Walla Walla East, WA, United States
Walla Walla East, WA, United States

Whitman College is a private liberal arts college located in Walla Walla, Washington. Initially founded as a seminary by a territorial legislative charter in 1859, the school became a four-year degree-granting institution in 1883. Whitman College is accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and competes athletically in the NCAA Division III Northwest Conference. The school offers 45 majors and 32 minors in the liberal arts and science, and has a student to faculty ratio of 9:1. Whitman was the first college in the Pacific Northwest to install a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and the first school in the United States to require comprehensive exams for graduation. Whitman was ranked 37th in the nation in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report list of Best Liberal Arts Colleges. Wikipedia.

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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

LearnHowToBecome.org, a leading resource provider for higher education and career information, has announced its list of the best colleges and universities in the state of Washington for 2017. Of the 19 four-year schools that made the list, Gonzaga University, University of Washington, Seattle University, University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University were the top five institutions. Of the 21 two-year schools that were also included, Edmonds Community College, Shorelines Community College, Renton Technical College, Bates Technical College and Clark College took the top five. A list of all the winning schools is included below. “Washington state’s unemployment rate recently hit a nine-year low, which is great news for people interested in pursuing a college degree,” said Wes Ricketts, senior vice president of LearnHowToBecome.org. “Our analysis shows schools going the extra mile for students in terms of career preparation, by providing high-quality programs and resources that are translating into student success in the job market.” To be included on the “Best Colleges in Washington” list, schools must be regionally accredited, not-for-profit institutions. Each college is also scored on additional data that includes annual alumni earnings 10 years after entering college, career services offered, availability of financial aid and such additional metrics as student/teacher ratios and graduation rates. Complete details on each college, their individual scores and the data and methodology used to determine the LearnHowToBecome.org “Best Colleges in Washington” list, visit: Washington’s Best Four-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Bastyr University Central Washington University City University of Seattle Eastern Washington University Gonzaga University Heritage University Northwest University Pacific Lutheran University Saint Martin's University Seattle Pacific University Seattle University Trinity Lutheran College University of Puget Sound University of Washington-Seattle Campus Walla Walla University Washington State University Western Washington University Whitman College Whitworth University Washington’s Best Two-Year Colleges for 2017 include: Bates Technical College Bellingham Technical College Big Bend Community College Cascadia Community College Clark College Edmonds Community College Everett Community College Grays Harbor College Lower Columbia College Pierce College at Fort Steilacoom Pierce College at Puyallup Renton Technical College Seattle Vocational Institute Shoreline Community College South Puget Sound Community College Spokane Community College Spokane Falls Community College Tacoma Community College Walla Walla Community College Wenatchee Valley College Whatcom Community College About Us: LearnHowtoBecome.org was founded in 2013 to provide data and expert driven information about employment opportunities and the education needed to land the perfect career. Our materials cover a wide range of professions, industries and degree programs, and are designed for people who want to choose, change or advance their careers. We also provide helpful resources and guides that address social issues, financial aid and other special interest in higher education. Information from LearnHowtoBecome.org has proudly been featured by more than 700 educational institutions.

News Article | May 8, 2017
Site: www.businesswire.com

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kemper Corporation (NYSE: KMPR) announced today that Charles Steele will join the company as President of the Reserve National business, which provides life, health and accident expense insurance products. Steele will report directly to Mark A. Green, Kemper’s Life & Health division President, and will be based in Oklahoma City. In conjunction with this change, Kemper announced that Andrew F. Schallhorn will be leaving the company. “We are pleased to have Charles take the helm of our Reserve National business. He brings a track record of success in driving profitable growth in the life and health insurance space. With his extensive sales and product development leadership experience he will be able to provide valuable insights and leadership to our team,” said Green. “We extend our best wishes to Andy as he explores next steps in his career.” Steele most recently served as Vice President of Sales for the broker/aggregator market with Connecture, an employee benefits technology company. His prior roles included several senior executive roles with Assurant Health as well as several sales and product development roles with Great-West Healthcare. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History at Whitman College and Masters of Business Administration degree from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. The Kemper family of companies is one of the nation’s leading insurers. With $8 billion in assets, Kemper is improving the world of insurance by offering personalized solutions for individuals, families and businesses. Kemper's businesses collectively:

Agency: GTR | Branch: BBSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 245.16K | Year: 2015

Atlantic salmon accumulate various metabolites in the skin and fin when fish are in seawater (SW) environments. One metabolite, called guanine, is known to be responsible for the skin silvering that accompanies developmental changes associated with the migration of young salmon (called smolts) to SW. The elevated concentrations in the skin result in the formation of guanine crystals that give the skin its classic iridescent/pearlescent metallic lustre, characteristic of all salmonids. Recently we have identified that a structurally related metabolite called hypoxanthine, is also found at high levels within the skin and fin of Atlantic salmon. The functional role of this metabolite however, appears to be completely different from guanine. Although guanine is essentially insoluble in the aqueous environment of the skin cells (and hence explains its precipitation as translucent crystals), hypoxanthine is eminently soluble and in SW salmon, accumulates to very high concentrations suggesting that it may function as an organic osmolyte. Organic osmolytes increase the concentration inside cells to near-equivalent concentrations to that of the sodium chloride and other ions in the surrounding SW. This equilibration of solute concentrations inside and outside the cell limits the osmotic loss of cell water to the extracellular SW environment and therefore prevents cell dehydration, shrinkage and inevitable cell death. Another potential function of hypoxanthine, is that of an anti-microbial compound. In addition to being a precursor of guanine, hypoxanthine can be enzymatically converted to uric acid, but at the same time this processes releases hydrogen peroxide. Essentially three times as much hydrogen peroxide can be generated as hypoxanthine present within the cell. It is proposed that this highly reactive metabolite acts as a cellular disinfectant and the first line of the hosts defense against microorganisms or parasites that invade the skin or fin. In higher vertebrates, hydrogen peroxide and uric acid are known to function as so-called chemo-attractant molecules, stimulating the recruitment of blood lymphocytes and macrophages to sites of injury and initiating an immune response against any invading organism. The same functions are proposed to take place in the salmon. Preliminary results suggest that this hypothesis may indeed be the case as skin regions chronically infected with sea lice exhibit higher levels of expression of a key enzyme involved in this hydrogen peroxide generating pathway. Salmon are an important species in the aquaculture industry, especially in Scotland, and a critical period in the farming of this fish is during and just after SW transfer. This is a very stressful period of the salmons life cycle and if fish are not transferred at the optimal time the physiological adaptations required for life in SW can be compromised, resulting in increased fish mortalities from osmotic disturbances or increased infection rates. Virtually nothing is known about the roles of hypoxanthine during this critical period of the salmons life cycle. This project will characterize the role of hypoxanthine as an osmolyte in cell volume regulation and its potential function as a hydrogen peroxide generator in skin and fin cells during sea lice infestation. The project will also determine whether various nutritional supplements added to the diet of pre-SW transfer smolts will i) affect the expression of enzymes and transporters associated with the general metabolism of hypoxanthine, ii) influence hypoxanthine levels in skin and fin, iii) alter the osmoregulatory capacity of fish following acute SW transfer and determine if iv) selective nutritional supplements can reduce the incidence of stress-induced skin lesions/infections and mortalities that often arise within 2-3 months of SW transfer.

Gresham M.I.,Whitman College | Zurek K.M.,University of Michigan
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

We examine the consistency of light dark matter (DM) elastic scattering in CoGeNT, DAMA, and CDMS-silicon in light of constraints from XENON, CDMS, LUX, PICASSO and COUPP. We consider a variety of operators that have been employed to reconcile anomalies with constraints, including anapole, magnetic dipole, momentum-dependent, and isospin-violating DM. We find that elastic scattering through these alternative operators does not substantially reduce the tension between the signals and the null constraints for operators where at least two of the three purported signals map onto a common space in the DM mass-scattering cross-section plane. Taking a choice of the scintillation efficiency that lies at the -1σ region of the Manzur et al. measurement relieves tension between signals and the LUX constraint - in particular for a magnetic dipole interaction and a xenophobic interaction (though for the latter the signal regions do not substantially overlap). We also find that modest changes in the halo model do not alter this result. We conclude that, even relaxing the assumption about the type of elastic scattering interaction and taking a conservative choice for the scintillation efficiency, LUX and the results from other null experiments remain in tension with a light DM elastic scattering explanation of direct detection anomalies. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Pahlke E.,Whitman College | Hyde J.S.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Allison C.M.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Psychological Bulletin | Year: 2014

Proponents of single-sex (SS) education believe that separating boys and girls, by classrooms or schools, increases students' achievement and academic interest. In this article, we use meta-analysis to analyze studies that have tested the effects on students of SS compared with coeducational (CE) schooling. We meta-analyzed data from 184 studies, representing the testing of 1.6 million students in Grades K-12 from 21 nations, for multiple outcomes (e.g., mathematics performance, mathematics attitudes, science performance, educational aspirations, self-concept, gender stereotyping). To address concerns about the quality of research designs, we categorized studies as uncontrolled (no controls for selection effects, no random assignment) or controlled (random assignment or controls for selection effects). Based on mixed-effects analyses, uncontrolled studies showed some modest advantages for single-sex schooling, for both girls and boys, for outcomes such as mathematics performance but not for science performance. Controlled studies, however, showed only trivial differences between students in SS versus CE, for mathematics performance (g = 0.10 for girls, 0.06 for boys) and science performance (g = 0.06 for girls, 0.04 for boys), and in some cases showed small differences favoring CE schooling (e.g., for girls' educational aspirations, g = -0.26). Separate analyses of U.S. studies yielded similar findings (e.g., for mathematics performance g = 0.14 for girls and 0.14 for boys). Results from the highest quality studies, then, do not support the view that SS schooling provides benefits compared with CE schooling. Claims that SS schooling is particularly effective for U.S. ethnic minority boys could not be tested due to the lack of controlled studies on this question. © 2014 American Psychological Association.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 92.91K | Year: 2013

Assessing the degree to which geological hazards in the Aleutian archipelago disrupted prehistoric human and ecological systems has important lessons for current inhabitants of the northern Pacific Rim. The Islands of Four Mountains region embodies environmental instabilities that, in the last 10,000 years, include changing subarctic climate, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, and sea level fluctuations. Compared to adjacent regions to the east and west, strong ocean currents and smaller island size magnify ecologically-driven resource extremes, perhaps creating a physical bottleneck and the cultural boundary that persisted into the early 20th century. These islands provide an excellent opportunity to assess the development of prehistoric human adaptations to geological hazards and environmental change. That such research has not already occurred is understandable. The same volcanic activity, precipitous coastlines, high winds, and strong riptides that may have posed profound risks to prehistoric individuals hinder modern research expeditions. The Four Mountain prehistoric sites are little studied but are highly significant in light of new geologic data indicating volcanic activity during human migration and societal development in the Aleutian archipelago. A team of professional and student archaeologists, geologists, ecologists, and zoologists will conduct a comprehensive, interdisciplinary three-year investigation in the Islands of the Four Mountains. Extensive new radiocarbon, geological, paleoenvironmental, and cultural data expected from these sites will yield novel insights into the record of geological hazards, human coping mechanisms, changing subsistence, and adaptations during the prehistoric and European contact periods.

The Islands of the Four Mountains are located in an ecologically and economically important region of the world - the north Pacific and Bering Sea. People on two continents rely on fish from its marine ecosystem, and, given the sensitivity of airplanes to volcanic ash and of coastal cities to tsunamis, its geologic hazards potentially affect all nations of the northern Pacific Rim. Comprehensive research on long-term human-environmental interactions in the Bering Sea region, set against a backdrop of accelerated global change, is vital to understanding the dynamics of Aleutian biological and human systems and effectively addressing the social, political, and economic issues that arise from changes in those system dynamics today. The island group lies in a zone of high catastrophic potential in that one of its volcanoes, Mt. Cleveland, has erupted explosively more than 20 times in the last decade (as recently as May 2013) and during the time of prehistoric human habitation. The Aleutian plate boundary is the site of four earthquakes having a magnitude greater than 8 and dozens with magnitudes greater than 7, and these have generated tsunamis historically and prehistorically. Through partnerships with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, the Aleut Corporation, Museum of the Aleutians, and the Keck Geology Consortium this project will bring scientists, Native Americans, students and policy makers together in education and collaboration.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: EVOLUTIONARY PROCESSES CLUSTER | Award Amount: 29.98K | Year: 2015

A hallmark of effective science is reproducible results. If a result cannot be reproduced, it cannot be considered a robust scientific finding. Unfortunately, obstacles often slow progress towards these robust, reproducible observations in ecology and evolutionary biology as well as in many other disciplines. Scientists are rewarded for publicizing exciting results, but scientists have much less incentive to publish unexciting results or to test the reproducibility of previously published findings. Scientists therefore often search their data for the most exciting findings that will allow them to publish in the most prestigious journals, and they often do not invest in seeking to publish their full set of results. This and various related practices leads to an inflated rate of published false positives - results that are the outcome of chance rather than real biological phenomena. Because attempts to replicate prior findings are often rare, the error of these false positives often goes unrecognized for long periods. Even when replications exist, drawing conclusions from them is hindered by a lack of standards to promote effective syntheses across studies. Reducing bias and promoting replication and effective synthesis will require changing the institutions that control the incentives currently guiding scientists decisions. One of the major classes of institutions shaping incentives is scientific journals. Journals in some disciplines, such as psychology and neuroscience, have begun introducing innovative editorial policies to reduce bias and facilitate replication. Now ecologists and evolutionary biologists are seeking to develop ideas appropriate for their own disciplines.

This project is a workshop in which prominent journal editors in ecology and evolutionary biology will join with researchers interested in improving scientific inference to develop incentive structures in these disciplines that will reduce false positive rates, promote replication, and facilitate research synthesis. By the end of the workshop, the organizers hope to have drafts of editorial policy templates and other ideas for shaping incentive structures that make sense for these disciplines. The organizers also hope that journal editors and others will then implement policies that are right for their disciplines and journals, and that the discussions that follow in the wake of these initial policy implementations will promote more widespread adoptions of policies that improve empirical progress in their disciplines.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Antarctic Education | Award Amount: 193.15K | Year: 2014

This week-long symposium is designed to help develop a long-term, collegial peer network of young polar researchers (those within 5 years of receiving their doctorates) who would benefit from mentoring and other interactions with established polar scholars through a common experience at a symposium. Participants also will receive an introduction to communication, team-building and leadership skills, and elements of interdisciplinary research.
The organizers expect to develop a core cadre of approximately 30 young scientists.
The proposed symposium would build upon, and also act as a follow-on to, a similar symposium organized by the PI?s during the International Polar Year, the IPY: Next Generation Polar Research (IPY NGPR) Symposium.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Systematics & Biodiversity Sci | Award Amount: 159.97K | Year: 2012

The goal of this project is to understand the taxonomy and evolutionary history of amphibians, reptiles and their endoparasites in one of the most poorly known regions in the world: the lowlands of Central Africa. Forests in the Congo Basin are renowned for their immense biodiversity, but are increasingly threatened by deforestation, climate change and chytrid fungus infections in multiple genera of frogs. Chytrid infections are linked to global amphibian declines. DNA analyses of samples collected during surveys will be used to identify and describe new species, and to reconstruct their evolutionary history. The investigators estimate the project may double the approximately 380 species of amphibians and reptiles currently known from the region.

Undergraduate students will work in teams to participate in cybertaxonomy and rapid-identification projects by analyzing photographs of specimens with associated georeference data via dedicated websites, and in real time as expeditions are occurring. Project leaders will use solar-powered chargers and computers to blog from the field as expeditions are in progress as a way to engage students, colleagues and the general public in the research. It is anticipated that this project will significantly elevate the global understanding of the importance of the Congo Basin?s biodiversity, and support ongoing, in-country efforts to expand national parks.

Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: Chemistry of Life Processes | Award Amount: 385.40K | Year: 2015

There is much interest in the use of bacteria to remove pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and the pesticide pentachlorophenol from the environment (bioremediation). Bacterial enzymes can break down the stable six-carbon ring of such compounds, removing them from the environment. However, enzymes that break down chlorinated compounds are rare and have been little characterized. The enzyme PcpA is one that has this capability. Previous research has shown that it is specific for chlorinated compounds, but how it is capable of distinguishing the chlorinated versus the non-chlorinated versions of a compound is not known. The proposed research seeks to understand the origin of this unusual specificity. Results of these efforts may provide insights into methods of engineering other bacteria with novel properties, for use in bioremediation or other applications. This work engages 8-12 Whitman College undergraduate students in cutting-edge research involving various biochemical techniques, providing them with important research training opportunities, including presenting their work at conferences and coauthoring publications.

Little is known about how enzymes recognize chlorinated compounds. Hydroquinone dioxygenases, such as PcpA, provide an ideal platform for understanding the sources of specificity for chlorinated compounds. PcpA binds substrates and inhibitors with chlorine or bromine substituents much better than those with fluorine or methyl substituents. One hypothesis is that a little-studied interaction, metal-halogen secondary bonding, is responsible for this specificity. The proposed research uses protein crystallography, spectroscopy and quantum chemical calculations, to determine how PcpA specifically recognizes hydroquinones with chlorine or bromine substituents and activates these compounds for oxidative ring cleavage. The results of these investigations are complemented by studies on other hydroquinone dioxygenases that lack the specificity towards chlorinated and brominated compounds. Kinetics, mutagenesis, and substrate binding titrations are used to determine differences in substrate specificity and what factors are responsible for these differences. The results inform preliminary efforts to engineer different ring-cleaving activities into a given enzyme transforming a catechol dioxygenase into a hydroquinone dioxygenase. Synthetic iron(II)-hydroquinone complexes are used to show the fundamental aspects of how hydroquinone protonation state affects the binding mode and reactivity with dioxygen as a precursor to oxidative ring cleavage.

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