Archive for Wednesday, February 2, 2000

Baker Briefs

February 2, 2000

Baker Professor Peers into universal beginnings

A professor at Baker University is delving into the history of the universe thanks to NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Keith Ashman, assistant professor of physics, and his collaborators from Yale University and California Institute of Technology have been awarded three NASA grants worth almost $1 million to study globular cluster systems in the universe. Each grant runs for three-to-five years. Time on the Hubble Space Telescope also is included in the grants.

"What we're looking at when we talk about a globular cluster is basically a collection of stars," said Ashman. "Since most globular clusters are determined to be quite old and are found in a majority of galaxies, it is believed they are among the first items to form when a galaxy is created and they reflect the physical conditions present when the galaxy began. What isn't known, however, is how globular clusters begin."

Ashman hopes his studies will show how globular clusters are formed, evolve and how they can be used to probe the formation of their host galaxies.

A galaxy is a large collection of stars, interstellar gas and dust. The Milky Way galaxy contains the sun, Earth and planets, as well as about 100 billion other stars.

"We look upon globular clusters as kind of a fossil record of the galaxy they are a part of," said Ashman. "By studying them we can establish when and how galaxies, including our own, form and evolve."

The Hubble Space Telescope will take photos of four elliptical galaxies 50 million light years away. Because the telescope is in place outside of the Earth's atmosphere, it is better able to detect ultraviolet light. This form of light is absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere and almost impossible to detect with a ground-based telescope.

Art Show features monumental art in small packages

Good things are arriving in very small packages at Baker University, as entries begin to come in for the Orton International Cone Box Show. The show begins in February at Baker.

The show features ceramic art pieces from around the world. They are intricate, delicate and no larger than 3 inches x 3 inches x 6 inches, the dimensions of the Orton Standard Pyrometric Cone Box. Ceramic artists use pyrometer cones for monitoring temperatures inside the kiln during the firing process. Entries will be accepted until Feb. 14.

Inge Balch, professor of art at Baker, is curating the show. She expects to receive about 600 entries from 20 different countries.

"It's really an honor for the university to host an international art show of this magnitude," Balch said. "Not only will work from around the world be judged by a distinguished panel, the show also has strong roots in this area."

Lawrence artist Bill Bracker, who died in 1993, began the Cone Box Show in 1975 while he was a professor at Purdue University. Bracker and the Orton Cone Box Company wanted a show that demonstrated the beauty of small ceramic pieces and decided to limit the size of the show's pieces to the standard Orton Cone Box. The national show moved to Lawrence in 1977, but was discontinued in 1979.

Baker resurrected the event in 1994 the first time entries were solicited from overseas. Baker has presented the show every other year since then.

Winning entries will be displayed Feb. 29 through April 7 in Baker's Holt-Russell Gallery in Parmenter Hall. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The show's opening reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 29, at the gallery. Gallery hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday. The gallery is closed Saturdays and will be closed for spring break March 12 through 18. The winners also will be featured at the 34th Annual Conference of the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts held in Denver in March.

This year's jurors are Nina Hole, a ceramic artist from Denmark; Richard Notkin, a ceramic artist from Helena, Mont.; and Jeff Oestreich, a studio potter from Taylor Falls, Minn.

Baker's Founders Day set for Feb. 17

Baker University celebrates its 142nd birthday on Feb. 17 and is commemorating it with a guest lecture.

The day honors Baker's founding in 1858, as well as its connection to the Methodist Church. Founders Day is dedicated to discussing issues related to Baker's denominational background.

The Founders Day celebration begins with a convocation and then a lecture by James Gustafson at 11 a.m. Feb. 17 in Rice Auditorium. Gustafson will discuss the new ethical choices the public and institutes of higher learning will be forced to make in the future in his lecture "Who or What Are We?"

Gustafson is ordained in the United Church of Christ and is one of the leading Christian ethicists and scholars of our day. He is also the great-uncle of Baker senior Sarah Johnson, of Lawrence.

Gustafson also will lead a clergy workshop at 1:30 p.m. The workshop is called "The Intellectual Context of Ministry" and will address historical relativism, the universal claims of Christianity and Christianity in the pluralistic world.

Baker student essays accepted for conference

Five essays by Baker University students have been accepted for presentation at the Sigma Tau Delta conference.

Sigma Tau Delta is the international honor society for students majoring in English. The conference is an opportunity for students to present their work to other members of the society and society sponsors. The conference is March 2 in Savanna, Ga.

The students participating are:

Amy Cink, Baldwin City, senior in biology and English, "The Immorality of the Way of the World;" Moira Ozias, Downs, junior in English, "Uniqueness, Dynamism, and God's Immanence in Hopkins's Poetry;" Leah Haney, Lawrence, junior in English, "A Long Fall From Grace;" Laura Leffler, Shawnee Mission, sophomore in English and theatre, "Spiritual Liberation Through Discovery of Paralysis;" and Brendan O'Bryhim, Wichita, senior in English and secondary education, "Two Readings of Heart of Darkness."

Baker students selected to Who's Who

Baker University's School of Professional and Graduate Studies has had 16 students selected for the 2000 edition of "Who's Who Among American Universities and Colleges."

Campus nominating committees and editors of the annual directory have included the names of these students based on their academic achievement, service to the community, leadership in extracurricular activities and potential for continued success. They join an elite group of students selected from more than 2,300 institutions of higher learning in all fifty states, the District of Columbia and several foreign nations.

Baker professional and graduate students listed in the publication are:

Kansas Janet A. Curtis, Auburn; Van A. Willis, Derby; Timothy C. Mitchell, Emporia; Elisabeth A. Haydysch, Kansas City; Alison M. Clark and Patricia L. Montague, Olathe; Patrick S. Cavanaugh, Ron A. Jeanneret, Vicki K. Lignitz, and Bruce E. Mallory, Topeka; Wendy M. Allman, and Curtis H. Casebier, Shawnee; Vallerie L. Gleason, and Lynette M. Pfingsten, Wichita.

Oregon Barbara L. Nordquist, Klamath Falls.

South Carolina, Laura S. Lee, North.

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