All posts by Ashton Hockman

Tune into Cowles Library’s new vinyl listening station and collection

On the main floor of Cowles library, about 250 vinyl records cover the shelves and are now part of the library’s circulating materials. Along with LPs for self-checkout, portable record players can be checked out from the information desk. In addition, the library added a listening station fit with a turntable and headphones.

“The record collection provides a new experience and access to materials that students, faculty, and staff normally wouldn’t stumble upon,” said Joanna Stankiewicz, access services manager at Cowles Library. “It was something that was started by the Music Department, and the library embraced it.”

The records collection moving to Cowles Library was a project that was talked about for years. When Stankiewicz arrived at the University about a year ago and was told about the project, she recognized the opportunity that the collection was. Work began in the summer of 2021 to begin the process of organizing and cataloging the collection.

“We found a Drake Alumni Choir record … I think it’s from the 1960s,” said Stankiewicz. “I would have never thought that was something we would find. There are some really fun records like the Mission Impossible soundtrack … a Nina Simone record; there’s Ella Fitzgerald.”

About 4,000 records were kept behind doors at the Dickson Media Resource center, according to James Romain, Music Department chair and professor of saxophone.

“Before there were computers and streaming, all of the media had to be physical,” said Romain. “So, for decades, the department was developing a collection of recordings, prior to the advent of the CD … for maybe about 50 or 60 years.”

The Dickson Media Resource Center was a place where students could listen to vinyl records, CDs, and so forth, housed in the Harmon Fine Arts Center.

With the reality of streaming services, the number of students visiting the Media Resource center has been dwindling through time. Especially now, as the department lacks staffing resources to catalog the materials and run the listening station.

“There is a widespread resurgence in interest in LPs,” said Romain. “I think it was Joanna who decided that this would be a nice opportunity to be able to share it with people who specifically have that interest.”

And listening to a vinyl record provides an experience more closely intended by the artist, Romain said.

“[The artists] chose the order that pieces would be in,” said Romain. “A symphony might last for 45 minutes—it’s a whole, large work that is very much related; the movements have internal relationships to one another.”

That’s not the only benefit of listening to vinyl records.

Aside from being able to digest whole stories within the albums and study the liner notes, it’s a tool that allows one to nurture the soul in trying times.

“Music can be beneficial for mental health,”said Stankiewicz. “If we can provide some quiet and relaxation, and a more holistic approach to serving campus needs, I think that’s great.”

The library is planning to expand the collection to 300 records in the next few weeks. Not to mention, the thousands more that are still waiting to be moved from the media resource center—it’s an ongoing project that’s only going to continue growing.

“We’re also looking to find out what students are interested in, and what they want to listen to,” said Stankiewicz. “Just like we do with our books, our traditional materials, we want to expand that collection and take care of it based on their interests, whether it’s educational or just for leisure.”

The record collection and listening station are located on the west side of the first floor of Cowles Library. The library created step-by-step instructions for using the turntable, since for many people, using a record player is a new experience.

— Written by Sarah Jamil, junior, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

9 tips for winter walking

Numerous injuries result from slips and falls on icy sidewalks, parking lots, roads, and other outdoor locations. Snow removal and frequent salting of these areas can help. Many times, total elimination of the hazard is impossible, and measures must be taken to cope with this problem.

What precautions can we take to reduce both the frequency and severity of injuries which result from this hazard? Being aware of the danger is very important. 

  1. Anticipate falls. Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day and melted snow refreezes at night. 
  2. Wear the right shoes. The type of footwear you have on is very important during icy conditions. Footwear should have low heels with soles constructed of a slip-resistant material.  We shouldn’t wear footwear that is not able to grip the surface we are walking on.
  3. Be careful when you shift your weight. When stepping off a curb or getting into a car, shifting your weight may cause an imbalance and result in a fall.
  4. Shorten your stride—take shorter steps. You should adjust your stride so that your center of gravity is maintained directly above your feet at all times. Walk with your feet spread further apart laterally than you would under normal conditions.
  5. Plan ahead. While walking on snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots, walk consciously. Instead of looking down, look up and see where your feet will move next to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Occasionally scan from left to right to ensure you are not in the way of vehicles or other hazards. Be careful about what you walk under.  Injuries also can result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings, buildings, etc.
  6. Use your eyes and ears. While seeing the environment is important, you also want to be sure you can hear approaching traffic and other noises. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that may prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
  7. Walk slowly on steps. When walking down steps, be sure to grip handrails firmly and plant your feet securely on each step.
  8. Avoid taking shortcuts. Shortcuts are a good idea if you are in a hurry, but may be a bad idea if there is snow and ice on the ground. A shortcut path may be treacherous because it is likely to be located where snow and ice removal is not possible.
  9. Try not to track snow into buildings. When you get to your destination, be sure to look at the floor as you enter the building. The floor may be wet with melted snow and ice. Wipe your feet off at the entrance so others won’t slip and fall on melted snow.  

— Chris Nickell, Environmental Health & Safety

In Memoriam: Walter H. Warrick

Walter H. Warrick, former CBPA professor of 22 years, passed away peacefully at his home in Annapolis, Md., on Tuesday, Nov. 1, after 96 wonderful years filled with boundless curiosity. He was not only a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, but also a professional educator, talented craftsman, historian, and petroleum engineer. He enjoyed many valued friendships along the way.

Born in 1926, he was raised during the Great Depression in South Bend, Indiana. After more than two years at Purdue University, he was drafted into the Army in the midst of WW II. He rose to the rank of sergeant within a year, and was recommended for the Soldier’s Medal for rescuing one of his men from drowning.

After WW II, he completed his Bachelor’s at Purdue, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant, and was hired into Venezuela to embark on a career in the “oil patch.”

During that time, he met his beloved wife. As his family grew, he returned to the U.S. to earn his Master’s and Ph.D. at his alma mater. He moved into academia, receiving recognition for excellence in teaching on the faculty of major universities. He ultimately held an endowed chair in the College of Business & Public Administration at Drake University.

Warrick relished the opportunity to teach undergraduate and graduate students from all over the world at Drake for 22 years. He took great pleasure engaging and enlightening students through his active, Socratic style in the classroom. He was similarly honored and inspired by the interactions he enjoyed with his professional colleagues. He won the University’s 1976–1977 and the College of Business & Public Administration’s 1991–1992 Outstanding Teaching Awards, and he was integrally involved in the original design of the teaching spaces at Aliber Hall.

Retirement and relocation to Annapolis gave him the opportunity to become a skilled Model Shipwright at the U.S. Naval Academy Museum’s Ship Model Shop and excelled in carving figures of sailors during the age of sail. He particularly appreciated the camaraderie of working with fellow craftsmen.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kathryn, of nearly 68 years, children Philip (wife Susan), Jane, and Peter, and grandchildren Thomas (wife Alexis), Robert, William, and Josephine. He was proud that they include six Drake graduates over three generations.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, any donations be made to the Dr. Walter H. & Mrs. Kathryn A. Warrick Scholarship Fund at Drake University. Checks should be sent to Drake University, 2507 University Ave, Des Moines, IA 50311.

Friends are invited to celebrate his life with a visitation on Wednesday, November 16 from 3 to 5 pm at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD. Also, a Celebration of Life service will be held on Thursday, November 17 at 10 am at Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd, Annapolis, MD. The interment will be private.

Annual winter lights display in Dogtown, larger for 2022

A lights display will bring cheer to University Avenue just east of campus all winter long. For the second year, Invest DSM and neighborhood partners will decorate storefronts with an immersive, state-of-the-art lighting system. This year’s installation adds more lights at street level and on new murals in the area and expands lights another block to the west towards campus.

Dogtown Lights begins with a lighting block party on University Avenue, organized by the Des Moines Music Coalition. Local businesses will provide specials for attendees, and there will be live entertainment and warm refreshments.

The lights display will be up and illuminated at sundown every evening now through the end of the winter. Follow @dogtownlights on Instagram to see photos and videos of the display.

Event Details
Dogtown Lights Lighting and Block Party
When: Saturday, Nov. 12

Event begins
6:15pm Official unveiling of this year’s light display
6:25p.m. Remarks
Rob Pressman, Platinum Kutz /Dogtown Business Owner
Angela Connolly, Polk County Supervisor & Invest DSM Board Member Marta Codina, Wells Fargo
6:40 p.m. Performance from Leradee and the Positives
7:30 p.m. DJ Performance
9:00 p.m. Event ends

Note: In conjunction with the event, University Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets will be closed from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

— Ryan Arnold, Community Engagement

Teaching opportunities in John Dee Bright College

Curious about teaching opportunities in the John Dee Bright College? Attend a teaching Q&A panel next week.

Instructor Q&A Panel Sessions: 

Nov. 7 from 10–11 a.m. — in-person, Medbury Honors Lounge
Link to register:

Nov. 10 from 10–11 a.m. — virtual, Zoom
Link to register:

If you are interested in learning more about teaching for Bright College, please join us for an informal Q&A panel session where Megan Brown, Stacy Gnacinski, and Craig Owens will share their lived experiences teaching in the college as well as outline potential opportunities for future instructors. This is a prime opportunity to ask any/all questions you may have about teaching in the college. As these sessions are merely informational, please know that your attendance in no way implies commitment to involvement in the college. Refreshments will be provided.

Thank you in advance for your interest and attendance.

— Stacy Gnacinski and Megan Brown, Associate Deans, John Dee Bright College

Bright College welcomes co-associate deans

Megan Brown, professor of English, and Stacy Gnacisnki, assistant professor of health sciences, have joined the John Dee Bright College staff as associate deans. Their experience as teachers, researchers, and citizens of Bright College and University will help us advance our mission in crucial ways, including recruiting excellent faculty to lead the College’s seminars and attracting future cohorts of amazing students to our program.

Professor Brown is a member of the Bright College founding faculty and has co-led two JDBC courses. She also serves as Drake’s director of writing and as faculty athletics representative. She is the author of two books and many peer-reviewed journal articles. 

Professor Gnacinski came to Drake in 2017. In addition to teaching various courses in the health sciences program, she co-taught a Bright College seminar in Spring 2022. She also serves as a mental performance consultant for the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia’s ski and snowboard teams.

Beyond their professional accomplishments, Professors Brown and Gnacinski bring optimism, energy, and a deep and shared commitment to the College’s mission: Affordable access to innovative excellence.

— Craig Owens, Dean, John Dee Bright College

Satellite Voting, Knapp Center, Oct. 19

This fall, a number of important elections are happening across Iowa and the nation.  In addition to the U.S. House and U.S. Senate races and the statewide election for Governor of Iowa, state and local elections that will shape the Des Moines community are on the ballot this year as well. Drake University is committed to meaningful and thoughtful conversation about the issues that define our public life and we encourage informed participation in those conversations, including community participation in the electoral process.

Although many of you have participated as Iowa voters in past elections, it’s helpful to check your registration status and familiarize yourself with the process.  

You must be registered to vote in Iowa if you want to vote here. You may only be registered to vote in one location, so if you would like to remain registered in another location, you are subject to the rules and procedures of that other jurisdiction. By registering in Iowa and voting in Iowa elections, you are relinquishing your right to vote in any other state in the 2022 elections. (You may change your registration any time you move to a new location and Iowa college students are not required to change their legal state of residence to register to vote in Iowa.)

You can check your registration and find information about registration requirements at at any time. To find out if you are registered at your Drake address, click here. If you are not registered at your Drake address and you meet the requirements to register, there are several ways that you can register to vote.

The deadline to pre-register (or change your existing registration) is Oct. 24. Iowa does allow same-day voter registration, so you are still able to vote in Iowa if you miss this deadline. You must have an official ID from Iowa (e.g., an Iowa driver’s license or your Drake ID and proof of residency). You can register and vote at your designated  polling location on Election Day, Nov. 8, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

To facilitate early voting, the auditor’s office has set up a number of satellite voting locations where you can submit an absentee ballot. You do not need to request an absentee ballot to participate in early voting; you can simply show up at a satellite voting location and submit your vote. You may register to vote at the satellite voting location provided you have the required proof of identification and residence.

A satellite voting location will be set up at Drake on Wednesday, Oct. 19, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in the Knapp Center. This satellite voting location will be available for anyone who votes in one of the designated precincts:  DSM 11, DSM 12, DSM 13, DSM 14, DSM 15, DSM 29, DSM 30, DSM 31, DSM 32, DSM 33, DSM 34, DSM 35, DSM 36, and DSM 37.

To find a sample ballot, including all the current elections in Polk County, Iowa, you can access that here. If you have questions or concerns about voting, you may want to visit the Iowa Secretary of State’s website. For information specific to college students, click here.  

On-campus residents

To access your residence hall address for proof of residency, you can sign into myDrake and under the My Drake Profile category select My Addresses.

According to the Secretary of State’s office you can print the page and take it to the polling place or show on a phone/mobile device. We highly recommend you bring a printout of your proof of residency when going to vote, including your Drake ID card.   

Let us continue to participate and #EngagePolitics at Drake!

— Rachel Paine Caufield, Professor, Department of Political Science/Director, Iowa Caucus Project

— Jerry Parker, Chief Student Affairs Officer

Public Safety: Attempt to identify

Drake Public Safety is attempting to identify the owner of this white minivan, as well as the name of the individual in this photo.

The white minivan was in the area of the occupational therapy building (30th and Forest) on Friday, Oct. 7, between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The person in the photo is believed to have been in Drake parking lots between Oct. 8 and Oct. 13 wandering around.  

We believe the operator of the white minivan, as well as the individual in the picture, may have information to help us resolve several vehicle-related crimes on campus.  

Please note we are only looking to identify these individuals; we are not stating that they are responsible for any recent incidents on campus at this time.

If you recognize the vehicle or see the individual in the picture on campus, please contact Drake Public Safety immediately at 515-271-2222.

— Scott Law, Executive Director, Public Safety & Operational Services

The heat is coming: Campus buildings begin transition from cooling to heating

Due to the cold overnight temperatures, HVAC staff began the process of switching campus buildings from cooling to heating mode.  By the end of the day (Oct. 18), residence halls will be switched over to heating. 

HVAC staff will continue working to transition the rest of campus buildings to heat, which should be completed by the end of the week.

Due to the unique piping infrastructure of our buildings, bringing our heating systems online is much more complicated than simply flipping a switch. The University’s heating and cooling system consists of miles of underground pipes which are filled with steam to heat and chilled water to cool, but not both at the same time. For this reason, the process to change buildings from cooling to heating, is a manual and labor-intensive process due to the need to drain and refill the pipes.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

— Aaron Edwards, Facility Planning and Management