Todd Cleveland recently traveled to Atlanta to deliver an invited lecture entitled "Continuities in the Maelstrom: Cultural and Social Perpetuations on the Diamond Mines of Colonial Angola, 1917-75," as part of the Institute of African Studies lecture series at Emory University.
David Davies (Music) presented his 2005 composition, "A Minimally Conscious State," at the 2009 Conference of the Society of Composers, Inc. Region V. The conference was held at Clarke College and featured performances by composers from around the Midwest. The composition was performed by Music Department faculty members Susan Stone, Robert Elfline, and Deborah Dakin, and Music Department staff member Carrie Davies.
From Bo Dziadyk (Biology) on Fall Latin America term:
During the seven weeks I spent with the Latin America program teaching Applied Ecology in Ecuador and Peru, we experienced two cleansing ceremonies designed to purify us, so to speak, of weaknesses and negative thoughts. The first was during a trip to Saraguro in southern Ecuador. The city is named for the Saraguro people who have been living in that area ever since the Incas forcibly moved them there from a former homeland to prevent their rebellion. The ceremony was held in the courtyard of the Achik Wasi Hotel where we were staying. Three bare-footed women and a girl formed a circle of ripe ears of corn along with fresh flowers and alcohol-filled flasks used in the ceremony. As the elder "head-man" of the assembly I was part of the inner circle and held a staff topped with flowers. The ceremony was in Spanish, but Diego our guide from CEDEI (Centers for Interamerican Studies) in Cuenca, interpreted its significance for us. There was a clear emphasis on reverence to Paccha Mama (Mother Earth), and all of us had the opportunity to both sip some alcohol from a flower-scented bottle and pour some directly onto the earth. The most notable part was when the Saraguro women sprayed each student, front and back, with alcohol directly from their mouths as the actual cleansing step. Afterward we were all encouraged to silently renounce the evils and weaknesses of our lives and to become stronger people. [No photographs were permitted during the ceremony; I took the two attached afterward including student Bethany Korwin in the second one.]
The second ceremony was in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in southern Peru near Cuzco, the ancient Inca capital. While staying in Urubamba, a town with the same name as the sacred river flowing through the Valley, we planted young trees on a hillside (one of three tree-planting efforts in our first seven weeks) and afterward formed a student circle around an inner corn "alter." The same sentiments were expressed by the two men leading the ceremony as the one in Seraguro, but this time there was no alcohol spraying or drinking. Afterward the presider sprinkled small colored paper circles in the hair of each student and we all hugged every person present. Again, the emphasis was on venerating Paccha Mama and on personal purification.
Our students found these ceremonies a thoughtful and certainly unusual change in the pace of daily classes and home stays. As I quoted to them one day an old Andean saying, "We are losing our ancestral knowledge because the technicians only believe in modern science and cannot read the sky," a respect for ancient traditions is a necessary leavening in the increasing pace of modern life.
Steve Hager published a review paper titled "Human-related threats to urban raptors" in September 2009 edition of The Journal of Raptor Research. The literature he reviewed (86 published sources) suggested that 81% of North American raptors (52 species of hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls) use urban landscapes. This is nearly 50% higher than previous reports. Human-related threats affecting most urban raptors included collisions with automobiles and windows and electrocutions on power lines. The paper also served as a commentary suggesting that future work should directly assess whether or not these threats are contributing to declines of raptor populations. Steve's research for this project was inspired by the observation by James Walsh ('08) of simultaneous collisions in a male and female Cooper's Hawk (shown below) at the windows of the Carver PE workout room. If interested, HERE is a link to the abstract of Steve's paper.
Randy Hengst (Education) and Mike Egan (Education) presented some of the work from their Longfellow Kindergarten Number Sense project at the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) in Peoria. The audience was able to interact with the software designed specifically for the project, view and discuss video of children interacting with the software, and learn how the software and the Number Sense project in general tie in to research on children's numerical development.
Mike Egan was also invited to deliver two additional presentations at the ICTM conference. Both presentations tied in to Mike's 2008 publication, The Fostering Geometric Thinking Toolkit. One was geared toward practicing middle school math teachers, highlighting a framework for identifying and promoting productive geometric thinking among middle school students. The second was intended for professional development providers for teachers, suggesting a model of professional development design which connects directly to teachers' daily work.
Doug Tschopp (Communication Studies) recently served as Program Chair for the HighEdWeb conference for his 7th year in a row. The conference attracted 450 higher education professionals from 42 states and 5 countries. Besides serving as the face of the conference, Doug presented a half-day workshop, "Developing and Maintaining Web Content: An Idea Generating Workshop" as well as a presentation on "Building a Strategic Plan".
Also at the conference was student Joe Santucci ('12), who presented a poster session on "Student Group Success". Joe is the president of the Augustana Web Guild and many attendees were interested in how the group works and what it has achieved over the pat 11 years.
"Recent Paintings" by Peter Xiao (Art) and Les Bell, opening reception October 23rd, 7:00 - 9:00 PM at the Quad City Arts, 1715 2nd Avenue, Rock Island, IL. Show duration: October 16-24, 2009. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Friday from 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Saturday from 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
In September, Peter also had a two-person show of a different body of works and gave a gallery talk in Marvin Cone Gallery, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA.