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News from the Reed College public affairs office

Will old age and treachery translate into a trey?

basketball

Don't miss the match-up of the season . . . no, not the Seahawks vs. Broncos, the student team vs. the alumni team on Reed’s basketball court, tonight at 7 p.m.! Gabe Zinn ’15 returns from a semester of pick-up games in Paris, and the geriatric set returns from the injured list. Come out to see if “age and treachery will overcome youth and skill” (with apologies to Waylon Jennings)?!

Some pre-game scoop from Erik Brakstad ’89:

Coach Ried Woodlee scheduled two student vs. alumni games this year. The first kicked off the season at the end of October (the alumni won, handily). The second (tonight!) kicks off the second half of the season after a long layoff. Another alumni/student game was played late in the fall when a team cancelled due to weather at the last second. The alumni pulled a team together on short notice (and beat the students.)

Elvish, Batman, and Python. Paideia Rocks!

Paideia 2014. Elaine Andersen ’16 taught a course entitled, “Riot Grrrl, the Photocopier, and You: How to Make a Zine.”

Ever wanted to try Pysanky, the art of Ukrainian egg dyeing? Take up fire dancing? Get up to speed on the history of Batman? These and more than 220 subjects were covered in this year’s Paideia, the festival of alternative learning that Reed holds each winter.

Paideia is difficult to translate, but denotes education in its broadest sense. For the ancient Greeks, this included philosophy, poetry, mathematics, physics, rhetoric, gymnastics, music, medicine, and many other disciplines. The animating idea behind Paideia is to give students a break from Reed’s rigorous curriculum and let them spend a week learning things they always wanted to know about but never had the time for. It also reverses the polarity of the classroom and gives students the chance to be teachers, sharing their mastery of the didgeridoo, High Elvish, the programming language Python, or virtually any other subject.

Reedies Take Spotlight in Portland’s Tech Scene

Chemistry major Luke Kanies ’97 is the founder and CEO of Puppet Labs, a high-tech Portland startup that employs more than 190 people. Photo by Vivian Johnson

Reedies are taking an increasingly prominent role in Portland’s high-tech sector.

Last year, Twitter snapped up Lucky Sort, an analytics company founded by Noah Pepper ’09, for an undisclosed sum.

Now two other local tech firms founded by Reedies--Puppet Labs and Urban Airship--have been identified as likely candidates to go public in the next year.

CB Insights, a venture capital and angel investment database that tracks activity related to private companies, speculates that both Puppet Labs and Urban Airship are poised for an IPO, or initial public offering--a critical step in the life of a tech start-up, much like a Broadway debut for a young playwright.

Prof. Knutson's Work on Display in Governor's Office

An exhibition of Prof. Michael Knutson’s [art 1982–] watercolors, from his series Layered Ovoid Lattices, is on display in the office of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber in Salem through February 2014.

Selected for the Art in the Governor’s Office Program, which honors professional, living Oregon artists, Prof. Knutson’s name adds to a list of artists that includes Manuel Izquierdo, Michael Russo, and alumna Margot Voorhies Thompson ’70.

Describing the work in this series, Knutson stated: “There are various ways to read across the paintings: locating the smallest clusters of ovoids and following their expansion across a layer; looking between the ovoids at the membrane-like lattices; looking through the layers of ovoids and lattices; constructing an elastic scaffolding across the layers of lattice; sliding on and off arcs of the implicit spirals; scanning between the symmetrical elements. My paintings might lead one to consider not just what one is seeing, but how one is seeing.”

Ochoa Joins Reed Board of Trustees

Eduardo Ochoa ’73 at Reunions 2013.

Eduardo Ochoa ’73 presented his reflections on higher education during Reunions 2013. Photo by Leah Nash

His peak intellectual experience was being a student at Reed, which also formed the foundation for everything that followed, says Eduardo Ochoa ’73. So, being asked to help lead his alma mater as a trustee was the ultimate validation, comparable to having a parent say, “You’ve done well.”

Elected to Reed’s board of trustees in October, Eduardo is president of California State University, Monterey Bay, and was the former assistant secretary for postsecondary education in the Obama administration.

A native of Buenos Aires, he attended bilingual schools in Argentina before immigrating with his family to Portland in his sophomore year in high school.

Scholarship Honors History Prof

Prof. Ed Segel lectured on the French Revolution, Vietnam, and practically everything in between

Reed alumni have banded together to recognize one of the college’s most influential professors—Prof. Ed Segel [history 1973-2011]—by naming a scholarship in his honor.

A native of Boston, Segel graduated from Harvard in 1960 and earned his PhD at UC Berkeley before coming to Reed in 1973. His primary interests were diplomatic history of the 19th and 20th centuries, European history, and intellectual history in the European mode. He lectured on the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, Beethoven, Vietnam, and everything in between, and made his mark on campus as teacher, scholar, mentor, pool player, parliamentarian, and lyricist.

“This scholarship is a wonderful thing and I’m very grateful to the alumni who established it,” Segel said. “I’m particularly glad that the alumni come from such diverse fields and I likewise hope that the recipients of the scholarship over the years would cover a wide range of interests and academic commitment.”

Double the Impact of Your Gift

Million Dollar Match

Your gift to the Annual Fund could have double the impact this year.

Gifts from alumni of $1,000 or more will be matched dollar for dollar thanks to a new initiative known as the Million Dollar Match, which provides alumni with an incentive to give to the annual fund.

To kickstart the challenge, the initiative was launched by gifts of $25,000 or more from a core of 22 generous donors (see sidebar), including Konrad Stephen Alt ’81.

“Institutions like Reed don’t exist in a state of nature,” Konrad says. “They come about because people with vision, resources and commitment want them to exist. When any of those things run out, they wither and decline.”

PAB Wins “People’s Choice” Award

The undeniable curb appeal of Reed’s new Performing Arts Building (PAB) earned it a thumbs-up in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Portland awards for design excellence. The PAB won first place in the People’s Choice Award in the Portland AIA’s annual competition, open to firms, members, and associate members throughout Oregon.

The public was invited to participate by voting on their favorite of the 68 entries displayed on presentation boards for more than two weeks in the rotunda of the Pioneer Place shopping mall in downtown Portland. More than a thousand people cast their votes by going to a website or scanning a QR code.

Designed by the Portland firm of Opsis Architecture, the building celebrated its grand opening in September, when thousands of students, faculty, staff, and visitors admired the its light, airy spaces and dramatic interior. Architecture possesses a vocabulary all its own. Rather than attempt to imitate, we will quote the description Opsis used for the atrium, where:

Tribe Productions Wins Bronze for Centennial Campaign Video

Tribe Pictures wins a Bronze Award at the 34th Annual Telly Awards for a Reed College commissioned film. Tribe Pictures took the prize in the fundraising category for a film that thanks alumni and other donors for the success of Reed’s $200 million dollar Centennial Campaign.

Last December, Jon Huberth of Tribe Pictures traveled to Portland to film Reed’s beautiful campus and recorded heartfelt interviews with students and faculty on the effect the Centennial campaign has had on their academic lives.

Executive Creative Director, Vern Oakley, commended Reed and Tribe on their collaborative work process. “The backdrop of heartfelt moments was key in visually transporting alumni back to campus,” says Oakley.  “Through Tribe’s human-first approach to storytelling, we hoped to create meaningful, human connections. Our goal was not just to thank alumni, but to effectively move, motivate, and mobilize continued alumni support.”

Remembering Prof. Crandall

Prof Richard Crandall ’69 [physics 1978-2012]

At yesterday's faculty meeting, Prof. Mary James read a moving tribute to the late Prof. Richard Crandall ’69, written by Prof. Nick Wheeler ’55.

Wheeler, who was Crandall's thesis adviser at Reed during Crandall's student days, and later served alongside him on the physics faculty, calls it an "informal remembrance," but it's so good that we just had to reprint it here . . . 

History Major Wins Fencing Tourney

STEELY DETERMINATION. Alexi Horowitz ’14 nabs first place in the Williams Tournament. Tim Labarge

History major Alexi Horowitz ’14 won the 16th annual Douglas Williams Fencing Tournament last weekend, earning monster timê and a handcrafted gold pendant shaped like a foil to commemorate his victory.

The tournament took place in the sports center, with the fencers masked and garbed from head to foot in white, an odd sight amongst the milling spectators and fruit platters.

During the bouts, the students thrusted and parried with steely determination. Fencing coach Miwa Nishi ’92, who has been involved in the tournament since its inception, said that one of her favorite parts of the event is watching the fencers in a competitive mood, as opposed to just practicing. After each bout, however, once their protective face masks were lifted, the fencers gathered around to congratulate and encourage each other.

Our Town Rings In Diver Theatre

"Our Town" director Prof. Kate Bredeson and assistant director Alan Cline ’14 Photo by Leah Nash

“Does anyone ever realize life while they live it . . . every, every minute?” asks one of the characters in Our Town.

For the past two months, more than 50 Reed students have taken risks, solved problems, and put their minds and bodies to the task making Reed's production of Our Town—Thornton Wilder’s classic play—new once more.

Directed by Prof. Kate Bredeson, the production will ring in the Diver Studio Theatre, the centerpiece of Reed's new Performing Arts Building. Wilder’s stage directions call for “no scenery,” providing a marvelous opportunity to showcase the new space and its state-of-the-art technology.

Tina Satter (Thinking of You)

Playwright Tina Satter at Performing Arts Building

In September, Tina Satter MALS ’04 was back on campus for the opening celebration of the Performing Arts Building. Tina is the founder and playwright of Half Straddle, a New York theatre company. Students and alumni performed readings from her play Seagull (Thinking of You), a response to Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s Seagull that draws on Chekhov’s personal letters and details from early productions of the play in Russia.

“If you think experimental, deconstructionist experimental theatre must be dry and dreary, then Half Straddle has a surprise for you,” the New York Times said of the company, which has produced half a dozen plays since its founding in 2008.

Tina’s interest in experimental theatre was sparked when she was cast in a play at Portland’s Imago Theatre. She began a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Reed partly as recompense for having spent her undergraduate years at Bowdoin College “majoring in field hockey and going to parties.”

Reed Infiltrates Portland Marathon

Psychology major Chanelle Doucette ’14 was part of Reed's record turnout at the Portland Marathon.

No fewer than 57 Reed runners participated in the Portland Marathon and Half-Marathon yesterday, Reed’s strongest showing in the event, and possibly its strongest showing in any off-campus sporting event in the college’s history.

Reed’s fastest marathon runner was econ major James LaBelle ’15, who crossed the finish line in the scorching time of 2:59:44. Close on his heels came physics major Will Holdhusen ’16, who clocked an impressive 3:00:14. The fastest half-marathon runner was Dean of Students Mike Brody, who posted a nimble 1:41:01 (apparently chasing after students does wonders for one’s stamina).

Reed’s turnout included 15 students, 3 professors, 11 staff, 14 alumni, and assorted other lifeforms (friends, family) and reflects a surge of interest in running on campus in the last couple of years. In August, Prof. Paul Gronke [poli sci] and Prof. Suzy Renn [bio] put together a team for the Hood-to-Coast Relay, which included two students, four alumni, and four staff members; the Reed team placed tenth in a division of 84. Last month, Reed’s 5K Odyssey Run drew 197 runners, including 26 students.

Pantheon to be robed, say organizers

Reed students dress as Greek gods outside humanities lecture in 2012. Nudity at a similar event in 2013 prompted a Title IX investigation. Copyright Reed College.

The students who play the part of Greek gods and greet freshmen on their way to the first humanities lecture—collectively known as the Pantheon—will keep their robes on next fall, organizers declared at a community forum held by the Honor Council last week.

“No one will be naked next year,” said environmental studies major Elaine Andersen ’16, one of the HumPlayers, the student group that puts on the Pantheon.

The event, which has been staged for the last five years, typically involves male and female sophomores and upperclassmen who dress up as Greek divinities on the steps of Vollum Lecture Hall and welcome freshmen to their first Hum 110 lecture. The gods ask for libations, and freshmen respond (if they’ve done their homework) by spilling a few drops of coffee or water on the ground, re-enacting an ancient Homeric tradition. “It’s supposed to be fun and silly,” one student explained.

Performing Arts Building Takes Center Stage

Dancers perform "L'esprit de l'escalier," choreographed by Heidi Duckler ’74, to ring in the new Performing Arts Building. Photo by NashCo

Reed’s performing arts just got an 80,000 square-foot, glass-paned, light-filled, no-holds-barred, swanky new home. Years in the making, the Performing Arts Building is finally ready to take center stage. Classes are already being held in the building and its myriad rooms and performance spaces are beginning to hum.

The building opened Friday, September 20, amid pomp and circumstance, shiny red ribbons, and several gargantuan pairs of scissors.

The ceremony began with Blast!, a fanfayre for trumpet and synthesizer, composed by Prof. David Schiff [music 1980–]. Then, standing on the grand staircase that graces the atrium, President John Kroger welcomed students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests, giving thanks to the many people who ushered the building into reality.

Rescuing Survivors from Syria's Rubble

Eliot Stempf ’11 works to aid the victims of Syria's civil war from Gaziantep, Turkey.

When surgeon Muhammad Abyad was killed in Syria on September 5, as he did humanitarian work for Doctors Without Borders, it was hardly an isolated incident. Hospitals are routinely bombed in the chaos of current-day Syria, and so far over 20 staffers for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent have perished while responding to disasters. On Monday, 50 medical professionals from across the globe united to publish an open letter in the Lancet saying that the Syrian health system is at a breaking point.

Somewhere in southern Turkey, Eliot Stempf ’11 knowingly nodded his head—and shifted in his low-rent desk chair as he contended with a glacially slow internet connection. Eliot lives in Gaziantep, Turkey, roughly 20 miles from the Syrian border, and is currently masterminding the launch of a humanitarian startup, SERA (Special Emergency Response and Assistance), which specializes in prehospital care and has so far trained roughly 50 Syrians to become emergency first responders.

SERA was founded in late 2012 by Peter Kassig, a 24-year-old Army Ranger and Indiana native who returned from Iraq intent on mitigating the carnage of war. Kassig, who’s an EMT, lives with Eliot in Gaziantep and frequently forays into war-torn Syrian towns like Deir Ezzor to lead training sessions, distribute supplies, and provide basic medical care. Eliot, meanwhile, remains in Turkey, hunched at his computer, networking with care providers, such as the Red Crescent, and conferring with two Syrian doctors who advise SERA on, as Eliot puts it, “how to deliver aid in a way that’s sensitive, without exacerbating political tensions.”

Dispute over Reed’s location brightens Senate hearing

Dr. Beth Robinson ’82 at Senate confirmation hearing

Stalwart correspondent Ed Mills ’80 drew our attention to a lighthearted exchange that took place this week during a hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, chaired by Senator Ron Wyden [D-Oregon]. The committee was meeting to consider several of President Obama’s nominations—including Dr. Beth Robinson ’82 to the post of Under Secretary of Energy.

Committee hearings not exactly famous for their levity. When they aren’t immobilized by partisan wrangling they tend to be--how shall we put it?--less than riveting. Approximately two and a half hours into the hearing, however, the session was enlivened by a surprising geographic issue:

Dr. Robinson to Senator Cantwell [D-Washington]: "Yes, the issues at Hanford are very complex and very important, and as you mentioned, I grew up in Seattle, which is--"

CSO trading cards - Collect ’em all!

CSO trading cards hark back to a venerable Reed tradition.

Beat it, Babe Ruth. Pick up your deck, Pikachu. Move over, Magic: the Gathering. A new medium of rectangular exchange is about to hit campus—Community Safety Trading Cards.

Starting Friday, Community Safety Officers (CSOs) will carry trading cards as they make their rounds, handing them out to students as a way to build relationships. “As a team, we talked over the summer about what we wanted to accomplish this year, and our first priority is to develop relationships with individual students,” says Gary Granger, director of Reed’s office of community safety. “We hit on the cards as a fun way for CSOs to establish a personal connection.”

Each trading card includes a photo and a handful of fun facts about a CSO, from hobbies to favorite epic poems to potential superpowers (“atmokinesis” is one.) “The CSOs choose their own pictures,” says Granger. “And they decide who and when to give them out.”

So, What is Title IX, Anyway?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (which amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964) protects people in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from discrimination based on sex. Title IX states that, “No person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The spirit of Title IX is to ensure gender equity and equal opportunity for all students, and as such Reed is committed to honoring its obligations under Title IX.

“The law comes from a spirit of fairness,” said Michelle Valintis, Reed director of human resources. “It exists to guide colleges to become more open, safe, and inclusive places to learn.”

Though much of the early press around Title IX was centered on balancing athletic opportunities and scholarships, it was intended to be more far reaching. In 2011 Vice President Biden sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to all educational institutions receiving federal financial aid that explained the expanded interpretation of Title IX enforcement to cover issues of sexual harassment and assault. The letter instructed colleges to do what is necessary in order to ensure a safe and supportive environment for every student.  Additionally, colleges were instructed to

•    disseminate a notice of nondiscrimination to students, parents, and employees;     
•    designate a Title IX coordinator—at Reed it is Ed McFarlane, vice president/treasurer;   
•    adopt and publish grievance procedures providing for prompt and equitable resolution of student and employee sex discrimination complaints.

“The national statistics describing how few survivors of sexual harassment and assault report to authorities are truly discouraging,” said Mike Brody vice president and dean of students. “I believe that it’s incumbent upon college leaders—students, faculty, and staff—to help create an environment in which people feel safe to report, and can be confident that the college will respond in a meaningful and effective way. It is of course our ultimate goal to eliminate sexual assault and harassment though our education and preventions efforts, but in the meantime, Reed remains committed to removing obstacles that might prevent people from reporting.”

Title IX complaints can be filed with Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights, or with the institution where the alleged offence took place. It is the institution’s obligation to swiftly respond to any Title IX complaint by conducting an investigation and taking appropriate remedial action. If an offense is found, either the institution’s administration can take action to remediate the situation, or it can refer the case to the appropriate internal adjudicating body. If the latter option is taken, the Title IX coordinator oversees the process to ensure compliance.

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