Enewsletter, Autumn 2011

westport picturestudent pictureeliot picture

Reed College Alumni & Parent Relations is pleased to send you this electronic newsletter for parents and grandparents of current students. We aim to keep you informed of important dates and other relevant college news on a quarterly basis. Please feel free to contact us with thoughts, questions, or concerns.


In this issue:

  1. Overview from Student Services
  2. Message from Dean of Faculty
  3. Reed Care Boxes
  4. Financial Aid Update
  5. Parent & Family Weekend reminder
  6. Note from Parent Council
  7. Save the Date for Commencement


brodyOverview from student services

Mike Brody, vice president & dean of student services, provides an update on student services and the resources available to your student:

Like so many Americans are today, William Trufant Foster was a century ago fed up with the state of higher education, which he saw as failing to fulfill its pedagogic responsibility. Foster had a revolutionary vision that informed his work as Reed College’s first president. He saw Reed as an opportunity to renew higher education’s promise, to reinvigorate the life of the mind by “building a college from the ground up, one ‘neither hampered nor hallowed by traditions.’”

As Reed embarks upon its second century, we will soon inaugurate another new president. We owe President Colin Diver a huge debt of gratitude for all he has done to strengthen Reed over the past decade. For me personally, presidential transition is bittersweet—I have cherished the opportunity to work under Colin’s leadership, and he has inspired me to embrace the next chapter in Reed’s evolving history.

Unlike Foster, Colin’s successor will inherit many traditions, some of which will be part of our future, and some of which will be relegated to our past. We in student services join your student in the process of distinguishing between unwelcome old habits, which we will help Reed break, and the traditions that have stood the test of time, of which we will remain dedicated stewards. Together, we will help create new traditions that enrich the Reed education. Your student is part of an extraordinary moment at Reed College, and we are honored to share that moment.

Just as Reed is evolving, so too is your student continuing to develop. It is our ambition that Reed will play a direct and active role in helping our students become not only smarter but also wiser, not only more independent but also more communitarian. As is the case with virtually every element of the Reed education, this process of moral maturation occurs in a broader context of higher education that makes us feel all the more proud of the work we are doing with and for our students.

In a September 14 editorial, New York Times columnist David Brooks lamented the findings of a recent study about the moral lives of young people in America. “The results are depressing,” said Brooks. “It’s not so much that these young Americans are living lives of sin and debauchery, at least no more than you’d expect from 18 to 23 year olds. What’s disheartening is how bad they are at thinking and talking about moral issues.”

The authors of the study (Smith et al., whose findings are chronicled in their book Lost in Translation) discovered a generation whose moral choices seem to represent little more than “a matter of individual taste. Rejecting blind deference to authority, many of the young people have gone off to the other extreme: ‘I would do what I thought made me happy or how I felt. I have no other way of knowing what to do but how I internally feel.’”

In the context of this “extreme moral individualism—of relativism and nonjudgmentalism,” the Reed education, grounded deeply in the humanities and conducted in the context of the Honor Principle, seems more vital and relevant than ever. Being a functioning adult is not just about developing one’s self, but about contributing to one’s community by learning how to work, play, and connect meaningfully with others.

This year, we will join students and faculty to discover and communicate a clear sense of what community at Reed means. We will actively cultivate that community. We will do so in order to complement and enhance the rigor and independence for which Reed is known by keeping campus as safe as it can be, making it ever more inclusive, and providing many and varied opportunities for support, leadership, and fun. My student services colleagues have described below some examples of our fall 2011 programs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, suggestions, and/or kudos.

David Rivera, Amy Schuckman, and the residence life staff provide the Reed residence hall and dining service schedule for the remainder of the 2011–12 academic year:

  • October 15–23: Fall break, limited food service
  • November 24–27: Thanksgiving vacation, limited food service
  • December 16, noon: residence halls close
  • January 13, noon: residence halls open, limited food service
  • January 23: classes begin
  • March 10–18: spring break, limited food service
  • May 15, noon: residence halls close

From Kristin Holmberg and Kyle Webster in student activities:

Not only is Reed celebrating its centennial, but this year the Gray Fund is marking its twentieth anniversary. As you might imagine, in addition to various on- and off-campus programs throughout the year, the Gray Fund is presenting several truly remarkable events. On September 23, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings rocked Reed’s centennial weekend celebration on campus, and on April 20, 2012 Reed will host the largest event in Gray Fund history, a birthday party at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in downtown Portland. The student body will be bussed downtown to take part in this amazing night of music and comedy–not to be missed!

From Santi Alston and the multicultural resource center:

The 2011–12 Reed College Peer Mentor Program (PMP) supports 45 Reed students by providing academic skills workshops and community-building events throughout the year. Two student coordinators facilitate the program with assistance from the program coordinator at the multicultural resource center (MRC). This year, 21 new students and 24 returning student mentors are participating in the program. PMP is open to all Reed students and focuses on providing support to first-generation students and students from underrepresented communities.

During orientation week in August, PMP students attended an off-campus retreat in northeast Portland that brought together new and returning students, faculty, academic support services, career services, and the MRC staff for a day of workshops, activities, and reflection on what it means to both join and flourish in the Reed community.

This semester, the PMP has collaborated with academic support services and international student services to offer an “Understanding Humanities” skills workshop. In addition, the program has hosted two dinners, and we have plans for a community- service project and group outing to explore Portland’s distinctive neighborhoods. These activities provide both new and returning students the opportunity to establish friendships, find out about campus and community resources, and help identify one-on-one mentoring matches for the academic year.

From Julie Maxfield in academic support:

Academic support provides a rich variety of resources to help students get the most out of the Reed curriculum and to develop the skills needed to succeed in a rigorous intellectual environment. We provide opportunities for students to explore their learning process and to collaborate with others in the pursuit of scholarship, critical thinking, and creativity. To this end, drop-in tutoring by Reed students of advanced standing is available for biology, chemistry, physics, economics, mathematics, writing, and the modern languages. Peer tutors also work individually with students for up to an hour per week to reinforce concepts and skills for many introductory and mid-level classes. In addition to our peer tutoring program, academic support offers workshops and individual coaching sessions for students looking to improve their time management, organization, note taking, class discussion, problem solving, reading, and writing skills. These free services are available to students at any point in their academic career. See our academic support webpage.

From Fawn Livingston-Gray ’95 in Students for Education, Empowerment, and Direct Service (SEEDS)   

As we do each year, SEEDS again helped introduce a new crop of Reedies to Portland during our three-day immersion service program during orientation, serving more than 15 local non-profits. This year, 38 Reed students helped Franklin High School prepare for the new year, dug a ditch at a new home for a low-income family with Habitat for Humanity, restored vital frog habitat at nearby Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, and served food to hundreds of folks experiencing homelessness through Potluck in the Park, among many other projects. The program helped students connect to each other, learn more about how Portland addresses these important social issues, and inspired them to continue their involvement while at Reed.

As many of you know, SEEDS’ main programs during the school year are our student-created and student-led partnerships, which are off and running this year. We had a record level of interest in our teaching English as a second language partnership with Voz Workers Rights Project, with 23 Reedies beginning in October to volunteer as English language teachers and tutors. We are also excited about a new partnership with Reed’s physical education department, our Cycling to Service class, where students bicycle to a local non-profit, the Community Cycling Center, and then spend two hours volunteering on its children's holiday bicycle program. Our other mentoring and tutoring partnerships are starting soon, and there are many more volunteer and off-campus Federal Work-Study internships available through our office. We encourage students to check the SEEDS website for more information.

Another great way for students to connect to volunteer and job opportunities was the SEEDS and career services' nonprofit expo on October 5, when more than 50 different organizations visited campus. Opportunities coming later this year include our alternative spring break service program to New Orleans, the 10-college collaborative Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and information sessions about the McGill-Lawrence Internship and Davis Projects for Peace summer internship programs, all of which begin with applications and signups this semester. The McGill-Lawrence and Davis internship awards, both sponsored by SEEDS and career services, provide funds for Reed students to create a summer internship in the non-profit or public sector, and, in the case of the Davis Award, offer $10,000 to create a project for peace. We at SEEDS know that Reedies have a great deal to contribute to the community, and we also hear from our students about how much they get out of their volunteer experiences connecting to the Reed community, learning about social issues and themselves, and getting to use their physical, emotional, and intellectual skills in a way connected to, but different from, their classroom experience. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if your Reedie has a question about service opportunities.

From Dana Bays in international student services:

International student services (ISS) kicked off the semester by welcoming 25 degree-seeking international students, 8 exchange students, and 8 language scholars from more than 23 countries to our campus. We’re excited about the unique perspectives, experiences, and cultures our international students bring to campus and are thrilled to welcome them to the Reed community.

This fall, ISS will continue our Global Spotlight program, in which international students develop a series of programs that highlight the cultures and traditions of one country or region of the world. We look forward to learning more from our students from Pakistan and England this semester. International students will also get off-campus and venture into the city of Portland through Discover PDX, experiencing everything from an American high school football game to a hiking trip in Forest Park. InterConnect, our peer mentoring programming, and our Host Family Program, will offer off campus engagement and social and cultural support for international Reedies.

ISS will also continue to provide opportunities for our students to engage in academic support workshops and career-development sessions throughout the semester. ISS staff looks forward to helping all international Reedies thrive this fall!

From Ron Albertson in career services:

Welcome and welcome back, Reed parents! For a special opportunity in collaboration with the parent council, please see the postscript below these notes.

Career services is here to help your Reedie in a multitude of ways. Please encourage your student to come by our office in Greywood to learn about the many services and resources that we offer. One of the key messages that we deliver every day to students is that early planning is key. It gives them time to deepen their experience, strengthen the skills and attributes so important in a global economy, build their resume, and prepare them for meaningful engagement with the world of work beyond Reed.

For first-year students, we strive to support them in their transition into Reed. Early activities with our office can include a meeting with a counselor who will guide them through the initial steps in career-development activities, including resume preparation and online career-assessment tests to gain understanding about self and future options. Our programming offers opportunities throughout the year for your Reedie to build skills and to meet others whose stories and connections may be useful to them.

One of the most important ways to build career competencies and become "occupationally literate" is through internships. Many of the choice internships for fall and summer have deadlines coming up quickly. An internship is more than just a way for your Reedie to earn some cash; it is a meaningful work experience that complements academic studies, prepares students for the opportunities and challenges of professional life, and deepens their understanding of personal strengths and interests.

We support students' transitions throughout their time here and beyond Reed: internships, entry-level work, graduate or professional school, or an interim of service or travel. Students who start planning early are in the best position to seize competitive opportunities. Our "early and often" mantra resonates through our messaging to students.

The career services website is a rich resource for your student. Stop for a visit to our parents webpage where you can download Four Years to Launch, a year-by-year guide your student can use to develop career competencies. We look forward to working with your son or daughter during his or her tenure at Reed College.

It's been a busy fall with visits by employers and graduate schools, networking events, preparation sessions for pre-professional programs, and other career services events. To view some of the career-related opportunities by month, both those that have occurred and those that are planned for later this fall, visit the career services calendar. Note especially the career networking event during Parent & Family Weekend:

Parent & Family Weekend Schmooze Event
4:30–6 p.m., Thursday, November 4
Kaul Auditorium and Gray Lounge
RSVP with profile not later than Thursday, October 27, 2 p.m. PST

If you know of any good opportunities for Reed students, please let career services know so we can get the word out (see below for a special challenge). For more information on how you can join our efforts, contact Ron Albertson, director, at or 503/517-7421, or visit us online.

Special opportunity: The Parent Council, in coordination with career services, challenges all of you to identify and post internship and entry-level job opportunities. If you, your place of employment, or your professional or volunteer affiliations provide internships or recruit college students for entry-level career positions, please post them directly by linking to the site below. Make sure to indicate your Reed affiliation when prompted by the online form, and let us know in the "tell us more" comment field if you are willing to take preapplication inquiries to advise Reed students about the organization and hiring process. Contact Ron Albertson, director of career services, with questions via email at Here's the link to the online form: POST A JOB OR INTERNSHIP HERE

Many thanks for helping us in our work toward this vision: Students and alumni who know their interests and values, who shine in the use of what they have learned, and who engage with and thrive in the global marketplace through meaningful work.

Sexual assault update

Thanks to a great deal of hard work and collaboration, we have come a long way in a short period of time. Please refer to the all-new web-based resources.

We have been working closely with community partners in the District Attorney’s office and the Portland Police Bureau, as well as local clinicians, legal experts, and colleagues in colleges and universities, building a network of concerned partners to combine resources and develop standards of practice.

This summer we created a new position in student services, the assistant dean of sexual assault prevention and response. The search is ongoing, and candidates came to campus in late September. We look forward to introducing you to the new member of our team in the next newsletter.

Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) update

Education/Prevention/Health Promotion
Reed’s primary focus in terms of AOD is preventive. Through education and health promotion, we strive to minimize student misuse and abuse of AOD and the deleterious effects that can result therefrom. Reed’s annual first-year student orientation includes an obligatory session on AOD education. We have sought to strike a balance between admonition and edification, avoiding paternalistic preaching in favor of an appeal to students’ curiosity and their thirst for information. The presentation varies year-to-year, but always includes an educational element based on the latest science regarding the effects of AOD on learning, memory formation, and social interactions. This year, we enhanced the content focused on the nexus of AOD misuse and sexual assault. In addition, we inform students about the college’s three-pronged approach to AOD, which includes education/prevention/health promotion, therapeutic support, and enforcement.

Clinical staff members in Reed’s Health & Counseling Center (HCC) have training in AOD assessment and treatment, and several staff members have subspecialty expertise in AOD. One such clinician has focused a great deal on outreach, facilitating discussions in the residence halls with resident directors (RDs), house advisers (HAs), and students. In addition, as we did last year, three staff members have visited each residential area group early in the fall semester to discuss AOD at Reed: Gary Granger (community safety director), Bruce Smith (associate dean of student and campus life), and Mike Brody (vice president/dean of students).
In an effort to fully engage student leadership, the vice president/dean of students (VP/DoS) employed an Honor Council representative over the summer to enhance the Honor Council’s role in linking the Honor Principle to individual accountability, especially as it pertains to AOD. Other student initiatives include the Peer Health Advocate (PHA) program and the Night Owls.

Broadly speaking, the role of PHAs is to share information regarding health and wellness with their student colleagues. Areas of focus include stress management, nutrition, exercise/physical activity, body image, mental health, and sexual health. In the coming year, AOD will be a primary focus, with ongoing collaboration between PHAs, HCC staff, and Kris Anderson, Reed psychology professor and nationally recognized expert in college AOD issues.

In an effort to make good use of peer support, we recently created the Night Owl program. A paramedic (Reed alumnus) trained the Night Owls, paying particular attention to helping them recognize signs of potentially dangerous intoxication. Community safety staff trained the Night Owls in the use of proper procedures when calling for help. Having completed this training, Night Owls have begun to patrol the campus during large social events when substances are likely to be in use, offering assistance when they become aware of potential problems. This program has been very well received by students thus far.

Finally, we continue to see that our work with health and wellness, the Gray Fund, and other activities focused on adaptive, substance-free stress management pay meaningful dividends in the prevention of AOD.

Therapeutic Support
Based on our understanding that many AOD problems derive from unhealthy choices and behaviors, Reed devotes significant resources to therapeutic support. The past year, Kate Smith, a clinician with considerable experience in AOD treatment and our HCC director, has joined leaders in health care, law enforcement, government, and education at local and national conferences focused on developing best practices in AOD prevention and response. Kate provides continuing education for the HCC clinical staff on an ongoing basis.

The HCC did a great deal of work over the summer to substantially improve and enhance AOD and wellness-related web-based resources. In addition, the HCC has collaborated with Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) in bringing speakers to campus to address harm reduction as well as the effects of alcohol use on memory. The HCC’s various collaborations have resulted in greater availability of information about community-based resources for AOD treatment services that are not available directly through the HCC. This year the HCC is partnering with SSDP to bring training in the recognition of alcohol poisoning (similar to the Night Owl training) to the student body at large.

In the coming year, HCC staff will devote additional resources to responding to students whose AOD violations result in mandated assessments, either through disciplinary follow-up and/or medical amnesty.

Medical amnesty represents a new and important element of Reed College’s strategy for keeping Reed students safe. In an effort to encourage students to seek help for themselves and for friends in acute need of medical or other therapeutic attention due to AOD abuse, many institutions of higher education have adopted medical amnesty policies, excusing such students from some disciplinary consequences of AOD use. The VP/DoS and HCC director have worked for more than a year with various students who have demonstrated an informed interest in this matter, including SSDP, and have consulted the nation’s leading experts on amnesty policies in order to draft medical amnesty guidelines for Reed. We implemented these guidelines for fall 2011 and will evaluate the amnesty program throughout the 2011–12 academic year.

Like education, prevention, health promotion, and therapeutic support, consistent enforcement is central to Reed’s AOD plan. With the use of PHAs, Night Owls, and medical amnesty, we have set the stage for students to act honorably by preventing and responding to AOD misuse and abuse on campus.

The existing Reed College Drug and Alcohol Policy and the Health and Wellness Plan Relating to Alcohol and Other Drug Use at Reed (Implementation Plan) describe a process for evaluating the relative seriousness of an AOD violation. The AOD Response Plan seeks to further clarify the ways in which Reed’s Honor process serves as the primary mechanism for addressing AOD violations. The Honor process allows for addressing AOD violations with graduated levels of response that focus whenever appropriate on mediation and restorative justice, as well as judicial action and/or sanctions.

Of course, along with our ongoing commitment to the Honor Principle, we continue to thoughtfully and consistently enforce local, state and federal drug and alcohol laws and Reed’s Drug and Alcohol Policy. Over the past academic year we have seen a significant increase in documented violations of said policy. There is no compelling reason to believe that there has been a significant increase in AOD use or abuse, so we are left to surmise that our current enforcement practices are more effective in identifying and documenting AOD violations than were previous ones. Community safety and the VP/DoS office have streamlined documentation and response processes, assigned a hierarchy for staff involvement, and more evenly distributed the burden of one-to-one meetings with students who have been cited for violating the Drug and Alcohol Policy. These modifications should result in fewer delays between citation and follow up, and an overall improvement in the integrity of internal systems.

As a key component of their effort to keep the campus safe, community safety staff members have continued in their efforts to nurture a healthy and mutually respectful relationship with the student body through outreach events and direct communication. A few examples of these interactions are as follows:

  • Community safety officer (CSO) root-beer float event and Segway rides during orientation
  • New CS team photo posters up in all residence halls and other select locations
  • Quest newspaper doing weekly CSO profiles
  • CSO liaisons for Honor Council, senate, pool hall, and others
  • CS staff working closely with Night Owls

We will continue to employ our current enforcement approach as an integral component of Reed’s aforementioned three-pronged AOD strategy and to work with the entire Reed community to keep campus safe and students healthy.


patMessage from Dean of Faculty

Dear Reed parents:

Hello, my name is Pat McDougal, and I am the new acting dean of faculty. As such I would like to provide a few words of introduction. I come to this position with 21 years of teaching experience at the college; my area of expertise is organic chemistry. I began my academic career at Georgia Tech. After receiving tenure at Tech, I came to realize I wanted my primary career focus to be teaching. Thus, I looked for opportunities at small liberal arts colleges. Having grown up and been educated in the East and Midwest I was less familiar with Reed, but after meeting Reed students during my campus visit, I was hooked. Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience. It’s been a career change that I have never regretted.

I look forward to working closely with all the constituencies of the college as we move through Reed’s centennial year. Throughout the year there will be numerous special events associated with the centennial. For example, during Parent & Family Weekend, November 4 & 5, there will be a showing of “Reed,” a program produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting. I hope you will be able to attend. Finally, as a parent of two daughters who have now finished college, I know firsthand the importance of their college education. Rest assured that as the chief academic officer of the college I will do everything in my power to continue to provide your Reedie with a top-notch academic experience.

Pat McDougal
Acting Dean of Faculty
Howard Vollum Professor of Chemistry



care_boxesReed care boxes

Do you have someone you care about at Reed College? Are you looking for a way to let your Reedie know you’re thinking of him or her? Our care boxes may be just what you want. They are designed with the Reedie in mind, and students love receiving them. Whether there is a birthday to celebrate, a thesis milestone reached, or just a note to say, “Take a break, we’re thinking of you,” our care packages are a unique way to send a message from home. To view our full selection, to see a detailed description of what each box contains, and to place an order, just go to the bookstore webpage and click the “Care Box” link. The boxes are attractively packaged and available for pick up during bookstore hours. We will contact your special person by email and with a notice in the Reed mailbox. A note card with your personal message will be included with each care package. For further information, please contact Jules Wright at or 503/777-7757.


Financial Aid Update

Keep an eye on the financial aid webpage in the coming months for changes to the financial aid process for 2012–13.

Due to new federal regulations, the financial aid office’s ability to correct your processed FAFSA will be limited. In most cases, families will be required to use the IRS data-retrieval process to update the FAFSA after they have submitted the tax return to the IRS. In some cases (such as married parents who file separately or recently separated or divorced parents), the financial aid office may require parents to provide an IRS tax transcript. This will be in addition to the IDOC packet required of all applicants for institutional funding.

The application cycle begins on January 1, 2012, and the deadline for priority consideration ends on May 1, 2012. Don’t miss this four-month opportunity to apply for institutional and federal funding!


dormParent & Family Weekend Reminder

Please join us for Parent & Family Weekend on November 4 & 5. Activities begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday and conclude Saturday afternoon. Parents, grandparents, and siblings are invited to attend. Whether you are coming to campus for the first time or the fifth, this is a wonderful opportunity for families to meet members of the college community and learn more about what students experience at Reed. The schedule is designed with something for everyone, from attending classes and touring the campus to conversations with the president, faculty, and staff. Register online.


Note from the Parent Council Chair

Dear fellow parent:

As chair of Reed’s Parent Council, I am delighted to welcome you to the fall semester of 2011.

As President Colin Diver said at convocation, our children have chosen a school that is “distinctive for the highest purpose imaginable—to liberate ourselves, and the world, from the curse of ignorance.” We as parents are lucky enough to share in this lofty purpose and support our children along the way as they are challenged and as they grow personally and intellectually.

When our children begin their first year at Reed, we are invited during orientation to participate in a Hum 110-style conference that mirrors the active study and debate in which they are immersed. The opportunities to share in our children’s Reed experience extend beyond orientation: Parent & Family Weekend (November 4 & 5) is a wonderful time to meet President Colin Diver, faculty members, and fellow parents, and of course visit with your child. You can view the schedule of events online.

I look forward to seeing you at Parent & Family Weekend and hearing firsthand about how you’ve shared in the Reed experience with your child.

Hope to meet you then.


Joe Sellers
Parent of Danny ’13


Save the Date for Commencement

Reed's 98th annual commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 14, 2012 on the front lawn of campus. Weekend events include optional tours on Saturday and Sunday, and a commencement-eve celebration on Sunday evening. A complete schedule will be available online in February. Please join us in celebrating the class of 2012!


Extra links:

opb_docParents, do you tweet? If so, follow us on Twitter at reed_parents.

Contact information for Reed staff

The Reed academic calendar

Schedule of parent events on campus

Make a gift or learn more about the Parent Fund

Learn more about Reed's centennial year



Help us keep in touch

duo_oweekThank you for allowing us to reach you via email, our most immediate means to share news and information. Your email address will be used only for communications to you from Reed. To continue to receive parent communication, keep us up to date on your current contact information, or to let us know of any additional person to receive parent mailings, please go to the parents website.

Questions? Please contact Alumni & Parent Relations at 503/777-7589 or


Unsubscribe option: If you do not wish to receive any future parent electronic communication, send an email to and give your name and email address with the word "unsubscribe" clearly in the subject line. Please note that if you unsubscribe from this enewsletter, you will no longer receive any mass email communications from the college.