Artists & Scholars

Summer 2017


A group of Grinnellians attended the annual conference Feb. 3–4, 2017, hosted by the Iowa-Illinois-Nebraska Stem Partnership for Innovation in Research and Education, part of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation, at Iowa State University. Alfredo Colina ’18 was recognized with the People’s Choice Award for his research poster, “Bacterial characterization of a hog confinement located in Poweshiek County and a potential source of antibiotic resistance bacteria discovered.” Glorianne Dorce ’17 received second place for best research poster, “Detecting concentrations of steroidal hormones in water samples through optimized SPE/UHPLC/MS method.” Queenster Nartey ’16 was recognized with the Outstanding Alumni Award. Nartey moderated a discussion panel on student STEM identity. 

J.R. Osborn ’97 has published a cultural history of the Arabic writing system with a focus on aesthetics and technology (Harvard University Press, 2017). It begins with the formalization of Arabic calligraphic tradition in the 10th century and ends with the encoding of Arabic for digital computing at the end of the 20th century. 


David Cook-Martín, professor of sociology, assistant vice president for global education, and senior international officer, won the American Sociological Association’s 2017 Distinguished Scholarly Book Award for his book Culling the Masses: The Demographic Origins of Racist Immigration Policy in the Americas (Harvard University Press, 2014).

This nonfiction children’s book by Caroline Scheaffer Arnold ’66 (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2017) has been named a Junior Library Guild selection. Arnold is both author and photographer of the book. 

Brandi Petersen Janssen ’98 addresses common myths in Making Local Food Work: The Challenges and Opportunities of Today’s Small Farmers (University of Iowa Press, April 2017). By listening to and working with people trying to build a local food system in Iowa, Janssen uncovers the complex realities of making it work.

Brandy Agerbeck ’96 writes that a tool to improve decision-making, reduce overwhelm, think critically, and communicate more clearly is at your fingertips — drawing. Her new book breaks down the complexity of visual thinking into 24 accessible and enjoyable concepts called “idea shapers.” Learn all the great thinking you can do with simple shapes, lines, color, scale, and proximity. See

Up the Staircase has recently published four poems by Margaret Sametz Rutherford ’81 from the series “To My Psychiatrist.” The Awakenings Review published five poems in its 2017 annual publication: “Moorings,” “Delusional Episodes,” “My Black,” “I Look Out on a Blue World,” and “Here.”

This extensively researched biography of New Orleans Saints football team owner Tom Benson by Kathy Finn ’71 (Pelican Publishing Co., 2017) tells the story of how a savvy bookkeeper built a fortune in the automobile dealership business, then became a billionaire by buying a National Football League team and reaping the enormous financial rewards that come with NFL ownership. It details Benson’s accumulation of wealth, his personal tragedies, and the bitter, headline-making battle that erupted between him and his closest family members as he approached his 90th birthday. 

This new book of poetry by Liane Ellison Norman ’59 describes new ways of naming and new ways of regarding the wonders around us (Finishing Line Press, 2017). This is her 12th book and her sixth book of poetry. 

Spring 2017


In 1923, midcentury novelist and short-story writer Ruth Suckow 1914 published a novella set at a fictional Grinnell College — she called it Adams College — during World War I. The somewhat satirical work, A Part of the Institution, has recently been scanned and made available on the Iowa Digital Heritage website.