ATLANTA — Agnes Scott College’s 2009 first-year class is the college’s largest in five years and its most diverse ever. The class is expected to be the fourth largest in the history of the college, according to Agnes Scott records dating back to the 1920s.

The college also received more than 2,000 applications, its highest number of applications ever for the fall. While final numbers won’t be available until after the fall semester begins, roughly 244 first-year students are expected to attend Agnes Scott this fall, up from a previous five-year high of 229 in 2005.

This year’s class of first years at Agnes Scott is 10 percent international (a significant increase over previous years) and has more than twice as many Latinas (non-international), rising to 16 students from 7 in 2008. International students hail from countries all over the world, including Myanmar, New Zealand, China, El Salvador, Vietnam and Haiti.

ALMA, Mich. — The National Science Foundation has granted $150,000 to Alma College for research that could eventually lead to the development of more effective drugs to treat and prevent certain kinds of influenza, including human infections of swine and avian flu.

The three-year grant through the NSF’s Research in Undergraduate Institutions (RUI) program will involve both faculty and students in the synthesis of a new generation of neuraminidase inhibitors that principal investigator Jeff Turk believes will provide new information to guide the future development of antiviral drugs.

“It’s very refreshing to know that external agencies like the NSF are interested in funding undergraduate research,” says Turk, assistant professor of chemistry at Alma. “Although the likelihood of finding a cure for cancer, HIV or even avian flu at an undergraduate institution may not be high, these kinds of grants are significant because of the contributions to science that we can make, coupled with the invaluable impact on student learning. It’s very exciting.”

The grant will provide funding for travel, materials, supplies and stipends for faculty and students.

GLENSIDE, Pa. — Arcadia University announced the July 1 formation of three new colleges organized around Arcadia's strengths in study abroad, curriculum internationalization and real-world learning experiences.

  • The College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences — combines traditional liberal arts studies with real-world, integrative learning experiences through immersion with other cultures, internships, fieldwork, research with faculty, applied learning opportunities, creative endeavors, and Capstone projects.
  • The College of Business, Health & Sciences — health care, science and business programs that make the world a laboratory by providing real-world, integrative learning experiences through study abroad, internships, experiential fieldwork, evidence-based research, problem-based learning, simulations and Capstone projects.
  • The College of Global Studies (formerly Arcadia's Center for Education Abroad) — study abroad programs and a wide range of academic programs, a co-curricular learning program and certificate, international internships, faculty and student exchanges, research programs, and service learning projects — with more than 100 programs in 14 countries.

JACKSON, Miss. — In response to the growing Christian classical education movement, Belhaven College introduced a Classical education major, a degree program for students who seek to serve in classical Christian schools as teachers or administrators, desire a strong foundation in the liberal arts and seek to learn in an environment that promotes a biblical worldview.

The Worldview Curriculum, Belhaven’s unique core curriculum that integrates the biblical worldview into a chronologically ordered, seamless humanities curriculum, undergirds the Classical education major. The new major will also train students to become competent in oral presentations, learn how to plan a curriculum and integrate multimedia into the classroom.

POINT LOOKOUT, Mo. — While students at the College of the Ozarks have had opportunity to receive pre-professional training in culinary arts, they will soon be able to receive a Bachelor of Science or Arts degree in the field.

Beginning this fall, the Hotel/Restaurant Management and Family and Consumer Science departments are jointly offering a culinary arts major composed of classes such as “Classical Cuisine,” “Menu Development” and “Food Safety and Sanitation.”

For more information on the Culinary Arts Program, please contact Jerry Shackette, Walter L. Green Chair of Hotel and Restaurant Management, at (417) 239-1900 or by email.

DAVIDSON, N.C. — This summer Davidson College’s E.H. Little Library began converting from the Dewey Decimal System to Library of Congress (LC) Classification.

The departure from Dewey will put Davidson in step with a majority of academic libraries. Public libraries remain the primary users of the Dewey Decimal System.

In coming years, 400,000 of the library's volumes will need to be reclassified. Planning for the daunting task has been underway since the beginning of the past academic year.

The transition is worthwhile largely because of LC’s universal call numbers, which make it possible for new books to arrive from the vendor shelf-ready, complete with barcodes and call numbers.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — Thanks to an innovative partnership between Illinois College and the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), 23 students are completing internships that will provide valuable on-the-job experience each can apply toward future careers.

The IBHE awarded a $29,944 Cooperative Work Study Grant to Illinois College earlier this year to underwrite the 2009 internships. That sum has been matched by the college and a select number of participating employers in order to underwrite paid internships for each IC Explorer, said Susie Drake, director of career services at the college. The program is now in its eighth year.

In addition to being paid for their internship, IC Explorers receive the option of free summer living accommodations and academic credit toward graduation. The internships also provide a network of local contacts within the students’ chosen field, thus enhancing employment options after graduation.

ST. PAUL, Minn. — When Macalester College decided to invest in a new home for the Institute for Global Citizenship (IGC), a program to educate and engage students to be global citizen-leaders, college leaders knew that it was critical that the building itself be designed and constructed in ways that demonstrate global leadership.

Reflecting that commitment, Markim Hall is the college’s first, and only the second higher education facility in the state, to be built with the goal of obtaining the LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. It is also the first building in St. Paul to be built to these standards.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Platinum is the highest level of certification. Only 12 college campus buildings in the United States have earned platinum-level certification.

Markim Hall will be officially dedicated following a campus-wide convocation Oct. 1. The $7.5 million, 17,000 square foot facility houses the Institute for Global Citizenship, civic engagement, study abroad and international programs, faculty and staff offices, meeting rooms, and an open atrium for campus events. Donors funded the entire project.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. — The Board of Trustees at Pikeville College has announced the appointment of former Kentucky Gov. Paul E. Patton as the 18th president of the college.

Patton replaces interim President Boyd R. Buser, vice president and dean of the Pikeville College School of Osteopathic Medicine. Buser served as interim president following the resignation of Dr. Michael Looney.

A member of the college’s board of trustees for nearly 30 years, Patton is a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership at the college. Since the medical school’s inception more than a decade ago, Patton has been a leading supporter, describing it as a “true Kentucky effort and a true Kentucky success.” Both Patton and former First Lady Judi Patton, a Pikeville College alumna, have established offices at the college, recreating the governor’s office as an historical exhibit available for students, historians and other visitors to campus.