Hamline News

Fall 2014 Happenings on Hewitt

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Students Dig up History in Aleutian Islands 

Last commencement, while her classmates were snapping photos with family and friends in front of Old Main, Megan Harding ’14 posed in her cap and gown on the rocky shore of an island off the Alaskan coast.

Harding and fellow anthropology major Steve Goranson ’15 accompanied Brian Hoffman, chair of the anthropology department, on a five-week research expedition to the Aleutian Islands. Alongside a multidisciplinary team of researchers from across the nation, the Hamline contingent visited excavation sites to study the relationship between humans and the environment over thousands of years.

Hoffman received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct the research, which he’ll continue at Hamline. 

“A lot of my work is intentionally designed to introduce my students to other people so that they can start building their network, start seeing other ideas, and start seeing other ways of doing work,” Hoffman said. “Related to that, this research gives them the chance to work in the field with biologists, geologists, and people with other specialties. I think one of the most important things that we teach undergraduates is the importance of developing skills as collaborators.”

Even though the trip meant missing commencement, Harding has no regrets. “It’s an amazing opportunity, one that can really kick start a career,” she said. “I’m hoping to do something in cultural resource management, and this is an ideal experience to get into that field.” 

This fall, students in Hoffman’s lab techniques archaeology class are analyzing fragments of stone tools, animal bones, and other artifacts from the Aleutian Island excavations.

—Mackenzie Bledsoe ’16

Pre-med Students Get Taste of Medicine in Nicaragua 

Two Hamline pre-med students had the opportunity to take part in a public health project in Nicaragua, thanks to a generous gift from Dr. John Bachman ’71, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

“Each year, prior to the start of Mayo Medical School, we take 10 to 20 entering medical students on a trip to Central America,” Bachman said. The trips are organized by the global health and sustainable development organization Global Brigades.

This year, Bachman provided funding for Hamline students Kristen Berry ’15 and Natalia Wiatros ’15 to act as interpreters between patients and medical staff. The students experienced what primary care is like in a poor country and took part in a public health project.

“This experience was perfect for me because it let me utilize both of my degrees, Spanish and biology, in the way that I would like to use them in the future,” Berry said. “I want to enter into the medical field and do volunteer work in Central and South America after earning my degree.”

—Mackenzie Bledsoe ’16


Hamline ‘Science Guy’ Performs with Bill Nye

Hamline associate professor Andy Rundquist wowed science enthusiasts at the Mall of America when he partnered with popular scientist, author, and inventor Bill Nye for a series of science demonstrations last February. Nye is best known for starring in the PBS children’s program “Bill Nye the Science Guy.”

The entertaining duo captivated an all-ages audience by employing humor, firing a smoke ring cannon, and even reclining on a bed of nails—all in the name of science.

Sophia, the online education platform that sponsored the event, invited Rundquist to perform with Nye after learning about his Piper Physics Patrol, a program in which he and Hamline students travel to area schools to teach science through a fun, hands-on approach.


Getting to Know the Neighbors 

“For the third consecutive year, I have been amazed at the way putting a camera in students’ hands becomes the perfect excuse for exploration and asking questions.”
—Professor David Davies

“Brushes, Tiles, and Spray Cans,” “Hens in the Hood,” and “Plants, People, and Community in the Hamline-Midway Neighborhood.” These are just a few of the slice of life videos you’ll find on a YouTube channel created by Hamline anthropology students.

In his visual anthropology class, launched two years ago, Professor David Davies challenges students to venture a little deeper into the neighborhood surrounding Hamline University to capture video stories highlighting aspects of the residents’ lives.

Students have chronicled trips to Target, family dinners, a conversation with a woman about her teapot collection—even a visit to an “affordable coffin” maker on Snelling Avenue. For their final project, they create a mini-documentary to share with the community. Last spring, around 120 students and neighbors attended a viewing at the Turf Club.

Davies, a Hamline-Midway resident himself, said he hopes the exercise helps to cultivate relationships between students and neighbors, who otherwise might never interact with one another.


Ask the Expert: Bullying Prevention 

Hamline adjunct professor Cheryl Greene is an educational consultant for Welcoming Schools and a nationally certified Olweus Bullying Prevention Trainer.

What is bullying?

Bullying behavior has three common components: It involves an aggressive behavior; it typically involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time; and there is an imbalance of power or strength. Much bullying occurs when the imbalance is based on things other than physical strength, such as social status, popularity, etc.

What are the forms of bullying?

Direct bullying would include things like hitting, taunting, name-calling, and relational aggression. Indirect bullying would include rumors, exclusion, and cyber bullying. Indirect bullying makes up the majority of bullying in schools and is the hardest to detect.

What type of bullying is most common in elementary schools?

Children are bullied for any number of reasons. Students that do not fit into gender stereotypical roles are particularly at high risk. Adults should try to create a safe and welcoming environment that allows children to be who they are.

How does bullying today differ from in the past?

Bullying is not new. What is new is the use of social media and electronics to bully. In the past, if a child was bullied, there was usually a place they could feel safe. Today, if a child is bullied and they are at all connected electronically, the bullying is constant. It’s much easier to be mean when you’re not face to face.

What does Minnesota’s new bullying prevention law require?

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act is a great piece of legislation aimed at prevention and intervention around bullying. There will be some type of bullying prevention training required for all employees.

What can parents do to prevent children from becoming victims?

If we expect our children to treat others with respect and kindness, we must model this behavior. Parents can also help to foster a sense of self-esteem and confidence in their children so they’re less likely to be victims of bullying. Additionally, they should work to keep open lines of communication with their children and have guidelines and policies for all things electronic.


President Hanson Announces Retirement; Finance Senior VP and Librarian Hired 

After 10 years of service at Hamline, President Linda N. Hanson has announced plans to retire, effective June 30, 2015. A committee composed of trustees, faculty, staff, and students has begun a nationwide search for the next president. Watch for a special issue of Hamline magazine celebrating President Hanson’s legacy in
the spring.

Margaret Tungseth joined Hamline as senior vice president for business, finance, and technology. Her responsibilities include leadership of the departments of finance, information technology, facilities services, and human resources. Tungseth comes to Hamline from Central College in Pella, Iowa.

Terry Metz brings more than 30 years of experience as a library and information technology leader to his role as university librarian at Hamline. Previously, he served as university librarian at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. At Hamline, his responsibilities include administrative leadership for Bush Memorial Library, the law library, and university archives.