MC among Fulbright leaders: Last spring, Monmouth College announced that two of its faculty members, Heather Brady and Amy Caldwell, had received Fulbright Scholarships to teach in Mexico and Mozambique, respectively. What was unknown at the time was how rare a distinction it is for a non-graduate school institution to have multiple Fulbright Scholars at the same time. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Monmouth College is on a short list of 11 bachelor’s institutions that received two or more Fulbright awards in the 2010-11 academic year. Middlebury College had three, and Monmouth was one of 10 schools with two. “Receiving a Fulbright Scholarship is a great honor – the program is highly competitive,” said associate dean of academic affairs Bren Tooley, who was in Bulgaria last spring on a Fulbright Scholarship of her own. “It is also life-changing, exhilarating, horizon-expanding and intellectually invigorating” Tooley added, “We actually have three Fulbright awards this year. Heather also received a Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar award. They are two different programs, run by two different government departments, but they are similar in purpose and in distinction.”
Students to represent U.S. in Bulgaria: Monmouth College has been invited to send a group of students to Sofia, Bulgaria for its first “Chicago Festival,” to be held June 20-26, 2011. A faculty team has begun working to organize a group of 12 to 15 students to travel to Bulgaria next summer, where they will participate in a roundtable discussion about higher education in a globalized world with approximately the same number of Bulgarian students. Helping to facilitate Monmouth’s partnership with the foundation was associate dean of academic affairs Brenda Tooley, who spent five months in Bulgaria earlier this year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar. “It is very likely that the students’ participation in the Chicago Festival will occur in conjunction with a two- or three-week stay in Bulgaria that will enable them to learn about Bulgaria’s history and culture and to explore the country,” said Tooley. “The participation in the roundtable is an offer exclusively made to Monmouth College. Our students would effectively be representing not simply the college but, in a sense, U.S. students’ perspectives on higher education in a globalized world. This is quite an honor.”
MC hosts joint ROTC ceremony: One MC Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) cadet and three Western Illinois University cadets were commissioned second lieutenants in the U.S. Army during the inaugural combined commissioning ceremony held at Monmouth College. More than 100 family members and friends attended the event, which featured addresses by President Mauri Ditzler and Brig. Gen. Roy S. Webb of the Iowa National Guard. The Monmouth cadet to be commissioned an officer was James Deon Holeman. “Western Illinois University’s Army ROTC program has enjoyed a small partnership program with Monmouth College since 2007,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Seifert, chair of WIU’s military science department. According to Seifert, three commissioning ceremonies are generally scheduled per year – May, August and December – to appoint the new second lieutenants. Monmouth College has offered to host the ceremony as its cadets are being commissioned. Monmouth had its own ROTC program until the early 1990s, when the drawback of the military resulted in its inactivation after Operation Desert Storm.
‘Secular Liberal Arts’ workshop held: Last month, Monmouth College hosted a workshop titled “Reconceiving the Secular Liberal Arts.” The workshop was made possible through a competitive grant from the Teagle Foundation. “I think this is a significant event for the college and shows that we are connected to a larger, important national conversation,” associate professor of philosophy and religious studies Hannah Schell said. The workshop involved 12 faculty members, eight students and six student life administrators. “The workshop was very successful in providing students, faculty and staff with an occasion to talk about how Big Questions are engaged on campus,” said Schell. “The students were very articulate and thoughtful in their conversational exchange with each other and with the other panels; their comments especially focused on their desire for guidance on questions of vocation -- what should they do with their lives? The visiting facilitators were very impressed by the kind rapport the students had with each other and the degree to which our campus is already helping students explore their Big Questions both in and out of the classroom.”
Students part of Figge exhibition: Five individuals who were MC students last year are featured in the 2010 College Invitational at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. Their work will be on display through Jan. 8, 2011. The students include May graduates Jack Clifford, Kassandra Heald-Schmelzer, Aubreigh Moon and Lauren Schermerhorn. Alison Andrews, who is currently completing her degree as part of a 3-2 program at Washington University, is also featured. “It is a pretty big deal for our graduates to have their work in a museum,” explained assistant professor of art Tyler Hennings, who is on a consortium committee at the Figge that helped put the 2010 College Invitational show together. The third annual show features student work from seven area colleges. It includes drawings and paintings, sculpture and ceramics, prints and book arts, graphic design and digital photography, and jewelry and metalwork. Through exhibiting their work at the Figge and similar locations, students are able to develop an exhibition record that will help them when they apply to graduate school or pursue a career in the visual arts. The Figge Art Museum is located at 225 W. Second St., along the banks of the Mississippi River.