While most Carleton students were completing internships or enjoying the last week of summer at home, a group of twenty returned to campus early in order to spend several days volunteering in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Many will remember that Iowa was hard-hit by record flooding in June that left nearly every county a disaster area, and families are still struggling to clean up and rebuild their waterlogged town.
Despite their varied pasts, dazzling resumes and seemingly endless supply of exciting adventures to talk about—I mean, who hasn’t climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro?—this class does have some things in common with each other and with the rest of us here at Carleton. According to Dean of Admissions Paul Thiboutot , “this class keeps up fine traditions and excellent abilities of previous classes, and are parallel to measures of last three or four classes at Carleton.”
Seventy-five hours. That was the amount of time I spent traveling back and forth from Rangoon, the ex-capital of Burma, to the cyclone affected areas in the Irrawaddy delta. These trips were made possible with the support of student-initiated fundraisers, the International Festival Planning Committee, and the help of family and friends. In total, Doh Burma Community raised $2,250 last spring.
Carleton food service workers worry about the future of their jobs as the college transitions to Bon Appetit, a new food management company. Bon Appetit’s contract with Carleton begins July 1st, ending a thirty year relationship with Sodexho. At least six workers and ten students have expressed concerns about the workers’ pensions, insurance, and general indecisiveness of the company; they say that there are many more workers who are also concerned.
After former director Robin Hart Ruthenbeck left Campus Activities in late February, the process of finding and hiring a replacement began. Numerous applicants sent resumes in for this position, but T. Todd Masman, in the last batch of candidates from human resources, caught the attention of the interviewers. His experience, knowledge, passion, and enthusiasm jumped out from the paper and, after conducting a phone interview and checking his references, the interview committee added him as an official candidate and invited Masman to campus for a personal interview.
Almost 60% of this year’s freshman class declared that they were affiliated with a religion upon arrival at Carleton in the 2007 CIRP Freshman Survey. That number might appear large for a college that was not long ago in Princeton Review’s Top 20 of schools where “Students Ignore God on a Regular Basis.” In fact, it’s slightly lower than it has been in the past. 61% of students in Carleton classes ’07 through ’10 declared a religion when they arrived as freshmen.
Junior Mya Dosch, Art History Major, has been awarded the Beinecke Scholarship, which gives grants to selected humanities, arts, and social science scholars from across the nation each year. Dosch recognizes that she is representing Carleton in a pool of “big name” schools. “It is nice because Carleton hasn’t had a student awarded the Beinecke in a long time. It’s an honor to finally bring one home to Carleton,” she said.
Carleton brings a variety of speakers to campus, but on Thursday, May 29, José Álvarez Blanco, President of the NGO Voces Para Latinoamérica, gave a different type of presentation—in Spanish. Álvarez Blanco’s speech was entitled “Niños-as y adolescentes en la situación de calle,” or “Children and adolescents in the street situation.” The discourse referred the negative impacts of the capitalist and neoliberal systems on children around the world.
Carleton students Emily Litwin ’09 and Melissa Mayer ’09 earned the prestigious $10,000 “Projects for Peace” grant through the Davis United World College (UWC) scholars program. Their project, “Talking with Our Hands: Personal Expression through Puppetry Arts,” will take place in Londonderry, an impoverished area in Northern Ireland.
“I love exploding expectations,” dance professor Mary Easter explained, in what amounts to a reasonable mantra for her work. “One of my favorite parts about teaching is having people come into your class and looking at them and thinking ‘they don’t know it’s going to be fun.’” Easter, who has spent the last 40 years at Carleton redefining peoples’ expectations for dance, plans to retire at the end of next fall term.
Ah, Spring Term of senior year – those days have dropped far astern for me, but the remembrance makes me well up with nostalgia, not to mention considerable envy for you. The cruel irony of college is that just as you get really good at it, they bounce you out. I have a vivid memory of driving up 35W after my Commencement, towing a U-Haul with all my worldly goods, thinking, “What in the corn toot – that’s it?”
Professor Gary Wagenbach, Winfred and Atherton Bean Professor of Biology, Science, Technology, and Society and Director of Environmental and Technology Studies has recently announced his retired from teaching at Carleton, where he has taught for the past 39 years.