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Goldwater Scholarships Go to Aspiring Teacher And Chemist

Posted on Apr 27, 2001

He is an aspiring teacher who enjoys “sitting around talking about calculus.” She is a double major in bio-chem and math who somehow has time for two radio shows, several research projects and programming for the Coffeehouse.

They are William Johnson '02 and Desirée Plata '03,the College's Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. The prestigious award supports promising scientists, mathematicians and engineers with a $7,500 stipend for each of their remaining years of undergraduate study.

Johnson, who is a tutor at the Calculus Crisis Center, says he has always known he wanted to be a teacher. “I just want to be in front of a classroom,” he says. “It's one of my favorite things to do. I like to be in a position where people are asking me to explain things.”

Johnson was one of 20 graduates in the Class of 1998 at tiny Romulus (N.Y.) High School in central New York. With a classmate also on this year's list, he jokes that a full 10 percent of his high school class earned Goldwater Scholarships.

With both parents high school teachers, Johnson spends his breaks from Union as a substitute teacher at his alma mater.

A Union Scholar, Johnson also is a member of the Rugby Club, Sigma Phi and a Gatekeeper. He has done research with Prof. Brenda Johnson in the field of graph theory and plans to continue that work this summer at Oregon State University. Last fall, he studied math on a term abroad in Budapest.

He may teach high school math at first, he says, but eventually he would like to earn his Ph.D. and teach at the college level.

Plata, a native of Portland, Maine, plans to pursue a Ph.D.in chemistry and teach at the college level and do research.

She learned of the Goldwater Scholarship after Prof.Byron Nichols, director of graduate fellowships and honors, called to say that several faculty members had recommended her.”Without (Nichols) we wouldn't have found out about this opportunity,”said Plata, a thought echoed by Johnson.

In the space of a week, Plata prepared seven essays, got three faculty recommendations and wrote statements about research plans and career goals. She said she enjoyed preparing a personal history statement, in which she acknowledged the support of her family.

Plata's schedule is nothing if not busy. Besides her academics, the Union Scholar is a member of the WRUC executive board, scheduling director for the UC EMS (EmergencyMedical Service), house manager for the Coffeehouse, a member ofthe U2K steering committee, and president of the Chemistry Club. She used to work part time as a presenter for MAD Science,which does science shows for elementary students.

She has been involved with a research project with Profs. Grant Brown and James Adrian (on fish communication andpheromones). This summer, she will do a mini term abroad in Panama with Profs. Leo Fleischman and Rob Olberg.

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Fund in Memory of Ruth Anne Evans

Posted on Apr 27, 2001

Schaffer Library has established a fund in memory of Ruth Anne Evans, librarian and professor emerita, who passed away in February.

Ruth Anne worked at Union for 37 years retiring in 1989,after which she continued to work on several historical projects and on the Nott Memorial Exhibition Committee. She was known as one of the most knowledgeable members of the Union community about the history of Union and frequently answered questions about the College's history for researchers and administrators. The fund will continue the association of her name and memory with the College and the Library.

Contributions (checks payable to Union College)should be sent to Ellen. Fladger in Special Collections at Schaffer Library. For more information, contact ext. 6616 or fladgere@union.edu.

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Show Features Photographers of Social Sciences

Posted on Apr 27, 2001

Social Science Faculty Lounge Art Gallery presents “The Photographer's Eye: People, Culture and the Environment,”an exhibition of works by three members of the College'sSocial Sciences division.

It runs through June 1.

Featured are works by Shelton Schmidt,economics (black and white portraits); George Gmelch,anthropology (black and white portraits of Irish Travelers); and DebLudke, anthropology, (color works of nature and objects).

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Reppointment Panels Formed

Posted on Apr 27, 2001

Committees have been formed to consider there appointments of two faculty: Steven Rice, assistant professor ofbiology; and Zoe Oxley, assistant professor of political science.

Members of the campus community may offer written or oral testimony to members of the committees.

For Rice, members are John Boyer, chair(biology: boyerj@union.edu); Steve Horton (biology:hortons@union.edu); and Peter Tobiessen (biology: tobiessp@union.edu).

For Oxley, members are Terry Weiner, chair(political science: weinert@union.edu); Byron Nichols (political science: nicholsb@union.edu); and Ted Gilman (political science: gilmant@union.edu).

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Posted on Apr 27, 2001

Through April 28.
Arts Atrium Gallery
Senior art exhibitions presents “Glass” by Tina Tacorian.

Through May 20.
Mandeville Gallery, Nott Memorial
“Saints, Sinners and Sacred Spaces: Devotional Folk Artin Latin America.” All artwork in the exhibition comes fromthe collection of curator Beate Echols and Michael Shub. Echols isa collector of Latin American folk art, and a private dealer. Sheis faculty member of the Folk Art Institute of the Museumof American Folk Art in New York City, where she teaches “Artfrom the Americas.” She has also taught this subject at the New YorkCity Graduate Center and New York University. A number ofrelated events accompany the show.

Through June 1.
Social Science Faculty Lounge Art Gallery.
“The Photographer's Eye: People, Culture and the Environment,”an exhibition of works by three members of SocialSciences division _ Shelton Schmidt (black and white portraits),George Gmelch (black and white portraits of Irish Travelers) and DebLudke (color works of nature and objects). Gallery hoursare weekdays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call ext. 6072.

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