Santa Barbara Independent

A Change of Scenery for New Westmont Professor: Robert Hamel Goes From Iowa Pastor To Theater Arts

Robert Hamel, who joins Westmont as an assistant professor of theater arts this fall, was a Lutheran pastor for 25 years, but says theater has always been in his family. His wife, Susan, is a theater professional, and together they staged theatrical events in churches. Most recently, Robert organized summer theater shows in Iowa City, Iowa, raising money for ELCA World Hunger Appeal and Bread for the World. Through one show, they were able to raise funds to build a dormitory at a Tanzanian seminary. more

New Medieval Lit Professor at Westmont: Jamie Friedman Joins College As Assistant English Professor

Jamie Friedman, who joins Westmont as an assistant professor of English this fall, became fascinated by medieval studies when an English professor visited her history class to discuss Beowulf, the Old English epic poem. “He had us beat on the desks while he chanted the verse,” Friedman says. “The content of the poem and the sounds reverberated in my gut, and I was hooked.” more

Westmont Construction Complete In Time For Start: Adams Center and Winter Hall Ready for Fall Semester

Workers put finishing touches on two new buildings at Westmont College, the Adams Center for the Visual Arts and Winter Hall for Science and Mathematics, before students arrived for the fall semester. Monday, August 30, was the first day of classes. Faculty in four departments moved into their new offices in earlier this month. While dramatically improving the learning environment for students, the buildings also enhance the beauty of the campus. Workers have relocated and planted olive trees near the library entrance, which includes a path down to Adams Center. A subtle artistic, sandblasted pattern in the terrace walkway weaves around a grassy area inside the top level of Adams. Along the edges of the terraces of both buildings, landscapers have planted grasses, rosemary and salvia, and sedums, small succulents, grow atop the copper roof fascia. more

Doug Jones Joins Advisory Council for Rabobank: Westmont Administrator Will Aid Regional President’s Advisory Board

A senior Westmont college administrator has been appointed to the Rabobank Regional President’s Advisory Council for the Santa Barbara, announced Don Toussaint, regional president for Rabobank, N.A. Doug Jones, vice president for finance at Westmont, joins the 12-member advisory board. more

Westmont in Top 100 Colleges: U.S. News & World Report Names Christian Liberal Arts College #99

For the second straight year Westmont has ranked in the top 100 of the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges according to U.S. News &World Report’s “American’s Best Colleges, 2011 Edition.” Of the nation’s 266 liberal arts colleges that emphasize undergraduate education, Westmont has placed in the top tier at 99. This is the sixth straight year the college has ranked in the most prestigious group. more

Bob Wennberg 1935 – 2010: Author, Professor of Philosophy

Robert Wennberg, who taught philosophy at Westmont College for 37 years and authored several books—Life in the Balance: Exploring the Abortion Controversy; Terminal Choices: Euthanasia, Suicide and the Right to Die; God, Humans and Animals: An Invitation to Enlarge Our Moral Universe; and Faith at the Edge: A Book for Doubters—died on July 18 following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Bob’s retirement in 2005 did not keep him from continuing to write and lecture about difficult issues of morals and faith. He had earned a doctorate in philosophy from UCSB in 1973 and held master’s degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. more

Week in Sports: Bergmann Court to be Dedicated

Major league scouts and college baseball coaches will be heading to Westmont College’s Russ Carr Field on Tuesday and Wednesday (July 6-7) to observe the cream of the crop from Southern California high schools at the 2010 Area Code Tryouts. On Tuesday, tryouts will be held for Los Angeles County and San Fernando Valley region players. Tryouts for players from Orange County, Riverside, the Inland Empire and San Diego regions will be held on Wednesday. Both sessions begin at 9 a.m. and are open to the public. more

Talk Nerdy to Me: Westmont Hosts Monthly Telescope Viewing

On Friday, June 18, Westmont Observatory held a free, public telescope viewing, a monthly event hosted by the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit (SBAU). About 100 to 150 people dropped by to view Westmont’s new, research-grade telescope. The Keck telescope — not to be confused with the one in Hawaii — uses segmented primary mirrors and a 24-inch reflector, and is thought to be one of the most powerful telescopes on the Central Coast. more

Supreme Soccer: The World Cup Kicks Off in South Africa

Soccer, they say, brings out our tribal loyalties. It awakens pride. This month, when South Africa hosts the World Cup, it will also unify nations. more

UCSB Installs Emergency Alert Speaker: System May Eventually Include Four Additional Units

UCSB has installed the first of five campus communication speakers on the roof of Kerr Hall, designed to alert students and staff in the event of an emergency. The speakers have a range of 2,400 feet, and are tentatively planned to be located at the Recreation Center, Kohn Hall, Santa Rosa Hall, and the Faculty Club within the next 12 months. more