Posts in: Around Campus
The U.S. Supreme Court is experiencing an unprecedented moment. With an anticipated vacancy on the bench on Inauguration Day, the stage is set for a historic change to the judicial landscape.
Cate Stetson, co-chair of the appellate practice and partner at Hogan Lovells, will address the current issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential impact of the Trump Administration. Join Stetson for a post-inauguration discussion Wednesday, Jan. 25, 4 p.m. in Celeste Theatre. The event is free, but tickets are required and available at the Worner Desk.
While on campus, Stetson will also connect with political science students. “Having students interact with someone like Stetson brings the material alive,” says Dana Wolfe, assistant professor of political science. “It allows them to consider the real-world consequences of elections and Supreme Court appointments.”
Wolfe says it’s also a timely opportunity to connect course material to the current political climate. “I am excited to have Stetson to campus so that we can consider some of the most important consequences of the election,” she says. “Specifically, it will be wonderful to hear her perspective about the future of the Supreme Court.”
Stetson handles high-stakes and complex appeals in federal and state courts across the country. She has argued nearly 75 cases, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, in federal courts of appeals, and in multi-state appellate courts.
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
A shift in perspective can go a long way. That’s the thinking behind the Gratitude Project coordinated by the CC Wellness Resource Center. The project involves programming aimed at helping individuals and the campus community connect with feelings of gratitude for positive aspects of their lives.
To wrap up Block 4, the Gratitude Project invited students, faculty, and staff to fold origami paper cranes that will be made into an art installation. They were also able to find out what makes members of the campus community feel grateful. During Block 3, there was a display of sticky notes on a window of the Worner Campus Center and members of the CC community were encouraged to write what they were grateful for and put their own sticky note on the window. The origami paper for the cranes is printed with the many things people wrote on their sticky notes.
In the second week of Block 5, the instillation of cranes will go on display in Worner Campus Center and while the exact design of the exhibit is yet to be determined, Heather Horton, director of the Wellness Resource Center, says the art will embody the idea of “gratitude flying around campus.”
According to Horton, there were many reasons to initiate this project. The overarching goal is to, “help individuals and the community as a whole connect on a more regular basis with a sense of gratitude for the people, places, and practices that make our lives better,” she says. Inspiration came from national dialogue and research on gratitude from the Southern Poverty Law Center and Greater Good Gratitude Research. Horton says that “it’s easy to focus on what we feel is lacking in our lives or what isn’t going well, but when we are able to shift our attention to what we have, we are likely to feel better.” This idea ties in with Horton and the Wellness Resource Center’s desire to “create a different kind of culture on our campus, where we can be honest and talk and understand across differences, but also appreciate the people around us even when (perhaps even especially when) they have different beliefs and ideas than we do.” Horton says engaging gratitude can help with that.
Other aspects of the Gratitude Project include the journaling series put on by the Wellness Resource Center the second Tuesday of every block at 3:30 p.m. in Worner Room 226, and Qigong every Tuesday, 5:30-7 p.m. in Shove Memorial Chapel’s side chapel, as well as gratitude yoga; check with the Office of the Chaplain for dates and times.
Carlos Santistevan, the first Coloradan to have art displayed at the famous Santa Fe Spanish Market, brought his expertise to campus, presenting a lecture and teaching a class at CC earlier this month. Santistevan, a Denver native, is a descendent of Pedro Antonio Fresquis, an artist famos for his religious artwork and known as the “Truchas Master” after the town north of Santa Fe where the artist’s major works were found. Santistevan himself is famous for his own works of colonial New Mexican art; some of his pieces are owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of International Folk Art. He gave a lecture Dec. 6 at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center that explored the history of New Mexican folk art.
According to Santistevan, early New Mexico consisted of very isolated, agrarian communities that depended completely on weather and natural elements for survival. These communities developed a strong belief in God and saints; it’s a culture that fostered the distinctive art of colonial New Mexico, which, as demonstrated by Santistevan, continues today. Santistevan explains the unique style of this folk art is attributed to its influences: Folk art of the American east has strong European influences, and folk art from New Mexico folk has only native influences. The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has the largest collection of colonial New Mexican art in the world, which is one of the reasons Santistevan was excited to visit CC.
In addition to his lecture at the Fine Arts Center, Santistevan also spent time with Assistant Professor Karen Roybal’s Southwestern arts and culture course during his visit. According to Roybal, Santistevan talked with her class about “his methods, influence, and take on creating Spanish colonial art from a New Mexico tradition,” and “how history and heritage influence artist’s work.” Santistevan was also influential in starting one of the first Chicano art galleries in Denver and spoke with students about his role there. Prior to their class discussion with Santistevan, students experienced the FAC collection of colonial New Mexico art firsthand.
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Whether students are looking to study a language abroad or knock out a major requirement, Summer Session 2017 offers them the opportunity to catch up, get ahead, or explore a new topic.
While Summer Session provides an opportunity to enroll in some of the same academic courses offered during the regular school year, there are also courses that explore more unique topics, such as American bluegrass and videogame culture and design. Off-campus summer courses apply academic subjects to specific locations; this summer offers study of Portuguese in Brazil, arts and culture of Bali, and environment and culture in the Himalayas.
Jim Burke, CC’s new director of Summer Sesison, says he’s excited for his second summer on campus and he, “wants Summer Session to continue to serve our students with dynamic and rewarding academics that explore a new subject matter or fulfill degree requirements.” He is also excited at the opportunity Summer Session provides for faculty, as they are able to “work on new projects and courses, and delve into new topics they may not get a chance to teach during the regular acadmic year.” For Summer 2017, more than half of the courses fulfill a degree requirement and/or one of CC’s general academic requirements, something Burke says many students have requested.
One new course being offered partially on campus this summer is Advanced Topics: On the Road — American Bluegrass, taught by Keith Reed, music instructor and director of the CC bluegrass ensembles. The music course focuses on how live performance has affected the development of American bluegrass. Students will spend half of the block in Nashville, Tennessee, working with professional musicians, recording their own music, and attending music festivals. Reed says the idea for the course grew from a grant he received two years ago for a student ensemble. He says, “that experience inspired students so much that I wanted to open it up to all students looking to experience the music industry through the process of touring, performing, jamming, and speaking to professionals in the music industry.” According to Reed, the course will “create a lasting bond with others through music and traveling as a group.”
Off campus, professors Miro Kummel, associate professor in the Environmental Program, and Brot Coburn, visting professor, are teaching the course Himalayan Odyssey: Environment, Culture, and Change in Nepal. Students will spend a block and a half looking at how the environment of the upper Buri Gandaki Valley is intertwined with the traditions and culture. This course fits in with what Burke explained as the “diverse range of topics and departments represented” in the summer courses. Combining ecology, geology, and climatology with culture and history, the course offers an intriguing mix of topics in a location across the world from CC.
Registration for Summer Session 2017 is open now. Also coming up after Winter Break, the “Summer in January” event is a partnership between the Offices of the Dean and Student Life to promote all opportunities available to students over the summer and offer coordinated guidance on how students can be intentional when planning their summers.
You’re invited Thursday, Jan. 26, noon-1:30 p.m. in Gaylord Hall to learn about Summer 2017 opportunities, funding resources, applications and deadlines, and/or experiences to consider. No RSVP is needed and lunch is provided. Resources involved include: Summer Session, Career Center, research offices (Public Interest Fellowship Program, Venture Grants), Collaborative for Community Engagement, Outdoor Education, The Quad, and State of the Rockies.
By Alana Aamodt ’18
Courtney Blackmer ’16 synthesized her interest in film and Southwest studies for her 2016 thesis documentary “The Confluence,” which has been shown at venues across the Southwest and has been invited to screen at the Grand Canyon Youth Film Festival. This past fall, Robert Redford — actor, director, producer, environmentalist, and the founder of the Sundance Institute — joined the project as the executive producer, furthering the short film’s acclaim.
The film centers on the Navajo people local to the Grand Canyon area and the proposed Escalade Development, which would allow a hotel, RV center, restaurant, and other resort attractions to be built on the rim of the canyon, directly above the confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado Rivers. Even more invasive, the plan includes a 1.4-mile tramway that would shuttle thousands of visitors a day to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to where the rivers join. This area is considered sacred to numerous Native American peoples, including Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni, and while proponents of the development say this will stimulate the local economy, many see it as desecration of a sacred site.
The film features members of the Navajo community as they speak about their lives and tell stories of their origin, many of which focus on the confluence, where legend says the Navajo people first came from. By combining these personal and honest conversations with striking shots of the Grand Canyon area and community around it, the film “explores how the physical landscapes of the Grand Canyon shape the cultural, emotional and spiritual landscapes of the Navajo people who inhabit it,” describes Blackmer.
“I am deeply concerned by the challenges facing native communities and I wanted to find a way to be an ally to them,” Blackmer says of her inspiration to start this film, “I am also intrigued and inspired by the wealth of land-based knowledge in native traditions. I saw this as an opportunity to learn from the Navajo people about land stewardship, environmental activism and the spiritual significance of the natural world.” Blackmer’s upbringing in Colorado helped fuel her film as well; by “growing up rafting and kayaking on the Colorado River, I have a deep love and respect for this river which has shaped my experience of myself and my world. In this way, my characters and I share the understanding that places make us who we are,” she says.
Blackmer, who majored in film and media studies and minored in Southwest studies at CC, recognizes that her film would not be what it is without the help of several people. “I have been collaborating from the very start with my friend from CC, Isaac Salay ’16, who grew up on the Navajo Nation. He had vital connections to the Navajo community and was a fantastic cultural liaison.” In addition, she had the help of two experienced cinematographers, Isaiah Branch-Boyle and Adam Amir, who devoted a month of their time to helping her shoot striking footage and develop the story further.
Redford joined Blackmer’s team in the fall and has encouraged her to make further edits; they have also begun to seek a larger audience for the film.
“Our shared interests in documentary filmmaking, environmental activism, and advocating for the rights of native peoples make this an excellent collaboration; I feel very lucky,” she says of the opportunity to work with Redford.
Finally, and most central to the film, is the Save the Confluence organization, which supplied the main characters of the film — the Navajo activists who are fighting for preservation. Blackmer acknowledges the importance of their involvement, saying “they took a risk and decided to trust me with their stories. This was a tremendous honor and a responsibility that I took very seriously.”
The film is receiving acclaim throughout the Southwest and has recently been invited to screen at Northern Arizona University and Prescott College. It has also been invited for submission to a number of other film festivals, including the Durango Film Festival, Reel Paddling Film Festival, and Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival. “A story isn’t worth much if there is nobody there to listen to it, so I feel very lucky and honored that my film is reaching so many people,” Blackmer says. “The most important audience to reach is the Navajo audience, because this is their story and they are the ones who get to decide whether or not this development moves forward.”
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Protests on the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota made national news for months as members of the Sioux tribe, as well as many other tribes and non-Native American people, protested the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
CC students were among the thousands who participated in the protests. A number of native students, as well as the Native American Student Union, or NASU, drove to North Dakota during the first block break to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux.
According to Zunneh-Bah Martin ’19, the chair of NASU, the goal of the trip was “to stand in solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and to help in any way that we could while we were there in person.” The students brought winter clothes, food, and other necessary items to the camp in Standing Rock, after collecting donations. For Martin, the impact of the trip was substantial. She says that her time in Standing Rock made her want to extend her visit, because she felt her presence there could make a difference. Martin says her own experience growing up on the reservation of the Diné/Navajo people shaped her experience at the protest.
“I could relate to what the Standing Rock Lakota people were going through,” she says. “I know what it feels like to be treated as the minority of the minorities and as a second-class citizen as indigenous people.” Martin also returned to Standing Rock over Fall Break with her family, as they view the Thanksgiving holiday as a “time to educate others as to why this is not a holiday that should be celebrated.”
On Dec. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that it was denying a permit for construction of a key section of the pipeline, which is a major victory for the people of Standing Rock and other indigenous people around the country who are involved in the protest. They say the pipeline would destroy sacred lands for the Standing Rock Sioux, as well as greatly restrict their water access. The protest has also sparked controversy over Native American rights to their own land.
Would you like to meet brand new CC staff members, share all of your favorite parts of CC, and build relationships across campus? That’s what members of the inaugural class of CC ambassadors have been doing over the past year.
“I want them to know immediately that they are welcomed into the college and that they have someone they can turn to about the culture of the campus, strategies for communicating, cool hangouts, and where to find some great places to eat,” says Lyrae Williams, associate vice president for institutional planning and effectiveness, who served as one of the college’s first ambassadors this year.
The goal of the program is to provide a talented CC resource to new staff that can answer questions about CC, foster connections across campus, and assist the new employee in achieving performance excellence. It’s an important resource that doesn’t work without your help! For the 2015-16 academic year, 18 individuals accepted the role of CC ambassador.
“I choose to be part of the program because I believe it is important for our community to embrace new colleagues beyond just onboarding them into their new roles,” says Williams. “These colleagues bring new perspectives and experiences, and it is important that they be given the opportunity to meet our community beyond their own departments and for our community to meet them. The rhythms of the block spill over into all parts of the college, and it is so easy to get caught up in our own sphere of work that we forget to commune with our colleagues. This program provides one avenue for colleagues from different areas of the college to meet, get to know each other, and learn a little bit about each area of the college.”
Jim Burke recently joined CC as the director of Summer Session and says the CC ambassador program helped him feel connected right away. “One of the largest challenges when I joined CC was quickly meeting the large number of stakeholders Summer Session has across campus,” he says. “Luckily, I was paired with an ambassador, Lyrae Williams, who generously shared her contacts across campus, helped me set up introductory meetings, and invited me to events around campus where she would introduce me to faculty and staff in a relaxed and fun setting.”
It’s a program that Burke says not only allows the ambassadors to give back to new employees, but that also inspires the participants to want to do the same.
“The generosity of time and willingness to share connections has been so rewarding,” Burke says. “At every faculty luncheon, or department event, or In the Loop, Lyrae finds me, checks in on how I’m doing at work and in life, and invariably connects me with someone new. Moving to a new school in a new city, this welcoming gesture is extremely meaningful and makes me want to get involved in the ambassador program and pay Lyrae’s generosity forward to any new faculty/staff.”
The Office of Human Resources is looking to grow the program and is accepting submissions and nominations for the 2016-17 class of CC ambassadors. To become a CC ambassador, send an email to Paul Schilli, senior talent acquisition manager, stating why you would make a great CC ambassador. To nominate a CC ambassador, send an email to Paul Schilli with the employee’s name and why they would make a great CC ambassador. Learn more about the program.
By Alana Aamodt ’18
Dana Cronin ’17, has spent a large portion of her CC career interning with 91.5 KRCC , Colorado College’s NPR-member station. From pitching stories to interviewing sources, Cronin’s internship has introduced her to all aspects of radio, giving her the opportunity to write, record, and produce her stories.
“Throughout my two and a half years at 91.5 KRCC, I’ve learned so much about how to be a good journalist,” Cronin says of her internship, “I’ve learned how to write meaningful and thorough stories about a huge variety of topics. I’ve also developed my radio voice, which is a lot harder than it sounds!” She also says she’s learned a lot about the community and broader listening area through “interviewing people, attending local meetings, and reaching out to the general community 91.5 KRCC serves,” in order to create relevant pieces.
One of her latest stories even took her to the top of some of Colorado’s highest peaks, where she learned about the labor-intensive maintenance of the trails up the state’s 14,000-foot mountains and the hardworking people who work at such high altitudes. Cronin says many people, herself included at first, “don’t realize the amount of time, energy, and money that goes into maintaining Colorado’s high peaks,” making this an important story to tell.
Besides the actual labor of hiking the mountain, Cronin says the hardest part about writing the story was editing down the information, interviews, and sound bites. “I started with about five hours of interviews and recordings, and the story ended up being five minutes long,” describes Cronin. Finding herself personally attached to many of the sources, this was no easy task.
91.5 KRCC “Morning Edition” host and managing editor, and Cronin’s supervisor, Andrea Chalfin, describes the hard work Cronin’s put in. “I’ve worked with Dana in the 91.5 KRCC newsroom for the majority of her college career, and I’m really proud of the work she’s done for us. Aside from literally climbing a couple of mountains for this piece, she was able to pull the story together fairly easily. It’s a testament to her work ethic and experience at Colorado College and in the newsroom.”
Cronin hopes to continue in radio and will be applying for radio internships for next year. Read or listen to Cronin’s fourteener piece or take a look at some of her other work on the 91.5 KRCC website.
By Alana Aamodt ’18
The open skies and towering mountains around Colorado Springs have long inspired artists — Katharine Lee Bates, while working at CC, found inspiration from them to create her famous poem, “America the Beautiful,” for example. The new CC logo, introduced in January, takes the same inspiration, incorporating these mountains and clear skies into its design.
From this logo, Carlton Gamer, professor emeritus of music, found his own inspiration for a new musical composition, which will be performed by the CC Concert Band on Dec. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Packard Performance Hall.
Gamer, a professor at CC from 1954-1994, taught a vast array of music courses as well as interdisciplinary courses ranging from Asian studies to history. He has composed more than 70 pieces that have been played all over the world. Still connected to the CC community, Gamer’s new piece “Mountains and Skies: A CC Fanfare” attempts to depict CC’s logo through music.
Gamer interpreted the two “C’s” on the logo as musical pitches. “It has two mountains,” he explains, “a big one and a little one, that can be conveyed in musical terms, the big ones by layers of low brass instruments, the little one by layers of low woodwind instruments. It has a clear background, the sky, which can be suggested by lighter layers of higher-pitched woodwind instruments.”
The buildup of a series of chords creates the “mountains,” trumpets cut across the piece, playing “C, C,” and the flares of the high woodwinds are reminiscent of the sharp diagonals of the logo. The effect is “chord-mountains” that rise and fall, eventually climaxing: “Finally, a big chord built on C arrives, and the mountains that form on this chord, the flares in the woodwinds, and a final flourish in the trumpets create the climax of the piece,” Gamer says.
Gamer took care in making his work both technically challenging and accessible for CC student musicians. He hopes that this balance, in combination with the piece’s deep connection to CC, will make it enjoyable to play and listen to, possibly becoming “a staple of the CC Concert Band repertoire.”
Come hear Gamer’s new work during the Colorado College Concert Band performance, “The American Experience,” directed by Jeremy Van Hoy and featuring rock, jazz, and music inspired by World War II Tuesday, Dec. 6, 7:30-9 p.m. in Packard Performance Hall.
CC’s Fall Break began this week with the conclusion of Block 3 and officially runs through Sunday, Nov. 27. The break provides students a respite from classes and an opportunity to spend time on campus or at home or to take advantage of opportunities for trips, service work, or CC-sponsored programs.
The Outdoor Recreation Committee sponsors free BreakOut trips during weekends, block breaks, and Spring Break. BreakOut trips are student-led and focus on community service. This year, the trips are also being offered during Fall Break. Students are visiting Mission: Wolf, a nonprofit wolf sanctuary in Westcliffe, Colorado, during the first four days of the break. The sanctuary cares for captive wolves and educates people on the danger of keeping wolves as pets. Students on the trip will help with daily tasks, such as feeding the wolves and maintaining the sanctuary.
Another trip is going to Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort for camping and hiking Nov. 21-22. A third takes place at the end of the break, Nov. 25-27, and is going to the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. Sign up on Summit.
Also happening over Fall Break: Two home hockey games, one against University of Wisconsin, Friday, Nov. 25, at 7:37 p.m., and against the U.S. Air Force Academy Saturday, Nov. 26, at 6:07 p.m. Both are at the Broadmoor World Arena.
Additionally, these things may be helpful as you are supporting students and answering questions about the Fall Break schedule and resources.
Housing is available for students who have requested accommodations. Students who have obligations with the college, are members of an athletics team in season, or who have a special circumstance that may warrant “break stay approval” were invited to request accommodations from their residential life coordinator earlier this month.
Bon Appetit food service locations Benji’s, The Preserve, Local Goods, and Chas Coffee will be closed Nov. 17-27. Rastall will have limited service Nov. 17-22, serving lunch only during the weekdays and closed Nov. 19, 20, and 23-26. Rastall will open on Sunday, Nov. 27, at 5 p.m. Students staying on campus can use their Tiger Bucks to order microwavable pack-out meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner through Bon Appetit.
The CC Thanksgiving Luncheon takes place Thursday, Nov. 24, 12:30-2 p.m. in Bemis Great Hall. Faculty and staff are also welcome to participate. This event is free and does not require students to use their meal plan. All are welcome; no RSVP needed.
Throughout Fall Break, shuttle service to Walmart will be available to students approved for Fall Break housing. Contact Campus Safety: (719) 389-6707. Campus Safety can also assist with student transportation due to unexpected injuries or illness.
Students who have been approved for housing over the break will receive additional information about on-campus programs and free trips off-campus directly via email.
Health and Safety
Residential life coordinators and resident assistants will remain in some halls and are accessible for all students. Students staying on campus will receive detailed information via email.
Campus Safety non-emergency number: (719) 389-6707
Campus Safety emergency number: (719) 389-6911
Over Fall Break, the Office of Residential Life and Campus Activities will continue to offer support to students and opportunities for engagement and community. The goal is to ensure that students remaining on campus have a safe and enjoyable Fall Break.
For further information, please contact Yolany Gonell, director of residential life and campus activities, email@example.com or Rochelle Mason, senior associate dean of students, firstname.lastname@example.org