Campus Digest: In Brief

George Stephanopoulos speaks May 7

Journalist, author, and commentator George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, will speak on “Politics: The Art of the Impossible,” at King Chapel May 7. Stephanopoulos’ presentation, the third in the Delta Phi Rho Centennial endowment lecture series, draws on his expansive political career in the White House, on Capitol Hill, as a respected member of the press, and as anchor of ABC’s This Week.

Previous Delt-sponsored lecturers were Fareed Zakaria and Bob Woodward.

Headshot of Stephanopoulos

Transcripts to go

Cornell, through the National Student Clearinghouse, now provides online transcript services for only $3 per transcript. A multitude of options are available, including the “oh-my-goshwhat- am-I-going-to-do” expedited delivery service. For details, visit the registrar office’s Web site.

King Chapel: comedy club?

On a cold January night, Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre The Second City warmed a King Chapel crowd and turned the venerable venue into what felt like a large comedy club. Its Jan. 26 performance, “One Nation Under Blog,” featured some of the best sketches, songs, and improvisations from The Second City’s 45-plus year history.

The following day, over 16 students were lucky enough to be selected to take a one-day improv class from members of The Second City. Held in the black box, students worked on skits, drills, and bits under the tutelage of Second City performers.

The Second City was the kickoff event in an annual series of performances and lectures funded by a donation to the Extraordinary Opportunities campaign from Richard Williams ’63 and his wife, honorary alumna Marlene Williams. The Richard and Marlene Williams Fund was created to bring life-transforming lectures and performances to Cornell. The annual series will sponsor one lecture and one performance each year.

Improv. practice

Global warming research makes waves

New research by Professor of Geology Ben Greenstein brought international acclaim and was featured in major newspapers in New Zealand, Australia, India, and in major international news outlets over the winter.

The research, done in conjunction with John Pandolfi of the Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, Australia, suggests that global warming may be responsible for migrating coral species along Australia’s western coast, potentially providing a safe haven for temperature-sensitive species as the oceans warm.

The study, “Escaping the Heat: Range Shifts of Reef Coral Taxa in Coastal Western Australia,” was published in the international journal Global Change Biology.

1st grade class adopts Cornell

It’s never too early to start thinking about college, guidance counselors are often fond of saying. Gail Mehlan ’74 and her Hanover Park, Ill., 1st grade class have taken that to heart, adopting Cornell College as part of “No Excuses University” (NEU), a program designed to raise the bar of expectation for students who come with a wide range of learning issues and home challenges, according to a release put out by the school. NEU pushes students to create and achieve goals, and to aim for college. As part of the program, Mehlan’s first graders have made a Cornell cheer, decorated their room in purple and white, and visited Cornell’s Web site.

The students also wrote letters and drew pictures of and about Cornell. Wrote one student, “How is Cornell College going there? Do you have teams of soccer? We want to be proud of your school.”

Another asked, “our school is cool, is yours cool too?”

And Cornell has tried to do its part to make them proud and be, well, cool. Cornell student teachers, seniors Rachel Leach and Kaleigh Boysen, visited the classroom in the fall, while the Admissions Office sent Cornell T-shirts to the students, which Mehlan says they wear every Friday for “University Colors Day.” Cornell has also sent water bottles, pencils, stickers, and postcards.

“I believe that this program has really motivated our students to believe they can go to college, achieve more academically, and to strive to reach the goals they have set for themselves,” Mehlan wrote in a letter to Cornell.

Drawing from first grader

The costs of winter weather

This past winter was one for the record books. An ice storm shut down the campus in December for the second time in as many winters, temporarily knocking out power and damaging trees and buildings around campus. In January, a number of brutal storms piled enough snow on the Cedar Valley area to ratchet the season into the top five for worst winters in terms of snowfall ever for the area. A look at the numbers on campus, as of March 1:

Tons of ice melter applied by hand on steps and entryways: 9
Cost for nine tons of ice melter: $7,500

Tons of road salt mixed with sand for walks and driveways: 40
Cost for 40 tons of road salt: $4,100

Tons of sand for walks and driveways: 90
Cost for 90 tons of sand: $10,000

Number of vehicles Campus Safety helped move out of snow: Approximately 200
Most in one day: 22

Shovels checked out from Campus Safety in February alone: 45

Cornell sign under snow

Main Street Community

In March Mount Vernon was selected to join the Main Street Iowa program.

For more than 20 years, the Main Street Iowa program and its communities have been looked upon as the “best of the best” in a national effort to revitalize downtowns across the country. Mount Vernon’s downtown business district is also a National Historic District.

Cornell is offering funding and volunteer support, including staff members who serve on the new Community Development Board and its committees. During the first three years of the program, Mount Vernon will receive 40 days of on-site training and technical assistance, as well as 30 days of training for volunteers and local staff, resulting in a state investment of 100,000.

Mt. Vernon pamphlet

It’s a small, small lithosphere

Cornell may be a small campus, but, as Randall Parkinson ’79 recently found out, it’s a pretty small world as well.

Just after Parkinson had made a presentation at a Geological Society of America meeting in Denver, a graduate student from the University of Southwest Florida approached him with questions about his master’s thesis research. The student, Brian Hoye ’06, was working on the geological evolution of the southwest Florida coast, where Parkinson had worked some 20 years earlier.

“We spent about an hour discussing our research,” says Parkinson. “Upon concluding our enjoyable discussion, Brian indicated he was going to meet up with some old college friends. To that I replied, ‘What college did you go to?’ Well, as you can imagine, we had a brief exchange of great Cornell memories and then it was time to depart for more of the conference.”

Geological hammer

Celebrating 30 years of Japan club

In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the organization of the Cornell College of Iowa Japan Association, the college held events in Tokyo and Kyoto in March. At each event, in addition to providing a campus plan and campaign update, President Garner spoke about the importance of global perspective and global citizenship and the role a Cornell education plays in ensuring young people have access to both. The college plans to deepen partnerships with Cornell alumni in Japan and to expand its offerings in Asia.

The Cornell contingent also made official visits to Aoyoma Gakuin University in Tokyo and Kyoto Seika University in Kyoto, to allow for a richer set of offerings for Cornell students and faculty in Japan and an increased number of students and faculty participating in exchange programs from all institutions involved. In May, Cornell will welcome visitors from Kyoto Seika to help formalize plans for the expanded partnership.

Among the alumni at Cornell’s Tokyo event were Miyako Osawa Pickett ’84, vice president and chief financial officer of Gap of Japan, and Yoko Nishihara ’06 (from left).

Japanese alumni