Wednesday, November 24, 1999

William James Forum Features Nobel Laureate Dec. 2

Chestertown, MD — The science behind cooling and trapping atoms with light and its use in new scientific endeavors are among the exciting breakthroughs to be discussed by William D. Phillips, 1997 Nobel Laureate in his lecture "Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping." The William James Forum talk takes place in Litrenta Lecture Hall, Dunning Hall, at 6:30 p.m., on Thurs., Dec. 2 at Washington College.

Phillips was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics for his work in developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. He points out that contrary to intuition, shining a laser on a gas cools its kinetic motion. "Using new tricks, we can now cool a gas of atoms to well below a microkelvin--the coldest kinetic temperatures ever. Atoms this cold exhibit weird and wonderful properties and are being used for applications ranging from super-accurate atomic clocks to new quantum devices like atom lasers," Phillips says. He will describe how laser cooling works, how it allows atoms to be trapped in a magnetic field, and why it works better than anyone had expected it to.

Phillips is a leading researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and a member of the National Academy of Science.

Friday, November 12, 1999

Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry and Republican Kellyanne Fitzpatrick at Washington College, Nov. 22

Chestertown, MD — The Harwood Colloquy will host former White House press secretary Mike McCurry and GenX Republican pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick in a one-on-one discussion about the current presidential campaign moderated by John Harwood, political editor at The Wall Street Journal. The colloquy takes place at 7:30 p.m., Mon., Nov. 22, at the Casey Academic Center Forum, Washington College, Chestertown, MD. The colloquy is free and open to the public.

The match-up should generate sparks and insights from two political insiders noted for their wit and knowledge of presidential politics. White House press secretary from 1995 until 1998, McCurry was spokesman and political strategist in the Democratic presidential campaigns of Senator John Glenn, Governor Bruce Babbitt, and Senator Bob Kerrey in 1984, 1988, and 1992, respectively. He has held a variety of communications and press relations jobs in national politics and on Capitol Hill, including stints as spokesman for the U.S. Department of State, director of communications with the Democratic National Committee, and press secretary for Senator Daniel Moynihan. McCurry is president of Public Strategies Group, LLC, a Washington-D.C.-based public affairs and strategic communications consulting firm.

Fitzpatrick is founder and president of The Polling Company, a full-service conservative political consulting and public affairs research firm with offices in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, California. The Polling Company was pollster for the Quayle 2000 presidential campaign, with Fitzpatrick as a campaign spokesperson. She has advised former Vice Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Senator Fred Thompson (R-TN) and former Vice President Dan Quayle. A political analyst for CNN during the 1996 election cycle, she continues to appear on major CNN programs such as "Inside Politics," "Crossfire," and "Burden of Proof," and is a regular guest on CNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews.

The Harwood Colloquy is sponsored by the Richard Harwood Endowment Fund, established to honor the distinguished career of Washington Post columnist Richard Harwood, a College Trustee and a lecturer in journalism at Washington College since 1991.

Tuesday, November 9, 1999

Chivalry Dead in Migratory Birds, Smithsonian Bird Expert Says

Chestertown, MD — What happens after nesting is done and birds migrate to their winter quarters in the tropics? Peter Marra, Ph.D., terrestrial animal ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, relates that all is not sweetness and happy-times between breeding seasons in the north. His slide-lecture, "Chivalry is Dead in Migratory Birds," uncovers the story and its consequences for bird populations at 7:30 p.m., Weds., Nov. 17, in the Casey Academic Center Forum at Washington College in Chestertown, Md. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, is dedicated to increasing the knowledge of the biological and physical processes that sustain life on earth. Marra, who has been working in the Caribbean and Central America, is beginning to study birds of the Chesapeake Bay area. His talk is sponsored by the McLain Program in Environmental Studies.

A Book of Reasons Author John Vernon Reads Nov. 16

Chestertown, MD — Author John Vernon will read from his recently published work, "A Book of Reasons," at 8 p.m., Tues., Nov. 16, in the Sophie Kerr Room at the Miller Library on the campus of Washington College. The reading is free and open to the public.

The book was born of Vernon's experience after he inherited his brother's house, which was full of trash, garbage, and filth. Vernon's brother chose a thoughtful legatee, for the author not only cleaned up the house, he also thought deeply about what he had found, what it said about his brother's life,and how the detritus of that life connected his reclusive brother to others in the larger world.

In the book, Vernon describes walking into his brother's bedroom. He found it "five feet deep in trash bags, milk cartons, boxes of documents, empty cartons of Kools, Pepsi bottles, empty bags of cat food, a Hitachi TV, eviscerated radios, model airplane kits, audiotapes, over-the-counter medication--Dayquil, Alka-Seltzer, Dimetapp, Bayer aspirin." Vernon fled the house and called his wife from a pay phone, but broke down sobbing on the telephone. Vernon writes, "When I started describing the house, I gradually stopped crying and regained some control."

In "The New York Times Book Review," Martha Beck wrote about "A Book of Reasons,""Vernon seems to be continuing the process he started during that phone call: transferring the sad puzzle of his brother's life from gut to brain, reclaiming detachment through the process of description and analysis. The resulting book is sometimes harrowing, often insightful, occasionally amusing and consistently fascinating."

Vernon's reading is sponsored by The Sophie Kerr Committee.

Tuesday, November 2, 1999

Sun-Centered Weather On Tap at Washington College

Chestertown, MD — Earthlings expect the sun to rise every morning and set every night. But all is not quiet on Earth’s star and events on its surface can affect life on Earth. In his talk "Environmental Impacts of Space Weather," Allan T. Weatherwax, visiting assistant professor of physics at Washington College, will discuss the Sun-Earth environment, including the solar wind, sunspots, the aurora borealis, and explosions on the sun called coronal mass ejections. His talk takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Litrenta Lecture Hall at Washington College.

Weatherwax, who is also research scientist at the University of Maryland Institute of Physical Science and Technology, says, for example, that the sun periodically releases copious amounts of matter through coronal mass ejections. "These immense clouds of material, when directed towards Earth, can cause large magnetic storms that produce huge amounts of power—several million megawatts—more than enough to power the United States." He also points out that in the year 2000, solar activity will increase, heightening the likelihood of damage to electrical equipment in space and on the ground.

Sponsored by the McLain Program in Environmental Studies, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Lecture Considers Washington's Attitudes Toward Death and the Afterlife

Chestertown, MD — Peter R. Henriques, a noted professor of history at George Mason University in Arlington, Va., is the guest of The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series at Washington College in Chestertown. Dr. Henriques' lecture, "He Died as He Lived: George Washington's Final Struggle with the Grim King," focuses on what Washington thought about death and the afterlife in the context of his Enlightenment beliefs. Set for Thursday, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m., in the Sophie Kerr Room of Miller Library, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Henriques teaches American and Virginia history with special emphasis on Virginia and the American Revolution and the Virginia Founding Fathers. His upcoming book on Washington's death and funeral in commemoration of the bicentennial of Washington's death is to be published by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association. His other writings include "The Final Struggle between George Washington and the Grim King: Washington's Attitude toward Death and Afterlife," in "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography," Winter 1999; "Major Lawrence Washington vs. The Rev. Charles Green: A Case Study of the Squire and the Parson," in VMHB, April 1992; "An Uneven Friendship: The Relationship between George Washington and George Mason," VMHB, April 1989; "George Washington-William Payne Fight: A New Explanation," Northern Virginia Heritage, October 1983; "The Amiable George Washington," NVH, Feb. 1978.

The Guy F. Goodfellow Memorial Lecture Series was established upon Goodfellow's death in 1989 to honor the memory of the history professor who had taught at Washington College for 30 years. The intent of the endowed lecture series is to bring a distinguished historian to campus each year to lecture and spend time with students in emulation of Dr. Goodfellow's vibrant teaching style.

Monday, November 1, 1999

Lecture on Southern Africa November 9

Chestertown, MD — How nations in southern Africa are faring in the process of strengthening their democratic processes is the subject of a talk by David S. Pottie, senior researcher at the Electoral Institute of South Africa, or EISA. His lecture, "Democratic Consolidation in Southern Africa," begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tues., Nov. 9, in the Hynson Lounge at Washington College.

In his work with EISA, Pottie works with nongovernmental organizations and electoral commissions in South Africa and throughout southern Africa. He also prepares materials related to elections and democratization and supports EISA's activities in civic education, election observation. His talk is sponsored by The Goldstein Program in Public Affairs and is free and open to the public.