ETCETERA - 03/06/11

Whitman alumna/NASA astronaut returns to WW for speech


NASA astronaut Dorothy "Dottie" Metcalf-Lindenburger will return to her old Walla Walla stomping grounds as the highlight of the March 26 Great Explorations adventure.

As keynote speaker, Dottie will give a presentation called Dream BIG, Work Hard at noon in Cordiner Hall on the Whitman College campus. It is a free community event, according to the Walla Walla Public Schools Week in Review.

Short anecdotes about her childhood and school years illustrate how she began dreaming about space and how she later pursued a career in science, eventually becoming an astronaut.

She will also talk about what the crew accomplished on April 5-20, 2010, on the mission to the International Space Station.

Dottie earned a bachelor's in geology and graduated with honors and cum laude from Whitman in 1997. She was a science teacher in Vancouver, Wash., when she was selected as a NASA Educator Mission Specialist in 2004.

In February 2006 she finished Astronaut Candidate Training, which included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training.

Completion of this initial training qualified her for technical assignments within the Astronaut Office and future flight assignment. She served as the Astronaut Office Station Branch lead for systems and crew interfaces. In 2010 she was a mission specialist on the crew of STS-131 and has logged over 362 hours in space.

Great Explorations is a science, technology, engineering and math adventure for fifth- through eighth-grade girls. It will be at Whitman from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. March 26, presented by the Walla Walla Branch American Association of University Women.

Before Dottie's presentation, girls will have the opportunity to attend three workshops offering informal, hands-on experience and parents/educators are encouraged to attend a two-part panel discussion.

For registration or scholarship details or questions on any of the events, contact Carol Morgan,, 525-3531, or visit the AAUW website at

By presidential proclamation, March has been proclaimed Red Cross Month to honor the lifesaving work the organization does throughout the year.

Residents can show their support and celebrate by donating blood and encouraging their friends to do the same, according to a release.

Appointments to donate blood in the community may be made through the American Red Cross at 800-733-2767 or online at .

Dates this month are from 1-6 p.m. March 15 at Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, 6 W. Rose St.; and 1-6 p.m. March 16 at Eastgate Church, 380 N. Tausick Way.

Red Cross helps save lives on a daily basis by managing nearly half of the nation's blood supply. Every two seconds someone needs blood in America. The commodity must be readily available for accident victims, those undergoing routine surgeries, others with rare blood disorders and premature babies, the release said.

Any healthy person age 16 (age 16 and 17 with signed parental consent) or older and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. Valid identification is required for all donations.

Several teachers in the area received Spring 2011 Mini-Grants from Walla Walla/Columbia School Retirees Association.

The $100 awards are presented to active members in school districts throughout Walla Walla and Columbia County, said Linnea Keatts, mini-grant chairwoman.

Members submit applications for the grants and 10 are selected in a drawing five each in fall and in spring.

Grant ideas have included selected books for classes, field trips, supplies for special projects, awards for students, and digital picture frames to showcase students and teachers in Administration Buildings (Dayton and WW).

Winners include Jodi Gradwohl, kindergarten, Prescott School District; Laura Berg, preschool, Dixie School District; Renee Wilhelm, kindergarten, Columbia Burbank /Elementary; Margaret Yount, music teacher, Lincoln Alternative High School; and Terri Gilbert, dual language fourth grade, Sharpstein Elementary.

WWCSRA is an affiliate of the Washington State School Retirees Association.

Fort Walla Walla Museum's 44th season calendar is filling up, said Paul Franzmann, communications manager.

Current volunteers and those interested in volunteer opportunities may attend this year's orientation session at 10 a.m. March 24 in the Grand Hall of the Museum's Entry Hall & Exhibit Galleries, 755 Myra Road

In addition, members of the Living History Company will meet in costume at 2 p.m. March 27 at the museum for 2011 individual and group promotional photos.

A retrospective and special exhibit by artist Norman Adams is currently on exhibit there, along with special exhibit Honoring the Red, White and Blue: Patriotic Beadwork of the Plateau People.

Visiting hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 31. Admission is $7 for adults; $6 for seniors 62 and up and students; $3 for children 6-12; and free for those under 6. For more details, contact 509-525-7703 or and online, see .

Narcissa Prentiss Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution will award Union-Bulletin reporter Sheila Hagar the DAR Excellence in Media Award.

It acknowledges the outstanding work of a local news reporter and is the first time for the chapter to present the award.

Chris Crowder, chapter regent and Ann Bachtold, women's issues chairwoman, will present the award to Sheila on March 18 during a luncheon meeting at the Walla Walla Country Club.

DAR is a world-wide non-profit, non-political, women's volunteer service organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Membership is open to any woman 18 years and older who can prove a direct lineal descent to a patriot of the American Revolution. For eligibility details, contact Chris at 529-0899 or

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or afternoons at 526-8313.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in