jessie Dixon '89, associate professor and chair of modern languages (Spanish), and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox faculty.

Give to Knox



Contact Us

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Megan Scott '96 & Cheri Siebken

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