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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wild Briefs

    UA adjunct professor resigns over blog comments

    Deborah Frisch, a former adjunct professor in the Psychology department, resigned Saturday when comments she posted on a political blog caused hundreds of e-mails to the department asking for her termination.

    Frisch first wrote comments about the U.S. military occupation in Iraq on June 5 on, a Web log written by Colorado resident Jeff Goldstein.

    Frisch said the tone of the exchanges caused by her comment between herself, Goldstein and other’s who were commenting on the blog, began with a joking and playful tone, but had “”degenerated”” by July 7.

    Frisch made a comment referring to the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey, saying she wouldn’t feel bad if Goldstein’s son faced a similar fate. Frisch said that she now feels she “”crossed the line.””

    She said that professors are held to higher standard of political debate that her comments were inappropriate.

    “”I regret involving the university,”” Frisch said.

    Frisch said she was surprised the blog comments had spurred hundreds of e-mails and blog postings calling for her to be fired from the UA.

    She said she believes another blog posting at, acted as a “”megaphone,”” which called for people to contact the UA psychology department.

    Frisch said although she decided to resign from her temporary position, she said she hasn’t been “”silenced,”” but she will take a break from blogging and posting on blogs for a while.

    “”I can use my words more constructively,”” Frisch said.

    Alfred Kaszniak, head of the psychology department, wrote in an e-mail that he had received numerous e-mails about Frisch over the weekend from people outside of the UA and the state, but had “”virtually none”” by Tuesday afternoon.

    Allison Vaillencourt, associate vice president of human resources, said the UA’s Handbook for Appointed Personnel does offer guidance regarding professional conduct, but that the UA does not have policies that would affect the freedom of speech of employees.

    UA’s National Center hosts three training programs

    The University of Arizona’s National Center for Interpretation is currently hosting three Interpreter Training programs aimed at improving the nation’s Spanish/English interpreting skills.

    The Agnese Haury Institute, which is now in its 23rd year, focuses mainly in legal interpretation, ethics, protocol and procedure.

    The institute, which is limited to approximately 70 students, has trained over 1,800 interpreters from every state and 20 foreign countries, according to Armando Valles, the Assistant Director of National Center for Interpretation.

    In addition to the Agnese Haury institute, the National Center for Interpretation is also offering a Medical Interpreting Training Institute, which is running from July 10-15.

    The third program that is currently being offered is the Professional Language Development Project. “”It is the equivalent of the Agnese Haury Institute, but it is for bilingual high school students from southern Arizona,”” Valles said.

    Skilled interpreters are in demand and serve in many local, state and federal agencies , Valles said.

    Undergrad Biology Research Program awarded $1.5M

    The UA Undergraduate Biology Research Program was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    The UBRP program, which comprises approximately 140 students, is a unique program that provides students the opportunity to learn science through involvement in biologically related research.

    The four-year grant, which begins September 1, will be used to create an electronic mentoring system, evaluate learning-centered teaching techniques in upper division Biology classes and increase the persistence of women in science.

    “”Women are largely underrepresented in the sciences. The goal is to diversify the scientific community,”” said Carol Bender, the director of the UBRP program and interim primary investigator of the HHMI grant.

    The grant money will also be used to support the Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open Program.

    Local high school kids in UA Med-Start Program

    Thirty-five high school students from around the state that are between their junior and senior years are participating in the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s Med-Start Program.

    The program, which was developed in 1968, is a six-week program during which students live on-campus in the dorms while exploring health professions, engaging in hands-on presentations, and taking college-level coursework in chemistry, composition and study skills.

    “”Students at that age are beginning to start down that road of asking who they are and what they want to be. The program provides them with the opportunity to explore that,”” said Linda K. Don, director of the Office of Minority Affairs in the UA College of Medicine.

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