Posts in: Around Campus
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:
Approximately 75 people attended facilities services annual chili cook-off, held on Friday, Dec. 2. There were a total of 18 entries: eight in the green chili division, seven in the red chili division, and three vegetarian entries.
Aaron Strong, a landscape contractor who works with CC, won in the red chili category; Darrold Hughes, athletic field specialist with facilities services won in the green chili division, and Jeff Carlson, lead painter in facilities services, took the prize for the vegetarian chili.
The winners in each category receive a handcrafted trophy spoon made by carpenters Karl Greis and Ken Wilson.
Colorado College sponsored a 12-hour Cardboard City from noon to midnight, Sunday, Nov. 13 to kick off Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.
The event, aimed at increasing awareness of hunger and homelessness, featured numerous community members, including Steve Handen, founder of the Marian House Soup Kitchen. It also included live bluegrass music, several short film clips followed by facilitated discussions, and the opportunity to have a meal at the CC Community Kitchen, one of the oldest student-run community kitchens in the country. The kitchen, which serves a hot meal 52 Sundays a year, including summer, winter, and all block breaks, will celebrate its 20th anniversary in April.
“It was a very successful first-time event, and we are eager to see it become tradition in coming years,” said Colin McCarey ’12, one of the event organizers. Student groups constructed cardboard structures outdoors on the quad, and one of the most creative was a lean-to built by the Integrative Design Club.
Because statistics indicate that nearly 40 percent of the homeless are families, there were also several events for children, including a magician and free arts and crafts activities.
Additionally, several films dealing with hunger and homelessness have been scheduled to air on campus after the event, including “Homeless: The Motel Kids of Orange County,” “Colfax Avenue,” featuring the individuals who live, work and survive on the longest commercial boulevard in the nation, and “Growing Hope Against Hunger.”
The strongest feature of the event was the great amount of collaboration that went into making it happen. We are a community kitchen, and Sunday I felt that to truly be the case,” McCarey said.
Colorado College’s Community Kitchen, one of the oldest student-run community kitchens in the nation, will have additional volunteers when it serves its weekly meal on Sunday, Oct. 9. Joining the regular volunteers will be CC alumni living in Colorado Springs and members of the Student Alumni Association.
The Community Kitchen, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in April, provides a hot meal to the city’s hungry and homeless every Sunday afternoon at Shove Memorial Chapel. It averages about 200 guests each Sunday, said Colin McCarey ’12, one of the three kitchen managers. The kitchen also will host an Open House from 3-4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 during Homecoming and Parents Weekend to show off its many renovations.
This year the kitchen was selected by The Independent newspaper as a recipient of its Indy GIVE! campaign, which guarantees the kitchen at least $2,500. The goal of the campaign is teach organizations how to become self-sufficient fundraisers and how to best deliver their message to the public. There are several requirements involved with being a recipient, and it is suggested that the organization host an event that engages the community. To that end, those involved with the Community Kitchen plan to construct a “tent city” on campus on Nov. 13 to raise awareness surrounding the issues of hunger and homelessness. In keeping with the situation, the construction material will be cardboard, which participants will assemble into shelters.
McCarey, an anthropology major from Oak Park, Ill., said there has been a consistent rise in the number of guests since he started working at the Community Kitchen, where he became a kitchen manager his sophomore year. “Since 2008, there have definitely been more families and more children coming in for meals,” McCarey said.
The Community Kitchen began on Easter Sunday in 1992, when a group of concerned students began serving a free weekly meal to the hungry and homeless of Colorado Springs. The students recognized a need for a hot meal on Sunday afternoons, when the Marian House was closed. The community greeted the new meal with enthusiasm, and what began as a small operation dependent upon donations from the college’s cafeteria excesses grew into a community-supported organization that this summer served an all-time high of 300 meals.
The kitchen runs on donations: Bon Appétit, the food-management company at Colorado College, Whole Foods, La Baguette and, in the summer, Miller Farms, are the primary food donors. Once a week, volunteers pick up donations from several locations around the city with which to create a meal on Sunday. Because donations fluctuate week to week, the kitchen does purchase some staples from Care and Share. Meat, rice, beans, butter, cleaning supplies, spices, and maintenance fees make for an annual operating cost of approximately $8,000. The Colorado College Student Government Association gives the kitchen an annual allotment (this year, $3,000), and last year the Empty Bowls benefit raised $3,500. Private donations help, but student managers and their staff supervisor are responsible for raising the balance every year.
Last year’s renovations to the Community Kitchen were a huge improvement, McCarey said, highlighting how apparently minor changes can make a major difference. Just ask him about the new potato slicer: “That is the coolest thing for me. What used to take us two hours, we can now do in 20 minutes.” And a mop: “That was an astronomical leap forward from using rags on the floor.” And don’t get him started on the new steel pots, which replaced some of the aluminum ones: “We can cook things three to four times as fast. Before, we could boil potatoes from 10 a.m. to 2, and they still wouldn’t be done. They were rock hard, and it was a struggle to mash them.”
Another major improvement was establishing a back storage room for the Community Kitchen to use.”This allows for a much higher level of organization,” McCarey said. “We can have long-term organization and be much more efficient.”
Since its beginning, the CC Community Kitchen has fostered a welcoming atmosphere for its guests. The kitchen managers, all students, have emphasized a unique element at the CC Community Kitchen: They insist those served are treated as guests, not clients. The kitchen strives to eliminate boundaries and stigmas that commonly alienate the homeless. Although the meal is served at 1:30 p.m., all guests are welcome for coffee and pastries beginning at 9 a.m. Many of the volunteers eat with the guests, and many of the guests volunteer with food preparation, serving, and clean-up.
The staff currently searching for a consistent source of meat donations. The kitchen always is in need of candles, matches, socks, shoes, boots, toiletry and sanitary items, clothing (especially warm coats), sleeping bags and other items to distribute to homeless guests. Also needed are donations of canned and dry goods, paper products, desserts and salad greens, plastic ware, and containers to fill with food and send home with guests. Also needed are other non-food donations that support operations such as aprons, cleaning cloths, and cutting boards. The kitchen could benefit from more storage space, an additional oven, and a new warming oven.
On Saturday, Oct. 8 a group of Colorado College students laden with free CFL light bulbs and information about weatherization services, rebates and tax credits, will participate in an energy education outreach effort called “Take Charge.”
Callie Puntenney ’14, Mallory LeeWong ’12, and Hannah Wear ’13, co-chairs of EnAct, CC’s environmental action organization, are spearheading the effort on campus. The community outreach is a collaborative effort between several groups, including Colorado Springs Utilities, Groundwork Colorado, Meadows Park Community Center, and Colorado College.
The CC volunteers will team up with area high school students and fan out across the Stratmoor area, meeting residents, offering to switch out incandescent porch bulbs with CFLs for free, connecting income-qualifying households with free weatherization services, and providing information to all residents about energy-reducing programs, rebates, and practices. Each two- to three-person team is assigned a route, and there are about 40 houses per route.
EnAct’s goal is to educate the campus about sustainability issues and opportunities for improvement, Puntenney said, and the organizers are hoping to get as many students as possible involved in Saturday’s outreach event. “EnAct is excited about interacting with the local community through this collaboration effort. It’s important for CC students to give back to the community and get to know CC’s neighbors,” she said.
“As soon as school started we began reaching out to student groups and other members of the CC community. We teamed with the Center for Service and Learning to maximize our outreach efforts. We hope that this will be a successful event and that students will be inspired to continue to give back,” Puntenney said.
The “Take Charge” program has several goals. The college students can mentor those in high school, serving as role models and answering questions about the path to college and college life. The program also helps educate students about energy efficiency and renewable energy, and introduces them to “green” job resources. “There is a new energy economy, and the labor industry is changing,” says Stephanie Fry, program manager with Groundwork Colorado. “This can help excite students about green jobs and educate them about the industry. It helps them realize there are costs, benefits, and consequences of exploration, development, and consumption of renewable and nonrenewable resources,” she said.
Usually Groundwork Colorado organizes the volunteer day, however, Fry said that the EnAct organizers have taken a “strong leadership position” and this is the first time that students have run the event. “It’s great to see,” she said.
The 8-foot-tall metal butterfly sculpture, donated by Laurel McLeod ’69 and her husband, Jim Allen, is an appropriate image for the center.
McLeod, the former vice president for student life and later special assistant to the president, purchased the butterfly last fall at an auction sponsored by the Rotary Club of Colorado Springs. The “Butterfly & Friends” event is a community-service initiative created by the Rotary Club to raise awareness and funds to serve children and promote the arts in local schools. Participating artists contribute by transforming large-scale metal butterfly “templates” into works of art. Each transformed butterfly sculpture is then auctioned off, with more $100,000 being raised in the first three years of the program.
McLeod’s butterfly sculpture, titled “Doing Yoga with the Rotary,” was painted by local artist Kat Tudor, ‘77; her husband, Bob Tudor, created the whimsical design, in which the drawing on each side of the butterfly’s wing is a mirror image of the other.
McLeod wasn’t sure where to put her newly purchased sculpture when Debby Fowler, CC’s development officer for stewardship, suggested the Children’s Center. McLeod immediately knew that was the perfect location for it, as the Children’s Center is a place she deeply values. The sculpture was installed in early summer, once the ground was prepared for the base, and is located outside the fence on the north side of the center, where it overlooks playground equipment and a painted cow.
McLeod was a member of the first committee that sought to establish an on-campus children’s care center; as a single mother and the first CC woman administrator to have a baby and continue working, she felt such a center was vital to recruiting and retaining quality staff and faculty. (A second incarnation of the committee did succeed in getting an on-site children’s center established in 1987.)
McLeod took her younger daughter to the Children’s Center for several years. “The quality of care was amazing, and education was part of the curriculum,” she said. She recalls linguistics classes, developmental psychology classes, and drama classes working with the staff of Children’s Center. “It’s just a great place for creative development,” McLeod said.
It’s the creative development aspect that makes the site so perfect for the butterfly sculpture: The Children’s Center provides a safe, nurturing cocoon for the children, and encourages a creative metamorphosis for each child.
The next butterfly auction will be held Sept. 17 at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort; for more information go to: http://www.artsandfriends.org/Register.htm
The bench was given to CC by W. Robert Brossman’s children in his memory following his death in 1997, and is inscribed “W. R. Brossman, Vice President of Colorado College 1956—1981, Pioneer and Champion of College Development.”
The stone bench was designed by Carl Reed, CC professor emeritus of art, and installed in 2001.
The Brossman children established the original fund, which paid for the design, construction, and placement of the bench. However, there was a small amount left over in the fund.
Recently, the Brossman siblings sought to lessen the starkness of the bench and give it a softer, more welcoming feel. CC’s facilities services came up with the idea of the wood arbor encased in a canopy of vines, and, using the remaining funds, they completed the additional work this summer.
When mathematics professor Marlow Anderson turned his love of scuba diving into a course, “The Mathematics of Scuba Diving,” in 2001, the possible textbooks were either too technical or too simple. “They were loathe to have even a single equation,” Anderson said of the too-simple books. So he began to provide his own notes for the mathematical explorations course.
Those notes turned into a 197-page book, “The Physics of Scuba Diving,” just released by Nottingham University Press. Designed for readers who aren’t necessarily interested in “hard-core” calculus, the book explains the science and math involved in avoiding decompression sickness, the painful and sometimes fatal consequence of ascending too fast from a deep dive.
Decompression sickness — the bends — results when the extra nitrogen a diver’s body has absorbed while the diver breathes compressed air at depth leaves the body too quickly as the diver ascends. The process is described mathematically using the idea of exponential decay, which takes into account changes in pressure at various depths during a dive.
Anderson describes the history, math, and science behind the rows and columns of numbers that make up dive tables, which are designed to help divers plan safe dives. From his first scuba training more than 15 years ago, dive tables provoked his curiosity. “As a mathematician and educator, I naturally wondered: where do these numbers come from? They were obviously based on physics and mathematics somehow,” he writes. “My personal quest to understand those dive tables has resulted in this book.”
Anderson, a PADI-certified assistant instructor of diving, has dived all over the world. He recently returned from Tobago, where he encountered manta rays swimming playfully overhead during a couple of dives.
As a first step in becoming part of the Colorado College community, President Jill Tiefenthaler is working with a small group representing trustees, faculty, staff, students, and alumni to help her transition into her new role. The Temporary Transition Advisory Committee will serve through the summer. Tiefenthaler’s presidency began on July 1.
“My most important goal in the first year is to understand the college and really listen to a lot of different people,” Tiefenthaler said.
The committee will provide initial input on key stakeholders, individuals, and groups that the new president should meet, and events she should attend in her first year at Colorado College to ensure that she connects with the college and its community broadly and in meaningful ways.
“Every culture is so different,” Tiefenthaler said. “A year of listening is critical, to understand our greatest strengths, our blemishes, and our opportunities for the future.”
The transition committee members are:
Jonathan Lee, Faculty Executive Committee chair
Esther Redmount, former Faculty Executive Committee chair
Jane Murphy, assistant professor of history
Brian Linkhart, associate professor of biology
Ken Ralph, director of athletics
Randy Nehls, Staff Council co-chair
Isabel Werner ’08, young alumni trustee
Heather Carroll ’89 Alumni Association Board
Emily Fukunaga ’12, student
Logan Dahl ’12, student, CC Student Government Association
Suzanne Woolsey (ex officio), Board of Trustees chair
Working Group: Beth Brooks, director of the president’s office; Jermyn Davis, chief of staff, president’s office; Steve Elder, vice president for advancement; and Jane Turnis, director of communications
Colorado College introduces its new tenure-track faculty. They are:
Helen Daly, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Daly received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 2011, and holds a B.A. in philosophy and English from the University of Akron. She specializes in metaphysics and the philosophy of language. In her dissertation, “Vagueness and Borderline Cases,” Daly clarifies the various explanations of people or things which are stuck in a state of “in-between.” She has published in “The Oxford Handbook of Causation” and “A Companion to Metaphysics.”
Darrell Killian, Assistant Professor of Biology
Killian received his B.A. in molecular biology and biochemistry from Wesleyan University, and in 2004 earned his Ph.D. in biology and developmental genetics from New York University. He was a visiting professor at Colorado College and recently held an assistant professor position at the College of New Jersey. Much of his graduate and postdoctoral research deals with the regulation of sex-specific programmed cell death in C. Elegans. He has been recognized by numerous grants and awards, including a Society for Developmental Biology Teaching Faculty Travel Grant and the Gladys Mateyko Award for Excellence in Biology.
Scott Krzych, Assistant Professor of New Media
Krzych holds a B.A. in English from California State University-Northridge, an M.A. in English from the State University of New York-Buffalo, and recently earned his Ph.D. in screen studies and English from Oklahoma State University. Krzych will be the first tenure-track professor of New Media at Colorado College. His various papers and publications address a range of subjects from digital cinema to video game studies to analysis of Glenn Beck’s television show. His dissertation examines evangelical representations of the apocalypse, including such films as “A Thief in the Night,” “Left Behind,” and “The Omega Code” and such prophecy-based cable programming as “The Hal Lindsey Report” and “Jack Van Impe Presents.”
Christina Leza, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Leza earned her M.A. in linguistic anthropology from the University of California, Davis and obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2009, where she wrote a dissertation on indigenous activism in response to United States and Mexico border enforcement policies. She works with the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders and has won numerous grants and awards for her work. Her interests include legal and political anthropology, indigenous cultures and social movements in the Americas, and grassroots political organizing.
Corina McKendry, Assistant Professor of Political Science
McKendry received her Ph.D. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in June 2011. Her dissertation, “Smokestacks to Green Roofs: City Environmentalism, Green Urban Entrepreneurialism, and the Regulation of the Postindustrial City,” examines the relationship between city environmentalism and the changing role of cities in the globalized economy. She is particularly interested in how city leaders are using environmentalism to promote economic growth and the implications that this has for social equity in the green city.
Jim Parco, Associate Professor of Economics
Parco received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, where he studied under Amnon Rapoport and Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith. After completing his doctorate, he returned to the faculty of the Air Force Academy, his undergraduate alma mater, and taught courses in management, leadership, decision-making, and investments. In addition to teaching at the Academy from 1996-1999 and 2003-2007, Parco served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration and in a diplomatic capacity overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2007, he received the Thomas Jefferson National Award from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) for his forthright actions in advocating for cadets at the Air Force Academy. In 2009, he was awarded the Military Officers Association of America’s (MOAA) Outstanding Faculty Award for his work at Air Command and Staff College, and in 2010, was named educator of the year.
Andrea Righi, Assistant Professor of Italian
In 2004 Righi received his M.A. in North American Literatures from the University of California, San Diego. Since then he received a degree in comparative literature at the University of Bologna and a Ph.D. in Italian studies from Cornell University. His book, “Gramsci Fell Asleep: Life, Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy,” will be published by Palgrave Macmillan. He also has published several articles in journals and books in both English and Italian. Righi has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholarship in 2004.
Habiba Vaghoo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Vaghoo received a B.A. in chemistry from Concordia College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation explores the synthesis of organofluorine compounds. She recently served as a visiting assistant professor at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She has earned several awards and scholarships, including the Stauffer Post Doctoral Fellowship and the Harold and Lillian Moulton Graduate Fellowship for excellence in research.
Dana Wittmer, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Wittmer earned her Ph.D. in political science at The Ohio State University in 2011, where she also earned her master’s degree. She studies American politics, with specific interests in public opinion, gender and politics, public policy, and Congress. Her dissertation, “A Theory of Institutional Representation: The Link Between Political Engagement and Gendered Institutions,” focuses on public opinion about Congress as a gendered institution, paying particular attention to how these perceptions affect political engagement. Her other research interests include human trafficking within the U.S., the impact of gendered leadership on public policy, and gender and legislative effectiveness within Congress.
Shawn Womack, Associate Professor of Drama and Dance
Shawn comes to Colorado College from Grinnell College’s department of theatre and dance, where she was an associate professor. In addition to her experience as performer, choreographer, and teacher, she also was founder and executive director of Dance Projects, Inc., a non-profit organization that produced contemporary dance and interdisciplinary projects. Shawn holds a B.F.A. of fine arts, ballet, from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music, where she graduated magna cum laude, and an M.F.A. in dance from the University of California, Riverside. Shawn will serve as chair of the drama and dance department at Colorado College.
Naomi Wood, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Wood earned her M.A. from the University of Minnesota in Hispanic literature, where she specialized in Spanish-American literatures and cultures and Latin-American history. She completed her Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures, with a minor in feminist studies in May 2011. Her dissertation, “Ciphering Nations: Performing Identity in Brazil and the Caribbean,” explores concepts of both cultural repression and freedom through performance arts in Latin and South American Countries. She has published her work in The Global South and Literatura e Autoritarismo.