CONWAY, Ark. (October 16, 2013) – Hendrix will honor three
outstanding Hendrix alumni with the Hendrix Odyssey Medal at Founders Day 2013
on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 11:10 a.m. in Staples Auditorium.
The Odyssey Medal is awarded by the Hendrix College Board
of Trustees to alumni whose personal and professional achievements exemplify
the values of engaged liberal arts and sciences education.
2013-14 honorees include:
Liz Langston ’84 – Odyssey Medal for Artistic
Charles H. “Chuck” Chalfant ’81 – Odyssey Medal for
Professional and Leadership Development
Derek Lowe ’83 – Odyssey Medal for Research
Liz Langston ’84
Liz Langston, a film writer and producer, is co-founder and
executive director of the 48 Hour Film Project, the world’s oldest and largest
timed filmmaking competition. Each year more than 58,000 people from 120
cities around the world compete to see who can make the best film in only 48
hours. In the 48 Hour Film Projectʼs 12
years, more than 21,000 films have been made by 330,000 people. Before
she reached the point where her creative endeavors allowed her to quit her “day
job” she was a researcher at the Urban Institute and Pacific Institute for
Research and Analysis in Washington, D.C. Langston earned a bachelor’s degree
in international relations from Hendrix and a master’s degree in applied
psychology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1988. She now
lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Charles H. “Chuck” Chalfant ’81
Chuck Chalfant is president and CEO of Space Photonics,
Inc. (SPI), an Arkansas-based optical communications company. A native of
Booneville, Ark., Chalfant earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Hendrix
College and a master’s degree in laser physics from the University of Arkansas,
before moving to California to work for Lockheed Space Systems. He later joined
the R&D division of Optivision, a small high-tech company founded at
Stanford, and in 1996 moved his family back to Arkansas, while continuing to
work for the company. In 1997, he and several Optivision colleagues formed
Optical Networks Inc. The company experience rapid growth and when the decision
was made to take it public, Chuck started Space Photonics, Inc., an optical
communications company. More than a decade later, Space Photonics remains a
successful privately held company, and Chalfant is now leading the company’s
pursuit of commercial laser communications solutions for the wireless
information and rural broadband infrastructure. In his career, Chuck has
led more than 20 optical product development efforts in his career, and
authored more than twenty publications. SPI is now one of the
world’s leading innovators in optical communications technologies. SPI’s
patented LaserFire® laser communications systems were recently licensed
and are now in production by world-renowned innovator and manufacturer SCHOTT
for military and government markets.
Derek Lowe ’83
Derek Lowe is a research fellow at Vertex Pharmaceuticals
and writes the “In the Pipeline” weblog. A native of Harrisburg, Ark., Derek
earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Duke University in 1988. He then landed
a prestigious Humboldt Fellowship to study in Darmstadt, Germany, for a year.
After returning to the U.S. in 1989, he worked at Schering-Plough in New Jersey
doing research on schizophrenia and Alzheimer's. In 1997, Lowe began a decade
of work for Bayer Pharmaceuticals in Connecticut, working on diabetes,
metabolic disorders, and cancer. After Bayer closed its North American research
operations, he moved to the Boston/Cambridge area to work for Vertex
Pharmaceuticals. At Vertex, his work has focused on antibacterials, antivirals,
and multiple sclerosis. He is currently part of a group investigating
"undruggable" targets of all kinds. In 2002, Derek started a blog
site about drug discovery, chemistry, and other scientific news that is now the
oldest continuously-running science blog on the internet, garnering about
20,000 page views a day. He also writes a monthly column for Chemistry World, a magazine published by
the Royal Society of Chemistry in Great Britain, and a monthly column for Contract Pharma, a U.S. trade
publication. Lowe presents frequently at national and international
conferences, and has an extensive list of scientific publications and more than
25 patents to his credit.
The medal recipients and their guests will be honored later
that evening at a reception at the Clinton Library in Little Rock.
Nominations for the 2014 Odyssey Medals are due Dec. 31,
2013 and may be emailed to email@example.com.
For more information and a nomination form, visit www.hendrix.edu/odysseymedal.
Founded in 1876, Hendrix
College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education.
For the sixth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country’s “Up and
Coming” liberal arts colleges by U.S.
News and World Report. Hendrix is
featured in the latest edition of Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will
Change the Way You Think about Colleges, as well as the 2014 Princeton Review’s
The Best 378 Colleges, Forbes magazine's list of
America's Top Colleges, and
the 2014 Fiske Guide to Colleges. Hendrix has been affiliated with the United
Methodist Church since 1884. For more information, visit www.hendrix.edu.