Posts in: Around Campus

New Resource Tracks CC Speakers, Scholars, Events

Message on behalf of CC’s first Tiger Pen team:

Wondering what major speakers are coming to campus next semester? Looking for more information about a presentation you saw last year? Searching for ideas while planning for a major speaker?

We are proud to present “Speakers, Scholars, and Events,” a new web resource that aims to meet those needs. With the Block Plan’s rapid pace, sometimes you don’t hear about an outstanding speaker until she’s already gone. The new web resource aims to keep the campus community better informed, and features a selection of the many amazing visitors who interact with the campus community each block.

Speakers, Scholars, and Events” is the result of CC’s first Tiger Pen, which convened this summer to solve a problem selected by campus community vote: With so many events happening and the pace of the Block Plan, we often miss some of our amazing visitors entirely, or aren’t able to connect with them as much as we’d like.

The web resource aims to solve this problem by providing a new lens through which to view CC speakers. The web resource:

  • Enables the CC community to better anticipate upcoming academic events and prevents scheduling conflicts
  • Presents information well in advance of speakers’ visits
  • Keeps a record of past events including additional information after the event is complete
  • Enhances the new CC Events Management system by providing more depth and breadth of information and highlighting major events appearing on the campus calendar
  • Showcases how endowed funds are used

The Tiger Pen is a focused way to solve problems and/or implement new ideas directly related to CC’s academic mission and the format means a different team of experts is selected for each project.

The Tiger Pen concept was 1 of 10 innovative pilot projects funded by the Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching Action team.

First Tiger Pen Team Members:

Caitlin Apigian

Bethany Grubbs

Mark Lee

Tomi-Ann Roberts

Chad Schonewill

Jenn Sides

Christine Smith-Siddoway

Brenda Soto

Kris Stanec

Stephanie Wurtz


Young Poet Brings Personal Connection to Syrian Civil War

Monica Black ’19

Poet Amal Kassir, 19, is not one to skirt around issues. Upon entering CC’s Slocum Hall Oct. 26, wearing a black hijab, the University of Colorado-Boulder student stated the obvious with a small smile: “I’m the only scarved girl here.” Her audience, seated around her at tables, laughed nervously. “I get this question all the time: ‘Who cuts your hair?’” And with that prompt, she launched into one of her award-winning spoken word poems. Her poems fiercely defend the dignity of her Syrian-American identity and the importance of family and connection to place.

With constant fearlessness, she attacked and confronted issues of her identity. Born of a Syrian father and an American mother, Kassir grew up in Aurora, Colorado, but spent much of her childhood in Syria. “America,” she recited, “taught me spangling my scarves with stars.” She described a road trip through Colorado, Austin, the Grand Canyon, and San Diego that left her with impressions that her spine was like the American Aspen, that her Iowan mother had drunk the same water as every American to nurture her in the womb, that she was constructed of the very land that now marginalized immigrant families like hers. Elements of the poem were accusatory as well: “My immigrant father is your dream!” she recited. It was a triumphant reclaiming of her identity, the hope that those contradictions not be so offensive or problematic after all.

The Race, Ethnicity and Migration Studies Department invited Kassir, who works with refugees and is an education advocate for marginalized and displaced American youth, to lend perspective to the traditional narrative of the Syrian civil war. The discussion was the first of a series of “roundtable discussions” that REMS plans to put on this year. Claire Garcia, professor and chair of the REMS department, stated the group’s intention for this roundtable discussion was to promote comprehension of the global response to the crisis caused by the Syrian civil war.

Kassir, who still has connections to her father’s homeland, offered both a human perspective as a Syrian-American affected by the conflict, and an informed position on the global response. But her personal connection to the region did not prevent her from seeing it in terms of foreign policy; in fact, it lends to that analysis. During the discussion led by student and faculty panel members, Kassir offered her opinions on the response of the U.S., calling for a no-fly zone above the region to stem the outflow of refugees to neighboring countries, the outflow which has in recent months provoked a crisis, most notably in the European Union.

However, Kassir did not want attendees to discount the relevance of personal experience in the understanding of current issues; her poem “My Grandmother’s Farm” was a deeply moving tribute to the way that civilians, in particular farmers, view the regime of dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

They cut down the plum trees in my grandmother’s farm,

Ripped the pomegranate bushes from the earth,

The lemons don’t grow anymore.

And we wonder

If the tyrant even remembers who fed him.

Even thousands of miles away, Kassir feels the impact of the civil war and feels her ties to the land, just like she feels ties to America. “Syria redefined happy for us,” she told the group, “and redefined sadness. I have learned a lot better to love since the civil war.”

Sacred Grounds Renovation Keeps Student Space in Hands of Students

Monica Black ’19

The beloved Sacred Grounds space on the lower level of Shove Memorial Chapel recently received a dramatic makeover. Gone are the narrow side stairs, metal railings and black-box feel of the old Sacred Grounds, replaced with almost unrecognizable but equally warm and welcoming architecture. The new space — replete with light, warm colors — features multiple levels, a small meeting area, a shiny new kitchen, and various benches and sitting spaces scattered throughout. A new audio-visual system is also in place for late-night screenings, music performances, and other events. Student manager Vanessa Voller ’16 added, “in light of the larger ‘Sense of Place’ initiative on campus we are very excited to revamp the fair-trade focus of Sacred Grounds this year: sourcing direct trade and locally grown (when possible) teas and coffee.”

Sacred Grounds is an integral part of spiritual life at CC: programs over meals, such as Shove Council and Spiritual Journeys, are held there; Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and GROW meet in the space; and it serves as a quiet study area when no groups are in session.

Sacred Grounds is perhaps best known among the student body, however, for the Sacred Grounds Tea House. The Tea House is a student-run, late-night (9 p.m. – 1 a.m.) coffee and teahouse, sometimes hosting open mics, screenings, and other events (like Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, the crafting-and-complaining club). Sacred Grounds was conceived with the idea that students should be in charge of a space on campus, and in fact, the managers of the space are students, like Voller and Jesús Loayza ’16. “We’re looking forward to collaborating with student groups in the space,” said Loayza. “Many don’t know that they can use Sacred Grounds for late-night events. That’s going to be one of our marketing department’s priorities here on out.”

Chaplain Bruce Coriell and Jera Wooden, Chaplains’ Office manager, wanted to respect the student-led nature of the space and encouraged student input during the planning process. “There aren’t many places on campus where students can direct the space without much restriction,” said Coriell. They received all kinds of responses and worked in close harmony with several students, including Ben Kimura ’16 and Jacey Stewart ’17, during the planning sessions of the renovation. Students expressed the desire for a “homier, less institutionalized” space, according to Wooden. “Conceptually, the idea for the space was to emulate a river, the eddies and the flows,” commented Coriell. This idea of “flow” was inserted into the plans for the stairs and levels; it does in fact mimic a river tumbling down a hill. “If you’re tuned in, you can feel it,” said Coriell.

Upon completion of the renovation, reception has been overwhelmingly positive. “Walking through here in the morning,” said Coriell, whose office is nestled in the back of Sacred Grounds, “the space feels twice as big. I’m thrilled.” Loayza was excited about some of the architectural features. “The levels are also more conducive to hosting events. I think the high-top bars will be a hit amongst students as well.”

The bulk of the renovation was completed over the summer and Sacred Grounds celebrated with a re-dedication ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 4. Check out the teahouse, now open every night from 9 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Students Explore, Delve Deeper with Help of Grants

Montana Bass ’18

Student recipients in two different grant programs will showcase their experiences and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with them about how the grants support learning at CC.

Promoting CC students’ imagination, challenge, and personal growth in their own responsible and conscientious pursuit of wilderness expeditions and education — that’s the purpose of the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund.  Each year, the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund gives grants to a selection of student applicants. This summer, the fund sponsored 10 expeditions in which 27 students participated. Talk with grant recipients in person at the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund Expedition Grant slideshow on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Cornerstone Arts Center Screening Room.  Student groups will share their incredible backcountry expeditions throughout North America.

Morgan Mulhern ’17 , explored the culture of food in Latin America with funding from a Keller Venture Grant.

Morgan Mulhern ’17 , explored the culture of food in Latin America with funding from a Keller Venture Grant.

Since its inauguration in 1995, the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund has provided 320 students with expedition funding, resulting in 134 successful expeditions and countless life-changing experiences for Colorado College students.

Keller Venture Grants provide another unique opportunity for CC students, sending them out into the world with the resources to explore a specific interest. This year marks 10 years for the Keller Family Venture Grant program. Last year, the program provided $121,750 to 134 CC students for research and experiential projects.

Students’ projects ranged in focus from art to health care to environmental studies. The grants took students to five continents and 13 countries. The students who receive them exhibit noteworthy innovation, creativity, and passion in their ability to pursue their interests and take advantage of a unique and vital resource at CC.

Anna Cain ’17 traveled to Dublin to continue delving into a book that she did not want to put down at the end of the block. “Ulysses is a book that just destroys your mind,” Cain explained. “After one block, I knew I hadn’t gotten all I could out of it, so I continued to read it over the course of one semester.” Cain meticulously traced the travels of Ulysses during her semester of reading and applied for a grant that would take her to Dublin in the summer to trace his path herself. She researched the commercialism that has grown from Ulysses’s legacy in Dublin and paid specific attention to this in her travels. “It began as just seeing how Ireland was honoring its legacy, then I was finding lots of industries whose entire business model was based on their connection to Ulysses,” she said.

Morgan Mulhern ’17 began her CC semester in a Latin America study abroad program with a grant to study the food of southern Peru over winter break before the spring semester started. “Culinary culture can be thought of as a form of unwritten communication and identification. I traveled from Lima down the coast to Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco. I visited restaurants of Acurio Gaston along the way. His restaurants serve to integrate, celebrate, and explore various fields surrounding the culture and creation of food,” said Mulhern.

To make even more memorable his travel with the CC men’s soccer team, Soren Frykholm ’17 applied for and received a grant to create a documentary exploring the effect of travel on team companionship. “I had the camera rolling as much as I could,” said Frykholm. “I really wanted to get at, ‘What is the importance of world travel’ and ‘What is the purpose of this trip?’” Frykholm dedicated the project to his coach, Horst Richardson, and his wife, Helen, for their 50 years of service to the team.

All three students stressed heavily the accessibility of the grant application process and the academic and personal growth they experienced as a result of their adventures. View an interactive map of all grants from the past two years.

Or, hear their stories in person and learn about how the Keller Venture Grants have transformed the student experience at CC. The Keller Family Venture Grant Forum happens Thursday, Nov. 5, beginning with a reception at 4:45 p.m. in the Cornerstone Arts Center’s main space and a student improv performance by TWIT (CC’s Theatre Workshop Improv Troupe) at 5:20 p.m. Featured student IGNITE-style presentations begin in the Celeste Theatre at 5:30 p.m.

Shove Sound System Gets “Revolutionary” Update

The next time you attend a program or performance at Shove Chapel, go ahead and sit in the back. What ITS experts call “revolutionary technology” is now in place,offering a greatly enhanced sound system for the historic building.  “The sound quality is awesome,” said Jera Wooden, “We had no idea how clear and crisp everything would sound.”

ITS began working on the project about a year ago, recognizing the need for an upgrade to the sound system while also identifying very specific aesthetic and acoustic needs within the space. The Tectonic speakers are “cutting edge” said Randy Babb and Sean Roberts, members of the ITS Smart Spaces team who led the installation process. While traditional speakers distribute sound directionally, similar to the way light is distributed by a spot light, the new speakers use a flat surface to distribute the sound cleanly and clearly, with less echoing. Shove Chapel is one of the first buildings in the country to install this new speaker technology.

Visually, the flat speakers are unobtrusive in the historic space. They’re only 2.5 inches thick and five new speakers replace the 20 small speakers used in the old system. They were powder coated with a custom color to match the chapel’s stone walls and the extensive wiring (they’re wired speakers, but you wouldn’t easily notice) required a month of drilling, boring, and cosmetic work.

The new system launched with the 2015 Baccalaureate ceremony and has been used at weddings and other services throughout the summer. Now, controls are mobile, accessed via a handheld iPad, or iPads in two different stationary locations within the chapel, improving the ease of use, formerly done in one tiny control room, up a steep flight of stairs. “Weddings are so much easier, not constantly running up the stairs, and we have wireless microphones; it’s great,” Wooden said.

This $76,000 project was funded through an endowment used for regular maintenance of the facility. Take a listen here,  and a look at photos, from installation through the final product, below.

Congrats to 2015 PIFP Fellows!

Thirty-nine students will serve in fellowships this summer as part of the Public Interest Fellowship Program. The program acts as a matchmaker between CC students with an interest in the social sector and nonprofit organizations doing innovative work in the public interest. Often, this work involves policy, research, and advocacy. This year, CC has 20 summer fellows and 19 yearlong fellows.

Thanks to all faculty and staff members who submitted letters of recommendation on behalf of these students, and to the CC community who will support them in these endeavors.

Congratulations to all of the PIFP fellows!

Fellow term: Fellow name: Host organization:
Summer fellow Jane Finocharo ’16 ACLU of Colorado
Summer fellow Stefani Messick ’17 ARC of the Pikes Peak Region
Summer fellow Taylor Wright ’17 Atlas Preparatory School
Summer fellow Vanessa Voller ’16 The Bell Policy Center
Summer fellow Patricia Weicht ’16 Catamount Institute
Summer fellow Victoria Johnson ’17 City of Colorado Springs
Summer fellow Jessica Worley ’15 ClinicNet
Summer fellow Isaac Radner ’17 CO League of Charter Schools
Summer fellow Kimiko Tanabe ’16 Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Reg (COPPeR)
Summer fellow Megan Gillespie ’16 The Gill Foundation
Summer fellow Niyanta Khatri ’17 The Gill Foundation
Summer fellow Zita Toth ’16 National Conference of State Legislatures: Communications Division
Summer fellow Zoe Gibson ’17 *NCSL Education Program
Summer fellow Terrell Blei  ‘17 *NCSL Health Program
Summer fellow David Trevithick ’17 *NCSL Health Program
Summer fellow Julian McGinn ’15 One Colorado
Summer fellow Olivia Chandrasekhar ’17 Palmer Land Trust
Summer fellow Eliza Mott ’17 ProgressNow Colorado Education
Summer fellow Alta Viscomi ’16 TESSA
Summer fellow Celia Palmer ’16 Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado
Yearlong fellow Duy Pham ’15 The Bell Policy Center
Yearlong fellow Beza Taddess ’15 Colorado Children’s Campaign
Yearlong fellow Jordan Savold ’15 CO Children’s Immunization Coalition
Yearlong fellow Emily Michels ’15 CO Consumer Health Initiative
Yearlong fellow Zachary Stone ’15 CO Consumer Health Initiative
Yearlong fellow Alexander Meyer ’15 Colorado Fiscal Institute
Yearlong fellow Maggie Bailey ’15 Colorado Health Institute
Yearlong fellow Andrew Randall ’15 Colorado Public Radio
Yearlong fellow Fiona Horner ’15 Colorado Youth Matter
Yearlong fellow Alexandra Drew ’15 Concrete Couch
Yearlong fellow Audrey Wheeler ’15 Conservation Colorado
Yearlong fellow James Terhune ’15 Denver Scholarship Foundation
Yearlong fellow Cameron Johnson ’15 DSST Public Schools
Yearlong fellow Emma Shiestl ’15 Innovations in Aging Collaborative
Yearlong fellow Jeremy Flood ’15 New Era Colorado
Yearlong fellow Evalyn Grant ’15 OMNI Institute
Yearlong fellow Melissa Chizmar ’15 Pikes Peak United Way
Yearlong fellow Wan Hung (Harry) Yao ’15 Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains
Yearlong fellow Sarah Ross ’15 TESSA


The Soup Project – Rethinking the Community Kitchen

The CC Community Kitchen has changed and is now working with the community as The Soup Project at the Community Kitchen Club. The Soup Project offers students and guests a shared space to practice food justice and arts for social change each week. However, the change is not just in name.

Guests will be welcomed into Shove Memorial Chapel for a meal on the CC campus this Sunday, as they have each Sunday for more than 22 years. But the support CC provides for those in need now includes more educational programming, focus on nutrition, and structure.

An initial action plan had a Nov. 16 target date to move the kitchen out of the space at Shove Chapel. But through a collaborative effort, The Soup Project took shape and will now work to address the root causes of poverty, hunger, and homelessness through education, awareness, and advocacy.

A registration process for all participants, or members, of the Community Kitchen Club – all volunteers, students, and guests – began in mid-November. This provides accountability and empowers all to take ownership in solving these issues in the community. The format of the program has also changed; the focus now is on community learning, providing educational programming around art for social change, accompanying a nutritious meal.  All participants will have to abide by a code of conduct; a community safety plan and training for all participants are also new components of The Soup Project.

The Soup Project mission involves much more than providing a meal to those in need. It is a place where neighbors can come together to create a better community. Dave Harker, newly appointed director of the Collaborative for Community Engagement, said issues of security, integrity of the building, and the nature of the Community Kitchen are now being addressed. Meals are continuing for those who choose to participate in the programming component and dialogue is now underway to determine a new location for the future. Guests are already recognizing the change, and those who choose not to participate in the programming will receive a boxed lunch to take with them on Sundays in December, providing a meal to aid in this transition for the community.

The Soup Project is a collaboration between CC’s Food Coalition and Arts for Social Change Coalition, which is housed within CC’s Collaborative for Community Engagement. If you would like to learn more, contact Adison Petti:

New and potential partnerships in the community will be identified so students may continue to work on these issues and engage in purposeful ways with those who are homeless, hungry, and impoverished. In partnership with CC’s Innovation Institute, the Collaborative is encouraging students to have a larger and more lasting impact through The Soup Project Challenge. This challenge will offer $20,000 in award money to fund student-designed social innovation projects to address homelessness and hunger in Colorado Springs. Details about the criteria, application process, and deadlines are coming soon. The Soup Project Challenge kick off and information session will be held Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. in the Morreale Carriage House.

Giving Thanks at Annual Thanksgiving Meal

Seventy-five students gathered for a traditional Thanksgiving meal, enjoyed football games on the big screen, talked about the myths and traditions around the holiday, and took in some arts and crafts fun making hand turkeys. The annual Thanksgiving meal is an opportunity for any students on campus during the Thanksgiving break to spend time together and savor a holiday meal. A team helped put on the feast, with Bon Appetit preparing the meal, representatives from Campus Safety carving the turkeys, and Residential Life coordinators assisting with activities. Residential Life and Housing, Campus Safety, and The Butler Center provided funding.

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Operation Worner Desk: Care Packages to Afghanistan

Operation Worner Desk
Baby wipes, canned fruit, Skittles, beef jerky, tuna, pistachios: It’s not the usual Worner Desk collection of items. However, those on the collecting end – employees at the desk – were glad to gather them, and those on the receiving end – a platoon in Afghanistan – will be glad to get them.

Linking the two is Willma Fields ’01.  Lynnette DiRaddo, now manager of the Worner Information Desk, and Fields had known each other years before, when they worked together in Campus Activities. Fields, a religion major, was a student intern and then paraprofessional in Campus Activities. They reconnected when Willma’s husband, Sgt 1st Class James Fields, was reassigned to Fort Carson last summer before deploying to Afghanistan in February. He is scheduled to return in late November.

To occupy the time, Willma began filling in at Worner Desk last fall and was hired fulltime in May.  Soon she was chatting with DiRaddo about her children, ages 5 and 8, and her husband, who heads a platoon in rural Afghanistan, where they remove improvised explosive devices from civilian areas and assist with the transition from NATO-supported to Afghani-supported operations.

Fort Carson had always been in the background for DiRaddo, but never had any direct impact on her. That changed when Willma started working at the desk. “I started witnessing first-hand the effects of deployment and what it is like to be in the military,” DiRaddo said. “Willma would talk about sending her husband care packages, and I said, ‘I want to do that, too.’ I wanted to do something to help this family.” Being of Italian descent, DiRaddo did what comes naturally: “When you don’t know what else to do, feed them.”

With support from Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students Mike Edmonds, DiRaddo and Career Connections Advisor Gretchen Wardell contacted various departments in Student Life, asking if people, either personally or through a departmental budget code, wished to donate to a care package for James Fields’ platoon.

The response was immediate, and Operation Worner Desk was underway. Departmental sponsorship came from the VP of Student Life, Worner Campus Center, Career Center, Campus Activities, Arts & Crafts, and Accessibility Resources (formerly Disability Services). Personal donations came from Wardell, Jason Owens, Tara Misra, Sara Rotunno, Bethany Grubbs, and Andrea Culp, with more $500 being collected.

With the platoon’s wish list in hand, DiRaddo and Wardell launched into action, shopping for  the items and filling two carts – and then going back for more when they realized they still had money to spend. In addition to snack foods, they also purchased practical items: small ice packs for the soldiers to tuck into their uniforms to help abate the 112-degree temperatures in Afghanistan, powdered flavorings for drinks, to make the perpetually lukewarm canteen water more palatable, and baby wipes, used to cool down and wipe off dust in an area with little running water.

Worner Desk student staff members Sydney Minchin ’15, Ginni Hill ’15, Sam Zuke ’15, Helen Kissel ’16, and Antonio Soto helped unload the goods from the car and transport them to DiRaddo’s office, where they were packed into boxes for shipment to Afghanistan.

“I’m amazed at how much people care,” Fields said, as she surveyed the mounds of supplies. “The war has been going on so long, and people still care. This is my CC family; this is my home base.”

CC Has Exciting, Varied Summer of 2013

Amanda Udis-Kessler, Director of Assessment and Program Review:
I started to record the third album of my music, welcomed an exchange high school student from Germany into our household, saw the TONY-award-winning musical Pippin on Broadway, preached the LGBTQ Pride Service sermon at my church, worked on a new sociology project about mechanisms of social inequality, read some ethics books, and visited the Bronx Zoo for the first time since my childhood.

Eric Perramond, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Southwest Studies
I spent May and June preparing for a course on food and agro-ecologies of the Mediterranean Pyrenees, to be taught in summer (Block A) of 2014. Then in July we moved to Chicago to do research on my next book and to prepare (with Bill Davis) the ACM Newberry Research Semester in the Humanities, where we will be teaching a group of 14 students from across the ACM colleges through December of 2013.

Pam Leutz, Assistant to the Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty:
I spent 10 days in a small castle town in the Czech Republic making miniature design bindings, eating and drinking well, dancing and laughing with old friends there, and enjoying my “other life.”

Marion Hourdequin, Associate Professor of Philosophy:
Taught an interdisciplinary CC summer course on ecological restoration with my husband, geographer David Havlick. Presented a paper at an environmental philosophy workshop in Durham, England, and a talk at the Ecological Society for America meeting in Minneapolis. Began editing chapters for a book on ecological restoration in layered landscapes, and wrote a chapter for that book. Visited family in Connecticut and traveled with my husband and our children to Northern California for camping and hiking in old-growth redwood forest. Played soccer and went for some long runs.

Claire Garcia, Professor of English:
Thanks to a Mellon grant, I spent July in Tours, France, in the Cours Avancé at the Institut de Touraine. I spent a couple of days in Paris making s arrangements for my Block 3 class, Black Writers in Paris. I was home for three days before going to New Mexico to attend a family wedding, and then the following week I went to Washington, D.C., and New York City to do research at Howard University and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture respectively. During my East Coast weekend, I dropped off my son, Mateo Garcia ’07 at Dartmouth where he is starting at the Tuck School of Business. I then barnstormed routine yearly doctor’s appointments and cleaned out my closet, which for some reason I always do just before Block 1.

Susan (Stuey) Stuart Elliott, Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach:
I was an assistant coach for the Team Canada women’s lacrosse team that competed in the World Cup games this summer in Oshawa, Calif. We proudly represented the Maple Leaf in winning a silver medal with the largest number of countries (19) competing this year. It is an every four year world championship competition, which Team USA won.

Owen Cramer, Professor of Classics:
Over the summer I spent four days reading first-year writing portfolios, then about a month mainly reading for pleasure and enlightenment, then three weeks of visits: to Eugene and Bandon, Ore., with my children and grandchildren, to Breckenridge for a reunion of my wife’s oldest friends from Mississippi, and to North Carolina to see some of my and my wife’s cousins and a sister- and brother-in-law. Then I began canvassing for John Morse against the recall organized by NRA and national Republican operatives. Along the way we bought a new car (the old one is 25 years old) and had the house re-roofed.

Kristi Erdal, Professor of Psychology
After teaching PY100 in summer session, my family took our travel trailer through the upper Midwest, seeing Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, Wind Cave National Park, attending a summer hockey game at the University of North Dakota (wearing our CC T-shirts!), sliding down the alpine slide at Lutsen Mountain on the north shore of Lake Superior, and visiting friends all along the way. Saw a lot of corn…

Bob Loevy, Professor of Political Science:
Over the summer of 2013, I published two new Internet books on the history of Colorado College. The first book is a collection of historical accounts of life at Colorado College written by faculty, staff, students, alumni, etc. Interesting items include an oral history on the founding of the Block Plan by Glenn Brooks and a chapter studying “The History of Gender at Colorado College.” The second book covers Colorado College history for the period 1999-2012. It includes the final years of Kathryn Mohrman’s presidency, all of Dick Celeste’s, and the first year of Jill Tiefenthaler’s.

Krista Fish, Assistant Professor of Anthropology:
This summer, I studied the behavior and biology of bushbabies, a group of nocturnal primates, at the Lajuma Reserve in northern South Africa. This pilot project was done in collaboration with researchers from other universities in the U.S. and the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. Although we were only at the site for six weeks, we gathered a unique and extensive dataset that we will build upon over the next five to 10 years. Following completion of our work in South Africa, I traveled to Madagacsar where I participated in the 2013 International Prosimian Congress at Ranomafana National Park.

Mari Lee, Visiting Faculty, Environmental Program:
I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Incredible trek!

Ellen Rennels, Operations Assistant:
In July a wild nature episode unfolded in my back yard located eight minutes west of campus. At 4:30 a.m. I was jolted out of sleep by a horrific scream, like a rumble with 100 cats. The screams diminished and when I looked out a few minutes later , the early dawn light revealed a black bear killing a fawn. Gruesome as it was, I watched as the bear ate most of the fawn and then ambled over to my re-circulating fountain. He washed his paws, sat in it for a few minutes, then ambled off. That’s my summer story.

Jim Swanson, Director of Financial Aid
In cooperation with the Bear Creek Community Garden Association and El Paso County, my wife, Jannette, and I volunteered many hours this summer and donated perennials and labor to restore a neglected flower garden in a large median in the Bear Creek Regional Park on Creek Crossing Street off West Rio Grande and 21st Street. This is our third year rehabilitating and managing this flower garden, adding enhancements each year. It is our hope and goal that our efforts add to the beauty of our city for people to enjoy.

Ryan Raul Bañagale, Assistant Professor of Music:
Immediately following commencement I traveled to the Library of Congress for research in the George Gershwin collection. In June we celebrated the birth of our second son, Theo. Somehow I managed enough sleep to complete a full draft of my book on Rhapsody in Blue in July. Finally, with guidance from Professor Anne Hyde and support from the Crown Faculty Center, I hosted a book manuscript workshop wherein four expert musicologists came to campus to provide feedback on that book manuscript draft. I’m definitely ready to get back into the classroom!

Andrea Bruder, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science:
After one year of training, I met with friends from Belgium, South Africa, and England in Switzerland to begin our ride across the Swiss and Italian Alps. Every day entailed over 6000 feet of climbing, and the Alps are much steeper than anything I had ridden in Colorado. Pushing grades of 10-25 percent for several hours, we climbed mountain passes and rode over 40 miles each day. Breathtakingly beautiful views at the mountains made up for the pain. The descents were as steep on a mix of technical trails and roads. I finished strong and rolled into Riva di Garda at the end of day seven. Hardest thing I’ve ever done!

Esteban Gomez, Assistant Professor of Anthropology:
Megan Anderson and I did archaeological research in northwestern Costa Rica. This is the second summer in a row we have worked together to map out subsurface architectural features at archaeological sites in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. This past summer Megan used Electrical Resistivity Tomography to test the Magnetometer data gathered in the summer of 2012, while I continued with excavations at locations targeted by the two geophysical techniques. With support from the Faculty Student Collaborative, students are currently working in the GIS laboratory to compile the data from the past two field seasons.

Diane Benninghoff ’68, Assistant Vice President for Advancement:
Faculty guest Bruce Coriell and I traveled with CC alumni and parents through Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. For 14 days, we floated through the greatest geology textbook on earth, saw wildlife, enjoyed the music and poetry provided by our guides and Al Mehl ’77 (and even some poetry from me), ran thrilling rapids, and hiked into side canyons. With Bruce’s guidance about Native American spiritual traditions associated with the canyon and river and how we might invite the special power of the canyon into our own hearts, it made for an experience that will be remembered forever. To get a flavor of the trip, view slides and videos.