Tamara Nash, director of OU’s Center for Civic Engagement, shares a personal, historic moment.
I had the pleasure and privilege of traveling to Washington, D.C. this past weekend for the opening of the MLK Memorial.
I spent Saturday morning at the memorial, where despite periods of rain due to Hurricane Irene, and the postponement of the official dedication scheduled for August 28, hundreds gathered all day until closing at 10:00 pm. (As you can see, I rocked the OU colors and “OUr” umbrella.)
Facing the Tidal Basin opposite the Jefferson Memorial and with the Washington Monument at its left, it is a wonderful tribute to the iconic civil rights leader who fought and died working on behalf of all of us.
Oglethorpe’s Buckhead neighbor, the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, recently received a $12,500 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help eliminate non-native plant species that have settled in the 25-acre preserve. The Five Star Restoration grant, provided in part by Georgia Power, is one of the most notable wetland conservation grants in the country, and OU biology professor Dr. Charles Baube and his students were not only instrumental in securing it, but will play a large part in seeing the project through.
To secure the grant, Dr. Baube and Blue Heron used data that Oglethorpe biology students collected to understand the problem of invasive species and to write the proposal. Now Blue Heron and Oglethorpe University will work together to tackle the project.
As unbelievable as it sounds, some 100 years ago, there was no such thing as kudzu or Chinese privet in the state of Georgia. Flash forward a century-plus later, and kudzu is the unofficial state flora—growing up to a foot a day and wrapping its roots around seemingly every thing in its path. But according to Dr. Baube, this species— along with several others—have no natural enemies in the area to limit their reproduction, and are a threat to biodiversity and the survival of domestic plants and animals in the area. Read More→
According to The Princeton Review, Oglethorpe is one of the best colleges in the southeast and in the country. The home of the Stormy Petrel was included in the newest edition of Princeton Review’s annual “Best Colleges” book – The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition, available now in bookstores, as among the best colleges in the nation and the “Best Southeastern Colleges.”
In addition to naming the best 376 colleges, the book includes 62 categories of “top 20″ nationwide ranking lists— the results of 122,000 students’ reports about their institution through surveys. This year, Oglethorpe was named one of the top 20 schools on the “Class Discussions Are Encouraged” list. Coming in at number 15, Oglethorpe’s students revealed that OU is where thinkers and communicators thrive .
In Oglethorpe’s profile in the book, students are quoted as saying that “the classroom experience is unsurpassed…you are expected to actively participate in class.” And, “Oglethorpe University offers ‘an exceptional, well-rounded education in a close-knit community,’ with “dedicated professors.’”
The Princeton Review does not rank the colleges academically or in any specific order from 1 to 376. Instead, it reports 62 ranking lists of “top 20″ colleges in various categories. Those lists are entirely based on The Princeton Review’s survey of current students attending the reviewed colleges.
The Princeton Review explains the basis for each ranking list in the book and at www.princetonreview.com/college/college-rankings.aspx
Nine Oglethorpe University psychology students and recent graduates presented their research at the 2011 annual meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) in Jacksonville, Fla. SEPA is one of the largest psychology associations in the U.S. and is the Southeastern regional branch of the American Psychological Association.
All submissions to this conference represent high caliber original research and were peer reviewed by experts in the field. As most applicants are professors and graduate students, this is an impressive accomplishment for our undergraduates and speaks to their high level of ability as well as the quality of research training in OU’s
Department of Psychology.
Notably, Brittany Weiner ’12 won the award for top undergraduate research paper on Minority Issues, titled “Attitudes towards transsexual parenting.” She presented her paper orally as part of a special session for award winners, and received a $250 cash prize on her research. Brittany’s paper also explored transphobia, a form of sexual prejudice directed specifically toward transsexuals. She found that those high in transphobia (more prejudice) believed that a homosexual and a transsexual couple were more emotionally unstable than their counterparts.
“I’m especially interested in social psychology,” said Weiner, a psychology major. “After completing the transsexual parenting study, I immediately [looked] for ways to decrease prejudice toward these minority groups. I am currently in the process of conducting my honors thesis, in which I am trying to reduce prejudice toward gay men.”
Other students who presented their work include:
− Livia Balaban ’12, “The relationship between public self-awareness and trait compliance”
− Alexandra Buonanotte ’10, “The effect of guided and self-guided meditation on mood”
− Ashleigh Grizzle ’10, “Potential limitations of contact: Examining contact’s effect on disability prejudice”
− Rebecca McAlister ’11 and Nicholas Etherington ’10, “Effects of reinforcement on intrinsic motivation”
− Brittany Weiner ’12, Morghan Brandon ’13, Jolinda Powell ’12 and Tiffany Zimniak ’13, “Coping and its relationship to perfectionism and test anxiety.” (This study was selected as one of the best submissions and was showcased on the first night of the conference in a special “SEPA Sampler” session along with other highly rated research projects.)
Presenting at a professional conference is a valuable learning experience and excellent preparation for graduate school.
“The psychology major in general prepares me quite well for grad school,” said Weiner. “The psychology professors are amazingly encouraging and supportive of my research (and everyone else’s as well). Whenever I have an idea, they’re always willing to make time for me to discuss it and help me put it into action.”
The following speech was given by alumna Mandy McDow Flemming ’00 at the Faculty Appreciation Reception on April 16 during the 2011 Alumni Reunion Weekend.
It is a joy and an honor to be with you all today at the Faculty Appreciation Reception, and I am so grateful for the invitation to address specifically the value of the faculty here at Oglethorpe. I speak from my experience, not just as a student of yours, but also as the spouse of a faculty member at a different institution.
What began for you as a long-suffering engagement with a subject near and dear to your hearts and led you through the at-times hellish process that is doctoral work, has led you to this place. Whatever your story or passion was before arriving at this institution, it has now been merged with the stories and passions of your colleagues and students. Faculty, you all have done something remarkable. You have said yes—to this job, this opportunity, this particular culture.
You, respected folks, are the soul of Oglethorpe.
We, as students, will come and go. Our time here is (typically) finite. We come, we memorize the names of the core courses, we go. You bring us in, tend to us, teach us what you love, and then bid us farewell, hoping beyond hope that what has mattered to you will matter a bit to us.
Faculty, you are the soul of this place that we all love because you are the lifeline that flows from generation to generation. You will outlast administrators, presidents, deans and students. So, we count on you to teach others with the same care and respect that you have taught us.
I know now, as the wife of a professor, what you have sacrificed to be here. Read More→
Future curators, academics, and creatives gathered today for the annual Art History Tea, and the chance to review new acquisitions to Oglethorpe’s Philip Weltner Library.
Dozens of Art History and Art students attended this year’s afternoon tea, which honored Oglethorpe’s art majors (especially the senior class) and showcased the library’s newest collection of resources available.
The library has always had a rich and diverse assortment of art volumes, and recently the library staff and the Art Department have worked together to expand that collection even more.
Among the new arrivals is a high-quality, limited edition facsimile of one of Leonardo Da Vinci’s notebooks, featuring manuscripts and drawings of the Italian artist and explanations of his works. The library also procured titles that explore the works of Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo as well as the essential texts of modern architect Louis Kahn.
Ten Oglethorpe students in the sciences recently ventured to Perry, Georgia on a fossil hunting expedition in search of Georgia’s naturally-preserved past. What did they find? Fossils that date back about 20-30 million years, according to Louisa Barama ’12.
Led by Dr. John Cramer, professor of physics, the Society of Physics Students traveled to a limestone quarry two hours south of Atlanta to find and study sand dollar deposits and shark teeth impressions. The most common fossil by far was Periarchus pileussinensis (the Chinese hat sand dollar) but they also found a Chlamys spillmani (a scallop). A bonus was the discovery of a small cave and a seam of very clear to translucent calcite crystals which the students mined.
“There were fossils everywhere, and most of them indicate that all of this area was covered in water before,” said Louisa, a biology major who hopes to pursue geophysics after college. “It was neat to actually experience what we study in class right in your hands.”
Tuesday was a day of intellectual celebration as Oglethorpe hosted a full day of academic presentations at its 2011 Liberal Arts and Sciences Symposium. The annual symposium provides a forum for students and faculty to discuss and learn from a series of student-led presentations in their fields of study. This year, topics ranged from “A Sampling of Current Research in Personality Psychology” to “Media Messages and Effects: An Exploration of Our Contemporary Media Environment” to “Service-Learning in Moscow – HIS 290: Russia’s Social Crisis.”
This year, attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Mr. Donato NDongo Bidyogo, a well-known writer from Equatorial Guinea. Now a resident of Spain, he spoke about the impact of colonialism, the African influence on Spanish language and literature, and the individual “self” in modern writing.
To top off the day-long celebration of student achievement, the afternoon’s annual Honors and Awards Convocation recognized individuals who had excelled during the academic year.
The cast and crew of Oglethorpe’s production of the Broadway musical [title of show] were surprised last weekend when the play’s author popped up in the audience.
Hunter Bell, the author of the play’s original book, introduced himself to the director and the cast after Saturday night’s show. Bell, who happened to be visiting Atlanta from New York City, heard about OU Theatre’s production and decided to check it out. He was reportedly impressed, saying that he thought it was one of the best non-New York performances of the play he had ever seen.
The Obie Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated writer and actor spent time after the show speaking with the student-actors, signing programs, and posing for pictures.