Consortium Connections

Connecting campuses to promote excellence in science and mathematics

Founded by the Pew Charitable Trusts

March 23, 2009

Vol. 3 No.4

Birds are singing, flowers are beginning to bloom and there are even small tips of green on a few tree must be Spring! This is a busy and exciting time of year with the spring semesters and terms wrapping up in another month or two and summer research just around the corner. The Consortium is busy too. Please read through the news, announcements and reminders below and plan to participate in some of these activities and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

Janet Andersen Award Lecture Nominations: Deadline April 20, 2009

In 2008 the Consortium decided to honor Janet Andersen by creating an Award lecture in her honor. At this past fall’s Undergraduate Research Symposia, Jeff Wilkerson, a physicist from Luther College and David Hall, a biochemist from Lawrence University gave the first two Janet Andersen Award Lectures.

We are seeking nominations for the 2009 Janet Andersen Award Lectures. We encourage nominations for faculty members of any rank who have vigorous research programs involving undergraduates, who are exceptional mentors for undergraduate research students, or who create interdisciplinary research opportunities for undergraduate students.

The Consortium will accept nominations for the 2009 award until Monday, April 20. The award recipient(s) will be selected at this spring's Executive Committee Meeting on Saturday, April 25, and will be notified soon afterwards.

Please send a letter of nomination with relevant details about the faculty member and a recent CV of the nominee via email to Karen Nordell Pearson by April 20, 2009., phone: 616-395-7217.

Executive Committee Meeting April 25, 2009

The Consortium's Executive Committee will be meeting Saturday April 25, 2009 at the O'Hare Marriott. If you have any questions or ideas for the meeting please talk to your campus rep. The meeting's agenda will be posted on our website in early April.


New Faculty Workshop - July 17-19, 2009

Early Career Strategic Planning: Tools for Success

This summer's New Faculty Workshop will be held at Björklunden, Lawrence's 'northern' campus in Door County, Wisconsin on the weekend of July 17-19th. Björklunden, pronounced "Bee-york-lun-den", meaning birch forest by the water, is a large property with a gorgeous lodge on the shores of Lake Michigan. For more information about Björklunden, visit

More details about the workshop can be found on our website. Online registration is open now and will continue through the end of June. Graduate students and postdocs interested in teaching at liberal arts colleges, newly hired tenure-track or term appointment faculty, and faculty just completing their first or second years are encouraged to participate. The weekend will be a mixture of time for reflection and strategic planning for each particpant, and time for discussions and presentations about teaching, pedagogies, establishing a research group, writing proposals for external funding and more.

As you complete searches for new colleagues, please make them aware of this opportunity. Participants from the last several summer workshops found the weekend valuable and fun!

Midwest Brain and Learning Institute - June 22-24, 2009 - Hope College

Healthy Brains, Engaged Learners

A healthy brain is every person’s most important asset. At this year’s Institute, designed for K-12 teachers and college faculty, you will learn what makes and keeps a brain healthy, what having a healthy brain means for learning, and how you can stimulate brain health for yourself and your students. While this workshop is not a Consortium-sponsored meeting, we have reserved several spots for Consortium faculty members to attend at no cost to themselves. Please contact Karen Nordell Pearson (, 616-395-7217) asap if you're interested in attending.

For more information go to

Registration Deadline is May 15. 2009 .

Upcoming Workshop: Using X-Ray Diffraction in Teaching and Research

Andrew Knudsen in the Lawrence Geology Department has agreed to host a weekend workshop at Lawrence for either this summer or during the 2009-2010 academic year. Please let Karen know if you would be interested in such a workshop and when would be a good time to hold this workshop. We would plan a date from the feedback that we receive.

2009 Open House Scheduled at Washington University in St. Louis, Division of Biology & Biomedical Sciences

All prospective Biomedical graduate students are invited to attend an open house on Saturday, April 18, 2009 at Washington University. For more information go to WashU_visit_day. Register online at Registration deadline is April 15, 2009.
The Biomedical Sciences Open House is free to all prospective graduate students who wish to attend and lunch will be provided however, please note, that travel expenses and lodging are the responsibility of the open house attendee.

Any questions should be directed to Jennifer Lawler Brown

Is your campus going green?

Let's share information about how our courses, research projects, campus strategies, and other math and science contributions are contributing to the sustainability of our campuses!

We're planning a series of two meetings about campus sustainability and we need your ideas, contributions, suggestions and planning help! The two meetings will be hosted in the new LEED-certified green science buildings at St. Olaf and Beloit Colleges. The meetings will likely be in early October 2009 and 2010.

Please contact Karen if you'd like to help with the planning of these meetings or if you've got ideas about how students, faculty, staff or administrators on your campus can contribute to this important and timely topic!


Visits supported by the MCMS Speaker Series, Speaker Consultant Exchange or Short Term Consultation Programs

Reminder: you can apply for these funds to support visits during the remainder of this academic year, this summer and next year too!


Speaker Series

On February 13th, Sophia Hayes from the Chemistry Department at Washington University visited St. Olaf College to present the seminar “NMR+Light: New Insights into Semiconductors and Photoactive Materials”.

On March 13th, Gustavus Chemist Brandy Russell hosted Hope Chemist Jason Gillmore for a seminar on his research entitled "Photochemistry, Electrochemistry, and Computation, Oh My... an organic photochemist looks at old photochromes in a new way".

On April 16th Dr. Ellen Damschen a biologist from Washington University will present a seminar entitled "Corridors and plant species richness" at Luther College. Luther biologist Eric Baack will be Ellen's host.

Short Term Consultations

This spring and summer Dr. Stephen Remillard and several of his students from the Physics Department of Hope College will be traveling toWashington University to gain familiarity with the SEM. They will be working to characterize several samples with Ty Daulton in the Wash U Physics Department and William Buhro in the Wash U Chemsitry Department.

Comments from the Director

Friends and Colleagues,

The Consortium is gearing up for a busy summer. I look forward to gathering new ideas from your Campus Representatives at the upcoming Executive Committee Meeting in late April. If you have suggestions for workshops, conferences or other collaborations, please tell me and/or your campus representative and we will discuss these ideas at the meeting.

I'm always eager to hear your ideas and to find ways to support what you'd like to accomplish, learn and explore. Please give me a call at 616-395-7217 or send an email to

Enjoy this beautiful season of new life!

Karen Nordell Pearson


Augustana College Beloit College Carthage College Colorado College Grinnell College Gustavus Adolphus Hope College Knox College  
 Lawrence University Luther College Macalester College St. Olaf College University of Chicago Washington University