Lawrence University Psychologist Joins State Association Board of Directors

Gerald Metalsky, associate professor of psychology at Lawrence University, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Psychological Association. Serving a three-year term that will run through December, 2007, Metalsky is the first Lawrence psychologist ever named to the WPA’s 13-member board.

Founded in 1950, the WPA is the official state affiliate of the American Psychological Association and supports psychology as a profession which promotes human welfare through the ethical application of psychological principles in research, teaching and practice. Its 500-person membership includes professionals from throughout the state, including licensed clinicians, administrators, teachers and researchers.

“The Wisconsin Psychological Association represents a very talented group of psychologists and we are always eager to put their specialized expertise to work,” said Sarah Bowen, executive director of the WPA. “Dr. Metalsky’s election to the Board of Directors means that the WPA will be able to draw upon his wealth of experience in both clinical and academic arenas.

“We are especially excited, however, by his strong commitment to teaching the next generation of professionals, since a focus on the future brings vitality to the organization and to the profession of psychology itself,” Bowen added.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to help shape the direction of the practice and study of psychology in Wisconsin,” said Metalsky. “There are several very significant issues facing our profession, including prescription privileges for psychologists, so this is an exciting time to be joining the board of the state association. This honor is particularly gratifying since it is an affirmation from my fellow psychologists in Wisconsin.”

Metalsky joined the Lawrence faculty in 1992 after spending five years in the psychology department at the University of Texas. He has more than 20 years experience as an academic researcher and practicing clinical psychologist, specializing in adult and adolescent depression, stress, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, cognitive-behavioral therapy and general psychotherapy, especially short-term solution-focused therapies.

In addition to his teaching and research responsibilities at Lawrence, Metalsky directs the Anxiety, Stress and Depression Center, a private counseling service in Appleton, enabling him to bring clinical experiences to the classroom and provide opportunities for “real life” situations for his students.

He is a former associate editor and consulting editor of the “Journal of Abnormal Psychology,” the flagship publication of the American Psychological Association for research on psychopathology, and also serves as reviewer for nine other professional journals, including “Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.”

Metalsky earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California-Berkeley and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Lawrence University Violinist Wins State Chamber Orchestra Competition

Lawrence University violinist Burcu Goker earned first-place honors in the recent Concord Chamber Orchestra competition. The 19th annual competition, held Dec. 18 in Glendale, featured 16 string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. Musicians 25 years of age or younger who are residents of Wisconsin or attend a Wisconsin high school, college or university are eligible to compete.

A sophomore from Istanbul, Turkey, Goker received $500 for her winning audition and will perform Aram Khachaturian’s “Violin Concerto” in concert with the Concord Chamber Orchestra Wednesday, March 9 and Saturday, March 12.

Goker, who took up the violin at the age of eight and spent seven years studying the instrument in Paris, is a student in the studio of Lawrence Assistant Professor of Music Stephane Tran Ngoc. She is the third student of Tran Ngoc’s to win the CCO competition in the past four years, joining Julien Poncet, who won the competition in 2002 and Charlotte Maclet, the 2001 winner. In addition, Leslie Boulin-Raulet, who also studied under Tran Ngoc, was the CCO’s competition’s runner up in 2003.

The Concord Chamber Orchestra, featuring volunteer adult players from various professions and age groups, was founded in 1975 and performs under the direction of conductor Jamin Hoffman.

Ineffectiveness of Livings Wills Focus of Lawrence University Biomedical Ethics Lecture

A University of Michigan medical school and Ann Arbor VA research investigator argues that a staple of the American medical culture – the living will – does not nor cannot work in the second installment of Lawrence University’s four-part 2004-05 Edward F. Mielke Lecture Series in Biomedical Ethics.

Angela Fagerlin presents “Pulling the Plug on Living Wills: How Living Wills have Failed to Live up to Their Mandate,” Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Wriston Art Center auditorium. The address, which will examine the shortcomings of living wills as well as the use of durable power of attorney as an alternative to living wills, is free and open to the public.

Living wills were originally created as a means of enabling an individual to maintain a certain level of control at the end of their life by detailing the types of treatment a person would like to receive or measures they would like taken should they become incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. It is a document widely recommended by experts, recognized by law in nearly every state and one that hospitals are federally mandated to inform their patients about.

But in a recently published research paper, Fagerlin and her colleague Carl Schneider claim living wills consistently fail the basic criteria necessary for them to be effective, thus giving them little relevance in actual end-of-life decisions. According to Fagerlin, among the problems with living wills is the inability of most individuals to state their wishes accurately and understandably and having the document available when treatment decisions need to be made. The effectiveness of living wills, she argues, is further compromised by advances in medical technology and changes in an individual’s personal situation. The paper she co-authored was based on a review of hundreds of living wills and end-of-life decisions.

An internal medicine researcher in the University of Michigan medical school’s Program for Improving Health Care Decisions and the Ann Arbor Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, Fagerlin earned her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Kent State University. In addition to advanced directives and end-of-life decisions, she has written articles on topics ranging from racial differences in the treatment of prostate cancer to the use of decision aids to facilitate patient involvement in their medical care.

Lawrence University Students Look to “FLY” High in Quest to Build State’s Best Model Rocket

The sky is not the limit, but rather the goal for a team of four Lawrence University students who will attempt to reach the lower troposphere with their own hand-built rocket.

Nathaniel Douglas, Aditya Goil, Duncan Ryan and Rupesh Silwal will represent Lawrence next April in a student-designed rocket competition sponsored by the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. The contest will culminate with a rocket launch at the Bong Recreational Area in Kenosha County.

The foursome will compete as FLY, an acronym for Fellowship of Lawrence Yjigyasus. Yjigyasus is a Hindi word that means scholar or seeker of knowledge. FLY will be one of 11 teams representing seven Wisconsin colleges or universities participating in the first-time competition to determine the best model rocket builders.

Supported by funding from NASA, the WSGC will provide each team with $1,000 seed money, two motors, a tri-axial accelerometer and an altimeter. From that, each team will be required to fabricate a two-stage rocket that safely deploys its second stage and lands safely under an operating chute.

Achieving the highest altitude without exceeding a ceiling of 12,000 feet is one of four categories on which each team’s rocket will be evaluated. While flight height will account for nearly half (45%) of the evaluation, points also will be awarded for design analysis, oral presentation and assessment of data results. Professional engineers will score the competition, which comes with a first-place prize of $5,000. A second-place prize of $2,500 also will be awarded.

FLY was the serendipitous off-spring of a well-timed glance during a late-night study session in the physics department lounge. While collaborating on some homework, Goil and Silwal happened to spot a bulletin board flyer announcing an opportunity to launch rockets.

“That flyer sparked a conversation about the experiences we have had with rockets — lighting firecrackers and some mini-rocket modeling — and different movies and science shows we’ve seen about rockets,” explained Goil, a junior physics major from Mumbai, India. “The more we talked, it became clear we both had an interest in rocketry.”

The next day, Goil and Silwal approached Professor of Physics John Brandenberger with their interests and he agreed to serve as the team’s faculty mentor on the project. Fellow physics majors Douglas and Ryan were invited to join the team and suddenly FLY was born.

“Even though I have never built any sort of rocket before, I’m very excited about this competition,” said Silwal, a junior from Kathmandu, Nepal. “We’re confident that we can do a good job, but will it be good enough to win the competition? There should be a lot of strong teams and I’m sure that we will be up against a tough group of rocketeers.

“For me, this is really going to be as much about the experience as it is the competition,” Silwal added. “However it turns out, at the end of the day the experience of going through all this will be the one that I surely will remember as one of the best experiences of my undergraduate days.”

Along with Lawrence’s FLY, there will be will be four teams from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, two teams from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and single entries from UW-Madison, UW-Oshkosh, Marquette University and Wisconsin Lutheran College vying for the rocket competition title.

The 26-member Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium was founded in 1991 as part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. Created in 1988 by an act of Congress, the NASA program works to address the national need for a highly skilled, technology-savvy workforce. The WSCG fosters the recruitment and support of students in science, mathematics and technology by funding research, student scholarships and outreach projects in a wide variety of fields related to aerospace.

“Yuletide Carols” presented by the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir

The Girl Choir of Lawrence University’s Academy of Music will present a concert of “Yuletide Carols” on Sunday, December 19 at 3:00 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 dollars for students and seniors. They are available at the Lawrence University Box Office (920-832-6749) beginning December 6.

The concert will feature both familiar and new Christmas music, with several pieces using combined choirs and audience participation. The five choirs, conducted by Molly Tomashek, Cheryl Meyer, and Karen Bruno, contain over 200 members in all. The choirs consist of girls in grades 3 through 12. The Cantabile Choir, whose members are in grades 7-9, will travel to New York in April to sing in the world famous Carnegie Hall.

The Girl Choir Program of the Lawrence Academy of Music seeks to provide quality choral opportunities for girls in the Fox Valley region. Through the study and performance of the highest quality music, the girls develop vocal technique, music reading skills, creativity, expressive artistry, and an awareness of various cultures. The Girl Choir Program strives to create an atmosphere that encourages girls to respect the uniqueness of others, to take risks that foster individual growth, and to continue their development into self-assured young women. Currently there are over 200 girls singing in the Girl Choir program. They represent over 50 schools from throughout Northeastern Wisconsin.

Marine Biologist Examines Role of Oceanic Microbes in Global Warming in LU Sci Hall Lecture

The crucial role played by one of Earth’s tiniest and most abundant life forms — microbes — in one of the planet’s biggest challenges — global warming — will be the focus of a Lawrence University Science Hall Colloquium.

David Kirchman, a 1976 Lawrence graduate and the Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies at the University of Delaware, presents “Global Climate Change from a Microbial Ecologist’s View” Friday, Dec. 3 at 12:15 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.

Since the start of the Industrial Revolution, man has been altering the earth’s climate through the release of several gigatons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere every year, resulting in a gradual upward rise in global temperatures.

To better predict the impact of the greenhouse gas effect, Kirchman is studying various microbes — marine phytoplankton, bacteria and archaea — because of their abilities to affect the production and consumption of carbon dioxide and some of the other greenhouse gases.

Kirchman will detail his research with bacterial microbes, particularly those found in the western Arctic Ocean, and the processes they control in the global carbon cycle. He also will discuss the genetic potential of microbes in the oceans using genomic and other molecular approaches.

A magna cum laude graduate from Lawrence with a degree in biology, Kirchman earned his Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Harvard University. He is the editor of the 2000 book “Microbial Ecology of the Oceans.”

Lawrence University Anthropologist Discusses Human’s Diet Through the Ages

Lawrence University anthropologist Mark Jenike discusses man’s ever-changing diet, from that of our earliest ancestors to the current low-carb craze, in a Lawrence Mortar Board “First Chance, Last Chance” lecture.

Jenike presents “From Chimips to Cheese Curds: Evolutionary Perspectives on Human Nutrition,” Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in Lawrence’s Science Hall, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.

Nutrition, or lack thereof, plays a major role in many of the causes of adult mortality today, from heart disease and stroke to cancer and diabetes, spawning an entire industry devoted to dieting, weight loss and fitness. Human ancestry is often cited in promotional materials for diet books and other approaches to weight loss, wellness and ways to reduce risk of disease. Jenike’s address will examine the evolution of human nutrition over the past six million years, focusing on energy balance, the nutrition of recent human hunter-gatherers and the relevance of this knowledge to our modern nutritional predicament.

A specialist in nutritional anthropology and human evolution, Jenike joined the Lawrence faculty in 2004 after spending seven years in the anthropology department at Pomona College. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology at Harvard College and his Ph.D. in anthropology at UCLA.

Lawrence University Students Earn Six Firsts at State Singing Competition

Lawrence University freshman Alisa Jordheim won her third consecutive state title at the Wisconsin chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition, helping Lawrence Conservatory of Music students claim top honors in six of 14 divisions. The annual state competition was held Nov. 5-6 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Jordheim, a student in the voice studio of Lawrence professor of music Patrice Michaels earned first-place honors in the college freshman women division. As a student at Appleton North High School, Jordheim previously won the high school music theatre division in 2003 and the high school girls division in 2002.

Pete Petersen, Fort Madison, Iowa, and a student of professor Joanne Boseman, earned his second straight NATS title, winning the senior men division after capturing the men’s junior division crown in 2003.

Other first-place Lawrence finishers included Erica Hamilton, Milwaukee, in the sophomore women division; Brad Grimmer, Mequon, in the junior men division; junior Megan Flod, Stillwater, Minn., in the women’s lower college musical theatre division; and Andria Helm, Rocky Mount, N.C., in the continuing senior women division. Hamilton studies under Joanne Bozeman, Grimmer is a student in the voice studio of professor Ken Bozeman, Flod studies under Michaels and Helm is a student of professor Karen Leigh-Post.

In addition, Anna Koll, a senior at Appleton North High School who also studies with Leigh-Post as a student at the Lawrence Academy of Music, earned first-place honors in the high school girls division. First-place finishers were awarded $100 for their winning efforts.

A total of 42 Lawrence students and two Lawrence Academy of Music students participated in this year’s NATS competition, with 17 of them advancing to the finals. Second-place honors were awarded to Keely Borland, (freshman women), Meredith Claycomb (sophomore women) and Matt Murphy, (men’s lower college music theatre).

The 2004 NATS competition featured more than 480 singers from colleges and high schools throughout Wisconsin. Depending upon the category, competitors are required to sing two, three or four classical pieces from different time periods with at least one selection sung in a foreign language. George Vassos, a former tenor with the New York Philharmonic and a voice professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music, served as guest judge for the competition.

LU Grad, University of Michigan Researcher Discusses Role of Biomolecular “Conversations”

University of Michigan postdoctoral researcher Rebecca Whelan will discuss the challenges of understanding the biological signals that occur within the human body and how those signals are communicated in a Lawrence University Science Hall Colloquium.

Whelan, a 1996 Lawrence graduate, presents “Eavesdropping on Biomolecular Conversations” Monday, Nov. 15 at 4:15 p.m. in Science Hall, Room 102. The event is free and open to the public.

Whelan will detail two strategies she is utilizing in her research with biological molecules, particularly proteins, to better understand how molecules communicate with each other and how they ultimately process the information that enables people to see, hear, digest food and even fend off microscopic invaders.

In the treatment of diseases, many therapeutic drugs act by specifically helping biological molecules communicate with one another or by preventing unwanted molecular “conversations” from occurring. Proteins play a critical role in human health and Whelan’s research is helping unravel questions about how proteins function in the body and shed more light on which drugs might be most effective in treating diseases.

After graduating summa cum laude from Lawrence with a degree in chemistry and English, Whelan earned her Ph.D. in chemistry at Stanford University in 2003. She joined the University of Michigan’s chemistry department as a postdoctoral fellow that same year. In January, Whelan will join the faculty of Oberlin College as an assistant professor of chemistry.

Lawrence University Musician Named Lead Trumpet Player for Regional All-Star Jazz Ensemble

Lawrence University’s Jeffrey Ostroski has been named lead trumpet player for the 2005 Midwest Regional Conference Intercollegiate Jazz Ensemble. The 20-member big band, selected from among the top collegiate student musicians from jazz programs in eight Midwestern states, will perform April 15-16, 2005 at the International Association of Jazz Education (IAJE) conference at Columbia College in Chicago.

“Jeff’s appointment as the lead trumpet player is a tremendous honor,” said Fred Sturm, director of jazz and improvisational music at Lawrence. “Jazz program directors from across the Midwest were asked to nominate two students for the All-Star ensemble, understanding that only one would ultimately be selected. The resulting band is a representation of the finest collegiate jazz students from the top university jazz programs in the region. Jeff will be performing and ultimately networking with peers who share his talents and love for jazz.”

A junior from Guilford, Conn., Ostroski is currently a member of the Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble, the Lawrence Wind Ensemble and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra. He also plays with a Lawrence jazz combo and a brass quintet.