Travel Course Opportunity

by Andrea Biklen

Dr. John Bolen will be leading a travel course to Japan in early summer 2014. Over the years that Dr. Bolen has taught the Japan: Kimonos and Blue Jeans course, many students have expressed an interest in travelling with him to Japan. We are offering an opportunity for you to join his travel course.

Dr. Bolen has written this description of the trip: “We are flying to Fukuoka, Japan on June 1 where we will spend six days, and from which we will travel by bullet train to Hiroshima and spend the day. We will also visit The Shrine of Tenjin, the 150 tall Jibbu Kanen, Canal City, and attend a baseball game. We will then travel by bullet train and spend three days in the ancient capital of Japan, Kyoto. Kyoto is known for its beautiful gardens and temples.  Then we will fly back to the States on June 11 from Osaka, Japan.  We will also have an opportunity to meet adult students at Fukuoka jo Gakuin, where I used to teach.  We will see Japanese gardens, temples, castles and so much of the Japanese culture.”

The course dates will range between May 27 and July 17, with the actual travel occurring June 1-11. Preliminary costs are estimated to be $4700, which include: all travel, lodging, $60/day for meals, and the baseball game. Anyone participating in this travel course will be registered as a student. The class can be taken for 4 credits ($1420) or can be audited for 1 credit ($184).

If you have any interest in this travel course, Dr. Bolen will be holding an information session in early December. Even if you are not a current student at Simpson College, you can take advantage of this travel opportunity. Call 515-309-3099 for more information.

New Name; Same Service and Quality

Over the past few years, adult learning programs at Simpson College have been known as Evening, Weekend & Graduate Programs. Recently our name has changed to the Division of Continuing & Graduate Programs. The change comes after careful consideration based on the way prospective adult students search for programs online. We reviewed the names of over 100 similar programs nationwide and determined this to be among the most widely recognized names for adult learning programs.  As always, we continue to focus on convenience, flexibility, quality, and affordability to meet the needs of our adult learners!

Important Upcoming Dates – Term 2 2013

LEP Information Session, Thursday, November 14th, West Des Moines Campus

The Life Experience Portfolio Program provides a way for students to translate their experiences to college credit through completion of a life experience portfolio. Credits awarded are not a value judgment of the student’s experience. These credits reflect an evaluation of the similarity of those learning experiences to learning that typically occurs through study in a liberal arts college. The Life Experience Portfolio Workshop will help adult students understand the steps to portfolio development. Additional information regarding this option is available at any Evening, Weekend & Graduate Programs office.

Free Transitions Course, December 5th, 12th and 19th, Ankeny, Indianola, and West Des Moines Campuses

Transitions is a free course for adults who are considering a return to college. This three-night orientation session will introduce you to adult students, faculty and staff, provide answers to all of your questions about earning a part-time degree, and includes a tour of each campus. A detailed agenda with dates, locations and topics to be covered is available here.

Commencement Ceremony, Saturday, December 14th, Smith Chapel, Indianola Campus

We wish to congratulate all Continuing & Graduate students who will be graduating this December.  Congratulations on your achievements!

Spring ’13 Classes Start, Saturday, January 11th

It’s the start of Spring and Term 3!  If you haven’t registered yet, it isn’t too late to do so now.  Check out our schedules and class options here.

Remembering Ryan Woodward: A Classmate’s Tribute

ryanWhen Ryan Woodward (1989-2013) passed away in a swimming accident in September, I wanted to find a way to remember him within our Simpson community. With his contagious smile, Ryan was a friend to everyone he met. He was a junior in the Continuing & Graduate Programs, double majoring in marketing and management. The first class Ryan and I had together was Corporate Finance. In a class with a total of three students we quickly formed a bond and kept each other accountable and provided support needed to finish the course. Devoted to his family and friends, Ryan’s love for children and education led him to a position working at the Indianola Child Care Program and as a one-to-one associate at Wilder Elementary. Ryan will be remembered for his sense of humor, love of family, faith in God, and of course–his smile.

by Korey McKasson

The Changing World of Insurance – Forum Event

The Changing World of Insurance

Keith Hennessey, CLU, LUTCF

Tuesday, November 12

3:30 p.m.

McNeill Hall, Pioneer Conference Room

Come listen to Mr. Hennessey as he discusses the topics of casualty and liability insurance.  The changing nature of the insurance industry will also be analyzed.  This lecture is part of the Personal Financial Management series.

Faculty Spotlight – James Poulsen

How long have you been teaching at Simpson and what do you teach?

I’ve been teaching Discovering Music for 23 years. I started teaching part-time in 2000 and it worked up to a full-time schedule in 2003. I teach music theory, ear training, Discovering Music, and piano lessons, plus I currently accompany 23 voice majors.

Do you work outside of Simpson? 

I teach some private piano lessons in my home; I play a jazz piano gig almost every Friday and Saturday night and sometimes Sunday. I play church piano and organ every Sunday morning.

What makes teaching at Simpson unique?

Actually, the exceptional music program and music faculty, but especially the excellent students the program brings in. A large part of what I do is accompany voice students so I get to hear some great singing voices 2-3 hours a day.

What do you enjoy most about working with adult students?

When you teach, you learn something new or different almost every week; adult students bring a different perspective to class. I enjoy hearing about a different artist, band, or type of music that someone mentions to me during or after class. My favorite thing, of course, is when someone gets interested in a classical composer or piece of music that they thought they wouldn’t be interested in at all.

You have had a very interesting career in music. Would you please tell us a little about the experience?

I’ve done a lot of things in music—even though I’ve always been a classical pianist first, I played in various bands from age 15-36, sometimes full-time. I almost got a record deal with CBS American records in the mid- 80’s, but that fell through with our agent. I composed music full-time for commercials and business films from 1991-2003 and I’ve done a few jingles since then. I even scored a full-length horror movie that was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005. I’ve had 4 commissions for orchestral works with the Des Moines Symphony and I’ve had works also performed by the Dubuque Symphony and the Waltham Philharmonic in Boston recently. I’ve written a number of art songs that are often performed by Simpson students and faculty and elsewhere around the country.

Please tell us about your family and how you like to spend your free time.

I’ve been married to Lori 28 years and we have two children, 17 and 13. Our son is coming to Simpson next year. I accompany my kids when they perform on sax or violin in recitals or music contests.

Please Welcome Stacy Lindsley

The Division of Continuing & Graduate Programs Welcomes Stacy Lindsley, Administrative Assistant for the Indianola Campus


How long have you been working at Simpson?

5 years. I started part-time in the Theatre Department. I started working full-time in the Continuing and Graduate office in August.

What does your job entail? 

I am the administrative assistant for the Continuing & Graduate Programs office in Indianola. When guests come into our office, I am the first person they see. I assist both Liz Glodek, the Indianola campus director, and Rosemary Link, the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. I do a number of various duties; clerical, admissions, retention, data entry, and student registrations just to name a few.

Where are you from?

I was born in Rock Island, Illinois, but I graduated high school from Oskaloosa, Iowa. I now live in Indianola with my husband, Jim and our two children, Alex and Megan.

What do you enjoy most about working with adult students?

I love seeing them begin a new journey with their continuing education.

Please tell us about your family and how you like to spend your free time.

Our kids keep us pretty busy these days. Alex is a senior and is involved in all sorts of activates at the high school. We are busy now trying to get him ready for college. Megan is busy too. Both of them are involved in music and acting.

As for me, I mostly just run to their activities these days. When I’m not running around I like to bake and do crafting. I used to have my own bakery but now I just bake for family.

I am an 80’s gal through and through. I love old 80’s movies and music from the 80’s. My favorite more current movie would probably be Wedding Date. I know, kind of sappy.

Welcome, Stacy, we are very happy to have you on the team!

An Introduction by Katie Princehouse

Fall has always been my favorite time of year… football games, apple orchards, pumpkin spice lattes, jeans and sweatshirts weather. The Indianola campus is simply stunning right now with the changing colors of the leaves. It’s the time of year that our staff are gearing up for the spring semester…

In my role as the Director of Enrollment, I have the privilege of helping prospective students learn about Simpson College and assisting with them throughout the admissions process. I enjoy getting to know them and hearing the reasons people make the decision to either start or continue their educational journey. We call this our students’ “Why”.

Your “Why” comes in many variations: seeking career promotions, the desire to graduate from college before your children do, after experiencing a major life event such as marriage, a move or new job, or simply finishing to conquer a personal goal.  Whatever your “Why” is, acknowledge it, remember it, write it down and reflect on it from time to time. As life happens and the balancing act of college, school, work, family gets to be too much, school will most likely be the first to go. When you are able to take a breath of relief, take that moment to remember your “Why”. It’s what motivated you to return to college…let it motivate you to finish your degree.

Wishing you a safe and wonderful holiday season,

Katie Princehouse

Student Life in London: Is It Really That Different?

After living in London for a few weeks, I’ve realized that my notion of the people was completely wrong. From my study of the culture before arriving, I generally thought that people would be pretty quiet and keep to themselves. English culture values privacy. So naturally, that is what I expected. And I suppose there is some degree of privacy, but things are a lot different in the university setting.

When I actually met my UK flat mates for the first time, I was kind of scared. I was an outsider, coming from a country and state were people are pretty darn friendly. I guess I wasn’t worried that people wouldn’t be friendly; I just honestly didn’t know what to expect. But now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure a lot of what I was reading wasn’t talking about students at university. I guess I judged things too soon.

To my surprise, the students here are similar to students in the United States.  Really one of the only differences I have found between our cultures is some of the language. I was prepared for dealing with the privacy of their culture, but I wasn’t as prepared for the language. They speak English, so I didn’t really think there would be a whole lot of differences in language. I mean, what could be that different if it is the same language? I forgot to consider the use of everyday sayings though.

I remember being at the Fresher’s Fair the first week. That’s like Roehampton’s equivalent of the student activities fair. At one of the booths they were doing a raffle for washing up. It was the Christian Union booth, so at first I thought it meant feet washing or something. But when I asked, which probably made me sound like an idiot, I found out that what they refer to as washing up in the UK is what we call doing the dishes in the US. It’s a subtle difference, but one that really confused me at first.

There are a lot of things that are different at university in the United Kingdom. Just look at some of Kate and my previous posts. The students though? If it weren’t for the accents and the lack of people wearing sweats everywhere (or trackies as they are called here), I’d probably forget I wasn’t in the states.

Maddie Besack awarded BBB Grant

Madelyne (Maddie) Besack was awarded a Beta Beta Beta Research Grant for her project “Characterization of Wnt Pathway Disruption on Axis Patterning in Nematostella vectensis”. Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society, recognizes projects from select undergraduate student members of the honor society on the basis of a research proposal reviewed by regional directors.

Maddie and her research partner, John Greaves are continuing their work on this exciting line of investigation in a novel model organism, Nematostella vectensis, the starlet sea anemone. This simple organism holds a unique branch point on the tree of life and may hold keys to understanding the molecular regulation of traits shared with more complex animals, including humans. This project aims to further characterize the cellular events that regulate axis formation in this organism and to better understand how intracellular signaling molecules in the Wnt pathway, when disrupted by pharmacological agents, alter morphogenesis in these organisms. This team’s preliminary data show severe disruption of axis specification and in some cases we observed duplication of the axis with dramatic consequences for the embryos.

This project has also been supported by a Better FUTURES for Iowans grant from the University of Iowa for undergraduate research, and the Iowa Science Foundation (J. Brittingham).

Other recent Beta Beta Beta Research Grant award recipients from Simpson College include John Greaves (2012-2013) and Allison Boardman (2008-2009).