Psychology major to zookeeper? Biology coursework to Delta pilot?
Grinnellians have long been told that a liberal arts degree prepares them to excel at just about anything. The wide range of careers that Grinnellians have pursued successfully bolsters that argument.
From flowering crabapples to sycamores, birches, and firs, the trees dotting Grinnell’s campus have served as familiar landmarks — as well as beloved spots to climb, make art, and meet for class — for generations of Grinnell students.
As new learning spaces dedicated to humanities and social studies rise up on the Grinnell campus, so are conversations springing up about what those disciplines commonly identified as “the humanities” mean to our lives.
Elfenbein: It’s the study of how people make sense of their lives, but importantly, what it is that they produce to communicate, and how they communicate what it is they’re thinking about and experiencing.
As members of the Alumni Council’s 2017–18 Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Saurabh Saraf ’05, Howie Schein ’66, and I agreed to tackle the challenge of connecting traditionally marginalized students with alumni. We were assisted by Sarah Smith-Benanti, assistant director of alumni and donor relations for diverse communities. Our group agreed early on that this program should be shaped by student needs.
“My whole life I said to myself, ‘I will not teach,’” says Kaydi-Ann Newsome ’14, an economics major from Jamaica. “I remember my chemistry teacher in year nine saying to me, ‘You know, one day you’re going to be a teacher.’ I was just like, ‘No, sir. It’s not going to happen. It’s just not going to happen.’”
If you drive to Grinnell on Interstate 80, you might be inclined to think Iowa’s economy is heavily agriculture-based. Your eyes might deceive you, says Jack Mutti, professor emeritus of economics.
In terms of actual production, the agricultural sector accounts for about five percent of Iowa’s GDP. Yet, agriculture is connected intimately with many other industries, including manufacturing. So, the impact of recent tariffs is bigger than some of the numbers might lead you to believe, especially because the tariffs most directly affect exports.
Congratulations to Chad Darby ’88 and Jennifer Kulik ’94, recipients of the College’s 2018 Joseph F. Wall ’41 Alumni Service Award. Each will use the $30,000 award to launch programs benefiting their respective communities in the Pacific Northwest.
In fall 2018, Grinnell College partnered with J. Ann Selzer, a nationally renowned pollster from Iowa, to conduct the Grinnell College National Poll. The College undertook this pilot project as a way to provide research opportunities to students and faculty and to contribute to the national discussion about the direction of American politics.
How can awarding $100,000 to a social justice innovator each year benefit Grinnell students and the College? More than a few people asked that question when the Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize was first awarded in 2011.
In many ways, outdoor learning at Grinnell College was already synonymous with celebrated biology professor Kenneth A. Christiansen.
“Anything and everything was of interest to him, particularly his research outdoors,” says Anne Spence ’66, a former College Trustee and student of Christiansen’s.
In August 2018, 463 first-year students representing 46 states and 20 countries matriculated at Grinnell. They are one of our most diverse classes ever: 19 percent are international students; 15 percent are first-generation college students; and 28 percent are domestic students of color, a record-setting number at Grinnell.