Quad Innovation Partnership Opens Up Opportunities for Students and Community

Quad Innovation Partnership

 

Jacob Eichengreen gets excited when a plan comes together. In fact, it’s actually his job to connect dots, strike up conversations, and match resources with ideas. Eichengreen is executive director for the Quad Innovation Partnership, a joint initiative between the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, the United States Air Force Academy, and Colorado College. He’s spent months digging in to the Colorado Springs community and building a set of programs that connects students with opportunities to implement new ideas, with the goal of integrating recent graduates into the Colorado Springs workforce. Now, he says, it’s time for action.

Applications just opened for the Quad’s signature Summer Intensive. The intensive will run the month of June and is open to current students and recent alumni from the four partner institutions, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors. Ten students from each school will be selected for the opportunity to build, test, and validate a commercially viable solution to some of Colorado Springs’ “most gripping problems” as identified by city and industry leaders. Submitted problems range from homelessness and food insecurity to the implementation of new technologies in a business context. Participants choose which problem they find most interesting to work on and will work in cross-campus teams to realize their ideas.

The program will be facilitated by Air Force Academy faculty with support from Eichengreen, but most actual teaching will be done by members of the community. For example, a unit on design thinking will be led by a premier design-thinking consultant from the area. Other units that touch on marketing, feasibility analysis, branding, fundraising, and legal will all be taught by local experts.  The end result is an opportunity for students to learn step-by-step what it takes to bring an idea out into the marketplace from some of the region’s most compelling practitioners. Interested students can attend an information session: Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. at the CC Career Center.

The summer intensive isn’t the only thing that excites Eichengreen or the community about the partnership.

“The most exciting thing about this partnership is the range of opportunities that I’ve come across; the breadth of opportunities that are right here is awesome,” he says. The partnership’s mission focuses on students from the four participating institutions, working to elevate, educate, and create innovators in Colorado Springs. The elevate component focuses on events programming and celebrating the opportunities for innovation in Colorado Springs, and the four institutions. Educate specifically involves developing skills and providing hands-on opportunities for students through workshops and classes, and offering ways for the students to engage with the broader community. The create component encompasses just about everything else, says Eichengreen.

“That could mean opportunities for students to serve as project-based consultants in the community. The Air Force Academy, for example does problem-solving work with the IndyGive campaign, and has offered their framework to the Quad to create a way for students to earn payment for their work. It’s work that can be lower-risk than an internship, because it’s just for one project. It provides students portfolio development and can offer transitional opportunities for newer alumni, lowering the barrier for entry to smaller for-profits and nonprofits.”

But that’s just one example. Eichengreen doesn’t want the partnership to be limited by a strict definition of innovation. “We’re really trying to be responsive to needs and opportunities,” he says of developing programming. “We have a framework, but it’s flexible. If students are passionate about something, we want to build that in — homelessness, robotics, bitcoin, take your pick on the socioeconomic spectrum. Because our community is smaller, opportunities to get involved at a meaningful level are way more abundant here.” He says innovation can be anything that turns ideas into “valuable action.”

Here, in the Pikes Peak Region, Eichengreen says, there are numerous opportunities to practice innovation professionally, and they’re more accessible here than they might be in other parts of the country. He lists several local organizations off the top of his head that are leading the way locally: “Innovations in Aging is located here, for example, translating cutting-edge research in aging from a research group at UCCS into real-world action; there’s the Olympic sports and outdoor infrastructure; the National Cybersecurity Center; food justice – at least two CC grads are making tremendous waves in food equity, translating waste into plenty and disrupting the food distribution system; and the city itself is looking for new ways to deliver better services, be more agile, and be more responsible with limited funds.” With so many opportunities, Eichengreen says, it’s hard to focus the program because there’s so much happening.

The Quad Partnership is putting the finishing touches on its own dedicated space, a 2,000-square-foot facility right downstairs from Loyal Coffee on the south side of downtown Colorado Springs. “One component is an open workspace, accessible to students, faculty, and staff from our participating institutions to use in a way that’s beneficial,” says Eichengreen. “We have the capability to host art installations, or performance showcases, anything that doesn’t have a home on campus or would benefit by immersion in community. This becomes a neutral, third-party space where the partner campuses and broader community can interact and build relationships. Celebrate the grand opening Wednesday, April 19, 5-7 p.m. at 408 S. Nevada.

He says local and alumni-founded companies can use it as a test marketplace or a space to conduct student, alumni, or faculty-based research. “One week, we could have a demonstration of the national winner of the search-and-rescue robot competition that PPCC did last year; over the holidays, we can host a pop-up retail shop; and if there’s sufficient demand,” he says of the possibilities. There are so many areas in which innovation can be applied and practiced. I hope our space will be compelling, cool, fun to be around, and contribute broadly to applying new thinking and turning ideas into valuable action in our community.”

 

 

 

“Just Curious Show” Explores Realities of Professional Ultra-Running with Anton Krupicka ’05

Anton Krupicka

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Ever wonder what it takes to turn a passion into a career? Anton Krupicka ’05, an ultra-runner, provides insight into his journey to success as a professional athlete as part of the “Just Curious Show.” He was one of the first people to make a career out of the curious sport of running more than 26.2 miles, usually much longer, in his case often 100-mile races, usually on trails in the middle of nowhere. If you’ve ever wondered about how and why different people follow and succeed in various career paths, the “Just Curious Show” podcast is a perfect place to turn. The program, launched by Daniel Bedell, explores a variety of careers through conversations with people working in those areas. The most recent episode, and so far the show’s most popular, features Krupicka, who graduated CC in 2005 with a BA in philosophy and physics, and earned a BA in geology in 2006.

Bedell was compelled to start the podcast because he says he wanted to provide a substantive way of educating students about what it really takes to enter specific careers. He says “the media often only features people at the top of their game and only features the good parts of their lives and jobs.” Bedell hopes his podcast will counteract this lack of information, and educate students on “the good, the bad, the real, and the fake, so they can make the best choices possible for their future.”

Bedell says he was excited to profile Krupicka, someone often considered “one of the godfathers of pro ultra-running.” Bedell is also a runner himself, and wondered what it would take to be a professional runner, especially since there often isn’t a lot of prize money. By featuring Krupicka, he was able to answer his own questions, as well as educate students on what it takes to be a professional athlete. While at CC, Krupicka ran cross-country, but didn’t consider himself a stand-out runner. That changed when, the summer after graduating from CC, he won the Leadville Trail 100 ultra-marathon. The Leadville 100 is a prestigious and difficult race, and winning so early in his ultra career was an impressive feat. Since then, he has gone on to win the Leadville 100 again, and gained many sponsorships to make ultra-running his career.

Beyond his success in running, Krupicka says he is “someone who really is just a nerd of the sport he loves and is happy to talk about it in an honest way.” Krupicka is quite grounded, Bedell says, and “realizes he serves as a marketer for his sponsor companies; and marketing pays his bills.” He isn’t above talking to people like Bedell about the nitty gritty aspects of his job, and is a perfect example of someone who is making a career out of what he loves. To hear about Krupicka’s experience at CC, and his life as a professional ultra-runner, listen to the “Professional Athlete” episode.

Deepening Partnerships with Community Engaged Scholars and Leaders

By Alana Aamodt ’18

New this academic year, the Community Engaged Scholars Program offers students a comprehensive, structured plan for sustained, informed, and deliberate community engagement. Beyond just requiring a certain number of hours of community engagement, the program helps students find personal meaning and interconnectedness in their activities. Community engagement includes any pursuit that works with a community or campus partner to address a social or environmental need, or indirectly contributes to the mission of those partners through raising awareness around social or environmental issues.

“I am thrilled at the number of students — more than 120 — who joined the Community Engaged Scholars Program in its inaugural year,” says Jordan Travis Radke, director of the Collaborative for Community Engagement. “To me, it demonstrates the passion and drive our students have for living lives dedicated to positive social change. I am excited to see what the future holds, given that this program seems to deeply resonate with our students.”

The program’s goal is to encourage students to consider and articulate how what they’re doing constitutes engaged citizenship and addresses social and environmental needs, rather than just setting generic bounds to what community engagement means. To do this, the program requires on average 10 hours of community engagement each block, as well as participation in skills trainings, and co-curricular learning events, such as lectures on related topics. The program culminates in a senior reflection retreat and the creation of an engagement portfolio that serves as a record of their work, and as a reflective articulation of their progress.

“I have enjoyed community service work since I was in high school,” says Emma Kepes, ’17, a community engaged scholar, “so being a part of clubs to continue that work in college was the natural choice. Through these clubs, I have also found that I enjoy working with kids the most, so I have stuck with AMA and Cool Science since freshman year for that reason.” AMA, Aprender Mediante Amistad, which is Spanish for “learning through friends,” provides mentorship and tutoring for local students between the ages of 5 and 18 whose first language is Spanish, and Cool Science brings local kids to campus for fun and easy science experiments. Kepes is the co-leader of AMA. “I hope to do more important work like this after I graduate,” Kepes adds.

CCE also offers a Community Engaged Leadership Certificate, whose mission is to “develop civic leaders by cultivating students’ ability to integrate and apply learning toward solving complex social challenges.” The resulting structure, initially implemented in 2010, is a three-phase program starting a student’s sophomore year with exploring unmet community-driven needs and committing time to address those needs; then focusing skills and commitment towards one social issue during junior year; and implementing what they’ve learned through a capstone project of the student’s own design senior year.

“The main [difference] is that the leadership program has a capstone project,” shares Montana Bass ’18. “The project involves a partnership with a local community and can be related to your thesis, so it’s an awesome way to tie your studies into community work that might not be there otherwise.” The CEL program is also a smaller, more selective cohort than CES. While both programs require 75 hours of service per year, the CEL program asks for those hours to be at a higher responsibility during the student’s junior year, such as taking the lead on a project, group, or organization, and then devoting hours in the student’s senior year to an integrative capstone project.

“My favorite part so far has been getting to know the other people in the leadership certificate program. It’s a really small group so conversations are really intimate and everyone can get involved,” Bass adds, referring to the cohort model of the program.

These programs both work to strengthen CC’s commitment to community engagement and engaged learning. Read more and apply for the CES program, and learn more about the requirements and timeline for the Community Engaged Leadership Certificate.

CC Nordic Skiers Hit Their Stride, Qualify for Nationals

Nordic Ski Team

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

This year, the Colorado College Nordic ski team grew immensely, and qualified the most skiers ever in school history for the Collegiate National Championships in Bend, Oregon in this month. Team captain Ines Siepmann ’18, along with Alice Oline ’18, Kelsi Anderson ’18, and Oliver Jones ’20, qualified for the National Championships by accruing points throughout the season and competing in a specific number of races.

Siepmann says the many new members of the team aided in making a great group dynamic across the team. Last year, the team had 6-10 skiers at each race, while this year a range of 13-21 CC athletes competed. Many had never skied before, meaning a lot of the team’s success was measured by progress and time spent on the snow. The most recent competition for the team was the Cowboy Chase and Laramie Loppet in Laramie, WY over the Block 5 block break. The team competed in four other races over the course of Block 5, performing well and racing hard. While it’s an exciting marker to qualify for the national competition, none of CC’s skiers will be able to attend the meet, which is taking place March 5-11. Siepmann says it is just too much school to miss on the Block Plan.

Sieppman says balancing schoolwork and skiing is generally manageable. The team trains mostly on dry land, since the closest Nordic area is in Monument and hasn’t received enough snow this year for good skiing. The next closest Nordic area is at Breckenridge, which is a two-hour drive from campus, so a lot of training happens at or near campus. According to Siepmann, the team places a lot of importance on inclusivity by providing all the necessary equipment, so “different athletes participate with the team in different ways.” Not every skier comes to all practices and meets, so students are able to tailor their participation to their school work load.

Looking ahead to next year, Siepmann says the team will get together to decide goals for the upcoming season. They have already decided to continue practicing throughout this spring, and have had a pancake breakfast for the team. Siepmann says she’s excited for the continued team bonding activities, and is also looking forward to discussing next year’s intentions and leadership.

 

Photo of Ines Siepmann ’18 (right) and Alice Oline ’18 by CJ Monson ’20.

FAC Docents Stage Play Highlighting Female Founders

Docent performance

By Montana Bass ’18

In a creative and fun-spirited performance, the docents of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center tell the history of the FAC, contextualizing this important cultural monument and reemphasizing its continuing contemporary cultural impact. The play comes at a particularly important moment in FAC history, as soon the museum will merge with CC and begin a new era of partnership. This relationship will allow for sharing of resources between the college and the museum and revamped programming of presentations, classes, and workshops for both the college’s and Colorado Springs’ community members.

The play was adapted from a skit that was part of the FAC’s “Off the Wall” program, which was designed to familiarize children with the museum and bring its art to life. FAC staff were looking for a presentation on the museum’s founding for the popular “First Saturdays” members tour, FAC docents took on the challenge of writing and staging a 45-minute “founding women” play.

Docent Specialty Co-Chair Cindi Zenkert-Strange, a former writer and editor, scripted the play and Wendy Gray, professor of theatre at Pikes Peak Community College, directed. The new, full-length performance describes the founding of the FAC by three incredible women, Julie Penrose, Alice Bemis Taylor, and Elizabeth Sage Hare.

“We spent a lot of time researching,” said docent Kathy Olson, who plays Julie Penrose, “We wanted to add a lot of tidbits about their personal lives, really develop their personalities. These were really incredible, interesting women.” Much of the plot centers around how the three founders incorporated their three very different backgrounds and visions into one cohesive museum. All three were part of Colorado Springs’ elite, although their interests and personalities varied widely.

Julie Penrose and husband Spencer Penrose, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who developed the Broadmoor Hotel, donated their home on Dale Street to be used by the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy. This, in turn, became the site for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, which incorporated a museum, art school, theatre, and music performance space under one roof. Julie Penrose’s vision for the FAC was based on her love of beauty and classical art. In contrast, Alice Bemis Taylor had an impressive Native American Southwest and Spanish Colonial art collection, so she held that as her primary interest. “She realized she couldn’t continue to house the collection in her own home,” explained Zenkert-Strange. Bemis Hall was named after Judson Moss Bemis, Alice’s father. Alice herself made significant contributions to Colorado College in the form of student scholarships and building funds. “Also, the Bemises really wanted to give back to the community, so her interest was really in making her collection more widely accessible.” Lastly, Elizabeth Sage Hare’s involvement in the New York City modern arts scene added a third vision for the museum. “She wanted everything to be modern, cutting-edge,” said Zenkert-Strange.

The docents will give their next performance on March 8 to members of the Cheyenne Mountain Newcomers Club and will perform at four other venues through May. They look forward to continuing to share this story with FAC visitors and members of the CC and Colorado Springs community. “I think we want to express what a gem we have in the building and in the collection,” adds Zenkert-Strange. “When you understand history, you can better appreciate the present, and plan for an exciting future.”

Check out events and exhibits at the FAC and look out for a CC-focused showing of the docent’s performance next block!

 

Congratulations to the Honorees of the Student Art Show

Elsa Bonyhadi ’18

Saturday, March 4, more than 300 students, staff, faculty, and community members took part in the Student Art Show, hosted by President’s Council. Over two dozen artists were featured in the largest display of student art of the year. Three jurors – Dean of Students Mike Edmonds, Professor of Art and Fine Arts Center Director Rebecca Tucker, and Fine Arts Center Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Joy Armstrong – awarded twelve “Juror’s Choice” awards to student artists.

Photography

Hannah Seabright ’18, “Shadows in Tiananmen”

Amelia Eskenazi ’19, “Moonlight Rollaway”

Textiles

Suzanna McMurtry ’17, “Mona H.”

Jenny Welden ’18, “Nothing New Under the Sun”

Works on Paper

Amelia Atencio ’18, “Clothesline”

Abby Wigdale ’18, “Nasty Woman Pt. 1”

Painting

Liz Ellinger ’18, “Blue Noise”

Caitlin Taber ’17, “La Voyageur”

Sculpture/3D

Catherine Sinow ’17, “Nonfunctional Objects”

Brian Chen ’18, “Weathered Bronze Vase”

Special Category: Most Relevant

Elsa Bonyhadi ’18

Special Category: All-Around Awesomeness

Jenny Welden ’18

Congratulations to all CC student artists on their exceptional work, we can’t wait to see what’s next!

Contact Improv Offers an Experience for Every Body

By Montana Bass ’18

Whether you’re a seasoned dancer, elite rock-climber, campus leader, or simply looking for a new way to practice mindfulness, contact improvisation offers a way to explore the limits of one’s own physical boundaries.

Dance instructor Sue Lauther teaches the course, which will be available again in Block 7, and says it’s not just about dance or movement, but about learning to communicate with one another through touch. By doing so, “students will become more aware of the physics of their own bodies and learn how to better handle unexpected surprises or find their way through unplanned situations,” she says. Additionally, by creating physical awareness, dancers can also check in with themselves emotionally.

As Lauther explains, “Contact improv for me is another language. It’s learning to stand up for yourself. To reach out to others. To negotiate, communicate desires, joys, and disappointments. It’s good for any soul.”

It’s not just for any soul; contact is also beneficial to any body. Monica Black ’19 adds, “I’m not by any means a dancer, and it takes the onus off of figuring out something cool to do. Instead you can just focus on the energies that you and your partner are giving each other. It’s also a really vulnerable form of dance with lots of lifts and obviously very close contact, so you have to trust the other person to support your body.” This intimacy is important when our day-to-day lives often lack platonic physical touch, Lauther says. In contact improvisation, dancers learn to advocate for themselves as well as address group needs nonverbally.

As a dance major, Trevon Newmann ’18 finds benefits as well. “Contact improv has been about experimenting and adjusting. I’ve really learned how to work with a variety of people and how to give and earn trust. It’s good for getting out of your comfort zone.”

This experimentation leads dancers to a self-awareness pivotal in various aspects of their lives, and Lauther loves helping them find it. “It just delights me when somebody is amazed by the changes within themselves, doing things they didn’t think they could do,” she says.

Students, if you’d like to experience contact improvisation, you can enroll for the Block 7 course, running Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-4:30 p.m. Or, show up in the Cossitt South Studio on the first day of Block 7. Contact Sue Lauther with any questions: slautherincolorado@gmail.com

CSBJ Analysis: Cultural shift part of FAC merger

CC Design Week Starts Monday

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Monday, March 6, marks the start of CC’s first Design Week, organized by the extended format art class Graphics Research Lab, taught by Kate Leonard, professor of art. “The idea behind the week is to generate an awareness of design and its role in our community,” explains Mikala Sterling ’17. Sterling and Naomi Van der Lande ’17 are the two students spearheading the week of events.

“The week will give students who are interested in this topic the chance to learn about resources on campus that work to create opportunities for students to get involved with these departments,” says Van der Lande. While CC does not have an explicit design program, this week helps demonstrate that there is no lack of involvement in design fields during and after a student’s time at CC.

Multiple open houses, showcasing the creative resources at CC, will occur throughout the week at places such as the arts and crafts studios, the Office of Communications, the costume shop in Cornerstone Arts Center, the CC Press, and Innovation at CC in the Morreale Carriage House. The Integrative Design Group, which is a club at CC, will also be involved throughout the week, and will run a trial of the Packard Projection Project on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, in which student design work is projected onto the north wall of Packard Hall.

“The week is also meant to highlight successful CC graduates who have incorporated design into their careers, and to provide workshops and talks to encourage new conversations about how we think about design in our everyday lives,” Sterling says, referring to activities like the talk “Designing with Reclaimed Materials” with Susan Hoff ’06, and a typography workshop in the Visual Resource Center in Packard Hall.

The organizers share that they are especially excited for the Alumni Panel on Tuesday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Cornerstone Screening Room, where past students will be able to share their experiences and successes in the design world since graduating from CC.

View the events schedule for CC Design Week, an event Sterling and Van der Lande hope will continue in years to come, bringing awareness and consciousness to design in the CC community.

 

Professor Goodwin Recognized for “Bars and Measures” and “#matter”

Bars and Measures

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

The accolades continue to roll in for Idris Goodwin, assistant professor of theater and dance, with one of his most recent plays, “Bars and Measures” nominated for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for writing. A scene from the play is pictured.

The musical score by Noah Argus has also been nominated. The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, started in 1969, is dedicated to critiquing, encouraging, and improving theatre in the Los Angeles area, and provides awards in many categories.

Goodwin’s play is inspired by a true story and focuses on two brothers who connect through jazz while one is in prison. Goodwin says that the play was part of a “’rolling world premiere” supported by the National New Play Network, which allowed the performance to develop progressively in four theatres around the country, ending in Los Angeles. He says receiving recognition on the final production stop is tremendously encouraging.

Goodwin’s other recent success is closer to home. His play “#matter,” which he directed and presented at CC with students Alec Sarche ’17 and Alex Farr ’17, will be produced at the Bush Theatre in London. This is a big step for Goodwin, as it will be the first time one of his works will be produced outside the United States. The production is part of a series of six short plays titled “Black Lives, Black Words,” and was one of two American works selected.

The short play focuses on the friendship of two young adults, one black and one white, when the Black Lives Matter movement causes conflict between them. Goodwin’s inspiration for the story came from his conversations about race on social media. He says that his identity and heritage have always been essential to who he is, and his conversations caused him to question old friendships, and this theme is central to “#matter.”

Beyond these two successes, Goodwin has plenty of other projects in the works. “I just released a new chapbook called ‘Inauguration’ that I co-wrote with a former student, Nico Wilkinson ’16,” he says. He also has a play currently touring Washington, D.C. schools called “From the Mouth of Monsters,” that was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and is a spinoff of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” It will be performed at the Kennedy Center March 10-12. His play “Hype Man” just won the Blue Ink playwriting award, and will have a staged reading in Chicago on May 22 at the American Blues Theater. Finally, he will be directing “Yellow Face” by David Henry Hwang during Block 8, and is working on plays with the Public Theater in New York, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He invites any students wanting to learn about writing plays to enroll in one of his courses on writing