Open Line Faculty-Staff Newsletter for the Week of Aug. 29, 2011

Campus News  •  Noteworthy  •  In the News

Campus News

Bill Breitenbach named recipient of 2011 President's Excellence in Teaching Award
Established in 1997 to recognize faculty members who demonstrate exceptional teaching skills independent of accomplishments in scholarship, research, or publication, the President's Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded each year to a faculty member with a genuine passion for teaching; an ability to inspire students to learn; a capacity to challenge students and motivate them through high expectations; a respect for students as individuals; and an enduring intellectual curiosity and capacity for growth, change, and vitality. During the announcement at the Fall Faculty Dinner, President Ron Thomas cited student and colleague praise for the recipient's challenging, engaging, and fascinating courses and class materials, as well as his passionate lecture style, accessibility to students, and his demanding, compassionate way of teaching. Congratulations to Professor of History Bill Breitenbach, named the 14th recipient of the President's Excellence in Teaching Award.

Five named distinguished professors
At the Fall Faculty Dinner last week five members of the senior faculty were bestowed the title of "distinguished professor." Identified by the Faculty Advancement Committee for high accomplishment in teaching, scholarship, and service, these five faculty members have, in the last five years, collectively taught 50 different courses, published five books, 14 book chapters or journal articles, and delivered more than 35 scholarly talks. All have served as department chairs or program directors. Congratulations to 2011's distinguished professors (from Dean Kris Bartanen's remarks):

  • Rob Beezer, math and computer science, is an international leader in electronic publishing and scholarly communications projects and the author of the acclaimed open-source text A First Course in Linear Algebra. He also served as the faculty liaison for the two-year renovation of Thompson Hall.
  • Jim Jasinski, communication studies, is a nationally recognized scholar of rhetoric, serves as associate editor of four of the top peer-reviewed journals in his field, and organized and hosted two national conferences in the past five years.
  • David Tinsley, foreign languages and literature, heads the increasingly successful Graduate Fellowships Advisory Committee and in 2010 published The Scourge and the Cross: Ascetic Mentalities of the Later Middle Ages. With colleague Paul Loeb, Tinsley is completing three volumes of the translation of Nietsche's unpublished notes on Zaruthustra.
  • Nancy Bristow, history, is an outstanding Faculty Athletic Representative, key co-contributor to the Tacoma Civil Rights Project, and co-chair of the 2010 Race and Pedagogy National Conference. Her book, It is an Awful Thing: A Social and Cultural History of the Influenza Epidemic in the United States, is under contract with Oxford University Press. Bristow was named Washington State Professor of the Year in 2007.
  • Jim Evans, physics and science, technology, and society, completed the design and calculations for the analemma in Harned Hall, published two books in the last five years, and serves as associate editor of Journal for the History of Astronomy, as well as reviewer for nine other journals, five presses, and three grant funders, including the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. He was named Washington State Professor of the Year in 2008.

Puget Sound launches pilot backup care program Sept. 1
Puget Sound will partner with Bright Horizons on a one-year pilot basis, beginning Sept. 1, to introduce a backup care program that is available when a faculty or staff member experiences a temporary breakdown in normal child or adult/elder care and needs to be at work. The Back-Up Care Advantage Program provides care options for children and adults through a comprehensive network of high-quality child care centers and in-home care agencies. Care is available whenever you need to be at work—24 hours a day, seven days a week. Eligible faculty and staff members may register and reserve care beginning Sept. 1, 2011. To learn more visit the human resources website, or speak with a representative from Bright Horizons Thursday, Sept. 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at an information table in the Wheelock Student Center hallway.

Benefits Task Force updates
The BenTF met several times over the summer, continuing its work. Notes from those meetings are available on the BenTF website. If you were unable to attend the Aug. 11 information session on the financial aspects of Puget Sound's education benefits, you may download and review the presentation slides. Contact Sherry Mondou with questions or comments at or x3183.

Stay tuned for information about a BenTF open forum in September, and a BenTF survey of faculty and staff in October. If you have a recommendation or proposal you would like the BenTF to consider, submit it to no later than Nov. 30, 2011, so the task force has sufficient time to review them and still meet its goal of announcing preliminary recommendations after the start of the spring semester in January.


Men's Basketball Coach Justin Lunt recently published an article in the National Federation of State High School Associations' Coaching Today newsletter titled "What it Means to be a Division III Athlete."

The White House gave Puget Sound's entry into the President's Interfaith and Community Service Challege a shout-out at the challenge's inaugural event in August, describing the plan for a "Religious Leadership Pathway," submitted by Rev. Dave Wright ’96, in detail and identifying it as one of three exemplary proposals received from 250 nationwide.

In the News

The faculty art show, Show and Tell, at Kittredge Gallery was featured with a large photo and story in Tacoma Weekly.

Puget Sound was mentioned in articles in The News Tribune and Metro magazine, a national journal for the public transportation industry, as a campus with Zipcars.

Wine recommendations from Professor of International Political Economy Mike Veseth ran in the national magazine Money and on the CNN Money website.

Sign up to receive "In the News," a biweekly digest of Puget Sound press coverage, by contacting our media relations office at or x2611.

Five receive 2011 Davis Teaching Awards

In 2003 the dean's teaching awards were named to honor Tom Davis, who served as dean of the university from 1973 to 1994. Faculty members in the ranks of instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor (including those considered for promotion to full professor in 2011) are eligible for the award. Congratulations to the five faculty members who received the Thomas A. Davis Teaching Award for 2011:

Monica DeHart, comparative sociology
Mikiko Ludden, Asian languages and cultures
Alisa Kessel, politics and government
Katherine Smith, history
Seth Weinberger, politics and government

Find a hatchet, win prizes

Keep your eyes peeled, Loggers. Beginning today, through Friday, Sept. 2, at 4 p.m., staffers at the Puget Sound Bookstore will post (read: hide) 100 paper hatchets in locations throughout campus. Find one of these paper hatchets and redeem it at the bookstore for prizes, including T-shirts, coffee coupons, pizza coupons, and more. Each returned hatchet will be entered in a grand prize drawing for an Xbox. Be on the lookout!

LogJam! celebrates 10 years, Sept. 2

Join students, faculty, staff, and neighbors at the 10th annual LogJam! on Friday, Sept. 2, beginning at 5 p.m., on Todd Field. The family-friendly event begins with a barbecue and includes an evening of activities and info booths, plus a special screening of Kung Fu Panda 2 on the big screen. Welcome students back to campus and help kick off the 2011–12 academic year!

Can't-miss events

Through Friday, Oct. 14: William Morris and the Art of the Book: The Private Library of Jack Walsdorf, Collins Memorial Library

Through Nov. 5: Show and Tell: Art Department Faculty 2011, Kittredge Gallery

Monday, Aug. 29: Classes begin

Thursday, Sept. 1: Thompson Hall Science and Math Seminar: Using Drosphila to elucidate the genetic components of cancer, Leslie Saucedo, biology, 4 p.m., Thompson 175

Friday, Sept. 2: 10th Annual LogJam! 2011, 5 p.m., Todd Field

Friday, Sept. 2–Saturday, Sept. 3: Puget Sound Volleyball Tournament, Memorial Fieldhouse. Five-team tournament; see the Logger athletics website for game times.

Monday, Sept. 5: Labor Day, no classes

Monday, Sept. 5: Women's Soccer vs. Cal Lutheran, 1 p.m., Peyton Field