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Archived announcements for February, 2009

Become a Tour Guide! Apply by Jan. 28
We are currently taking applications for tour guides. The deadline is Jan. 28. First rounds of interviews are ongoing and will end on Feb. 4. Contact Keli Gunn ( for an application. All apps will be sent and received through e-mail.

Kenchreai Summer Excavation in Greece-- Application Deadline Feb. 1
Amherst College offers a six-week summer excavation opportunity in Kenchreai, Greece, for someone with a serious interest in furthering his or her knowledge of life in ancient Greece and of archaeological techniques. Application forms are available online (see below) or in the Classics Department office. Please also contact Professor Becky Sinos.
For more information:

Sign Up Now! Colloquium on the Environment Feb. 3-4
This colloquium is entitled "Containing Carbon: Markets, Morals and Mobilization." Among the many challenges we face, none is more daunting than the challenge of weaning ourselves from a carbon-based economy. Most experts agree that only a rapid and large reduction in carbon emissions will avert major worldwide disruptions of ecosystems and social systems as a result of global warming. In this colloquium, writer, teacher and activist Bill McKibben and former governor (NJ) and former head of the EPA Christine Todd Whitman will discuss how drastic carbon reductions will need to be, strategies for reducing carbon emissions and what these strategies will mean for our society.
For more information:

Ushers Needed for Wednesday, Feb. 4
We are looking for ushers for the colloquium on the environment on Wednesday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pay is $10/hour and lunch is included. If you are interested, please stop by on Tuesday (Feb. 3) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. in 202 Converse Hall and see Pat Allen.

Calendar & News
In our continuing efforts to reduce paper on campus, the Office of Public Affairs is reviewing the use of the print version of the Calendar & News. If you or your department no longer want to receive this publication, please contact Maryann Wood at Thanks!

Mead Receives $500,000 Grant from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded Amherst's Mead Art Museum a $500,000 grant, to be used over three years, to strengthen the academic role of the museum's collections and programs.
For more information:

Marni Sandweiss Publishes New Book about a Man Who Crossed the Color Line
Martha Sandweiss, professor of American studies and history, has just published Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line ($27.95, The Penguin Press, 2009), the extraordinary story of Clarence King, a 19th-century white explorer, geologist and writer who, for 13 years, lived a double life as a black Pullman porter and steel worker named James Todd. As Sandweiss details in Passing Strange, King, the fair, blue-eyed son of a wealthy China trader, kept the fact that he was white from his beloved African-American wife, Ada, throughout their relationship and revealed his secret to her only on his deathbed.
For more information:

French Table Every Monday
French Table will continue to meet on Monday evenings, from 6 to 8 p.m. on the Mezzanine in Valentine Dining Hall. French speakers of all levels are welcome.

Statistics Consulting Hours
Statistics consulting hours open to faculty and students (especially thesis writers) will be hosted by Professor Wagaman in Seeley Mudd 306 on Mondays from 2 to 4 p.m. throughout the semester, or by appointment.

German Table Every Monday
The German Table meets every Monday at 11:45 a.m. in Valentine Hall in the Mezzanine. Come and chat with faculty and friends!
For more information:

Kaffeeklatsch Every Tuesday Evening
Come and join German students and faculty every Tuesday evening at 9 p.m. in Porter House for a chat over coffee and much more! This is a great opportunity to practice your German in a casual and relaxing environment.
For more information:

Faculty Invited to Teaching & Advising Lunch Feb. 6
The next Teaching & Advising Lunch will be Friday, Feb. 6, at noon in the Mullins and Faerber Rooms of the Lewis- Sebring Dining Commons. The title of the program is "Student Intellectual Life at Amherst College." Some faculty have expressed concerns about the quality of intellectual life at Amherst. They fear that a culture of anti-intellectualism inhibits students from being as rigorous and critical as they could be. How would you assess students' intellectual vitality? What role do extracurricular activities play in either enhancing or decreasing students' intellectual lives? What strategies can and have been used to enhance students' intellectual engagement? Please contact Amrita Basu with questions and suggestions.
For more information:

Neuroscience Comprehensives Feb. 5
Neuroscience Comprehensives will be held on Feb. 5 at 4:30 p.m., with refreshments at 4:15 in Merrill 4. Attendance is required for senior neuroscience majors. Ben Vincent, Maria Rosasco and Tomas Kiselak will be presenting.
For more information:

Italian Table Every Monday
Professor Luca Grillo of the Classics Department invites any and all who have an interest in speaking Italian to come with your dinners to the Mezzanine of Valentine every Monday from 6 to 7 p.m.

Amherst College Summer Research Fellowships in the Sciences; Apply by Feb. 27
Are you a first-year or sophomore student who would like to spend this summer on campus pursuing a collaborative research project in the sciences? Then an Amherst College Summer Research Fellowship may be perfect for you! A total of approximately 25 fellowships for students in the Classes of 2011 and 2012 will be awarded. The program will run for 10 weeks: Either from Monday, June 1, through Friday, Aug. 7, or from Monday, June 8, through Friday, Aug. 14 (depending on the summer schedule of the particular faculty advisor). For more details, please click on the link below, then on "Amherst College Fellowship Application 2009." Note that the application deadline is Friday, Feb. 27!
For more information:

Fellowships in France Application Deadline March 9
The French Department announces two fellowships in France reserved for graduating seniors for 2009-10. The first fellowship, without stipend, offers an affiliation with the most prestigious of French graduate schools, the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, and includes free room, library privileges and admission to any university course in Paris, including those at the ENS. The second fellowship is a teaching assistantship in English language and American civilization at the Université de Dijon. The Dijon assistantship pays a monthly stipend of approximately 1150 euros after taxes, for 12 months (October-September), including nine months of teaching (mid-September through mid-June), and assures free admission to courses at the University.
For more information:

February Writing Center Workshops Now Open for Preregistration
This spring, the Writing Center will continue to offer a variety of writing workshops for students. February's calendar includes: "Getting Started/Moving Forward (for Thesis Writers)" (Feb. 6), "The Writing Process for Writing Theses" (Feb. 19), "Retrain Your Thesis Brain" (Feb. 20 and 27), "Reading, Reading, Reading: Plan, Do and Review" (Feb. 23) and "Personalizing the Process: One-on-One Academic Writing Study" (Feb. 26). Workshops are held in the Writing Center and are led by the Center's professional writing staff. Preregistration is required. Find workshop descriptions, times and preregistration information on the Writing Center's Web site.
For more information:

Sara Greenberger Rafferty at the Eli Marsh Gallery
"Recent Photos and Videos," an exhibition of the work of Sara Greenberger Rafferty, will be at the Eli Marsh Gallery, 105 Fayerweather Hall, through March 6, 2009. Gallery Hours are Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The exhibition is sponsored by the Department of Art and the History of Art.
For more information:

Now Hiring Student Workers for Commencement and Reunion
Alumni and Parent Programs, Dining Services, Facilities, Academic Technology Services and Public Affairs need student workers for a two-week period, from Sunday, May 17 to Sunday, May 31. Jobs include custodial and grounds work, catering wait staff, dining hall dish washers, dining hall meal servers and meal attendants, ushers, class assistants, childcare assistants, drivers, storage workers, reception assistants and students to set up public address systems and support PowerPoint presentations. In many cases, students may work for more than one department. Applications are available at the link below and at many locations on campus.
For more information:

Twelve College Exchange Program Application Deadline Feb. 16
The application deadline for participation in the Twelve College Exchange Program for one or both semesters of the 2009-10 academic year is Monday, Feb. 16. The program facilitates domestic residential study at Bowdoin, Connecticut, Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, Vassar, Wellesley, Wheaton, Wesleyan, the Mystic Seaport Program and the National Theater Institute. To initiate the application process, interested students must first discuss their plans with Associate Dean of Students Frances Tuleja before the Feb. 16 deadline.

Celebrate Darwin Days @ Amherst College Feb. 9-13
Join the Department of Biology in celebrating the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species! Stop by Keefe Campus Center (Tuesday-Friday) to learn more about Darwin and evolution and pick up free evolution stickers and tattoos. While you are there, snap a picture with Darwin, try your hand in the first ever Dar-winner games, and purchase an Amherst Evolution Tee. The biology department will host a birthday reception on Thursday with cake and refreshments, great door prizes, an Evolution slideshow and a special guest appearance by Darwin himself. Finally, end the week with EVO-Valentine's for that special someone and a Darwin talk at the Museum of Natural History.
For more information:

Fellowships for Action Information Sessions
The Center for Community Engagement will host four information sessions about the Fellowships for Action (FFA) program over the next two weeks. Information sessions will be held in Fayerweather 115 on Monday, Feb. 2, at 3 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m.; and Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m. The final information session will be held in Merrill 1 on Thursday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m. FFA is a highly competitive internship program for sophomores and juniors that offers students the chance to connect their academic programs of study with internship opportunities around the world.
For more information:

Dining Services Forms Food Committee
Dining Services is seeking students to participate in meetings to discuss food choices and the menus. Interested students should contact Howie Morrison or Debbie Omasta-Mokrzecki in Dining Services. Thank you.

Professor Austin Sarat Edits New Book on Wrongful Convictions
Austin Sarat, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence and Political Science and expert on law, has edited a collection of essays about wrongful convictions in the United States. Sarat edited the book, titled When Law Fails: Making Sense of Miscarriages of Justice ($22, 320 pp., New York University Press, 2009), with Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. The new book is part of The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute Series on Race and Justice.
For more information:

Get Excited for Recycle Mania!
From now through March 28, 2009, Amherst will compete with 500 schools around the nation to see who can recycle the most material per person. Last year, Amherst finished first in Massachusetts, beating such peers as Williams, Tufts, Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass. We finished in the top 10 nationally. We finished second among NESCAC schools: though we lost a tight race with Connecticut College, we soundly beat Williams and the other NESCAC schools. During this competition last year, we recycled over 24 tons of paper into new paper products instead of sending it to the landfill. Doing so saved Amherst almost $2,000 in landfill fees and reduced greenhouse gases by the equivalent of taking 14 cars off the road for a year.
For more information:

Notice of Data Security Breach
Amherst College has recently discovered that a student, whom it has identified, changed some of the student's own course grades by altering exam grades in Blackboard and by breaking into the Registrar's office. The College has determined that no other student's course grades have been altered.
For more information:

16th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival Starts Feb. 11
The 16th Annual Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival, "Beyond Walls," showcases innovative major studio releases and independent films exploring life in the post-socialist, post-communist era since 1989, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of the Soviet Union and its satellite East bloc regimes, and the opening of China. With a special focus on children and youth; several world and national premieres; visiting filmmakers; a distinguished lecture; and introductions by faculty, including two from Amherst College again this year, the Festival promises to engage audiences in lively debate and discussion. The 14 events begin Feb. 11 at the University of Massachusetts and conclude May 6 at Amherst College. They are free and open to the public.
For more information:

In Memoriam: Amanda Slocombe
A memorial service for Amanda Patricia (Ferro) Slocombe, daughter of Amherst employee Margaret Stancer, will be held Saturday, Feb. 14, at 1:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Amherst.
For more information:

Interterm 2009 Survey
Please take a few minutes to complete this year's Interterm Survey to help us better plan Interterm 2010. Go to the Interterm Web site to get the link to the survey.
For more information:

President Marx Updates College on Budget Issues
In an e-mail sent to Amherst College faculty and staff Tuesday, President Anthony W. Marx outlined the most recent steps the College is taking to address the economic downturn's impact on the College budget, as well as plans going forward. Read the complete statement:
For more information:

Please Return Valentine Items
Dining Services is asking any students who may have borrowed any plates, cups, bowls, glasses, trays or silverware to please return them to the Valentine lobby. Thank you in advance!

Five College Student Film Festival: Deadline for Submissions Feb. 19
Submissions for the annual Five College Student Film Festival are due on all campuses at 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 19, 2009. The festival awards films in the categories of animation, experimental, dance on film, documentary and narrative. Submissions forms are available at the Amherst College drop-off in Seeley Mudd. The festival will be held on Friday, Feb. 27, from 7 to 10 p.m. in Thompson Hall 104 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The festival trailer may be streamed at
For more information:

Innovative Projects Fund Application Deadline Feb. 20
The Center for Community Engagement Innovative Projects Fund is designed to encourage and support Amherst students in their efforts to implement community-engaged projects. The Fund is meant to: 1) Provide student groups and individual students funding for initiatives that will strengthen the culture of community engagement at Amherst College; 2) Provide student groups and individual students guidance and support for programs that encourage innovative community engagement programming that addresses identified community need. In order to be considered for funding, you must submit an application no later than noon on Friday, Feb. 20. For applications and additional info, visit the following link.
For more information:

Women of Amherst Magazine: New Submission E-Mail Address and Deadline Feb. 20
Each year, the Vagina Monologues cast produces a Women of Amherst magazine to let women and men of the Amherst community express their views about the complexities of being a woman. Share experiences of joy, courage, sadness, violation, frustration, compassion and fear. Submit prose, poetry, artwork, photographs or any other small graphics. All submissions will be confidential and anonymous throughout editing and publishing. NOTE THE FOLLOWING CHANGE: E-mail your work to Gretchen Krull in Health Education at by Friday, Feb. 20. If you originally submitted to, we suggest resubmitting to difficulties may have prevented your work from getting to the account.

Rare Feejee Mermaid On Display at Mead Art Museum
To mark the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin on Feb. 12, the Mead Art Museum is exhibiting a little-known work of folk art: a so-called Feejee mermaid that came to Amherst College in the 19th century, possibly as an object for discussion in the teaching of Natural History. Collections Manager Stephen Fisher, who conceived of the mermaid display in conjunction with the Department of Biology's "Darwin Days @ Amherst," remarked "The Feejee mermaid has long been a personal favorite of mine in the Mead's collections, and it's fun to finally get it out on view in celebration of Charles Darwin's accomplishments."
For more information:

Harlem Gospel Choir Concert Sold Out; Add Your Name to the Waiting List
The Harlem Gospel Choir concert on Feb. 27 is currently SOLD OUT. To add your name to the waiting list, e-mail with your name and whether you would like one or two tickets. If tickets become available for you prior to the concert, we will contact you immediately. If tickets do not become available prior to the concert, the wait list will be honored at the door. You will simply need to check in with the usher at the "WAIT LIST" table in the lobby by 7:40 pm and indicate that your name is already on the list. We will begin releasing unclaimed or unused tickets to the waiting list between 7:45 and 7:50.

A Reminder For All Student Employees
If you claimed "Exempt" on your 2008 W-4 (Federal Employee's Withholding Allowance Certificate), this status expires on Feb. 16, 2009. You must complete a new 2009 W-4 form before the expiration date if you wish to remain "Exempt" from Federal Income Tax Withholding. For information on "exempt" criteria, please visit the link below. International students are not eligible to claim "Exempt" on their W-4. 2009 W-4 forms are available in the Financial Aid Office (B-5 Converse Hall). The office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
For more information:

Retrain Your Thesis Brain! Writing Center Workshop Feb. 20 and 27
Space is still available for the Writing Center's "Retrain Your Thesis Brain" two-part workshop series, to be held in the Writing Center on Friday, Feb. 20 and 27, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Intended for seniors currently writing theses, this workshop introduces strategies for avoiding procrastination and writer's block, as well as for restoring creativity and finding joy in your work. Through writing, drawing, and perhaps games, participants will develop their own individual plans for practicing habits for creativity, productivity, and possibly even sanity. Taught by Kristen Brookes (Writing Associate). Preregistration is required; find the form and more workshop details at the following link.
For more information:

Spring Semester Office Hours for Multicultural Resource Center
The Multicultural Resource Center, located in the basement of Keefe Campus Center, will begin office hours on Sunday, Feb. 15, through last day of classes, May 8. The MRC is open seven days a week as a resource to all students, staff and faculty. Visit our lending library of books, documentaries and games; reserve our space for your next meeting; or receive programming assistance. Find out more on our Web site, including the office hours for the Spring 2009 semester.
For more information:

LOCATION CHANGE: Will Barnet Lecture
Will Barnet's 4:30 p.m. lecture today has been moved from the Mead Art Museum to Stirn Auditorium. Full information on the lecture can be found at the below link.
For more information:

Ash Wednesday Services
Ashes will be given out in Chapin Chapel on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 8 a.m., 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Ash Wednesday Mass will take place in the Chapel at 7:30 p.m. The services are sponsored by the Newman Club.

V the Change: Women of Amherst and the Vagina Monologues
Tickets for the 12th annual production of The Vagina Monologues are available in the Campus Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and in Valentine from 5 to 7 p.m. We hope to raise a minimum of $3,000 for New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, a local rape crisis and domestic intervention agency. Suggested donation is $5 for Amherst students and $10 for all others.

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