1. The Laramie Project opens today, Matthew Shepard’s mother to speak

The Department of Performing Arts will present The Laramie Project, today, Feb. 24, through Sunday, March 6 at Helfaer Theatre.

In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, severely beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, Wy., and left to die. The Laramie Project, which chronicles the incident and the sentiment it invokes, is a theatrical collage that explores the depths to which humanity can sink, and the heights of compassion of which we are also capable, according to Debra Krajec, director. Talkbacks about the show are planned after the performances.

“First Fridays Dinner and a Show” will be offered at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the AMU Lunda Room. The $45 price includes dinner and the show. Dinner alone is $30. Dinner will be followed by a talk from Krajec and members of the production team. For more information or to RSVP contact Kevin Wlekinski, box office coordinator, at 8-7505.

The play is partially supported by the Theatre and Social Justice Fund. The performance will run:

• Thursday, Feb. 24, through Saturday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Feb. 27, 2:30 p.m.
• Wednesday, March 2, through Saturday, March 5, 7:30 p.m.
• Sunday, March 6, 2:30 p.m.

Tickets for employees cost $16 and for the general public $16 to $20. Discounts are offered to senior citizens and alumni. Call the theatre box office at 8-7504 for more information.

Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, will speak Tuesday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in the Weasler Auditorium. A Q&A session and book signing will follow her presentation.

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later,” a single-performance staged reading, will be performed Sunday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at Helfaer Theatre. Tickets for the play, an epilogue to The Laramie Project, are available through the theatre box office for $6.

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2. Faculty awarded three grants of more than $400,000 each

Three grants in excess of $400,000 have recently been awarded to Marquette faculty.

Dr. Robert Wheeler, assistant professor of biomedical sciences, received a three-year, $721,718 award from the National Institutes of Health for “The Neural Regulation of Negative Affect in a New Model of Cocaine Seeking.” This award is to refine a model of electrochemical and electrophysiological measurement techniques for the negative emotional states that result from chronic drug use. Ultimately this project will provide a better understanding of the neural underpinnings of negative mood states and the influence they have on drug-seeking, potentially leading to new treatments for substance abuse disorders, according to Wheeler.

Dr. Adam Fiedler, assistant professor of chemistry, received a five-year, $590,000 award from the National Science Foundation for “CAREER: Biomimetic Chemistry Relevant to Nonheme Iron Dioxygenases Involved in Bioremediation Processes.” Fiedler’s group will use synthetic inorganic chemistry to advance understanding of iron-containing enzymes found in bacteria that use oxygen to breakdown harmful environmental pollutants. They will prepare and study metal-containing compounds that mimic the structure and function of these metalloenzymes and obtain detailed descriptions of the compounds’ geometric and electronic structures, thereby illuminating microbes’ chemical strategies in degrading organic pollutants, according to Fiedler. Research opportunities will also be provided to students from underrepresented and low-income groups through outreach programs and pre-college and undergraduate science laboratory programs.

Drs. Sherry Scott and Elaine Spiller, assistant professors of mathematics, statistics and computer science, received a three-year, $409,157 award from the Office of Naval Research for “Dynamical Systems Theory and Lagrangian Data Assimilation in 4D Geophysical Fluid Dynamics.” This grant is to develop mathematical tools and theory that aid in the understanding of complex ocean behavior. Ocean behavior plays a large role in a variety of geophysical phenomenon such as hurricanes, tsunamis, algae blooms and climate change. The majority of work in this area has focused on behavior of the ocean surface, while Scott and Spiller seek to develop theories affecting the whole ocean.

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3. Metcalfe Chair and diversity grant applications due Tuesday

Proposals for the Ralph H. Metcalfe Chair and the Marquette Excellence in Diversity Grants, must be received in the Provost’s Office of Diversity (Zilber 454) by Tuesday, March 1.

Named for Marquette alumnus Ralph H. Metcalfe, the Metcalfe Chair is a non-residential chair that brings an African American, Latina/o, or Native American scholar from any academic discipline taught at Marquette to campus for a three- to four-day visit. Chair holders are expected to give public lectures and interact with students and faculty. While proposals from all academic disciplines will be considered, applications for 2011/12 are particularly encouraged from the humanities, sciences and engineering. Two chairs are awarded each year. Proposals may request up to $5,000 per chair.

Up to six Marquette Excellence in Diversity Grants will be awarded to support diversity in the academic life of the university during the 2011-2012 academic year. Grants support a lecture or public presentation by diverse scholars, writers and visual or performing artists for the Marquette community. The purpose of the program is to disseminate knowledge of diverse cultures and communities through lectures, workshops, symposia and other forms of presentation within the university community. Priority will be given to projects that are multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary, planned through faculty/student collaborations, and engage faculty and students at Marquette over several days. Up to $2,500 may be requested in each proposal.

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4. Sunday’s Aquinas Lecture to address “Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge”

John McDowell, distinguished university professor of philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh, will present the 2011 Aquinas Lecture, “Perception as a Capacity for Knowledge,” Sunday, Feb. 27, at 3 p.m. in the Raynor Library Beaumier Suites. Defending the ancient idea that humans are rational animals, McDowell will discuss the role that perception plays in rationality and defend the view that perception as an operation of human rationality is distinctive to something that is generically animal.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

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5. Growing partnerships allow dental students to provide care to kids statewide

The School of Dentistry has created new partnerships and expanded existing ones with several clinics around the state, giving students the opportunity to practice in a community clinic and to learn from practicing dentists.

Last month, third and fourth-year dental students began rotations at the Beloit Area Community Health Center under the supervision of preceptors.

In Appleton at the Tri-County Community Dental Clinic, MUSoD students have started seeing children from area school districts one extra day per week as part of their Focus on the Children Program. Two operatories are used full-time by four Marquette students, allowing the clinic to expand its capacity and to see more children.

And in Milwaukee, at the MUSoD Community Dental Clinic-North, Marquette students have enabled the clinic to open their chairs on Thursdays to see an additional 18 children per week.

“Marquette’s clinical rotations and rural fellowship program help our students understand the oral health care needs of underserved areas throughout Wisconsin. While our dental students benefit from the hands-on education experience, they also, under the supervision of practicing dentists, provide an invaluable service to our patients,” said Dean William Lobb.

For students, learning in a community health clinic gives them the chance to work with patients who have more acute and chronic dental needs than if they were seeing patients more in a private practice setting. For the children who are patients at the clinic, many of them are getting dental care for the first time, most already with several cavities.

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6. Use university resources and tips for basic campus safety

The Department of Public Safety reminds Marquette community members to remain diligent about their safety year-round, using campus resources and basic safety tips:

• Take advantage of the many services and programs offered by the Department of Public Safety, including the LIMO and Student Safety Patrol services and self-defense classes. At Marquette, there is no reason for anyone to walk alone. If you are coming home alone, call ahead and have someone watch for you. Call 8-6363 for SSP escorts.

• Know the locations of blue light phones located throughout campus and in the off-campus neighborhood. More than 300 phones offer direct lines to Public Safety 24 hours a day.

• Walk in pairs, being aware of your surroundings at all times.

• Travel on well-lit, busy streets and avoid walking through alleys and parking lots.

• Do not become distracted by talking on your cell phone or listening to music through headphones at a high volume.

• Take note of suspicious vehicles, especially those that appear to be circling the block or driving unusually slow. If you observe a suspicious vehicle, relay its description and location to DPS.

• If someone that you do not feel comfortable being near approaches you, quickly walk away. Go to a residence hall, an open business or the Public Safety office in Parking Structure 1 on North 16th Street. Call Public Safety.

• Only take what you absolutely need with you when going out. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash or multiple credit cards. Use backpacks to conceal laptop computers.

• If approached, give up your property.

• Park in well-lighted areas, put valuables in your trunk and lock your car.

• At home, keep exterior doors locked at all times.

All Marquette students and employees should call DPS immediately to report any criminal or suspicious activity. Calls can easily be made from a Blue Light Phone on or near campus or call DPS at 8-6800 (414-288-6800 off campus).

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7. Engineering programs available to K-12 students

The College of Engineering outreach program will include three new academies as part of its spring 2011 schedule for K-12 students. The program continues to enhance the S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering, math) skills of children to help prepare them for challenges in a global economy driven by innovation.
The 10 academies include two girls-only programs, as well as new and updated programs that allow students to work closely with Bluetooth communication and robotics. Students will also be able to use a large collection of LEGOs to build and design in the popular “Ultimate LEGO Experience!” program.
The Engineering Outreach Program encourages all students, regardless of age, race or gender, to study engineering and innovate. Program fees range between $60 and $170. All programs have class size limits, and enrollment is first-come, first-served.

For more information call 8-6720.

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8. Officer and combat photographer to speak about Vietnam experience

Retired Col. David Fitz-Enz, an alumnus of the College of Business Administration and award-winning author and film producer, will share his experiences as a soldier, combat photographer and platoon leader in Vietnam at 11 a.m. Friday March 4, in the Old Gymnasium A105. Light refreshments will be served.

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9. Gulf region and Hurricane Katrina recovery events featured

The student organization Making A Real Difference In the Gulf Region and Areas Surrounding will host Students Promoting Action and Awareness in Response to Katrina week, Sunday, Feb. 27, to Friday, March 3.

Katie Schuman, development coordinator at St. Bernard Project, an organization that  provides housing opportunities to survivors of Hurricane Katrina, will speak Monday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. about mental health and community development. The event will take place in AMU Ballrooms CD.

Other activities include:

• Wednesday, March 2 — King’s Cake bake sale 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday, March 4, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lalumiere and Wehr Chemistry lobbies

• Thursday, March 3 — Hilary Braseth, a senior in the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, will her share experiences as a volunteer in “Rebuilding New Orleans,” a presentation about the rebuilding process in New Orleans, which focuses on relationships between community organizations and the government, at 5 p.m. in AMU 157

• Thursday, March 3 — Performing Arts Night at the Haggerty Museum of Art, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monetary donations will be accepted

For more information, contact Erin Shawgo, Office of Student Development leadership program assistant.

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10. Events to celebrate linguistics and languages next week

The Marquette Linguistics Club and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures will host a series of events for Language Week, a week of language discovery and celebration Monday, Feb. 28, to Friday, March 4. All events are free and open to the public:

• Monday, Feb. 28 — “This I believe in language” presentations in AMU Ballroom E, 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a reception following

• Tuesday, March 1 — “Language Advocacy Day,” AMU second floor lobby, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., students can sign and write letters in support of language programs at Marquette and other institutions

• Wednesday, March 2 — “Language Awareness Night” in AMU Ballroom B, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., student organizations and faculty will speak on various aspects of language

• Thursday, March 3 — “Open Mic Night” in the AMU Brew Bayou, 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., participants can present poetry and music in any language

• Friday, March 4 — “Language Trivia and Potluck” in AMU 407, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

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11. Basketball game collection, soup event to benefit Hunger Clean-Up

Hunger Clean-Up will collect monetary donations at the men's basketball game against Providence on Sunday, Feb. 27. Look for members of the Hunger Clean-Up Planning Team after the game to give a donation and learn more about Hunger Clean-Up.

HCU will also hold its annual Sample-the-Soups on Tuesday, March 1, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the AMU Ballrooms. Attendees can sample a variety of soups, listen to live music and take home a free, handcrafted bowl made by local school children. A donation of $5 is suggested. All proceeds benefit Hunger Clean-Up.

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12. Haggerty Museum to hold Mardi Gras family art event

The Haggerty Associates of the Haggerty Museum of Art will hold a Spring into Art Mardi Gras family event, Sunday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For $20 per family, the event includes a light breakfast buffet and Mardi Gras-themed crafts. RSVP by Wednesday, March 2, to Mary Dornfeld, communication assistant at the museum, at 8-7290.

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13. Weight Watchers open house to be held, FSA reimbursement for program possible

The Employee Wellness Program is offering a 12-week Weight Watchers at Work Meeting Series beginning with an open house/enrollment meeting Thursday, March 3, from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. in Raynor Library Beaumier Suites BC. Cost is $144 and includes 14 weeks of Weight Watchers e-tools. Cash, checks (with a three-payment option) and major credit cards are accepted.

Meetings are Thursdays from noon to 1 p.m. beginning March 10. Locations will vary in the AMU and Raynor Library. A minimum of 15 employees is required.

Since Weight Watchers at Work meetings began at Marquette in July 2009, 16 participants have lost 10 percent of their body weight, 29 have lost 5 percent, and 10 have reached their goal weight and are now lifetime members.

For more information on Weight Watchers at Work, contact Faye Otero at 8-7928.

With a letter from a physician stating weight loss is a medical necessity, Weight Watchers at Work classes are an eligible medical flexible spending account expense (food is not included). This could include weight loss needed to control diabetes, high blood pressure and other weight-related medical issues. For more information contact the Employee Benefits Corporation, Marquette’s FSA administrator, at 1-800-346-2126.

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14. Free group fitness classes offered tomorrow

The Department of Recreational Sports is offering free group fitness classes tomorrow, Feb. 25.

The classes are free to members. The cost is $2 for faculty and staff who are non-members to enter the facility and participate in the classes:

• Zumba at 1 p.m. at the Rec Center
• Spin at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at the Rec Center
• Total Body Burn and Flexibility at 3 p.m. at the Rec Plex
• Change It Up To Shape It Up at 4 p.m. at the Rec Center

Call 8-6979 for more information.

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