Students Make the Most of Their Time with American Chemical Society

Students Make the Most of Their Time with American Chemical Society

by Rhonda Van Pelt

Nine Colorado College chemistry and biochemistry students presented their research at the Spring National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, which took place March 20-24 in San Diego.

Afterward, some of them spoke about their work and their experiences in California. All were first-timers at the ACS meeting, and all felt it went well and provided networking opportunities.

Victoria Rosa ’24 has been researching the blood-brain barrier, a semi-permeable membrane that separates the brain from the circulatory system.

“Knowledge of a compound’s ability to permeate the BBB is an essential factor in drug development,” she says.

Drugs targeting diseases of the central nervous system, such as mental illness, must be able to cross the BBB, but drugs intended to treat diseases outside the central nervous system, such as an antibiotic prescribed for a urinary tract infection, must not cross the blood-brain barrier.

Rosa has been interested in science for as long as she can remember.

“My interests within science have morphed with time as I have had the opportunity to explore different disciplines,” she says. In elementary school, “I recall having an insatiable interest with studies of the brain and a deep drive to understand the chemistry and biology that governs it.”

Rana Mohamed Abdu ’22 also has been interested in science since childhood.

“I love that there is always more to learn and the challenge that it provides. I love asking questions and problem-solving and I found chemistry to be a creative and scientific puzzle that excites me,” she says.

Abdu enjoyed meeting chemists and talking with them about their research. The experience has motivated her to continue what she’s doing.

CC students at the 2022 American Chemical Society seminar in San Diego.

Her research explores making chemical compounds using molybdenum and fluorinated ligands, molecules attached to a metal atom by coordinate bonding. It was part of a project she worked on last summer at Boston University.

“The hope is that these compounds can catalyze reactions that thus far have been difficult to perform,” she says.

Abdu will head to graduate school next fall to pursue her doctorate in inorganic chemistry.

Aleesa Chua ’22 also plans to start on her doctorate program in the fall; she’ll work in analytical chemistry, focusing on mass spectrometry research.

She and her research group worked on a methodology that would enable using latent fingerprints in biomarker discovery and analysis. They want to use mass spectrometry and machine learning to distinguish between healthy and diseased fingerprint samples. Chua conducted the research at the University of Kansas.

She was happy to present her project to a range of people, from high school students to professors, at the ACS meeting.

“I love science due to its applicability to everyday life. We can use science as a way to better understand how the world and the things within it work. I also love how there are no limitations with science. Each finding you make only fosters a new set of questions,” Chua says.

Markus Bergstrom ’23 was drawn to science around fifth grade.

“To me, learning and doing science are like unlocking the secrets of the universe. Science can explain and predict a wide range of phenomena, and it can lead to technologies that improve people’s lives,” he says.

He’s involved in the Distributed Drug Discovery (D3) program, which works with organic chemistry students in colleges around the world to create molecules that could help the more than 1 billion people impacted by “neglected” diseases. Those affect low-income countries where pharmaceutical companies don’t have the financial incentive to develop drugs needed to alleviate the diseases.

The program also will help mitigate what happens when bacteria evolves to resist the antibiotics currently in use.

His next research project, this summer at the University of California Irvine, will relate to either carbon dioxide capture or creating fuels to store solar energy.

Justin Tee ’22 also is part of the D3 program, and has focused on finding greener, safer alternatives to chemicals that can be toxic, caustic, and carcinogenic — and potential precursors to phencyclidine (PCP).

“The big picture dream of this project is that every institution would teach this lab such that we create a collective pharmaceutical company powered by intro-level organic chemistry students,” he says.

In San Diego, he was able to meet others doing similar projects and learn how to improve the research.

Tee “fell hard” for science in the first grade.

“What has made me stay in love with science is the realization that the many disciplines and fields form a covert ‘language of the universe,’” he says.

Tee plans to transition from organic chemistry to focus on climate change, and hopes to work on developing more efficient solar cells, carbon-capture technology, and instrumentation to detect greenhouse gases.

Ayush Chitrakar ’22 will go to the University of Michigan for graduate school and hopes to earn a doctorate in chemistry, he says.

For about one year, he and Elaine (Yiren) Zhang ’23 studied rosinweed, a potential alternative to sunflower or canola oils. It’s prevalent in the Midwest and tends to resist drought and insects.

“As this plant continues to be crossbred, the natural insect resistance could make this crop well-suited to organic or low-input production systems,” Chitrakar says.

The pair worked with samples from the Kansas Land Institute, and Zhang ran all of the 99 genotypic samples.

“Without her, this research would not have been possible,” Chitrakar says.

Like the other students, his fascination with science started early.

“I like the never-ending aspect of science. There is always something more you can do with your project, another idea to try. In that way, you can always learn something new.”

Women of Color in Leadership at CC

By Sarah Senese ’23

The leadership at Colorado College has changed dramatically throughout the years, and now, in the 2021-22 academic year, the college has never had as many female-identifying, Black, Indigenous, People of Color voices as it does now. While this is an enormous success for Colorado College as a small, liberal arts college, the work always continues. As the CC community takes a moment to acknowledge how far it’s come, the BIPOC women in leadership roles know that there’s still a long way to go.

Dean of Faculty Claire Oberon Garcia
Photo by Lonnie Timmons III

With a unique administrative faculty perspective, Claire Oberon Garcia — professor of English, dean of the faculty, and acting provost — knows that in order for the discrepancies in leadership representation roles to diminish in higher education, “we should speak frankly about the barriers that still exist.” 

For Garcia, many of her concerns lie with the challenges BIPOC women face once they’re in these leadership roles, and the treatment, challenges, and biases that follow. From her experience as the dean of faculty and the acting provost, Garcia can see that “effective leadership is contextual, conversational, and collaborative rather than individualistic and hierarchical. Effective leaders need to make themselves vulnerable in ways that some may interpret as not being ‘strong’ or ‘decisive’.” From this, Garcia becomes concerned with the biases that exist in higher education and the general work force when BIPOC women assume roles of leadership — qualifications. Garcia knows that when these women stray from what others conventionally see as “strong” and “decisive,” it instills doubt about their skills or authority. If you do things differently, do you really know what you’re doing? Garcia says she has noticed that when BIPOC women in these leadership roles aren’t given the confidence, trust, and benefit of the doubt that white individuals in similar roles are given, questions arise about whether a BIPOC person is truly qualified. 

Garcia’s scholarship in Black studies and DEI issues has allowed her to see the problems that exist from an informed administrative perspective. With her current work initiating changes to implement the college’s antiracism commitment to enable all members of the school’s community to be heard and thrive — things do seem, in some ways, to be looking up. 

“I used to feel that headhunters who called me about leadership opportunities were just interested in putting together a compositionally diverse pool,” she says, “but now, I see more and more BIPOC women actually being hired into leadership positions from a diversity of professional and experiential backgrounds.” Garcia says she’s beginning to feel that higher educational institutions are looking for more than just faces on a pamphlet, or numbers in a statistic. Instead, these institutions are looking for those who are excited to enact change and challenge the current ways of thinking, and are beginning to broaden what is considered relevant experience for leadership roles, encouraging more BIPOC women to fill these spaces. 

As things look up for higher education and Colorado College in the lens of BIPOC women assuming significantly more leadership roles, it’s important for the college and its antiracism commitment to hear what these women know must happen for this change to continue — with longevity — toward a more equitable future. Colorado College has come a long way and there’s pride to be had in the current leadership representation, but the work certainly continues. 

Note: An extended version of this story will appear in the Spring 2022 Bulletin magazine.

‘Chalk the Walk’ to Make Life More Beautiful

The Colorado College Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center invites the campus community to join “Chalk the Walk” for National Making Life Beautiful Day, Friday, June 11. Create your own colorful drawings and positive messages with chalk along the CC sidewalks. Once you have finished your drawing and/or message, add #chalkthewalk@CC to your message or drawing, snap a pic and upload to your social media accounts. 

Please keep your drawings and messages PG-rated, only use chalk or liquid chalk, and only draw/write on sidewalks that are on campus. 

The Dollar Tree sells sidewalk chalk; here is a recipe for chalk paint: 

DIY Sidewalk Chalk Paint
1/3 – cup cornstarch
1/3 – cup water
1 – 2 tablespoons washable paint or 
several drops of food coloring
6 – 8 plastic containers with lids or use disposable muffin tins
various brushes and rollers

In each plastic cup add 1/3 cup cornstarch to 1/3 cup water or whatever equal parts you prefer. Mix to combine.
Add 1 -2 tablespoons of paint or several drops of food coloring into each cup and stir until your desired color is reached.
Note: The cornstarch will settle a bit as the paint sits, so give the paints a good stir and have fun. 

Students Share Conservation Priorities in Photo Contest

By Sarah Senese ’23

The State of the Rockies Project Photo Contest invites Colorado College students to enter photographs that reminds us why, how, and what conservation efforts are critical to the future of nature, and specifically how humans have impacted the environment of the Rocky Mountain West.  

This year’s first place photo was taken by Deming Haines ’21, who was inspired by the expansive landscapes of Colorado and the conservation initiative emphasized in the description of the contest. “This contest combines my passion for the arts with my interest in conservation,” Haines said. “The photo is an image of a single wispy cloud which mimics the curvature of the distant mountain range. Through this cloud, I see the pleasing beauty of our world, but the soft colors and solitary nature of the cloud evoke a melancholic feel as well.”  

Encompassing how Haines feels about humanity and nature, the photo captures a moment in an area not too far from the CC campus. Haines was excited to photograph a piece of Colorado so accessible to CC students and something so familiar — a Colorado sunset. While many would think to photograph Pikes Peak against the sky, Haines directed the lens just to the left of the mountain, aiming to show the beauty of a less-photographed plain. For Haines, the familiarity of the sky we all see but seldom appreciate was the perfect subject. 

While it’s easy to take the beauty right behind our campus for granted, Haines hopes that this winning image “serves as a reminder to gaze upward and take in our surroundings to the fullest.” 

Second place went to Maddi  Schink ’23 for “Cabin in Mayflower Gulch,” taken in Frisco, Colorado; third place went to Kat Gruschow ’22 for “Hanging Clouds,” taken in Grand Tetons, Wyoming; and the People’s Choice Award went to Bibi Powers-McCormack ’21 for “Fawns,” taken along the Front Range in Colorado.

You can see photos from all of the winners, on the State of the Rockies website

Deming Haines’ winning photo

Social Activism on Campus in the Age of COVID-19

By Molly Seaman ’21

CC boasts over 80 active student organizations, and a significant fraction are geared toward effecting positive social change within the CC community, the greater Colorado Springs area, and/or beyond. Social distancing and other health protocols related to COVID-19 have dramatically affected life on college campuses around the globe for over a year now, but social activists within the student body at Colorado College haven’t let the circumstances halt their work. 

The Collaborative for Community Engagement facilitates collaboration between students, staff, faculty, and community organizations who are trying to address local issues. Elena Martinez-Vivot ’21 works with the CCE to bolster the work she does with CCVotes and the Political Advocacy Coalition. She says, “The CCE has been incredibly supportive of all of the initiatives I’ve proposed. One of the things I love about CC being such a small campus is that there’s less bureaucracy and it’s easier to gain access to resources for student initiatives.” 

Martinez-Vivot explains that the motivation behind her tenacious social activism lies in her passion for increasing voter turnout. “I have worked to ensure that CC students have every resource necessary to vote. The Political Advocacy Coalition has worked to connect CC students with the broader politics of Colorado Springs and trying to engage students in local issues. I think the coolest thing we were able to do was to host a debate for the 2019 City Council elections, which involved a collaboration between CC, UCCS, PPCC, and the CS Indy.”

Nate Hochman ’21 is a Young Voices associate contributor, a Conservative Fellow at the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and a former editorial intern at National Review and The Dispatch. His writing has been published in National ReviewCity JournalThe DispatchThe Washington ExaminerThe Washington TimesQuilletteThe American ConservativeTownhallThe Orange County RegisterThe Colorado Springs GazetteIntercollegiate Review, and other outlets. He has appeared on various television shows, podcasts, and radio programs such as Fox 5 DC, the First Things podcast, Matt Lewis and the News, and the Acton Line. 

At CC, Hochman is the co-chair of the American Enterprise Institute Executive Council and the founder and editor-in-chief of Athwart Magazine, a new student-run political magazine. When asked how he works within the CC community to effect positive change, Hochman says, “I aim to elevate voices that aren’t generally heard at CC, specifically those who align with the political right. A liberal arts education should be a rich exchange of a variety of ideas.” 

“I want to make the significant body of students who have felt left out of the community at CC feel like they have a place here too, that they can and should be comfortable voicing any ideas in a respectful manner. I think empowering these students to speak up benefits the entire community at CC because a significant number of Americans have these beliefs. Even if students disagree with these ideas, it’s important to be able to have informed debates.”

Filip Čarnogurský ’23 is a Bonner Fellow, which means that he was selected for a four-year cohort-based opportunity designed to support student leaders from underrepresented backgrounds with their endeavors to transform communities. His status as a fellow means that he also works closely with the CCE.

“I am very fortunate to be a Bonner Fellow through the CCE. We are supported by very knowledgeable staff who are eager to help with any question we ask them. We participate in useful educational workshops and on top of all of this, we can work on social change without being too worried about the financial aspect. Many of us come from weaker socio-economic backgrounds and we receive a stipend that allows us to work on issues that we care about instead of working for the sole purpose of making ends meet. Then there are summer grants, research grants, fellowships and so many opportunities that allow us to focus on what we are interested in, which I see as a privilege most people do not have (or I did not have before I came to CC).”

Čarnogurský is heavily involved in environmental activism both on and off campus; he participates in various student groups, such as the Sunrise Movement and EnAct, and Environment Colorado, with whom he helped organize the protest against Senator Gardner’s inaction on climate change. 

Čarnogurský is especially passionate about his role at the Sierra Club, which has been spearheading environmental action in Colorado Springs for many years. He states, “Last year, a Sierra Club member and CC alum, Lindsay Facknitz, came to CC to speak about how we can shut down coal power plants. It felt so empowering. Never before did I feel capable of closing an entire power plant. After observing all the invitations to voice my own opinion about the decision-making process during this talk, I felt capable of enacting change. There were at least 20 people at the talk, many of whom worked on the transition to renewable energy in the subsequent months. After a long and tedious campaign, we succeeded! The local powerplants are now set to be closed many years earlier than they were initially planned. This is one of the most prominent examples of why I think the Sierra Club is integral to local environmental activism.”

When asked to define “social activism,” Čarnogurský spoke about how working toward similar causes can create community. “I often feel anxious about the social upheaval waiting for us due to global warming. However, organizing around this issue means meeting people with the same fears, interests, and passions, which changes the game. Sharing these fears with a community of like-minded and inspiring people makes my worries more manageable. On top of that, we really do contribute to solving it! In Slovakia, we say ‘Shared happiness is always greater and shared fear is always smaller.’ This saying is the backbone of social activism.” 

Maddi Schink ’23 is also a Bonner Fellow. She uses the resources provided by the fellowship to work with a student-run service organization housed by the CCE called BreakOut. She explains, “Our work is community-facing and, especially before COVID, involved students getting beyond the CC bubble and out into Colorado Springs on Saturdays and over block breaks in order to support organizations who are already greatly impacting our community.”

“From the Marian House Soup Kitchen to Concrete Couch, the Catamount Institute, and Food to Power, CC students have been able to use BreakOut as an introduction to a variety of issue areas and as an ‘on-ramp’ for further community engagement. Despite the short-term nature of BreakOut trips, this program really allows students to develop more sustainable and meaningful relationships with local partners.”

The Colorado College Student Government Association (CCSGA) works with the CCE to fund BreakOut. Schinkexpresses gratitude for the CCSGA’s funding, as it provides the organization with the resources for transportation and for materials they can use to support community partners. “Just a few weeks ago, BreakOut was able to purchase materials for and assemble over 100 Easter care packages for the Springs Rescue Mission. This is great because the resources we have available to us as a club — and the wealth of CC more broadly — are able to be redistributed throughout the Colorado Springs community.”

Caitlin Blinkhorn ’22 was elected co-president of GlobeMed after designing fundraisers with the e-board team that each raised approximately $600 for organizations that help support those living with HIV/AIDS. She is fervently passionate about GlobeMed, and she is grateful that the organization allowed her to pursue her interest in global health during college despite the fact that the credits required for her Neuroscience major prevented her from taking classes in this subject.

Blinkhorn also mentions that working with GlobeMed through CC’s provides a plethora of opportunities: “We are a unique chapter because we are at a small school. GlobeMed is an international organization, but we have both a community partner and an international partner. Our community partner is Meadows Park Community Center, and we’ve had a really good relationship with that group for several years now. We also have a very strong relationship with WOPLAH, which is the Western Organization for People Living With HIV/AIDS.”

When asked about how GlobeMed has been operating during the pandemic, Blinkhorn attributes the continued success of the organization to her teammates.

“I’m so proud of all of our members. One individual, Maddi Schink, has been going to the Meadows Park Community Center each week as a representative for all of us. Usually we go as a group every Friday and we talk and do some fun activity with the kids. Due to the challenges posed by doing that in person this year, Maddi has been really great with making take-home science kits and really trying to engage the kids despite the circumstances.”

Mayta Cohen ’24 Awarded Outstanding Soloist in A Cappella Competition

Mayta Cohen ’24 recently participated in a virtual a cappella competition, “The International Championship of A Cappella Open,” with her a cappella group, “Inside Voices.” The group took third place in the semifinals and Cohen, a first-year music major, was awarded outstanding soloist.

The event was held through Varsity Vocals, a global tournament which showcases the art of student a cappella and “encourages singers to bring together groups of any age, experience or origin to form a cappella ‘dream teams.’ ”

Cohen, of Boston, Massachusetts, competed with her virtual a cappella group, made up of 14 singers who come from all over the U.S. and Canada. “By connecting in a Facebook group during the beginning of the pandemic, we virtually joined together as a way to keep our love for a cappella music alive during such a challenging time,” Cohen says. “With members from different countries, backgrounds, and skill sets, we created a passionate team where we arrange and produce all our own music.”

Cohen says it also was a great project to be a part of because she was able to play a large part of arranging the set. She co-arranged the first song in their set, “Just Fine,” by Mary J. Blige, with another group member, Nick Gomez-Colon of the University of Delaware. “Although we’ve been a group for about a year, I’ve never met any of our members in person. Regardless, Nick and I were able to collaborate on a product we’re both really proud of by sending sheet music back and forth and talking over the phone,” she says.

“This was a very exciting award for me. I learned about this competition through the movie ‘Pitch Perfect,’ and since then, I’ve hoped to get to compete in it someday,” she says.

The competition was live streamed in early April, but the set can be viewed here. (FYI: Cohen is the vocalist with the snow and mountain Colorado backdrop. Eve Stewart ’24 took the video on the Tiger Trail walkway, west of McGregor Hall.)

“The Toilet Paper Pitch:” How Caitlin Soch ’24 Advocated for Free Menstrual Products in Denver Public Schools

By Shannon Zander

Denver Public Schools has installed free menstrual product dispensers in restrooms across the district. This change is due to relentless advocacy of one in our own community, Caitlin Soch ’24, who was recently interviewed by Denver 9News for her role in advocating for the change. Soch also attended Denver Public Schools.

The initiative began when Soch approached DPS district officials about the need for menstrual products to be free and easily accessible, as she was concerned for those who couldn’t afford them and the toll that not having access to them can take. 

“We need to provide for all the basic needs for every student. Obviously, a student who menstruates is going to have different needs than a student who doesn’t,” Soch says.

Soch was motivated to push for the change because she realized that for some students, spending money on menstrual products, which are taxed as a luxury item, may be inaccessible: “If parents can’t afford, or can hardly afford, to put food on the table, then feminine products are not going to be that high on the list,” Soch told 9NEWS. 

The easy response is, “why don’t students go to the nurse’s office?” But Soch points out that it fails to acknowledge the complexity of the situation given that menstrual body-shaming can make students feel uncomfortable asking. The privacy and convenience of having products accessible in restrooms sidesteps the discomfort of having to go out of one’s way to ask. 

Soch initially brought up the issue with the leaders at her former high school, George Washington High School, but she was encouraged to advocate for an even bigger change. She brought the issue to the district’s attention. “Navigating a deeply bureaucratic administrative system of a public school district was slow-going at first,” explains Soch. “I definitely had to push consistently to get an audience, but once I had their ear, getting my advocacy out there was progressively easier. It’s always that first barrier of having your concerns tabled for a week, or three, that’s the most difficult to overcome. But I knew that what I had to say was important for not just me, but every other person who needed these products.”

The district was initially resistant due to precedent: “Nobody had ever tried this before for Denver Public Schools, and it was like I was uncovering something that was just to the periphery of the agenda.” Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology Tomi-Ann Roberts, who was formerly the president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research and currently serves on the board of directors, attributes the unwillingness of many places to provide free menstrual products to misogyny: “The only answer I can possibly come up with is misogyny. Menstruation is treated as taboo across history, religions, and in secular societies. So being someone who menstruates carries stigma.”

District officials also brought up concerns about the issue of toxic shock syndrome, liability, and cost. “I think it’s difficult for folks in government positions not to be tight with the budget, but I made clear from the beginning that we couldn’t make these decisions on purely budgetary grounds when basic necessities were at stake,” Soch says. And in the arguments about the cost, there was an undercurrent of the “internalized notion that menstruators’ problems aren’t just ‘people problems.’” They’re problems relegated to only a certain subsection of individuals, and therefore less worthy of addressing. “There’s just this nagging preconception that period products are a luxury which underwrites tax policy as well as resource allocation in public facilities like our schools.”

In response to questions about cost, Soch became rather infamous for her “toilet paper pitch.” Of those opposed due to the potential cost, she would ask the simple question, “would you ever cut the budget to exclude the provision of toilet paper in public schools?” The response was always, “no.” So, Soch would push back and ask, “why not?” She’d receive responses about sanitation, public health, and human dignity. “Providing toilet paper was always a given in a way that period products were not. It has always been my position that comparing two basic necessities which have clear ramifications for public health is the best way to remove the issue of sex.” 

Allowing officials to make the same argument about toilet paper that she’d soon make about menstrual products proved effective. Although it can be a common assumption that individuals on their period always carry menstrual products with them, many don’t realize the crisis which occurs when that’s not the case. Those menstruating have no choice but to halt whatever they’re doing until the crisis is resolved. Reframing it as such allowed Soch to add on other important points: Improvised toilet-paper tampons are considerably more likely to cause toxic shock syndrome; and lower-income students miss out on more class time by being forced to take a detour to the nurse’s office or to find a peer to ask. 

Although DPS’s efforts were put on pause due to the pandemic, all dispensers were installed by Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Trena Marsal, the executive director of facility management at DPS, worked with the district to find a sustainable source of funding to resupply the dispensers. 

“There are so many students who are going to grow up in this system where we have these products provided,” Soch says. “It starts a conversation, having them out in the open instead of hidden away at the nurse’s office.”

While providing free menstrual products is a first step, Roberts points out that there’s still a long way to go in reducing stigma and addressing sustainability issues. “On some level products are still all about concealing menstruation — and in this way providing such products does nothing to address stigma,” Roberts says. Roberts also points out that there’s a sustainability issue with single-use products as well. Most menstrual products are produced by three global corporations, which create immense amounts of waste. The solution going forward, she says, is to push for reusable products such as menstrual cups and reusable/washable cloth pads to be affordable and de-stigmatized. Roberts also adds, “bathrooms can become spaces where people encounter one another at the sink and TALK MORE about menstruation.” We hope this story opens up a conversation. 

Note: The terminology in this article is intentionally gender neutral when discussing the experiences of those who menstruate (“feminine hygiene products” vs. “menstrual products”; “women/girls” vs. “those who menstruate”). As Soch points out, “not all women menstruate and not all menstruators are women.” Soch tries to avoid gendered terminology like “feminine” hygiene products when discussing the topic, and in doing so, hopes “to help change this assumption which is exclusionary to trans women, trans men, and nonbinary folks who have a period.”

Caitlin Soch ’24

Two Library Areas Named in Honor of Jill Tiefenthaler

The Tiefenthaler Entryway and the Tiefenthaler Study Area are two areas of Charles L. Tutt library that are being newly dedicated to the former Colorado College president. PHOTO BY SKYE SCHELZ ’21

The CC Board of Trustees recently approved the naming of an entrance and a study lounge in the Charles L. Tutt Library in honor of former President Jill Tiefenthaler.

The library’s east entrance, which faces Palmer Hall, will be named the Tiefenthaler Entryway, and the large study area next to Susie B’s café on the library’s third floor will be called the Tiefenthaler Study Lounge.

The college’s naming policy provides for honorific naming to recognize individuals who have “provided exemplary, meritorious or philanthropic support or service to the college.” President Tiefenthaler, the college’s 13th president, led CC from 2011-20. Under her leadership the college achieved significant advances including the expansion and renovation of Tutt Library, the largest carbon neutral, net zero-energy academic library in the country. In making its recommendation to the Board, CC’s co-presidents and Advancement Office stated, “It is fitting to recognize President Tiefenthaler’s commitment to the college and its students by naming these two prominent, and active, spaces within the library.” Tiefenthaler left the college in July 2020 to become the first female CEO of National Geographic.

An Update from Bon Appetit

We heard you…

During Fall Semester, we learned a lot! We approached COVID-19 head on and tried to open most of our locations, as we have done in previous years.  We were met with many challenges, particularly with Rastall Dining Hall. We knew we would have to remain fluid in our operations and we would need to have the ability to pivot. What we did not know was how much we would actually have to pivot. We were dealing with opening locations, closing locations, mass quarantine and isolation meals; all while trying to serve the community hot, made-from-scratch food. 

Rastall Dining Hall was the most trying during these times; changing the location from ‘all you care to eat’ to a bag pricing system, was not sustainable. Food waste, single-use paper products, and health and safety concerns for both student guests and Bon Appétit staff were a few of the deciding factors that led us to try a new approach for Spring Semester. We also heard from many students that they craved multiple locations, one main café and a coffee bar was not the variety they desired. 

With health and safety being a campus-wide priority, and from what we learned with quarantines during Fall Semester, we knew we had to make some adjustments. Our top priority was to create pods within our operations staff, allowing us to keep staff members who tested positive for COVID isolated and not affect food service to the CC community. By opening multiple locations across campus (see below), we are able to disperse guests around campus and not funnel them to a single location, and keep our staff and guests as safe as possible.

We understand Rastall is a desired location and while there is no timetable for Rastall to re-open, we look forward to the day we can serve you again. Meanwhile, in our five open locations, thanks to feedback from the campus community, we have lowered pricing, increased our portion sizes, and continue to offer a variety of meal options, still made from scratch and utilizing local vendors. 

Do you have a question we did not answer?

Contact me, Bon Appétit General Manager Shannon Wilson, 
(719) 389-6152

Helpful links: 
Bon Appétit on the Colorado College website:

Allergen information:

Have a menu request?

Parents & Safety:

Food Service Locations:

Benjamin’s Café (Worner Center)

Benjamin’s is a retail location featuring all-natural farm-to-fork beef burgers with your choice of assorted toppings and many other grill selections, made-to-order salads and sandwiches, and a rotating global entrée. 

  • HOURS* 
    Monday – Sunday
    Hot breakfast served from 8–9:30 a.m.
    Lunch served from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Dinner served from 4:30–8 p.m.
  • This café has dietary preference and allergen-friendly options. If there is uncertainty on how to find these options, a chef and/or manager is always available to help guide the guest through the café and daily menu.
  • Standard entrée prices range from $4 to $10
  • What’s Happening?
    • Holiday Pop Ups to provide fun specials related to holidays and special events like Lunar New Year, Fat Tuesday, and Valentine’s Day, when we offered chocolate covered strawberries, house-made truffle boxes, roses, cards, and other items.

Colorado Coffee (Worner Center)

Designed for those on the go, Colorado Coffee, located in Benjamin’s, offers healthy, freshly made grab-n-go choices, including signature sandwiches and abundant salads. Enjoy your favorite coffee or espresso drink, fruit smoothies, house-made desserts, and a variety of retail and bottled beverages.

  • HOURS*
    Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
    Boost Mobile available from 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • This café has dietary preference and allergen-friendly options. If there is uncertainty on how to find these options, a chef and/or manager is always available to help guide the guest through the café and daily menu.
  • What’s Happening?
    • $5 Breakfast Fridays
    • Use Boost Mobile and be entered to win a free hand-crafted drink, drawing one winner weekly

The Picnic Box (Parked Under the Olin Annex)

A uniquely branded, pop-up retro food truck offering quick and easy bites. Currently serving a daily rotating entrée, always featuring a meat and vegetarian option.

  • HOURS* 
    Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m., or until sold out
  • Standard entrée prices range from $5 to $10
  • What’s Happening?
  • $5 Fridays – Sourdough Soup Bread Bowls. 
  • Pop-up events!

The Preserve Café (Lower Level of the Western Ridge Apartments)

Featuring everything you need to stock your in-room refrigerator, and snacks for your next Zoom meeting, The Preserve, is a retail location offering local produce, snacks and groceries, health bars, and a wide variety of bottled beverages. Take a study break and enjoy house-made pizza (whole pie or by the slice), freshly prepared grab-n-go, gourmet, made-to-order entrées and side dishes.

  • HOURS*
    Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
    Hot breakfast served from 8–9:30 a.m.
    Lunch entrée served from 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.
    Dinner entrée served from 5–7 p.m.
    Boost Mobile Pizza available from 11:30 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • This café has dietary preference and allergen-friendly options. If there is uncertainty on how to find these options, a chef and/or manager is always available to help guide the guest through the café and daily menu.
  • Standard entrée prices range from $6 to $9
  • What’s Happening?
    • $5 Dinner Fridays
    • Wanderlust, culinary block education series
    • Steak Nights, Bi-weekly
    • Fun concepts including BYO Omelet Bar and BYO Yogurt Parfait
    • Wings, Soda, and House-made Desserts coming to Boost Mobile this week!

Local Goods (Mathias Hall)

Local Goods is a retail location featuring all of the essentials including a wide variety of natural foods, seasonal produce, specialty snacks, and bottled beverages. 

  • HOURS* 
    Sunday – Thursday, Noon–8 p.m.
    Friday – Saturday, Noon–10 p.m. 
  • What’s Happening?
    • Munchie Mondays, serving a HOT, low-cost, familiar classic.
    • Golden Tiger Ticket, find this special ticket hidden in one of your retail items. The ticket is good for one whole pizza at The Preserve.
    • Bag of the Block, purchase items at Local Goods and be automatically entered to win a fun bag of goodies – One giveaway per block.
    • COMING SOON – Online ordering!

*Hours are subject to change; block break hours will vary.

Ángela Castro Publishes Article in ‘Racialized Visions’ Anthology

Ángela Castro, a visiting assistant professor in CC’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese, is one of 12 contributors to the edited volume “Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean.” Castro’s article is titled “Haitian and Dominican Resistance: A Study of the Symptom in Edwidge Danticat’s ‘The Farming of Bones.’ ”

Her article proposes that “The Farming of Bones” portrays Dominican-Haitian history through a symptomatic trauma imprinted through bodily and mental traces that also can be seen in recent interactions between the two nations. Castro’s current project explores representations of “beyond-blackness” in the Panamanian writer Melanie Taylor’s edited anthology, “Camino a Mariato.”

“Racialized Visions,” edited by Vanessa K. Valdés with Suny Press, is the first volume in English to explore the cultural impact of Haiti on the surrounding Spanish-speaking nations of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

As a Francophone nation, Haiti is seldom studied in conjunction with its Spanish-speaking Caribbean neighbors. “Racialized Visions” challenges the notion that linguistic difference has kept the populations of these countries apart, instead highlighting ongoing exchanges between their writers, artists, and thinkers. Centering Haiti in this conversation also makes explicit the role that race — and, more specifically, anti-blackness — has played both in the region and in academic studies of it.

Castro’s research areas include 20th-century Afro-Caribbean female writing, Afro-Caribbean bodies, and diasporic studies. She earned a B.A. in literature from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.