Open Line Faculty-Staff Newsletter

for the week of March 10, 2014

Campus News  •  Noteworthy  •  In the News

Campus News

New shows in Kittredge Gallery explore significance of Qur'an in American life and flower photography using Instagram
In the Large Gallery, California artist Sandow Birk will showcase pieces from his ongoing project American Qur’an, a series of artworks exploring how this important religious text relates to contemporary American life. Birk has hand transcribed an English-translated text of the Qur'an using traditional guidelines as to the formatting of the pages, colors of the inks, and illuminations for page headings. His lettering is based on the urban graffiti he finds around his Los Angeles neighborhood. Using a style that draws upon historical Arabic and Persian miniature painting, he creates images that pair each handwritten chapter with relevant scenes from contemporary American life. The exhibit includes a selection of 10 multipanel chapters from American Qur’an, as well as two collaborative works Birk created with his wife, artist Elyse Pignolet. Several works also will be on view at Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library.

In the Small Gallery, the exhibition For You! premieres selections from photographer John Arsenault’s newest body of work, revealing Arsenault’s fascination with the mundane and how the unexpected can be amplified by readily accessible digital technology. Using Instagram Arsenault isolates exquisitely beautiful details of flowers, adding a 21st-century twist to 19th-century precedents and ideas about art and aesthetics.

Both shows run through April 12.

Grammy Award winner Howard Levy joins Jazz Band, March 12
Acclaimed pianist, composer, teacher, and musician Howard Levy will perform with the Puget Sound Jazz Band on Wednesday, March 12. Levy is perhaps best known for the four CDs he recorded with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, a band that set the musical world on its ear back in the early 1990s. He got back together with the band in 2010 and recorded Rocket Science. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m., in Schneebeck Concert Hall. Tickets are $4 for campus members, and are available at the Info Center and online at

Campus Climate Survey forums continue in March, with discussions about campus political beliefs
The Diversity Advisory Council (DAC) continues to share findings from the 2012 Campus Climate Survey through a series of monthly forums and conversations, this month focused on the topic of campus political beliefs. The second of three conversations in March will begin at 10 a.m., Wednesday, March 12, in the Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall. The final forum on political beliefs will be held Friday, March 28, at noon, also in the Tahoma Room. Download the report on political beliefs from the Campus Climate Survey SoundNet site.

DAC will wrap up campus conversations in April with a trio of discussions on the topic of race/ethnicity. Contact Dean of Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Michael Benitez at or x2827 with questions.

Thompson Hall Science and Math Seminars continue March 13
The Thompson Hall Science and Mathematics Seminars series features presentations by Puget Sound faculty and students and invited guest speakers on a wide range of topics. The seminars are held on Thursdays, from 4 to 5 p.m. in Thompson 175. This Thursday, March 13, the presentation will feature James Bernhard, professor of math and computer science, speaking on "Mind, Brain, and Education." For more information visit

Tacoma Symphony Mini Maestros concert series for young families continues at Puget Sound, March 16
Tacoma Symphony Orchestra presents Jungle Jams, a Mini Maestros concert for young children. The concert will take kids on a visit to the deep, dark jungle, where they'll learn how instruments can sound like animals, and about high and low sounds. Tickets are $7 and $10, and are available at the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra website. The concert will begin at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, March 16, at Schneebeck Concert Hall.

Learn about the work of the Race and Pedagogy Initiative and enjoy delicious desserts, March 19
On Wednesday, March 19, the Race and Pedagogy staff development subcommittee will host a staff dessert sponsored by the Race and Pedagogy Initiative, Department of Human Resources, and Diversity Advisory Council in the Rasmussen Rotunda, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Interested staff members will learn more about the work of the Race and Pedagogy Initiative and opportunities for staff involvement in the various phases of Puget Sound’s third quadrennial Race and Pedagogy National Conference, scheduled for Sept. 25–27. Please reserve your spot at the staff dessert by March 12, to   

Annual Women's League Flea Market seeks volunteers
The popular flea market run by the Puget Sound Women’s League will be held on Saturday, March 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 60 booths will offer antiques and collectibles, artwork, handcrafts, artisan and vintage jewelry, home and garden items, furniture, clothing, glassworks, locally sourced foods, and more. Student, faculty, and staff volunteers are needed to help sell tickets, price items for sale, and work league booths, such as the cafe and Grandma's Attic.

If you would like to volunteer, or have questions about this year's market, contact Lynn Raisl ’77 at or 253.759.0725. Check the Women's League Facebook page for featured vendors and more information.

Professor Katherine Smith to discuss the First Crusade at Daedalus Dinner—reservations due March 26
The second Daedalus Dinner of the spring will be held on Wednesday, April 2, at 6 p.m., in Murray Boardroom, WSC. In this talk Katherine Smith, associate professor of history, will discuss how the First Crusade (1095–99) was one of the most dramatic and notorious events of the Middle Ages—and one of the best documented. After the crusader armies conquered Jerusalem, Europeans rushed to chronicle what they saw as a miraculous victory to end all victories. Modern historians have used the many Latin histories of the First Crusade written in the 12th century to reconstruct the expedition’s military, political, and spiritual dimensions in meticulous detail. Professor Smith builds her project on this work while striking out in a different direction, by reconstructing the interpretive process by which medieval chroniclers transformed the First Crusade from lived experience to memory to written history.   

Established in the 1970s, Daedalus Dinners cover a wide range of programs and topics, and are open to all faculty and staff members, who are encouraged to bring interested students as their guests. Four times each year, the Puget Sound Daedalus Society sponsors an evening of scholarship, debate, and dinner. The evening begins with wine and hors d'oeuvres, followed by the featured presentation, a catered buffet dinner, coffee, dessert, and discussion. Reservations are $15 per person, made on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be made by March 26. Contact x3207 for more information or to make a reservation.

Race and Pedagogy National Conference Call for Proposals: Due April 7
This September Puget Sound will host the 2014 Race and Pedagogy National Conference. The conference will focus on the theme "What NOW is the Work of Education and Justice?: Mapping a New Critical Conscience." Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff are invited to submit proposals in the form of papers, panels, round tables, posters, performances, visual arts, interactive sessions, and more. The steering committee encourages innovative and nonconventional program ideas.

For detailed proposal guidelines, information about student proposals, and more, visit the 2014 Race and Pedagogy National Conference website.

Nominate a staff member for an Excellence in Action award
Excellence in Action awards recognize university staff members who consistently exhibit excellence in their work at Puget Sound. Nominated individuals consistently demonstrate one or more of the following Puget Sound core values: self-expression, collegiality, courage, passion, diversity, leadership, stewardship, and environment. Find more information about each of these core values on the website.

To nominate someone complete the Excellence in Action Nomination Form and return it to the Staff Recognition Committee via email to or through campus mail to CMB 1036 by Friday, April 4. The Excellence in Action award will be presented during the annual Staff Recognition Luncheon, held this year on Friday, May 23.


Congratulations to the Logger men's golf team, who won the UPS Invitational over the weekend.

Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Jess K Smith ’05 wrote an article published on HowlRound, "Women Directors: Language Worth Repeating."

In the News

Visiting Assistant Professor Kelly Erickson, politics and government, moderated a local talk on China’s foreign policy, noted the Bainbridge Island Review.

Kittredge Gallery’s exhibit of American Qur’an was covered in Tacoma Weekly.

The Biblical Performance Criticism blog ran an excerpt and link to a scholarly article by Brett Rogers, assistant professor of classics, about the origins of the use of Didaskalia (the teacher) in describing Greek drama poet-directors.

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

Can't-miss Events

Through Sunday, March 30: Collins Memorial Library Exhibit: The Horizon Exhibit: Guild of Book Workers, Collins Memorial Library

Through Saturday, April 12: Kittredge Gallery: Large Gallery: Works by Michael Schall; Small Gallery: Paintings, Kittredge Gallery

Monday, March 10; Tuesday, March 11; Thursday, March 13: Orientation and Free Climbing Nights, Climbing Wall, Warner Gym, 5 p.m.

Monday, March 10; Thursday, March 13: Kayak Club Pool Session, Wallace Pool, 8 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11: JuST: Justice and Service in Tacoma, Commencement Hall, Seminar Room, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, March 11: Film Screening: Let the Bullets Fly (2010), Commencement 272, 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12: Diversity Advisory Council Forum: Political Beliefs, Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall, 10 a.m.

Wednesday, March 12: Summer Opportunity Fair, Piano Lounge, WSC, 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, March 12: Open Figure Drawing, Kittredge 201, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, March 12: Guest Performance: Howard Levy, with Puget Sound Jazz Band, Schneebeck Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $9 general

Thursday, March 13: Thompson Hall Science and Math Seminars: James Bernhard, math and computer science, Thompson 175, 4 p.m.

Thursday, March 13: Kittredge Gallery Artist Talk: John Arsenault, Kittredge Gallery, 5 p.m.

Thursday, March 13: Sister Cities Film Festival: Go Grandriders, Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall, 7 p.m.

Friday, March 14: Men's Tennis vs. Whitworth, Tennis Pavilion, 4 p.m.

Sunday, March 16: Baseball vs. Thompson Rivers, Logger Baseball Field, noon

Sunday, March 16: Tacoma Symphony Mini Maestros Jungle Jams, Schneebeck Concert Hall, 2:30 p.m.

Monday, March 17: Founders Day! Happy 126th anniversary, Puget Sound!

Monday, March 17–Friday, March 21: Spring break (no classes)

Saturday, March 22: Annual Women's League Flea Market, Memorial Fieldhouse, 9 a.m.