Willamette University

Tidbits & Briefs

The Bottom (Slope = 0) Line

Jim Albaugh ’72,

The math department tends to go about its business quietly and steadily, but several developments have gotten our attention recently.

To start, a gift from Willamette trustee Jim Albaugh ’72, former president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, has already helped send five Willamette women to the Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics. Just this spring, the funds, along with key help from the Office of the Dean, enabled Willamette to host the Pacific Northwest Section Meeting of the Mathematics Association of America, which brought more than 100 non-WU student attendees and 77 separate talks to campus.

In recognition of such help, the mathematics department recently named a colloquium series after Albaugh; he visited campus and spoke in October, reminding students once again that great new initiatives don’t happen by accident. Albaugh has also supported the physics department and the Sparks Athletic Center renovation.

The bottom line: Math is healthy these days.

Language in (Perpetual) Motion

Language in Motion

Language in Motion, conceived in 2007 by the Office of International Education (OIE), puts study abroad returnees, visiting international students and upper-level language students in local classrooms, where they share what they’ve spent semesters learning: cultural competencies, language skills, and occasional recipes for ceviche.

Nomi Pearce coordinates the program on campus. “Language in Motion seeks to provide students and teachers a snapshot of the world,” she says. The exposure goes beyond intriguing anecdotes of foreign countries and imparts transferable lessons for youngsters who are growing up in increasingly diverse environments.

Now, the Language in Motion program is expanding to three other sites in Oregon, thanks to a $200,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.

The grant — to be shared by Willamette, Lewis and Clark College, Pacific University and Linfield College — will fund expanded activities in area schools.

Campus Life’s Community Service Learning office administers the program today, working closely with the OIE to make connections with the returning study abroad students and international students who bring the program to life. The efforts continue to grow, too: In Language in Motion’s first year, Willamette students gave 11 presentations; by 2010–11, the number had increased to 105.

Read more about the theory and practice of international education in the Winter 2009 issue of The Scene, available online.

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