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News from the Reed College public affairs office

Sociology prof to examine resilience and recession

Prof. Marc Schneiberg wins NSF grant to examine how credit unions and community banks helped local economies weather the Great Recession.

Prof. Marc Schneiberg [sociology 2000-] has won a $170,824 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how community banks and credit unions helped Americans weather the Great Recession.

As American banking abandoned traditional roots and practices, it shed regulatory oversight and concentrated assets in a handful of giant or global banking corporations. These changes prompted not only a growing disconnect between banks and local economies, but an extraordinary run-up and debt within the financial system, setting the stage for a crisis.

Community banks and credit unions, on the other hand, sustained close ties to their communities rather than just pursuing shareholder value. Using new data on the American economy from 1994 to 2013, Prof. Schneiberg will analyze the effects of community banks and credit unions on communities and local economies and their capacity to sustain employment, vibrant business sectors, new business formation, and recovery.

Prof wins grant to study indigenous politics in Mexico

Prof. Dillingham will study the history of indigenous education and development in Southern Mexico.

Prof. Alan Shane Dillingham [history 2014-] has won a $6,000 summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities to continue an historical study of incorporating native peoples into the national political and economic structures of Latin America.

Prof. Dillingham’s book project, “Speaking of Difference: The Politics of Indigenous Education and Development in Southern Mexico,” examines the relationship between indigenous peoples and modernization in the state of Oaxaca.

Last year, 43 male students from a rural teachers’ college in southern Mexico went missing after commandeering buses and traveling to Iguala, Guerrero, to hold a protest at a conference. Details of what happened to them are unclear, but an official investigation concluded the students were intercepted by local police, handed over to a local crime syndicate, and presumably killed.

Bio prof wins $362K from NIH to study pathogens

POTENTATE OF PATHOGENS. Prof. Jay Mellies wins NIH grant to study a sinister protein in E. coli.

Prof. Jay Mellies [biology 1999-] has won a two-year grant for $362,769 from the National Institutes of Health for a project entitled “Pch Super Family Regulators of Gram-Negative Pathogens”

Prof. Mellies will investigate a key regulatory protein that enables the pathogen E. coli to cause disease in children. The protein, called Pch, controls niche adaptation—how the bacterium can outcompete other members of the microbial community in the small intestine and manipulate the host immune system to its own advantage. 

Pch proteins are found in several medically important bacteria, including SalmonellaShigella and Klebsiella, and thus a greater understanding of the Pch family of proteins could lead to novel therapies. Prof. Mellies aims to understand how Pch proteins function on a molecular level.

Econ Prof Wins $99K Grant to Study Johnson Creek

Prof. Noelwah Netusil [economics 1990–] has won a $99,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate how the restoration of Johnson Creek has affected local property values.

The grant will provide $99,256 to Reed for a two-year research project supported by a postbac fellow. For this appointment, Prof. Netusil chose Maya Jarrad ’14, an environmental studies-economics graduate, who will update and verify projects in the Johnson Creek Watershed residing in the conservation registry database. Maya utilized this database for her senior thesis, “Valuation of Urban Stream Restoration in the Johnson Creek Watershed: A Repeat Sale Hedonic Hybrid Analysis,” written with Prof. Netusil.

Annual Fund raises record-breaking $4.4 million

AWE-INSPIRING. Alumni, parents, and friends gave a record-breaking $4.4 million to the Annual Fund. Photo by Leah Nash

We made it!

Thanks to a last-minute surge of support, Reed alumni, parents, and friends shattered the record in giving to the Annual Fund this fiscal year, which ended on midnight June 30.

UPDATED July 16, 2015: According to the latest unofficial returns, contributions to the Annual Fund amounted to an astonishing $4,442,186.22—the biggest in Reed’s history—blowing past last year's total of $4,084,000.

Student wins Watson to report on Soviet ruins

History/lit major Sasha Peters ’15 won a Watson Fellowship to explore ruins in the former Soviet sphere. Photo by Chris Lydgate

History/literature major Sasha Peters ’15 won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to explore abandoned sites and cities in the Soviet sphere through the medium of radio.

Sasha's project is titled Radio in the Ruins and will take her to Latvia, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Bulgaria, and Germany. "The Soviet Union and its influence produced an impressive array of buildings, monuments, and sites that embodied communist ideology," her proposal states. "After the Soviet Union’s fall, many of these places became inessential or unsupportable and were abandoned. Some of those places, decaying as they are, remain today. For my Watson year, I will travel to ruins in the Soviet sphere and make radio pieces about each of them. I aim to encapsulate the rich histories and eerie beauty of these ruins with sound."

Her friend Rennie Meyers ’15 also won a Watson Fellowship.

Senior wins Watson Fellowship to study coral reefs

Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 has won a Watson Fellowship to pursue a year of independent study after graduation. Photo By Chris Lydgate

Environmental studies-history major Rennie Meyers ’15 has won a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study the formation of artificial coral reefs.

Rennie's project is titled Deep Water, Horizons: Artificial Reef Communities, Above and Below the Water Line and she will pursue it in the Canary Islands, Fiji, Brunei, and Japan.

"From oil rigs to submerged eco-art to coral farms, coral growth occurs at the hands of humans with or without their intent," her proposal states. "By exploring interactions between human and non-human communities above and below artificial coral habitats in four island nations, I will engage artificial or anthropogenic reef habitats and the humans who have (sometimes accidentally) created and lived with them. I hope to better understand the ways in which humans continue to alter the marine landscape, to photo document those landscapes, and to consult with the human communities responsible for these new habitats in the face of global climate change."

Philip Roth, Trigger Warnings, and the Day I Brought My Lawyer to Class

Prof. Roger Porter (right) taught English and humanities at Reed for more than 50 years.

Ed. Note: This is the text of a speech Prof. Roger Porter [English 1961-2015] gave to the Foster-Scholz Club on June 13, 2015, after teaching at Reed for more than 50 years. As faithful readers know, my posting something on Sallyportal doesn't imply any kind of institutional endorsement. This is simply one professor's approach to the issue—no more, no less. However, I do think Prof. Porter's remarks will be of interest to many in the Reed community.

It’s a great pleasure to speak to the Foster-Scholz Club, and since I just became an honorary Reed alumnus yesterday, I’ll now be able to join you in future meetings and listen to my colleagues—if I don’t feel I’ve listened to them in too many faculty meetings. I do feel greatly honored by your invitation, and I’ll take advantage of the occasion by indulging a little is some reminiscence—that is after all the Nestor-like prerogative given to retirees--but mostly I want to speak about what it felt to say goodbye to Reed in the teaching of my last class. Well, I cheat a little in this, since I will be teaching an emeritus course this fall. Whether that’s to ease the transition, or because I simply can’t stay away, I’m not sure. But for the moment I’ll assume that last month the game, after 54 years, was over.

Reunions ’15 Opens with Fanfayre

Cheered on by Reunions attendees, retiring professors and staff were inducted into the ranks of honorary alumni. Photo by Leah Nash

More than 1,500 Reed alumni and allied life forms descended on campus last weekend for Reunions ’15and the celebration began with Fanfayre, the formal-informal opening ceremony that took place this year in the Cerf amphitheatre.

The event began with a charmingly odd welcome by musician Paul Anderson ’92, the composer of Reed classics such as “Sensitive Guy” and “On the Night Bus.”

Paul’s offbeat presentation set the tone for the afternoon: President John Kroger made quips about Reed lacking a football team, raising a rousing cheer from the audience, while Scott Foster ’77, the outgoing president of the alumni board, assured the crowd that his cowboy hat he sported was legitimate because he does in fact own livestock.

Reedies March with Pride

Reedies of all stripes marched in the 2015 Portland Pride Parade (yes, that's a giant griffin on the right-hand side.) Photo by Maddy Wagar

Wings adorned with rainbow streamers, a gargantuan Reed griffin joined the Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, as dozens of students and alumni of all vintages waved flags and sported rainbow-striped “Love Reed” pins that glinted in the sunlight.

The Reed contingent joined a diverse parade that included communities from the Portland Oregon Lesbian Choir to various church groups. Reedies and members of the ACLU swapped temporary tattoos, sharing griffins and hearts in a late morning bright with unity and camaraderie.

The demonstration of love and support began with a memorial bike ride to honor Mark Angeles ’15, who was killed in a traffic collision nine days after graduation. At that memorial, Kirsten Hawley ’16 described the way Mark moved through life: “In Mark’s eyes, love and respect were not things another person had to earn; they were a given just because that person was a human being.”

A Bike Ride for Mark

Beloved friend and classmate Mark Angeles ’15 was killed in a collision just nine days after he graduated from Reed. Photo by Eren Veziroglu ’16

Friends and classmates of Mark Angeles ’15 are organizing a memorial bike ride to honor his memory on Sunday, June 14, at 9 a.m. at the Reed Bike Co-Op.

Mark was killed in a collision with a tow truck less than a mile from Reed on May 27--just nine days after he graduated. He was 22 years old.

Mark cut a distinctive figure at Reed. He majored in chemistry and wrote his thesis on the role of organometallic catalysts in neutralizing toxic pollution. He ran the Reed Bike Co-Op and was partly responsible for the installation of the bike maintenance stations on campus. He was deeply committed to serving the community, worked closely with SEEDS, and volunteered as a mentor for underprivileged youth at Lane Middle School. He fixed bikes for free and taught bike safety to kids in northeast Portland. He served as a Paideia czar and sang with Reed’s a cappella group, the Herodotones. He was even a house adviser.

One Month After Quake, Reedies Support Nepal

Aasha for Nepal co-founder Shreya Shrestha ’10 (left) set up mobile health care clinics in Kathmandu after a devastating earthquake struck Nepal in April 2015.

Reedies around the globe have mobilized in response to the earthquake and aftershocks that have caused mass destruction in the Kathmandu Valley.

One month since a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, the country still seeks support during a time of hardship. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), the temblor severely impacted fourteen districts in Nepal, killing more than 8,000 people and destroying roughly 500,000 houses.

Members of the Reed community have jumped to the aid of the Nepalese with fundraising, activism, and on-the-ground action. Suraj Pant ’11, for example, runs the Twitter account @nepalnews, which gives frequent updates on the news and events in Nepal. Reedies like Suraj hope to generate sustained support in ways both big and small as the media shifts its attention elsewhere—as it inevitably will.

Tragic Loss of Beloved Alumnus

Mark Angeles ’15, beloved friend and classmate.

Dear Reed,

It is with great sorrow that I report the tragic loss of a 2015 Reed alumnus, Mark Angeles. While riding his bike near SE Gladstone and Cesar Chavez Boulevard, Mark suffered fatal injuries in an accident involving a tow truck on Wednesday, May 27. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mark graduated with a major in chemistry just last week. As a result of his many accomplishments, he was recognized as one of Reed’s “12 for 15.” He was well-known and well-loved throughout campus.

Mark's family is mourning in private and at some point will likely want to include members of the Reed community in a celebration of Mark's life. We will provide information as it becomes available. In the meantime, we extend to Mark’s family and his many friends our deepest condolences.

As the Reed community grieves, I want to make sure you're aware of the various resources available to help students, faculty, and staff.

Chinese Major Wins Unrue Award

Chinese major Joan Guldin ’15 (center) won the Unrue Award for her thesis. She is flanked by members of the Unrue family, who created the award to honor Greg Unrue ’84. Photo by Raymond Rodriguez

Chinese major Joan Guldin ’15 has won the newly-minted John Gregory Unrue ’84 Memorial Award for her thesis, “Abandoned Trails and False Peaks: A Journey Through the Xiyouji.”

Her adviser, Prof. Hyong Rhew [Chinese 1988–], praised Joan’s thesis as an “original work with masterful reading and beautiful writing.”

Xiyouji, also known in English as The Journey to the West, is a 17th-century Chinese novel about a pilgrimage to the “Western Heaven” to obtain Buddhist scriptures. Joan combed through early records to trace historical and literary depictions of one of its main characters, the Monk Tripitaka. In the course of her research, she also translated an early chantefable which had never before been translated into English—“a remarkable achievement,” according to Prof. Rhew.

History Major Wins Lankford Prize

History major Kalina Hadzhikova ’15 won the Lankford Award for her thesis on Rome and Byzantium. Photo by Matt D'Annunzio

History major Kalina Hadzhikova ’15 has won the prestigious William T. Lankford III Humanities Award.

The award recognizes accomplishment in both history and literature and is given to students with outstanding academic records and strong potential for further achievement.

The award committee praised Kalina's senior thesis, Rome against Romans: Configurations of Imperial Authority in 12th-Century Germany and Byzantium, hailing it as "an exceptional thesis" and "an impressive and original achievement."

Econ Major Earns Meier Prize

Econ major Mat Olson ’15 won the Meier Award for outstanding achievement. He wrote his thesis on the decoy effect and the conjunction fallacy.

Mat Olson ’15 has won the celebrated Gerald M. Meier Award for Distinction in Economics, given by the economics department for outstanding achievement.

Mat's thesis was titled "The Relevance of Irrelevance: Exploring Decoy Effect and Conjunction Fallacy" and his adviser was Prof. Jon Rork [economics 2010–].

"Mat's thesis explored two phenomena in behavioral economics—the conjunction fallacy and the decoy effect—that explain why people make suboptimal choices in certain scenarios," Prof. Rork told us. "One thing Mat wanted to look at was whether people exposed to certain types of academic approaches (statistical, logic, linguistic, etc.) were less likely to succumb to these fallacies.  No such luck, showing that our innate decision making processes cannot be 'taught' away."

Seniors Grasp Philosophy Prize

Philosophy major Eliya Cohen ’15 explains a metaphysical dilemma at the Reed pool. She won the Garlan Prize for her thesis on the problems of time and tense. Photo by Jenn McNeal ’14

Philosophy majors Eliya Cohen ’15 and John Mills ’15 have both won the exalted Edwin N. Garlan Memorial Prize, which recognizes outstanding scholarship in philosophy. 

"It was quite an honor to receive the Garlan Prize," says John, whose thesis is titled “Revealed Peer Disagreement and The Equal Weight View.” His advisor was Prof. Mark Bedau ’76 [philosophy 1991–]. He hails from Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

Eliya’s thesis is titled “Some Considerations on Problems of Time and Tense.” Her advisor was Prof. Mark Hinchliff [philosophy 1991–]. In addition to her philosophical leanings, Eliya worked as a lifeguard at the Reed pool, where she figured out an innovative way to pursue the metaphysics of swimming. She hails from Piedmont, California.

History-Lit Major Wins Lankford Prize

History-lit major Kieran Hanrahan ’15 won the Lankford Award for his thesis on poetry and the Iraq War.

History-lit major Kieran Hanrahan ’15 has won the prestigious William T. Lankford III Humanities Award.

The award recognizes accomplishment in both history and literature and is given to students with outstanding academic records and strong potential for further achievement. It honors Prof. Bill Lankford [English 1977–83], a beloved teacher and scholar of the works of Dickens whose life was cut short by devastating illness.

Kieran’s thesis was titled: “Writing in Water, Building with Sand: American Military Strategy and the Soldier’s Experience in the Iraqi Environment during the Iraq War.” His advisers were Prof. Pancho Savery [English 1995–] and Prof. Josh Howe [history 2012–].

Lit–Theatre Major Nabs Class of ’21 Award

Leah Artenian ’15 won the Class of ’21 award for her senior thesis adapting "The Year of Silence" for the stage

Literature-theatre major Leah Artenian ’15 has won the illustrious Class of ’21 Award for her senior thesis, an adaptation of Kevin Brockmeier’s short story “The Year of Silence” for the stage.

The award recognizes “creative work of notable character, involving an unusual degree of initiative and spontaneity.” For her thesis, Leah wrote the script, assembled the cast, and directed the 90-minute production, which played to packed houses at the Blackbox Theatre in Reed's Performing Arts Building.

In nominating Leah for the award, her advisers Prof. Peter Ksander [theatre 2011–] and Prof. Gail Berkeley Sherman [English 1981–] wrote:

Math Major Zeroes In on Class of ’21 Award

A semester abroad in Hungary got math major Maddie Brandt ’15 interested in the Erdos-Ko-Rado theorem.

Mathematics major Maddie Brandt ’15 has won the illustrious Class of ’21 Award for her senior thesis on the Erdös-Ko-Rado theorem.

The award recognizes “creative work of notable character, involving an unusual degree of initiative and spontaneity.”

Maddie’s thesis carries the rather imposing title “Intersecting Hypergraphs and Decompositions of Complete Uniform Hypergraphs.” Scratching our heads, we turned to Prof. David Perkinson [mathematics 1990–] for an explanation. He wrote:

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