Oglethorpe Filmmakers to Compete for $10,000 National Prize

A team of Oglethorpe University student filmmakers has been selected to advance to the final round of the Campus Movie Fest (CMF) Fan Choice Award, presented by Western Digital. The team will be among a group of the best student-created films nationwide, competing for a chance to win $10,000.

The team accepts their CMF award at the Oglethorpe University Red Carpet premiere event

The team accepts their CMF award at the Oglethorpe University Red Carpet premiere event

Nearly 500 movies from 11 colleges were in competition within the southeastern group, with only five movies selected to advance to the final round of national competition. Also advancing from Oglethorpe’s district are University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, and The University of Tampa.

Oglethorpe’s winning team, originally named The Ugly Sweater and The Onsies, and recently renamed Nine Cents Broke, include: Amanda Turner ’17, Sonny Pimentel ’16, Elizabeth Kirkwoork ’18, and Audrey Stradler ’18, all of whom are studying studio art, photography, and video/film, as well as Jack Bishop ’17 and Amanda Ake ’17, both English majors, and Miranda Lotufo ’18, Victoria Lindbergh ’17, and Kieran Flake ’17, all theatre majors.

Amanda Turner, editor and spokesperson for the group, was overwhelmed at the honor of being selected, saying, “it’s pretty amazing to suddenly win something as big as Campus Movie Fest. I don’t think any of us knew how we were going to do or what we were up against. I think a few us were crying with joy.”

Members of the team will be making the trip to Los Angeles, Calif. in June where their movie “[fixed.echoes]” will be shown along with 19 other top voted films from three other voting groups across the country, in competition for the $10,000 price.

Good luck, Team Nine Cents Broke!

 

 

Students Uncover Long-Lost Elephant Bones on Campus

This week, as Oglethorpe students were digging beds for a community garden, a student’s shovel hit what was, at first, believed to be a rock. However, upon removal and closer examination, it was revealed to be a bone. And, not just any bone, a colossal ELEPHANT bone!

Elephant-boneYes, students have found the remains of the infamous elephant of Oglethorpe legend. For those who have not heard the story, in November 1941, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was performing in Atlanta. Sadly,18 circus elephants were poisoned by what was later determined to be arsenic. An ingenious professor in the Oglethorpe medical school,  Dr. Barnard, had one of the elephants hauled to campus and placed behind Lowry Hall, where Philip Weltner Library is located, for use in his comparative anatomy class. As the animal began to decay, a hole was dug next to the body and buried. When they were finished, no one thought to document where, exactly, the beast had been buried. So, for 74 years, the animal’s bones had stayed hidden!

So, now we’ve got an elephant in the room. April Fools! While it is true that there was, in fact, an elephant dissected and buried on campus, the bones have yet to be uncovered. The elephant remains remain hidden … for now.

Oglethorpe Professor Named to “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire”

hebbarCongratulations to Dr. Reshmi Hebbar, assistant professor of English at Oglethorpe, who was named to NerdScholar’s 2015 list of “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire”. She is among professors from across the country recognized for the positive impact they have made on their students.

Honorees were selected based on their ability to captivate and engage students in the classroom, their outstanding involvement on campus and in the community, and their overwhelming passion for their subject matter. Nominations were collected through student, alumni, and faculty recommendations following an open call to several hundred colleges and universities nationwide.

Dr. Hebbar was nominated by Dr. Glenn Sharfman, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who recognized her as a “dynamic, engaging, and passionate teacher” with a “deserved reputation for excellence in the classroom.”

“The best professors do more than teach. They leave impressions on our lives that change the way we think, work and view the world around us. These 40 professors are doing just that, demonstrating the difference between good and great.”  – NerdScholar

NerdScholar is the higher education branch of NerdWallet, a consumer finance website that helps people make better decisions when it comes to their money. NerdScholar offers advice and resources specifically for college students. Their free website walks students through the process of choosing a best-fit college, applying for financial aid, taking out student loans, and landing a job.

Read more about Dr. Hebbar’s selection to NerdScholar’s “40 under 40″.

Einstein Makes an Appearance at Oglethorpe

photo by Travis TaylorIn celebration of the 100th anniversary of our campus, Oglethorpe University has put one of its rare treasures on display: Albert Einstein’s handwritten manuscript, “The Experimental Confirmation of the General Theory of Relativity,” on view through April 30, 2015 in the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art (OUMA).

The manuscript, penned in 1920, was written by Einstein by request from his colleague Robert Lawson, an English physicist. Lawson was in the process of translating Einstein’s 1917 work, “Relativity: the Special and General Theory” and asked Einstein to give him observational proof of general relativity for the 1920 English edition. The exact documents Einstein gave to Lawson are now being exhibited for a special few months, exclusively here on campus.

Thornwell Jacobs

Dr. Thornwell Jacobs, President of Oglethorpe University, 1915-1943

Oglethorpe came into possession of the documents in a unique way that spans back to its founding in 1835. Oglethorpe originally had its roots in Midway, a town near Milledgeville, Ga. Because of the Civil War, the school closed for a while. However, Thornwell Jacobs, a generous and well-educated Presbyterian minister, was determined to restore the school. He had grown up hearing stories about Oglethorpe from his grandfather, Ferdinand Jacobs, who had been a faculty member there, and it became his dream to someday reopen the school. A skilled fundraiser, Thornwell Jacobs raised enough money and interest to organize a Board of Trustees for the college by 1912. With land donated by the Silver Lake Park Company and the help of Atlanta architectural firm of Morgan Dillon and Downing, Oglethorpe University at last reopened in 1915 and welcomed 45 students in 1916. Serving as president of the university through 1943, Jacobs accomplished many things, including launching the Crypt of Civilization and establishing a medical school. Jacobs was a true Renaissance man with a talent for writing that led him to found and publish The Westminster Magazine. He will always be remembered for his detailed letters and amazing ability to positively influence others.

As for the Einstein manuscript, it was given to Oglethorpe University by alumna Nellie Jane Gaertner ’34 in 1982. She was the daughter of Herman Julius Gaertner, one of the first faculty members appointed when Jacobs re-opened Oglethorpe at its current Atlanta location in 1915. The manuscript had been retained by Lawson for some years before it was acquired by Herman Julius Gaertner, a professor of German and Mathematics. Oglethorpe is lucky to posses the manuscript as most of Einstein’s work now resides at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel.

Jordan Michaels_Holly Bostick_John Tilford

Students Jordan K. Michels and Holly Bostick examine the manuscript with OUMA Collections Manager John Tilford.

OUMA Collections Manager John Tilford helped to illustrate the historical context of the manuscript’s creation, as well as the history of Einstein’s expansive archive. He relied on a number of rarely-seen images of Einstein and his colleagues, including personal secretary Helen Dukas and Professor Otto Nathan, both co-trustees of Einstein’s literary estate. According to John, Helen Dukas preserved Einstein’s papers for decades before they were given to Hebrew University after her death, and for this, scholars and historians owe her an enormous debt.

“Staff and faculty of Division III (Natural Sciences), OUMA, and the Philip Weltner Library, with the enthusiastic input and support of OU students, came together seamlessly to present the manuscript and a rich program of lectures, films, and other events,” says Elizabeth Peterson, director of OUMA. “We are grateful for a Georgia Humanities Council grant which supports these activities and thrilled to again be part of the Atlanta Science Festival.”

The Einstein exhibition has generated robust student involvement with interest from scholars of all disciplines and departments. Students from a variety of majors including physics, theatre, English, and philosophy came together to participate in a group reading of Einstein’s Dreams. Additionally, Oglethorpe University senior and physics major Antonio Mántica leads “A Tour through Time”, during the week of the Atlanta Science Festival. His presentation will explain the historical and current understandings of how time functions and how we can use that knowledge to inform our experience of it. Other events include three film screenings and discussions about Einstein-related movies, and an evening of astronomy with Fernbank Science Center astronomer April Whitt.

“The manuscript should be viewed in person to truly appreciate its uniqueness as each word, diagram and calculation, including a few corrections, were all penned by Einstein’s own hand,” says Tilford. “Anyone can read the transcribed text in print and digital formats but the power of the handwritten documents must be witnessed first hand.”

Ariana Feiner is a writer and a student at Oglethorpe University. She enjoys art history and recently published her first children’s book, Ariana Rose: A Story of Courage.
This online story was adapted from an assignment for her journalism class.