Simpson College is “très branché”

Professor Sutton’s FREN 111 class just put on the world’s best défilé de mode (fashion show).

The winner for “Fiercest Model” was Robertino. He dominated the catwalk!

Designers Zack and Esteban, of the fashion house Maison Catastrophe, presented their muse as he showed off their creations.

Simpson College est très branché (really cool and with it), n’est-ce pas?

March Math-ness: Predict the Perfect NCAA March Madness Bracket

Learn about the mid-term project in Dr. Schellhorn’s Data Science course: Simpson News Center: March Math-ness

ISU Presentation and Workshop

ISU Presentation

Time: Friday, March 20, 3:30 – 4:30 pm, room 231 Carver Science

Title: DNA Nanotechnology: The Programmable Building Block of Life


DNA is a robust, reliable molecule used by cells to encode genes. These genes then directly control the functions of cells. DNA has many advantages for storing information, such as its periodic, helical structure and its well-understood Watson-Crick base pair formation. In addition to it’s prolific use in nature for storing information, DNA is also useful for creating nanotechnology in the lab. In this talk, we will introduce DNA nanotechnology and its applications. Topics we will cover include DNA Strand Displacement, DNA Tiling, and DNA Origami. We will also discuss current research in DNA Origami being conducted in our lab at Iowa State University.


Divita Mathur. Divita is a PhD student in the Bioinformatics & Computational Biology Program at Iowa State. Her interests lie in harnessing the potential of DNA as a building material to make small (really small!) nanomachines. She believes that DNA not only holds the instruction manual for all life on Earth, but possesses the power to be a great ingredient to create useful shapes at the nanoscale. Her work focusses on finding new ways of DNA self-assembly, application of DNA nanostructures and understanding programming with DNA.

Brian Nakayama. Brian is a PhD student in the Computer Science Department at Iowa State. His research focuses on applying computational theory and methods on DNA nanosystems. He is often fascinated by the computations intrinsic to biological life, and he enjoys the interdisciplinary field of DNA nanotechnology. He believes there are a lot of open opportunities in the field for new researchers, and he is excited to share his passion for DNA nanotech with curious students.

Workshop with ISU on modeling Chemical Reactions Networks

Wednesday April 8

4 pm – 7 pm in Carver 233/233A

Titus Klinge and James Lathrop

Iowa State University

Laboratory for Molecular Programming (LAMP)

Biochemical Reaction Networks (BRNs) are often used to describe systems of chemical reactions and the rules by which the reactants combine and form product chemicals. It has recently been discovered that arbitrary BRNs may be realized by DNA nanostructures and thus allowing programmers to create BRN programs that compute with matter. In this hand-on workshop participants will learn to use Matlab and the SimBiology package to enter and simulate BRNs. Participants will further learn how to build BRNs to compute some common functions found in computer science. If time permits, participants will learn the basic ideas behind verification and will use the SMART verification tool to verify a few simple properties of a BRN.

PiK Run is Tonight!

You are invited to come to the second annual PiK Run!

When: Monday March, 16th at 7:00pm

What: 3.14 kilometer run (about 2 miles)

Where: The run begins and ends at Carver Science

  • FREE pie from Funaro’s to eat following the run
  • Gift Cards to Funaro’s for winners!
    • 1st place: $30
    • 2nd place: $20
    • 3rd place: $10

Sponsored by the Math Club and the Triathlon Club

Funded by SGA

“The Suit Song” in French!

Have you have heard of “The Suit Song”? It’s the song that Barney Stinson sings on How I Met Your Mother to extol the virtues of formal dress for men. It’s ridiculous and hilarious. Enjoy it here.

Well, Prof. Sutton’s French 111 class has a couple of versions of their own!

In class, we did a Battle of the Suits, wherein the women and men divided into separate groups to write songs about the superiority of the “complet” (men’s suit) or the “tailleur” (women’s suit).

Then our very own class member and opera singer Zack Brown put the songs to music. The results are amazing…and much more élégant than even Barney could ever be!

Version 1: “La chanson du tailleur” (The Song of the Women’s Suit)

Video here:

Lyrics (by Kayley Zimmerman, Kelsie Tomlin, Kelsey Walkup, Briza Flores, and Valeria Trabattoni):

Le tailleur

C’est le meilleur

Parce que seulement les jeunes qui s’amusent le portent


Qui sont ennuyeux

Ne reconnaissent pas

La haute couture

Parce que la femme a changé le style du tailleur

Pour se voir meilleur


Version 2: “La chanson du complet” (The Song of the Man’s Suit)

Video here:

Lyrics (by Spencer Hook, Robert King, Zack Brown, and Esteban Sierra):

Ne pas porter un polo

Ne pas porter une robe

Si vous voulez être élégant

Portez le complet avec les gants

Les hommes portaient le complet premier

Votre tailleur vous fait ressembler ma vieille grand-mère

Mon complet est plus que ton tailleur

Je me vois comme un homme et tu te vois comme une fleur

There are some amazingly talented writers and performers at Simpson – and we are lucky to have some of them in our French classes!


Simpson College is looking for energetic, people-oriented individuals to be on-call for evening, overnight and week-end shifts in the Office of Security. This position performs a variety of safety, enforcement, and crime prevention tasks for the College, including: regular foot patrols; responding to emergencies and calls for service; documenting incidents; performing proprietary investigations; providing traffic control and parking enforcement; assisting with campus safety computer records and reports; and providing crime awareness education. The work schedule will include holidays.

Minimum qualifications: High School diploma, valid driver’s license; successfully pass background review, including criminal and driving history; obtain and maintain CPR and First Aid certification; familiarity with computer applications; and have basic knowledge of campus environment; security experience preferable.

It is the policy and practice of Simpson College to provide equal educational and employment opportunities for all. We specifically encourage applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.Apply in person to the Director of Human Resources, Hillman Hall, College, 701 North C Street, Indianola, IA 50125. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled.

Posting Date: 3/2/15

Breaking Stereotypes in Spanish Professor Tracy Dinesen’s “Media and Culture” course

As part of Spanish Professor Tracy Dinesen‘s “Media and Culture” course, students are interrogating stereotypes and creating their own statements showing how they break stereotypes in their own lives. Below, they share their messages:

"I play videogames but I'm not lazy, unmotivated, or messy"

“I play videogames but I’m not lazy, unmotivated, or messy”

"I'm involved in campus activities but not to pad my résumé"

“I’m involved in campus activities but not to pad my résumé”

"I'm a feminist but I don't hate men"

“I’m a feminist but I don’t hate men”

"I'm a woman and I am my family's breadwinner"

“I’m a woman and I am my family’s breadwinner”

"I'm a Christian but I support gay marriage"

“I’m a Christian but I support gay marriage!”

"I'm a college student but I don't go our partying every weekend"

“I’m a college student but I don’t go out partying every weekend”

"I am Mexican and I feel Mexican but I wasn't born in Mexico"

“I am Mexican and I feel Mexican but I wasn’t born in Mexico”

"I study elementary education but I'm intelligent"

“I study elementary education but I’m intelligent”

"I live in the USA legally"

“I live in the USA legally”

"I'm blonde but I'm not dumb"

“I am a blonde but I’m not stupid”

"I'm Mexican and I'm educated"

“I’m Mexican and I’m educated!”

"I'm Latino and I don't want to be macho!"

“I’m Latino and I don’t want to be macho!”

"I'm a determined woman but I'm not a 'b**ch'"

“I’m a determined woman but I’m not a ‘b**ch'”

"I'm a nerd and I embrace it"

“I’m a nerd and I embrace it”


Department of Multimedia Communication

Big changes in the media industries mean a new name for what used to the Department of Communication & Media Studies at Simpson.

The college’s Multimedia Journalism and Public Relations students are now part of the newly named Department of Multimedia Communication.

Macy Koch, a Simpson College alumna in Public Relations, tells Introduction to Public Relations students about her work with Brand Driven Digital.

Macy Koch, a Simpson College alumna in Public Relations, tells Introduction to Public Relations students about her work with Brand Driven Digital.

The need for the name change stemmed from confusion in regards to actual areas of study and what exactly “media studies” entailed.

“We had people wanting to major in media studies, but that isn’t actually a program,” assistant professor Mark Siebert said. “Multimedia Communication better reflects what we do here.”

The fields of study covered in the department are Public Relations and Multimedia Journalism. Neither of the programs seemed to show through the former department name, making it confusing for students looking into either major at Simpson.

The department previously restructured its curriculum by forgoing the Integrated Marketing Communication field for a Public Relations designation instead. The next step came in the form of a name change to finish out the needed adjustments.

The program was originally named the Department of Communication, then became the Department of Communication Studies in 1991, the Department of Communication and Media Studies in 2005 and now the Department of Multimedia Communication.

Multimedia Journalism senior Ben Rodgers interviews New York Times Magazine reporter Emily Bazelon as part of her appearance on campus.

Multimedia Journalism senior Ben Rodgers interviews New York Times Magazine reporter Emily Bazelon as part of her appearance on campus.


The department went from having a general major and minor in communication to having 3 programs in speech, journalism and corporate communication. Now there are majors in Multimedia Journalism and Public Relations.

Brian Steffen, chair of the department, and fellow professors could see the need for a change and implemented this change in order to target the right crop of students based on interest in multimedia communication practices.

“The change in name is designed to more accurately represent what we teach at Simpson. We want to attract the best students who are interested in studying journalism and public relations in the 21st Century, and we think our new brand will help us reach out to them.”

Brittany Rempe, a senior in Public Relations, said the change helped unify the curriculum with the department itself.

“It fits our hands-on approach here at Simpson,” Rempe said. “We’ve gone from studying communications to a more practical kind of learning.”

The difference between the hands-on learning of Simpson’s Multimedia Communication department and general communications departments of other institutions are apparent when students get into the workforce and have to apply their knowledge to an actual job.

For Simpson students, the hands-on elements make them more prepared and skilled when stepping out of the campus bubble. And these skills can be learned in one place: the Department of Multimedia Communication at Simpson College.

Bryan Summer Research Program Projects Announced!

Here are the projects for the Bryan Summer Research Program 2015:

  • Dr. Rick Spellerberg will lead a project on modeling the spread of Palmer amaranth, a fast-growing herbicide-resistant weed in Iowa, and
  • Dr. Don Evans will lead a project on detecting the electrical activity of the brain in EEG data.

Visit the Bryan Summer Research Program webpage for more details, including how to apply (applications are due Friday, February 27).