Get to Know the Class of 2018

More than four years ago, when members of the Class of 2018 first started their CC experiences, we knew lots of random trivia about them based on admission applications: Two members of the incoming class had biked across the U.S., four were Girl Scouts, nine were black belts in karate, and they spoke a combined 27 languages. Now, as they prepare for CC graduation, here are a few fun facts about those same students, now that they’re seniors: 97 students have received Keller Venture Grants (so far), 30 students have been awarded at least one Ritt Kellogg Expedition Grant.

Seventy senior students have presented research at a past summer research symposium and 11 of the student bands that competed at CC’s Battle of the Bands are primarily made up of senior musicians. Fifteen members of the Class of 2018 completed art theses and there will be 16 academic paraprofessionals and four full-time interns from the graduating class on campus for the 2018-19 academic year.

There have been 14 year-long PIFP fellowships and 19 summer fellowships awarded to members of the Class of 2018. More than 250 students have used Tutt Library’s thesis carrels this year. The class has 50 graduating varsity athletes, one Watson fellow, one Fulbright winner, two Fulbright alternates, two recipients of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, and one Goldwater scholar. And the awards list keeps growing.

Signs for the Times: New Campus Markers are Up

New Campus Signs

You may have noticed some big changes to campus marker signs this week.

New college signs are going up in the next few weeks celebrating our new college visual identity marking the entrances to campus at Uintah Street and Cascade Avenue, Uintah and Nevada Avenue, Nevada and Dale Street, and Cascade and Dale.

The new signs will be installed just in time to welcome many parents, visitors, and alumni for Commencement, and demark our new campus boundary that now extends to Dale Street to encompass CC’s alliance with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

The updated campus markers are part of the college’s new sign system that was presented to the campus and approved in 2016. The system converges the goals of the Campus Master Plan and the Master Communications Plan, both integral components of the college’s main strategic plan to celebrate our sense of place — as well as an effort to unify all campus signs under one clear, cohesive system. A black square or block with white letters — representing the Block Plan — is the base component of most new signs.

The old stone “headstones” with the college’s former wordmark will come down as the new campus marker signs go up. Other major components of the sign system have already been installed, including the new, red Fine Arts Center “block” on Dale and Cascade, and a prototype of major campus “block signs” placed at Cutler Hall. Look for other major updates throughout the next academic year, including more block signs, new building signs, and all new numerals for building addresses.

Materials from the former stone markers will be placed in storage and used for future projects around campus.

Lachlan Nutting ’18 Selected to Present Philosophy Paper

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Philosophy major Lachlan Nutting ’18recently attended the 20th annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, to present her paper, “Emotionally Determined Destiny.”

Nutting says she has been interested in determinism, the philosophical theory that all events are determined by causes outside of human will, since sophomore year, but doubted that she could write a paper on it. It wasn’t until her senior year, in the class Philosophy of Emotions, when the themes that had originally interested her reappeared and she decided she would write her final paper on the topic.

“I argued that emotional responses are determined based on Cheshire Calhoun’s idea of biographical subjectivity and Max Scheler’s individual destiny,” explains Nutting. “This basically means that emotional responses are determined by who you are at your core as an individual, and they allow you to actualize your destiny by telling you what is significant in your life.”

After having this topic swirling around in her head for years, Nutting decided that her final paper was worth submitting to the Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, and she was honored to have the opportunity to speak, saying that “everyone there was amazingly nice and supportive. I think more people should submit their papers to conferences; it was the most wonderful experience.”

Reflecting back, Nutting says she was drawn to the many diverse frameworks of philosophy, and how the subject took on huge questions about life and reality. Her studies required her to keep an open mind and, as she describes, “see how these different ideas might apply to my life, making studying philosophy incredibly worthwhile.”

Congratulations to 2018-19 PIFP Fellows

PIFP Fellows

The Public Interest Fellowship Program is pleased to announce the incoming cohort of PIFP fellows. Below, meet this year’s fellows and learn which partner organizations they will be working with during the upcoming summer and year. PIFP offers paid summer and yearlong fellowships to CC students and graduates. This pipeline to nonprofit partner organizations provides fellows with significant experience, specialized training and mentoring, and the opportunity to make a difference in the issues facing our state and community. Over the past 15 years, PIFP has placed nearly 400 fellows and worked with 80 partner organizations.

Yearlong Fellows

Helen Griffiths ACLU of Colorado
Rowan Frederiksen Arc–Pikes Peak Region
Dorsa Djalilzadeh Bell Policy Center
Duranya Freeman CO Center on Law & Policy
Savanah McDaniel CO Consumer Health Initiative (policy)
Isabelle Nathanson CO Consumer Health Initiative (outreach)
Asheton Gilbertson Conservation Colorado
Amelia (Mimi) Smith Denver Scholarship Foundation
Salem Tewelde Denver Scholarship Foundation
Tia Phillip DSST Public Schools
Rachael Maxwell Innovations in Aging Collaborative
Naomi Randell OMNI Institute
Caroline Olin TESSA
Delaney Tight Volunteers for Outdoor CO

Summer Fellows

Jacqueline Nkhonjera ACLU of Colorado
Maria Cortner Arc of the Pikes Peak Reg
Bianca Lydia Thomas Atlas Preparatory School
Max Blackburn Atlas Preparatory School
Graham Campson Catamount Institute
Annie Engen City of Colorado Springs
Abe Lahr CO Dept Health Care Policy & Financing
Hannah Schultz CO Dept Health Care Policy & Financing
Maggie Mehlman CO League of Charter Schools
Carolyn Best Fountain Creek Watershed District
Jasmin Thibou Gill Foundation
Carter Eng Greenway Fund
Anna Smith NCSL Communications Div.
Meg DeMarsh NCSL Education Program
Riley Hutchings NCSL Energy, Environment & Transportation Program
Annie Zlevor NCSL Health Program
Alison Takkunen NCSL Health Program
Kendall Stoetzer One Colorado Education Fund
Hannah Pardee Palmer Land Trust
Alison Baird PEAK Parent Center
Logan Coleman ProgressNow Colorado Education
Mark Scaggs Towards Justice

Charge On, Tigers

EV Charger

CC has taken another step toward the goal of expanding its electric vehicle infrastructure to make charging more accessible campus wide.

CC has installed a dual-head (two-car capacity) ChargePoint electric vehicle charger just north of Tutt Library. The parking is open to members of the CC community and outside community members, as it is on the national ChargePoint network. The cost per hour to charge is 75 cents.

“Now that there are more electric vehicles on the roads and higher demand for charging facilities, it made sense to upgrade to the newest system, so now we’ll have more charging spaces,” says Ian Johnson, director of the Office of Sustainability.

Jim Burness ’90, CEO of National Car Charging, cut the ribbon on the new electric vehicle charger as part of the Earth Week celebrations. Burness’s company is working to improve the electric vehicle infrastructure in cities like Colorado Springs.

The company has worked on projects across the nation to jumpstart electric vehicle use by providing the necessary infrastructure. Burness says he’s passionate and enthusiastic about this issue in Colorado Springs and even helped CC use tax credit savings to subsidize the new charging station.

CC Rugby Wins Regionals, Heads to Nationals

CC Rugby

CC Cut Throat Rugby 7’s won the Rocky Mountain Conference Regional Playoffs, qualifying to play in the National Small College Rugby Organization Sweet 16 National Championships this weekend, April 28-29, in Pittsburgh.

“This season has been really incredible so far,” says team captain Nora Holmes ’18. “It’s an amazing feeling as a senior captain to see the leaps and bounds of improvement that every player has made since the beginning of the fall season. The whole team has dedicated themselves to working hard this season and we are so excited to compete in the national tournament.”

Historically, CC rugby has done well during the spring season with a fourth-place finish at nationals last year, and second-place finish the year before. Holmes, an organismal biology and ecology major, is the only senior remaining from the team that started playing together as first-years. It’s a team that has seen a lot of transition with Vic Tise serving as the third coach in four years.

“We’re very happy to have him,” Holmes says of Tise. “The team dynamic has evolved a lot since I began playing. CC rugby has always been an inclusive space and at the end of the 2015-16 academic year, we made the decision to become a gender-inclusive team. We call ourselves the Colorado College Cut Throat Rugby Club instead of the CC Women’s Rugby Club.

The team also uses inclusive language like “mates” “ruggers” and “y’all” instead of gendered terms like “ladies” or “you guys.” Though the team competes in an institutional women’s league, not all teammates identify as women. “Our intentional use of language and desire for inclusivity exists to welcome all individuals,” says Holmes.

Holmes describes the CC Cut Throat team as one built on a foundation of unconditional love and support, which is reflected in strong bonds both on and off the field. “I have never been a part of such a genuinely caring and compassionate community,” Holmes says. “Through a lifetime of playing on various sports teams, this team is by far the most open and tight-knit community I’ve ever had the honor to be a part of.”

 

CC Rugby

CC Climbers Take on Nationals

Zach Levy

In its first year of existence on campus, the CC Climbing Team boasts 30 athletes on the team roster, even before climbing is officially recognized as a club sport, which begins in Fall 2018.

“It was a way bigger turnout for the team than we had expected, and we were very pleasantly surprised,” says Zach Levy ’21.

This season, the team has competed in two local USA Climbing competitions against other Colorado teams — one in Boulder and one at the U.S. Air Force Academy. “The competition in Boulder was a blast! Although it was the first collegiate climbing competition for almost all of our team members, we performed very well,” says Levy.

Two climbers, Kat Gentry ’19 and Levy, advanced to the final round of the competition with Levy taking home the win in a field of 80 men, beating the CU Boulder team on their home turf. At the USAFA competition, three CC climbers placed in the top 10. Then, at the end of Spring Break, the team competed at USA Climbing’s collegiate regional championships in Fort Collins. CC’s team had 14 climbers compete and seven climbers advanced to the national championships by placing in the top 20.

CC had five top ten finishers: Piper Boudart ’21, Allie Kreitman ’21, Gentry, Claire Bresnan ’19, and Levy, then three climbers who made it to finals, Gentry, Bresnan, and Levy, and one regional champion: Gentry for sport climbing. The team placed third in the region for bouldering and fifth in the region overall out of 16 teams.

This weekend, five CC athletes will head to Houston, Texas, to compete in USA Climbing’s Collegiate National Championships. In this competition, collegiate students from schools all around the country will compete for a spot on the U.S. Climbing Collegiate National Team and an invitation to the University World Championships. “Our team has been working hard to train for this competition and we are ready to test our skills on the national level,” Levy says. “We are extremely excited to climb hard, meet new people, and have a blast this weekend.” You can track the team’s progress at the championships here.

“Climbing gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself regardless of how good you are or how long you have been climbing,” Levy says of one of his favorite parts of the sport. “There is endless room for improvement when it comes to climbing, whether in technique, core strength, balance, or brute power. This allows a climber to have goals that can range from being able to perform a single foot movement to winning a national championship.

He says being able to set continuous, progressive goals as a climber keeps him driven and focused. “Climbing challenges you on an individual level, and you are able to push your limits as much as you wish. This makes climbing an amazing sport for beginners and pros alike.”

He also says that climbing provides the opportunity to meet new people and create lasting friendships, providing a competitive environment that is welcoming and encouraging.

Levy says the most challenging aspect of competitive climbing is staying focused. “It is very easy to be distracted by the performance of others and then become discouraged about your own climbing. While it is nice to know how well your competitors are climbing or how well you must climb to beat others, this often takes your focus off of the only thing that you have control over: Your own performance.”

Levy says he’s excited to see the interest in climbing and the climbing team grow at CC. “With climbing being in the Olympics in 2020, the sport is likely to become more mainstream. We hope that this climbing movement leads to a bright future for our team and the sport in general.”

Ella Axelrod ’19 Uncovers Artifacts and Passion for Archaeology

Ella Axelrod on archeological dig site

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Some students enter college with an inkling of what they want to study, and Ella Axelrod ’19, was no different: they had a sneaking suspicion of their interest in archaeology after participating on an archaeology field trip in eighth grade. At CC, Axelrod dove in head first, talking their way into Professor Ruth Van Dyke’s archaeology class right after finishing their FYE, a 300-level class that took place in Castroville, Texas, north of San Antonio. The class sought to find signs of the early Alsacean settlements, built by Henri Castro and the French people he brought to the area in the mid 1840’s.

“This was a hard crash-course in archaeology for me,” describes Axelrod, only a first-year student at the time. “It was physically demanding, [with days spent] often crouched down, carefully removing layer by layer of dirt to look for features, hauling wheelbarrows or five-gallon buckets to screening stations, and sifting through the dirt for artifacts.” Despite the intensity of the class, Axelrod confirmed their love of archaeology and has been studying anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology ever since.

The following summer, Axelrod took a class in their home state of Hawaii, at the University of Hawaii West Oahu, working with a team to help uncover a World War II prisoner of war and citizen internment camp in western central Oahu. This dig was no easy feat either. Axelrod describes searching beneath vegetation for concrete left from the camp and the high temperatures: “The valley we were working in was literally nicknamed ‘Jigoku Dani’ or ‘Hell Valley’ by the Japanese-American citizens who were imprisoned there.” When people think of archaeology they often imagine unearthing dinosaur bones and forgotten civilizations; Axelrod proves that we have much to discover about even recent events. According to them, “going back and finding such difficulty in reconstructing something that seems like it should be recent, memorable history was significant and really highlighted to me how much we don’t realize about the history in our own backyard.”

The emotional and historical significance of this work was highlighted on the trip one lunch break. As Axelrod describes, “after a few days of surveying, while breaking for lunch on a hilltop, we noticed three flowering trees planted in a straight line, about on the border of the civilian side of the camp. Over 70 years ago, some unknown prisoner here probably planted those as an attempt to improve their living conditions in the almost shadeless, sweltering valley. For me, it highlighted the lasting impact we have on our environment and the archaeological record and the human aspect of what happened there.”

Axelrod’s next excavation would take them to the opposite side of the world from Hawaii, to Buysscheure, France. Over the course of the summers of 2016 and 2017, Axelrod would work as the youngest member and only undergraduate on a team of archaeologists set to find and recover the remains of Frank Fazekas, a pilot who was shot down in 1944. Just as labor-intensive as their previous expeditions, Axelrod describes their time in France: “I spent the majority of my first visit to France in a 15-foot deep, muddy hole pulling out countless twisted hunks of metal that used to be a plane and hoping to find the remains of its pilot, a man not much older than myself.” The task was as steeped in meaning as the dig in Hawaii: To bring a man’s remains home to his family. After two summers, many hours, befriending the older French couple across the street who didn’t speak English, and some rain that turned the dirt to mud, their hard work paid off. “Being there while we scrubbed 72-years’ worth of dirt of off what used to be wing-mounted machine guns and finally having confirmation that we found what we were looking for was like watching the puzzle pieces click into place.” Further digging eventually revealed Fazekas’s remains, which were removed and returned to his family.

Axelrod’s most recent archaeological endeavor took them to the Rio Grande National Forest in Colorado near CC’s Baca Campus during Block 2. Professor Scott Ingram, of whom Axelrod “cannot speak highly enough,” taught the CC class titled Field Archaeology, which worked with the National Forest Service to survey a potential part of the Old Spanish Trail. One of the highlights of the trip according to Axelrod was “finding manos and metates, which are artifacts associated with food processing that, potentially, hadn’t been touched by another human in hundreds of years and were just lying on the ground.” Axelrod goes on, “Holding the traces of the people who lived here before any of us was an immensely humbling experience.”

Needless to say, this won’t be their last dig. Continuing their pattern of hard work and determination, Axelrod plans to continue pursuing their archaeological career at Colorado College and beyond.

Jeremy Zucker ’18 Prepping for Graduation and World Tour

Jeremy Zucker '18

By Alana Aamodt ’18

For any student, studying on the Block Plan is a major balancing act — fast paced and sometimes stressful, it all leads to those four days of block break when students can finally take that long awaited nap, hop in a car and drive to the desert, explore Denver or, in the case of Jeremy Zucker ’18, travel the country and perform music. Maybe they’re not your typical block breaks, but Zucker has spent his time at CC fostering a music career right alongside a molecular and cellular biology major.

Signed to Republic Records, Zucker has seen a growing following over the past few years with songs on his most recent album “idle” garnering millions of plays on Spotify, You Tube, and SoundCloud. Zucker’s record label, which has also signed artists such as Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, and Drake, describes his music as a “fusion of organic airy beats, lush soundtrack-style soundscapes, and biting Tumblr-worthy lyricism, Zucker’s catalog is eclectic: equally carefree and effortless as it is introspectively cathartic.”

Singer, songwriter, producer, and student, the balancing act is not easy, says Zucker. “Honestly, the deeper I get into my major the harder it gets to balance school with music. I couldn’t imagine doing it at any other school; often times I’ll fly out and do a couple shows over a block break or just stay at home in the studio I built in my basement and make music nonstop for five days. The way my mind works, I need to be able to focus my attention and effort on one thing at a time or I’ll go crazy,” he says, citing the Block Plan as the main way he is able to do both.

Zucker has been making music since middle school, consistently releasing songs on various platforms. His hard work and determination have paid off, and he has big plans coming up: Zucker is embarking on a European tour in April with the artist Lauv, a good friend of his, as well as appearing at the Firefly Music Festival, the East Coast’s largest music and camping festival in Dover, Delaware, in June.

“As my outlook on life changes and evolves, so do my songs,” Zucker says. “My process is really cathartic. I find myself digging through my subconscious, picking out feelings, fears, and hopes that I didn’t even know I had.” Even with graduation and a European tour approaching, Zucker will continue to create music. Listen to some of Zucker’s music and check out his tour dates.

CC Launches eSports Team

CC eSports

 By Alana Aamodt ’18

The newest team at CC doesn’t practice at the gym or the fields. Nope, they practice from the comfort of their dorm rooms and meet up in the library to go over strategy. It’s CC’s new eSports team, currently consisting of the eight-member Overwatch A-team, with a B-team and a League of Legends team currently in development. Brian Young, vice president for information technology, defines eSports as “competitive, skill-based, usually online gaming where teams play against each other using a specific set of rules set by the game they’re playing.”

eSports at CC is currently an organization supported by the college through the Division of Information Technology. More than 100 students have shown interest in participating in CC eSports following an initial ITS call out; that number could easily be higher, Young says, because many students play eSports that did not come to one of the open information sessions.

Overwatch is an objective-based six vs. six, team game, with each match lasting between 10 and 20 minutes. Set in the future, “every match is an intense multiplayer showdown pitting a diverse cast of heroes, mercenaries, scientists, adventurers, and oddities against each other in an epic, globe-spanning conflict,” according to the game’s Wikipedia page. The game is unique in that players can switch characters mid-game, keeping both teams’ strategies constantly and quickly evolving. One game, the objective may be for one team to move an object from one side of the map to the other, while the other team tries to stop them, while the next game could be a king-of-the-hill style match.

Or, as Chad Schonewill ’03, ITS Solutions Center team lead, summarizes, “it’s a bit like football if the players had guns and swords and force-fields and magic spells and some of them could fly.”

CC’s Information Technology Team has been the main group getting the CC eSports team up and going, with Schonewill leading the way, supported by great student staff members. The project began in December 2017 with the first scrimmages in January 2018.

The team competes against other collegiate teams in competitions and scrimmages, most recently defeating the University of Denver handily just last week. “eSports has skyrocketed in popularity and shows no signs of slowing down. The last world championship for League of Legends had physical attendees and people who watched in numbers that rival the Super Bowl, and is projected to easily surpass that this year,” Schonewill says. “Some large universities are already offering it as a varsity sport, complete with scholarships. I personally think it’s important to include it at CC because a significant part of our student body is passionate about video games. Even if they don’t play at a competitive level, many students like to spectate.”

And viewing a competitive game has never been so easy — their matches are livestreamed on the popular video site Twitch. Schonewill continues, “Having an official program does a lot to legitimize that passion for said students and helps them feel much more engaged with the college than if they just played games on their own in the background.”

Mataan Peer ’21, a member of the Overwatch team, says he enjoys “the communication required in the game. If you want to win with a team, you need to talk to them and organize attacks or defenses with them.” According to Peer, these games are typically with randomly-selected strangers, but because of CC’s eSports team, the players can work out a more personalized strategy, developing a more “intuitive understanding of how each other play and we can work around it.”

Maggie McNeil ’21, another student on the Overwatch team, shares her perspective: “I play mostly support heroes, or healers. For me, Overwatch is great not because you can rack up eliminations on damage heroes, but because I’m able to look after my team and keep them alive in the game. Another reason why I play so much Overwatch is because it’s a good way to stay in touch with my siblings and friends back home in Connecticut; video games are more social than a lot of people might expect.”

For those who still question how a video game may be viewed as a sport, McNeil asserts that “Overwatch shares many of the qualities that sports do: working as a team, developing strategies and mechanical skills, and accomplishing an objective. It’s obviously very different from traditional sports, but if anyone watches the CC live stream of our matches, they would understand that it’s just as complicated with just as many rules as mainstream sports.”

As the eSports community grows at CC to encompass more games and more people, hopefully the greater student following will too — watch their matches. CC’s athletic conference, the SCAC, is exploring what eSports could mean for conference play. Some conferences have already started e-sports programs. CC’s eSports team plays matches with college and university teams around the country and will play in their first tournament at the end of February.