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Swarthmore in the NewsMay 13, 2011


The Philadelphia Inquirer

Peonies - A Perennial Pleaser

May 13, 2011

By Virginia A. Smith, Inquirer Staff Writer

...Jeff Jabco believes this spring's peony show is the best in years, maybe because of the cold winter or plentiful moisture. "I'm not sure what it is, but I've never seen the peonies budded up like they are this year," he says. Jabco is grounds director and horticulture coordinator at Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College, which has an extensive collection of peonies that bloom from the end of April through the first week of June.

Tree peonies were first cultivated in China for medicinal use. They were introduced to Japan in the seventh century, and in the 1800s made their way to England, France, and finally the United States, says Jabco, cofounder (with Tickner) of the Mid-Atlantic Peony Society. Herbaceous peonies, on the other hand, are native in many places, including the United States, where their popularity has ebbed and flowed depending on landscaping fashions and the times. "Availability was the issue with tree peonies, but herbaceous ones have always been much more common," Jabco says. Tree peonies are harder to propagate, and some take seven or eight years to bloom. ...

Swarthmore's Stockbower awarded Fulbright Scholarship

May 11. 2011

Kathryn Stockbower of the Swarthmore women's basketball team has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Germany for the 2011-12 school year.

Stockbower will be teaching English in the German state of Hessen at the middle school or high school level. Along with her teaching responsibilities, she plans on starting an after-school basketball camp for the students and children in the community.

One of the best players in program history, Stockbower broke numerous Swarthmore program records and reached several national and conference milestones during her career. During the 2011 season, Stockbower became the all-time NCAA Division III leader for career double-doubles (83), Swarthmore's all-time leading rebounder (1,335) and third all-time leading scorer (1,677). She was a fourth-team selection to the All-America team in 2010.

A double major in biology and German studies, Stockbower has also compiled numerous academic awards over her career. Her accolades in the classroom include 2010-11 Capital One First Team Academic All-America and All-District II First Team, 2009-10 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Third Team, 2009-10 ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District II First Team, 2009-10 and 2010-11 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Women's Basketball Player of the Year and 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11 Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll selection.

The Fulbright Program is designed to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries." Fellowships are awarded to American students, young professionals, and artists selected through a national, open, merit-based competition for study, research, internships and/or service abroad. With a broad academic focus including the social sciences, humanities, and the sciences, the program emphasizes leadership development. 


The Philadelphia Inquirer

Philadelphia School District High School - Distinguished Teachers

May 10, 2011


Kathleen Melville

Constitution High School

Kathleen Melville grew up in the Philadelphia area, graduated from Swarthmore College, and spent two years teaching in Guatemala City. She joined the staff of Constitution High School in 2008 as an English and Spanish teacher. A 2009 participant in the Philadelphia Writing Project's Summer Institute, Melville leads the drama club and partners with Philadelphia Young Playwrights.  ...


States News Service

ALCTS President's Program Features Paul Courant

May 9, 2011

The following information was released by the American Library Association:

Paul Courant, university librarian and dean of libraries, Harold T. Shapiro collegiate professor of public policy, Arthur F. Thurnau professor, professor of economics and professor of information at the University of Michigan, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 ALCTS Presidents Program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

His most recent academic work has considered the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives and the effects of new information technologies and other disruptions on scholarship, scholarly publication and academic libraries. The economics of libraries will be the subject of his presentation: Economic Reflections on Libraries.

...Paul Courant holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College (1968); an MA in Economics from Princeton University (1973); and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University (1974).


The Bulletin (Bend, OR)

Abernethy: A familiar name on the ballot

May 9, 2011

Bruce Abernethy is not done yet.

Yes, over the years he's been a board member for the Bend Park & Recreation District and Bend-La Pine Schools, has served on the Bend City Council and been involved in a variety of other public service groups around town.

But there are still a few seats he hasn't held, and Deschutes County ballots feature his name once again this month. He is running unopposed for a seat on the Central Oregon Community College board of directors.

"I've been involved in a lot of regional efforts, and in those outlying communities, COCC is an incredibly vital cog in their community development," he said. "It's that blend of education and economic development."

...He earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Swarthmore College, then a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

"I realize how fortunate I have been with my education, with my teachers and mentors," Abernethy said. "I have some skills and some talents, and I think it's important to give back."...



The Delaware County Daily Times (PA)

Editorial: Unity Center is driving change in Chester

May 9, 2011

For the last quarter century, a network of good will has quietly been working to help restore Chester to its glory days.

On Friday, friends and volunteers of the Unity Center celebrated the non-profit organization's 25th anniversary at its major venue, the Chester Student Center, on the grounds of Trinity United Methodist Church near Ninth and Kerlin streets.

...It started with individuals and churches supporting a transitional center for homeless women at Ninth and Lincoln streets in Chester. About 10 years later, Unity Center adopted its current mission: To provide creative, alternative and safe opportunities for individuals and groups to engage in volunteer service and to facilitate the creation and operation of grass roots groups intent on community improvement.

...One of Unity's more high-profile endeavors is the administration of Chester Youth Court where students can be judged by juries of their peers for such offenses as minor assault, cutting classes or disrespecting teachers or fellow students. Their sentences always include serving as jurors for other students.

"They are elevated from doing something wrong to being decision-makers," noted Foehl.

Youth court members are further empowered by being coached in such areas as writing, public speaking and critical thinking. Volunteers from Swarthmore College mentor court members at Smedley Allied Health High School. The Unity Center also operates a summer youth court academy through which students get to work with Delaware County Court of Common Pleas judges while enhancing their personal development skills.  ....


The Philadelphia Inquirer

Catholicism and evolution: Are they contradictory?

By Faye Flam, Inquirer Staff Writer

May 9, 2011

On Easter, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against both creationism and evolution, or so it looked anyway.

About the biblical account of Genesis, he said, "It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being." So much for literal creationism.

But then he seemed to take a swipe at science, proposing that mankind cannot be just another product of evolution.

"It is not the case that in the expanding universe, at a late stage, in some tiny corner of the cosmos, there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it."

Many biologists beg to differ: Evolution isn't completely random, they say, and neither is it geared to produce humans.

The pope's words raise the question: Are Catholicism and evolution in conflict?

Several prominent Catholic scientists said their religion was perfectly compatible with science, and the only apparent problem in the homily came from the way the pope mischaracterized evolution as random. Far from being haphazard, natural selection imposes order on the natural world, as do the laws of physics and chemistry.

..."I think that [Pope] Benedict was trying to find, like so many other religious people, a middle ground between creationism and evolution," said Scott Gilbert, a biologist at Swarthmore College.

"And, like so many others, he does it by proposing a divinely ordained evolutionary process, at least as far as the mind is concerned." Gilbert, who has studied comparative religion, has gone to the Vatican to take part in scientific advisory panels on stem cells and evolution.  ...


Behind The Curtain (blog)

Darko Tresnjak Named New Artistic Director of Hartford Stage

By Frank Rizzo

May 8, 2011

Darko Tresnjak, a theater director known for his work with Shakespeare, world classics and the rediscovery of neglected plays, is expected to be named the new artistic director of Hartford Stage when the board votes Monday morning. He will succeed Michael Wilson who ends his 13-year tenure in June.

The 45-year-old Tresnjak (pronounced TRESHZ-nick) will be the fifth artistic director in the theater's 48-year history. Tresnjak's five-year contract begins July 1.

..."This is a huge honor and a great responsibility," says Tresnjak from New York. "I am deeply humbled."

Hartford Stage leaders praised the quality of Tresnjak's work and extent of his connections throughout the country of the past two decades.

"With Darko, we have someone who is an artist, someone with a lot of integrity and someone who will be really committed to Hartford," says Paul L. Bourdeau, Hartford Stage's board president.

Tresnjak was born in Zemum, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) before emigrating to the U.S. when he was 10. Tresnjak received his BA in English literature at Swarthmore College in 1988 and his MFA in theater studies at Columbia University in 1996


The Delaware County Daily Times (PA)

Community garden continues to grow in Chester

By Kathleen E. Carey

May 8, 2011

CHESTER - Three golden Belgian horses - Belle, Jessie and Beauty - trotted throughout a grassy area at the Ruth L. Bennett Homes on Saturday as an Amish farmer pushed a plow behind them, tilling the soil in preparation for the community garden's third season.

And, some residents couldn't have been more pleased.

"This is a good day," said Carol White, president of the Ruth L. Bennett Resident Council. "This is so awesome. Who would have ever thought the Amish would be in the Ruth L. Bennett?"

Each week, 15 to 20 of the community's children gather at the site with Swarthmore College students, who teach them how to garden a plethora of vegetables, from collards to sweet potatoes to tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. There are even some apple trees in the back of the field.

"It's really nice because last summer when we had the garden, ... we shared it with all the residents," Louise Wright, resident council vice president, said, adding that the bounty was distributed to the neighbors and delivered to the homebound.

Steve Fischer, executive director of the Chester Housing Authority, said Saturday's kickoff highlighted a different perspective for the troubled city.

..."Something like this isn't just doing something nice for them," he said. "Hopefully, it's providing a great tool for them that they can carry throughout life."


Targeted News Service

Widener Honors Faculty for Teaching Innovation, Research and Civic Engagement

May 6, 2011

Widener University issued the following news release:

Widener University on Thursday honored the top faculty in the areas of teaching innovation, research and civic engagement at its annual Faculty Awards Banquet.

Professor Dawn Gulick of the Institute for Physical Therapy Education, Professor Joseph Hargadon of the School of Business Administration and Associate Professor Nadine McHenry of the Center for Education garnered top honors at the event coordinated by the Office of Teaching, Learning and Assessment in the Office of the Provost.

...Applications of all three awards were reviewed by an external panel including Rebecca Chopp, president of Swarthmore College; Steven J. Diner, chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark; and Michael Le Roy, professor, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty at Whitworth University.