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Knox College Commencement 2010

"Change is important -- it takes you out of your comfort zone," said Tina Tchen, Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, in her address to graduating seniors at Knox College. It was Knox's 165th Commencement Exercises -- for the first time in more than 20 years, held indoors due to weather. Receiving Honorary Degrees at the ceremony were Tchen; Kwame Dawes, acclaimed author and artist as well as respected actor, playwright, and broadcaster; and Jim Owens, chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar Inc.

From the Editors

Submit Your Reunion Questionnaire

Reunion CoversAlumni in Reunion classes ending in 0 and 5 are encouraged to complete and return a Reunion questionnaire, which will be compiled into booklets and made available during Homecoming weekend. The questionnaire can be filled out online (login required). If you haven't yet registered in the online community, or need assistance, please contact or 309-341-7238. If you'd prefer, download a PDF to print and return to the Alumni Relations office.

Make a Knox Experience Possible

Four Knox StudentsSince its founding, Knox's mission has been to educate students regardless of financial means. Take a few minutes and see how financial assistance and scholarships are making the Knox Experience possible for today's students. Be sure to watch to the end and learn more about the four students featured and their experiences at Knox. Watch the video.

Campus News

Japanese Absorb American College Experience at Knox

Japanese Researchers at KnoxLast month, a team of Japanese educational researchers got to be Knox College students, dining in the Hard Knox Café and checking out the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house. The group stopped at Knox for the day as part of a study tour through Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, observing American liberal arts colleges in an attempt to understand more about institutional research. Read more about their experience.

Burkhardt Language Lab Dedicated, Carithers Hall Rededicated

The Dorothy Johnson Burkhardt and Richard Burkhardt Lab for the Modern Languages in George Davis Hall was dedicated on June 3. A $50,000 gift from the Burkhardts, both 1939 graduates of Knox, allowed for the renovation and installation of state-of-the-art technology in the college’s language lab facilities. On June 4, Carithers Hall was rededicated in Seymour Union. In 1968, Carithers Hall, named for Dwight B. Carithers, who attended the Knox Academy from 1896-97, and his wife, Sara, was added to Seymour Union. The hall provided additional dining and recreation space for students, staff, and visitors. The sign recognizing the Hall deteriorated and Carithers Hall went unrecognized for 30 years. A new plaque has been placed in the hall.  

Student News

Two Students Named Kemper Scholars

Kemper ScholarsTwo Knox students, Hannah Basil ‘13 and Anna Novikova ‘13,  have been selected from a group of finalists for the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program, which provides scholarships, leadership and business experiences, and summer internships. "Students selected as Kemper Scholars receive the best preparation for careers in business and management, because their undergraduate study of the liberal arts is informed by real world experience in both non-profit and for-profit organizations," according to John Spittell, professor of business & management and executive-in-residence. Read more about the students and program.

Student Wins National Education Award

Jordan Lanfair '11For the second year in a row, Knox College student Jordan Lanfair '11 has been awarded a Prospective Educator Scholarship from Phi Delta Kappa, the national honor society for professional educators. A junior educational studies major from Chicago, Lanfair is one of only two college students in the nation to win a 2010 Prospective Educator Scholarship.  Read more about Lanfair and the award.

Pair of Knox Students Heading to Disney College

Kelsey Ingle and Jordan ChalkKnox College juniors Kelsey Ingle and Jordan Chalk are preparing for an off-campus learning experience where they're likely to cross paths with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck just about every day. They will take a leave from Knox during fall term 2010 to participate in the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, where they will work, interact with Disney executives and take classes. Read more about the program.

Alumni News

Three-Star General and Biotech Executive Named to the Knox Board

David Fridovich '74 and Gerald Vovis '65The Knox College Board of Trustees has elected two new trustees, Lt. Gen. David P. Fridovich ’74, U.S. Army; and Gerald F. Vovis ’65, biotechnology executive who has managed numerous important genetic research projects. "Both of these alumni have been active volunteers for Knox," explains President Roger Taylor '63. "They come back to campus regularly, speak to classes, and help students understand the world beyond Knox." Read more about Fridovich and Vovis.

Alumni Notes

Sue Van Kirk ’68 recently gave the presentation “A Town, a School, and the Students Who Taught Me” at the Buchanan Center for the Arts in Monmouth, Illinois. Her collection of short stories, Mr. Vonnegut and Me (and Other Tales from a Teaching Life) will be published by iUniverse this fall. One story from the collection, “War and Remembrance,” has already been published in Teacher Magazine.

Photojournalist Lee Balgemann ’68 needed a bit of endurance to chronicle the 2-day walk for Breast Cancer held in Chicago earlier this month. After a successful career at the Associated Press, Balgemann became a freelance photographer, heavily influenced by his photojournalism background and experience. Learn more about Balgemann and view his work.

Mark McDermott ’71 has been named regional representative of the U.S. Secretary of Labor for the area covering Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska. Learn more about McDermott and the appointment.

The Kings County District Attorney's office named Deborah Howard ’72, executive director of the Pratt Area Community Council, one of Brooklyn’s “Extraordinary Women,” which showcases the community’s unsung heroes. Read more about the recognition.

Rick Swanborg ’76 is among the first instructors in IT World Canada's Tech Learning Space, an online education platform for technology professionals. He was recently featured in the profile “What it takes to teach future IT leaders.” Read the profile.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has named Andrew VanZee ’00 as the first statewide health information technology coordinator. He will be responsible for managing $10.3 million in federal stimulus money the state received in March for health information technology. Read more about the appointment.

Angela Bailey ’08 received her master of arts degree from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Her experience at the school, which included an internship in the Chicago Mayor’s Office, was featured in an online profile.

Lauren K. Moody ’09 is having her first short story published in the yearly fantasy anthology Sword and Sorceress 25. This is her first professional sale to a widely respected fiction market.

Faculty & Staff News

Three Faculty Receive TenureThree Faculty Receive Tenure

Three members of the Knox faculty were awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor at the June 2010 Board of Trustees meeting: Mark Holmes, art; Nicholas Regiacorte, English;

and Barbara Tannert-Smith, English. Read more about Holmes, Regiacore, and Tannert-Smith.

Nancy EberhardtEberhardt Receives Caterpillar Faculty Award

Professor of Anthropology Nancy Eberhardt received the 2010 Caterpillar Faculty Achievement Award at Commencement on June 5. The award, presented by Jim Owens, chairman and chief executive officer of Caterpillar, Inc., is given annually to a Knox College faculty member whose record of performance is outstanding. Learn more about Eberhardt.

Faculty & Staff Notes

Jeremy Day-O'Connell, assistant professor of music, recently presented his research on the phonetics of the knock-knock joke, at the biennial International Speech Prosody Conference in Chicago.

Gregory Gilbert, associate professor of art history and senior curator at the Figge Art Museum, recently curated the exhibition "Global Currents: The John Deere Art Collection" at the Figge in Davenport, Iowa. The exhibit opened April 24 and will close October 24. The collection boasts a number of significant works by Grant Wood, Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Marc Chagall.

Kelly Lynn Hogan ’92, visiting instructor of theatre, was nominated by Chicago's Joseph Jefferson Award committee in the category of best supporting actress for her portrayal of Rose Kennedy in the fall 2009 Vitalist Theatre production of The Night Season, written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, directed by Liz Carlin-Metz, theatre, designed by Craig Choma '93, theatre, and produced by Robin Metz, English. The critically acclaimed production also garnered a second nomination in the same category. The Jeff Awards judge approximately 250 productions from a total field of 3000 Chicago plays produced annually. This nomination marks the second citation from the Jeff committee since Vitalist Theatre became eligible in 2008.

Tim Kasser, professor of psychology, had an article published in the most recent issue of Ecopsychology titled "Psychological Need Satisfaction, Personal Well-Being, and Ecological Sustainability." The issue also included a roundtable interview entitled "Identity, Well-Being, and Sustainability” that included Kasser. Kasser also recently had an article entitled "Can Buddhism and Consumerism Harmonize? A review of the Psychological Evidence" published in the Journal of Religion and Culture. The piece was based on a talk Kasser gave at Mahidol University in Thailand during the winter of 2008. He also recently gave the presentation "A Revolution of Values: Psychological Research on Materialism and Alternatives" at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, as part of the Psychology Days celebration.

Sherry Lindquist, visiting assistant professor of art, gave a public lecture entitled, "Innovation in Sculpture and the Status of Artists at the Court of Burgundy” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on April 11 in conjunction with their exhibit "The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy." In May, she gave a presentation, "Gender as a Key Concept in Medieval Art History," at the 45th International Congress on Medieval Studies, Kalamazoo, Michigan.

In April, Robin Metz, professor of English, attended the Associated Writing Program's annual convention in Denver, Colorado, where he met with some 50 Knox Writing Program alumni. He also presented an invited performance reading of his own poetry and a slide presentation of Anung's First American Christmas at the Denver Press Club. In Galesburg, Metz coordinated (with Tom Foley) the fourth annual Rootabaga Poetry Slam, which drew contestants from St. Louis, Chicago, and throughout Illinois.

Stephen Schroth, assistant professor of educational studies, and Jason Helfer, associate professor of educational studies, recently presented a paper and a poster at the Tenth Biennial Wallace Symposium on Talent Development held at the Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education at the University of Iowa. Presenting with Schroth and Helfer were Daniel Gonshorek ’11 and Jordan Lanfair ’11.

Chad Simpson, visiting assistant professor of English and author of the chapbook Phantoms, was recently profiled in Dark Sky Magazine. Read the profile.

Lisa Steinbach, payroll coordinator, has earned the prestigious certified payroll professional designation, the most respected distinction in the payroll industry. Lisa passed a comprehensive four-hour examination that demonstrated her proficiency in all facets of payroll operations, including taxation, compliance, payroll systems, accounting, and management.

Alex Varakin, assistant professor of psychology, recently coauthored the paper “Object Appearance and Picture-Specific Viewpoint are not Integrated in Long-Term Memory” in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. He recently co-collaborated on a poster titled “Wait a Few Seconds: Newly Learned Spatial Statistics Enhance Visual Short-Term Memory” at the Vision Sciences Society conference in Florida.

In This Issue

Knox Events

June 18, 2010
Soangetaha Country Club, Galesburg
Date: June 30, 2010
Knox College
July 3, 2010
Rockies vs. Giants
July 11, 2010
Home of William '61 and Barbara Lee Fay '61
July 16, 2010
DuPage Club
July 17, 2010
Shakespeare Festival
July 25, 2010
An Afternoon with Robin Metz
July 28, 2010
Home of Don '53 and Jan Hines
July 29, 2010
Knox College's Abolitionist and Underground Railroad History
July 31, 2010
At Evening at Ravinia
August 7, 2010
Summer Send-off Picnic
August 8, 2010
Summer Send-off Picnic
August 8, 2010
Summer Send-off Picnic
September 12, 2010
Brewers vs. Cubs
October 22 to 24, 2010
Knox College Campus

Gizmogram Archive

Knox Links

Knox Profiles


I find ways to make supercomputers run more efficiently. My name is Chris Johnson '10 and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox students.

Brian Skaret

Knox exposed me to a broad variety of topics and interests I didn't even know that I had.. I am Brian Skaret '98, federal prosecutor, and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox alumni.

Monica Berlin

My writing process ... is a process of living with something in hopes of knowing that something by heart. My name is Monica Berlin, associate professor of English, and I AM KNOX.

Meet more Knox faculty.


Fulton County Boys Challenge


Save the Date: Homecoming 2010, October 22-24


2009 President's Report


Honor Roll of Donors

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Megan Scott '96 & Cheri Siebken

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