At Warren Wilson, we love to talk about the college farm, garden and forestry programs, which have large work crews that most freshmen dream of being on. But there are over 100 work crews on campus that contribute to the mission of the college in equally important ways, often behind the scenes.
The Alumni Relations Crew makes its home in the upper level of the Orr Cottage with panoramic views of the farm and surrounding peaks. Three students, supervised by Alumni Director Jon Hettrick, are responsible for day-to-day communications with alumni through telephone, email and other mailings. The department plans and executes events like Homecoming and the Weekend at WWC and collaborates with neighboring crews – the WWC Fund Crew, Advancement Office Crew and Church Relations Crew.
As with many work crews on campus, the Alumni Crew is more than just a group of students who work together. It’s not uncommon for Hettrick to have his students over for a family-style dinner at his nearby home. Alumni Relations Crew member Eros Gautam, a sophomore from Dharan, Nepal, says his time on the crew has been priceless. “Working with Jon is fun, and I’ve been involved with creative projects like the Alumni Board Facebook,” he said. “It’s hands-on work, and I’ll carry all the skills I’ve learned with me to a job after I graduate.”
—Vanessa Emery ‘10
The G.D Davidson Roundtable
Making a Choice: Thermostat or Thermometer, an address by journalist George Curry
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine and the National Newspapers Publishers Association News Service, will deliver the 2008 G.D. Davidson Roundtable Lecture on March 27. Curry’s free public talk, “Making a Choice: Thermostat or Thermometer,” will begin at 7 p.m. in the College Chapel.
A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Curry is a former New York bureau chief and Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. His column, “Beyond the Spin,” currently appears biweekly on the commentary page of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Curry was also a reporter for Sports Illustrated and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He wrote and served as chief correspondent for the widely praised TV documentary, “Assault on Affirmative Action,” which aired as part of the “Frontline” series on PBS. The first African-American to serve as president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, Curry is on the list of Most Influential Black Journalists of the 20th century, a list compiled by the National Association of Black Journalists. In 2003, the NABJ selected Curry as its Journalist of the Year.
Mr. and Mrs. George Donnell Davidson Jr. established the Davidson Roundtable in 1987 to honor Davidson’s father, George Donnell Davidson, a 1902 graduate of the Asheville Farm School (forerunner to Warren Wilson). Each spring, the roundtable has invited guests to share life stories that include both successes and disappointments.
Work Day 2008
Warren Wilson’s Work Day tradition continues on Wednesday, April 9. This year’s campus work projects include removing invasive plants and debris, trail maintenance, planting native grasses, and cleaning up around the pond and cemetery – just to name a few. For more information about Work Day, email Karen Huntley.
Susan Kask’s Antarctica Adventure
On Wednesday, March 26, in the McGuire Room of the library, WWC economics professor Susan Kask will speak about her recent trip to Antarctica through the eyes of an economist, world traveler and environmentalist. The event, hosted by the Friends of the Library, is free and open to the public.
Warren Wilson Theatre Hosts Performance Artists Gillum, Crutchfield
Warren Wilson Theatre will present local performance artists Julie Becton Gillum and John Crutchfield in “Hour Earth (after the dark): an evening of performance” March 28-29 at Kittredge Theatre. Curtain times are 8 p.m. March 28 and 9 p.m. March 29. Call (828) 771-3040 for reservations. More information on the performance.
For more events, see the Warren Wilson College Events Calendar.
Senior Justin Levy organized a service trip to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in October. Levy, along with other Warren Wilson students and staff, delivered a 16-foot box truck full of food to a reservation food bank.
Demystifying Integrative Studies
Let’s put to rest the puzzle of the integrative studies (IS) major. Department chair Gwen Diehn hears it described many ways. “It’s for creating your own major,” one student says. “It’s for people who want to choose their own classes and not confine themselves to one discipline,” says another. Not exactly. Students who make it into the integrative studies program are among those that work the hardest and have the clearest visions for their liberal arts education.
“Our job is to be sure the student is proposing a true integration of disciplines that is sufficiently rigorous to stand alongside established majors,” Diehn says. “If we feel the student could accomplish the same goals in an existing major, then our job is to guide them to that major.” To be considered for the IS major, students must have a 3.0 GPA and submit a hefty proposal to a seven-person committee for consideration.
Two dazzling IS students are Justin Levy, who is essentially majoring in service learning, and Cameron Bargerstock, who is focusing on “The Cultural Organization of Death and Dying” for her integrative studies major.
Through an independent study as a freshman, Levy wrote a curriculum for hosting food drives in elementary and high schools. In a sociology class during his sophomore year, he worked with his professor to tweak a reading assignment on poverty to planning a hurricane relief project in New Orleans. “This is how I learn best – by doing something meaningful,” Levy says. Simply put – he wants to inspire others to help those in need. The IS major allows him full reign in service learning program development. He already has a detailed proposal for starting his own company and is working with the Colorado non-profit Conscious Alliance on the Youth Against Hunger program. “I want to start this right now, not after graduation, so when I graduate I’ll have four years of experience,” Levy says.
Cameron Bargerstock’s goal is to transform the American culture's relationship to death and dying from one of fear and avoidance to one that creatively embodies the end of life processes as a natural and venerable rite of passage. She says her most valuable class for this major has been ODL 320 – program planning and design – a class offered through the Outdoor Leadership department. In ODL 320, students create a specific program with an emphasis on goals, philosophy, needs assessment, budgeting, marketing and evaluation. Bargerstock’s program is the organization of an Asheville-based non-profit that organizes workshops and community outreach around the question, What can the end of life journey mean to us? The non-profit will provide services like spiritual and emotional support for terminally ill individuals and families, training for home-based funeral care, narrative documentary work, and the first “green” cemetery in North Carolina. After interning as a midwife's apprentice in Bali she said, “I thought I was going to be a midwife of birth. Now I realize I want to be a midwife to the dying.”
—Vanessa Emery ‘10
Andy Summers – In Memoriam
Andy sits with Chris Berthiaume ‘03
Andy Summers, Warren Wilson College’s Minister to Students for 17 years, passed away on Thursday, March 13 after a brief but courageous battle with acute leukemia. A celebration of Andy’s life and contribution to the college will be held Saturday, March 29, 2 p.m., at the College Chapel.
Click here to read messages to the campus from Warren Wilson College Presbyterian Church Minister and College Chaplain Steve Runholt.
In the Media
“Should a Liberal Education Include an Agricultural Education?”
Senior Courtney Cochran featured in New Southerner
“Our leaders’ reaction to Colombian attack is telling” – commentary by WWC anthropology professor Ben Feinberg
“Elephant in the room: All the rhetoric about change doesn’t address the serious economic and environmental transformation America must soon embark on” – commentary by WWC political science/environmental studies professor Frank Kalinowski
Kylie Krauss ’07 in Blue Ridge Outdoors
“The Green Nitty Gritty: Whittling Down the College List” (see #5)
David Wilcox ‘85 to Play Benefit at Warren Wilson Chapel
Noted Warren Wilson alum and Asheville-based singer songwriter David Wilcox will play a benefit concert in the Warren Wilson Chapel on Friday, April 4, 8 p.m. All proceeds will benefit Helpmate and the Mountain Area Child and Family Center. Tickets for this benefit show are $10 for students, $15 for general admission and $30 for reserved seating. VIP tickets, including premium seating and pre-concert meet & greet with David, are $50. Advance tickets are available at Karmasonics, Malaprops and the Warren Wilson Church office. Tickets will also be available at the door.