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Eisenhut named ECAC Robbins Scholar Athlete winner for all ECAC Div. III institutions

Posted on Jul 21, 2005

Erika Eisenhut

Erika was one of only six students, one female and one male from each of the three National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) divisions in the Conference, who received the honors. Phil Buttafuoco, ECAC commissioner, presented the awards Sunday night at the 2005 ECAC Honors Dinner Presented by Josten's. Sponsored by Robbins Sports Surfaces, the Cincinnati-based sports surfaces company, the awards pay tribute to the outstanding academic and athletics achievements of student-athletes representing ECAC schools in Divisions I, II and III.  

Eisenhut and the five other winners were chosen for their “extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics and community service.” She was joined by her parents, Katherine and Gregory Eisenhut, as well as Union athletic staff representatives that included Associate Athletic Director Joanne Little, Head Women's Basketball Coach Mary Ellen Burt, and Sports Information Director Eric McDowell.

A three-sport athlete, Eisenhut was the second player in Division III history to compete in three NCAA championships in the same season (2003-04). A starter on the soccer, basketball and softball teams, she also excelled in the classroom with a 3.83 cumulative grade point average in psychology and mathematics. 

Tommy Ellison, Regional Sales Manager of Jostens (left) joins Erika Eisenhut and ECAC Commissioner Phil Buttafuoco with the award presentation.

Her three sport teams combined for a record of 68-17-1 in 2004-05, good for a winning percentage of 79.7 percent. She had nine goals and 26 points for the soccer team, which went 19-2-1 last fall and won the ECAC Upstate New York Championship. She started all 28 games for Union's women's basketball team and led the squad in assists (91), steals (73) and blocks (12) while scoring at a 10.5 clip. Union finished 19-9 and the Dutchwomen reached the ECAC Upstate Championship Game. On the softball diamond, Eisenhut hit .315 and led the team with 12 stolen bases while driving in 21 runs. The softball team (30-6) finished with a school record in victories. The Dutchwomen entered the NCAA tournament, their third straight appearance, with a #8 national ranking, the highest in the program's history. Eisenhut is a Big Brothers Big Sisters Volunteer, a Union Peer Tutor and a Girl Scout Troop mentor, and she was a member of the recent Athletic Director Search Committee. She is the sister of Clifford Eisenhut '04.

Erika Eisenhut

In addition to Eisenhut, Nick Bayley, a 2005 graduate of Colby College, earned the Division III male honors. In Division II, James Newman of Assumption College and Shannon Seidel of University of Massachusetts at Lowell were the recipients, and in Division I, Matt Groenwald of St. John's University and Katy Cross of Pennsylvania have been honored. The students who were in attendance at the dinner joining Eisenhut were Bayley, Seidel, Newman and Greenwald.

Other honorees at the dinner were Jo Anne Harper, Athletic Director of Dartmouth (the Katerine Ley Award honoring a women's administrator), John Davis of Montclair State (The Dr. Donald Grover Award for an athletic trainer), Reta Brown and Tom Meagher (George L. Shieber Awards for officials/referees), Craig Poisson, Asst. AD at Springfield with Kristy Walter, AD at Lasell (Administrators of the Year), Erin Bingham of Dartmouth, Jennifer Strysko of URI and Raul Altreche of Amherst (Awards of Valor), Princeton University's crew teams (Boathouse Sports Trophy), and the Jostens Institution of the Year (Keene State College).

Erika Eisenhut provides her comments at the ECAC Awards Dinner.

The ECAC is the nation's largest athletic and the only multi-divisional conference with 324 Divisions I, II and III colleges and universities from Maine to North Carolina. Established in 1938, thisnon-profit service organization sponsors 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports, assigns more than 5,100 officials in 15 sports, administers 10 affiliate sports organizations and six playing leagues and recognizes more than 4,000 student-athletes in 21 sports through the public relations arm of the conference. The ECAC is the primary conference for select members in men's and women's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, men's gymnastics, wrestling, fencing and rowing. Robbins Sports Surfaces provides more than half of the NCAA Division I colleges and universities and 66 percent of the National Basketball Association (NBA) championship floors. With four production facilities and an Authorized Dealer Network, it is the world's most comprehensive provider of maple and synthetic flooring systems for all collegiate sports.

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John Ostrom ’51 memorialized in NY Times

Posted on Jul 21, 2005

John H. Ostrom, a paleontologist influential in the revival of scientific research about dinosaurs, notably previously unsuspected clues to their speed and agility and their probable ancestral link to modern birds, died on Saturday in Litchfield, Conn. He was 77.

His death, from complications of Alzheimer's disease, was announced by Yale, where he was an emeritus professor of geology and geophysics and emeritus curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

Although Dr. Ostrom had long since withdrawn from the field work of fossil hunting, two of his early discoveries had a profound effect on dinosaur research in the last half of the 20th century, shattering stereotypes and inspiring sweeping changes in thinking about their lives and times. His work attracted many young researchers to dinosaur studies, a field that had been moribund for several decades.

Dr. Ostrom's first important discovery was made late one afternoon in August 1964. While tramping along a slope in central Montana, Dr. Ostrom and an assistant, Grant E. Meyer, came upon a macabre sight: large and sharp claws reaching out of an eroded mound. ''We both nearly rolled down the slope in our rush to the spot,'' Dr. Ostrom recalled later.

They uncovered the rest of a powerful, three-fingered grasping hand and then a foot. The inner toe stuck out like a sharply curved sickle. After further research, Dr. Ostrom determined that the claws and feet belonged to a fleet, predatory dinosaur that lived 125 million years ago. He gave it the name Deinonychus, meaning ''terrible claw.''

In a research report, Dr. Ostrom described this dinosaur as a raptor, an active predator that killed its prey by leaping and slashing with its fierce claw. Such behavior, he suggested, meant that the animal had a high metabolism rate and was warmblooded.

This interpretation stimulated a polarizing debate among scientists over the revolutionary idea that at least some dinosaurs, like Deinonychus and related Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, had more in common with mammals and birds than with ordinary coldblooded reptiles. This in turn led to the revival of a 19th-century hypothesis that dinosaurs were direct ancestors of today's birds.

Dr. Ostrom became a leading proponent of the dinosaur-bird link after he made his second significant discovery, in a museum at Haarlem in the Netherlands.

On a visit there in 1970, he saw a fossil specimen identified as a pterosaur, a gliding reptile, that to him did not look like a pterosaur. It came from the same Bavarian quarries that had yielded other fossils of Archaeopteryx, a curious mix of dinosaur and bird characteristics and generally accepted as the earliest known bird, from about 150 million years ago. The rediscovery prompted Dr. Ostrom to study the evolution of birds and bird flight.

“Ever since I've had to give up field work,'' Dr. Ostrom told a reporter years later, ''I've said the best discoveries are made in museum storerooms.''

Dr. Ostrom, a soft-spoken, scholarly professor, found himself in the middle of stormy controversy. ''Warmblooded'' dinosaurs became popular subjects in magazines and books. Over time, he put some distance between himself and some of his younger, more outspoken allies. The issue has yet to be resolved, though many experts agree that some dinosaur behaviors are most unreptilian.

But discoveries in China and Mongolia in the last decade seem to support the hypothesis of a close dinosaur-bird relationship. Dr. Ostrom led a delegation of scientists to examine a feathered dinosaur excavated in China in the early 1990 's.

''I never expected to see anything like this in my lifetime,'' he said after the trip. ''I literally got weak in the knees when I first saw photos. The apparent covering on this dinosaur is unlike anything we have seen anywhere in the world before — quite different from modern feathers or hair, but also different from the skin of other dinosaurs.''

John Ostrom was born in New York City and grew up in Schenectady, N.Y. As an undergraduate at Union College there, he prepared himself for medical school, but an elective course in geology changed his life. When the lectures turned to paleontology and he read a book on evolution, he decided to be a paleontologist.

Karen Ostrom, a daughter, said she once saw his college transcript. ''When he was a pre-med student, his grades were only average,'' she said. ''After the change, he made straight A's.''

After he earned a doctorate in geology and paleontology at Columbia in 1960, he joined the faculty at Yale, where he remained for the rest of his career. He retired in 1992 but continued his research and writing there, mainly on theories of the origin of flight, until his health failed.

He organized and led fossil-hunting expeditions to Wyoming and Montana throughout the 1960's. He was a longtime editor of The American Journal of Science, organizer of an international conference on Archaeopteryx, and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ostrom's wife, the former Nancy Hartman, died three years ago. In addition to his daughter Karen, of Goshen, Conn., his survivors include another daughter, Alicia Linstead of Larkspur, Calif., and three grandchildren.

He is also survived by a generation of former students and other paleontologists influenced by his discoveries and interpretations of dinosaurs, birds and early flight. At the Peabody Museum, on the Yale campus, stands one of his prized legacies: the reconstructed skeleton and a fleshed-out model of Deinonychus. The museum boasts that the creature Michael Crichton called Velociraptor, the terror of the book and movie ''Jurassic Park,'' is ''really our own Deinonychus parading around under an assumed name.''

In 1999, Dr. Ostrom presided over a symposium in his honor at Yale. Former students and other scholars spoke of feathered dinosaurs and concluded with a tribute to their teacher and colleague. They hailed Deinonychus as ''one of the most famous dinosaurs of all time'' and told Dr. Ostrom, ''You have led the renaissance in thinking about dinosaurs and have revolutionized our concept of them.''

URL: http://www.nytimes.com

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Kate White ’72 has home featured in ‘Country Living’

Posted on Jul 21, 2005

Welcome Escape

After spending an invariably hectic week in New York City, Kate White and her family head to the country, as they have for 17 years, to unwind and spend time together as well as to pursue their personal passions. Kate loves gardening, but realized she didn't have time to plant more than a few herbs, which she tosses into dishes when she's cooking. So she created a garden inside, infusing the house with vibrant, nature-inspired hues ‑- apple green, lemon, eggplant and pumpkin. And while her husband, Brad Holbrook, and their kids, Hunter, age 17, and Hayley, age 15, love to play tennis on these weekends away, Kate's passion is books. She created places to read in each room, with comfortable chairs, cozy pillows and lots and lots of books, particularly poetry books. “Even if I have only five minutes,” Kate admits, “I'll crack open Tennyson or Auden and read a poem ‑- it's a great little break.” When the children were smaller, they would often curl up with her in the afternoon, everyone with their favorite book in front of the fire in winter, or by an open window or out on the porch come summertime. In the country, time expands.

Dining Room

Lemony yellow walls seem to glow within the context of the home's original wood beams and the burnished warmth of a c. 1800 church pew, transformed into a dining table by a local craftsman. Kate and Brad picked up the painting on a trip to Provence. It serves as inspiration. “We wanted that spirit in our home ‑- the beautiful smells, the great food, the sensuousness of that life,” says Kate.

Character & Continuity

The house embraces all of Kate's priorities ‑- family, nature, books, color.


Kate loves vibrant color. She collaborated with Denny Daikeler, of North Wales, Pennsylvania, decorator and author of What Color Is Your Slipcover? (Rodale), to incorporate upbeat hues throughout the house. Denny's tips for color:

Paint all woodwork white, like the warm, high-gloss white in the living room. “It's a harmonizer,” notes Denny, “and the same white throughout makes colors jewel-like.”

Keep all colors the same intensity, such as the mango in the hall and apple green on the landing.

“No room stands alone,” says Denny. For harmony, each room should also include accessories that incorporate the other colors used in the house.


The original farmhouse was considerably smaller. A thoughtful renovation and near-seamless addition blend the old with the new. Here's how:

Kate liked the original home, but it felt too enclosed. An abundance of windows was incorporated into the new design to let in more light.

The staircase in the original home is narrow. When it came time to install a new one, the family made sure the design was open and the proportions welcoming.

Porches were added to the first and second stories. The one off the living room has chairs for reading and enjoying the view.


Upstairs, a white-on-white scheme creates an airy, restful master bedroom. Its cheetah-printed wicker chair and ottoman offer another nook for reading. French doors open to a porch that overlooks views, such as one of an old farm wagon, and vistas that stretch for miles. The expanse of windows also lets in the sounds of nature. Says Kate, “It's like being in a tree house. We don't have any air conditioning, just ceiling fans. At night I prop myself up against the headboard and listen to the symphony of crickets.”

Time-Out Weekends

Cherished days in the country offer time to refuel. For Kate White that means:

Reading. “I used to try to read late at night in bed after everybody else was tucked in, but so often I would fall asleep after just five minutes. What I do now is try to block time at around 4pm when I read, even if it's only for 15 minutes.”

Writing. Kate pens her mysteries in a cozy room in the barn on their property. She writes in the morning: “I'm up early, before the rest of my family.” Her goal is not to write for any specific length of time, but to write until she's produced six pages. “If you keep at it, it adds up.”

Being outdoors. Kate loves long walks in the woods. “I've learned a lot from watching our dog, from the pleasure he takes in nature. He always chooses the grass over the window seat, and that's something I do whenever possible.”

Family. Kate plans time with each of the kids ‑- reading on the porch with Hayley, playing Ping-Pong or bird-watching with Hunter. As for husband Brad, “A couple of years ago we started a tradition of having a cheese course after dinner on Saturday so we can have some private time.”


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Bennett named men’s hockey assistant at Union

Posted on Jul 19, 2005

Union men's hockey coach Nate Leaman announced the hiring of Rick Bennett to the coaching staff. Bennett comes to Union after spending the past five years as the assistant coach at Providence College.

“We are extremely pleased to have someone with Rick's character, work ethic, and experience on our staff,” stated Leaman. “He has coached at the collegiate level for five years and has also had playing experience at the highest level. He will be a real asset to the program.”

The 2000-01 Friars squad had its best Hockey East regular season finish in the program's history and was also Runner-Up in the Hockey East Tournament.

A 1990 graduate of Providence, Bennett was a four-year standout for the Friars and ranks 21st all-time in scoring with 134 points (50 goals, 84 assists). He earned Second-Team All-American honors as a junior, and as a senior captain for the Friars earned Second-Team All-Hockey East accolades and was a Hobey Baker Finalist.

After graduating from Providence, Bennett played professional hockey. From 1990-93, he played for the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL and saw action in 15 games for the New York Rangers of the NHL. After leaving Binghamton, he spent two seasons with the Springfield Indians of the AHL and played his final four seasons of professional hockey (1995-99) for the Jacksonville Lizard Kings (ECHL) and the Pee Dee Pride (ECHL). In addition to playing for the Lizard Kings and the Pride, Bennett also served as an assistant coach for each team.

“From what I've seen of the campus and talking to athletic director Jim McLaughlin and Nate it seems like a win-win situation and I'm excited to be a part of the program,” commented Bennett. “Union has a great support staff and a lot of good people working there and that was what I was most impressed with.”

Bennett will work with the defensemen and will assist current Union assistant coach Bill Riga with special teams. He will also help with recruiting and team video.

Founded in 1795, Union is a highly selective residential college of 2,100 students, located in upstate New York. Union is well known for its excellence in athletics while being fundamentally committed to academic achievement. Union sponsors NCAA Division III sports for 23 men's and women's varsity teams that participate in the Liberty League, the Division I ECAC Hockey League for men's and women's ice hockey, club sports, intramural, and recreational programs.

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70 ninth and 10th graders enroll in Camp College weekend

Posted on Jul 19, 2005

Seventy ninth and 10th grade students from throughout New York State will come to Union College this Friday, July 22 for Camp College, a three-day weekend program that gives students the opportunity to experience a campus environment while also learning about the admissions process and financial aid programs.

Students who attend the camp are defined as “underserved,” meaning they are first-generation college-bound, from lower economic backgrounds, and/or members of minority groups that are traditionally underrepresented at institutions of higher education.

“Camp College lets high school students experience college life while giving them access to adults who specialize in the college application and financial aid process,” explains Susan Nesbitt Perez, vice president of outreach and financial aid for the Albany-based Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU).  “Many begin the weekend not certain if college is a feasible choice, and leave understanding not only the many benefits of higher education, but also the many resources available, both financial and academic, to help make college a reality.”

Participants are exposed to both the academic and social aspects of college life, attending classes led by college professors and eating and sleeping in Union’s dining halls and dormitories.

Kelly Herrington, associate dean of admissions at Union and organizer of the camp, has witnessed firsthand the impact the weekend has on students.  “There are so many high school students in the state who don’t think college is an option for them. This program has a proven record of success in making college a reality for those who might not otherwise continue their education after high school.”

The simulated college experience strives to demystify college life – from academics to social life. Students, chaperones and mentors attend classes, learn about admissions and financial aid, participate in parties and sports, eat college food, and sleep in dorm rooms.

Attendees are all New York State high school students nominated by GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) sites throughout the state, high schools, and community non-profits working with youth.  According to one Camp College alumna, “Everything was great! I expected to meet a lot of energetic and smart people, and I did. The experience was wonderful.”

The majority of funding for Camp College is provided by a federal grant awarded to the CICU by the Higher Education Services Corporation. CICU is a “Sector Partner” in the state’s GEAR UP partnership and receives grant funds to provide services to the 20,000 students in the cohorts statewide. New York State Association of College Admissions Counselors (NYSACAC) developed the idea of Camp College and continues to provide a grant to help fund the program. A Federal GEAR UP grant awarded to CICU, as well as support from GE Energy, Citizen’s Bank Foundation, Time Warner Cable, and Reality Check, makes it possible to offer the Camp College at no cost to participants.

Niagara University, in Western New York, is the site of a similar Camp College weekend July 29-31st.

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