Annual Concert of Colors Features Music from Around the World

An alumnus of Royal Oak High School in Michigan, Andrew Whiteman earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and religion at Oberlin College in Ohio. During the summer following his graduation, Andrew Whiteman returned to Michigan, where he volunteered to support a ballot initiative benefiting the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Established in 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts has provided unique cultural and educational opportunities for the cuty. The museum’s extremely diverse collection features works from several countries, as well as graphic, contemporary, and Native American art. Additionally, the DIA offers a number of events, including music, film, workshops, and lecture series.

One of the Institute’s yearly features is the Concert of Colors, held each summer as a part of Detroit’s Annual Diversity Festival. The free event draws as many as 80,000 attendees, spanning five days and five separate venues. The concert showcases musicians from around the world, representing a variety of genres, such as Latin jazz, African beats, Cuban Son, and Celtic rock. In addition to showcasing international musical styles and performers, the Concert of Colors also features vendors of ethnic merchandise and cuisine.

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Detroit Zoo’s Australian Outback Showcases Native Animals and Culture

In 2012, Michigan resident Andrew Whiteman graduated with a BA in biology from Oberlin College in Ohio. There, he had the opportunity to assist with biology research in a laboratory setting, in addition to completing an internship at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Now back in Michigan, Andrew Whiteman volunteers as a guide at the Detroit Zoo, accompanying visitors through the Australian Outback Exhibit.

At the Australian Outback Exhibit, zoo guests can observe red kangaroos and wallabies up close with minimal barriers. Visitors travel along a path that winds through the exhibit, bordered off by only knee-high cables. At the same time, the marsupials move freely throughout the exhibit, and have access to two Outback-themed structures providing food and shelter. The exhibit’s educational content allows guests to not only observe the animals, but learn how they fit into the ecosystem of the Australian Outback.

Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of Australia through a variety of features. The exhibit showcases ancient aboriginal tools, weapons, and musical instruments, in addition to rock paintings known as petroglyphs. Guests can listen to traditional Australian instruments such as the didgeridoo, while young zoo patrons can take part in the “kangaroo jump” at the exhibit’s activity plaza.

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Baby Aardvark Arrives at Detroit Zoo

A biology graduate of Oberlin College in Ohio, Andrew Whiteman of Michigan interned at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo during winter term of 2009 and again by invitation the following summer. Andrew Whiteman now volunteers at the Detroit Zoo in Michigan.

On February 11, 2014, female aardvark calf Kaatie arrived at the Detroit zoo. The daughter of mother Rachaael and father Mchimbaji, she was born in good health, weighing less than four pounds. The zoo officially introduced her to the public in the middle of March, by which time she had grown fourfold in size.

Since her birth, Kaatie has remained healthy and affectionate with her mother, who thus far has avoided accidentally injuring her little ones. Zoo professionals have explained that aardvark mothers tend to be clumsy, a hazardous character trait for their fragile babies. Fortunately, aardvarks in captivity have conscientious babysitters in their human caretakers, and Kaatie remains safe. Once she is on public display, Kaatie will spend the warmer months outdoors in the Zoo’s African Grasslands area.

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Cross-Country Running

Co-valedictorian of his class at Royal Oak High School in Michigan, Andrew Whiteman belonged to the varsity track and the cross-country teams in high school. After his graduation, he left Michigan to pursue his bachelor of arts in biology at Oberlin College in Ohio. A recipient of the John Frederick Oberlin Merit Schilarship, Andrew Whiteman also ran track and cross country for the varsity teams at Oberlin.

Cross-country running takes place on courses that traverse through open or wooded areas. Many include hills and streams. Although no two courses are the same, most try to avoid paved areas as much as possible. In addition, they should navigate around dangerous hills, ditches, undergrowth, and other obstacles that could pose a hazard to runners.

US collegiate cross country courses, which are generally under the jurisdiction of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), must be at least 4,000 meters for men and 3,000 for women. Men’s championship courses are between 8,000 and 10,000 meters, and women’s between 5,000 and 6,000 meters.

Cross-country running has no time-outs, no half-time, and no other breaks. There are no substitutions. Once the race starts, runners run until the race is over. Because the course is situated in natural terrain, instead of a track, athletes must remain highly alert while running – large puddles and streams, as well as low-hanging branches, all present potential hazards that the runner must actively avoid.

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Study of Animal Welfare at the Detroit Zoo

A graduate of the biology program at Ohio’s Oberlin College, Andrew Whiteman of Michigan began working in zoos as an intern in 2009. Andrew Whiteman now volunteers at the Detroit Zoo, in Michigan.

The Detroit Zoological Society, the governing body of the Detroit Zoo, has drawn industry-wide attention in recent years for its innovative Center for Zoo Animal Welfare, or CZAW. The society founded the center in 2009 to promote animal well-being in zoos, both through noninvasive research and as a resource for zoo leaders across the world. CZAW focuses on understanding not only the physical health of animals in zoos, but also their psychological and social health.

Dedicated to studying all aspects of animal welfare, CZAW seeks both to understand the effects of captivity on animals and to develop more welfare-friendly practices for zoos to adopt. This involves in-depth investigation of animal behavior in zoos and an analysis of what these behaviors indicate in regard to the animals’ experience. Researchers then use this data to determine what each species needs to fare better and thrive in captivity, rather than simply maintain an acceptable level of health. CZAW disseminates this information to zoo professionals and to the public, with the goal of initiating a long-term discussion regarding how to steward animals in captivity responsibly.

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Andrew Whiteman of Michigan – The Biology Program at Oberlin College

Originally from Michigan, Andrew Whiteman earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Oberlin College in Ohio, and is now seeking a position in this field. A John Frederick Oberlin Merit Scholar, Andrew Whiteman assisted a biology professor with research while at school.

Biology students at Oberlin College enroll in a program that applies three tenets of learning. Students learn the fundamental concepts of biology, how to apply critical thinking within the scientific process, and how this subject interacts with other scientific and non-scientific fields. While the institution mandates several courses, enrollees can further concentrate in areas such as paleontology, paleobiology, chemical biology, and biochemistry.

Research accounts for another crucial component of this program. The Oberlin College Science Center welcomes 45 student researchers in biology annually. By participating in the program, individuals can investigate disease ecology systems, genetics, cancer immunology, and a myriad of other subjects. Moreover, the school possesses relationships with off-campus institutions including hospitals, marine and inland field stations, and the National Institutes of Health, so that students can further their experience through internships.

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