Category: Press Releases

Director/producer of award-winning documentary “Escarpment” to attend campus screening

What was the land like where Lawrence University’s northern campus — Björklunden — now stands several eons ago?

Roger Kuhns

The award-winning documentary film “Escarpment” will take viewers on a fast-paced journey through billions of years of natural history and the geologic and biologic past of eastern Wisconsin and the Niagara Escarpment region of the Great Lakes.

The screening, free and open to the public, is Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Warch Campus Center cinema. Roger Kuhns, who directed and produced the film, will attend the screening and be available for a question-and-answer session at the end of the film.

Winner of the 2017 Hollywood International Independent Documentary Award, the 92-minute film was shot on location along the entire length of the Niagara Escarpment, with a focus on Door County. Incorporating some animated sequences, it reconstructs ecosystems that existed when the Niagara Escarpment was formed, considers whether dinosaurs ever called what  is now Door County home and traces the path of glaciers as well as numerous other major events in the area’s geologic past.

Beyond just its geological narrative, Kuhns made the film as a way to educate, enlighten, and guide society toward better stewardship of the land and its resources while providing a glimpse of what a sustainable future might look like.

Roger KuhnsKuhns, who splits his time living in Door County and Mystic, Conn., is a man of multiple interests. A geologist by trade — he holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in geology from Beloit College and Washington State University, respectively, and earned his doctorate in economic geology from the University of Minnesota — he also writes books and songs, makes movies, and is both a naturalist and a sustainologist.

He has lived throughout the world, including eight years in Africa. An active teacher and workshop leader, Kuhns remains current by conducting science and practicing sustainability as the director of his own company, SustainAudit, LLC.

Last fall, Lawrence received a significant grant to enhance sustainability efforts on campus.

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.

 

Professor Rob Neilson adds artistic flair to new Fox Cities Exhibition Center

When the city of Appleton threw a grand-opening party Jan. 11 for its new $31.9 million downtown exhibition center, Lawrence University art professor Rob Neilson’s talents were one of the building’s star attractions.

Rob Neilson with "You Are Here" sculpture
Rob Neilson stands under his sculpture “You Are Here,” which hangs from the ceiling.

Three projects of Neilson’s — “You Are Here,” “We Are Here” and “Community Caryatids,” a series of 10 I-beams representing each of the local municipalities contributing financially to the center — provide an artistic connection between the 30,000-square-foot facility, the people and communities who built it and the visitors it will serve.

Neilson proved he’s not only highly creative, he also can work fast. From the time he was first selected for the art commission from among three finalists to the completion of all three projects: 10 months.

“I’ve done projects that are three, four years, but this was very quick and a lot of work,” said Neilson, the Frederick R. Layton Professor of Art at Lawrence. “I was teaching at the same time.”

Two of the projects are designed to complement each other.  “You Are Here” is a 12-foot–by-13-foot sculpture project suspended from the ceiling of the ground-level floor. It features a cutout of the state of Wisconsin with a giant red pushpin inserted where the Fox Cities would be on the map. “We Are Here” is a series of 10 oversized portraits each comprised of 1,000 individual headshots shot last summer and fall of citizens from throughout the Fox Cities.

“The sculpture project was where I started. I was thinking about what is this exhibition center, what is our community trying to do?,” Neilson explained. “They’re trying to get people to the Fox Cities, get people to come and stay. It’s about travel, destination, the history of this place and how geography and landscape has shaped this community.

“So, I was really thinking about how to do a three-dimensional representation of all those ideas; the river, history, paper, travel, destination. That all just came together in a way that I’m used to working, thinking, developing ideas.”

Rob Neilson with portrait project "We Are Here"
Rob Neilson chats with guests in front of his “We Are Here” portrait project at the grand opening of the Fox Cities Exhibition Center.

Neilson was presented with a second opportunity to propose something for a space on the lower level and the photography portrait piece “was a natural.”

“Of course, if you’re doing ‘You Are Here,’ you have to do ‘We Are Here,’” said Neilson. “I had done the sculpture about the history, the paper industry, the river, travel and destination. The other thing that the Fox Cities does so well is community. It was natural going to one project from the other.”

As a sculptor, the portrait project was a giant step outside of Neilson’s experience with a rather steep learning curve.

“My photography skills up until this point were limited to what I needed to know to take a photo of the sculptures I make,” said Neilson with a laugh. “I had to figure out how I wanted to do this, the lighting, what was the right aperture. I needed these all to be consistent so it could become one big piece.”

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“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were. That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.
— Rob Neilson
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Despite his self-admitted photographic limitations, the bigger challenge, he discovered, was a game plan for actually taking 10,000 individual head shots in a very compressed time frame.

“How do I get images, how do I get people engaged, the logistics of it all was the thing that was keeping me up nights,” said Neilson, who found himself taking pictures seven days a week, including many days that stretched to 12-plus hours.

Saturday morning downtown Appleton farmer’s market crowds provided Neilson with plenty of potential, if not sometimes leery, subjects.

“The first time we went out on Oct. 21, people didn’t quite understand what we were doing. Given the setting, people assumed we were there to sell something. I can’t tell you how many times we had to say, before they even got to ask, ‘100% free!’ That was the line.

“Once we started rolling, once people understood what we were doing, we didn’t have to sell the idea every single time. It bloomed rapidly,” added Neilson, who said every person who had their picture taken wound up in one of the final portraits.

While he doesn’t like to name favorites among his many public art works, Neilson said the photography project is one that will stay with him forever.

Rob Neilson next to pillars project
Rob Neilson on his “Community Caryatids” project: “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

“The project really was me in the community, talking with people, meeting with people, people collaborating with us, telling us how happy they were,” he said. “That was meaningful in a way I wasn’t prepared for and it was a great surprise.

“It’s profound when it’s something in the place I’ve been living for 15 years. It’s the only home my kids know. This is our hometown. This is where we live. I go through those photos and I know these are my neighbors, my friends, people I work with, people I’ve met, people I interacted with. I don’t know how many opportunities we get to experience that kind of thing in our lives. But I’m fortunate to have had that opportunity and I will never forget that.”

The center’s third project was the result of a bit of happenstance. While attending a meeting about ways Miron Construction, the building’s general contractor, could recognize the communities involved with its construction, Neilson was asked if he had any ideas.

“I just stood up and said what it was on top of my head. You need columns, you need pillars, something that is holding this place up, figuratively and literally.”

Crowd at Expo Center grand opening
Rob Neilson’s “We Are Here” photography project dominates the south wall of the main floor of the expo center.

The finished product is a series of 10, 10-foot tall I-beams, each with the name of one of the communities cut into the flange of the I-beam,

“It’s supposed to be figuratively holding this place up, the 10 communities,” Neilson explained. “This sounds ridiculous, but they look exactly like I designed them.”

Appleton is home to several other public art projects by Neilson, including engraved manhole covers depicting some aspect of compassion. He also has done projects in Los Angeles, Charlotte., N.C., and for the Long Beach Transit Authority. The Expo Center projects were capstone of very happily busy year for Neilson.

“It was a big year for me. I had more shows last year than I’d ever had. More exhibitions than I’d ever had in a single year my whole professional life. I did more talks on public art, had been in more newspapers, magazines and on television than I’d ever been by far in a single year. It was some of the hardest work I’ve done and it was great.”

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.

“Those Who Have Been Left Out” focus of annual Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration

Senegal native Aly Wane, an undocumented organizer living in Syracuse, N.Y., shares his message for the need to fight inequality in all its forms as the keynote speaker at the 27th annual Fox Cities Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. community celebration.

Aly Wane
Organizer Aly Wane will deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King community celebration.

Focusing on the need for a better understanding of the concept of citizenship and global citizenship, Wane will deliver the address “Those Who Have Been Left Out.” The celebration commemorating Dr. King’s life and legacy will be held Monday, Jan. 15 at 6:30 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. The event is free and open to the public and will include a sign language interpreter.

Two community members will be honored during the celebration with a reception immediately following the program in Shattuck Hall 163.

Wane’s message is inspired by a passage from a 1966 speech in which King said, “I choose to identify with the underprivileged. I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity. I choose to live for those who find themselves seeing life as a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign. This is the way I’m going. If it means suffering a little bit, I’m going that way. If it means sacrificing, I’m going that way. If it means dying for them, I’m going that way, because I heard a voice saying, ‘Do something for others.’”

Wane, whose work is at the intersection of race and migration, is active with a variety of organizations, working with the Syracuse Peace Council, the country’s oldest grassroots antiwar group, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the Undocumented and Black Network and the Black Immigration Network.

In a 2017 interview with The Progressive, Wane spoke of the need to make the immigration conversation a racial justice conversation.

“When folks still think about undocumented folks, they still think about Latinos,” Wane told the magazine. “I don’t want to say ‘privilege’ that I have had, but I have had U.S. citizen Latino friends stopped by Border Patrol and ICE and I have been able to get away with it because I don’t look Latino. Of course, I am black and therefore I am always getting stopped by cops anyway. But, I think that it would be a lie to have an analysis of the immigration system that doesn’t speak very directly about the influence of race in this country.”

Pa Lee Moua
Pa Lee Moua

Pa Lee Moua, associate dean of students for diversity at Lawrence, said the theme of this year’s community celebration, “Those Who Have Been Left Out,” struck a personal chord with her.

“As a refugee child, adapting to another world was extremely hard — hard on my family, myself and my outlook on the future,” said Moua, a member of the MLK celebration planning committee. “As much as I wanted to adapt, I did not want to change who I was in order to be accepted by others. No one should judge another person, assumptions create exclusions. When you choose to exclude others, you create additional unnecessary barriers and burdens for them to carry, sometimes for a lifetime. Therefore, before you act, think about your actions. The smallest act of kindness goes a long way.  As Dr. King once said, ‘I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.’”

Wane, 41, who considers himself a global citizen, is the son of a Muslim father from Senegal and a Catholic mother from Mali, who met each other while studying in France. They separated when Wane was young and his father passed away at the age of 38. He came to the United States when he was almost nine with his mother after she landed a position with the United Nations Development Program.

He’s lived in Rwanda and Gabon with his mother who was on assignments there before he returned to the U.S. when he was 13. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2001 from Le Moyne College in Syracuse.

His older sister and only living relative, who was able to obtain H-1B status through her work, established permanent residency and eventual citizenship, is sponsoring Wane for legalization, a process that could take 10 years.

Yee Lee Vue, the adult services engagement librarian at the Appleton Public Library, will be recognized as the 24th recipient of the Jane LaChapelle McCarty Community Leader Award.

Maysa Pasayes, manager, Scholars for Success program, Diversity and Inclusion Services at Fox Valley Technical College, will be presented the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Educator Award.

The celebration also will feature student winners of the annual MLK essay contest reading their entries. This year’s winning student essayists are:

Portia Hah, 3rd grade, Woodland Elementary School

Kate Jannette, 4th grade, St. Francis Xavier Elementary School

La Lee Yang, 8th grade, James Madison Middle School

The celebration will include a music performances by Anthony Gonzalez, B-Lilly and the Soul Brothers and university organist Kathrine Handford.

Martin Luther Kind DAy of Service logoPrior to the evening celebration, members of the Lawrence community will make the MLK holiday a day of service by participating in a variety of volunteer activities throughout the Fox Cities, including sorting and tagging items at Appleton’s Bethesda Thrift Store, providing arts programming with students at the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley, packaging, labeling, sorting at the Feeding America food bank and weeding, planting and prepping beds in hoop houses at Riverview Gardens.

In addition to the off-campus efforts, student spend part of the day involved with on-campus service projects including baking treats for local shelters,
making blankets for community members without housing, writing letters of encouragement to patients going through chemotherapy, creating dog toys and treats for animals at local shelters and making laundry detergent for a local shelter.

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.

Cuban photography highlights new Wriston Art Center exhibition

Internationally renowned Cuban artist Nelson Ramírez de Arellano delivers the opening talk for Lawrence University’s Wriston Art Center Galleries’ latest exhibition Friday, Jan 12 at 6 p.m.

A reception follows Ramírez’s remarks. Both are free and open to the public. The new exhibition runs through March 9.

The photographic image "El Viaje"
“El Viaje,” by Liudmila & Nelson, 2001, gelatin silver print, will be part of the exhibition “The Light in Cuban Eyes: Selections from the Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography.”

The visit by Ramírez, the director of the Cuban national photography archive in Havana, is in conjunction with the exhibition “The Light in Cuban Eyes: Selections from the Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography” in the Hoffmaster Gallery.

Shot in styles described as “ranging from fabulist to gritty,” the exhibition features photographs taken between 1992-2012, a difficult period in Cuba’s history following the loss of financial support from the former Soviet Union that continues today.

“The Cuban artists represented in the exhibition take the human body as their theme,” said Beth Zinsli, director and curator of the Wriston galleries. “They examine its capacity for movement and stillness, its use in ritualized gestures and private habits and its capacity for joy, desire, endurance and transformation.”

Photo entilted "Profile with haystack"
“Profile with Haystack (Whitelaw, Wisconsin)” by Julie Lindemann and John Shimon, 2010, tea-toned cyanotype with Kamar varnish, is among the images featured in the exhibition “Through the Lens: Recent Acquisitions in Photography.”

The Leech Gallery showcases new additions to Lawrence’s permanent collection in “Through the Lens: Recent Acquisitions in Photography.” The exhibition features two images by Lawrence studio art faculty John Shimon and the late Julie Lindemann. Other images in the exhibition came to Lawrence as part of The Museum Project, which places work by contemporary photographers into museum and gallery collections like the Wriston.

“Pulped Under Pressure,” which examines the art of handmade paper, will be featured in the Kohler Gallery. Incorporating a wide range of materials — junk mail, egg cartons, ripped denim jeans, bedsheets and even heirloom plants — this group of seven female artists use printmaking, letterpress, papercutting and installation to create art that combines contemporary issues with history and craft.

“The diversity of handmade paper forms included in this exhibition is really exciting,” said Zinsli. “These artists are expanding the boundaries of traditional papermaking practices while also examining pressing issues like human impact on the environment, each with a visually stunning presentation.”

Two of the artists involved in the exhibition, Reni Gower and Melissa Potter, will demonstrate papermaking techniques at Lawrence Feb. 1 and 2. They will also deliver a public talk about their work Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m. in the Wriston galleries. The “Pulped Under Pressure” exhibition and community programs are generously supported by AZCO, Inc.

The Wriston Art Center is open Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday noon – 4 p.m.; closed Mondays. Free and open to the public. For more information, 832-6621.

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.

Pianist Catherine Kautsky chronicles Paris in the time of composer Claude Debussy in new book

While she is more accustomed to “hearing” thoughts take shape than she is to seeing them emerge on the printed page, Lawrence University Professor of Music Catherine Kautsky has turned a fascination with the intimate interactions between music and social history into her first book.

Catherine Kautsky
Catherine Kautsky

In “Debussy’s Paris: Portraits of the Belle Époque” (2017, Rowman & Littlefield), Kautsky paints a vivid picture of Paris during the period between the end of the Franco-Prussian war (1871) and World War I (1914), the period commonly referred to as the “Belle Époque,” and ventures into the war years as well.

Kautsky treats readers to a tour of Paris through her detailed descriptions of the city’s passions, vices and obsessions, and then reflects on how French composer Claude Debussy’s piano music (1862-1918) mirrors the city. She explores how some of his key works reveal not only the most appealing facets of Paris but also the more disquieting aspects of the period, including minstrel shows with racist overtones, colonization which entailed brutal domination, and nationalism rife with hostility.

In its review, Booklist called “Debussy’s Paris” a “fascinating fusion of music, literature and social history. [Kautsky’s] graceful and erudite prose is embellished with period illustrations and bolstered by a carefully selected bibliography. A treat for music lovers, Francophiles and anyone who appreciates the arts.”

The seeds of the book were first sown more than 20 years ago during an academic sabbatical year Kautsky spent in Paris during the mid-1990s. Two years later, while serving as director of Lawrence’s London Center, Kautsky met two renowned Debussy scholars whose interests resonated with her own and inspired further research.

“When I returned to the United States, I started writing a number of articles on the connections between Debussy’s piano music and literature,” said Kautsky, who is in her 25th year teaching piano in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music. “At that point I was hooked on Debussy, though I certainly wasn’t yet envisioning a book.

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“[Kautsky’s] graceful and erudite prose is embellished with period illustrations and bolstered by a carefully selected bibliography. A treat for music lovers, Francophiles and anyone who appreciates the arts.”
— Booklist
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“I was totally fascinated by the intersections of Debussy’s music with many other aspects of French life at the turn of the century,” she added. “I noticed that while people had written a lot about commonalities between the music and impressionist and symbolist art, there was less about all the ways Debussy draws on literature — from poetry, to journalism, to fairy tales—and even less on how his titles give constant clues to the social history of fin-de-siècle Paris.”

Cover of the book Debussy's ParisThe book deals with historical and political issues in Debussy’s Paris, many of which remain all-too-relevant in America today. For instance, a seemingly benign and entertaining genre like the cakewalk emanates from blatantly racist minstrel shows, and the book includes a number of disturbing “cakewalk’ cartoons from Debussy’s day which echo the genesis of our own racism in assumptions about “dark” Africa. Similarly, the French nationalism which drew Debussy in before WWI —encouraging France and Germany to engage in years of bloodshed—parallels “America First” slogans proliferating in our own times. And the colonialism which featured the exoticism of Arab nations and neighbors while simultaneously demeaning their primitive ways, is highly topical as we examine the role of Moslem culture in Western nations.

“My book is not about placing personal blame on Debussy for any of these ‘isms,’” Kautsky explains. “Rather it’s about the ways in which a composer, often unwittingly, illustrates his times and beliefs through his music. Debussy makes the task of drawing inferences infinitely easier, for he furnishes us with titles every step of the way. By looking at those titles, we learn about the literature, the art and the politics that gripped France in 1900.

“I’ve loved putting together the strands of politics, art, and literature as diverse as Proust and Peter Pan,” she added. “Hearing music in the abstract is more than enough, but hearing it as the composer must have heard it—through the prism of his own life experiences—adds another dimension that I’ve found irresistible.”

The recipient of Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016, Kautsky earned a bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory, a master’s degree from the Juilliard School and a doctorate degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

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 named national semifinalist for PEN America literary award

The story behind the building of Dodger Stadium written by Lawrence University historian Jerald Podair has been named one of 10 semifinalists for a 2018 PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing.

Historian Jerald Podair
Jerald Podair

In “City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles” (2017, Princeton University Press), 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.

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.

Finalists in each category will be announced in January with winners celebrated at the 2018 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony Feb. 20 at New York University’s Skirball Center.

“I’m not planning on any victory speeches, but as they say at the Oscars, it’s nice to be nominated,” said Podair, Robert S. French Professor of American Studies and professor of history.

Other semifinalists include “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse” by Tom Verducci, “Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971” by Leigh Montville and “Iron Ambition: My Life with Cus D’Amato” by Mike Tyson & Larry “Ratso” Sloman.

For more than 90 years, PEN America has united writers to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible to create literature, convey information and ideas and to make it possible for everyone to access the views, ideas and literatures of others.

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.

Fat stigma: Cultural competency series presentation examines bodyweight variation

The element of diversity known as bodyweight variation will be explored through both a scientific and personal lens in the latest presentation of Lawrence University’s cultural competency series.

Professor Mark Jenike
Mark Jenike

Mark Jenike, associate professor of anthropology, presents “Fat Stigma: Why All of Us Are Stakeholders in Obesity” Thursday, Jan. 11 (rescheduled from Jan. 4) at 11:15 a.m. in the Warch Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public, but advance registration would be appreciated at div-inclusion@lawrence.edu.

A  world-wide issue, fat stigma has emotional as well as physical consequences, including poor health outcomes and exacerbating obesity. Incorporating results from a recent focus group study involving large-bodied individuals from the Fox Valley, Jenike will discuss some of the causes of bodyweight variation and the role personal responsibility plays.

The program is designed to highlight ways to show more respect and inclusion for people of all sizes by avoiding stigmatizing and blaming.

A specialist in nutritional anthropology and human evolution, Jenike serves as an advisor to Lawrence’s Food Recovery Network. He joined the Lawrence faculty in 2004.

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 commits to educate more high-achieving, low-income students

Lawrence University has announced ambitious new plans aimed at attracting and supporting high achieving, low- and moderate-income students as a member of the American Talent Initiative (ATI).

President Mark Burstein
President Mark Burstein

Lawrence was among the first colleges to join the ATI, a Bloomberg Philanthropies initiative led by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R.

Each participating institution is working toward the overall ATI goal of enrolling 50,000 additional talented, low- and moderate-income students by the year 2025 at colleges and universities with strong graduation rates.

“The American Talent Initiative reinforces Lawrence’s long-standing commitment to improve access for high-achieving students from families with limited means,” said Lawrence President Mark Burstein. “However, access is only a first step. Through this initiative, Lawrence will strengthen its efforts to support these students to assure that they thrive and persist to graduation.”

ATI, which has grown its membership to 86 colleges and universities in less than a year, works with institutions across the country that graduate at least 70 percent of their students in six years. Lawrence was among ATI’s initial 60 top schools, which includes Bates College, Franklin & Marshall College, Pomona College, Stanford University and Yale University. ATI recently announced 18 additional prestigious colleges have jointed the program, among them Northwestern University, Bowdoin College and Case Western Reserve University.

Lawrence has developed action plans aimed at supporting these students socially, academically and financially, from before they arrive on campus to graduation and beyond.A graduation mortar board with the message Don't let your dreams be dreams

Lawrence’s goal is to improve socioeconomic diversity through a number of strategies expected to drive enrollment among high-achieving, lower income students, including:

Identifying talented students through better recruitment of qualified high school graduates and high-achieving transfer students from community colleges and other schools

Reaching out directly to the neediest families nationwide to increase the number of Pell Grant-eligible students enrolled, the number of applications from Pell Grant-eligible students, and the number of first-generation students enrolled

Removing cost as a barrier to access by increasing need-based aid to make attendance more affordable

Retaining and graduating lower-income students at rates comparable to their higher-income peers

As part of its commitment, each member institution works with ATI to develop action plans to recruit more students from economically diverse backgrounds, ensure that admitted lower-income students enroll and engage in campus life, prioritize need-based financial aid and minimize gaps in progression and graduation rates between students of differing socio-economic backgrounds.

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.

Happy (headache-free) holidays: Lawrence psychologist offers tips to avoid the post-celebration hangover

With two of the country’s biggest holidays of the year — Christmas and New Year’s — on the horizon, the one thing no one wants to toast this holiday season is the dreaded hangover.

Psychology professor Bruce Hetzler
Bruce Hetzler

As people ready corks to pop and glasses to clink, Lawrence University psychology professor Bruce Hetzler, who also teaches in the neuroscience program, shares some insights on the holiday hangover: how to avoid it, what causes them and how to treat it if you have one.

A member of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, Hetzler teaches psychopharmacology at Lawrence, a course that deals with the effects of drugs on behavior. His research has led to the publication of nearly a dozen scientific papers that examine the effects of alcohol on rats.

“Rats are not simply little people. They are different,” he said, “but, they do metabolize alcohol in the same way as humans. There has been very little scientific research conducted on hangovers. Even though they are very prevalent, research is lacking.”

Throwing cold water on most party plans, Hetzler says there is one sure-fire way to avoid a hangover: don’t drink alcohol.

While alcohol abstinence is the only guaranteed way to make it through the holidays without the headache and nausea frequently associated with hangovers, there are ways to at least minimize the odds of getting one.

“Developing a hangover depends on a number of things, including the type of alcoholic beverage consumed, the amount consumed and the duration of drinking,” Hetzler explained. “You’re least likely to develop a hangover if you drink compounds that consist mainly of just alcohol like gin and vodka. Consuming alcoholic beverages like red wine, bourbon or whiskey are more likely to lead to a hangover.”

Darker-colored alcohols contain more “congeners” — compounds that are either added or byproducts of the manufacturing process that contribute to the color, taste and smell of the beverage. While the amount of alcohol consumed is a major factor in having a hangover, the hangover is actually produced when the blood alcohol level falls. It reaches its maximum level when the blood alcohol level is zero.

The popular, but unproven, “hair of the dog” cure is one Hetzler doesn’t recommend.

“You don’t want to drink again when your blood alcohol is zero. It will mitigate the hangover, but it can produce other problems and you’ll get a hangover again when that alcohol wears off.”

Imbibing on spirits aside, Hetzler says one’s personality can also be a factor for hangovers. While no one has been able to determine why, if someone is more defensive or feels guilty about drinking, they are more likely to develop a hangover while a happy, positive person is less likely.

“But that doesn’t mean the positive person still won’t develop one,” he added with a smile.

Genetics can also play a role. Someone with a family history of alcoholism is more prone to developing a hangover.Glasses and wine bottles on a bar

Beyond the typical ailments associated with hangovers, starting with a severe headache and vomiting, Hetzler says sluggishness, vertigo, heightened sensitivity to noise and light and personality changes are common symptoms. More seriously, because of the way alcohol affects the brain, one’s sympathetic nervous system ramps up, producing an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.

While prevention is the best approach, should moderation fail, Hetzler says there are things that can help mitigate, but alas, there are no known “cures” for a hangover.

“It helps to eat before you drink,” said Hetzler, who dealt with his own one and only hangover as a college freshman. “Food helps absorb the alcohol. Drink water to replenish lost fluid since alcohol causes dehydration. For the headache, take aspirin or ibuprofen but not acetaminophen, the active component in Tylenol. Acetaminophen can damage the liver and alcohol can damage the liver and the two in combination can really cause damage.”

Hetzler cautions against relying on products marketed as hangover cures.

“People should be leery of anything touted as a cure or treatment that they might find over the counter at gas stations, grocery stores or even pharmacies. The Dietary Supplement Health Education Act of 1994 severely restricts the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to exert control over dietary supplements and herbal products or vitamins. You can find things touted as a treatment for a hangover, but you don’t know if it’s safe, you don’t know if it is effective, because the FDA has not evaluated it.”

Since it can take as long as two days to fully shake the effects of a hangover, Hetzler says the best course of action is to simply practice patience.

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.

Academy of Music Girl Choir focuses on concept of listening

The concept of learning to listen with ear, eye, mind and heart as a lens will be explored in a pair of performances by the Lawrence Academy of Music’s Girl Choir during its annual fall concert.Chinese character "Ting"

The concert, entitled “Ting,” which is the Chinese character for “listen,” will be performed Saturday, Dec. 9 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $12 for adults, $8 for seniors/students, are available online or at the Lawrence Box Office the day of the concert from 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. and one hour prior to the evening performance. 920-832-6749.

“Given the deep social divide into which our current singers are coming of age, I felt strongly that a focus on learning to listen—‘in music and in life,’ as we say—would be an asset to them well beyond our rehearsal walls,” said Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music, who employed various aspects of the concept of listening into the repertoire and rehearsal process this fall.

Girl Choir singers performingThe concert will feature more than 300 singers in grades 3-12 from all over the Fox Valley performing a wide range of music by significant composers, including Mozart, Bach, Benjamin Britten, Antonín Dvorák and Ralph Vaughan Williams, among others, as well as Brazilian and Norwegian folk songs.

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.