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Coldiron ’78 Credits Wabash for Career Success

Howard HewittCINCINNATI, Ohio – Dr. Brett Coldiron ’78 arrived at Wabash College in the fall of 1973 as an accomplished student and athlete. He realized pretty quick after his arrival he still had a lot to learn.

Coldiron excelled at Wabash and has continued to succeed in his professional life ever since.

The former Phi Delta Theta Bio major led two Wabash visitors through his office and allowed us to observe two surgical procedures during a May 25 visit.

Coldiron left Wabash for the University of Kentucky medical school and has succeeded at a number of levels as a doctor and career professional. One of this biggest achievements was April election as the President of the National Academy of Dermatology.

“It means I have a voice,” he said with a laugh during a video interview session. He stressed the importance of being a part of professional associations whether its doctors, lawyers, or any professional. He is an active participant in Cincinnati’s professional health fields and a big Wabash booster.

His interests range from politics, to health care laws, to enjoying time with his family.

Adam Bowen and I spent an hour in the doctor’s office Friday morning for a video interview which will be on the website soon.

Coldiron is a great example of how Wabash won’t simply prepare you to get a good score on the MCAT and get ready for medical school – or any other profession, but also prepare you to be involved and become a leader in your field.

Wabash Student, Alum Make Bark Park a Reality

A Wabash student and alum teamed last summer to develop an idea for Carmel, Indiana’s first Bark Park. Kurt Snyder ’89 employed Sam Spoerle ’13 during the 2011 summer months.

“Sam worked for me as an paid intern via a grant from Wabash,” Snyder explained. “What he did specifically was do research and other things related to the creation of dog parks in Carmel.  In the end, his research helped me be a better advocate when I spoke to the parks board in Carmel. As a result, the parks board approved it.”

The approval came from Carmel city officials this spring. Here is Sam’s account of the experience.

Sam Spoerle ‘ 13 – Last summer, working with Kurt was awesome. It almost didn’t happen though, because I had initially missed the deadline for the application. It was through the Eli Business Grant and I had not filled out any of the paper work that was needed for me to even apply. With Kurt’s help though, we were able to reopen the application online and I got everything filled out and we had an interview the next week. It helped a lot that I was a dog owner in Carmel too, so this was more than just another internship.

Throughout the summer, I worked primarily at home. Kurt had set up a Dropbox for us to share files with each other. He always had a list of tasks that needed to be done in order to keep the projecting rolling that would be updated in the Dropbox every day. This included hours upon hours of researching local dog parks as well as dog parks all across the country. We conducted multiple interviews with people who had done exactly what we were trying to do.

As the summer went on, we had our research completed and organized in a way that we would present to the Carmel Clay Parks and Recreations board. After talking with Park administrators, we soon realized that our project was not a matter of if it will come to fruition, but when. We had no doubts that we would not be able to push for a dog park in Carmel.

After the summer was over, I had to go back to school. I would do the occasional small project for Kurt, but he became the primary advocate at the meetings. You see, the park administrators that we talked to over the summer continued to email Kurt and I on the updates about the progress of the park. Kurt was attending multiple Park Board meetings and was able to stand up by himself and advocate for a dog park. He continued going and spoke at every meeting until he got the answer he wanted. It was a true example of what Wabash Always Fights really means.

Seeing the fruits of my labor meant so much to me. Internships always have this stigma of being menial tasks that are created simply to give the intern something to do. Kurt really made this project something that we were working on together. I didn’t really feel like an intern, I felt like Kurt’s partner in this entire endeavor. That is what made it so much better for me. WAF!

Last Chance to See ‘Amazing Works’

Steve Charles—Friday and Saturday of Commencement Weekend mark your final chance to see the Senior Art Exhibit that Wabash Fine Arts Gallery Director Michael Atwell calls “possibly the best ever.”

“The works are amazing, and the students’ presentation and treatment of the space stellar,” Atwell says. “Kelvin Burzon’s Seven Deadly Sins series alone is worth the trip, as are the works of each of the other artists.”

The exhibit is located in the Eric Dean Gallery in the College’s Fine Arts Center and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. See a photo album from the show here, and read more about it here.

Evan Bayless is presenting “Bottles” and “Aryballo,” a series of “vessels that have similar bodies but were given individual identities in the treatment of their necks, textures, and stoppers.” See a photo album of Bayless at work here.

Yangan “Paul” Liu, one of two senior Commencement speakers you’ll hear from on Sunday, has painted a reflection on play and his Chinese childhood which covers entire wall of the gallery.

Kelvin Burzon’s “Seven Deadly Sins” was inspired by old daguerreotype death portraits, and Matt Levendoski finds inspiration in philosophy for his sculpture and mixed media works.

Brandon Doebler’s photography exhibit is titled “Reflection,” and Ben Muensterman is presenting his artwork with a mind’s eye toward his hometown, Evansville.

“With subject matter as varied as photographic reflections, Chinese childhood, serotiny, ceramic elegance, the seven deadly sins, and fanciful architecture, the exhibition is a rewarding experience for both artists and viewers,” says Professor of Art Doug Calisch.

And you have just two more days to experience it for yourself.

Plohr ’12 Makes ’Tea Time’ a Treat

Steve Charles—Three weeks ago Jordan Plohr ’12 kept the audience in stitches with his portrayal of Harpagon in Moliere’s “The Miser,” but the senior’s final appearance on the Wabash Theater stage wasn’t as an actor.

Two weeks ago, Plohr hosted a staged reading of “Tea Time,” his collection of short plays, in the College’s Experimental Theater. See photos of the reading and reaction here.

If the laughs weren’t as sustained as those he earned in “The Miser,” it was only because his plays were much shorter. Fellow seniors Donovan Bisbee and Geoffrey McKinney led a cast that included Raynor Mendoza, and Zach Thompson kept the audience of faculty, staff, and students laughing throughout the lunch hour. Plohr concluded with question and answer session, and was encouraged by theater professor Jim Cherry to expand the characters in one of the vignettes into a longer play.

Professor of Theater Dwight Watson called reading was a fitting conclusion to Plohr’s theater career at Wabash.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Jordan and his participation at all levels of Wabash theater,” Watson said. “Even though I was cast in the role of his advisor and one of his professors, I think of him as a colleague and friend.”

“In the College’s most recent production, Jordan played the miser, Harpagon, with such cleverness and skill one might think that Moliere’s character and Jordan were one and the same. Not true. He is good natured with a generous sprit that you can not help but enjoy his company on the stage or behind the scenes.”

As all of us discovered at his reading last week. Plohr will be among 191 seniors graduating Sunday as the College holds its 174th Commencement at 2:30 p.m.

Midnight Munch Founder Back on the Line

Midnight Munch is a long-standing tradition at Wabash College. Students gather at the Sparks Center Great Hall on Tuesday night of finals week to enjoy some eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, mixed fruit, pastries, and other assorted study-break snacks — all served by the College’s faculty and staff. This year the students also had the opportunity to honor the founder of the Midnight Munch, retiring Political Science Professor David Hadley.

Days away from retiring after 43 years at Wabash, Professor of Political Science David Hadley returned to the Midnight Munch to serve eggs and other breakfast treats to the students. Hadley created the event during his time as Dean of Students at Wabash.

Hadley started the event during his time as Dean of Students at Wabash. Current Dean of Students Mike Raters brought Hadley to the middle of the Great Hall to be honored by the 381 students in attendance.

View photos from the Midnight Munch here.

This semester’s Midnight Munch was nearly postponed after severe storms forced Bon Appétit Chef Jordan Hall and his staff to the basement of the Sparks Center around 7 p.m. The crew returned to the kitchen around 7:30 p.m. to prepare all of the food for the hungry crowd.

Professors Laura Wysocki and Steffani Rossi spent the evening at the griddle designing pancake masterpieces for the students' enjoyment.

Returning to help the current Wabash faculty and staff were retired professors Melissa Butler, Don Herring, and David Maharry. President White was traveling on College business, so Assistant Professor of Chemistry Laura Wysocki and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Stefani Rossi spent the evening creating “W” pancakes in addition to experimenting with other creative designs.

As the clock struck 12 a.m., students, faculty, and staff all wandered into the early-morning fog to rest before the last three days of finals and a close of the 2011-2012 school year.