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reed magazine logoJune 2010

Eliot Circular

Hardy Crew

Reed College Rowers

Photograph by Matt D’Annunzio

It takes a special kind of devotion to attend Reed. Then again, it also takes a special kind of devotion to wake up before sunrise twice a week and row furiously up and down the chilly Willamette River in all varieties of inclement weather. This year, a coed team of intrepid students, led by coach Dave Constant ’09, have proved themselves in both categories. The resurrected Reed College Rowers, the college’s first official team in over three decades, took to the water last fall and have been honing their skills ever since. With one race under their belts (their four-person boat took second place in Portland’s fall regatta), the team—half of whom had never lifted an oar prior to joining—is out every week preparing for their second race this spring.

They join an illustrious tradition of Reed rowers, among them Mary Elizabeth Russell Bauer ’43, who earned the prestigious distinction in 1941 of being the first female coxswain in collegiate rowing.

Seven decades after Mary’s accomplishment, Dave rallies his troops at 6:30 a.m. before sending them onto the steely grey water, where he spends two hours bellowing encouragement and pointers through a plastic bullhorn. The crew, numb fingers resolutely gripping their oars, respond with sardonic enthusiasm, adjusting strokes and postures amid jokes about dodging the unsavory debris washed into the river by heavy spring rain. “It’s about consistency and rhythm,” explains history major Aaron Mendelson ’10. “I was used to endurance sports in high school—just going all out until the finish line, but if you rush through rowing you’re missing the point.”

In spite of the predawn reveille and freezing wind, Aaron and the team ship oars and haul their vessels onto the dock in high spirits, ready to be back on campus in time for 9 a.m. lectures—but only after a nice, hot shower.

—Lucy Bellwood ’12

Senior Nabs Fulbright

Psychology major Marjorie Nicholson ’10 has won a Fulbright Fellowship to pursue neurological research at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

Marjorie Nicholson

Marjorie will investigate the neurological circuitry of alcohol addiction—specifically the role of the hormone ghrelin in increasing the pleasurable effects of alcohol. She will conduct her research in the laboratory of physiologist Dr. Suzanne Dickson at the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at Gothenburg.

Marjorie was thrilled to learn she had been awarded the scholarship. “I am looking forward to diving into this awesome adventure,” she told us. “I would like to thank everyone in the Reed community for their help, love, and support. I could not have done it without them.”

Describing Marjorie’s proposal, Dr. Dickson wrote: “The ideas are rather advanced for such a young researcher and I was much impressed.”

The Fulbright program provides students with the chance to exchange values, knowledge, and ideas with citizens and institutions abroad. It was founded under legislation drawn up by the late Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946, and is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Today, the Fulbright program operates in more than 150 countries and its scholarships are among the most highly coveted academic awards worldwide.

Marjorie, who is an accomplished cellist, also looks forward to playing classical music during her stay in Gothenburg.

—Anna Mann

Stauder to Be Dean of Faculty

Ellen Keck Stauder, the David Eddings Professor of English and Humanities, has been appointed by President Colin Diver to serve as Reed’s next dean of the faculty, starting in June.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this position,” says Professor Stauder, “and very much look forward to working with the faculty and the entire community, especially as we celebrate Reed’s centennial and begin a new chapter in the college’s history.”


Professor Ellen Keck Stauder

Stauder did not grow up dreaming of being a college dean. An accomplished clarinetist, she originally intended to become a professional musician, but an accident in college involving her wrist made playing more difficult. Switching to music history, she was intrigued by the different ways in which performers and historians viewed the same piece of music, and then by bigger questions such as the relationship between music and other forms of artistic and intellectual expression. “I sort of backed into academia,” she says.

Stauder earned a BM at the Eastman School of Music, an MA in English at the College of St. Rose, and a PhD in the history of culture at the University of Chicago. She has been teaching at Reed since 1983. She served as associate provost from 1989–93 and as interim dean of the faculty in 2001–02.

Stauder’s interests include the poetry of Ezra Pound, modernism, lyric poetry, the relationship between poetry and the other arts, and prosody—the study of rhythm, intonation, and stress. She has recently completed a book manuscript, Form Cut into Time: The Poetics of Rhythm in the Poetry of Ezra Pound, and begun working on a new project involving the ethics of listening and the role of beauty in poetry from Keats to Levertov. In 2000, she created an interactive tutorial that helps students understand the way rhythm structures temporal experience in poetry (give it a whirl at

“There are some obvious things that people point to when we talk about what makes Reed distinctive,” she says. “The humanities, the junior qual, the senior thesis. And, of course, overall there is a level of seriousness about the academic program—our mission is focused on the intellectual experience. But I think what makes Reed special are the people who are committed to that mission, and who bring their own vision and dedication to it.”

Among the many issues that Stauder will face is the role that scholarship should play in the evaluation of faculty members. “Reed has never valued publication for its own sake,” Stauder says—but there is an argument to be made about the value of scholarship in broadening a professor’s knowledge of the field.

“Among the current faculty there is really no one who is as well prepared to step into the shoes so admirably filled by Peter Steinberger over the past 13 years,” says President Diver. The news of her appointment triggered enthusiastic and sustained applause at the faculty meeting when it was announced.

Stauder will succeed Peter Steinberger, the Robert H. & Blanche Day Ellis Professor of Political Science and Humanities, who has served as dean of the faculty since 1997, except in 2001-02, when he served as acting president of the college. Professor Steinberger will take a yearlong sabbatical in Paris to conduct some research and will return to full-time teaching in the fall of 2011.

—Anna Mann

reed magazine logoJune 2010