Your Hendrix Odyssey

Fall 2005 Odyssey Grants

Hendrix Odyssey Program
Project Funding
Fall 2005

This fall, the Committee on Experiential Learning selected 14 student and 11 faculty proposals as the first recipients of Odyssey Program project grants. These diverse self-designed projects range from wonderfully creative efforts on campus (including an art installation, a photographic display, and the creation of a coral reef environment) to exciting travel programs that reach across the globe from Japan to Ghana, from Istanbul to London. More than 100 Hendrix students will be involved with these projects. In the spring, additional grants for summer and fall will be awarded.


S. Thomas Christie
Project:  “Images from Abroad: Student Perspectives”
Category:  Artistic Creativity
Sponsor:  Prof. Maxine Payne

Thomas Christie will create an exhibit of photographs taken by Hendrix students who studied abroad during the 2004-2005 school year. Each photograph will be accompanied by a short written statement, which will allow the participants to reflect upon their experiences overseas and inspire other students to investigate study abroad options. A skilled photographer, he will work to attractively showcase the pieces and increase his abilities in matting and framing photographs of various dimensions. Christie will also host the opening reception and coordinate publicity for it. The exhibit will be on display in the gallery of the Odyssey Office, which is home to the Study Abroad Library.  Regarding the project, Christie says “Many other schools in the country have similar displays of student photographs from their time abroad, and I hope it will set a precedent for similar exhibitions in future years.”

Christie is a senior mathematics and international relations and global studies major from Little Rock.

Thomas Dornhoffer
Project:  “Creating a Coral Reef in D. W. Reynolds Hall”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Dr. Linda Gatti Clark

Thomas Dornhoffer’s project isn’t a simple, one-semester affair. He’s committed for up to two years as he converts an aquarium in the lobby of D.W. Reynolds Hall into a coral reef ecosystem. He brings a decade of experience with aquariums and six years of dealing specifically with marine reef aquariums as he undertakes the project. He will work in two phases, first converting the existing aquarium into a reef tank and then maintaining the system with the assistance of an “Aquarium Club” that he will establish. His goals are to create an aesthetically pleasing aquarium that is thriving from a biological standpoint, to use it as a research resource for chemistry and biology majors, and to present a model for environmental sustainability.

Dornhoffer currently has a 10-gallon reef tank in his dorm room and is one of the 75,000 active members of ReefCentral, an on-line community of reef keepers. Dornhoffer is a freshman from Roland.

Steven Duerringer
Project:  “Passing It On”
Category:  Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor:  Dr. Jerry Mayo

Steven Duerringer is half the man he used to be—literally. He once weighed more than 330 pounds and achieved a dramatic 150-pound weight loss without any formal instruction or physician guidance. His resultant struggles with anemia and protein deficiencies opened his eyes to the difficulties of undertaking such a lifestyle change alone. With his new expertise in weight-loss and nutrition, he will work with Jacob Williams, who has a goal of losing two hundred pounds. Duerringer will provide weekly guidance in nutritional education, behavior modification and other activities to give Williams the support he needs to meet his goal. Duerringer will keep a video documentary and photographic slideshow of their results. He will also create a plan for his own weight-loss consulting business that he will submit to the Arkansas Governor’s Business Plan competition.

Duerringer is a senior economics and business major from Kingwood, Texas. Williams is a sophomore from Alma.

Daniel Feild
Project:  “Engaging Heidegger: A Study of Martin Heidegger’s Destructive Critique of the Western Tradition in Light of the Post-Modern Occasion”
Category:  Undergraduate Research
Sponsor:  Dr. Lawrence Schmidt

Daniel Feild’s project is to reevaluate the work of the German philosopher Martin Heidegger in light of the criticism brought to bear upon him by post-modernist deconstruction. To hear the most up-to-date trends in the debate over Heidegger’s work, Feild attended the October 2005 meeting of the Society of Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy. Sessions that brought together the foremost scholars of Heidegger and post-modernism gave him a framework to create his own research paper, which he plans to submit to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

Feild is a senior philosophy major from Little Rock.

Ingrid Geisler
Project:  “Reevaluate, Research and Rebuild Glaze Kiln”
Category:  Professional and Leadership Development
Sponsor:  Prof. Erik Maakestad

Award-winning artist Ingrid Geisler will take charge in rebuilding the gas glaze kiln for the ceramics studio. Although the Hendrix Art Complex is new, bricks in the existing kiln are prematurely worn and crumbling. Geisler will research the best available materials, interviewing the leaders of the regional and national ceramics communities for their expert opinions. If necessary, she’ll create a new design for the kiln, which she hopes will last 15 to 20 years. She and the Advanced Ceramics class will dismantle the current kiln and build a new one to her specifications. Geisler says, “Understanding and being able to build studio equipment is important to ceramics artists because it provides more control of the outcome of the potter’s work.”

Geisler is a sophomore from Dallas, Texas.

William Green
Project:  “Roman Catholic Immersion”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Dr. Jay McDaniel

Will Green isn’t Catholic—but he is interested in how the church relates and interacts with modern society. He plans to shadow a priest and a social worker to gain an understanding of the church. He will then have an immersion experience at St. Scholastica, a Roman Catholic Seminary and Benedictine Monastery in Fort Smith, Ark. Green’s future plans include ordained ministry, and this immersion will help prepare him for holistic leadership within a larger church.  He’ll write a paper on the Roman Catholic Church and its relationship to society, and he’ll make a presentation to the Hendrix Future Preachers of America to share what he has learned about personal ministry and church leadership.

Green is a freshman philosophy and religion major from Fulton.

Christine LeBlanc
Project:  “Individuation vs. Absorption: The Search for Identity through Shirley Jackson’s Maternal Houses”
Category:  Undergraduate Research
Sponsor:  Dr. Alex Vernon

The Library of Congress has a treasure trove of materials waiting for Christine LeBlanc. Her 30-page research paper for her Senior Thesis Seminar is about writer Shirley Jackson, but very little scholarly work exists on her. Upon Jackson’s death, her husband donated boxes of her manuscripts, papers, diaries and correspondence to the Library of Congress. Of the 51 containers in the Manuscript Reading Room, LeBlanc is interested in what nine of them hold—possible clues about Jackson’s conflicted relationship to her mother.

LeBlanc is a senior English major from Hammond, La.

Amy Mareno
Project:  “Istanbul:  The Convergence of Secular Roman and Sacred Islamic Architecture”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Dr. Rebecca Resinski

The historic city of Istanbul will be Amy Mareno’s home for a week in March. She’ll investigate Islamic mosques that were built between 1453 and 1885 to see what elements of Istanbul’s secular Roman structures were adopted into the sacred architecture. Her focus will be on architectural elements such as column structures, pedestals, arches and the use of space. Focus is the operative word, because she will record images of these structures with a digital camera to share in a Powerpoint presentation for the campus. Her itinerary includes important locations like the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, the Hippodrome, the Archeological Museum, and the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art.

Mareno is a senior religion major and classics minor from Frisco, Texas.

Ethan Moore
Project:  “Best Face Forward: Developing a Hendrix Branded, Locally Controlled and Student Run Web Presence for The Profile Online”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Dr. Alice Hines

Ethan Moore, production manager for The Profile, will combine his computer science and art skills in an interdisciplinary way as he develops a new Web site for the Hendrix student newspaper. This new site will be Hendrix-owned and operated, and will help dynamically and accurately present the Hendrix name and experience to prospective and current students, alumni and other on-line visitors. As web designer and project manager, he will be responsible for uploading each issue of the newspaper to the site.

Moore is a junior from Boxford, Mass.

Ryan Norman, Sam Henry, and Nick Pippins
Project:  “Japan Odyssey: The Kyoto Zen Experience”
Category:  Global Awareness
Sponsor:  Dr. Jay McDaniel

In January, Ryan Norman, Sam Henry and Nick Pippins will delve into Zen during a trip to Kyoto, Japan. They will live with a Zen priest and his family at a temple, meditating with monks and visiting Buddhist temples. The students also plan to participate in cultural activities that define Japan, including a traditional tea ceremony. Preparation for their Japan trip has included researching Japanese history and culture and practicing useful phrases. Norman, who founded a Zen club on campus a year ago, says, “Practicing meditation has shown me that knowledge should not exist alone, as a kind of flat knowledge, but can and should be used to enhance an experience.” And this will be the experience of a lifetime for these three students, who all share a deep interest in Japan and Zen.

Norman is a sophomore English major from Fayetteville. Henry is a freshman from Conway. Pippins is a sophomore from Austin, Texas.

Nick Pippins
Project:  “Ecologically-Spiritual Odyssey Labyrinth”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Dr. Jay McDaniel

Nick Pippins will strive for a balance between spiritual sensitivity and ecological education as he creates a design for a labyrinth on campus that represents Hendrix’s values as a church-related liberal arts college. Through interviews with faculty and staff, he’ll discover the themes and values that epitomize Hendrix. His finished product will be a large-format poster design and presentation about the labyrinth’s physical aspects as well as its spiritual themes.

Pippins is a sophomore from Austin, Texas.

Becky Revoal
Project:  “Independent Cultural Expeditions into Australian Outback”
Category:  Global Awareness
Sponsor:  Dr. John Krebs

This spring, Becky Revoal will be studying Aboriginal culture at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She will supplement her classroom experience with a cultural tour to the outback to interact with native people. On her Aboriginal-led tour, she’ll have the opportunity to learn about elements of their culture such as music, oral traditions and the Dreamtime. She’ll have a rare opportunity as an outsider to gain firsthand knowledge about the Aboriginals. She is particularly interested in the role music plays in the preservation of traditional Aboriginal culture. “My experience with native music and storytelling will be part of my senior capstone experience upon my return,” Revoal says.

Revoal is a junior music and Africana Studies major from Denver, Colo.

Matthew Sickbert
Project:  “Institutional Memory Upgrade: The Roots of Hendrix Archived for the Future”
Category:  Special Projects
Sponsor:  Rick Fought

Matthew “Frog” Sickbert will use the most up-to-date modern technologies to preserve fragile elements of Hendrix’s past. His project is to create a computer-based archiving station within Bailey Library. He’ll focus on the bound archival issues of The Profile student newspaper and its predecessor The Bulldog, which date back to 1914. He’ll scan, catalog and archive these documents. His archive will preserve these newspapers, which detail the history, culture and growth of Hendrix, and it will also be an original source for student and faculty research and for marketing materials.

Sickbert is a senior German major and religion minor from Conway.

Joey Williams
Project:  “The Art of Magic”
Category:  Artistic Creativity
Sponsor:  Dr. Jon Arms

Professional magician Joey Williams acknowledges that he can still learn a thing or two—especially when the teacher is one of the legends of magic giving a hands-on seminar. Williams will attend the World Magic Seminar to learn coin manipulation techniques from world-renowned magician David Roth. Unlike stage magic that relies on flashy costumes and bright lights, close-up magic requires a different style of performance and presentation, involving manipulation, speech skills and interaction with the audience. Williams is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and was his group’s Close-Up Magician of the Year in 2003. He also received first place honors for both his close-up and stage work in 2004. He’ll give a public magic performance on campus this spring.

Williams is a sophomore from Ward.


Dr. Kevin Asman and Dr. Robert Entzminger
Project:  “British Studies at Oxford 2006”
Category:  Global Awareness

An Odyssey grant will help underwrite scholarships for Ryan Bean and Jennifer Tate to participate in the British Studies at Oxford program. For six weeks in the summer, they will take courses at St. John’s College at Oxford University, focusing on the medieval period of British history. The program includes theatre trips to London and Stratford as well as to cultural and historical sites around Britain.

Bean is a junior history major from Fort Smith. Tate is a sophomore English major and elementary education minor from Germantown, Tenn.

Dr. Patricia Bruininks
Project:  “The Everyday Experience of Hope”
Category:  Undergraduate Research

Katie Brown, Adrienne Crowell and Devin Howington will work with Dr. Patricia Bruininks as they engage in an Internet-based longitudinal study of hope. This four-week project allows participants to report on all their hopes for a day. With the ability to pay participants for their time and offer incentive prizes, the group should have a large sample pool that includes students from Hendrix and UCA. They will examine different types of hopes ranging from the altruistic (hoping for another’s well-being) to achievement-related hopes (such as a desire to do well on a test). The three students will be actively involved in data collection, data analysis and writing.

Brown is a junior psychology major from Memphis, Tenn. Crowell is a junior from Conway. Howington is a junior psychology major and English minor from Lepanto.

Dr. Jennifer Dearolf
Project:  “Fiber-type profile and metabolic comparison of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) scalenus muscles”
Category:  Undergraduate Research

Erin Guy will travel to the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., where she’ll have the chance to interact with live marine animals. She’ll be investigating how a harbor porpoise breathes more frequently per minute and inspires more quickly than the bottlenose dolphin. Histochemical methods will be used to determine the fiber-type and metabolic profiles of the scalenus muscle in both species.

Guy is a senior biology major and chemistry minor from Rogers.

Dr. Jennifer Dearolf
Project:  “Does the diaphragm play a role in cetacean ventilation? A study of the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) diaphragm”
Category:  Undergraduate Research

Rachel Rein will travel to the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Conn., where she’ll have the chance to interact with live marine animals. She’ll be investigating if correlations exist between the fiber-type profiles of cetacean diaphragms and inspiratory times. Histochemical methods will be used to determine the fiber-type profile of the adult common dolphin, which will be compared to the diaphragms and breathing behaviors of the bottlenose dolphin and the harbor porpoise.

Rein is a senior biology major and chemistry minor from Mountain View.

Dr. Bruce Haggard
Project:  “Development of a Faulkner County Voters WEB Site”
Category:  Service to the World

Dr. Bruce Haggard is the chair of the Faulkner County Election Commission, and he saw a way that student Shlok Vaidya could serve the world—particularly the voters in our area. Vaidya will create an informative Web site for users to determine if they are registered, show maps of polling locations, provide sample ballots, give video instructions on using the new voting machines and link to political party and candidate Web sites. Vaidya will be working with political party representatives and government officials to design the site and to ensure the accuracy of the information it presents.

Vaidya is a sophomore from Austin, Texas.

Prof. Missy Irvin
Project:  “American College Dance Festival, North Central Regional Conference, University of Iowa”
Category:  Artistic Creativity

Members of the Hendrix Dance Ensemble will collaborate choreographically and musically to create a piece to perform for adjudication the American College Dance Festival at the University of Iowa. The festival allows students from across the nation to study, teach, perform, and celebrate dance. Master classes and specialized seminars will help the students develop their artistry of dance. Cellist Jeremy Crosmer has composed music for the dancers and will accompany the group. Participating Dance Ensemble members are Alisha Burrow, Lauren Cox, Natalie Dollar, Alex Graddy-Reed, Laura Grizzard, Elizabeth Lyons, Beverly Massey, Ashley McEniry, Myles Murray, Randi Profitt, Marci Raney, Jonathan Self, Sidney Williams and Hannah Wilkin. The group will present their collaborative piece during the convocation period on April 6, where the process and work will be discussed. It is also on the program for the Spring Dance Concert, April 25-26.

Dr. Kim Maslin-Wicks
Project:  “William Pitt Fessenden: The Second Financier as Senator”
Category:  Undergraduate Research

Divide and conquer is the theme for this winter break research project by Dr. Kim Maslin-Wicks and three students in her U.S. Congress course. One student will visit Bowdoin College in Maine to do archival research; the college is the main depository of the legislative papers of William Pitt Fessenden. Another student, who lives near Washington, D.C., will delve into materials in both the Senate Historical Office and the National Archives. Students Mark Ayoub, Andrew Etter, and Phil Wightman will be assigned sections of the final paper on which they will become the “resident expert.”

Ayoub is a sophomore from Needham, Mass. Etter is a junior politics major and history minor from Forth Worth, Texas Wightman is a sophomore politics major from Centreville, Va.

Dr. Jay McDaniel
Project:  “China Odyssey II:  Study Tour”
Category:  Global Awareness

Hendrix is continuing the exciting and innovative China Odyssey tour, which began last summer. This time, six students will bring the Odyssey Program to life for their Chinese counterparts at Beijing Normal University and Heilongjiang University. They will share creative and performing arts, creative essays, poster sessions on undergraduate research and Power point presentations, getting feedback on their materials. The Chinese students will learn about the liberal arts experience and participate in a cultural exchange with their guests.

Prof. Maxine Payne
Project:  “Arms/Aid (Asking Questions) Politics/Memory/Travel/Trauma: A Multi-Media Installation Workshop with John Hitchcock”
Category:  Artistic Creativity

John Hitchcock, an internationally exhibited Native American artist, will share his expertise in an intensive workshop with 15 students in March. The print and photographic studios on campus will be utilized as Hitchcock presents traditional and non-traditional image-making techniques. However, the artistic method is only part of the picture for Hitchcock. He will engage students in discussions of American consumerism, the exploitation of native peoples, American governmental policy and ideas of memory, beauty, travel and trauma. In the workshops, students will learn new printing techniques and discover how to make a work in response to contemporary political issues that engages the viewer and elicits a reaction. Working collaboratively in an installation environment, Hitchcock and the students will present an exhibition that is open to the public.

Hitchcock is associate professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches installation art and digital mixed media, silkscreen and relief printing. He will also be the first artist to act as a juror for the annual Hendrix Student Art Show.

Prof. Mary Richardson
Project:  “Model United Nations Conference”
Category:  Special Projects

Hendrix will send a delegation of 24 students to attend a Model United Nations Conference this spring. Each participant has trained and prepared for a semester to attend this major national event. Students involved in this Odyssey project are Ryan Bean, Scherry Bennett, Alexa Bessette, John Casey, Ariane Christie, William Gaskins, William Green, Nancy Henriquez, Kelly Hill, Zachery Hunter, Samuel Kauffman, Jordan Kennedy, Ken Maclean, Joseph Muller, Hichem Naar, Aaron Nachmann, Aditya Oza, MariRuth Petzing, Ben Pollitzer, Thomas Przybylinski, Mihkel Randruut, Jordan Roman, Samantha Tankersley, and Craig Thomas.

Dr. Carol West
Project:  “Ghana and West African Literature:  A Group Independent Study at Hendrix Culminating in an Odyssey Module in Ghana”
Category:  Global Awareness

After spending a semester discussing assigned readings on Ghanaian history, culture and literature, Dr. Carol West’s independent study group will travel to Africa this summer. The group will attend the African Literature Association’s annual conference in Accra/Labadi, where they will be able to hear presentations by Africa’s leading writers and scholars. They will also visit sites of literary, cultural and historical interest in Ghana that relate to the independent study’s readings and discussions. The trip includes a visit to Manhyia Palace, where the six students will have an audience with the Asantahene. In addition, the Hendrix students will meet with their counterparts at the University of Ghana in Legon. Dr. West says, “Our travels throughout Ghana will provide exposure to a variety of cultural and physical environments and to a diversity of local Ghanaians.” The six students who will experience Ghana are Tara Allison, Cara Boyd, Alisha Burrow, Heath DeJean, Rachel Dunaway and Megan Knox.