To start the race, of course!
For most Americans, July 4th is a time for cookouts, family, and fireworks. But here in Atlanta, Independence Day is also about challenging the world to the largest 10K on the planet. And this year, there were plenty of Petrels in the Peachtree Road Race—from students, to staff, to alumni.
Michelle Hall, OU’s Vice President for Campus Life, was among the Oglethorpe staff who ran, as well as Admission Counselor Jeremy Sale and Director of Finance/Controller Amy Rentenbach.
“This was my fourth race that my wife and I ran together,” said Jeremy. “I love all the spectators on the course and this year the Atlanta Track Club outdid itself with the number of entertainers on the course as well… It’s great that so many from the OU community run the Peachtree, it shows our commitment to Atlanta and being healthy.”
Of the Petrels that ran, rising senior Beth Cleary certainly had a lot to be proud of. She has run the Peachtree eight times, finishing her first race at the age of 11. Beth has improved upon her time ever since, clocking a respectable 44:18 this year—a major jump from her 70-minute race time back in 6th grade.
“I LOVE the Peachtree! My goal time is always faster than the last time. [This year,] once the final results came in, I found out that I missed the Top 1000 by a little bit ….[but] I want that Top 1000 mug. So next year, it’s gonna happen.”
All competitiveness aside, Beth reveals why the race keeps calling her back year after year.
“I love road races,” said Beth, who is interning with the Atlanta Track Club, the nonprofit that organizes the Peachtree each year. “I consider myself a pretty serious runner, but I consider Peachtree more of an event and an experience than an honest to goodness race. It’s a reminder of the community that running can provide…The atmosphere is fantastic and I feel as though I’m surrounded by hundreds of my best friends.”
This summer, Elizabeth Lanier ’12 and Kyle Brumley ’12 have had to wear many hats—literally. As Georgia Shakespeare interns, they have been acting in the company’s summer productions, performing in The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Jungle Book, all in repertory through late July. Both Kyle and Elizabeth are the first Georgia Shakespeare Scholars to work as interns during the summer season, and though they may be trainees, their schedules alone suggest that their jobs are the real thing.
“Jungle Book is a blast,” exclaims Elizabeth, who hopes to work as an actor, choreographer, and a costume designer after graduation. “During the rehearsal period we worked 14-hour days…now that [most] shows are in repertory, we typically do Jungle Book in the morning and then either The Tempest or Antony & Cleopatra at night, plus three shows on Saturday and two on Sunday. During the day we have been having understudy rehearsals which is another great opportunity for character development. The internship is 200 percent worth it!”
But, Elizabeth and Kyle aren’t the only Petrels making their marks in the world of theatre. Within the past year, several OU theatre students have been awarded exciting professional opportunities.
- Alexandria Ducksworth, a 2011 graduate, was a member of the Apprentice Company at Horizon Theatre in Atlanta and her play, Tell-Tale Board, was produced in a festival of plays by young playwrights.
- Weston Manders ’13 and Kyle Brumley ’12 completed prestigious internships at the Alliance Theatre Company in Atlanta.
- 2011 graduate Britton Buttrill became an Artistic Associate for Pinch ’n’ Ouch Theatre. Check out their edgy current season: www.pnotheatre.org
- Jessica DeMaria ’11, was hired as the Education Coordinator for Horizon Theatre. She also directed The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) at North Fulton Drama Club. (Ben Silver ’13 performed in this production.) She also works as an Instructor at The Center for Puppetry Arts.
- Ben Silver ’13 is teaching improv at Camp Barney this summer.
Several students worked with Georgia Shakespeare on various projects, or are a part of GS’s 2011 Summer Season:
- Danielle Hitchcock ’13 was production manager for the 2011 High School Acting Competition and currently is a Box Office Assistant.
- Seth Langer ’13 is the Company Manager Assistant and Assistant Stage Manager for The Jungle Book.
- Ryan Boland ’14 is a Front of House Assistant and Box Office Assistant.
- Justin Munson ’14 is a Front of House Assistant.
- Racheal Sharp ’13 is House Manager and Box Office Assistant.
- Chris Richardson ’14 is a Directing Assistant for The Jungle Book.
Congratulations to these thespian Petrels!
To some, Allen Zow ’14 is the nice guy who rings you up in the OU bookstore. But, in about 10 years, he’ll be Doctor Zow to everyone.
At least that’s the plan, according to Allen, who has had his sights set on becoming a neurosurgeon since the age of seven. Allen, an economics major, was first inspired to pursue the profession after reading Gifted Hands, an autobiography about the life of Ben Carson, one of the most well-known neurosurgeons in the world. Carson, an African-American doctor who battled racism, learning difficulties, and a troubled inner-city upbringing, eventually became the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.
“Although I was young, reading the book really inspired me. Dr. Carson had so many obstacles in his way and so many hurdles to climb…so I thought, if he could do it, so can I!”
With that, Allen set himself up to pursue one of medicine’s most rigorous and consuming fields—by researching the path to becoming a doctor and connecting with medical professionals in his hometown of Savannah, GA. At age 12, he seized the opportunity to shadow a robotics surgeon. And, when he was 16, after a long interview process, Allen began working in the operating room at St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital in Savannah—a job that he held throughout high school and continued during his summers at home from college. He works as an ancillary services technician, and has been given increased responsiblity thoughout the years. His primary duties are to keep the operating room sanitized and clear of clutter during a procedure, retrieve blood from the blood bank, maintain the instruments, and shadow the doctors. Allen is quick to point out that he’s not a nurse, but his job is just as necessary for the operation to run smoothly.
“I am often on-call through the night,” said Allen. In high school, I once worked an 18-19 hour shift because we were needed at 2 o’clock in the morning. It’s a very hands-on job, and I’ve learned so much from actually being in the operating room and seeing what the doctors are doing. They will even explain what they’re doing and why…I think it’s the best way to learn whether it’s something you really want to do or not, and it’s certainly reinforced my goals.”
So, why the undergraduate major in economics?
“I’ve talked to a number of doctors who’ve told me that they wish they would have learned the business side of it more, so that they can better understand their finances,” said Allen, who wants to volunteer his medical skills internationally in the Doctors Without Borders program. “I don’t think my degree will be a problem…I’ve even met one doctor who was an Art major in college. So what I really want to do is be familiar with the whole spectrum of my profession, not only the medical side but also the business side. But, above all, my passion is helping people.”
High schooler Sara Endrias is the picture of artistic accomplishment. After receiving a scholarship from the OU Museum of Art to attend one of its summer photography programs, Sara went on to earn accolades for her work at both the local and regional Boys & Girls Clubs of America Imagemakers Photography Competition. And now, she’s progressing to the national competition.
While at Oglethorpe’s program, Sara learned alternative process photography, and spent the summer exploring different types of imaging, including photograms, the kind of photograph she entered in the contest. Her creation, titled “Flaming Pitcher of Destiny,” was announced as the Southeast Regional winner in the 16-18-year-old Alternative Process category.
Sara is a 4-year member of the Brookhaven Boys & Girls Club, one of Oglethorpe’s neighbors. Because of her excellent work, Sara will receive a certificate of merit from the president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. If selected as a national winner, her photograph will be displayed in the Imagemakers National Photography Contest exhibit and she’ll receive a Boys & Girls Clubs of America award.
Do you know of another young photographer who might want to try out the OU Museum of Art’s photography class? The next one starts soon — on June 27th! Find out how to register here.
Never mind that school’s out. With summer in full swing, Oglethorpe’s historic baseball field is still seeing some action with its newest “home” baseball team, the Brookhaven Bucks. The Bucks are one of nine teams in the Sunbelt League, a collegiate summer league based in metro Atlanta that gives college players an opportunity to sharpen their baseball skills during the off-season.
Now in its fourth week of play, the Brookhaven Bucks are 6-3, showcasing some of the region’s best baseball talent, including Oglethorpe’s very own Jeff Pope ’13. As the only summer league team inside the perimeter, the Brookhaven Bucks are becoming increasingly popular in and around Brookhaven.
The Bucks’ next home game is Thursday night, June 23 at 7:15 p.m. at Oglethorpe’s Anderson Field, where they’ll take on the Rockdale Roadrunners.
On Monday, June 20, Oglethorpe will host Oscar Hijuelos, the first Latin American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Hijuelos recently completed his memoir titled Thoughts Without Cigarettes and will share that story of his personal quest for identity.
After winning the Pulitzer in 1990 for his second novel, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, Hijuelos began to receive international attention for his vibrant fiction novels depicting Cubano life and culture. He also began to realize how his appearance played a key role in his cultural identity.
“People look at me—blond, fair-skinned, kind of New York in [my] demeanor….they say, ‘How on earth did that happen?” explained Hijuelos in a C-Span interview. “And I’d have to explain it because a lot of people thought Mambo Kings was my first novel. I found myself over the years explaining just what I was about…people are curious. How is it that you write these books about Cubano culture and upbringing, and other related issues to Latinos…so in a way, Thoughts Without Cigarettes is a response to all those people who have asked me these questions over the years.”
In Thoughts Without Cigarettes, Hijuelos introduces readers to the colorful circumstances of his upbringing. Born in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights to Cuban immigrants in 1951, Cigarettes relates the tale of Hijuelos’ early life, played out against the backdrop of an often prejudiced working-class neighborhood. The story takes on an even richer dimension when his relationship to his family and culture changes forever. During a sojourn in pre-Castro Cuba with his mother, he caught a disease that sent him into a hospital for terminally ill children upon his return. The yearlong stay estranged him from his language and the people he loved. In the book, Hijuelos tells how he overcame this early experience of displacement and how his inter-cultural experiences shaped him into the person he is today.
During this special event, to be hosted in Oglethorpe’s Phoebe Hearst Hall, Hijuelos will read excerpts, discuss, and sign copies of Thoughts Without Cigarettes. The evening is presented by the AJC-Decatur Book Festival,in association with Oglethorpe University and A Capella Books, and will include traditional Latin-style music performed by Cucho Garcia of the local ensemble, San Juan Jam. Guests will also enjoy refreshments provided by Sugarloft, a new Atlanta catering company inspired by Cuban bakeries that fill the palm-lined streets of Miami.
Tickets are available for $40 per person. To reserve tickets, please visit acappellabooks.com or call 404-681-5128. Ticket price includes a signed, first edition copy of the new book and benefits the AJC-Decatur Book Festival.
It turns out that the OU Men’s Golf team members aren’t the only athletes taking their sport to the national stage this year. In July 2011, Louisa Barama ’12 will skate in the U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho, representing Oglethorpe.
A Physics major and a Math minor, Louisa knows that in skating it’s good to know a little something about energy and force—especially when you’re trying to land a double axel, lutz, a Salchow jump, or rotate in a proper camel or layback spin.
“My coaches talk a lot about maintaining angular (rotational) momentum and center of mass/gravity…to me, that’s good stuff!”
Not surprisingly, figure skating is a sport that demands an exorbitant amount of time and focus; and Louisa’s probably one of the best candidates for the job. Since taking to the ice skating rink 10 years ago, the aspiring atmosphere physicist has become adept at managing her time and resources throughout the year. When school is in, she spends several hours a week at the rink, juggling her studies while finishing up her season, which runs through the fall semester. During the summer, with no classes, she visits the rink twice a day and gets in at least one gym session during the day. She also works with a skating coach and a choreographer to help her perfect her routines. At most figure skating competitions, athletes perform both a short and long program, requiring Louisa to work on her endurance and master her moves with precision and with textbook form.
“Most of it is repetition and muscle memory,” adds Louisa. “Once you get [a move] down, you have to do it over and over again until it is second nature to your body….There’s a lot of falling down and getting up.”
That dedication has landed Louisa a wall full of medals and a string of honors, including an impressive 12th place finish at this year’s U.S. South Atlantic Regional Championships. Her performance ranked her the number one junior division skater from Georgia and the number two skater from Georgia overall. Her score of 81.66 was her highest ever, and motivates her to improve the details of her performance, one that could take her around the world. An internationally-qualifying athlete should have at least 90 points to compete at the international level.
“I’m certainly going to take my education further….so I am definitely going to graduate school. But I also want to take [skating] as far as I can go with it. Because I was born in Denmark, I have citizenship there. I’ve always wanted to represent Denmark in national competition, and I’m not that far away.”
For now, though, Louisa looks forward to lacing up her skates and donning her Oglethorpe gear for the collegiate championship, which takes place July 21-24.
“I feel honored and excited to be representing Oglethorpe for the first time, doing something I love. I hope to deliver two solid, clean programs and an overall good performance.”
At Oglethorpe’s annual PASSPORT event last week, more than 150 incoming freshmen got their first taste of college life during the day-long orientation program. The newbies and their parents swarmed campus as they met up with their professors, coaches, and classmates for their first official welcome to Oglethorpe. A second PASSPORT will be held in July for the remaining freshmen class.
Their activities included a campus-wide scavenger hunt, a barbeque lunch, and spending some time with their new advisors. Scroll down to check out pics from the event!
It’s official—Oglethorpe University and seven other schools in the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) decided yesterday to leave the conference, effective July 1, 2012, and form a new athletic conference. While OU and other current SCAC schools will honor their scheduled commitments for next season, the future unnamed conference will be ready for play at the start of the 2012-2013 season. Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletic director, will serve as interim commissioner of the conference.
News spread like wildfire Tuesday afternoon as President Larry Schall informed Oglethorpe community about the decision. As explained in a press release yesterday, “the new conference is being formed to foster athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the U.S. The geographic focus will result in reduced travel time and costs, while still allowing for a strong conference of like-minded institutions, all of which integrate competitive athletics into the whole of the student’s educational experience.”
“This is an exciting new chapter in Oglethorpe athletics, which promises to benefit both our university and our student athletes,” said Dr. Schall.
Oglethorpe’s new conference looks very similar to the SCAC sans the five colleges out west: Southwestern College, Austin College, Colorado College, Trinity, and University of Dallas. The Stormy Petrels will continue to compete against the rest of our current rivals, and we’ll add one more school into the mix—Rome, Georgia’s Berry College. Read more about it on the OU athletics website www.gopetrels.com.
What do you think of the future conference line-up?