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Student-faculty collaborative research and new trustees highlight October board meeting

November 06, 2014

Red wine isn’t just for drinking anymore, according to research being conducted by Assistant Professor of Chemistry Casey Jones and two of her students. In a presentation at the October meeting of the Board of Trustees, the three scientists talked about their work to transform one of wine’s natural properties into a treatment for coronary heart disease.

Also at the October 31 meeting, which coincided with the start of Homecoming and Family Weekend, the trustees welcomed two new members and elected two others, toured the newly renovated Juniper Residence Hall and the Center for Entrepreneurship’s newly-opened eLab, received an update on career services at Lewis & Clark, and heard from each of the deans.

Professor Jones, senior McKenzie Batali, and junior Julian Harris explained their research into attaching resveratrol, a natural compound found in red wine, to coronary artery stents, creating safer and more effective implants. Their work, which could have significant biomedical and clinical benefits for thousands of patients every year, exemplifies the sophisticated research that students conduct with faculty at Lewis & Clark. The three have presented their findings at several academic conferences, including the national meeting of the American Chemical Society. 

The Board welcomed new members Heidi Hu B.S. ’85 and Tony Abena B.S. ’86 to their first meeting. Hu, joined by Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez, provided an update on the Career Development Center at a joint meeting of the Academic Affairs and Campus Life committees. They summarized the center’s programs for engaging students in career planning throughout their four years at the college and identified the center’s dual focus of expanding internships and opportunities for students while strengthening relationships with employers.

Trustees also saw two examples of innovation in action at Lewis & Clark. They toured Juniper Hall, transformed this summer by an extensive green-building renovation that retained the distinctive midcentury exterior while creating an interior that fosters a stronger community. They also visited remodeled space in J.R. Howard Hall that is now home to the Center for Entrepreneurship and heard a presentation from student entrepreneurs as well as Academic Director Brian Detweiler-Bedell and Managing Director Michael A. Kaplan. 

At the plenary session, trustees were updated on Lewis & Clark’s policies and practices regarding Title IX and sexual misconduct. The presentation was made by David Ellis, vice president, secretary, and general counsel; Melissa Osmond, associate director for health promotion; and Dean Gonzalez. Lewis & Clark complies fully with Title IX and is implementing additional initiatives to strengthen its education, outreach, and support services for students and the entire campus community.

The Board also elected William Schaff and James Spencer to memberships beginning October 31, 2014. Bill Schaff is the founder, CEO, and principal owner of Phocas Financial Corporation in Alameda, California, and a founder of a charter school for students in grades six through eight. He and his wife, Cynthia, are members of the Parents Council. Jim Spencer graduated from Lewis & Clark in 1985 with a B.A. in history. He has worked extensively in international high technology and is the owner of Vin De Garde Wines Ltd. in Portland. In 1997, he and his parents, Edson W. and Harriet Spencer, established the Spencer Family Overseas Study Scholarship at the college.

In other meeting highlights:

  • Deans of each of the three schools reported enrollment and fundraising data since the Board’s meeting last May.
  • Amy Dvorak, sustainability manager, updated the Board on the programs and initiatives that have earned Lewis & Clark national recognition as a leader in sustainable practices.
  • The Board passed resolutions of appreciation honoring Wes Lawrence and Pat Markham for their service as trustees, and a resolution of tribute to the late Richard Geary, a former member of the Board of Trustees.