Posts in: Around Campus
An open house celebrating the new Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center was held Friday, Sept. 28, with three generations of family members in attendance. Colorado College’s new children’s center is named in memory of Cheryl Schlessman Bennett ’77, an education major who was passionate about children’s welfare and taught elementary school in Colorado.
Construction of the new $2 million children’s center was made possible by a gift from the Schlessman family. Schlessman family and friends in attendance at the event were Lee Schlessman ’50 (Cheryl’s father), Susan Schlessman Duncan ’52 and Jim Duncan (Cheryl’s aunt and uncle), Bill Bennett (Cheryl’s husband), Eric Bennett (Cheryl’s son), Sandy Garnett ’75 (Cheryl’s sister), Mick Fredericks ’76 (Cheryl’s cousin), Deb Angell ’74 (Cheryl’s cousin), and Peggy Christie ’77 (Cheryl’s college roommate) and Alex Christie.
The new 9,000-plus square-foot center will accommodate 64 children, from infants to preschoolers, nearly doubling the number that the former children’s center could hold.
Beth Dovenspike, director of Cheryl’s Center, and Sandra Wong, dean of the college and dean of the faculty, both spoke at the open house. “At Colorado College, we often talk about enabling our students to become life-long learners. As we think about our own childhoods, many of us realize how much our earliest social and learning experiences mattered,” Wong said.
She added that the center, which provides child care for Colorado College’s faculty and staff, offers an opportunity for learning to begin in a rich and healthy environment. “The center creates the kind of community we value. It attracts faculty and staff to CC, and builds connections as children grow up together and share friendships,” she said.
The Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs presented a check for $27,659.77 to Colorado College on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in conjunction with the club’s annual luncheon and fashion show.
The money will be added to a scholarship fund the Woman’s Club established at CC in 2002 when they gifted their club house to the college.
The Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs Scholarship Fund provides scholarships each year to two female CC students who are from Colorado Springs and who have participated in community service during high school or college. Kasi Carter ’11, a past Woman’s Club scholar and current scholars Shaye Smith ’13 and Jordyn Watts ’15, joined Debby Fowler, stewardship director for the college, in accepting the check. Smith and Watts both spoke about the opportunities open to them as a result of receiving this scholarship.
On Saturday, May 5, family and friends of Evan Spirito ’10 gathered on CC campus to dedicate a bench in his memory. Evan passed away November 2, 2011 after a valiant three-year struggle with lung cancer. Evan played lacrosse at CC. Following the final men’s lacrosse home game on May 5, Evan’s family, lacrosse teammates and friends dedicated his bench which is located at the top of the Tiger Trail behind McGregor. As a close friend of Chris Quon ’09, Evan’s bench is next to the tree planted in memory of Chris, both overlooking Washburn Field where they spent many hours together.
In addition to this bench, the Assistant Lacrosse Coach’s Office in El Pomar Sports Complex is in memory of Evan and in recognition of the support he received from his coaches and fellow athletes at CC.
Spirito’s jersey, No. 19, and Quon’s jersey, No. 12, hang in the CC press box for all home men’s lacrosse games, and hang on the CC team bench when the team travels for away games.
Colorado College’s Wellness Team
recently organized a “Walk the Block” to help promote healthfulness and get people on their feet, away from their desk, and out of the office.
The event, held on Tuesday, April 10, Colorado’s Culture of Health Day, featured a .93-mile walk. The walk began outside Tutt Library and went around the block (Cascade, Uintah, Nevada, and Cache la Poudre), beginning and ending at a table manned by the Wellness Team and laden with T-shirts, water bottles, pedometers, and snacks for the participants.
The idea originated during a meeting of the interdepartmental Wellness Team, chaired by Shaleen Prehm, HR manager/benefits administrator.
The group was discussing ways to encourage staff and faculty to exercise when Angela Hines ’82, P’12, P’12 , P’13, associate director of alumni and parent relations, mentioned that the New Mexico Department of
Health in Santa Fe, where she worked previously, encouraged staff to get away from their desks for a morning and afternoon break and go for a walk. “It became almost a craze down there,” Hines said. For there, the idea took form.
Ann DeStefano, psychology staff assistant, was one of the approximately 30 participants. “It’s a great way to get some exercise and build community,” she said. “I like the idea of building community in a healthy way.”
Jim Swanson, director of financial aid, was another who came out for the event. “This is the most stressful time in the financial aid office,” he said. “I owe it to myself to get out. Plus there’s great weather and great congeniality.”
“I’m doing it for the health benefits,” said Jayne Blewitt, alumni and parent relations specialist. “It’s a good way to get out of the office and get it in gear!”
The Wellness Team hopes that “Walk the Block” develops legs and becomes a part of people’s daily routine. “It would be great to look out the window and see people walking in groups,” Hines said. “It would also help develop a sense of community.”
“Walk the Block” was a collaborative effort. Gina Arms, director of purchasing came up with the T-shirt idea. Shaleen contacted Chris Coulter in facilities services about mile markers along the route. Kelly Hugger ’08, program coordinator for students and young alumni, worked on the advertising, posters, and the printed map. David White, help desk manager, created the notice for the events listserv. Linda Petro, assistant to the president and board of trustees, arranged for the food. Sara Rotunno, assistant director of resident life, plans on sending out occasional reminders about walking. Ryan Patterson ’12 donned the Prowler costume for the event. A raffle was held for three iPod shuffles and four smaller gifts, with everyone pitching in with the giveaway items.
The team’s hope is that staff and faculty will walk every day, clubs will form, and a campus walking community will hit its stride. “We hope everyone will have a pair of tennis shoes or walking shoes sitting under their desk, just waiting for a turn around campus at least three times a week,” Hines said.
The SOCC (Sounds of Colorado College), the student-run radio station, is now streaming in Rastall Cafe and Benji’s. According to Jake Brownell ’12, the general manager, this has been a goal for a long time. When the radio station was first broadcast in 2008, it was on HD3 and needed a special radio. Rastall used to have one of these radios and played SOCC, but in its early stages the radio station’s reception proved inconsistent. In the early days of the SOCC, there weren’t as many shows, and students occasionally wouldn’t show up for their shifts, so there would be dead air. Now the radio station streams KEXP from Seattle when they are not broadcasting, so that is no longer a problem.
Jake and the rest of the staff worked with Bon Appétit and the AV department to kick-start this initiative. The radio station is now constantly streaming in Rastall Cafe and Benji’s. The process began at the beginning of year, but it wasn’t implemented until the end of Block 5.
This project has generated very positive reactions. Most students welcome the diversity of music now available, as opposed to the repetitive radio pop music that had been playing before the switch. The one complaint received is that some students find some types of music annoying at certain times of day (for example, some people do not appreciate electronic music in the morning). To that end, Jake invites students to take the initiative and get more involved in the SOCC.
This innovation was a real morale boost for the staff. It is primarily an online radio station broadcast from a studio in Loomis Hall. Now there is a guarantee that someone is listening to a show, which inspires the DJs to take shows more seriously. They feel like they are providing a service to this campus.
This success has served as an impetus for other projects. According to Jake, “Student radio should be a real hub of sound-rich content.” He is constantly looking for ways to expand the SOCC beyond just the music. There are plans to launch small radio journalism projects focused on campus culture. This would entail five-minute segments to be run at the top of the hour featuring some topic relevant to the CC campus. Jake also would like to see student poetry or other forms of radio journalism be incorporated into the station. These projects will allow the organization to expand and will include new people and other interested parties.
Jake was a DJ for two years before becoming the general manager this year. The other positions on the staff include the events and promotions manager, Jitu Varanasi ’13; operations manager Teo Price-Broncucia ’14; and program director, Jamie Haran ’12. The SOCC tries to sponsor at least one event each block. They have recently partnered with The Ninth Block to host DJ nights. This is a great opportunity for the SOCC DJs to do a live set. They also sponsor events that feature student musicians and occasionally they bring in nationally touring bands.
The SOCC is a great resource for other student events that want music. They see it as part of their mandate as an organization to facilitate the availability of music around campus.
Colorado College has begun work on the new Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center, which will be located at 909 N. Nevada Ave., just slightly south of the Children’s Center’s current location at 931 N. Nevada Ave. Work is scheduled to be completed by late August.
The new facility will accommodate 58 children, from infants to preschoolers, nearly doubling the number of children currently enrolled in CC’s Children’s Center. Construction of the Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center is funded by a gift from the Schlessman family in memory of Cheryl Schlessman Bennett ’77, an education major who was passionate about children’s welfare.
The current center, located in a retrofitted house with confining interior spaces, cramped rooms, and numerous stairs, is less than ideal for young children, said Chris Coulter, director of facilities services. The new children’s center will have a long, low bungalow profile. The single-story building will feature six classrooms, with two classrooms for each age group; a multipurpose room; library; snack area/kitchen; space for nursing mothers; and a teacher resource room. The children’s center will open to a grassy area to the east, away from Nevada Avenue. Outside features include a rubber soft-fall area, winding tricycle paths, and a community garden with planter beds for the children.
Sustainability features include hydronic radiant heat flooring in the infant spaces, numerous east-facing windows and dormers to allow ample ambient light into the classrooms; natural gas hydronic heating throughout the facility; dual ballast light switching and occupancy sensors; integration with the campus Building Management System for optimal indoor air quality and reduced energy consumption; all LED lighting, interior and exterior; high performance glass and window frames; and the inclusion of mechanical system commissioning including building envelope thermal imaging to insure the facility operates as intended. Total indoor square footage is 10,706, with 9,249 square feet of usable, ground floor space, Coulter said.
In order to accommodate the new building, two Colorado College-owned houses were demolished. CC worked with Habitat for Humanity at the houses, located at 210 and 214 E. Cache la Poudre St., to salvage items such as windows, doors, mirrors, hardware, and other finish features to donate to ReStore, Habitat’s local resale outlet which sells reusable and surplus building materials to the public.
CC also worked with the Colorado Springs Fire Department, allowing them to use the buildings for fire drills prior to the buildings’ demolition.
The house at 901 N. Nevada Ave., is not going to be demolished. The northern exterior walls have been removed, and the house will be completely renovated, with new construction attached to the northern face to expand the building and create the new Children’s Center.
The architectural and contractor firms working on the project are both local businesses.
The current Children’s Center will be converted into short-term housing for faculty and staff.
It’s not often that a class assignment becomes a tangible enterprise, but CC’s new on-campus bar is the direct result of an economics course. A first block economics course, “Entrepreneurship,” was instrumental in launching The Ninth Block, the on-campus bar.
At the start of the school year, seniors Lee Carter, Ryan Patterson, and Luke Urban, and juniors Bryce Daniels and Tyler Thorne took Economics and Business Professor Larry Stimpert’s class in which the assignment was to write a business plan. Their first idea was a combination barbershop and bar, but they quickly dropped the barbershop side of the business and focused instead on creating a social space on campus in which students could gather and talk over a drink.
The result is The Ninth Block, currently located in La’au’s Taco Shop behind the Spencer Building. Daniels, a golfer, came up with the name, which is derived from the 19th hole in golf, commonly meaning the bar or clubhouse. CC’s Block Plan originally had nine blocks, and Patterson liked the historical significance and double connotation of the name.
“I strongly believe in the importance of students having a place to meet and socialize that doesn’t require an invitation. This gives students an option who might like to have a drink with a friend or group,” said CC President Jill Tiefenthaler.
Students under 21 can enter the bar but are not served alcohol. Entrants’ IDs are checked, and different wrist bands are worn by students over and under 21 years of age.
“We wanted a constructive place where kids could gather. There was a lot of support from the administration and the students,” said Urban. “What we were hoping to do was create an alternative to the house party scene.”
The group was encouraged by Stimpert, who liked the plan but kept challenging the students to make it better. ”He not only pushed our group, he pushed the whole class. He challenged everyone to do cool things with their project. He expected a lot out of everyone,” Urban said. “If it wasn’t for Larry, none of this would have happened.”
The on-campus bar, which serves CC students of age, faculty, and staff, is a pilot program, but Patterson said the goal is to find it a permanent, on-campus location. Colorado College previously had a campus bar, Benjamin’s Basement (also known as Benny’s) in the Rastall Center, which opened in 1975 and served 3.2 beer, soft drinks, and snacks. It ceased to exist when the building was enlarged, remodeled, and renamed the Worner Campus Center in 1987.
The students’ project fits in with an administrative goal to provide a location on or near campus where students 21 years can meet, socialize, and drink responsibly. Once the idea began to take shape, the students got in touch with Mike Edmonds, dean of students, and President Tiefenthaler, to discuss the possibilities of operating an on-campus bar. Both were open to the proposal, and Edmonds put the group in touch with Joseph Coleman, a local businessman who owns several restaurants. The students formed a partnership (PDUCT Management, derived from the initials of the five students’ last names) with Coleman, and Coleman agreed to house The Ninth Block in La’au’s, where it operates after the restaurant closes.
“It is an exciting opportunity, particularly for the students who came up with the idea,” said John Lauer, senior associate dean of students and director of residential life.
The bar, which is open from 9:15 p.m. to 1:45 a.m., Thursdays through Saturdays, serves nachos, chips and salsa, six different beers, and has a “limited but adequate” bar; it does not, however, serve shots. The students said that was a deliberate decision, designed to help promote responsible drinking and to distance the bar from the house party atmosphere. “It should be a place where a professor and student would be comfortable going after dinner at the professor’s house to talk about the issues of the day,” Carter said.
An on-campus bar helps minimize the risks of drinking, Patterson said. “This pilot program gives kids the opportunity to show they can be responsible. No one wants to mess it up.”
“The Ninth Block presents so many possibilities for learning,” Lauer said. “It is truly a unique pilot that offers hands-on business experience, another gathering place for the campus community, and a chance for the administration to see how all involved respond to the project.”
Although the entrepreneurship class was only a block long (and all five got an A in the class), they continued to work on the project the entire semester, even spending their winter break getting their bartender certifications. The group would spend long hours discussing, developing, and discarding plans. They would take over a classroom, writing ideas on the chalkboard and fine-tuning them. Stimpert can vouch for that: “They developed a high level of commitment to their idea, and long after Block One was over, I’d see them meeting together in a Palmer classroom late in the afternoon or at night hashing out details,” he said.
The students found they were constantly thinking about the challenges of getting the bar up and running– and knew the others in the group were too, based on the flurry of late-night texts and emails. “It was the perfect opportunity to learn what it is like to be a business owner and to operate a business on a small scale, said Carter. “It was a great experience.”
The bar’s founders said that the Block Plan definitely contributed to their commitment to the project, and that it would have been challenging to maintain their momentum under a semester plan. “It definitely was one of the top five educational experiences of my life,” Daniels said.
“The entrepreneurship course represents the best aspects of teaching and learning in Colorado College’s Block Plan,” said Stimpert. “The students immersed themselves in the creative task of developing a complete business plan in three and one-half weeks. They benefitted from the opportunity to work with nine successful entrepreneurs – most of them Colorado College alumni – who participated in the course. But most of the credit for the launch of The Ninth Block must go to these students. Their individual personalities quickly jelled into a hardworking and effective group.”
Student reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. “People are telling us that it’s fantastic, that it’s just what the campus needs,” said Urban. “Even people we don’t know are coming up and saying they were sick of the party scene, and it’s so great to be able to go someplace close by and have a real conversation. It makes all the work worthwhile.”
Patterson said the endeavor has been the defining project of his senior year; a “capstone experience.”
“I think it will be very rewarding in the end. We want to show everyone that this is a viable, sustainable concept,” Patterson said. “It definitely improves campus life.”
By Sylvie Scowcroft ’14
Upon entering the Cornerstone Arts Center, one is confronted with a nearly 20-foot high chalkboard wall filled words and phrases commonly used today. The hand-written chalk installation features many of the more than 1,700 words and phrases coined by Shakespeare. Many of the words on the board were already in existence; Shakespeare just used them in a new way. CC Associate Drama Professor Andrew Manley, who is responsible for this installation, has a theory that since Shakespeare wrote purely in iambic pentameter, he often had to get creative with his phrasing.
Manley has filled smaller chalkboards with Shakespeare before and was looking for an opportunity to do it again because in his eyes the words of Shakespeare are the perfect thing to fill the space. “It is a big board and therefore needs something big to fill it. The sheer size of the chalkboards reflects Shakespeare’s monumental contribution to the English language. His words are such a strong foundation to drama and language that it seems only fitting to place them in the front of our performing arts center,” Manley said.
Cornerstone is largely a drama building, so Manley likes the image of Shakespeare’s words going right up the core into the building. Toward the end of last year there seemed to be a lull in the use of the boards, so he decided the time was ripe. One side of the wall features words; the other side features phrases.
The process of installing this project was a pleasant one for Manley. The most difficult part of using the chalkboards is always cleaning off whatever was there beforehand. It him took a good deal of time and at least two washes to completely erase any trace of previous chalk. Once that was completed he got up on his big orange scissor lift and just started writing. It took three hours, but once he got going he entered into a meditative state. According to Manley, there was a peacefulness and state of Zen that came from all of that writing. It “took [him] into a world of words,” which he rather enjoyed.
Before starting the actual writing process, Manley did very little prep work. He found a list of words and phrases on the Internet and edited out the more obscure, less interesting ones. He didn’t do anything special to ensure that the lines were straight or count how many words/phrases were going to fit on the wall. As soon as the wall was ready, he just stared writing. Luckily, he got all the way through the alphabet by the end.
Manley loves what this project does for the people entering the building. Whether they see it everyday or just once, there is always some sort of reaction. For those who come in everyday, they often like to look for a new word or phrase. There is no way to grasp the entire wall without standing still and meticulously reading. This is a perfect exhibit for a variety of people engaging the building in a variety of ways.
There’s a growing rock pile at Colorado College, and it’s not on any quad, field, or building site.
The pile of rocks is mounting outside the Human Resources office, and HR anticipates it will continue to grow. The rocks are part of a new program called “You Rock!”, an initiative launched in late fall as a way for employees to show appreciation for one another.
HR staff members quietly kicked off the program by distributing a total of 11 small rocks with the words “You Rock” to CC employees HR wanted to recognize. The rocks didn’t necessarily go to people visible to everyone on campus. Often it is the quiet people working in their offices who get the work done and made a positive difference and contribution to the college.
The “You Rock” program is aimed at boosting employee morale and demonstrates just one way to show appreciation for others. It’s a way of telling people, “I’ve noticed the good job you’re doing, and what you’ve done for CC.”
“You Rock!” is designed to be a peer-to-peer recognition program, one that takes place at the grassroots level and proceeds at its own pace.
Recipients of the rock are given instructions: They become the “Keeper of the Rock” for two weeks and are encouraged to display the rock on their desk, bookshelf, or other work visible places where colleagues will notice. After two weeks, they are to pass the “You Rock!” rock on to someone else, and to either write a note or tell the recipient why he or she is being recognized.
When HR is notified that the rock has been passed on, the new recipient’s name is added to the “You Rock” wall of fame featuring a photo display of rock recipients outside the human resource office on the third floor of the Spencer Building.
To date, “You Rock” recipients are: