Knox College will again have a Commencement speaker pulled straight from the headlines. Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois and prosecutor of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, will deliver the Commencement address on Saturday, June 6.
The Class of 2009 knows him for his role in nationally significant investigations into terrorism financing, public corruption, corporate fraud, and violent crime. In December 2008, Fitzgerald announced the arrest of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich for allegedly plotting to sell an appointment to the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. He also supervised the public corruption investigation that resulted in sending former Illinois governor George Ryan to prison.Fitzgerald may be best known for his role as Special Counsel in the investigation of the leaked identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA operative and the subsequent prosecution of vice presidential chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. "United States Attorney Fitzgerald's leadership in combating crime is exemplary," explains Roger Taylor '63. "Once again, Knox students have chosen a national figure to address their class at Commencement," Taylor said. Read more about Patrick J. Fitzgerald.
Knox Grad Edits Animated Film Coraline
Christopher Murrie '95 remembers the day in the winter of 1993, when he was a student majoring in art at Knox College, that he ventured to a movie theater in Galesburg to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas, produced by Tim Burton and directed by Henry Selick. A decade-and-a-half later, the seasoned film and video editor with LAIKA Entertainment served as lead editor for Selick's latest film, the critically acclaimed animated feature Coraline.
Murrie said that art professors Lynette Lombard and Tony Gant "were a big influence on me when I was at Knox and encouraged me to follow whatever crazy ideas I had that didn't seem to fit into the curriculum. They taught me a lot of important lessons about the visual medium that I use every day in my job. " Read more about Chris Murrie's experience editing Coraline.
Knox Community to Celebrate Life of Tim
A celebration of Tim Heimann's life is planned for 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, in Memorial Gym on the Knox College campus. All members of the Knox community are invited to attend.
Coach Tim Heimann '70, whose academic and athletic career at Knox spanned four decades, died on Friday, March 13, at his home in Galesburg. "Tim and his wife, Cathy, have meant so much to generations of students here at Knox and in Galesburg," said Roger Taylor '63. "Tim was more than a coach. He was a good friend to so many. Our hearts go out to all of his family, Cathy '70, and his children, Cammi '95, Kerry, Kevin '02, and Chris '04."Alumni Gateway
Knox is currently undergoing a redesign of our Web site. As part of that process, we are redesigning the gateway where alumni and friends can access news, events, and information of specific interest to them. The Knox Web Redesign Blog has been set up to explain the design and seek feedback as we move forward with the redesign process. Please visit the blog and let us know what you think of the new design.
Flunk Day T-shirts Still Available
Celebrate the most popular of all Knox traditions with your 2009 Flunk Day t-shirt! T-shirts are $10.00 per shirt (limit 2 per person). The price includes shipping and handling. Knox College Alumni Relations will mail your t-shirt in advance of Flunk Day . . . or as close to Flunk Day as possible. You never know when it might be! You can order your shirt online or you can call Alumni Relations at 309-341-7238. Questions, please e-mail Alumni Relations. We only have a limited quantity, so order yours today!
Knox Receives Visit From Bhutan
Knox President Roger Taylor '63 received a traditional Bhutanese banner from Tashi Choden, left, and her husband Dr. Gado Tshering, secretary of the Ministry of Health of Bhutan. The banner depicts four animals of different sizes beneath a tree, illustrating a Buddhist fable about harmony and cooperation. Their daughter, Tashi Ongmo, is a first-year student at Knox. Read more in The Register-Mail.
Charles Gibbs Elected to Knox
Charles R. Gibbs of Dallas, Texas, has been elected to the Knox College Board of Trustees. A lawyer, Gibbs focuses on financial restructuring in a variety of industries, with a particular emphasis on the real estate, energy, retail and textile industries. Gibbs is the son of Chuck '50 and Mary Runyon Gibbs '51 of Galesburg. "Chuck brings a new perspective to the Board," says Roger Taylor, Knox's president. "He is the son of Knox alumni and a Galesburg native, and he has found success in finance and law. His commitment to liberal arts education will help the College continue to serve talented young people." Read more about Charles Gibbs.
Ranked by StateUniversity.com
Knox was ranked one of the top five colleges in Illinois and 105 overall in a comparision of 2,000 colleges and universities by StateUniversity.com. Read more about the rankings.
Features Six Literary Publications
Buoyed up by a strong creative writing department, Knox College boasts six regular literary publications. Five of the publications feature original creative works and the sixth is dedicated to works of literary criticism. Three, all student-run, are devoted to writing in specific genres. Read more in The Register-Mail.
of Knox Community Named Teacher of the Year
Jackie Axtell, wife of Vice President for Finance and Administrative Services Tom Axtell, was named the Galesburg Chamber of Commerce's 2009 Teacher of the Year. A Galesburg High School special education teacher, Axtell began the Fairy Godmother's Fashions program to help girls find low-cost formal dresses. Read more in the Register-Mail.
Knox College Choir Tour 2009
The Knox College Choir is coming to the last leg of its 2009 concert tour, which featured eight performances throughout the Midwest in March. The 55-voice choir, conducted by Laura Lane, professor and chair of the music department and director of choral activities, performed in Galesburg; Iowa City, Iowa; Edina, Minnesota; Milwaukee and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin; and Rockford and Techny, Illinois. The Home Tour concert will be on March 27 at 7:30 p.m. at Kresge Recital Hall on the Knox campus. The tour program features sacred and secular choral works, vocal jazz and folk songs from Haiti and Romania. Read more about the Knox Choir tour.
Knox Chemistry Club Affiliates with ACS
Chemistry students have founded a Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), which already boasts 17 junior members from Knox in the professional organization for chemists. "We will be able to apply for grants to support activities, like community service projects or presentations to ACS conferences, where students can meet faculty from graduate schools and others in the field," said Toshia Zessin '09, liaison between the club and the ACS. "It's a great way to start your professional life, if you're planning a career in chemistry." Knox's chemistry department ranks in the top 1% of colleges and universities in the proportion of graduates who complete a Ph.D. Read more about the Knox Chemistry Club.
Women Reach Out to Teens
Nine women at Knox College hope a new group will bring about positive change effected by teen girls. "Be the Change," a group developed by Sarah Miller '10, aims to bring together Knox women and girls in Galesburg-area high schools to create a place where teens can discuss things that are bothering them. Miller came up with the idea after spending four years working with Workshops for Youth and Family, a peer-mentoring program in Phoenix. Read more in The Register-Mail.
Benevolence Feeds Those in Need
On Sunday mornings, the Wilson House is filled with soft chatter, buzzing laptops and the sweet aroma of freshly baking bread. The loaves will be donated to Safe Harbor Family Crisis Center, a facility in Galesburg for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. Read more in The Knox Student.
Tournament Showcases Programming
"The results of the competition will not affect your grades," said computer science professor John Dooley, joking with the students he went up against, in Knox College's Annual Sumo Robot Competition. The contest featured small, programmable robots that detect each other and push their opponent(s) out of a three-foot plywood circle. The competition, now in its seventh year, originated as part of the computer science department's course in Artificial Intelligence. Read more about the Sumo Robot Competition.
Sean Carmichael '09 has a passion for music. "I want to investigate how blues, jazz, and rock compositions possess similarities in their musical language despite their obvious differences in timbre and historical context," she says. Read more about Carmichael's research.
Nelson '09 is focusing her Honors research on the various socioeconomic, political, and
ecological factors influencing the development of governmental policy
in the São Francisco River Basin, found in northeastern
Brazil. Another environmental studies and biology double major, Clint Moore '09, is
focusing his research on a Caribbean sea slug that photosynthesizes.
Read more about the research Nelson and Moore are doing in The Knox Student. Organic versus conventional
agriculture is the focus of research by Brittany Leggans
'09. "Studies have shown that we could produce enough food
farming, but we would be producing less food than we are today." Read more about Leggans' research.
The ladies of Kappa Kappa Gamma brought students, parents, and other members of the Greek community together to raise almost $2,000 to benefit teenage girls in Tanzania. Read the Kappa Kappa Gamma blog.
More student news and features.
Nora Nelson '09 is focusing her Honors research on the various socioeconomic, political, and ecological factors influencing the development of governmental policy in the São Francisco River Basin, found in northeastern Brazil. Another environmental studies and biology double major, Clint Moore '09, is focusing his research on a Caribbean sea slug that photosynthesizes. Read more about the research Nelson and Moore are doing in The Knox Student.
Organic versus conventional agriculture is the focus of research by Brittany Leggans '09. "Studies have shown that we could produce enough food with organic farming, but we would be producing less food than we are today." Read more about Leggans' research.Michael Payne '09, Salleha Chaudhry '09, Azim Vohra '10, and Mauaz Raza '09 traveled to Peoria to attend the 39th Annual Central Illinois World Affairs Conference, "Pakistan: Dangers, Insights & Strategies." The Knox students' participation in this conference was sponsored by the Center for Global Studies.
Help Knox Receive $100,000
If 5,000 alumni give to Knox by June 30, Knox will receive $100,000. How? Because Duke Petrovich '74 will give Knox an additional $100,000 if the College can sustain its 10-year alumni giving participation record -- or 5,000 alumni -- set last year. "Today's economy and ever-changing world makes a liberal arts education -- a Knox education -- more important than ever," says Petrovich, Knox trustee and president of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. "Your gifts to Knox ensure the future of today's students, while also preparing them to become engaged global citizens."
If you've given to Knox since July 1, you've already been counted. Thank you. But if you haven't given to Knox yet this year, please do today. And remember, every gift counts.
Learn more about the challenge.
Barry Bearak '71 Receives Award for "Committing Journalism" in Zimbabwe
New York Times correspondent Barry Bearak '71 has been awarded his second George Polk Award in Journalism for exposing the violence in Zimbabwe in the wake of last year's disputed elections. Even after Bearak spent five days in jail for "committing journalism," he continued to file dozens of stories that painted a vivid picture of the repression, disease, and hunger that still torment the African nation. Bearak's first Polk Award came in 2001 for his reporting in Afghanistan on the struggle between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance for months before the U.S. joined the war. In 2002, Bearak received a Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting, "for his deeply affecting and illuminating coverage of daily life in war-torn Afghanistan," as cited by the Pulitzer Prize committee. Read more about Barry Bearak.
Jim McCurry '65 Publishes Poetry Collection
Jim McCurry '65 recently published the poetry collection Indium. McCurry, retired English and philosophy professor at Galesburg's Carl Sandburg College, has received the 1877 Academy of American Poets prize, the Illinois Arts Council prize, and the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award. "With each turn, Jim's words punch the reader with both grim and beautiful reality. Each unexpected twist is delightfully created by a master wordsmith who commands readers to think and influences them to act," says Peter Conners, author of Emily Ate the Wind, of the collection. Learn more about Indium.
Jared Keeley '02 Wins Psychology Award
Jared Keeley '02 received the prestigious Wilbert J. McKeachie Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology. The annual award from the American Psychological Association is given to only one graduate student in the nation, in recognition of outstanding teaching. Keeley recently completed graduate studies at Auburn University in Alabama and will teach at Mississippi State University beginning this fall. "This award belongs as much to the faculty at Knox as it does to me," Keeley said after receiving the award. Read more about Jared Keeley.
As a commissioner on the Linn County board of supervisors, Linda Langston '75 was in the center of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, flood evacuation and recovery efforts last June. The support networks she built in dealing with crisis are discussed in the Harvard Kennedy School Bulletin, of which Langston is an alumna.
Patrick St. Aubyn Lyn '84 was promoted to senior vice president at Boston's Standish Mellon Asset Management Company, LLC.
Guy Goodman '92 has been named dean of student services at Illinois Central College (ICC) in East Peoria. He most recently worked as director of the Student Service Center at ICC and has been employed at the college for 12 years.
John Wozniak '99 has been hired as an assistant coach at the University of Louisiana Monroe. Read more in the Monroe News Star.
Kenji Mori '07 was accepted to the Urban Education Program (M.A.) at the University of Chicago, which he will begin in fall 2009. He currently works at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago.
Eden Newmark '08 was cast in the Moving Dock production of Unsung Stars, a devised play about women astronomers that opens in June in Chicago. Meghan Reardon '08 and Morgan Cohen-Ross '06 also graced the stage at Moving Dock in a recent workshop production.
Mike Prentice '08 and Tim Kasser, psychology, co-authored a poster presentation titled "Death Thought Writing Interventions and Personality Predicting Psychological Growth and Defense" at the annual conference of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The talk was based on data collected by Prentice as part of his Honors Project in psychology last year.
Correction: Kendall Watkins '82 has been with the Davis Brown Law Firm for 12 years, not 35 years, as stated in the February issue of the Gizmogram.
Faculty & Staff News
Claire Sherman Exhibit in Amsterdam Gallery
Paintings by Claire Sherman, assistant professor of art, are featured in an exhibition at the Hof & Huyser Gallery in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The exhibit is Sherman's second international show in the last three years, and her paintings and drawings are held in collections worldwide, including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas, UBS Art Collection in London, Margulies Collection in Miami, Mercer Corporation in Chicago, Chautauqua Institution in New York, and University Hospitals in Cleveland. Her work has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Times of London and the Chicago Tribune. Read more about Sherman and her work.
Doug Wilson featured in New York Times Blog
Douglas Wilson, co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, was recently featured on the New York Times's Web site, just not where you might have expected him to see him. Wilson was referenced twice is Maira Kalman's blog, And the Pursuit of Happiness. In her blog post "In Love with A. Lincoln," Kalman, an illustrator, author, and designer, explores the Licoln Bicentennial celebration through images and words. Kalman and Wilson were both contributors for an online Lincoln exhibit for the Rosenbach Library and Museum of Philadelphia. Find Doug Wilson in Kalman's blog.
Faculty & Staff Notes
Andrew Civettini, assistant professor of political science, recently co-authored the article "Voters, Emotions, and Memory" in the February 2009 issue of the journal Political Psychology.
Robert Hellenga, George Appleton Lawrence Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of English, will be writer-in-residence at the University of Verona for six weeks in March and April. He will also be reading at the train station in Bologna where a terrorist bomb killed 85 people in 1980 -- a bombing that is the subject of his novel The Fall of a Sparrow -- and at the British Institute in Florence. Hellenga's most recent novel, The Italian Lover will be featured in the April 5 New York Times "Paperback Row" book review column.
Tim Kasser, professor of psychology, presented "The Effects of Media on Children" as part of an informational night for parents at Cooke Elementary School in Galesburg. Read more in The Register-Mail. Kasser was also quoted in a Huffington Post blog on the research he has done on voluntary simplicy. Read the Huffington Post article.
Robin Metz, director of Knox's Program in Creative Writing, presented a reading of his poem "Mind and the River: In Honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th Birthday" to the Peoria County Bar Association at their 101st Lincoln Memorial Banquet. During the same week, Metz traveled to Chicago for the Associated Writers & Writing Program's (AWP) Annual Conference, where he met with 26 Knox creative writing alumni currently teaching in university programs nationwide. Metz also presented readings of his poetry and met with classes in creative writing, oral interpretation, and the English Club at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.
Bruce Polay, professor of music, judged the 48th Annual Chandler Starr Miller Competition, sponsored by the Mendelssohn Club of the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in Rockford, Illinois.
Doug Wilson and Rod Davis, co-directors of the Lincoln Studies Center, participated in a panel discussion on "Lincoln and His Contemporaries" at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield on the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. They also gave a presentation on the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in New York City at the New York Historical Society. Wilson spoke on Lincoln and language at the Library of Congress's Lincoln Symposium, marking the opening of the Library's Bicentennial Exhibit, "With Malice Toward None."
A paper co-authored by Alex Varakin, assistant professor of psychology, was published in a recent issue of the journal ScienceDirect. The paper discussed consciousness and cognition.
Submissions to The Gizmogram should be made to the editors at email@example.com. Submissions may be edited for space.
Megan Scott '96 & Cheri Siebken
If you do not wish to receive further issues of The Gizmogram, please type "Unsubscribe" in the subject header of an email message and your full name in the message window. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.