Author: Rick Peterson

What really works? “The Why Axis” author shares insights on solutions to social, business, economic issues

How effective can incentives be in motivating people to change their behavior?

John List in a classroomJohn List, one of the country’s leading e experts on experimental economics and a pioneer in the use of field experiments, examines the things that really work in addressing major social, business and economic issues in a Lawrence University address.

Based on his book of the same name, List presents “The Why Axis: Hidden Motives and the Undiscovered Economics of Everyday Life,” Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Based on research conducted in factories, offices, schools and communities across the country and abroad, where real people live, work, and play, List observed people in their natural environments without their knowledge they were being observed. In his quest for better understanding of what motivates people and why, among the findings he discovered were ways to close the gap between rich and poor students, stop inner city school violence, correctly price products and services and the real reasons why people discriminate.

Book cover of "The Why Axis"Originally from Wisconsin, List is the Kenneth C. Griffin Distinguished Service Professor of Economics 
and chair of the economics department at the University of Chicago. He is a former senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and was twice named a top 50 innovator (2016, 2015) by Non-Profit Times Power & Influence.

List earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from UW-Stevens Point and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wyoming. He’s been recognized by both institutions with Distinguished Alumnus awards.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

John Holiday gives encore recital at the Kennedy Center as Marian Anderson Vocal Award winner

The journey from Rosenberg, Texas to the stage of one of the most famous performance venues in the country has been a “yellow brick road of blessings” according to John Holiday.

The countertenor and first-year assistant professor of voice at Lawrence University from that small, southeast Texas town will find himself in the spotlight of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Thursday, Feb. 15 for an encore recital as the winner of the prestigious Marian Anderson Vocal Award in January 2017.

John HolidayFirst conducted in 2002 to honor the personal and humanitarian achievements of one of the most acclaimed singers of the 20th century, the Marian Anderson Vocal Award celebrates “excellence in performance by recognizing a young American singer who has achieved initial professional success in the area of opera, oratorio, or recital repertory and who exhibits promise for a significant career.”

“You cannot imagine how overwhelmed I was,” Holiday said of winning the award. “In previous years, I eagerly watched, with awe-struck eyes, singers receive the award, hoping and praying that I would one day be able to join their ranks.”

Like a student cramming for finals, Holiday is “fervently preparing” for his recital, which will feature works by Francis Poulenc, Reynaldo Hahn, Margaret Bonds, and others, what he calls “music that I love, in hopes that, even if for a brief moment, I can bring some beauty into the world with my artistry.”

Anne Midgette, chief classical music critic for the Washington Post, has called described Holiday as “an impressive figure on an opera stage. He’s one of the sweetest-voiced countertenors I’ve encountered, with a mellifluous sound supported by clean crisp diction” while the New York Times hailed him as “an exceptional singer with a strong voice, even in its highest range.”

Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence Conservatory of Music, calls the multi-interested Holiday “a perfect fit for Lawrence.”

“At home on the opera stage, a jazz night club, soloing with the Los Angeles Philharmonic or teaching his students at the conservatory, John Holiday is one of the most versatile vocalists around,” said Pertl. “We couldn’t be happier that John decided to join our outstanding voice department.”

Because the recital means so much to him, Holiday admits to some nervousness as the performance draws near.

“I am lucky enough to know that those nerves really mean that I am excited,” said Holiday, who also received a $10,000 prize as the winner of the Anderson vocal award. “Any time that I’m on stage, I cherish each moment, so it’s never just another performance. It’s an opportunity to get to share what I love to do with a room full of beautiful people.

John Holiday smiliing“Marian Anderson opened so many doors for me and countless other African-American artists and allowed us to stand boldly in our art. I hope that, in some small way, I am able to do the same thing she has done for me for this next generation of artists and educators.”

Prior to his recital, Holiday will participate in a short residency at the opera workshop program of Washington’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts where he will lead a masterclass.

“I believe it is important for one to lift others up as they climb up, so I am eagerly looking forward to sharing and spending time with these bright-eyed students,” said Holiday, who joined the Lawrence Conservatory of Music faculty last fall. “When I look out into the audience on February 15th, I look forward to seeing the light in their eyes, and I hope they can can see mine and feel the gratitude for all of the love, support and encouragement throughout the years.”

Two past Marian Anderson Vocal Award winners include mezzo soprano Sasha Cooke (2010), who will perform at Lawrence on Feb. 24 as part of the university’s Artist Series concert program, and tenor Lawrence Brownlee (2006), who sang here as part of the 2015-16 Artists Series.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Shakespeare classic gets gender, time period twist in theatre arts production of “The Tempest”

A William Shakespeare classic gets a gender and time period twist in Lawrence University’s production of “The Tempest.”

Four performances will be staged in Stansbury Theatre Feb. 15-17 with an 8 p.m. show each night and an additional 3 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Feb. 17. Tickets, at $15 for adults, $8 for students/seniors, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

scene from "The Tempest"
The spirit Ariel (Cristina Sada Segovia, center) speaks to Prospero (Caro Granner, far left) while two of Ariel’s spirit followers (Chad Leverson, Johanna Kopecky) look on. Photo by Billy Liu.

Written in 1610-11 and widely believed to be Shakespeare’s final play, “The Tempest” is filled with trickery and magic, romance and revenge.

In this production, director Aram Monisoff, lecturer of theatre arts at Lawrence, set the play in the late 19th-century “Steampunk” era to fully contrast the heavily industrialized noblemen who crash onto the island with the more naturalistic natives. The sorcerer Prospero, the deposed ruler of Milan, is cast as a female sorceress, but with the same name.

“By changing the role of Prospero to a woman, it allows us the opportunity to present ‘The Tempest’ as an exploration of a mother-daughter relationship,” explained Monisoff, a 2008 Lawrence graduate.

The basic storyline of “The Tempest” remains.  Set on a remote island, Prospero uses magic to conjure up a storm, for which the play is named. A ship containing her enemies, Alonso, the king of Naples, and his entourage, struggles to stay afloat during the storm. Prospero’s goal is restore her daughter Miranda to her rightful place by using trickery and manipulation, resulting in the marriage of Miranda and King Alonso’s son, Ferdinand.

Scene from "The Tempest"
The savage slave Caliban (Chris Follina) emerges from his cave. Photo by Billy Liu.

“The character of Prospero, the enigmatic and all-powerful magician, is believed by some to be a representation of Shakespeare himself — as playwright, actor, and producer all rolled into one all-powerful magus,” said Monisoff. “Whether true or not, ‘The Tempest’ dives into the mysteries of life in a timeless and profound way.”

The play, according to Monisoff, “celebrates the awesome curiosity and capacity of the human mind and exposes the fears, anxieties and self-serving impulses that threaten to overwhelm it.”

“Prospero, who has devoted her life to knowing all there is to know about the universe, must fully confront how much she knows about herself and others,” said Monisoff. “Knowledge alone is not enough to heal the wounds caused by her insular thinking and selfishness in her past as ruler of Milan. Prospero’s journey is one of returning to the fold, to society itself and to her own humanity. That which makes us human, as Shakespeare shows us time and time again, is our struggle to reconcile the enormity of our dreams with the exquisite vulnerability of our brief lives.”

Sophomore Caro Granner from Evanston, Ill., plays Prospero, while New York City sophomore Samantha Torres portrays Miranda. Senior Jenny Hanrahan, Johnsburg, Ill., is cast as King Alonso while Appleton native Oscar Brautigam plays the king’s son, Ferdinand.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

Cantala women’s choir showcasing its talents at American Choral Directors Association conference

While it doesn’t come with a trophy, Lawrence University choir director Phillip Swan likens the honor to winning a Grammy, an Oscar or an NCAA national sports title.

For the third time in the past eight years, Lawrence University’s women’s choir — Cantala — under Swan’s direction, will be a featured performer at the American Choral Directors Association’s conference. Since its founding in 2000, Cantala has been selected to perform at five ACDA events, including the 2011 national ACDA conference.

Informal group photo of women's choir Cantala
Under the direction of conductor Phillip Swan, members of Cantala, Lawrence’s women’s choir, is one of only two collegiate choirs invited to perform at the 2018 American Choral Directors Association conference in Chicago.

The 35-member ensemble, one of only two collegiate choirs in the country invited to the combined Central and North Central regional conference, showcases its talent at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16 at the Harris Theater in Chicago. The two ACDA districts represent colleges and universities in 10 states.

“It’s an extreme honor to be invited to perform at an ACDA event,” said Swan, who joined the Lawrence conservatory of music as a choral director in 2002. “These conferences are attended by the peers in our profession, fellow conductors who meticulously strive for musical quality in their own program, each and every day. These are some of our toughest critics, because they understand the challenges and joys of what is required to present a high-caliber performance for a critical mass.”

Cantala was invited to perform at the 2018 ACDA conference based on three submitted recordings — one from each of the previous three years — that are reviewed by a peer jury of highly respected conductors from the Central and North Central regions of the ACDA.

 

“These performances have placed Lawrence’s choral program on the national map. We are recognized for the quality of our singing and the consistent strength of our program.”

Phillip Swan, Cantala director

“We’re requited to submit three recordings to show program consistency over a three-year period,” said Swan. “You can’t just have one good year and then be accepted for this kind of major performance event.  You must show consistent quality in your performances over an extended period of time.”

Cantala women's choir perfroming in the Lawrence Memorial ChapelAs part of a three-choir, 90-minute performance, Cantala’s 25-minute set — titled “Awe and Wonder”— features eight pieces, only two of which the ensemble has ever performed prior to this conference. The all-contemporary repertoire will include works performed in five different languages, highlighted by the U.S. premiere of the Slovenian composition “Ta Na Solbici (And So We Dance in Resia).”

“Each of the conference’s choirs were selected to provide an inspirational example of what it means to perform at the highest musical level, both in quality of sound and variety of repertoire,” said Swan. “Lawrence’s selection reflects a strong consistency in our choral program and provides a spotlight for student recruitment, as well as regional and national PR. These performances have placed Lawrence’s choral program on the national map. We are recognized for the quality of our singing and the consistent strength of our program.”

In addition to Cantala, Swan also co-conducts Lawrence’s Concert Choir and serves as musical director for Lawrence theatre arts department musical productions. Outside of Lawrence, he is the artistic director and conductor for the community-based choir newVoices and is choir director at Appleton Alliance Church.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

 

 

 

 

Equity and inclusion focus of Lawrence’s annual Report to the Community

Collaborations between Lawrence University and local organizations to create a more just, equitable and inclusive community in which to live, work and learn will be celebrated Thursday, Feb. 8 at the college’s ninth annual Report to the Community. The program begins at 4 p.m. in the Warch Campus Center.

Kimnberly Barrett
Kimberly Barrett

The report will underscore ways in which Lawrence engages in mutually beneficial partnerships to enhance the well-being and vibrancy of the greater Fox Valley while also strengthening the educational experience it provides its students. Kimberly Barrett, vice president for diversity and inclusion at Lawrence, will be the keynote speaker. More than 150 civic and community leaders are expected to attend.

“One of the important things we’re seeing nationally as well as in our own community, is a need to understand how do we create communities where everyone feels like they are a part, they belong and that they can contribute,” said Barrett. “We’ve been active on many fronts to make sure that’s the case. With the business community, it’s looking at talent attraction and retention. With schools, its looking at diversity issues, inclusion, reducing bullying and harassment, which unfortunately we saw an uptick in right around the election with all of the polarized political rhetoric. With community members, we want to make sure we have a place that is welcoming and where everyone can get what they need to thrive.

“We’ve seen positive movement in this area and Lawrence has been a part of a lot of it,” Barrett added. “We want to celebrate those efforts and the ways we are engaged in mutually beneficial partnerships as we present our annual report to the community.”

Highlighting the program will be the presentation of the eighth annual Lawrence University Collaboration in Action Award by Lawrence President Mark Burstein to three local organizations: ThedaCare’s Community Health Action Team (CHAT); The Fox Cities Diversity Officers Collaborative; and The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

The award recognizes an individual or organization, who, in partnership with Lawrence, has provided exemplary service to the Fox Cities community through strategic vision, leadership influence, long-standing commitment and enthusiasm, financial contributions and/or volunteerism.

Two students speaking at a Voices of Men event
The Fox Valley Voices of Men project is one of the initiatives the ThedaCare Community Health Action Team (CHAT) is involved with.

Beyond its role as a regional leader in healthcare, ThedaCare, through its CHAT initiative, has launched a series it calls “the plunge,” innovative, collaborative community projects that lead to change. Since 2001, CHAT has conducted plunges on various issues that impact community health, including affordable housing, understanding the LGBTQ population, childhood obesity, diversity, mental health, poverty, the Voices of Men program and the issue of being black in the Fox Cities, among others.

“Our faculty and staff have been involved with the plunges in a number of ways, providing expertise, being a part of some of the focus groups or the organizing groups,” said Barrett, who is a new member of the group. “I’m particularly interested, given my role at Lawrence, in the way that CHAT meets the needs of a variety of different diverse communities in the Appleton area.”

“We all have a role to play in creating the kind of community that we want to be a part of, a just community, an equitable community, an inclusive community.”
Kimberly Barrett

One of the programs Lawrence is particularly involved with is an offshoot of the CHAT plunges that is looking at helping reduce the “opportunity gap” — the difference in graduation rates in high school and college attendance rates for African American students in the Appleton schools.

“We’re proud to be collaborating with and honoring the work of the ThedaCare community health action teams,” said Barrett.

The Fox Cities Diversity Officers Collaborative features nearly two dozen leaders from business and industry, municipalities, schools and local non-profit organizations. Formed in early 2017, collaborative members meet quarterly to discuss issues relating to recruiting, retaining people within the various organizations and providing the education needed to create the kind of inclusive climate they hope to have in each organization.

The collaborative grew out of Barrett’s own desire to create a network to support people who are engaged locally in diversity and inclusion work after she joined the Lawrence administration in the summer of 2016.

“We share best practices. We share problems and work through them together,” said Barrett, who hosted the collaborative’s first meeting. “It’s really a brain-trust for those of us who are engaged in this work.”

Discussion with students and members of Spectrum Dance Theater
Members of the Spectrum Dance Theater and Brian Pertl, dean of the Lawrence conservatory of music (standing far right), collaborated on a discussion with students during Spectrum’s residency in the Fox Cities last spring.

The Performing Arts Center is being recognized for its efforts to enhance the arts’ relationship to social justice, diversity and inclusion. One example was its work with the Seattle-based Spectrum Dance Theater last February. Lawrence partnered with the PAC in planning the arts group local residency and coordinating some of its curricular activities while they were here, including speaking with members of Lawrence’s dance team, a performance at the Lawrence Memorial Chapel that focused on using the arts to encourage conversations about race and a community conversation at the Trout Museum of Art, of which Barrett was a panelist.

“The Spectrum Dance Theater residency really spoke to the issue of how do we look at creating a community in which everyone feels like they belong, how we can talk to each other across our differences and try to empathize and understand the perspectives of others,” said Barrett.

One new element of this year’s report to the community will be table conversations among the attendees facilitated by Barrett.

“Our annual report is an opportunity for us not only to share with the community how we’ve been engaged with the community, but it’s also an opportunity for us to get feedback from the community about the ways we can be even more effectively engaged,” said Barrett. “Given the theme is equity and inclusion, we’re going to ask people for input about how Lawrence can expand its role as  a thought leader on these issues.

“We all have a role to play in creating the kind of community that we want to be a part of, a just community, an equitable community, an inclusive community,” Barrett added. “We’re sharing some ways in which we and community partners have started to engage in this work. While much work remains to be done, we’re taking this opportunity to acknowledge our progress.”

Past recipients of Lawrence’s Collaboration in Action Award include the Community Early Learning Center (2016), Mile of Music (2015), Riverview Gardens (2014), Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Cities (2013), the Appleton Area School District (2012), the YMCA of the Fox Cities (2011) and the Mielke Family Foundation (2010).

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Two Lawrence alumni named Future 15 Young Professionals

A pair of Lawrence University graduates are among this year’s Fox Cities Future 15 honorees.

Marty O’Donnell and Jake Woodford, 2008 and 2013 Lawrence graduates, respectively, were selected from among 25 semifinalist who were chosen from an initial pool of dozens of nominees.

The Future 15 awards are part of the Pulse Young Professionals, a program of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Cities Regional Partnership, in collaboration with The Post-Crescent. All of the honorees will be recognized March 1 at the Young Professional Awards banquet at the Outer Edge in downtown Appleton.

The program recognizes young business and community leaders for their efforts in work, civic and charitable causes. Future 15 recipients are chosen based on their dedication, strong sense of vision for the Fox Cities and understanding of the importance of volunteering and giving back.

“Having Marty and Jake selected for this year’s Future 15 speaks highly of Lawrence and the Fox Valley. It’s a positive reinforcement of how many of our alumni remain in the Fox Cities after graduating and make a positive difference in the community,” said Mark Breseman, associate vice president of alumni and constituency engagement. “Our current students and alumni continue to make an impact through so many different ways. Many of them make the transition from volunteering, performing and competing to providing enthusiasm, new insights and entrepreneurial mindsets to their chosen profession.”

Marty O'Donnell
Marty O’Donnell ’08

O’Donnell is the conductor of the Lawrence Academy of Music Symphonic Band, a position he’s held since 2015. He also teaches band at Gerritts Middle School in the Kimberly Area School District. As a cooperating teacher for Lawrence student teachers, O’Donnell has hosted music education practicum students and rehearsal techniques classes with his middle school bands.

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, O’Donnell has served as director of the Neenah Community Band since 2010 and he is the co-founder, president, treasurer and guest conductor of VENTO Winds, a professional-level, audition-only adult wind band based in Northeast Wisconsin.

A talented trombonist, O’Donnell has performed with more than a dozen ensembles in the Fox Valley as well as the College Band Directors National Association Honors Band, the Wisconsin National Band Association Collegiate All-Star Band and the United States Navy Band.

Woodford serves as assistant to Lawrence President Mark Burstein as well as secretary to the university’s Board of Trustees. He coordinates the activities and communications of the Board, manages major institutional projects, conducts research and analysis, as well as facilitation, plans and implements university initiatives, supports collaborations between Lawrence and local/regional government and manages the university’s real estate.

Jake Woodford
Jake Woodford ’13

An Appleton native, Woodford joined the Burstein administration in 2013 shortly after earning a degree in government from Lawrence. He has since led a number of significant institutional projects, including a comprehensive review of the university’s parking infrastructure, policies and procedures; negotiated a 305-acre conservation easement for Bjorklunden, Lawrence’s “northern campus” in Door County; co-chaired the writing of the university’s current strategic plan; and led the relocation of historic house on the university campus to the City Park Historic District.

Active in the greater community as well, Woodford serves as Lawrence representative to the city of Appleton’s Downtown Mobility Study planning process, recently completed a two-year term on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Appleton, is a member of the board of directors of the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and is a commissioner on the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Appleton.

O’Donnell and Woodford are the 12th and 13th Lawrence graduates and/or employees who have been recognized since the Future 15 program was launched in 2011. Past honorees are:

  • 2017— Fanny Lau ’14; Elyse Lucas ’10; Paris Wicker ’08; Oliver Zorrow ’10
  • 2016 —Jamie Cartwright ’14; Carolyn Armstrong Deorosiers ’10; Jennifer Dieter ’03; Josh Dukelow ’02
  • 2015— Nathan Litt ’08
  • 2014 —Monica Rico, associate professor of history
  • 2013 — Korey Krueger, ’95

For this year’s program, past Future 15 winners narrowed the original pool of nominations to 25 semifinalists. Nomination forms with information about the candidates — excluding their names and personal details — were rated by community leaders, accounting for 90 percent of the decision. The final 10 percent was determined by votes collected online by The Post-Crescent.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Historian Jerald Podair’s book on Dodger Stadium recognized with pair of national honors

The “hits” keep coming for Lawrence University historian Jerald Podair’s 2017 book “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles.”

“City of Dreams” has been named the winner of the Society for American Baseball Research‘s (SABR) 2018 Seymour Medal as the best book on baseball history or biography published in the preceding year. Podair will be honored March 3 at the SABR banquet in Tempe, Ariz.Lawrece Professor Jerald Podair with a copy of his latest book "City of Dreams"

Previously longlisted as one of 10 semifinalists for a 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing, “City of Dreams” also has been shortlisted and is now one of five finalists for the award, which will be announced Feb. 20 at the PEN America awards dinner in New York City.

Podair learned of the PEN/ESPN finalist selection and the SABR award on the same day only hours apart.

“I received the PEN/ESPN news in the morning, told my wife and went to school. I heard about SABR later that day. I came home and said, ‘you’re not going to believe this,’” said Podair, the Robert S. French Professor of American Studies at Lawrence. “Both of the honors came as very gratifying surprises. I don’t write books to win awards, but it’s wonderful to know what I’m writing is having an impact.”

The Seymour Medal Selection Committee hailed the book as “a superb historical monograph based on extensive, original research and brilliantly written. Podair delineates clearly the connection between the decision to build Dodger Stadium and the intricate machinations and alliances of urban politics.”

“City of Dreams” was selected over four other finalists: “Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character” by Marty Appel: “The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken Jr., and Baseball’s Most Historic Record” by John Eisenberg; “Home Team: The Turbulent History of the San Francisco Giants” by Robert Garratt and “Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers” by Debra Shattuck.

Awarded annually since 1996, the Seymour Medal recognizes a book that significantly advances knowledge of baseball and is characterized by understanding, factual accuracy, profound insight and distinguished writing.

Joining “City of Dreams” as a finalist are “Ali: A Life” by Jonathan Eig; “The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport” by Rafi Kohan; “Sting like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971” by Leigh Montville and “Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream,” by Joe Tone.

The PEN America awards honors writers and translators whose exceptional literary works were published in 2017. Categories include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, biography, essays, science writing, sports writing and translation. The winner in the sports-writing category receives a $5,000 prize.

In “City of Dreams,” Podair explores one of the earliest owner-city new ballpark negotiations and the subsequent economic and cultural impact. He wrote the book to provide a window into the complex choices cities face as they seek to balance the values of entertainment and culture against those of fiscal responsibility, of private gain against public good.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Lawrence welcomes jazz legend Joe Lovano

Grammy Award-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano showcases his conceptual and thematic ventures Friday, Feb. 2 at 8 p.m. in a Lawrence University 2017-18 Jazz Series Concert. J

Joining Lovano on stage will be his Classic Quartet bandmates: Lawrence Fields, piano, Peter Slavov, bass and Lamy Istrefi, drums.

Saxophonist Joe LovanoTickets for the performance in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel, at $25-30 for adults, $20-25 for seniors, $18-20 for students, are available through the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749.

Lovano’s career has been defined by his creative efforts to find new modes of artistic expression and new ways to define the jazz idiom. With his bandmates, Lovano explores the rich history of mainstream jazz through swing and bebop, driving the edges while honoring the structures of straight-ahead jazz.

José Encarnación, director of jazz studies at Lawrence and an accomplished saxophonist in his own right, calls Lovano “one of my favorites jazz artists of all time.”

“I love every single one of his recordings,” said Encarnacion, who had the pleasure of meeting Lovano in the 1990s while performing at a jazz festival in Puerto Rico with the Bob Mintzer Big Band. “Joe’s music is always fresh, rooted on the tradition but always moving forward with new sounds and adventurous musical stories.”

A 12-time Grammy Award nominee, Lovano won the trophy in 2000 in the best large jazz ensemble album category for his work on “52nd Street Themes.” That same year, he topped both the readers and critics polls in DownBeat magazine as tenor saxophonist of the year. DownBeat named Lovano its jazz artist of the year twice, including 2010 when he captured the magazine’s “triple crown”: tenor saxophonist, jazz artist and jazz group (Joe Lovano Us 5) of the year.

His discography includes 28 albums as leader and more than 50 others as either co-leader or sideman.

Lovano has taught as the Gary Burton Chair in Jazz Performance as an artist-in-residence at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute in Boston.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

50 Hours Later: Holy Broman Lonestar Republic and Cult of the Pink Shoe claim 2018 trivia contest crowns

The Holy Broman Lonestar Republic Presents: Cardboard Davy Crocket Remembers the Alamo won its second straight off-campus title while Cult of the Pink Shoe easily won the on-campus team title in Lawrence University’s 2018 Great Midwest Trivia Contest that ended on midnight Sunday, Jan. 28.

The 53rd edition of the 50-hour contest that is webcast on the campus radio station, WLFM, attracted an estimated 700 players, including some from Spain, France and the Netherlands.

Students answering phones during the trivia contest in the WLFM studios
Nearly 90 off-campus and on-campus teams kept the phone lines busy during Lawrence University’s 53rd annual Great Midwest Trivia contest.

The Minneapolis-based Holy Bromans racked up 1,305 points in successfully defending its title to edge Get A Load Of That Sandwich (Get A Load Of It!) Get A Load Of That Sandwich (That Sandwich!) Look At That Sandwich (Look At It!) Get A Load Of That Sandwich (Get A Load Of It!) Look At That Sandwich (Look At It!) Woo! (Woohoo!) Woo! (Yeah!) Woo! (Woohoohoo!), which finished with 1,285 points. Caillouigi placed third among 74 off-campus teams with 1,185 points.

WLFM: It’s Our Station So We Win (1,027 points) and Trivia Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Nips, The Nipples of Knowledge Return (980 points) placed second and third, respectively among a dozen on campus teams.

The Holy Bromans were awarded a cardboard bra for its winning effort, while Cult of the Pink received a troll doll for its first-place finish among on-campus teams.

2018 on-campus team trivia winners
Members of the Cult of the Pink Shoe team gathered for a photo in the wee hours of the night after winning the on-campus team title in the 2018 Great Midwest Trivia contest.

For the first time since 2014, no teams were able to answer any of the final hour “garruda” questions, including the contest finale “Super Garruda”: In the Tanzanian city whose name is an anagram for “A Salad Smear,” there is an intersection of two roads near the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco. One road shares the first name with the former Supreme Chief of the Gogo and the other road is named for a Tanzanian Sultan whose skull’s return is discussed in the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. On the wall in front of the intersection there are three large legibly scrawled words in English, what are they?  The answer was “The Jungle, Bob.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

“Radiolab” founder, co-host Jad Abumrad discusses “Gut Churn” in Lawrence convocation

The creator and co-host of “Radiolab,” one of the country’s most popular radio programs, explores what it means to innovate and how it feels to create something new in a Lawrence University convocation

Jad Abumrad presents “Gut Churn” Thursday, Feb. 1 at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The address, the third in Lawrence’s 2017-18 convocation series, is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will immediately follow the address.

Jad Abumrad holding a light bulb
Jad Abumrad is the founder and co-host of the popular program “Radiolab.”

In Abumrad’s world, “gut churn” is that radical uncertainty that is a key component of any creative process that pushes the envelope. He applied that philosophy in launching “Radiolab” on New York radio station WNYC in 2002. What began largely as a science program has evolved into an exploration of broader issues — sport, the death penalty, counter-terrorism and most recently the U.S. Supreme Court — examined from less conventional angles.

The show, which combines cutting edge sound-design, cinematic storytelling and a personal approach to explaining complex topics, is nationally syndicated to more than 500 stations and its podcasts attract nearly two million listeners.

Skeptical of today’s mainstream media, Abumrad prefers “journalism that forces you to experience what someone else is going through” to articles that focus on telling you whether what someone said is right or wrong.

In an interview with The Guardian, Abumrad explained his approach to “Radiolab.”

“There is an ocean of difference between explanation and experience and I feel what I’m always trying to do is cross the ocean. I’m trying to get to the experience.”

“Radiolab” show has been recognized twice—2010 and 2015—with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, which honors “the most powerful, enlightening and invigorating stories in television, radio and online media.”

Abumrad himself was honored in 2011 as MacArthur Fellow, commonly known as “the genius grant.” In recognizing him, the MacArthur Foundation hailed Abumrad for “inspiring boundless curiosity within a new generation of listeners and experimenting with sound to find ever more effective and entertaining ways to explain ideas and tell a story.”

In 2016, Abumrad created a spinoff program he called “More Perfect” which is based on  cases from the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court and how they affect people’s everyday lives.

A native of Tennessee, Abumrad earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College, where he studied creative writing and music composition. Prior to launching “Radiolab,” he composed music for films and reported on and produced documentaries for a various local and national public radio programs, including NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.