Gregoire to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award
Gregoire to Receive Distinguished Alumnus Award on May 11
For her many accomplishments, the College of Arts and Sciences is honoring Gregoire at its Celebration of Distinction, an annual dinner to be held May 11. Gregoire will receive the College’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and speak at the dinner.
“It is humbling to receive this award, particularly when I think of those who preceded me,” says Gregoire. Previous recipients of the award include Nobel Prize chemist George Hitchings, fomer Seattle Mayor Norm Rice, renowned Egyptologist Kent Weeks, and Seattle Children’s Theatre artistic director Linda Hartzell.
Gregoire says her liberal arts education at the UW has benefited her in many ways. “It opened me up to a world of different views, the value of life-long learning, and the excitement of so many different fields of learning,” she says. “The UW taught me how important it is to be able to listen to other people and respect their ideas even though they may differ from your own.”
After graduating in 1969, Gregoire became a caseworker for the state. She then went to Gonzaga University School of Law. She worked for the Attorney General’s Office in various capacities and served as director of the Department of Ecology for five years before becoming Attorney General in 1992.
“I have been committed to a career in public service because it gives you a chance to help people and make our communities a better place to live,” says Gregoire. “I have felt blessed with the tremendous opportunities I have had.”
The Celebration of Distinction begins at 6:30 p.m. in the HUB West Ballroom. Tickets are $150; table prices range from $1,500 to $25,000. Proceeds will benefit the A&S College Fund for the express use of the newly created Center for Women & Democracy. For more information or reservations, contact Patricia DiPalma at (206) 616-6226 or email@example.com.
Mind, Brain, and Learning Established
These are just a few of the questions to be explored by researchers at the UW’s new Center for Mind, Brain, and Learning. The center has been established with a $35.5 million pledge from Seattle-based Talaris Institute.
The center will work jointly with Talaris, which was established in August 2000, to promote new discoveries about the developing human mind and to share the results with parents, educators, and policymakers.
Patricia Kuhl, professor of speech and hearing sciences, and Andrew Meltzoff, professor of psychology, have been named co-directors of the interdisciplinary center. Kuhl and Meltzoff, who recently co-authored The Scientist in the Crib, are internationally known for their research on child development and the brain mechanisms underlying learning.
“Research on the developing mind is one of the next great scientific frontiers,” said Kuhl. “Like genetics, biotechnology, and informatics, great strides are expected in the next decade, and we are poised to contribute substantially to this effort.”
“This center is unique in focusing on the important brain and behavioral changes in the first five years of life,” adds Meltzoff. “That’s where the mother lode is. It is the foundation for later development.”
The new center will assemble an interdisciplinary team of faculty in developmental psychology, brain plasticity, education, computer science, and molecular biology. Experimental programs, including a child-care nursery and a preschool, are being developed to examine and apply scientific discoveries to early learning.
Talaris has committed $35.5 million to the UW both directly and through joint-development efforts to advance the research of the center. $1 million already has been provided to launch the center, and the balance will be contributed over the next five years.
Sound Circa 2200 BC—Packed in an Archaeology Kit
The kits explore the archaeology of the West Point site in Seattle’s Discovery Park. They are the product of a cooperative effort of the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Muckleshoot, Suquamish, and Tulalip tribes, the King County Landmarks and Heritage Commission, and the Auburn School District.
Thousands of artifacts were recovered during a recent excavation at West Point during the expansion of a sewage treatment plant. Replicas of 15 artifacts, representative of what archaeologists recovered, are included in the kits. But they are not your run-of-the-mill plastic copies.
“We want students to be able to experience the replicas in the same material as the artifacts were made from thousands of years ago,” said Shaine Gans, project coordinator and a recent graduate of the UW’s museology program. “Typically, artifacts are replicated from resins and epoxy, and the texture and weight of the copies are quite different from the originals. It is very unusual to have kits with replicas of such an incredible quality.”
The replicas are made from such materials as deer bone, elk antler, beaver tooth, seashells, and different types of stone. Anthropologist Jeffrey Flenniken, who operates a firm specializing in stone tool analyses, and Jim Woods, a College of Southern Idaho professor of anthropology, spent two months making six sets of replicas, relying on traditional techniques without using any modern or metal tools.
Items in the kits include bone pendants, stone labrets (decorative lower lip plugs), bone gaming pieces, shell beads, stone tools, and beaver-tooth gravers for incising other materials.
The kits also contain teaching aids to help students learn about the archaeology of West Point and the people who inhabited it for more than 4,000 years. There are graphics showing how the site has changed over time, a bagged sample of sediment that an archaeologist might study, and tools used by an archaeologist. There is a 30-minute video about the site and a slide show describing artifacts found at the site. The kits also have 10 lesson plans for teachers to use to interpret such topics as the archaeology, past environment, and natural resources at West Point and how the inhabitants used local resources.
“The kits were designed to be hands-on and interactive,” said Gans. “We wanted to have elements that a student can hold, study, analyze, and draw. The idea behind this is to let students experience artifacts as an archaeologist would and provide information and materials from a real local archaeological site for teachers to use in their classroom.”
Toward a Greek Revival
That changed last year when the European Studies Program in the Jackson School of International Studies launched the Hellenic Studies Program as an interdisciplinary area of emphasis. Existing courses are now more effectively linked, and faculty have developed new courses to round out the UW’s offerings.
A course in modern Greek language is now offered, and an existing course on Greek history was revised to serve as a foundation course for the program. The history course, taught by Professor Carol Thomas, previously covered the neolithic period to the Byzantine age (1000 A.D.). It now extends to the present day. With funding from the Simpson Center for the Humanities, a visiting professor with expertise in modern Greek history lectured during the final week of the course.
“I was really pleased with the response to the course,” says Thomas. “About 60 people enrolled, with a wonderful core of students who were very lively and interested. I’m anxious to continue refining the class.”
The Hellenic Studies Program demonstrates what can be accomplished with a coordinated effort and private support. The Hellenes of the Northwest, a dedicated group of Greek-Americans interested in promoting the study of modern Greece, raised $100,000 to establish the Hellenic Studies Endowed Fund. Their support helped launch the program.
“In the past, the Greek community looked to its churches as a center for religion and culture,” says John T. John, president of Hellenes of the Northwest. “Our intent is to supplement, enrich, and expand the opportunities to emphasize Greek culture so as to reach more people. The University of Washington offers a powerful, sophisticated, organized, scholarly environment to enhance our goals.”
Professor Christine Ingebritsen, chair of European Studies, says the timing for the Hellenic Studies Program couldn’t be better. “As a consequence of political changes in Europe, more and more of our students are interested in understanding Greece’s relations with the European Union, the Balkans, and conflict resolution in the Mediterranean,” Ingebritsen says. “We’ve seen an enthusiastic response to the Hellenic Studies offerings.”
Center for the Humanities Celebrates New Digs
With a spacious reading room, a large conference room, staff and visiting scholar offices, and a kitchen, the facility will accommodate the wide range of activities sponsored by the center. These include interdisciplinary courses, collaborative research groups, public lectures, symposia, scholarly conferences, art events, and a fellowship program for UW faculty and students.
“The light-filled space of the new Simpson Center facility is inspiring, and I can already see engaged communities of scholars forming here,” says Kathleen Woodward, the Center’s new director. “The Center was designed to function as a hub of activities, to bring together scholars from different disciplines, and to welcome members of the community to humanities events on campus. We are truly a place where people come together, as well as a symbol of the future of the humanities and arts at the University.”
Distinguished Careers, Emeritus Faculty Donate $1.3 Million to the University
Matthews, professor emeritus of political science, came to the UW in 1976 as chair of the Department of Political Science. When he arrived he was already well known for his landmark book, U.S. Senators and their World, which changed the way his field was researched and taught. It has been a core part of political science courses for four decades.
Matthews, who retired in 1996, served eight years as department chair. In that role he saw the urgent need for additional funds to retain and recruit talented faculty and graduate students.
“You have to be able to reward your best faculty if you’re going to attract them and keep them,” he explains, “and the national competition for top students is a bit like competing for football players.”
With that in mind, the Donald R. Matthews Endowment for Excellence in Political Science, established with Matthews’ $814,000 gift (believed to be the largest faculty gift ever made within the College of Arts and Sciences) will provide continuing support for a professorship and graduate student fellowships. It also will fund teaching and research activities in the field of American government and politics.
“The future of public higher education is in the citizens’ hands,” says Matthews. “With dwindling state dollars, I wanted to provide resources that will assist the department in striving for greater excellence.... So when I discovered that, thanks to the booming stock market, I had it in my power to offer substantial support, I decided it was the thing to do.”
The Nostrands’ gift—which established the Howard and Frances Nostrand Endowed Professorship, based in the Department of Linguistics—reflects the couple’s lifelong interest in the connections between language and culture.
The Nostrands have been particularly interested in issues of cultural competence—the idea that every language student should also know background about the history, geography, literature, social institutions, and value system in which their language exists.
“You can’t really use a language unless you understand the culture of the people who speak it,” says Howard, professor emeritus of Romance languages and literature. “Cultural competence is so important in business, diplomacy, and even tourism.”
Howard served as chair of the department from 1939 to 1965, retiring in 1981. He has written more than 100 publications, many of them with Frances, who served as a lecturer in the department from 1962 to 1979.
“We’ve been thinking about this gift for a long time,” says Howard. “The goal of the professorship is to continue our incomplete life’s work. We invite friends and colleagues who share this goal to add their own gifts to this professorship.”
David Hodge, dean of Arts and Sciences, describes both recent gifts as “wonderful not only for the financial support they provide but also for the commitment to the College they represent.” He adds, “We are grateful for the extraordinary generosity of these dedicated faculty.”
For more information or to make a gift to these professorships, contact Antoinette Wills at (206) 616-6553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
the Call of the Heckelphone
While most people have never heard of the Heckelphone, Grossman has been fascinated by the instrument since visiting the Heckel factory in the 1950s. He finally got his chance to own a Heckelphone last year, when he saw one for sale on eBay, the Web auction site. He immediately decided to bid on it and gave himself a limit above which he would not go. “But of course I went beyond the limit because I got so excited by the idea of having a Heckelphone,” says Grossman.
Mastering his new instrument has been a challenge. Heckelphones are custom made, so no two fingering systems are exactly the same. “There’s no real accepted sound that you’re supposed to get,” Grossman says. “Every one sounds a little different. But nobody knows what is an ‘authentic’ Heckelphone sound.”
Those who missed Grossman’s Heckelphone performance in January will have several opportunities to hear the instrument this spring. Grossman is scheduled to play his Heckelphone at concerts with the Seattle Youth Symphony and the Seattle Symphony.
the Web: Interpreting Music Through Visual Design
The results of the project can be found at http://net.art.washington.edu/SOASite/programs/vcd/gallery.htm, part of the School of Art’s web site. With a click on a student’s name, that student’s poster will appear and the music that led to the poster design will begin playing.
“This project was 180 degrees from what our students normally do, especially as juniors,” says Christopher Ozubko, director of the School of Art and professor of visual communication design. “There were no parameters. They had to think in a whole different light to create posters that reflected the music’s form, composition, color, elements, and value. It was very difficult and frustrating for the students the first few days. But toward the end of the project, they had a much more open mind about how they would approach design projects in general.”
Ozubko says that visiting artists frequently come to the School to work with students, but having designers of this caliber work solely with juniors was a bit different. “That usually happens at the senior level,” he says. “This was a special opportunity for everyone involved.”