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DeBrief - December 1, 2021

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DePauw’s source for staff and faculty news and announcements.

The Office

Rebecca Schindler in her office

Rebecca Schindler, Edwin L. Minar professor of classical studies and director of the Honor Scholar Program


What's in your office?


Photos: I have a lot of pictures of my family, especially my children at different ages. I am fortunate that we have been able to travel together and on my desk is a series of photos of Greek sanctuaries (Delphi, Corinth and the Parthenon) that I took on a DePauw Winter Term course in 2020. On the wall above my desk is a series of photos that I took in Venice in 1990. They are not particularly good pictures, but I was there with my best friend from college and she framed them for me. At the time, I didn't think I would have the opportunity to travel in Europe again.


Student projects: I teach a course called “Art and Text in the Ancient Mediterranean World.” For the final project, students can reproduce an ancient monument, as long as it has both images and text. These two are some of the best examples. Phrasikleia is a Greek kore from the 6th century BCE. She speaks to us through the inscription on her base: “Grave of Phrasikleia. I will forever be called kore [virgin maiden]; the gods destined this name for me in place of marriage. Aristion of Poros made me.” Behind Phrasikleia is the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III. Carved in the 9th century BCE, it was discovered in 1846. It celebrates Shalmaneser's military conquests in relief panels and Akkadian inscriptions. One panel names Jehu, the King of Israel at the time.


Replica Greek pottery: I have an assortment of replicas around my office. My favorite, however, is the amphora on my desk. Painted by Exekias in the late 6th century BCE, this scene shows the mythical battle between the Greek hero Achilles and the Amazon queen, Penthesileia. According to the myth, as Achilles thrust his spear into her throat, their eyes met, and they fell in love.


Actual artifacts: On the shelf above my desk is a small oil lamp and single bronze coin from Israel. These were given to me as a gift many many years ago by a dear friend of our family. I have mixed feelings about “possessing” actual artifacts as most countries around the globe have national patrimony laws (and I teach a course on ethics and archaeology) but Israel is one of the few countries that allows surplus archaeological materials to be sold legally. Both the lamp and coin date to around the period of the Jewish Revolt against the Romans (ca. 70 C.E.).


Toys: I collect toys related to archaeology and the ancient world. I have an Alexander the Great action figure and an Indiana Jones Mr. Potato Head, which I have never opened, but if you push down on the top of the box, he plays the Indiana Jones theme song. On my last trip to Greece, I was at a rest stop along the highway and the shop was selling Playmobil figures, including the archaeologist set-up. I couldn't resist.

Faculty and Staff News Roundup

Chris White, professor of English and director of the Film Studies Program, was interviewed about a day in the life of a writer for the first episode of Indiana Humanities’ “Write Now” series.


Ben Hogan, director of academic operations, graduated from the Putnam County Leadership Academy Nov. 22.  


Nipun Chopra ’06, assistant professor of biology, discussed Alzheimer’s Disease in the Nov. 24 episode of the “Why Do I” podcast.


A monograph by Derek Ford, assistant professor of education studies, titled “Marxism, Pedagogy, and the General Intellect: Beyond the Knowledge Economy” was reviewed Nov. 25 in Postdigital Science and Education.

From My Perspective: Susan Anthony

Women in Science on the set of Silent Sky

DePauw Theatre, in conjunction with the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the DePauw Women’s Center, recently hosted a series of events that celebrated women in science and the integration of the arts into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Susan Anthony, professor of communication and theatre, organized the events and directed the DePauw Theatre production of “Silent Sky,” which culminated the weeklong series.


We asked her a few questions about it.


What inspired you to coordinate the week of events?

The play “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson relates the lives and achievements of three real-life women who worked at the Harvard Observatory in the early 20th century. Although these brilliant women were expected (and restricted) merely to record discoveries made by men, they themselves made discoveries so profound that they changed the field of astronomy forever. This story of these underestimated women of science as told through a live stage performance seemed an ideal opportunity to consider the intersection of the Arts in STEM (or STE-A-M)!  


When I first decided to produce this play, I contacted Mary Kertzman, professor of physics and astronomy, Sarah Ryan, associate dean of student success and director of the Women's Center, and after a series of meetings that included Jaye Beetem, technical director of the Green Center for the Performing Arts, we decided to celebrate the Arts in STEM and Women in Science through a week of events that would culminate in performances of the play.


Events included a public talk by Dr. Kertzman about the women of Harvard Observatory, a screening of the film “Hidden Figures,” which highlighted the brilliant women of the NASA space program, a lunch for students in science, our “STE-A-M Celebration” over lunchtime (featuring a pop-up planetarium, geoscience sandbox, digital music exhibit, poetry readings, music performances and astro-photography) and free tickets for the Friday night performance of “Silent Sky,” with a panel discussion of DePauw women science faculty following the performance. In addition, McKim Observatory was open to the public during the week. Several of these events were made possible by funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant.


What’s the significance behind the (above) photo?

It was taken on stage after the Friday night performance of the play which was dedicated to Women in Science. The photo features the cast of the show – along with audience members (faculty and students) who proudly identify as Women in Science at DePauw. The faculty members in the front row are Bridget Gourley, Percy L. Julian professor of chemistry and biochemistry and dean of the faculty, Mary Kertzman, professor of physics and astronomy, and Sarah Mordan-McCombs, associate professor of biology. They participated in a panel discussion, moderated by Melanie Finney, professor of communication and theatre and chair of the department, about the challenges (still) facing women in science.


Will there be more events like this?

This collaboration was such a positive experience all around that I would love to do it again!

Updates from the COVID-19 Mitigation Team

As you may have noticed on the COVID-19 campus dashboard, there has been an uptick in employee COVID-19 cases on campus. These cases all exist within a confined cluster. The Mitigation Team, Human Resources, DePauw Health Wellness Center and the Putnam County Health Department are following all appropriate protocols and providing direction to the impacted individuals. There is no change in campus status as a result of these cases. Please continue to practice all mitigation measures including masking, distancing and hand washing.


Booster COVID-19 shots are now available to everyone 18 and older. To learn more and find a vaccination location near you, visit ourshot.in.gov.


As a reminder, we are offering drop-in COVID-19 testing for asymptomatic individuals on a first come first served basis. Testing is available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in Lilly 2029. Individuals are limited to testing once per week. Please wear a mask no matter your vaccination status and bring your DePauw ID. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their primary healthcare provider, which may be DePauw Health Wellness Center at 765-658-4555; drop-in testing is not available for symptomatic individuals.


Task force: Use ‘leadership capital’ to ensure free expression

The Academic Leaders Task Force on Campus Free Expression – of which DePauw University President Lori White is a member – calls on colleges and universities to use their “leadership capital to support a culture of free expression.” Read more.


Six seniors chosen for Orr fellowships

Six DePauw seniors have been chosen to join Orr Fellowship, a two-year, post-graduate program that places high-achieving students into full-time, paid jobs at companies or organizations in Indianapolis.


The seniors are Isabelle Beg, Maya Caldwell, Erika Marchant, Cesar Mendoza, Jenna Purichia and Anthony Treadaway. Read more.

DePauw University Libraries

As students are working on final research projects, remember to send them to the Library Research Spot in the Prevo Science Library. Our peer research consultants are there any time the library is open, ready to help develop a search strategy, navigate databases and evaluate sources, so that students can best engage with their research question. Find out more ways to get library and research assistance at libanswers.depauw.edu.

Campus Events

Holiday Gala At the Movies logo

School of Music Holiday Gala

Dec. 4, 7 p.m. and Dec. 5, 3 p.m.


Don’t miss movie-inspired performances by the DePauw University Bands, DePauw Choirs, DePauw Jazz Ensemble and DePauw Orchestra. Purchase tickets.

Upcoming Holiday Gatherings

Christmas Tree Lighting. Dec. 2, 7 p.m., in front of the Emison building (Admission) on Seminary St. Music and readings lead to the countdown and lighting of the tree in celebration of the Christian seasons of Advent and Christmas. Hot drinks and cookies will be served on the tented patio of The Inn. Contact Chaplain Beth Newton Watson for more information.


Hanukkah Celebration. Dec. 5 from 7-8:30 p.m. in the CDI atrium. Enjoy traditional Hanukkah foods of latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (donuts), play dreidel and light the menorah in celebration of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. Contact Lance daSilva for more information.


Kwanzaa. While university offices will be closed during Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1), join in a virtual program that honors African heritage and culture. Date and link forthcoming on the CDI website and Instagram. Contact Joseph Harris for more information.


For a complete listing of events, visit Campus Labs.

Human Resources

Annual Holiday Party, Dec. 5

The holiday party is for all University employees and retirees, their children and grandchildren. Festivities include activities for children, and an ornament for children ages 12 and under and refreshments will be available. Santa will be there for a photo opportunity with each child Learn more.


IRS Announces 2022 Retirement Plan Limits

The IRS contribution limits for most participants under age 50 are increasing to $20,500 in 2022. The catch-up contribution limit remains the same at $6,500. Click here for a detailed chart. Employees who wish to increase their 403b contribution limit for 2022 may log into the TIAA portal.


HSA Bank Empowerment Series – Dec. 3, 10 and 17

Join HSA Bank as they explore various facets of health savings accounts. From opening an HSA to learning how to fully maximize your account – this series has valuable information for you. Learn more.

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