Monthly Archives: September 2012

Grads serve Peace Corp in Dominican Republic

Linfield College has prepared 14 graduates to serve in the Peace Corps.
Opportunities after college can be hard to come by, but the Peace Corps can provide help in eliminating some of the search.
Ashley Ensminger, class of ’09, is in the Dominican Republic serving as a Community Economic Development volunteer. She works with a women’s co-op in the production of dried fruits and marmalades—the area’s specialty goods.
Ensminger also aids the women in accounting, marketing promotions and quality control and helps them to improve general administrative processes.
If any senior students are interested in joining the Peace Corps they should apply by Sept. 30 to qualify to serve when they graduate.
Apply and be considered for an assignment launching in the spring and summer of 2013, by visiting
A Peace Corps recruiter will be on campus Sept. 26 from 2-4 p.m. at the internship fair. The recruiter will also host an information session from 4:30-6 p.m. after the fair.
Peace Corps covers travel payments to and from the United States, a monthly stipend and health care benefits. It also offers volunteers money to readapt to life in the United States when they are finished with their service. Many universities team up with the Peace Corps to supply volunteers with graduate school benefits. If you would like to see a list of benefits, visit:
“As Linfield seniors begin their final year and start thinking about life post-college, many of them may be considering Peace Corps service —a life-defining experience,” said Jeremiah McDaniel, the Public Affairs Coordinator for the Peace Corps West Coast region.
Maybe the Peace Corps is the next step for many future Linfield graduates.

Carrie Skuzeski
Senior reporter

Constitution Day Debate focuses on war on terror

Although it has been 11 years since 9/11, many Americans are still questioning some of the actions that have taken place in the fight against terrorism. One major concern is whether the war on terror has undermined the U.S. Constitution.
This was the question that two guest debaters were asked to discuss during the Constitution Day Debate on Sept. 21 in Riley 201.
Steven Knott, professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, and Ofer Raban, associate professor at the University of Oregon Law School, presented their opinions and supporting evidence to a crowd of about 80 attendees.
Raban kicked off the debate, arguing that the war on terror has undermined Americans’ rights and liberties. He pointed to the 4th amendment, the Due Process Clause and the 1st amendment as areas that have been violated by America’s leaders since 9/11.
In the process of the American government’s attempts to recalibrate the balance of things, it has assaulted the civil rights of its people more so than any other time in history, Raban argued.
Raban used the Bush Administration’s secret surveillance program as an example of unreasonable measures.
Raban explained that the Bush Administration did not have permission to spy on millions of Americans, and in December 2005, the New York Times ousted them for it.
However, the Bush Administration argued that it did not violate the 4th amendment, and many Americans couldn’t prove that they were being spied on, so the resulting lawsuit was dismissed on personal grounds.
In fact, the National Security Agency continued operating a data center to house recorded phone calls. And, until 2008, it was in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Raban said.
Even Senator Ron Wyden was quoted as having said Americans would be stunned if they knew how their phone calls were being interpreted, Raban said.
Raban also argued that the Bush Administration ignored the Due Process Clause that says no one will be denied life, liberty or property without ensuring some form of fairness and the 1st amendment.
“Everyone is entitled to a full criminal trial,” Raban said.
However, the Bush Administration often bypassed such procedures if someone was perceived as an enemy combatant.
For instance, political speech is supposed to be protected, even if it shows support to violent organizations. But, many people were punished for political ideas without proof of actually helping violent organizations. Even some animal activists were accused of using terrorist tactics, Raban said.
Knott disagreed with Raban’s position. He recently wrote a book that defends Bush’s actions. He said he thinks Bush and President Obama have acted within the Constitution. He pointed to Article II of the U.S. Constitution for support of his argument.
“In certain unique situations, obedience to written law is not highest in consideration,” Knott said.
Written law is not observed in several historical events, like Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of Habeas Corpus.
“Sometimes you have to amputate a limb to save the whole body…this is the same for political systems,” Knott said.
Knott argued that there are occasions when the president has to act on his own for the greater good.
“9/11 was the pinnacle of a series of attacks in the last five years,” Knott said. “Bush asked, ‘How do we prevent this from happening again?’”
At that point in time, the government was convinced a similar attack would happen again, and it would be worse. There was talk of weapons of mass destruction, Knott said.
Even Obama has continued many of Bush’s methods, Knott added.
“If we are going to rethink the standards of our presidents’ greatness, we should just sandblast Mt. Rushmore and put up more constrained presidents,” Knott said.
Raban rebutted, saying that there is still a question of whether it was justified to violate rights, and people need to distinguish the difference between the war on terror from wars like WWII.
“The war on terror started with 19 lunatics. It’s not the same. There was no foreign military,” Raban said.
“You throw yourself on American opinion. Checks exist in the power of impeachment,” Knott argued.
The Constitution Day Debate was co-sponsored by the PLACE Legacies of War Pilot project and was catered by Ribslayer.

Jessica Prokop

Linfield history professor receives teaching award

Linfield College wouldn’t be the well-recognized institution it is without the people who work hard every day to better its programs and students.
Among these supporters is recent Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award- winner Deborah Olsen.
The Edith Green Distinguished Professor Award is given to one outstanding professor every year since its founding in 1980.
Since being at the college in 1992, Olsen has held many positions necessary to the well-being of Linfield, including former history professor, competitive scholarship adviser, and previous director of academic advising.
Olsen is also known and praised for her role as supervisor of the Linfield Colloquium program, which helps assimilate freshmen into the college lifestyle, while at the same time making friends and learning about the plethora of opportunities available to Linfield students.
“Once I took the academic advising role, I realized Colloquium needed to be organized and streamlined,” Olsen said.
Olsen did just that by writing a recommended syllabus, doubling the salary of advisers, and condensing the program.
“I really wanted to strengthen the role of the advisers. I listened to them more to find out what was working. I then created an evaluation and revision committee to help Colloquium grow,” Olsen said.
“Deborah Olsen was an incredible individual to work with. She helped design Colloquium, in an effort to help with freshmen retention and transition from high school to college. It gives them a sense of belonging and makes Linfield home. She organized Colloquium from the very beginning and it has now transitioned into the great program it is today,” Liz Atkinson said.
Atkinson is a chemistry professor, as well as a Colloquium adviser who has previously worked with Olsen.
As a competitive scholarship adviser, Olsen helped many Linfield students apply and win the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
“I helped students with scholarships by just setting deadlines and helping them realize it was going to take at least 20 rough drafts. I also loved to brainstorm ideas. It was my favorite part,” Olsen said.
“She took on a 10-person job alone with the Fulbright Scholarship,” Atkinson said.
Even though Olsen is no longer a competitive scholarship adviser, she has established a scholarship to help the students of Linfield even in her absence. The Deborah M. Olsen Public Service Internship provides students with the opportunity to expand their education to practical use in the real world. By learning outside the classroom, students are preparing themselves for their future competitive field of choice.
“I was totally surprised to win the Edith Green Award. It is important to me that my academic work was recognized even without a 10-year track,” Olsen said.
“Linfield is a very special place in my heart. I have very mixed feeling about retiring. [I’ve] loved it all,” Olsen said.

Alyssa Townsend
Opinion editor

Lecturer shares 
importance of nonproliferation

Chris Kessler, private consultant at Northraven Consulting LLC and professor at University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, discusses why a world with no nuclear weapons would be difficult to maintain.
Joel Ray/Senior photographer

Nuclear nonproliferation is not a word most people use in everyday conversation. However, it was the topic of the night in the lecture by Chris Kessler on Sept. 19, in which the lessons learned from 35 years in war and the importance of 30 years of nonproliferation were emphasized.
Kessler, private consultant at Northraven Consulting LLC and professor at University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, explained who proliferators are and why it matters, why states seek nuclear weapons and what global zero, a world without nuclear weapons, would mean for the world.
“Even if you think it’s something that shouldn’t be done, if it’s something that hasn’t been done and someone starts to do it, they’re proliferating,” Kessler said.
Proliferators around the world come from Iran, Iraq, India, Israel, France, Russia and the United States.
Kessler asked the audience to think about whether it is a question of who possesses nuclear weapons or if it is all about disturbances to international stability.
“The general argument is having this, getting this, seeking this weapon is a bad idea because it perturbs international stability,” Kessler said. “And international stability is a good thing. We don’t want more tension [and] conflict in the world.”
Good examples of where the breaking point around the world may be in today’s society include Libya and Egypt. Using places, such as these as examples, Kessler also explained how stability isn’t always a good thing.
“You’re always forced back into making value judgments of the context,” Kessler said.
In addition to explaining proliferation and whom proliferators around the world include, how states use nuclear weapons in national strategy was also a big topic within the lecture.
Often times, states use nuclear weapons for national security and international threats to balance power against other states. According to Kessler, having nuclear weapons also helps states to assert power and practice hegemony within the world.
Nuclear weapons can also be used for nuclear science engineering establishments and are often a symbol of status and state identity within some states.
Kessler went on to explain that North Korea is a good example of a state that uses nuclear weapons to both keep its military happy and protect itself against other countries.
Although nuclear weapons are a prominent part of societies around the world, Kessler explained how some states are beginning to express a desire for global zero: a world in which no nuclear weapons exist.
President Obama has also suggested that getting rid of all nuclear weapons will not happen in his lifetime, although this is a goal he wishes to accomplish one day.
Kessler went on to explain that because nuclear weapons have been made before, people will know that it will always be possible to make them again.
“A lot of people, including former secretaries of state, are arguing that we should get rid of all nuclear weapons in the world,” Kessler said. “But my questions is what’s going to be harder: getting there or staying there?”

Samantha Sigler
News Editor

Professors help women with AIDS

Linfield’s Kim Kintz (center), assistant nursing professor, and Neal Rosenburg (right), associate dean of nursing, traveled to Africa to launch phase one of a psychometric study among women to learn more about HIV and AIDS in Africa.
Photo courtesy of Kim Kintz

Last summer, two of Linfield’s nursing professors spent their time attempting to stem the HIV/AIDS epidemic through volunteering in health clinics in Africa.
Neal Rosenburg, associate dean of nursing, and Kim Kintz, assistant professor of nursing, spent three weeks traveling around in Douala, Buena, Bamenda and Shisong, Cameroon.
While there, the two visited antenatal clinics where they helped take care of pregnant women who have HIV and women who were at high-risk of acquiring HIV.
They distributed information and education on healthy modes of infant feeding in situations where resources are limited and encouraged women to practice exclusive breast-feeding.
“This was my first visit to Africa [and] one of many to come in the future,” Kintz said in an email. “It was an incredible learning experience for me and one I think students would appreciate.”
Rosenburg and Kintz also administered phase one of a psychometric study among the African women, which will gauge the level of knowledge, attitudes and beliefs they have about HIV and feeding options they have after giving birth.
Rosenburg got involved with this project by making contact with several universities and non-governmental agencies after applying and being wait-listed as a Fulbright Fellow, a program that sends a graduating senior and graduate students abroad for one academic year.
Rosenburg initially received funding as a faculty member in 2008, which helped him with his first trip to Cameroon.
“This was a cross-sectional study looking at knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of HIV and stigma among Cameroonian nursing students,” Rosenburg said in an email.
This was Rosenburg’s fifth time visiting Cameroon, and both Kintz and Rosenburg plan to return for phase two of the same study. In phase two they plan to have focus groups to better study pregnant women.
“I would highly recommend students to explore the opportunities to travel and become engaged in the research process with mentors along side them in the field,” Rosenburg said.

Samantha Sigler
News editor