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News from the Reed College public affairs office

Reed Welcomes New Profs

Reed College is pleased to welcome 19 new and visiting faculty members, including three alumni.

Rebecca LaLonde ’01

Rebecca LaLonde ’01 returns to campus as an assistant professor of chemistry. After earning her BA in chemistry at Reed, she obtained a MS in chemistry from Stanford and a PhD in chemistry from UC Berkeley. She has worked as an associate scientist at Dow Chemical and as a research associate in medicinal chemistry at Genetech.

Time-Travel Expert to Give Talk Yesterday

Renowned physicist Dr. Kip Thorne will give a lecture at Reed on “The Warped Side of Our Universe: From the Big Bang to Black Holes and Gravitational Waves” on Tuesday, August 27, 2013—which may be tomorrow, today, or yesterday, depending on your frame of reference.

Dr. Thorne, a retired professor of theoretical physics at California Institute of Technology, is one of the world’s leading experts on gravitational waves, black holes, and wormholes—hypothetical “shortcuts” in the space-time continuum that give rise to the theoretical possibility of time travel.

Dr. Thorne is on campus to receive the 2013 Howard Vollum Award for Distinguished Accomplishment in Science and Technology. The award was created as a tribute to the late Howard Vollum ’36, a Reed trustee, and a lifelong friend of the college.

Psych major wins Fulbright

Margaret Balk ’13 has won a Fulbright grant to do research at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. She will collaborate with Professor Olivier Luminet, examining how emotional competence affects the quality of life in children with Type I diabetes.

Emotional competence refers to the ability to pay attention to one’s bodily sensations, confront one’s emotions, and communicate them to others. Quality of life can be measured by how much the illness limits activity, the frequency or severity of the physical symptoms, and to what extent the disease causes negative emotions.

Luminet’s findings show that Type I diabetic children with lower emotional competence have worse glycemic control, which is an objective measure of patients’ management of their diabetes.

Reedies Nab NSF Fellowships

Linguist Margit Bowler ’11 doing fieldwork with Warlpiri elder in Australia.

Margit Bowler ’11, Quinn Langdon ’11, and Christina Porter ’13 all won fellowships from the National Science Foundation this year as part of the NSF’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships Program.

The program grants each fellow $32,000 a year for three years to pursue a specific research proposal, plus $12,000 a year to the individual's institution. Students may apply to the program their senior year or during their first two years of graduate school.

Margit Bowler ’11 will do fieldwork in the language of Warlpiri, spoken solely by approximately 3,000 indigenous people in central Australia. Her project represents a continuation of the research she began thanks to a Fulbright Scholarship she won in 2011; she is thankful to NSF for the opportunity to continue her research, as she believes Warlpiri should not be studied without a longterm commitment to its speakers and their communities. She is currently at UCLA researching Warlpiri semantics and syntax although she occasionally delves into Warlpiri phonology.

The Dudman Files

Prof. Jack Dudman ’42, legendary dean of students

Prof. Jack Dudman ’42 played many roles at Reed—often simultaneously. Student leader, proud graduate, inspiring teacher, patient mentor. But he is probably best remembered as dean of students, an office he held from 1963 to 1983—during which time he helped hundreds of students through some of the most difficult times of their lives.

John Almon Dudman was born in Iowa in 1920 and majored in mathematics at Reed, where he made a deep impression on Prof. Robert Rosenbaum [math 1939–53]. “Jack was the best of the group,” Rosenbaum wrote later. “Not just in seriousness and diligence, although he clearly held his own in these qualities—but in the imagination that he brought to his study, and in the evident pleasure that he took from beginning to see the roles that mathematics plays in human culture.”

Dudman was elected student body president and became an active student advocate. During that time, two male students were involved in a homosexual relationship which somehow became public; college administrators were determined to put an end to it. Dudman argued that the students’ relationship was a private matter and that the college had no business meddling in their affairs. Sadly, his arguments fell on deaf ears and the students were expelled.

Steve Jobs and Reed

Reed student. Reed College student. Steve Jobs.

As everyone knows, Steve Jobs did not graduate from Reed College. (He may, in fact, be one of the most famous “non-graduates” in modern history). Nonetheless, his experience at Reed left a profound impression on him, as he reiterated on many occasions.

This week, the biopic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs (and James Woods as Dean Jack Dudman), is being released to theaters around the world. In light of the enduring fascination with all things Steve, we decided to pull together some information about his time on campus.

Prodigal Son. This obituary, originally published in December 2012, focuses on Steve’s time at Reed, including how he used insights from Shakespeare, dance, and calligraphy in his later career.

Staying Hungry. Steve’s 1991 Convocation speech at Reed offers a glimpse into how his threadbare days on campus shaped his philosophy.

The Dudman Files. The backstory on legendary Dean of Students Jack Dudman ’42, whom Steve later called "one of the heroes of my life."

Steve and the Doyle Owl. Did Steve really capture the Doyle Owl?

Steve and Calligraphy. Steve talks about how calligraphy classes at Reed shaped the Macintosh computer.

Prodigal Son

Visionary. Iconoclast. Rebel. Even though Steve Jobs was officially enrolled for just one semester, he was the quintessential Reedie.

It is far beyond the scope of this obituary to trace his protean career at Apple or assess his accomplishments and failures (and there were many of each). Classmates hardly need to be reminded of how he transformed the personal computer, the cell phone, and the music player, and how those devices in turn revolutionized a dozen industries.

But it is worth taking a closer look at Steve’s time on campus, because Reed was a much deeper part of him than one might think from his official transcript. In his crystalline intensity, his obsession with big ideas, his hunger for perfection, he personified the classic Reed archetype.

Steve and the Owl

Reed College. Reed student. Reed College student. Steve Jobs. Doyle Owl.

COURTESY OF JEREMY STONE ’99

In the winter of 1996–97, a band of Reed students including Justin Campbell ’99 and Colin McCluney ’99 took the Doyle Owl on a road trip to California. On a whim, they stopped by Steve Jobs' house in Palo Alto and rang the bell. They were floored when Steve emerged, admired the Owl, talked about Reed, and posed for this photo in Justin’s parents’ minivan. “He was really nice about it,” Justin says.

Staying Hungry

Thank you very much for this. It means a lot to me. I’m a peculiar Reed alumnus, as many of you know. I never graduated from Reed—although that doesn’t make that unusual, I suppose.

But maybe more unusual: I ran out of money after one semester here at Reed, so I dropped out, but then I dropped in for another year-and-a-half. So, I was actually here by choice. This is somewhat more unusual. And I had some experiences here that I’m sure many of you will have as freshmen and throughout your years here, that have stayed with me my whole life. I was thinking of some of them to recount to you.

Remember that I’m much older than you, in that, I’ve always thought that people’s spark of self-consciousness turns on at about 15 or 16, and so from normalized age to 15 or 16, most of you are two or three or four years old here, as freshmen; I’m about 20. So that maybe puts in perspective what it’s like to return to Reed after so many years.

Reed's Oral History Project Wins Honors

Reedies have known for some time that Comrades of the Quest is a signal achievement. Since its publication last summer, the magisterial oral history of Reed, edited by John Sheehy ’82, has been devoured by Reedies on campus and elsewhere (check out these tidbits that were excerpted in Reed magazine). The book quickly became an invaluable tool for alumni to understand their school and their role in its history. Lately, however, Comrades and the Oral History Project—which produced the enormous treasure trove of interviews which are the basis for the bookhave received recognition in the wider world as extraordinary works of scholarship.

The Oral History Association has just named the Reed College Oral History Project as the recipient of its prestigious Elizabeth Mason Large Project Award, given for outstanding works of oral history. The awards committee found that the project had been completed at “consistently high standards of professionalism, ethics, and scholarly rigor,” and that it made “important contributions to the social and cultural history of education.”

Memorial for Ted Reich ’51 set for Aug. 22

Ted Reich ’51 and Barbara Weeks Shettler ’50 were honored for distinguished service during Reunions at Reed in June.

A celebration of the life of longstanding Reed trustee Ted Reich ’51 will be held at the Portland Yacht Club, 2–5 p.m., on Thursday, August 22, 2013.

Classic car enthusiast, sailor, mountaineer, investor, and philanthropist, Ted was one of the world’s foremost authorities on Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars. His fascination with automobiles began in early childhood. His father, a surgeon in Cleveland, Ohio, taught Ted to appreciate the design and details of fine motorcars, and Ted was enthralled when his cousin from England arrived at the Reich home in a Bentley. “By the time I was four, I could tell a Duesenberg from a Cadillac.”

Ted came to Portland to attend Reed, where he earned a BA in psychology. “I viewed my years at Reed as positive in virtually all respects,” he said later. A competitive athlete in high school, Ted loved mountain climbing and skiing in the Pacific Northwest. He hiked to the summits of the Cascade Range, and climbed Mount Hood seven times. On his twenty-first birthday, he climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland. At Reed, he joined the Boar’s Head Ensemble, and faithfully sang at the annual holiday party for 65 years.

Reed College Ranked #1 in Best Classroom Experience

The 2014 edition of Princeton Review’s The Best 378 Colleges reveals a Reed that is both familiar to Reedies and one that exists somewhere on a plane between Reedlore and reality.

Reed was #1 in the category of “Best Classroom Experience,” #2 in “Professors with the Highest Marks,” #4 in “Students Who Study the Most,” and #19 in the categories of “Great Financial Aid” and “Most Accessible Professors.”

Kim Durkin ’13 commented on the outmoded stereotype where Reed landed at #4 in the category, “Birkenstock-Wearing, Tree-Hugging, Clove-Smoking Vegetarians.” “Is this 1980? There are plenty of vegetarians, and we do love our trees (the college has a website dedicated to them), but that’s not the picture I get when I think of Reed.”

Reed Switchboard Selected from 400 Applicants for $20K Slice of PIE

Reed Switchboard, the networking site created to share Reed love, has been given a boost by Wieden & Kennedy as part of the ad firm’s Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE). Switchboard is the networking brainchild of Mara Zepeda ’02 and Sean Lerner ’10.  They created the website so current Reedies and alumni could share their work experiences, offer assistance, post jobs, and give community members a leg up in a post-recession and increasingly competitive job market.

PIE had an ultra-competitive selection process, with only seven tech start-ups picked out of over 400 applicants. Switchboard, a Reedie endeavor, manned by Reedies, and beta tested on Reedies, was one of the lucky seven. Each startup receives $20,000 in seed money, office space at Wieden & Kennedy, and three months of hands on mentorship from past PIE winners and other successful technological ventures.

Mara and Sean are hoping to use the money and expertise they gain through PIE to open up Switchboard to other college communities, offering the same basic format that connects Reedies with Reedies, but instead connecting Clarkies with Clarkies, and so on.

The Job Gap

Rachel Yahn

This summer finds Reed students interning at the Paris Review, studying the art of Japanese woodblock printing in Kyoto, farming organically in the Provence, and interning at a law firm.

Learning for its own sake is a trope frequently invoked to describe a liberal arts education. Conventional wisdom, however, holds that employers flock to those college graduates with quantifiable workplace skills. Increasingly a summer internship serves as the bridge for exhibiting skills that will translate to success in the job market.

Reed’s office of career services works with students to guide them in career development, hone their interviewing skills, advise on job applications, and help them access a community of partners that includes parents and alumni. One key initiative is helping students identify and secure summer internships.

Reed Band's Debut Album Wins Acclaim

Hausu wins acclaim for debut album "Total." Left to right: Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, Santiago Leyba ’14.

Deep in a forgotten corner of the Gray Campus Center basement, down the hall from the comic book library, Reed’s band practice room (BPR) is anything but glamorous. But for many Reedies it is a hallowed space, a place that (between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays, all day weekends) can incubate their energy and talent. For the last three years one group of Reedies in particular have made the BPR home. They call themselves Hausu, and this summer all their hard work is finally paying off.

Hausu is composed of Carl Hedman ’13, Benjamin Friars-Funkhouser ’14, Alexander Maguire ’14, and Santiago Leyba ’14. They are rockers in the vein of 1990s indie bands like Sebadoh and Sonic Youth, and their debut album, Total, is full of interlocking guitar pieces and post-punk snarl. Total was released by Hardly Art Records on June 25. So far it has met with nearly unanimous acclaim. The Portland Mercury called “one of the finest debut records in recent memory,” while the website Allmusic called the album “infectious,” and wrote that its single, “Leaning Mess,” felt like a “distant classic.” The album’s release was timed to coincide with Hausu’s six-week, cross-country tour, which took them from Portland to New York City and back.

Hausu recorded Total over winter break, but the band had been honing the songs on the album since their first jam three years ago. It wasn’t always easy for the band members to align their schedules: last year Carl wrote his thesis in economics, while Ben, Alex, and Santi all took the junior qual (in art history, anthropology, and studio art, respectively). “it was difficult to make time to play the music,” Carl said, “but it was an important catharsis for us to deal with academic stress.”

Tangled up in Tango

Tango

Click photo to view slideshow
Photos by Heidi Hoffman

Fanning themselves with their programs in a standing-room-only Eliot Hall chapel, the audience was transported straight to the barrios of Buenos Aires as the violins, basses, bandoneones and piano plunged into a sultry tango beat.

The nine players kicked off the grand finale of the Reed College Tango Music Institute, held June 23-30, 2013. For the next two hours, 53 musicians of varying experience and combinations showcased what they’d learned that week under the tutelage of four of the world’s preeminent tango musicians. Bassist Pablo Aslan, pianist Octavio Brunetti, and bandoneonist Julian Hasse, all Argentine-born, and U.S. violinist Nick Danielson capped the evening with a couple of virtuosic romps that lifted the applauding crowd to its feet, stomping for an encore. Many in the crowd refused to sit back down until they’d tangoed well past midnight at the milonga that followed in Student Union, led by Alex Krebs ’99.

JAWing with Dominic

Dominic Finocchiaro

Photo by Leah Nash

This summer Dominic Finocchiaro ’11 will present his new play, complex, at Portland’s JAW: A Playwrights Festival. He was one of four playwrights—chosen from more than 200 submissions worldwide—who will collaborate with theatre professionals from across the country before presenting their works in staged, public readings.

Sponsored by Portland Center Stage, the two-week JAW (short for Just Add Water) festival, spotlights new works selected through a blind submission process. complex will be presented at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26, at the Armory. The story takes place a big city apartment complex where residents are dying in strange and gruesome ways. One tenant sets out to stop the bloodshed and mayhem.

How a Galaxy Evolves

Humankind’s view of the cosmos, however magnificent, is fundamentally static. Astrophysicists know that distant astronomical objects (stars, nebulae, galaxies) are in constant motion, but this is invisible to human eyes because it takes place on a timescale which is unimaginably vast. In fact, except for the moon, the planets, and the occasional comet, the night sky has looked essentially the same for the entire history of human civilization.

Recently astrophysicists have used computers to speed things up. For my thesis with  Johnny Powell [physics 1987–], I wrote a computer program to simulate the evolution of a typical spiral galaxy. The central premise is that by calculating the gravitational forces acting on a relatively small number of stars, we can simulate the evolution of a real galaxy, which consists of hundreds of billions of stars.

Savoring the Taste of Reed

Gastronomy Northwest

Minced pig trotters served on seaweed with a pepper aioli, offered a provocative mix of sweet and spicy. Photo by Leah Nash

Fresh bread, sweet honey, and a crisp wine to wash to all down. It’s not heaven, but it may be the next best thing: Gastronomy Northwest, the annual festival of food and drink produced by and for alumni, was held on Saturday afternoon of Reunions ’13: Reedfayre.

Making a piquant comeback from last year were David Autrey 89 and his partner Amy Wesselman 91 of the Westrey Wine Company, who served a delicate 2012 pinot gris and a refreshing 2010 pinot noir (you may have heard of their rising-star sons?). Also returning was the Clear Creek Distillery, operated by master distiller Steve McCarthy 66 and his wife, artist Lucinda Parker McCarthy 66. The Portland distillery employs mostly Reedies and specializes in brandies and liqueurs created from the fruit grown in the family’s orchards at the foot of Mount Hood. Their summery loganberry liqueur accented the natural tartness of the berry while perfectly satisfying the sweet tooth.

Fanfayre ’13 Looks Back, Looks Ahead

Fanfayre13

Retiring profs, including (left) Pat McDougal [chemistry] and (next to him) Ellen Stauder [English] were honored at Fanfayre ’13. Photo by Leah Nash

Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god of beginnings and transitions, Reunions '13: Fanfayre looked back to the past and forward to the college’s future in its recognition of distinguished alumni and faculty.

The keynote speaker was Eduardo Ochoa ’73, former Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education and current president of California State University, Monterey Bay. Eduardo, who also holds degrees in economics and nuclear engineering, analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing liberal arts colleges. He emphasized first the rapid pace of social change and the pressing need for a better-educated workforce in every sector of the economy. However, the rising cost of tuition poses a huge threat. “Only two percent of the population attend liberal art institutions,” he remarked. Liberal art colleges with a strong reputation and sound financial position (such as Reed) can still draw the best students, which represents an opportunity, especially since these students can become future leaders. “Reed has to focus on their leadership development because God knows we need it, after what I’ve seen in Washington,” he said.

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