Knox 101: Brown Bag Lunch Series, Jan. 27

From President Amott:

Dear Knox Community,

We’re pleased to announce the next Knox 101: Brown Bag Lunch series. Please join us on Wednesday, January 27 at 8:00 a.m. and at noon in the Handler Forum in Alumni Hall for the following:

Knox 101: A Basic Understanding of Finance in Higher Education and at Knox College

A discussion of the fundamental finance and accounting concepts relating to the higher education business model in general and Knox College specifically.
The Knox 101: Brown Bag Lunch series is sponsored by the President’s Council and Human Resources. Bring your breakfast or lunch and join in this discussion to learn more about these important campus matters.

We look forward to seeing you on January 27.

McAndrew Chapter Published

Frank McAndrew, Psychology, has published a chapter in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition published by Oxford University Press (edited by M. L. Fisher). The title of his chapter is “How ‘The Gossip’ became a woman and how ‘Gossip’ became her weapon of choice.” The book is still in press, but McAndrew’s chapter is available online at the following link:

Gilbert Appointed as Guest Reviewer for The Art Newspaper

Gregory Gilbert, Art and Art History, has been appointed as a guest reviewer for The Art Newspaper. The Art Newspaper is a leading publication on the visual arts, which is based in London and New York City. Gilbert will provide critical reviews on art books, exhibitions and longer conceptual articles. His first piece was just published and is a review of the exhibition catalogue for the Charles Ray show at the Art Institute of Chicago.

2016 Commencement Speaker

Dear Knox Community,

I am delighted to share the good news that we have a commencement speaker — United States Senator Dick Durbin.

Senator Durbin, a Democrat from Springfield, is the 47th U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator, and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan congressional delegation. He also serves as the Assistant Democratic Leader, the second highest ranking position among the Senate Democrats. Also known as the Minority Whip, Senator Durbin has been elected to this leadership post by his Democratic colleagues every two years since 2005. He sits on the Senate Judiciary, Appropriations, and Rules Committees, and is the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and the Appropriations Committee’s Defense subcommittee.

During his nearly 20 years in the U.S. Senate, Durbin has sponsored or co-sponsored legislation on many key state and national issues, including education, healthcare, immigration and the DREAM Act, veterans benefits,consumer protection, and gun safety. Most recently, he urged Senate leadership to take up and pass legislation to reauthorize the Perkins Loan Program, a critical lifeline for many low-income students.

Senator Durbin’s commitment to public service and issues like college access and human rights speaks to the College’s own long-standing commitments and priorities. The senior class officers are very excited that we were able to secure a Commencement speaker with a distinguished career in public service and dedication to many pivotal issues facing the nation today.

You can read more about Senator Durbin on the College’s website.



MLK Convocation Class Schedule

The annual celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be held Monday, January 18, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. in Harbach Theatre.

In order to allow faculty, staff and students to attend and show their commitment to King’s ideals and ideas, the College will follow the Convocation class schedule below.

Class periods are shortened as follows.

1st period……..8:-00 – 8:45 am

2nd period…….8:55 – 9:40 am

3rd period…….9:50 – 10:35 am

Convocation – 11:00 am

4th period…….1:20 – 2:05 pm

5th period…….2:15 – 3:00 pm

6th period…….3:10 – 3:55 pm

Denial Participated in Workshop

Catherine J. Denial, Bright Professor of American History, participated in the Undergraduate Teaching Workshop at the American Historical Association’s Annual Meeting, January 8. Applications to the workshop were competitive, and Denial presented one of her assignments used in two history classes here at Knox.

Three faculty members appointed to endowed professorships

From President Amott:

Dear Knox Community,

It gives me very great pleasure to announce that three of our colleagues have been appointed to endowed professorships in recognition of their distinguished teaching, scholarship, and service to Knox College. I have made these appointments upon the recommendation of the Faculty Personnel Committee and the Dean of the College, and am grateful for their good counsel.

Dr. Heather Hoffmann, Professor of Psychology, has been named as the Robert M. and Katherine A. Seeley Distinguished Professorship, succeeding Professor Emeritus George Steckley. Hoffmann joined the Knox faculty in 1987, and specializes in human sexual psychophysiology, including the origins of patterns of sexual attraction and sexual arousal. In addition, her work in neuroscience includes examining developmental differences in learning in rats and the role of monoamine and neuropeptide transmitters in such ontogenetic differences. Hoffmann received her Ph.D. and M.A. in psychology from the State University of New York-Binghamton, and her B.A. in psychology from Lafayette College. She currently serves as President of the International Academy of Sex Research. Hoffmann has received grants from the National Institutes of Health and from the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality and was named a Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University. In addition to national and international presentations, her work has been published in numerous professional journals. In 1991, she was awarded the Phillip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize for Distinguished Teaching at Knox College.

The Robert M. and Katherine A. Seeley Distinguished Professorship was established in 1998 through a bequest from their son, Robert A. Seeley, Knox College Class of 1951. Robert Arnold Seeley ’51, and Katherine Arnold Seeley ’22, were direct descendants of Sylvanus Ferris, one of the founders and initial trustees of Knox College, and of Benjamin Franklin Arnold, a trustee of the College from 1899 until his death in 1920. While an undergraduate, Robert Arnold Seeley was a member of Phi Sigma Kappa Fraternity; upon graduation he pursued a career in the insurance industry, initially in his home community of Freeport, Illinois. In 1954 he married Nancy Ferguson, a graduate of Stanford University. Katherine Arnold Seeley, a native of Galesburg, was involved in a variety of activities while an undergraduate, including membership in Delta Delta Delta sorority, and remained active throughout her life in community affairs in Freeport. In 1927 she married Robert M. Seeley, an insurance executive who had attended the University of Illinois. Nancy Ferguson Seeley remains a leadership donor to Knox, including support for Alumni Hall and the naming of an Admission counseling office in honor of the Knox connections of her husband and mother-in-law.

Dr. Konrad Hamilton, Associate Professor and Chair of History, has been named as the Burkhardt Distinguished Chair in History, succeeding Professor Catherine Denial, who has been named to the inaugural Bright Professorship in History (see below). Dr. Hamilton joined the Knox faculty in 1995, and specializes on the history of affirmative action policy and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the United States. He also has engaged in a comparative historiographical study of emancipation in the British Caribbean and the United States. Dr. Hamilton received his Ph.D. and M.A. in U.S. history from Stanford University; an M.A. in public historical studies from the University of California-Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in history, with honors, from the University of Oregon. At Knox, Hamilton plays a pivotal role in considering how Martin Luther King’s life and words continue to be relevant in the 21st century. He also served as project historian at the Grant Wood History Institute, focusing on “Teaching Reconstruction for Middle School Teachers, Teaching Liberalism and Conservatism in the 20th Century.” His teaching at Knox includes courses in the Black Image in American Film, Environmental Racism, America in the 1960s, Slavery in the Americas, Themes in African-American Political Thought since Emancipation, The Great Society, and The American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Hamilton also served as co-director of the SPARK program in its inaugural year, lending his expertise on the millennial generation in Knox’s College readiness program.

The Burkhardt Distinguished Chair in History was established in 2010 through the generosity of Dr. Richard W. Burkhardt ’39 and Dorothy Johnson Burkhardt ’39; it followed the 2009 Burkhardt Distinguished Chair in Modern Languages. Both Burkhardts had long and distinguished careers in the academy. Dr. Burkhardt was a member of the faculties of Syracuse and Ball State Universities; he served as vice president and dean of the faculty at Ball State and retired in 1985. Mrs. Burkhardt served as instructor of French, Spanish and Russian, also at Ball State, from 1958 to 1983, and was awarded the Palmes Academiques by the French government for her efforts to promote cross-cultural learning between France and the United States. She was a member of the Board of Trustees at Knox from 1976 to 1990, when she was elected a life trustee.

Dr. Catherine Denial, Associate Professor of History, will be the inaugural holder of the Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright and Edwin Winslow Bright Professorship of American History. Dr. Denial joined the Knox faculty in 2005 and specializes in property and kinship in Dakota country and history pedagogy and curriculum. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Iowa after completing an M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. with Honors in American studies at the University of Nottingham, England. Her publications include Making Marriage: Husbands, Wives, and the American State in Dakota and Ojibwe Country (2013), as well as articles, reviews, and web publications in her other areas of specialization. Denial also served as the lead historian for the U.S. Department of Education program on “Bringing History Home and the Grant Wood History Institute” (2001-2012). Her teaching at Knox includes courses on the American West, Great American Debates, Feminist Methodologies, the Historian’s Workshop, and Museums, Monuments and Memory. In addition, Dr. Denial served as co-director of the SPARK program in its inaugural year and is a co-facilitator of Knox’s Intergroup Dialogue Program.

The Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright and Edwin Winslow Bright Professorship of American History is supported through a trust established by Edwin W. Bright and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Hand Bright, a 1944 alumna of Knox College. Mrs. Bright came from Morristown, New Jersey to Knox College. After receiving her degree in history, she volunteered for the WACs, did her basic training in Georgia, and worked in Washington, DC during WW II. After the war she worked as a reference librarian. Mr. Bright graduated from Columbia in 1942 where he majored in engineering. During WW II, Ed received a direct commission in the Navy and worked on electronics. After many years of marriage, Mary Elizabeth passed away in 2008 followed by Ed in 2013. It was their intent for their bequests to support the study of early American history at Knox, defined as before the Civil War. Their interest in early American history may have stemmed from the fact that Edwin Winslow, Ed’s ancestor, came to the U.S. on the Mayflower and Mary Elizabeth’s ancestors hit American soil in 1633 or thereabouts. Ed and Mary Elizabeth Bright established two other funds at Knox College: the Bright Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to a student majoring in American history and the Bright Book Fund for early American history.

Please join me in congratulating Professors Hoffmann, Hamilton, and Denial and in thanking our donors for their generous support of the Knox College faculty. I am delighted that we can honor their teaching, scholarship, and service through these appointments.

Gilbert Presented at Motherwell Symposium

Gregory Gilbert, Art and Art History, spoke at “A Symposium on Robert Motherwell” on December 4, 2015 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The symposium was held in honor of Robert Motherwell’s centenary and was sponsored by the Archives of American Art and the Dedalus Foundation in New York City. Gilbert’s talk was titled “Pragmatist Poetics in the Early Art of Robert Motherwell” and is part of a larger research project supported by a Dedalus Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Archives of American Art Fellowship this past year. Gilbert and the other fellows have been invited to publish their talks as articles in the Archives of American Art Journal.

Kampwirth and McGee publish journal article

Karen Kampwirth ’86, political science, and Marcus McGee ’14 are co-authors of “The Co-optation of LGBT Movements in Mexico and Nicaragua: Modernizing Clientelism?” published in Latin American Politics and Society. Vol. 57, No. 4. Winter 2015. pp. 51-73.

Thoughts on the opening of winter term

From President Amott:

Dear Campus Community,

The campus has come alive again after the winter break as we resume the work of teaching and learning that brings us together as a community. While the winter weather has already brought us its characteristic frigid temperatures, ice, and snow, winter term also brings with it some of our most exciting and valued traditions, including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Convocation and International Fair later this month and the 17th annual Repertory Theatre Term productions later in the term. I look forward to seeing you at each of these events, as well as at performances and athletic competitions, in classrooms, and along the sidewalks in the coming weeks.

While we were away and spread across the world, much has happened. In December, a milestone was reached when more than 1 million refugees reached Europe, with thousands dying en route. The San Bernadino attack left 14 dead and wounded 22. Video was released showing the shooting of Laquan McDonald by police officer Jason Van Dyke in the City of Chicago, and Van Dyke was indicted for first-degree murder. And presidential candidates in both the Democratic and Republican primaries made many headlines. Against this backdrop, the media also reported on rising acts of bias-related harassment and violence, including actions and threats against individuals based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, or gender identity. At the same time, however, many individuals and organizations have used social and traditional media to speak out against Islamophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment.

Each of us needs to examine what these events mean in the context of our values as a college community, our educational experiences, and our own lives. Although we live in a world filled with intolerance and violence, I continue to believe that if we if engage in these issues collectively–in our residences, in our classrooms, in our offices, in our civic and community actions and in our personal relationships–we can make a difference. In fact, it is the only way that change will happen. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

I encourage each of us to challenge discrimination whenever and wherever it occurs and to serve the common good by maintaining a firm commitment to racial and religious diversity and inclusivity. I also encourage you to read the Becoming One Community action plan, which outlines the steps we have been taking to make Knox a more inclusive community, and the anonymous report form, where you can find reporting and resolution procedures for bias-related incidents. We should all take responsibility for reporting any such incidents of which we are aware.

Each of us — students, faculty, and administrative staff members — has a role to play as we move closer to understanding and living our ideals as a College, and it’s important for us to join together in this critical work.

I look forward to the term and all that we will accomplish together.