Fullbright Scholarships and more

Three major scholarships, including two Fulbrights, were announced at Gonzaga in May. Two Gonzaga graduates will study and teach in Bulgaria this year through the Fulbright Language Assistant Teaching Program. A junior civil engineering major received the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.

Alex Goukassian (’08 M.A. TESOL) hopes to reclaim his Bulgarian heritage during his Fulbright year in the ancient city of Plovdiv. He wrote his thesis on loss of first language – something he knows about first-hand. Goukassian lived in Bulgaria until age 6, when his family moved to the United States.

Ellen Von Essen (’10) majored in English and international relations, with minors in music and women’s studies. She believes in the interconnectedness of language, worldview, culture and policy. “Similarly, one should not ignore the way in which our history and position globally impacts our values, our art and our lives.” Teaching high school English in Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia will give her a year to expand her own grasp of such interconnections.

Receiving the Goldwater Scholarship is junior Andrew Matsumoto. The scholarship will help him complete his undergraduate work, which has been enhanced by two summer internships at the Hanford nuclear reservation at Richland, Wash. Finding answers to the nation’s nuclear waste storage needs is driving Matsumoto’s next goal: a doctorate in nuclear engineering.

PACCAR Center Golden

The PACCAR Center for Engineering has achieved LEED Gold certification. “Incorporating sustainability principles into engineering design has become a focus and commitment in our engineering programs,” said School of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Dennis Horn. “This certification is a public display of that commitment.”

Natural light, energy efficiency and open public space are key elements of the two-year-old engineering building, which connects to the Herak Center via a skywalk.

“From my perspective, it is one of the most beautiful buildings on campus, with expansive views to the south and open access to the roof decks for enjoying a lunch or simply gazing at the river and Spokane skyline,” said Horn. “In fact, some of the faculty who teach in the classrooms complain that the view is beautiful but too distracting to their students, so they close all the blinds.”

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The LEED process assessed the project for sustainable site, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. “Coming from an older building with no air conditioning and difficult-to-regulate winter temperatures, the PACCAR environment is a welcome change – uniform temperatures, year-round, excellent air quality and great natural light in much of the common spaces,” said Horn. “To have all of this and know that it is far more energy-efficient than other buildings is truly amazing.”

Click here to view PACCAR’s remarkable art collection.

Quick Reads

Orientation for the Class of 2014, held Aug. 27-30, involved nearly 300 student volunteers. Junior Tyler Hobbs, coordinator of small groups and catering, looks back to his own orientation experience to explain why he cares so much about this event: “My first night in Catherine/Monica, I met a few of the guys in my hall and clung to them like my life depended on it. We all clicked and wound up spending most of the weekend together. I immediately felt like I belonged here. I wasn’t part of this University, it was part of me. I hope our incoming students can feel that.” Crowning the four-day introduction to Gonzaga was Welcome Night – the same ‘top-secret’ ceremony that has captured students’ imaginations since 1982.

Beauty is the interdisciplinary theme for 2010-11. The common read, selected each year by faculty and staff, is “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. Through the year, speakers, panels and discussion groups will explore a wide range of issues related to beauty, from math to science, literature, history, and social justice. University common-read programs recently came under some criticism from the National Association of Scholars. Gonzaga’s program, however, is distinguished from many others by its connection to a year-long interdisciplinary emphasis.

Gonzaga Zag Shop Director Scott Franz trawls the Internet with specially designed software seeking gently used textbooks to purchase. He pulls out a 3-inch thick stack of printouts, his Amazon bill for the month of December. All this in order to ease the pain students feel in their pocketbooks at book-buying time. “It can mean great savings,” Franz says. “For instance, there’s a criminal justice book that sells for $135 new – and we sell it for $19.50.” Will students find those great savings everywhere in the Zag Shop? No, but the more discounted books are purchased, the more savings should result.

Nearly 200 new student leaders gathered in April for a Leadership Confirmation Dinner, a new event at Gonzaga. The students ranged from Center for Community Action and Service Learning (CCASL) leaders to residence hall assistants, Comprehensive Leadership Program students, Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program students, and student-athletes. “It was the widest array of student leaders I have ever seen assembled at Gonzaga,” said David Lindsay, director of student activities and the Crosby Student Center. “I was sitting with a volleyball player, a young woman from ROTC and presidents of various clubs.” President Thayne McCulloh gave the key-note presentation, and Vice President for Student Life Sue Weitz led the confirmation pledge for leaders. “Our goal was to formally install the student leaders in their new roles and to show some unity in their roles as leaders,” said Lindsay. “We were asking, ‘What does it mean to be a leader at Gonzaga?’”

Basketball guard Steven Gray has been cast as Tybalt, the hot-tempered rival of Romeo. Gonzaga’s Theatre Arts program is presenting “Romeo and Juliet” on Oct. 22 and 23 for Fall Family Weekend and Reunion 2010, as well as the last weekend of October. Gray made a gutsy GU theater debut last November in the lead role of a gay baseball player in “Take Me Out.” Click here for the year’s theater productions.

Engineering students no longer have to choose between studying abroad and completing their degrees on time. The new Engineering-in-Florence program successfully hosted 22 sophomores during spring semester, including 17 Gonzaga students and five from other institutions. “With new students already registering for next spring, and a growing scholarship fund to help with some of the travel expenses, we are proud of how this initiative has developed and flourished,” said Dennis Horn, dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. For more engineering news, see www.gonzaga.edu/engineering.

Madonna Hall is no longer pink, but a stately brown. Given this year’s decision to address energy savings by updating Madonna’s windows, it made sense to do the paint job as well, says the indefatigable Ken Sammons (’71), head of plant services. The pink, as some readers will recall, was chosen by students. Anyone recall what year that was? Or, better yet, how the pro-pink argument was framed? E-mail us at gonzaga@gonzaga.edu.

A remarkable exhibition on famed Jesuit poet and priest Gerard Manley Hopkins is on display in the Foley Center Library’s Rare Books Room through Sept. 30. Together, the materials – many of them never before displayed in public – tell the story of Hopkins’ life. The exhibition also displays Hopkins’ talents as a sketch artist and would-be composer. On campus in July, Hopkins’ scholars from Israel, Japan, Canada, Great Britain and the United States gathered for the Regis-at-Gonzaga Conference on Hopkins.

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