Daily Archives: April 8, 2013
The decision of what to do after graduation is always a tough one. New graduates often follow their passion, and that is exactly what one alumnus did.
Tom Branigar, a 1974 Linfield graduate, shared his experiences of working in the presidential archives from 1977-2008, as well as the changes made to the record keeping process during the years, April 4 to a small number of history majors and other faculty.
Branigar took his passion for history from a history minor to working in the presidential archive at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kan.
“I was at the right place at the right time,” Branigar said. “It was a great honor to get to work at the Eisenhower Library.”
After finishing his degree at Linfield, Branigar attended Western Washington University, where he pursued his masters in Archives and Record Management. It was just as he finished his degree at Western Washington University when the news of three job openings at the Eisenhower Library reached him.
“[The Eisenhower Library] had Western Washington graduates work for them before, and so they knew the reputation of the school and the archive program. So I was lucky to be there at the time I was,” Branigar said.
Branigar had access to documents from the Eisenhower administration, and he explained that George Washington set up a rule that the presidential records of any given president were the personal processions of that president.
“George Washington took a very British idea and made it his own,” Branigar said.
It wasn’t until Jimmy Carter’s presidency that this would shift the ownership of the records to the federal government. This caused a divide in the collection of documents today.
Branigar said that much has also changed since the introduction of digital documents.
“Its a whole new age, and there was actually an incident when a bunch of documents had been destroyed, but since it was originally sent by email, they were able to recover them,” Branigar said.
According to Branigar, the main users of the Eisenhower Library are graduate students writing their dissertations, historians writing biographies and government officials.
While Branigar worked for the Eisenhower Library, he became an expert in the Eisenhower genealogy.
“In Germany, Eisenhower is like the last name Smith in America, everyone has it. So I have a lot of people who think they’re related to President Eisenhower,” Branigar said.
Branigar said that the most interesting document he came across was one he referred to as “the smoking gun” memo. This documented the destruction of all the files from Eisenhower’s transitional head quarters at the Commodore hotel in New York.
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A Nobel laureate will speak about how astronomers have traced the history of the solar system April 8.
The co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics, Brian Schmidt, will give a lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Ice Auditorium hosted by the Oregon Nobel Laureate Symposium.
Schmidt was the leader of one of two teams that started to search for the answers to our solar system’s history in 1998. His group was called the High-Redshift Supernova Search Team.
Schmidt attended the University of Arizona and Harvard University. He is a professor and astrophysicist at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University.
The Oregon Nobel Laureate Symposium was established at Linfield in 1985 as a means to bring Nobel laureates to campus.
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This past summer a school project was taken on titled “Governing the Stateless: New Perspectives on the Plight of Burmese Refugees in Thailand.”
A total of five students went on the trip to Thailand to learn about the problems in Burma, also known as Myanmar.
The group was led by Patrick Cottrell, assistant professor of political science.
The students who helped him work on the project were seniors Morgan Christiansen, Bridget Grant, Kole Kracaw, Leanne McCallum and William McHenry.
The project is funded by a research grant from the ASIANetwork.
In return, the group will submit a number of research papers about its findings.
The papers will be submitted to undergraduate journals, and the students will present their finding in presentations.
The Burma, VJ documentary was shown April 3. The movie talked about critical issues in Burma.
The country is under one of the harshest military rulers out there. Filming the documentary was extremely dangerous because no one is supposed to film anything.
The people of Burma are frightened to even talk about the government for fear of its secret police finding out and arresting them.
Getting the footage was even a struggle because it had to be smuggled out of the country.
At one point, the government turned the Internet off to try to find these undercover reporters and stop them.
All at the same time, people were peacefully protesting in the streets.
The Burma government responded by beating and imprisoning it’s own people.
After the people still did not give up, it turned into a massacre.
This put an end to the protests, but citizens are still fighting to get knowledge into the world of how unjust the government is.
After the documentary, Cottrell answered questions about the film and the issues going on in the country.
He talked about speaking with Burmese refugees who tell their horror stories of the government.
“The leaders in Burma are so wealthy, that recently something came out on Wiki-Leaks where a son of a leader was trying to persuade his father to buy Manchester United,” McHenry said. “This is all going on while its people are starving.”
The corruption and need for power has turned the country into a prison.
“The Burmese people are suffering and the rest of the world just doesn’t know,” Kracaw said. “Spreading awareness of this atrocity will create pressure on the government to change and help the people.”
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With housing registration right around the corner, a new email about off-campus housing regulations sent April 2 from Jeff Mackay, associate dean of students/director of Residence Life, has some students rethinking their living situations for next year.
Mackay announced in an email that off-campus housing is now only available to students who are in their fourth year, 21 years of age prior to the start of the 2013-14 academic year, living with parent(s) or guardian(s) in their primary home of residence within 20 miles of the McMinnville campus, married or in a registered domestic partnership or have a qualifying dependent living in the primary home of residence.
This is a change from the previous exemption rules in which off-campus housing was determined by amount of credits. If a student had a senior standing in credits, he or she was able to get off-campus housing.
This year, Linfield examined housing exemption criteria at other private colleges and universities in the Pacific Northwest.
It was discovered that Linfield was the only institution that had a financial criteria to exempt students from the college housing requirements and allowed an appeal process.
After this discovery was made, the president and President’s Cabinet approved the new exemption criteria.
“At Linfield, students who live on campus get higher GPAs than students who live off
campus. National research tells us those students who live on campus graduate at higher rates than students who live off campus,” Mackay said in an email. “Students who live on campus are generally more engaged in campus life and have higher cognitive development in many areas than students who live off-campus. On campus students have more exposure to a diverse living community than students who live off campus. On campus students have closer access to resources to help with their success: RAs, library, academic advising, counseling, learning support services, etc.”
Mackay and other administrative officials have noticed that students are concerned about the changes and that they may no longer meet the criteria to move off campus prior to their fourth year at Linfield.
This is not the first year changes have been made to the exemption factors. Last year, the financial exemption amount was increased by $2,500.
In previous years, the mileage for students living at home reduced from 60 to 30 and finally to 20 miles.
To respond to student concerns, the administration has agreed that old exemption rules continue to apply to some existing situations, while the new exemption rules will apply to all future situations.
If a student lived off-campus this year and will not meet the new criteria, administration will allow them to continue living off campus as long as they meet the previous criteria again.
Administration will be following this grandfather clause for any student who was exempt last year as a result of the financial criteria.
“Some students have been taking extra classes during Jan Term and summer sessions in order to achieve senior status (94 or more credits) in order to meet the former criteria and move off campus. As a result of conversations with students, we will allow any student who reaches senior status (94 credits or more) by the start of fall semester 2013 to file a housing exemption,” Mackay said in an email. “This will be a one-year only exception to the new exemption criteria. This will not apply to the 2014-15 academic year so please do not base academic plans on the assumption that you will be approved to move off campus without meeting the standard three-year residential requirement at Linfield.”
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The business department held an informational meeting April 2 to get people interested in two minors that were added last fall.
In the fall of 2012, the business department ended its general business minor and added two new minors, management and sports management.
“We wanted to make one that was more useful across campus,” said Denise Farag, assistant professor of business.
The management minor will give students a background in leadership and also let students gain experience with people skills.
“The management courses have provided me with leadership tools that will help me lead teams in the international environment,” senior Johnathon Bosch said.
The sports management minor is set up as an interdepartmental minor with the business, economics, philosophy and health, human performance and athletics departments.
The faculty were interested in making the minor because they found that students connected with class materials more when using sports examples.
“I wanted to minor in sports management because I have played sports my entire life and hope to work in the sports business industry,” senior Rachel Dewolf said.
These minors are not exclusively for business majors.
For further information about the sports management minor, contact Farag. For more information about the management minor, contact Sharon Wagner, chair of the business department.
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