2015, alumni, denison, july, ThisWeek, ThisWeekNews, westerville

Robot Academy to switch on videos

A Westerville-based camp, Robot Academy, is moving beyond central Ohio to create a global curriculum for students.

Since 2007, the camp has helped students ages 4-14 near Westerville Dublin, and Gahanna become familiar with the world of Lego robotics.

Now, Michael Vawter of Westerville, head instructor of the camp, is working on creating a curriculum to further expand the camp’s reach.

A series of instructional videos should be available in September to families, home-schooled children, schools and other organizations. They will offer step-by-step lessons in how to build a Lego robot, said Vawter, who himself was home-schooled in Westerville.

“We want to turn our little Westerville robot camp into something global,” he said.
Vawter has been building Lego robots since he was 9 years old.

“When I was younger, I was always getting in trouble for leaving the lights on in my bedroom,” he said. “So I built a Lego robot that could turn off my lights.”

Fast-forward five years to 2005 when Vawter and his Westerville team of home-schooled students won the international FIRST Lego League robotics championship.

“It was super exciting that our little team from Westerville had won and beat out teams from all over the world,” he said.

As Vawter grew older, he became more aware of what his robotics experience could mean.
“I realized I knew all of this information about robotics and that there was a huge population of kids who wanted to get involved in Lego robots but didn’t know how,” he said. “I saw kids who would buy the $300 Lego robotics kit but then it would just sit on their shelf because they didn’t know how to use it.”

With the help of his mother, Gail, Vawter started Robot Academy, where students learn about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) while using Lego Mindstorm EV3 and NXT robotics kits.

“The goal of the camp is to teach kids about robotics while helping them realize how fun and inspiring it can be,” he said.

During the camp, students often express to Vawter the desire to build robots that can help them with chores.

So through hands-on challenges, Vawter and the camp staff help the students design, build and program robots that are able to clear the table or pick dirty clothes off of the floor.

“We want kids to leave having a great experience building something they can be proud of,” he said. “It’s great when the kids realize they are problem-solvers.”

Vawter said he personally views robotics as being all about problem-solving and how throughout his life, it’s allowed him to build things to solve challenges.

No robotics experience is necessary for campers. All materials are provided and there is a 5:1 student to instructor ratio.

At the end of the camp, students participate in a grand finale where they take everything they’ve learned and compete in the “Lego Robot Sumo Battle.”

Regardless of the which robot survives the sumo robot war, everyone gets a trophy and ribbon.
“We try to set it up as a camp, not a classroom, where kids get to fight robots and there’s no way for it not to end up being fun,” he said.

After camp, several students have continued on to form their own teams, like the Incredibots, which went on to the FIRST Lego League championship.

“It came full-circle. They were campers, formed their own team, won and now they are instructors at the camp,” he said.

Vawter attended Denison University in Granville, where he majored in psychology and was vice president of the Entrepreneurship Club.

In addition to helping out at the Robot Academy camps, Vawter is getting his master’s of business administration in entrepreneurship at Seton Hill University in Pittsburgh.
Due to the popularity and positive feedback from parents and students, the Robot Academy camp will still be around next summer, he said.
For more information, visit robot-academy.com.

2013, 2014, clouds, copenhagen, copenhagenclouds, cphclouds, creative, denison, english, senior, writing

First chapter of Copenhagen Clouds

(This is the first chapter from Copenhagen Clouds which was my year-long senior writing project in college. It’s a YA novel about a college student who studies abroad in Denmark, falls for her host sister’s boyfriend and struggles to find her independence.)

Chapter 1

Today was finally here. In less than sixteen hours, I would be in Denmark. Instead of travelling to Indiana University for the second semester of my sophomore year, I would be spending it studying abroad. I had stuffed my suitcase with so many clothes that it did not stand a fighting chance of ever being less than 50 pounds. My parents repeatedly assured me that they would help check it in at the airport and that I wouldn’t have to re-check it in Chicago. The bag would follow me there through airport magic. My dad tried to help me pack some things into my carryon backpack. Taking his time, he folded a couple of long sleeve shirts into flat squares. He put two pairs of tennis shoes on top. He was not an expert Tetris packer like I was. As soon as he walked away, I threw out what he had packed. I tightly rolled my shirts and shoved them inside my shoes. There would be no wasted space in this bag, so help me God.

        My dad returned from the bathroom and dragged my obese suitcase downstairs. I did a final check to make sure I had everything. On my desk, I consulted a post-it of my last-minute checklist. “Cell phone, charger, passport, backpack, wallet, camera, suitcase, gift for host family and important document folder.” Check! I looked around my room, trying to engrave the scene into my memory.

My queen-sized bed was neatly made with my bird stuffed animals resting on the pillows. In the corner, my wooden desk was scattered with old textbooks and various Copenhagen guidebooks that I had decided not to take with me. Even my white carpet was littered with boots that did not make the final packing cut. The canary yellow wallpaper that I’d thought was a good idea in middle school now gave the room a slightly eerie vibe. In high school, my dad had let me add a border so now the walls were topped with scenes of assorted songbirds sitting in trees. I looked in the mirror that hung over my door and threw my dirty blonde hair into a high ponytail. I unbuttoned my grey cardigan (which had little yellow finches on it) because it clung too tightly to my arms and chest. My grandmother gave the cardigan to me for Christmas but bought me a small instead of a medium. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and not wear it ever. Maybe I’d lose weight in Denmark from all of the adventures I’d go on and then the cardigan would fit better. Hurling my heavy backpack onto my shoulders, I flicked off the lights and shut the door. I let out a small sigh and whispered, “See you in four months” to my room.

        I trotted down the carpeted steep stairs. Our Christmas tree was still set up in the den. My dad was downstairs in the kitchen with my bag. His face was flushed and beads of sweat trailed down the side of his face. My mom was there too with the bathroom scale, helping him check the bag’s weight.

        “Sweetie, why are you taking bricks with you to Denmark?” my dad joked as he placed the bag onto the scale. The block red lights of the scale blinked 49.5 lbs.

        “I have to stay warm somehow. Bricks are good insulation,” I told him. My dad raised an eyebrow. “Seriously. I need all my sweaters.”

        “Are you sure there is nothing in here that you can live without?” My mom asked.
        “Yes, I am sure, mom.” I rolled my eyes, “I need all of it. It’s not that much.” My mom crouched down on the floor, zipped open the mammoth suitcase and pulled out two blue sweaters.
She may have thought they were identical, but one was from Gap and cobalt blue, while the other was from Banana Republic and cerulean blue. Completely different, right?

        “Come on, Amber. You only need one,” she held both of them up to me, “Pick one.”
        “No, I need them. They’re different enough that it’s fine. Put them back, please”
        “Come on, Sue. Let her keep them. It’s not like her bag is over the weight limit,” my dad chimed in. “It’s fine.”
        “No, there is no reason for her to bring two of the same sweater. She needs to pack less.”
        “Honey, we need to go,” my dad pointed to the clock on the oven.
        “You always do that. You make excuses for her. She needs to learn.”

“It’s fine, don’t worry about it. Come on.” I said. My dad reached for both sweaters but my mom threw the cerulean sweater. She stuffed the other one back in the suitcase. The sweater landed on top of Sunny, our family’s old yellow and white beagle, who was sleeping on the couch. His tags jingled as he woke up. He looked around confused, with a blue sleeve covering his eyes. My mom zipped up the suitcase and pulled out the handle.

        “Say goodbye to Sunny, Amber,” she said, not looking at me. I went over to the couch, taking the sweater off of poor Sunny. I looked over my shoulder and as my mom’s back was turned, stuffed the sweater into my backpack. Sunny looked at me with his big brown eyes. It looked as if one eyebrow was raised in confusion. I sat down next to him and embraced him around his chubby neck. Since I was an only child, Sunny often played the role of my little brother. He had a magic ability to know when I was about to cry and would without fail trot up to my room to console me. He was always there, in my bed, if I needed to talk without someone else talking back.

Like me, he was getting older. We had adopted him from the humane society and estimated that he was now close to twelve years old. His muzzle was beginning to turn grey. He struggled to climb stairs. He wasn’t the same crazy playful puppy he used to be. But then again, I was no longer the hyper child who constantly wanted to play with him either. We had both matured.

I hugged him hard, breathing in his salty soft fur. I kissed his forehead and gave him a final pet and scratch behind the ears. Several of his white dog hairs clung to my cardigan. I didn’t bother wiping them off. Again, Sunny looked at me, confused. I hated not being able to tell him that I wouldn’t be back for a while, but I would definitely eventually be back.

“Okay, your monster suitcase is in the car,” my dad called. “Amber, we need to go.” I turned away from Sunny, fighting back the tears I felt forming in my eyes. I looked around at the kitchen I had grown up in one last time, sucked in all the air I could until there was none left and departed. With my backpack, I headed out the door.

My dad accelerated onto the highway despite the frosty January roads. To him, the highway was the same thing as the Indy 500 racetrack. I tried to relax during the car ride but I felt nauseous and my mind kept racing. What had I forgotten? How could I forget that? Did I have my passport? What if my host family hated me? What if I can’t find my flight? Why didn’t I learn Danish?

The leather in the backseat of the car felt cold underneath my jeans. My dad had the radio turned up obnoxiously loud. The local oldies radio station was still playing stupid Christmas music. I tugged on my seatbelt, trying to loosen its tight grip over my chest. We were on I-270, driving past the familiar fast food restaurants, factories and outlets. I rummaged through my backpack to triple check I had my passport. It was sealed in a plastic baggie on which my mom had Sharpied: “Amber’s Passport.” I pulled out one of my paperback Denmark guidebooks, both Christmas presents from my aunt.
Curled up on the couch, hiding under a blanket, I devoured both books last week. My favorite section had been the “Culture” one. Now, I flipped to that chapter where it started off: “Danes are often seen as being very direct and at times even rude, because they say what they think instead of disguising their views in polite euphemisms.” I was intrigued. So, would my host family tell me if I had a huge pimple on my forehead? If they didn’t like me, would they say it to my face? Oh, man. I wasn’t ready for that. I’m not a confrontational person at all. I can’t even watch confrontations. When my parents fought, I just hid upstairs in my room with Sunny. Plus, I hated hearing criticism, even it was masked under the term “constructive criticism.” I skimmed down the “Culture” page to find a more comforting sentence. “The Danes are very open to dating. Danish women can sometimes play ‘hard to get’ whereas the men are ‘eager to please.’ They are very informal and liberal with their dating ways.” I pictured myself bar-hopping every weekend, making out with guys and returning to America with a gorgeous Danish boyfriend to Skype with and write love letters back and forth. Now that I could handle.

I flipped a few pages ahead within the chapter. “Hey mom?” She nodded and looked up from her Stephen King novel.

“My Denmark book says, ‘Denmark is a small, quiet country, located far away from the international centers of tension.’ Does that make you feel any better?”
“A little bit. I’m still going to worry about you every day.”
“Even if it’s a safe country, don’t join any protests in the streets if you see them. That’s how kids get shot,” my dad chimed in. My mom opened up her book again and looked down. He continued, “Just last month, the news said an American college boy was shot in Egypt during a protest. Damn shame.”
“Dad, I’m not going to Egypt.”

“Doesn’t matter. Always be safe, Amber. Use your head,” he grunted. I thanked him for the heads up and told him I’d be sure to buy him a little pyramid figurine from Denmark. He didn’t get the joke.
I alternated reading my Denmark book and texting my friends from Indiana University a final goodbye for the two and a half hour drive. We reached the airport a full three hours before my plane departed, thanks to my dad’s lead foot.

“Do you want to have a farewell lunch?” My dad turned around and asked. I nodded. “Okay, how about Chi Chi’s?” He pointed to a brown building with a neon green sign and a picture of an oversize margarita. It had an enclosed patio area where colorful mini flags were strewn across the ceiling. Only five other cars occupied the parking lot. My dad pulled into a spot upfront and the three of us went inside.

“How many today?” A curvy Latino girl wearing a black T-shirt said. My dad held up three fingers to her. She waited for us to say something. He just kept his hand up. It took the girl a minute but then we followed her back to a booth. My mom rolled her eyes. She sat on the opposite side of my dad.    
“It wouldn’t have been that hard just to tell her ‘three.’”
“It was fine. She understood it, right?” My mom ignored him and picked up the menu.
“What are you going to get, Amber?” my dad said.
“Something small probably, I’m not that hungry.”
“Do you want to share something?” my mom said.
“No, you can each get your own things. We’re not poor,” my dad said.
“I realize that, but maybe Amber and I would be happier just sharing nachos.”
“Nonsense, just each get your own nachos.” My mom didn’t respond. She turned the menu over to look at the drinks.

The waiter appeared at our table. He was a tan adolescent with high cheekbones and jet black hair. His eyes were a faint greenish glitter, like a forest.
“Hola, amigos. Welcome to Chi Chi’s.  I’m Juan and I’ll be taking care of you guys. What can I start you guys off with?”

“I’d like a margarita and we’d like to share an order of nachos, please,” my mom said. My dad rattled off his order to Juan then shook his head in disgust at my mom. Juan scribbled into his pad, took our menus and left.

“Are you ready for this, sweetheart?” my dad turned his attention to me. When he faced me, all I could notice was his unusually sharp pointy nose. My grandmother had the same nose. It was the type of nose that could probably cut through glass. Thankfully I mostly had my mom’s small nose.
“Yeah, I think I’m ready. But I’m still really nervous. What if my host family doesn’t like me?” I played with the paper Corona coaster, spinning it on the table. I needed to have something in my hands.

“It’s natural to feel nervous. And of course they will like you. Why wouldn’t they? You’re a very nice girl.” Even though I had reminded her of my age countless times, my mom still talked to me like I was a little kid. Sometimes it was comforting, but other times it was annoying. In this moment of my anxiety, it was comforting.

“Thanks, Mom, I’m going to miss you a lot.” I fought the tears that were forming.
“If things get bad, remember you can always come home,” my dad said.
“Dad! No, if things get bad, I’m going to tough it out.” I slammed the coaster back down on the table and opted to just sit on my hands.
“Okay, that’s fine you can do that too if you want.”
The waiter brought us our drinks. Even though it was only 1 pm, my mom gulped down her margarita. I took a sip of my sweet tea. Ewwww! It tasted like regular unsweetened tea. I added three Sweet n Low packets, stirring them with my knife. It wasn’t worth complaining to the waiter about. He seemed nice and everybody makes mistakes.

  My mom changed the subject of the conversation. She flipped her short light brown hair to the side and fiddled with her wedding ring. Her silver Mickey Mouse earrings reminded me of the annual trips to Walt Disney World we took together. When I was 12, we power-walked through Epcot, holding hands, and she joked that we were superheroes called “Super Mom” and “Super Daughter.” My dad never came with us on those trips so that meant it was a whole week of no fighting.
“Did you like last night’s episode of ‘The Office’?” my mom said.

“Yeah, it was another good one. Jim cracks me up every time,” I said. My mom gazed up at the ceiling for a moment and I imagined her picturing Jim shirtless. She had confided in me a while ago that she thought he was good looking.
“I’m telling you, they based that show off my work,” my dad said, “I bet Jim was inspired by me.”
“I don’t think so. You guys look nothing alike,” my mom told him in a monotone.
“We both have brown hair.”
“And that’s where the similarities stop.”

Juan brought our nachos and my dad’s sizzling fajitas. Our orange nachos came in a big red bowl and were loaded with jalapeños, cheese, chicken, onions, beans, and tomatoes. It appeared impossible to pick up a chip without my hand being covered in something. I usually liked nachos but these ones tasted dry and stale. Even adding more salt to the nachos didn’t help. The irony that my last meal in America for four months was at a crappy Mexican restaurant sank in. I crunched the chips in my mouth worried about what my first meal in Denmark would be like.

2014, debbie, debbiegillum, denison, news

Car chase ends with crash into Burke

By Debbie Gillum
News Editor Emeritus
There was some commotion on South Quad Thursday, April 17 when a brief car chase ended with a collision into Burke Hall.
The car chase started when Licking County Sheriff Officers tried to pull over William Beatty, 46, from Newark, for only having one working headlight on Ohio 16.
He refused to stop his car, and so around 12:20 a.m. a brief car chase started. It ended a few minutes later when he crashed his 1998 Dodge Caravan into Burke.
According to the traffic crash report, Beatty “was speeding and could not negotiate a turn and ran off the driveway…striking a building and tree.” Police estimated he was going 55 miles per hour in a 20 mph area.
Beatty tried to run away but only made it about 100 yards before police caught up to him.
He had an outstanding warrant from another jurisdiction, which is why police think that he ran. He was issued citations for reckless operation, failure to signal, for not having two headlights and for fleeing the scene of a crime. He has been charged with failure to comply and his bond is set at $50,000.
The damage to Burke and the surrounding landscape is estimated to be about $500, according to the Ohio traffic crash report, though Denison’s Director of Security, Safety and Risk Management Garret Moore said that Burke was not damaged. 
“The Sheriff’s Office was involved in a chase with the suspect and the chase ended on lower campus near Burke Hall,” he said.
Bob Cole, a Denison security monitor, was involved and wrote a witness statement for the Sheriff’s Office, according to Moore.
2014, debbie, deborahgillum, denison, gillum, green, informative, TheDen, university, website

Going Green On the Hill: An Update

Going Green On the Hill: An Update

byDebbie Gillum ’14

With the campus starting to look green for spring, Denison is continuing to go green and be more sustainable.

Facilities Services has been improving buildings by replacing old light bulbs with fluorescent lights that consume less energy and have a longer lifespan. They have also added occupancy sensors that automatically turn off not the lights and reduce the heating and air conditioning in unoccupied rooms.

Most recently, the facilities team has started working on updating the heating and air conditioning systems in Knapp and Olin.

“We started the work over spring break. We hope to be done by the end of summer,” said Bob Jude, Denison’s Energy and Project Specialist.

The funding for making campus buildings more energy efficient comes from the Green Hill Revolving Loan Fund, which was started in 2011. The university is committed to setting aside three million dollars over a four to six year period to be used to fund energy efficient projects. The fund is revolving in the sense that it uses the proceeds from energy savings to fund future projects. This fund is part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge initiative, which challenges over 30 universities to make a commitment to green revolving funds.     

“We were already spending money on sustainable campus renovations and we knew we would continue to reinvest in our buildings so it was an easy decision to be part of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge,” said Seth Patton, Vice President of Finance and Management, “These kinds of investments make sense for our campus.”

For example, when money is invested in replacing older lighting in residential halls with newer, more efficient florescent lights, then the savings from what would have spent on electricity goes back into the fund. In about three to six years, the improvements will result in a return on investment.

“Since the start of the fund, we have invested about $1.2 million, mostly on lighting. Through these sustainable investments, we have saved roughly $300,000,” said Jeremy King, the Campus Sustainability Coordinator.

Each year, the facilities team has about $450,000 to invest in making campus improvements. A set amount of $50,000 is set aside to be used for community initiatives, such as ideas for solar panels or outdoor LED lights. Ideas can be submitted by anyone to Jeremy King.

With improved heating and cooling systems as well as lights, energy consumption has decreased by ten percent.

“But, this doesn’t mean that our costs are down,” Jude said. He explained how with rising energy costs, the reduction in energy consumption results in spending roughly the same each year. The reductions help to combat inflation.

Art Chonko, director of Facilities Services, appreciated how Denison has built in maintenance and renovation costs into the operating budget. He said that does not happen at  all universities.

“We don’t do it just for the money,” he said, “We’re also concerned with conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

After Olin and Knapp, Chonko hopes the Facilities team will work on making the library and Mitchell use energy more efficiently.  He said that the idea of using more solar panels was also being explored.

While the Facilities team works to reduce energy consumption through upgrading technology, a fair amount of energy can be saved by making simple behavioral changes.

“When devices are left plugged in, they still use energy. They don’t use a lot of energy but there are a lot of these devices around campus,” said Jude.

King encouraged students to turn off lights when they leave a room and to “be more aware of where they are using energy.”

Chonko said that heating and cooling rooms can be very costly.

“Even adjusting the temperature a few degrees can use significantly less energy,” he said.  

Chonko said that Denison is making good steps in using energy more efficiently and reducing energy use, but there is still a ways to go.

“We need to continue doing what we’re doing,” he said, “And it needs to be a community effort.”

“We don’t do it just for sound financial management; we’re also concerned with conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint.”

2014, article, denison, features

Students share their experiences as dining hall workers

Max Collins, a junior from Stamford, Conn., does not have a typical on-campus job such as working at the library, being a tour guide or working in a department. Instead, Collins works for Bon Appetit at Curtis. While it may not be the most glamorous job, Collins said he enjoys the people he works with and that he likes his job. I caught up with him in the Curtis Veggie room to ask him more about his job.

Debbie: What’s it like working at Curtis?
Max: I really like it. Everyone back there is nice. It’s a lot of fun. The students are generally really nice. I get a lot of ‘Hi, how are you?’s or at the very least most of them say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’

D: What’s your least favorite part about working?
M: The cleanup is usually bad because some students are disgusting. Sometimes there is food all over the tables and the floor. People will leave spilled juice and stuff like that. Sometimes serving can get kind of stressful on days when we have something that’s really popular like chicken parmesan. It’s a constant stream of kids and I don’t get any down time for four hours.  

D: How many hours a week do you work?
M: I usually work 15. Most work 10 and some work like 20. Then there are the full time workers who work about 40 hours.

D: How did you get the job?
M: A friend of mine told me about it. We applied and I ended up getting it, not her. I felt bad for stealing the job but she’s fine with it.

D: What’s the hiring process?
M: It wasn’t bad. I handed in my application and a week later I got a call. I came in for a first interview and it was mostly a get to know you type interview. The second interview was more formal and informational. Then I had to go to an orientation where I learned the rules of the land.

D: What’s a typical shift like?
M: I punch in a half hour before the dining hall opens. I make sure everything is clean, prepare and put up the food. I’m serving food during the big rushes at dinner and lunch time. After the rush, I’ll go see who I can help. I’ll clean the counters and tables. When the dining hall closes, we make sure the leftover food is taken away to charity. We clean our work stations, vacuum and go home.   

Gabby Vecchio, a sophomore from Cleveland, Ohio opened up about her time working for both Sodexo and Bon Appetit. Vecchio has worked at Huffman, Curtis, Slayter and has been involved with selling concessions for a couple years. I met up with Vecchio in the Slayter pit to chat about what she liked about her job.  

D: How many hours a week do you work?
G: Well, last semester I was working 27 hours a week. So I was pretty much full time. I’ve been trying to get my hours reduced but they are understaffed. I was able to buy a car with the money that I made.

D: What’s been some differences that you’ve noticed between Sodexo and Bon Apetit?
G: I think most people don’t realize how sustainability focused Bon Appetit is. They’re really picky and concerned about composting and sorting. I think it’s very worthwhile. They try and get whatever they can from local farmers too.

D: What’s it like working at Huffman?
G: It’s very friendly. Most people are there because they want to be and they enjoy working there. I like working when I’m in contact with the students like serving in the main line.

D: What’s your least favorite part about working?
G: Probably just waiting around when it’s slow. It gets kind of long sometimes. Usually at dinner it’s not a problem but after 7 it gets kind of slow.

D: How did you get your job?
G: A friend got a job in the dining hall and when she left Denison I took over her job. I thought it was really brave of her to work for the dining hall. They started me out with really short hours but gradually.

D:  Do you think you’ll continue to work?

G: I hope to get more into catering and concession stands. I like setting up and running my own thing. It’s kind of like owning your own business but you’re under supervision. I think it’s better to work catering as a student because the hours are more flexible.

2014, debbie, debbiegillum, deborahgillum, denison, news, university

Decrease in crime violations on campus

The DenisonianApril 1, 2014News
In the past three years, sex offenses, disciplinary action for drug abuse violations and arrests for liquor law violations have decreased at Denison. In addition, schools similar to Denison in size and atmosphere, like Kenyon and Oberlin, also saw similar decreases.
This data was reported by the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool, which discloses data about campus crime and fire reports online to the public. The tool is sponsored by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.
Under the category of criminal offenses on campus, Denison had 11 forcible sex offenses in 2010, seven in 2011 and four in 2012.
In comparison, Kenyon had a total of seven forcible sexual assaults within the past three years. At Oberlin, the data was fairly inconsistent over the years. Seven sexual offenses occurred in 2010, ten in 2011 and eight in 2012.
Garret Moore, director of security and safety speculated on the reason for the trend at Denison.
“I would have to attribute a decrease in reports of sex offenses to a consequence of lawsuits brought by students charged with those violations.” he said, “A local attorney has filed suit against the victims of reported sexual assaults and probably has created a chilling effect on reports here on campus.”
In terms of arrests on campus for liquor law violations, Denison also saw a noticeable decrease within the past three years. There were 14 arrests in 2010, ten in 2011 and eight in 2012 due to liquor law violations. It is important to distinguish that these students were arrested verses given disciplinary action.
At Kenyon, there was a major drop in violations from 2010 to 2011. There were 17 arrests due to liquor law violations in 2010, two in 2011 and four in 2012.
Oberlin’s data was less consistent with Kenyon and Denison. They had four liquor law violation arrests in 2010, 12 in 2011 and one in 2012.
Moore attributed the decline in the number of liquor law violations on the hill to be because of party registration. Rather than being arrested, a more common consequence of liquor or drug violation is disciplinary action.
In terms of drug abuse violations, this has decreased. In 2010 there were 84 people referred for disciplinary action, 83 in 2011 and 48 in 2012.
Disciplinary action for liquor law violations is less consistent at Denison. In 2010 there was 185 people referred for disciplinary action, 217 in 2011 and 191 in 2012.
This data only represents up to 2012 but Moore predicts that future data will not continue the downward trend. “We have experienced an uptick in drug violations this school year and these numbers are expected to be greater than in years past,” he said.
For Kenyon, they saw a slight increase in liquor law violations with 210 violations in 2010, 231 in 2011, and 233 in 2012.
At Oberlin, the numbers started out lower than both Denison and Kenyon but spiked in 2012. In 2010, 135 students were referred for disciplinary action for liquor law violations, 36 in 2011 and 278 in 2012.
It will be interesting to see what the 2013 and 2014 data reveals about Denison.
2014, article, debbie, debbiegillum, deborahgillum, denison, news, writing

Farmer Fridays

S.K. Piper, Dan and David Ochs. 
Farmer Fridays is a new Dining Services initiative to help students learn where their food is coming from and to be able to meet the people who grow that food.
This Friday Feb. 7 was the first Farmer Friday in Curtis dining hall veggie room from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.. The featured farmers were Dan and David Ochs from Ochs Fruit farm, established in 1842 and located about 25 miles away in Lancaster, Ohio.
Students had the chance to eat lunch and ask questions to Denison Dining Sustainability Manager S.K. Piper and the Ochs farmers.
Unfortunately, a pipe burst in the Curtis veggie room so the event was disrupted so they had to relocate to a table farther away from general student traffic. Piper said that, “one or two students came over to say thank you for the apples,” but hopes for much more student participation as the series continues.
This is the first season Ochs Fruit farm has partnered with Denison. They provide around ten different kinds of apples to Denison at a time and grow over a hundred different types of apples.
“We’re very pleased with the way things have gone and the level of professionalism. When they talk about sustainability and high quality they actually mean it,” said Dan Ochs, a fourth generation apple farmer, talking about the relationship between them and Bon Appetit.
Bon Appetit has been using their apples since the season began in September but will likely run out next week, because Ochs Fruit farm stock of apples has finally run out. Apple season ended in November, which is when Ochs last harvested apples, and Denison has been buying those they had in storage since then.
Piper said that it was amazing that “we’re still getting delicious local apples in February because Dan Ochs has figured out the perfect temperature and humidity level to store the different varieties of apples for maximum flavor retention.” They know the exact temperature to keep the apples cold but without freezing.
Next week the farm will run out of it’s stockpile of apples so Denison will switch to using Produce One for their apples.
David Ochs explained that apples have a lot of nutritional benefits such as, helping to “reduce blood sugar, lower cholesterol, provide anti-asthma benefits, and they average only 80 calories.” He said that the skin on apples contains 70% of their nutritional value.
While the farm is not organic, Piper and both Ochs explained that the word organic is not synonymous with the word local or sustainable. It is difficult and impractical, according to Ochs, for small farmers to become certified organic. One of the things that sets Ochs Fruit apart from larger competitors is that they do not wax or brush their apples.
David encouraged students to “eat as much local food as you can.”
“You guys eat a lot of apples so keep at it,” joked Dan Ochs.
Piper hopes that Farmer Fridays will soon have a bigger following once more students learn about it. She’s going to change the time to 12 to 1 p.m. in order to accommodate students who have class at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
Next week the Farmer Friday will be Valentines Day themed. Piper will be the “stand in” farmer talking about the fairly traded Cordillera chocolate that the dining services uses. She spent a month in Columbia researching the fair trade chocolate, talking with farmers and seeing the factories and looks forward to sharing her knowledge with students.

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Beck Lecture

Things kicked off with a night of poetry. But these weren’t your stereotypical poets. Maggie Glover ‘05 and Paige Hill Starzinger both have full-time jobs, not related to poetry, but each just recently published their first book of poems.
Despite visiting campus together for the Beck Lecture series, the two women have radically different work.
English professor David Baker introduced the two poets, describing Glover’s poetry was “direct and voice-driven.” He joked that, “It is best to read Maggie Glover with a seatbelt on.” He said that Starzinger’s poetry was “visual art, likely to splinter and the product of a researcher.” He again joked that listeners should still keep their seatbelt on for Starzinger’s reading.
They spoke in the Barney Davis board room on Thurs. Feb. 6 at both 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The event was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved back a day due to classes being cancelled. The afternoon talk focused on their careers as English majors while the evening meeting was a poetry reading.
Glover is currently the Director of Brand Marketing at Ipsy, a beauty website, and lives in San Francisco. After getting her MFA in poetry at West Virginia University, she was part of the fashion startup website called ModCloth. She read eight of her poems from her book How I Went Red including one about her admiration for Marc Jacobs and another one called “Refrain” that she wrote while staying in a hotel on what she called a “writer vacation.”
Starzinger read six of her poems from her book Vestigial. Some of her poems were about living in New York City. Starzinger added that her “poems are built like nests” and that “they often have braided narratives.”
In their afternoon talk, Glover presented on the marketable skills that English majors inherently possess and how those skills can translate into the job market. When an audience member asked how she finds time to write with her job, she joked that, “I don’t have dogs or children so I have time to write poetry.”
Starzinger displayed some of her work from her time at Vogue. She said that she “loves to hire poets, writers, Buddhists, and history majors because they bring their passion to their work.” She explained how writing captions for fashion magazines can be a challenging and fun job for English majors.
Isabel Randolph, a sophomore from Columbus, Ohio thought it was really cool to listen to Glover and Starzinger.
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to hear them because I’m an English major who wants to go into business, so it was super relevant,” said Randolph “I thought they were fun and personable and I liked getting their tips about things like combining work with writing.”
Glover and Starzinger were not only inspirational in their careers but also in their poetry.
“And I like both of their poetry styles so that was pretty cool as well,” Randolph added.
Caroline McCauley, a senior from Hartville, Ohio, attended the afternoon talk about the poet’s careers.
“Paige Starzinger’s and Maggie Glover’s presentations on their careers not only gave insight to the fashion and beauty industry, but also touched upon how to find success in any career,” she said.  
She found Starzinger’s remark “The smaller your frame of the reference, the smaller your range” to be helpful, and McCauley added it was “applicable to all aspects of my daily life and wise words to live by.”

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David Hallman Remembered

The DenisonianFebruary 11, 2014News

The Denison community mourns the loss of senior history major and economics minor David Marshall Hallman III, 21, from Erie, Pa., who passed away on Saturday Feb. 8 after a search of campus and the surrounding areas.
“My hope is that in a small community like Denison, that we can give his life and legacy more meaning. We all can, in a way, be more aware and kinder to each other,” said Professor Mitchell Snay, one of Hallman’s professors this semester. “We can embrace our friends and our professors and our students.”  
Hallman’s father called the Granville police department on 12:56 p.m. Saturday afternoon to report his son missing. He was last seen leaving Brew’s cafe around 1:30 a.m wearing a black North Face Jacket, a navy blue dress shirt and blue jeans according to Brew’s surveillance video. Hallman had missed a noon appointment with his girlfriend and was unreachable by phone, according to the Granville police department’s news release.
At 2:50 p.m., a DU Alert was e-mailed out to the student body asking them to contact security or Granville police if they knew anything about his whereabouts.
Hallman’s friends provided information of his last known location. An emergency request was sent to Hallman’s cell phone provider, Verizon, and his cell phone was tracked to help law enforcement locate him. Officers searched the area around the signal location in the afternoon and evening.
Dr. Tim Miller, economics professor, had Hallman in his econometrics class, and Hallman was one of his advisees.
“He was always very positive, upbeat, fun to talk with, respectful and was always prepared,” said Miller. He said that Hallman’s passing was “upsetting” and said that young people “ought to wait until they’re 90 ‘til they die.”
“Whenever a young person dies, it’s upsetting, and in this case, it seems unnecessary and pointless. He had so much future and potential ahead,” said Miller.
Search parties were organized with help from Ohio State Highway Patrol, Granville Police Department, Licking County Sheriff’s Office K-9 unit, and the Granville Township Fire Department. The Ohio State Highway Patrol used an air unit to do an over-flight of the area.
On Saturday evening at 7:20 p.m., another email was sent out from Laurel Kennedy, Bill Fox, Adam Weinberg and Garret Moore., which stated that “At this time, we do not have reason to believe he has fallen in harm’s way but are very actively pursuing every possible lead.” It also said that counselors and clergy came to campus and were available for students.
By 8:15 p.m. Hallman was deemed a missing person and a DU Alert was sent out via e-mail, text, and phone call.
One of David’s roommates, Eric Fischer, a senior from Longmont Colo., and swim teammates went around to the Sunset apartments Saturday evening looking for Hallman.
Saturday afternoon, roughly over a hundred students gathered in Slayter and split into six groups to search the residential halls for Hallman.  
He was found by two female professors who were searching for Hallman at 10:34 p.m. Saturday night. The Granville Township Fire Department emergency squad was dispatched to the scene at 5 Parnassus Village Dr., near the Granville Golf Course.
At 11:22 p.m., a DU Alert was sent out that confirmed Hallman’s passing. Members of the campus community who wanted to gather could come to Swasey Chapel at 11:30 p.m. Approximately 700 students, faculty and staff gathered at Swasey Chapel to mourn the loss of Hallman.
At this time, the cause of death is unknown and is under investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Granville Police Department and the Licking County Coroner’s Office, according to the Granville police department’s news release.
In the spring of 2013, Hallman took “Traditional East Asian Civilization” and “The Confucian Classics” classes with professor Dr. Barry Keenan in the history department.
“He was a quiet, always clean cut and pleasant student,” said Keenan.
He remembered how Hallman would always warmly greet him whenever he saw him in an elevator or around campus.
“There were no defects in his personality. He was so thoughtful,” said Keenan.  
It was stated in the news release that “alcohol is suspected of being a factor in the case.” In addition, the Newark-Advocate reported that  Granville police Sgt. Keith Blackledge said, “[Hallman] most likely died from exposure.”
A gathering of students and community members was held in Swasey at 11:30 p.m. Counselors were available to meet with students in the Shepardson Room on the 4th floor of Slayter Hall, beginning at 11:30 p.m.
Dr. Suzanne Condray, communication professor, had Hallman in her “Freedom of Speech” class and said he was a “nice guy.”
“He talked a lot about his values and beliefs. He had very strong values and beliefs, perhaps from his upbringing at Catholic school,” she said. Hallman attended Cathedral Preparatory School in Erie, Pa..   
Dr. Jessica Bean had Hallman in her very first Economics 101 class at Denison in his first year, and this past fall semester he was in an elective she taught, the Evolution of the Western Economy.
“That was probably the most fun and inspiring group of students I’ve had in any class yet,” she said, “David was hard working and good humored, fun to have in the classroom, always polite and respectful, and just such a good and nice kid in every way.”
She said that she “will always have an image of him laughing with the rest of the class on our last day last semester.”
“This is a very, very hard loss for all of us, and I will be very, very sad not to get to see him graduate with his class,” she said.  

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This was one of the most challenging articles I’ve ever had to write. I really wanted to do it respectfully. It was emotionally exhausting to interview his professors so soon after they heard the news. I didn’t interview any of his friends or roommates but perhaps I should have.  It was difficult to combine the news part of his death with the personality profile his professors painted. In the end, I’ve received several sincere compliments about this article and that means a lot.