How Centre folks are spending the summer: Part 3
RELEASED: July 26, 2007
DANVILLE, KY—With the Centre community, even a small request can generate a huge response. When the call went out to faculty, staff and students to tell us how they're spending their summers, it came as no surprise that the responses were quick, plentiful and interesting! Here's Part 3 of a multi-part series showcasing the cool ways in which the Centre community is spending the summer. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, too.)
Genny Ballard, assistant professor of Spanish
I'm working in the Governor's Scholar's program and it's been an outstanding summer. One of my classes works with children in the community who have been identified by their school as potentially benefiting from some help speaking, reading and writing English. Betsy Dahms '03 and the Centro Latino, a community agency dedicated to advocacy and support for local Hispanics, secured a grant from the Boyle and Danville School Districts to provide transportation for these students to Centre four days a week. My Governor's Scholars work one-on-one with the Danville/Boyle County school students. I have a very bright and hard-working group of scholars this year they have such terrific attitudes, which truly makes a big difference. One day we took a break from the classroom and went to Centre's pool to do a lesson on water safety and some basic swimming lessons, and later went to Heather Hills Apartments to help the police department host a cookout.
Alice Fleet, sophomore, Franklin, Tenn.
I'm interning with the high school youth group at my church, Christ Community Church in Franklin, Tenn. We run a lot of errands, make copies, etc, but it's a lot of hanging out and building relationships with high schoolers through all kinds of activities: summer camp, Sunday morning worship and lunch with kids, playing Ultimate Frisbee, just meeting up for coffee or lunch, and book study. We took a group of 36 to Chicago for a mission trip, working with children who come from hard situations and serving in soup kitchens. It keeps me pretty busy, but I'm loving it!
Amanda Bauer, senior, Independence, Ky.
This summer I learned how to sew on a sewing machine and actually made a summer dress. It was so incredible to learn a new skill and then create something using that skill. Now I'm working on a string quilt. I'm also creating lesson plans for this coming school year, and on August 15 I'll be in Danville to help teach with Mrs. Gibson at Bate Middle for the first day of school.
Anna Bland, junior, Frankfort, Ky.
This summer I have an internship with Kentucky's Secretary of State Trey Grayson's office. Grayson is the youngest Secretary of State in the U.S. I work in the main part of the office, the Executive Branch, as an office intern under Les Fugate '02 and Rebecca Bush '06, among others. So far I've attended a press conference, conducted a mock election and helped scholars register to vote at Bellarmine for the Governor's Scholars Program to promote civic involvement, and will be present at the Kentucky State Fair. At the fair, the Secretary of State's office will educate new voters on how to use voting machines, promote the new Vote In Honor of a Veteran program by videotaping citizens making a tribute to a veteran of his or her choice, host a civics game to encourage civic education and involvement, and answer general questions. Five interns were selected for summer positions in the entire SOS department and I'm the youngest intern and the only female selected. Though I'm an anthropology and history double major, government and civics have always been interests of mine and I'm extremely lucky to have this opportunity to pursue them at the Capitol, if only for the summer.
Ashley Warner, junior, Elkmont, Ala.
I attended the Up 'til Dawn leadership conference in Memphis, Tenn. UTD is a student-run program to help raise money for children at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I've also been doing research with Dr. Asmus here at Centre.
Chris Fleming, junior, Winterville, Ga.
I've been spending the summer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., doing immunotherapy research for cancer. I'm doing a research fellowship with Dr. Larry Pease, chairman of the immunology department, and Erin Schink (MD/Ph.D. candidate).
We're doing research with shigM12, a.k.a. "lymph 12," a special and rare human antibody (only found in one person on record) responsible for activating dendritic cells which activate "naive" and mature t-cells through antigen presentation. Lymph 12 has been found to activate t-cells so that they can kill B-16 melanoma cells in in-vivo mouse models. The 12 antibody has also been found though Dr. Pease's research to prolong the life of dendritic cells under stressful conditions.
My job during this summer is to figure out the mechanisms of how B7-DC xAB makes T-Cells super killers in just 24 hours, which is unheard of. I'm looking at surface markers on the t-cells, cytotoxicity assays to see differences in killing, cytokine production, and an array of signaling protein phosphorylation within t-cells that can explain for their aggressiveness. We know what it does but in order to get anything passed by the FDA for clinical trials you have to know how it does it.
Other than research we've been to The Mall of America twice, bowling, movie watching (including a Lord of the Rings marathon which took 9 1/2 hours), picnics for the immunology department, concerts (Sister Hazel and Jimmy Eat World), and many other social events.
Donna Plummer, associate professor of education
My husband and I traveled to Greenland and Iceland in June. We even had lunch with Reggie Magnusson '06 in Reykjavík on their national holiday (much like our 4th of July)!
The native village on the island of Kulusuk, Greenland was still trapped in ice in mid-June. Dimmuborgir, Iceland is a dark city made of unusual lava fields. These fields are the remains of volcanic activity that some believe to be the home of elves and trolls.
Elizabeth Schildkret, senior, Chandler, Ariz.
This summer I'm working in a repertory theater in Findlay, Ohio. I'm working as a costume assistant, building, altering, decorating, and designing costumes for University of Findlay Summerstock. We finished You're a Good Man Charlie Brown a week ago and are currently performing Cheaper by the Dozen . The last show of the season will be Into the Woods . It's fast-paced theater, but it's a lot of fun.
Holly Bradford, senior, Louisville, Ky.
I'm doing an internship for Glaceau (the company that makes VitaminWater), pretty much driving around the state and trying to promote the brand, which is growing very quickly. The Coca Cola Company recently purchased the company for 4.1 billion dollars and it's expected to expand even more rapidly. Also, I took a trip to St. Louis for my birthday and met some of the St. Louis Cardinal players.
Jasmon Dixon, sophomore, Evansville, Ind.
I'm working at an internship with the Breakthrough Collaborative Program. I teach 7 th -grade biology at a middle school in San Jose, Calif. I have my own classroom, students and even my own desk. I chose this internship because I'm interested in education and also this internship helps underprivileged kids overcome adversity. More fortunate kids get to go to summer camps and things, but some kids who want to can't. I know when I was a kid I always wanted to be a Boy Scout and go to Camp Carson but because of money, I couldn't. This program is free and for all kids who want to enrich themselves. This breakthrough program is also the 3 rd -most sought after internship. (1st is the White House, 2nd is MTV networks).
Jerry Meyer, director of facilities management
Along with being involved with construction activities at Centre (click here for construction updates on Pearl Hall ), I make the time to volunteer as a Pleasant Hill Shaker Singer . I've been a Shaker song and dance interpreter for about 10 years and I thoroughly enjoy the experience. Not only are my fellow singers a group of interesting and dedicated people, they're a delight to share time with in doing something that's as far away from construction and administration as you can get. Personally, I enjoy my efforts in preserving a significant part of Kentucky history and a religious conviction that's almost extinct. We can usually find a place for any volunteer who cares to commit to six events and several practices per year.
Michael Henry, junior, Maryville, Tenn.
Right now, I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Lasha, Tibet, China checking my email. Keep that in mind as I describe my adventures.
One week after finals, I was on a plane headed for Paris. I participated in Centre's Summer Strasbourg Program in Strasbourg, France. I and seven other Centre students spent three weeks in Strasbourg, with the last three days in Paris. We saw and did so much through this course. From Strasbourg, we rode bikes to Kahl, Germany for ice cream, visited the Council of Europe, tasted wine in the wine caves of the Strasbourg Hospital (and got to smell the oldest wine in the world), toured the city on foot, learned to cook like the French, shopped in markets, relaxed in the Roman spas in Baden Baden, Germany, learned A LOT about French political culture, studied immigration in France, visited the only Nazi concentration camp on present-day French soil, and of course hung out in the Strasbourg Cathedral (which is amazing).
On a long weekend we had off, Matt Kaufman, Will Jenkins (two upcoming sophomores at Centre), and I went to Amsterdam. We visited the Anne Frank House, learned a little Dutch, watched Pirates of the Carribean III with Dutch subtitles, and experienced the counterculture. In Paris, our class visited the Louvre, Musee D'Orsay, and the Arc d'Triomphe, took a boat ride along the Seine by night, checked out Notre Dame. Amber Lyvers and I (Amber is an upcoming sophomore at Centre) hiked up the Eiffel Tower (using the stairs), saw Napoleon's tomb, and got lost looking for the famous Pompidou Centre. Afterwards, the whole class had a huge French dinner on a hill overlooking the city of Montmartre. We ate near Sacre Coeur, a beautiful white cathedral on the top of the hill.
After the course ended, a few friends and I flew to Rome, Italy. There, we checked out the Coliseum, got blessed by the Pope in Vatican City (no joke...we went to a special service and the pope passed by 10 feet in front of us), and saw the original triumphal arch that Caesar built. We then headed for a small island off Naples, Italy called Procida for a day at the beach. The beach we visited was completely remote, and we hiked all over the island trying to find it. It was beautiful. After Naples, we hit up Florence and saw Michelangelo's David (which is a lot bigger in person than you'd expect), walked around Sienna for a day, and then headed for Milan. There, we checked out the high-society fashion district as well as the Duomo. We also spent a day boating around Lake Como, where allegedly George Clooney has a house.
After that, I traveled to Barcelona, Spain alone. There I swam in the 1992 Olympic swimming pool and visited the Olympic site. I checked out La Sagrada Familia, the Barcelona Cathedral, Barcelona's Arc de Triomf, and, of course, the beach. At the hostel I stayed in, I spent six hours one evening sitting around in the lobby and talking about the world with other people my age. They included a British guy, a Portuguese guy, a French guy, three Australian girls, two Japanese girls, a Canadian from Montreal (French was his native language), and two Canadians from Vancouver. I was the only American.
I then trained to Madrid to meet up with my cousin and her husband, who have been studying and working in Oslo, Norway for two years. We visited El Prado museum, El Parque del Buen Retiro, El Rastro (a huge flea market), El Palacio Real, Plaza del Sol, and went to a bullfight in Plaza de Toros. We tried tapas and had sherry in La Venecia, a bar that's been around since before the Spanish Civil War and is the location where scholars and intellectuals who opposed Franco gathered during his seventy-year reign.
After my whirlwind European excursion, I spent a week at home celebrating the Fourth of July at Norris Lake in Tennessee.
Then it was off to China. Qianyu Yang '09, or Yanni as we call her, is an international student at Centre in my class year who's from the Sichuan province of China. While finishing up some research she'd been conducting with mathematics professor John Wilson , she was headed home, and I tagged along. We spent three days in Beijing, scaling the Great Wall, visiting Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Prince Gong's Palace (Prince Gong was the affluent brother of the last emperor of China who loved to show off his wealth), and the Summer Palace. We ate at restaurants all over the city, tasting the food of various provinces of China. As a side, I am now a pro at chopsticks.
After our trip to Beijing, we flew to Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan. Sichuan is the home of all of China's pandas. Naturally, we visited the National Research and Breeding Center for Giant Pandas. After seeing many of these incredible creatures, I got the opportunity to have one in my lap. It was an incredible experience. There are only 1,000 left in the world.
We drove south to Leshan to visit the GIANT Buddha carved in the rocks there. It is a profound and incredible religious site for many Buddhists. After our visit there, it was back to Chengdu.
I just got off a two-day train ride from Chengdu to Lasha, Tibet. Two days straight on a train not only provided us with amazing views of completely untouched parts of the world, including the highest elevation freshwater lake in the world, but also allowed us to adjust to the VERY high altitude, low oxygen environment. I've still not recovered from it. My head is dizzy, and we're forbidden from much physical activity or showering within our first 20 hours here. Those activities could hinder our ability to adapt to the new environments.
I'll return to Tennessee for a month before heading to Centre to assist with freshman orientation. I'm an orientation assistant for the second year in a row.
On Sept. 8, I head out to Merida, Mexico to study for three months in the Yucatan with the Centre-in-Mexico program.
Suffice to say, it has been an incredible summer. Did I mention I hadn't been out of the country prior to this summer?
Gareth Barkin, assistant professor of anthropology
This summer I've been working on a scholarly article having to do with Singapore's role as a media hub for the rest of Southeast Asia. The central idea is that Singapore's conservative cultural standards (remember, chewing gum is illegal there -- even possession!) fan out to neighboring countries in a colonial fashion, because of the country's economic status and its appeal to Westerners and Western media corporations. My travel plans have included Singapore and Indonesia, as well as visits to California and finally England.
Pat Thomas, junior, Brentwood, Tenn.
I'm working for the YMCA doing summer camps for kids, and they have proven to test my patience to the limit but I feel like I'm learning a lot and I love the kids. I also went to the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, Tenn., where I worked beforehand in a tollbooth in order to get a free ticket. The festival was amazing! I went to the beach with my family, which was awesome as usual (we go every year). One other thing that I've done this summer has been to catch up on reading. Harry Potter and I have become very close over the summer (I've read books 2-6 this summer in order to catch up before the 7th and final book comes out), and I've loved having something to read.
Milton Scarborough, professor emeritus of philosophy and religion
I'm writing a book. Actually, I've completed a draft of it. It's eight chapters in length. The tentative title is Reflections On Nonduality: The Hebrew Clue To A Western Middle Way . It takes the Buddhist idea of the middle way and tries to find an analogue to it for the West. In the West we tend to categorize reality into one or the other of a pair of opposites: whites and blacks, gays and straights, liberals and conservatives, mind and body, self and other, etc. The Buddhist middle way is threefold: ethical, epistemological, and ontological. I'm focusing on the last two and also on a social middle way. The epistemological middle way is a middle way between ignorance, on the one hand, and absolute knowledge, on the other. The ontological middle way is between self and other (between self-centeredness and other-centeredness), and between the transcendent and the immanent (that is, this world and some other world). I have not yet contacted a publisher. Currently, several colleagues of mine are reading the manuscript and giving me feedback. When that comes in, I'll revise the manuscript to take into account their suggestions.
Ben Ray, senior, Louisville, Ky.
I've been hanging around at U of L, and working on my thesis, but for one glorious week, I was an intern at Beta Theta Pi's John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle. It's a summer leadership training session in Oxford, Ohio, and the crown jewel of our leadership development programs. Working 20-hour days, Beta undergrads from all over the country learn how to be good, responsible fraternity men, with a values-based experience, instead of being centered around a social mission. Maybe the best day was the third one, when we had what is called "Giving of Self." Our 80 participants split up and spend time with disadvantaged children through an organization called Summer Clubhouse, and at a nursing home called Knolls of Oxford. I've been building a better Greek world, and it has been a great experience.
Riya Paranthan, junior, Burlington, Ky.
I did research with the Bartons (Drs. Chris and Mike Barton ) on Cyprinodon Variegatus. I explored the beautiful Middle Eastern culture, wore traditional outfits, rode camels, held killer hunting falcons. I'm reading As I lay Dying by William Faulkner, and loving every moment of it.
Susan Goodlett, data entry coordinator
We spent a week at Emerald Isle visiting my oldest son who is stationed at Camp Lejune. I also chase around two 16-year-olds, and I'm VERY involved with the Mercer County Band and Mercer County Boys Soccer.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
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Gareth Barkin in a Japanese garden communed
with the Buddha.
Holly Bradford posed with a St. Louis Cardinal.
Michael Henry held a one-to-two-year-old sub-adult giant panda in Sichuan, China.
Chris Fleming took time off from research at the Mayo Clinic for some interesting shopping at The Mall of America.
Ashley Warner and Brittany Camenisch at the Up 'til Dawn conference in Memphis, Tenn.
Ben Ray and the general Beta Theta Pi president.
Governor's Scholar's in Professor Genny Ballard's class worked with local children.
Donna Plummer and her husband, Mike Gragg, at the dark citadel in Dimmuborgir, Iceland
Jerry Meyer (back row, second from left) with the Pleasant Hill Shaker Singers
Riya Paranthan held a killer falcon on a trip to the Middle East.
Pat Thomas with family and friends at the beach