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Michael Vineyard, the Frank and Marie Louise Bailey Professor of Physics and chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, gave a talk at the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers held in Omaha, Neb. Vineyard’s talk was titled “Relativistic Electron Experiment for the Advanced Laboratory.

The senior thesis of Alex Brockwehl '11 was chosen as the first place winner

Brock Wehl


in Pi Sigma Alpha’s Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis competition. Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society, and Brockwehl’s thesis was selected as the best of all nominated theses from chapters across the country. Brockwehl is currently living in Ecuador on a Minerva Fellowship.

Also, Union’s Pi Sigma Alpha chapter won a Best Chapter award for the 2010-11 school year. The group was selected as one of four recipients among institutions with enrollments under 6,000.

Mechanical engineering professors Ann Anderson and Bill Keat and chemistry professor Mary Carroll co-authored a paper on silica aerogels with Ondrej Nikel, who attended Union in 2006-07 through the Czech Technical University exchange program. Nikel subsequently completed a master’s degree in mechanical engineering through Union Graduate College in 2009. The paper is titled “Effect of Uni-Axial Loading on the Nanostructure of Silica Aerogels.” Anderson and Carroll also co-authored two chapters in the Aerogels Handbook, which was published by Springer in July. The book is the first major text focused on both the history of, and the state-of-the-art research on, aerogel materials. The chapters are “Hydrophobic Silica Aerogels: Review of Synthesis, Properties and Applications” and “Aerogels as Platforms for Chemical Sensors.”

Gretchel Hathaway, senior director of Campus Diversity and Affirmative Action, was the guest speaker at a ceremony in Denton, Md. to honor Moses Viney, a runaway slave from Maryland who escaped to Schenectady on the Underground Railroad. Viney was a coachman, messenger and constant companion of Eliphalet Nott, the longtime president of Union who eventually secured Viney’s freedom. A portrait of Viney commissioned by the College and completed by Simmie Knox, a renowned African-American artist, hangs in the President’s Office. To learn more about the Denton ceremony, click here.

Hilary Tann, the John Howard Payne Professor of Music, was one of seven women composers featured in the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra's season-opening concert on Sept. 17. At the 2011 International Alliance for Women Composers' Congress, Tann also heard her choral work "Paradise" performed by the Shrine of the Ages Choir under the direction of renowned conductor Edith Copley. Also, Tann’s song cycle, “Songs of the Cotton Grass,” was featured in the University of North Carolina at Greensboro's New Music Festival on Sept. 27. Her solo piano composition, "Light from The Cliffs," is a repertory selection for the 2012 William Kappell International Piano Competition at the University of Maryland. She has recently completed "On Ear and Ear ..." for viola and piano as part of the Milton Babbitt Memorial Project for Perspectives of New Music and Open Space magazine.

Carl George, professor emeritus of biology, and Ellen Fladger, head of Special Collections, delivered a lecture on John James Audubon’s “Birds of America” for UCALL (Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning) in the Phi Beta Kappa Room in Schaffer Library. Union’s president, Eliphalet Nott, paid $1,000 in gold for the original four-volume set in 1844. More than 60 members of UCALL were able to view a number of the 435 plates on display. Phil Wajda, director of media and public relations, also discussed his recent article in Union’s alumni magazine about the theft of one of the volumes in 1971. Marlaine DesChamps, archival specialist, assisted with the presentation.