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Monday, April 8, 2024


Continued Conversations on Interdisciplinarity

Following the announcement at the April Faculty Meeting, we would like to provide a few updates on Carleton’s efforts to bolster interdisciplinary inquiry. First, we wanted to provide the summary of themes that emerged from January’s summit on interdisciplinarity. Over 70 faculty attended the event, and the discussions that took place were robust and wide-ranging. Many thanks to all who participated. 

In addition, we wanted to provide a sketch of the task force on interdisciplinary teaching and learning. We are currently in the process of reaching out to faculty who might be interested in the work either as a part of the core team or as a part of the second phase of the work. We anticipate that the core group will be in place shortly as they get to work on the task force’s central charge. 

Finally, we wanted to alert faculty to three follow-up discussions that will be taking place in light of some of the main themes that emerged from January’s summit. Initially, we will host a conversation with faculty who are involved in interdisciplinary programs that offer majors in order to better understand the challenges that our current programs face and to solicit other suggestions on how we might address these systemic issues with revised policies and/or more resources. One subsequent conversation will center on new models of collaborative teaching that we might pilot in the future. As part of this conversation we will imagine newer models for Carleton’s A&I seminars for first year students. It is not at all given that we will move away from our current A&I model, but the Strategic Direction suggests that we at least consider alternative models, particularly ones that might introduce students to the opportunities a liberal arts education provides them in their first term at Carleton. A third conversation will focus on different interdisciplinary programs we do not currently offer at Carleton but that we might consider in light of the College’s values and priorities. These are not the only follow up sessions we will offer, but they are likely to be the only ones in the spring term. We hope to see you at one or more of these gatherings. 

Tornado Drills on Thursday, April 11

April 8-12 is National Severe Weather Awareness Week. Each day of the week features information about a different aspect of severe weather awareness. Thursday, April 11th is Tornado Awareness Day. We will conduct our annual severe weather drill on April 11th at 1:45 pm. The drill will involve a CarlAlert broadcast simultaneously with Rice County’s weather sirens. The CarlAlert will broadcast over network screens: If you are connected to the ethernet, eduroam, or the VPN, the CarlAlert will interrupt your screen for about a minute. The drill allows you to practice evacuation to your building’s storm shelter. You can locate your building’s storm shelter on the Security Services website. Look for the Emergency Quick Guide button on the right side of the homepage and use the Emergency Shelter Areas dropdown.

Spring Construction: I-35 and Highway 19

A six-legged roundabout is scheduled to be constructed at the northbound I-35 ramps and Highway 19 interchange. Construction will begin this April and is expected to continue through the fall. More information about this project is available on the MNDOT website.

Library Film Requests

Starting Monday, April 15, please direct any film requests to Claudia Peterson, Head of Reference and Instruction. This includes requests for new acquisitions, as well as for assistance identifying a potential streaming option for your course.

Learn Mindfulness and Meditation

Want to learn simple ways to manage stress, sleep better, be more present, and/or be less self-critical? Consider learning mindfulness this Spring Term through Koru Mindfulness courses.

Spring Term Mindfulness Courses

Koru Mindfulness Basic is a four-session, small group workshop involving discussion and facilitated meditation. Tuesdays during Weeks 3, 4, 5, 6 @ 1:30-2:45pm.

Koru Mini (NEW!) is a 30-minute session with one meditation and a quick check-in/check-out each week. Tuesdays Weeks 7, 8, 9, 10 @ 2:00pm-3:00pm.

Meditation Retreat: A half-day silent retreat on Midterm Break: Monday, April 29th @ 1pm-4:30pm.

For more information & registration, see the Koru webpage.

Nominations for 2024 Honors Convo Prizes and Awards

Dean of Students Office Awards

The Dean of Students Office is seeking nominations for recipients of eleven awards/prizes announced during Honors Convo.

Seniors are eligible for the following prizes/awards: Scott Tyler Bergner Prize, Dana Award for Personal Achievement, David John Field Prize, Second Century Student Award, Stimson Prize, Technos International Prize, Mary Wiese Endowed Prize, and Dacie Moses Award.

The Maitland-Will prize is for current sophomores only. The Mortar Board prize is for current first-year students.

Juniors, sophomores, and first-year students are eligible for the Class of 1966 Diversity of Achievement Award. The monetary award is for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Nominations for the awards listed above should describe how the student fits the criteria listed for the specific award/prize you identify. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 12.

Jean Schmidt Prize

It’s time to make nominations for this year’s Jean Schmidt Prize, established in memory of Jean Schmidt ’73 who died in a bicycle accident four days after her graduation from Carleton. It is awarded annually to that student of the graduating class “who best exemplifies Jean Schmidt’s enthusiasm for learning and love of people.”

Nominees for the prize should exhibit three qualities similar to Jean’s, as follows: 1) Her enthusiasm for learning showed itself not so much in her grades, though she was a fine student, as it did in her whole approach to her studies. She was eager to learn, open to new ideas, excited about her studies and personally involved in them. She took great delight in discussing her work with others outside of class as well as in, and 2) above all was determined to draw connections among the fields in which she was interested (in her case, especially biology and classics). 3) Her love of people was clear not only from her winning warmth and friendliness, but also in more fundamental qualities: she had a quick instinct to understand what another person was going through, worked always to bring out the best in others, and was most willing to give of herself.

If there is someone whom you would like to nominate, please note the procedure to be followed— this is different from all other Carleton prizes!

  1. Find three persons who are willing to write on behalf of your candidate. The three must be any members of the Carleton community; but one at least must be a current student in any class, and one a member of the faculty. One of them may be you yourself. The nominator must organize the letter writers; the selection committee cannot undertake to do this job for any nominator or candidate.
  2. Make sure that your three letter writers all have the link to the nomination form so they can submit their letters on-line and write with the terms of the award in mind.
  3. Letters of nomination and support should state why the nominee would be an appropriate recipient of the prize in terms of Jean Schmidt’s personal qualities as described above in the second paragraph. (Please read it very carefully, noting that this prize is based neither upon a lofty GPA nor a dazzling résumé.) Please submit letters using the on-line nomination form—by our deadline of Monday, April 15th, or earlier if at all possible.

Jean Schmidt’s greatest interests were in biology and classics; and so traditionally a committee of students and faculty from these two departments reads the letters and decides on a winner. The committee will meet to decide right after the deadline date so that the recipient’s name may be sent to the Provost’s Office by their deadline. Therefore the deadline of Monday, April 15th, is firm.

Please see the Classics Department website for the Jean Schmidt Prize Nomination Form. Chico Zimmerman will be happy to answer any questions at x4233 or by email.


Reminder: Student Departmental Advisers

Each year, one or two seniors serve departments (or programs) as SDAs. These Student Departmental Advisers help inform students about courses, prerequisites, college and departmental requirements, and so supplement information and advice available through advisers and published materials.  It is now time to identify your SDAs for 2024-25. 

A complete description of the responsibilities of SDAs can be found here. The specific roles that SDAs play vary significantly from one department to another. But, in general, one might think of a good SDA as a student who: 

  • knows the department and its curriculum well, 
  • is responsible, 
  • communicates clearly with both students and faculty, 
  • would represent the department well as an “ambassador” to other students, job candidates and other visitors, 
  • is enthusiastic and eager to be a “booster” for the department. 

The only College-wide requirements are that all SDA’s must: 

  • have a 3.0 GPA and 
  • be in residence and enrolled throughout their senior year (it is possible to make exceptions to this policy in the case of departments or programs with very few senior majors/concentrators).

SDAs will have to be available for a brief orientation during New Student Week in the fall.  The exact date and time will be announced to all newly selected SDAs this May. Note that SDAs serve the College as volunteers. 

Please select your SDA(s) for the 2024-25 year and send their names and email addresses to: Becky Krogh (bkrogh@) by Thursday, April 25. If you have any questions about the selection of SDAs, please contact Yansi Perez (yperez@).

Preparing for Advising in Workday

The Provost’s Office and the Registrar’s Office are offering several ways for you to get familiar with Workday as you prepare for Advising Days this Spring.

Workday Information Opportunities

Yansi Pérez will be hosting training sessions on Workday for Academic Advisers:

See which tasks to do in Workday and which to do in our legacy systems this Spring on our Transition Timeline.

Learn more about specific functions in Workday by exploring Workday Help and the SEAMS Training Website.

Advising Quick Links

Grants and Fellowships


Mental Health First Aid Certification

Want to feel more confident in supporting people who are experiencing mental health challenges? Sign up for a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training this term! Mental Health First Aid trainings are open to all students, faculty, and staff at Carleton. The training is a full 8 hours in length, and will be held on Midterm Break: Monday, April 29. Visit the MHFA webpage for more information and to register. Questions? Contact OHP via healthpromotion@carleton.edu.