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Nine Westminster Science Teams Compete in "Geek Week"

Nine teams representing six sciences at Westminster College recently competed in the second annual "Geek Week."

 The teams included: The Most Awesome Physics Ever; the Lab Gnomes/Titrating Titans team represented both biology and chemistry; The Really Super Ultra Microtones and the Greek Geeks both represented biology; the Denominators, the Primes, and Heavy Duty were three teams that represented math and computer science; and Slow Reaction represented chemistry.

 "Monday night was the chemistry event," said Aaron Bruck, a junior chemistry major from Grove City and one of the coordinators of the event.  "It was an around-the-world style of game that tested contestant's knowledge of basic chemistry.  Slow Reaction won that game."

 Tuesday's game of psychology jeopardy featured questions based on psychology and neuroscience ideas.  The Greek Geeks won that competition.

 "Wednesday night was the math/computer science event," continued Bruck.  "The teams took part in a scavenger hunt throughout Hoyt Science Resources Center.  They were looking for people with questions to give them the next clue.  The fastest team through the set of questions was the Denominators."

 "Thursday was the physics event.  It was an egg drop with a twist.  The teams had to first take a quiz on the basics of physics that determined which materials they received to make their contraption," Bruck said.  "If the contraption made it to the ground without breaking the egg, the team received the full amount of points.  The Most Awesome Physics Ever won that event.

 The last event was held Friday with a biology hunt.

 "In this event, teams were given a compass with a set of directions.  With the directions, they were to find a person who was hiding.  This person had a question for the team to answer that gave them the clue to win the game.  The fastest team was Lab Gnomes," Bruck said.

 Following the competition, contestants were treated to pizza and drinks.  The top two teams with the most points were The Most Awesome Physics Ever and Lab Gnomes/Titrating Titans.  The students also voted Dr. Helen Boyan, assistant professor of chemistry at Westminster College, the "Geek Professor of the Year."

 For more information, contact Boylan at (724) 946-6293 or e-mail

CT-Scan to Unwrap 2,300-Year-Old Westminster Mummy Mysteries

Pesed, Westminster's 2,300-year-old mummy, will have her mysteries revealed with a CT-scan Tuesday, June 21, at 7 p.m. at College Fields MRI in Neshannock Township. 

 â‚¬Å“The CT scan will provide details to help generate a rapid prototype of Pesed's skull,€? said Dr. Jonathan Elias, director of programs and exhibits at the Whitaler Center for Science and the Arts in Harrisburg.  €œA rapid prototype is carefully edited CT-information in a software environment capable of producing a 3-D model of the mummy's skull for purposes of forensic reconstruction.€?

 The forensic reconstruction will be performed by renowned forensic sculptor Frank Bender of Philadelphia.

 â‚¬Å“Mr. Bender's skill has been sought after by police departments nationwide,€? Elias said.  €œHis portraits are developed so closely 'to the bone' that they have helped to solve many famous crimes.€?

 The results of Pesed's first CT-scan in August 2001 revealed that among other things, she was 55-65  at the time of her death, had given birth to at least one child, had a degenerated condition of the lumbar vertebrae, and an amulet lodged in her armpit.

 â‚¬Å“While Pesed is out of the display case, we will get hair samples, which will be analyzed and hopefully tell us something about Pesed's diet, which may have contributed to her osteoporosis,€? said Dr. Samuel Farmerie, curator of cultural artifacts at Westminster College. 

 â‚¬Å“We hope to shed light on the magical plate tucked under her arm,€? Elias said.  €œWe hope to reveal the script.€?

 In 2001, Pesed traveled to Harrisburg to be part of €œEgypt: Untold Journeys,€? an exhibit at the Whitaker Center.  While there she underwent several studies, including a CT-scan, x-rays, and radio-carbon dating, which revealed that Pesed's mummification took place between 300 and 220 B.C.

Pesed has called Westminster home since 1885, when she was donated to the College by The Rev. John Giffin, an 1872 Westminster graduate who was working as a missionary in Egypt.   She was professionally restored by Jane Gardner of the Carnegie Museum thanks to the energy and fund-raising effort of Susan Grandy Graff, a 1985 Westminster graduate who tackled the project during her undergraduate years.

 Elias and Farmerie played a major role in forming the Akhmin Mummy Studies Consortium, which is funding this imaging.

 More information about Westminster's mummy is available at

 The media is invited to view the transfer of Pesed to a Westminster van at 6 p.m. at the Mack Science Library located at the Hoyt Science Resources Center.  She will be transferred by pallbearers: R. Thomas Williamson, president of Westminster College; Matt Hosie, a 1949 Westminster graduate and resident of New Wilmington; Dr. Clarence Harms, Westminster professor of biology emeritus; and Charles Schwahn, a friend of Farmerie from South Dakota.  Media is also invited to view the imaging. 

Contact Farmerie at (724) 946-7053 or e-mail for more information.

"Cotton Patch Gospel" Coming to Westminster April 7 and 9

"The Cotton Patch Gospel" will be performed by the Westminster College Chapel Drama group, Friday, April 7, at 8 p.m.  and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel.

 "The Cotton Patch Gospel" is an adaptation of Clarence Jordan's book of the same name.  It grew out of Jordan's desire to communicate the gospel he loved with the people he grew up with in the cotton patches.  The musical play recasts stories of Jesus and the letters of Paul and Peter into the language and culture of the mide-20th century south.  The play is not a conventional musical, but it is abundant with music by the late Harry Chapin.

 The play is free and open to the public, but there will be a free will offering to support Westminster College campus ministry programs.

 Contact the Westminster College Chapel Office at (724) 946-7115 for more information.

Faculty Forum Continues at Westminster College

Dr. Fritz Horn, professor of English emeritus at Westminster College, will present "Teaching: Making Student Evaluations Work for You" Wednesday, Sept. 17, at 11:30 a.m. in the McKelvey Campus Center.

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Westminster College Announces Dean's List

More than 470 Westminster College students earned a listing on the Dean's List for the 2000 fall semester.

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Westminster College Announces Faculty Promotions and Tenure

The Westminster College Board of Trustees has awarded promotions and tenure to five faculty members effective July 1.

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Professor to Discuss Fulbright China Seminar

Dr. Amy Camardese

Dr. Amy Camardese, Westminster assistant professor of education, will discuss the "Fulbright China Seminar" at Faculty Forum Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 11:40 a.m. in the Sebastian Mueller Theater in the McKelvey Campus Center.

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Westminster College Hosting Cold War Speaker

Dr. Charles Skinner, who recently retired from the State Department after 27 years as a foreign service officer, will speak at Westminster College Thursday, April 26, at 4 p.m. in room 131 of Patterson Hall.

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Professor Makes Presentation at International Conference

Dr. David Goldberg

Dr. David Goldberg, Westminster College assistant professor of philosophy, presented a paper at the sixth meeting of the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities held Jan. 11-14 in Honolulu.

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