Monthly Archives: October 2010

Adult degree program’s blog receives honors

The blog for Linfield’s online adult degree program, part of the Division of Continuing Education, was honored as one of the nation’s top adult education blogs by Accredited Online Colleges’ website.
Established in January, the Linfield online education blog was one of four recommended in the categories of Back-in-School and Higher Degree.
“The honor is even greater [than just making the top 40 colleges],” Janet Gifford, director of marketing for DCE and associate director of DCE, said. “Many bloggers also post links of articles from our blog with recommendations.”
According to Accredited Online Colleges’ website, the blog was chosen as one of the national best online education blogs for its tips on career development and educational opportunities.
Tips help current employees earn their bachelor’s degrees to continue their education.
Two recommended posts on the website are titled “How to Gain College Credit for Work and Other Life Experience” and “How to Approach Your Employer about Going Back to School.”
Gifford said she thinks they received the award because of their trustworthy information and numerous perspectives. Many sources are current DCE students and professors.
She also said the blog especially helps new DCE students by serving as a colloquium-like class, allowing former college student to rejoin a college community.
DCE students from 26 states and six nations read the blog. Some have never been to Linfield’s McMinnville or Portland campus.
“The blog is a practical application of a resource that is beneficial for a current student and even a potential student looking for an advancement of his or her educational career,” Steven Facker, a class of ’10 DCE student, said in an e-mail. “Instructors share a personal side of themselves. Information is provided that can help the casual or hardcore student.”
Michelle Lagos, a hair and makeup stylist and business owner and a DCE student who has contributed to the blog, said posting gives her a sense of confidence. The program also taught her videotaping skills, which she could use for future interviewing and gave her some immediate exposure in the social media community.
Talking about new plans for the blog, Gifford said the team managing the blog will introduce one of the degrees taught in the DCE each month, starting in November. The DCE offers seven majors, such as a registered nurse major and Bachelor of Science in nursing — the most popular degree.
To find more information of the blog, visit

Jaffy Xiao/Features editor
Jaffy Xiao can be reached at

Students say upped bandwidth goes unnoticed

Despite a 30 percent increase in Linfield’s bandwidth, many students said they notice no difference in their Internet speed.
Data supplied from Irv Wiswall, director of Information Technology Services at Linfield College, shows that the spikes in Internet usage no longer overload the network’s bandwidth.
“We’ve added additionallanes to the highway,” Wiswall said, explaining how increasing the bandwidth affected students.
Even so, students claim the changes are not outwardly apparent.
“I read the e-mail, and said ‘cool,’” freshman Aaron Hanson said. “But I haven’t really noticed any difference.”
Students have not yet reached full capacity of the newly expanded bandwidth, although Wiswall said it is inevitable that they will.
He said he was originally going to wait until 2011 to expand Linfield’s bandwidth because the contract with Online Northwest, Linfield’s Internet service provider, will expire.
The wording of the contract makes it uncertain how far into the next year the contract will last, Wiswall said.
He said Online Northwest offered a new pricing scheme to expand the bandwidth available to Linfield, but it would have locked him into another year of the contract.
“There was a pretty good chance that we’d get a better deal [from someone else], and I didn’t want to lock us out of an opportunity,” Wiswall said.
He said the proposed scheme, in which he would pay for 120 megabits of bandwidth each month and an average of 95 percent of any bandwidth use exceeding 120 Mbit, was too complicated, so he rejected it.
He also said he did not want to extend the contract while he was still looking at alternative deals.
He said he is looking at large companies like Cogeco and Comcast for Internet alternatives as well as the Oregon Independent Colleges Association.
Through the OICA, Linfield purchases long-distance telephone service from a company called
Integron, which could provide Linfield with Internet services in the future.
Wiswall chose to expand bandwidth capacity under the current pricing scheme, in which Linfield pays $48 per Mbit per month.
Wiswall said that the network backbone — the physical components such as the fiber optic cables and servers — will not be strained by the increase in traffic.
Linfield’s internal bandwidth can handle a gigabit of data at a time or a thousand times the bandwidth of Linfield’s connection to the rest of the Internet, Wiswall said.

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at

Will date for charity

Seniors Taylor Avritt (left) and Kevin Coleman (right) interview senior Cole Bixenman (center). Bixenman became last week’s auction-high draw when two women pledged $125 to a charitable organization to win a date with him. Photo courtesy of Alison Bouchard

What began as a harmless prank to auction off a friend turned into a serious fundraiser for two disc jockeys who wound up raising money to combat breast cancer on Oct. 18 and 25.
KSLC 90.3 FM DJs seniors Taylor Avritt and Kevin Coleman raised $177 when they auctioned dates with several peers Their largest bid was for senior Cole Bixenman, who drew a $125 pledge.
“We were going to auction him off because he was newly single, but with the amount of money he drew, we decided to find a suitable breast cancer awareness foundation to donate it to,” Avritt said.
Coleman said they were obligated to find a good use for the money they raised.
“Once it got over $50, we kinda had to,” Coleman said. “It’s a lot of money to donate.”
Arvitt and Coleman donated the money to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a breast cancer awareness organization, because it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Coleman said. They said it was at the behest of the winners of Bixenman: juniors Hilary Hastings and Allison Navarro.
Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority raises money for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s efforts during the sorority’s annual Think Pink Week.
“We couldn’t think of anything else,” he said. “There wasn’t much thought behind this. It was pretty spontaneous.”

Senior Travis Tocher (left) works the phones while seniors Taylor Avritt (right) and Kevin Coleman banter on-air. Senior Bryce Comfort (not pictured) assisted Tocher as they recorded the names and pledges of donors.

Hastings said she and Navarro did not intend to donate a large amount of money when they first bid on Bixenman.
“We were going to donate $10 each just for fun,” she said. “$125 later, here we are.”
Navarro said they started donating because they knew the money was going to a charity, and breast cancer research is important to her and Hastings.
On the night of the second auction, Oct. 25, the women delivered an envelope of checks for the foundation to Avritt and Coleman.
Bixenman also made an appearance on the show.
“I found out about it from a Facebook group a day before the show,” he said. “I told [Avritt] no. He did it anyway. I can’t fault them for putting the money toward a good cause.”
The bidding was not limited to Bixenman. Junior Jen Match donated $3 to win a date with Avritt.
Match also made an appearance at the radio station Oct. 25.

Senior Kevin Coleman (above) planned on auctioning off senior Cole Bixenman as a prank. After Bixenman drew $125 in pledges, Coleman said he felt obligated to find a charity to donate the money to. Photos courtesy of Alison Bouchard

The show featured several other men who were auctioned off, including seniors Steven Dark and Beau Slayton.
“It’s kinda fun and for a good cause,” Slayton said.
Seniors Travis Tocher and Bryce Comfort assisted the DJs. While Avritt and Coleman bantered on air and discussed the auction, Tocher answered phone calls and recorded bids.
Current and previous auctionees, last week’s winners and a pair of photographers crowded the control booth for the Oct. 25 show.
This week, the auctioneers made $75, which will go to the foundation.
Avritt and Coleman are planning on changing the recipients of their donations in November, as it will no longer be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Avritt and Coleman began working for KSLC in 2010, during Spring Semester. Their program is called “Gettin’ Hard.”
“It’s basically goofing off for other people,” Avritt said. “We’re trying to do something good with our show.”

Joshua Ensler/News editor
Joshua Ensler can be reached at

Committee presents grading solutions

A group of faculty members, administrators and students approved a recommendation Oct. 21 to solve the long-standing problem of grading seniors’ spring finals.
“For years, faculty have been required to turn in grades for graduating seniors even before some exams are scheduled to end,” Brad Thompson, department chair and associate professor of mass communication, said.
Thompson is in charge of the faculty Student Policy Committee.
Last spring, the Faculty Executive Council, which oversees all faculty committees, was tasked with solving the grading issue, Associate Professor of History Scott Smith said.
Smith is also the FEC’s chair.
“It has always seemed to the faculty members a very peculiar way to do things,” Smith said about the grading problem.
Thompson formed the Graduating Senior Grades Work Group, composed of three faculty members, two administrators and two students to investigate the problem and recommend a solution. The group ranked four solutions to the challenge of senior final exam grades:
1) Shorten Spring Semester by one day by moving Reading Day to the Friday before finals week and making finals Monday through Wednesday
2) Distribute diplomas after graduation
3) Eliminate Reading Day and hold exams Monday through Wednesday
4) Eliminate Reading Day and have exams Friday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Spring Semester final exams are currently set with Reading Day on Monday and finals Tuesday through Friday.
The Associated Student of Linfield College Senate approved a proclamation Oct. 18, declaring students support for distributing diplomas during the Commencement ceremony. Faculty members on the Graduating Senior Grades Work Group strongly considered mailing diplomas after the ceremony as a
solution to the grading issue.
“I’ve never, I don’t believe, been at a place that didn’t mail them,” Thompson said.
The group examined the diploma policies of other schools in the Northwest, Thompson said. He said George Fox University, Lewis & Clark College, University of Oregon and others mailed diplomas, while schools such as Pacific and Willamette universities distributed them at graduation.
“I was surprised. It was a mixed bag,” Dean of Students Susan Hopp, an ex-officio member of the work group, said.
Student Center Director senior Evan Hilberg and Linfield Activities Board Special Event Chair junior Rachel Coffey, student representatives in the work group and the Student Policies Committee, said the proclamation represents student body opinion above and beyond what they can offer the group.
Senators voted Oct. 18 to include three alternatives to mailing diplomas. They are:
•reducing finals week from four days to three,
•beginning Spring Semester one day earlier and
•making Reading Day the Friday before finals week.
Senators voted against the option of eliminating Reading Day altogether.
ASLC President senior Colin Jones said the resolution was sent to various faculty and administrators Oct. 21.
Thompson sent the document to the members of the work group. But he said it missed the point, as it centered on mailing diplomas, but the group did not even recommend this as its top solution to senior grading issues.
“It seemed to me like they were jumping the gun,” Thompson said. “So far as I could tell, there was no demand behind the proclamation. It was simply an expression of ASLC students’ opinion.”
He said everyone on the work group was already aware of student opinion, too, so little discussion about it occurred.
Hilberg said the proclamation may have come out too late to be helpful but was concerned about the lack of discussion.
“No one voiced their opinion on the proclamation, which was odd,” Hilberg said. “I think Senate would have liked it to play a larger role. I don’t think they know exactly what role it has played yet.”
In the end, however, the ruling is up to the faculty.
“I hope that everyone involved can kind of see outside their world,” Hilberg said. “It’s very easy to be passionate and put a lot of effort into the side that you’re on and the side that’s going to affect you the most, but that’s not going to help anyone because the students don’t have a vote on this. The faculty are going to decide it regardless of what anyone else says. They have the final vote.”
Coffey said she hopes the students continue receiving diplomas at graduation.
The work group’s recommendations are under discussion in the four faculty divisions: arts and humanities, natural science and math, Portland, and social and behavioral sciences, Thompson said.
He said the Student Policies Committee will meet during the first week of November to talk about the divisions’ input and begin to compile a final proposal for the Faculty Assembly, which will ultimately vote on a final solution — perhaps.
“It may just die,” Thompson said. “[But] judging by what went on in the division meeting I was at yesterday, it’s not going to die.”

Kelley Hungerford/Editor-in-chief
Kelley Hungerford can be reached at

Pinske, Seeley place first for Linfield

The Linfield cross country team competed in the Puma Concordia Classic on Oct. 16 at Fernhill Park in Portland.
The meet brought new competition, as the team battled against Northwest University, Concordia University, Lane Community College, Treasure Valley Community College and three Canadian universities.
The Linfield men’s team ran an 8K race and finished fifth out of eight teams, while the women ran a 5K race and placed fifth out of seven teams.
The University of British Columbia placed first on the men’s side and Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, B.C., Canada) finished first for the women.
Senior Scott Pinske was Linfield’s top placer for the men, clocking in at 20 minutes, 16
seconds and placing 20th.
Four of the other Linfield competitors finished in the top 50 with 73 runners in the race.
Freshman Joe Gladow, Linfield’s second place runner, took 26th place overall with a time of 26:25. Sophomore Cameron
Chester finished in 37th place with a time of 27:03, while junior Alex Van Slyke followed close behind with a time of 27:21, taking 42nd place. Rounding out the top 50 was freshman Jason Hight, who took 48th place and crossed the finish line at 27:54.
“We had a good showing by Gladow and Pinske,” Van Slyke said. “Overall it was a good meet for everyone who raced.”
Finishing first for the ’Cats on the women’s side was freshman Mimi Seeley, who clenched 25th place with a time of 18:42.
Three other runners completed the race in the top 50. Freshman Siena Noe and junior Shanna Peaden paced each other,
finishing in 46th and 47th places with times of 19:34 and 19:38, respectively. Freshman Hannah Greider sealed the top 50 with a time of 19:55.
“Our girls’ team has performed very well up to this point,” Noe said. “I think we’re going to peak as individuals and as a team.”
Conference is coming up on Oct. 30. Both the men and women’s teams have solid top six competitors for the conference meet. The teams hope to make it to regionals, which fall on Nov. 13 in Salem, Ore.
“It’s the end of the season so people are feeling anxious,” Van Slyke said. “We have a solid group of guys that have been working hard all season, and the past few weeks have been indicating nothing but good results for conference.”
The womens’ team has a similar outlook.
“We’ve consistently narrowed the gaps between each other during races, so we’re hoping this will make a big difference in our placing at conference,” Noe said. “If we come to compete, we have a shot.”

Katey Barger/Staff reporter
Katey Barger can be reached at