Posts in: Around Campus

Travel Through Time on CC’s Historic Walking Tour

Historic Walking Tour

By Joy Li ’18

Looking for an excuse to explore campus this summer? Treat yourself to the CC Historic Walking Tour and take a trip through time, learning about the historic significance of your favorite CC buildings.

“It’s a chance to share the interesting histories associated with the heritage of our historic buildings,” says George Eckhardt, campus planner, who helped apply for state historical fund grants and gathered historic research on many of CC’s buildings.

Start the west-loop tour at the oldest building on campus, Cutler Hall, and admire its collegiate gothic style. Try to imagine Cutler being the only building on campus, housing all college functions. Behind the Worner Campus Center is Cossitt Hall, the “Rastall” for CC students until 1956, and then the gym until 1970. Famous choreographer Hanya Holm taught dance classes in Cossitt gym for 43 summers, beginning in 1941. Pass by Bemis, McGregor, and Montgomery, which served as the female dormitories in the early 1900s.

Then follow the tour to Ticknor Hall, which served as a military training base for radio operators during World War I. Next, proceed to Haskell House, formally known as Rice House, and where you can enjoy one of the best examples of Colonial Revival style in the city, designed in 1927 by Thomas Barber, co-designer of Colorado Springs City Hall. Finally, end the west-loop tour at 112-year-old Palmer Hall. This Romanesque Revival building stands in the center of campus and would’ve been replaced by a railway if the college and the City of Colorado Springs hadn’t strongly opposed the idea.

If you have only limited time, venture out on the east-loop tour, featuring Palmer Hall, Arthur, Jackson, and Lennox (Glass) Houses, Shove Memorial Chapel, and the Spencer Center.

Summer Tree Trimming and Removal

Keep an eye out for tree trimming and removal starting Monday, June 27, through the end of July. To protect healthy trees and prevent disease, crews will remove dead or dying trees. They will also be trimming trees in the central part of campus. Contact Josh Ortiz, landscape and grounds supervisor, with questions: Trees in the following locations will be removed:

  • Bemis Hall (southwest corner) – 1 Siberian elm
  • Ticknor Hall (north side) – 1 American elm
  • Boettcher Center (east side) – 1 silver maple
  • French House (northeast corner) – 1 Colorado blue spruce
  • Max Kade House (south side) – 1 silver maple
  • Breton Hall (northwest corner) – 1 Douglas fir
  • Slocum Hall (northwest side) – 1 ponderosa pine
  • Palmer Hall (south) – 1 crabapple
  • Armstrong Quad (north) – 1 American elm
  • Armstrong Quad (west) – 2 ponderosa pine
  • Armstrong Hall (east) – 1 Princess Kay plum
  • Slocum Hall (east) – 2 Englemann spruce
  • Jackson House (north) – 1 American elm
  • Jackson House (east) – 1 cottonwood
  • Interfaith House (south) – 1 silver maple
  • Autrey Field (southeast corner) – 1 Siberian elm
  • Stewart House (front doors) – 1 golden raintree
  • Stewart House (parkway) – 1 Norway maple
  • Pinetum – 1 juniper

Cool Science Creates CC Connection to the Community

By Joy Li ’18

Rockets, slime, telescopes, and engineering workshops were just a few of the things getting kids excited about science at the 2016 Big Cool Science Festival. This spring, more than 3,000 community members from Colorado Springs and the greater Front Range visited to the CC campus for the event, co-organized by the nonprofit organization Cool Science and CC’s Cool Science Club. The carnival-style experience was designed to help children gain interest in science by presenting a variety of scientific exhibitions and experiments.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo brought in plants, animals, insects, and fungus for a hands-on exhibit about wildlife in Colorado; young scientists explored the “micro world” with help from CC biology students; and presentations from the archeology, architectural, and aerospace sectors were just a few of dozens of on-site opportunities for festival participants.

The 2016 event was the largest in the past five years both in number of participants and in donations; $24,000 was raised to cover the cost of the festival.

Big Cool Science FestivalCC’s Cool Science Club provided 70 student volunteers, who helped to organize and facilitate the
daylong event. The volunteers did everything from managing the booths to interacting with the participants to facilitating workshops and tours. Mark Straub, director of the Cool Science organization, says it’s great to work with CC students. “They do such a wonderful job managing this huge event,” he says.
The collaboration between CC students and the local nonprofit was established well before this year’s festival. The purpose of the Cool Science Club at CC is to work with the Cool Science organization to mentor at-risk elementary and middle school students, and help them develop an interest in science. CC students visit local schools monthly and facilitate science experiments. Stephanie Bui ’17, a leader of the CC Cool Science Club, says she gains a lot from the school visits. “It’s really heartwarming to know that kids are enjoying science and understand that science is not this formidable subject,” she says.

And the relationships the students begin in the classroom carry into the annual festival hosted on the CC campus. “It is a good liaison between the Colorado Springs community and CC,” says Bui of the festival, “especially for the marginalized students. We want them to experience what it’s like to be in college.” The festival not only strengthens the connection between CC and communities all over Colorado, it also provides the opportunity for CC students to volunteer and make connections with organizations throughout the community.

Global Scholars Talk Innovation, India, and Hope for the Future

From innovation policy, to green technology, to social sustainability, scholars from across the globe have convened at CC as Dan Johnson, associate professor of economics and business, hosts “Innovation and Sustainability: Lessons from the History of India and Hopes for the Future” on campus this week. Sessions are June 9 and 10 and many are open to the public and the CC community: view the full program.

IndiaLICS ProgramThis multidisciplinary celebration of international scholarship about India brought scholars from India and around the world to CC to join in a conversation to further the regional initiative, IndiaLICS (Learning, Innovation, and Competence-building System), which aims to connect scholars who use the concepts of learning, innovation, and competence-building systems as their analytical framework.

The conference is already building community, both on the international and the local levels. Jay Patel has lived in Colorado Springs for 38 years and is a leader in the Indian community here, which he says has grown over the years. After hearing about Johnson’s proposal for hosting IndiaLICS at CC, and opportunities for the exchange of ideas, best practices, and innovations it would offer, Patel and the Colorado Springs Indian community jumped in to help fund it. The Colorado Springs South Asian Community puts on an annual Diwali event, celebrating the rich cultural heritage of India with festivities similar to Christmas in the U.S., to raise money each year for a local charity or nonprofit. This year, the event’s net proceeds helped fund the IndiaLICS academic conference.

Patel says he’s excited about the energy and ideas the conference brings to CC and Colorado Springs. “The world is not a small place anymore and ideas move quickly,” says Patel. “Who knows what ideas and innovations will be sparked here? This could really be putting [CC and Colorado Springs] at the forefront.”

Lakhwinder Singh, professor of economics at Punjabi University in India, is participating in the conference. He says his core teaching and research interest lies in the areas of innovations and development, and the theme of this conference coincides with his personal research work as well as the research work in progress at the Centre for Development Economics and Innovation Studies, of which he is a founding coordinator.

Singh says that with economists and other social scientists participating and presenting their work, the conference provides an opportunity for interaction with experts in the areas of innovation and development. “Hearing from them will allow me to better understand where public policy interventions in India are required,” he says. “The idea of collaborative research is to build capacity and identify gaps so that in the future, suitable public policy can be designed to meet the challenges that act as stumbling blocks in achieving India’s long-term sustainable economic development.”

One of the challenges Singh hopes to address is in India’s private industrial sector. “India’s national innovation system has some very big achievements, such as space technologies and pharmaceuticals,” Singh says, “but manufacturing and agriculture innovations lag behind, which is a big contributor to the poverty that persists in India.”

Singh adds that conferences, like IndiaLICS, help to begin collaborative efforts that can make a big impact. “There is an ample scope for collaboration across manufacturing and agriculture sectors where India direly needs new innovations, including various science and technology institutions and also with manufacturing firms and national governing organizations.” Representatives from those various sectors are convening on campus now and most sessions are free and open to the CC community and general public.

Patel says he’s hopeful many members of the local Indian community are in attendance; he plans to be. “I’d like to meet some of the intelligent people coming out and get a sense of what’s going on in India,” says Patel. “Much of that information-sharing could potentially affect Indians living here in Colorado Springs, many of whom have families and homes in India. By sharing ideas, putting something on the table, getting new thoughts, that really triggers innovation in its best form. So this will be terrific.”

Let’s Talk About “Relations”

Students perform "Relations"

Students perform in the 2013 rendition of “Relations.” The 2016 performance opens Thursday, April 28.

By Montana Bass ’18

It’s that time of year, when the campus community fills Taylor Theatre for one of CC’s most popular performance events: “Relations,” a show that brings the sex lives of students to the stage.

Through online surveys, word of mouth, and written submissions, the show’s directors create a script that facilitates a conversation surrounding the intimacies of students’ experiences with sex, sexuality, and relationships. Nia Abram ’17, one of the directors, says this year’s show will specifically focus on intersectionality and how it plays out in sexual, emotional, and intimate encounters.

“This year the cast is much more diverse, with different racial and queer identities. We talk about issues of social justice and how that relates to our identities as sexual and intimate beings,” says Abram. Involving such a diverse group of cast members can also be an intimidating part of the process. Much of “Relations’” significance comes from an ability to show the CC sex scene from all angles, and preparation requires complete openness among cast members. Luckily, Abram says she is ready to rise to the challenge. “I am responsible for cultivating a safe and comfortable environment,” she notes, “As a director I have to mitigate a lot of differences in knowledge bases because not everyone was completely on the same page about these concepts.”

Thanks to the directors’ dedication to fostering this environment, actors have been able to commit themselves to their characters and their scenes, and ultimately learn deeply about themselves and their sexualities. “I auditioned because during the show last year, I was pulled into the experience,” says Christian Wulff ’17, a 2016 cast member. “A part of me realized that participating in “Relations” would be different than anything else I’ve ever been a part of, and I was right. This experience helps individuals create an openness with each other as a group.”

It is precisely the uniqueness of the group dynamic that enables “Relations” to make such a deep impact on audiences as well as on cast members. Katie Larsen ’18, who saw the show last year as a first-year student, can’t wait to attend again. “I think the best part is that it makes you feel so many emotions. I was crying one minute and laughing the next,” she says, “The way the story line is presented creates an opportunity to explore themes that are so incredibly central to our lives.”

If you’re looking for provocation to explore your identity and relationships, sexually and otherwise, attend “Relations.” Tickets are now available at Worner Campus Center and shows run Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m. in Taylor Theatre.

The Bulletin, PrintReLeaf, and Reforestation

By Montana Bass ’18

The next time you pick up a copy of CC’s alumni magazine, the Bulletin, realize that not only are you learning about the awesome lives of CC graduates, you’re also holding a publication that is truly environmentally responsible.

The Bulletin has a long history of being green. Sappi Opus, the paper used for printing, is made from 30 percent post-consumer recycled fiber. It is certified by both the Forestry Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, which means it is approved by two of the most influential forest management and sustainability foundations. It’s also green-e certified, meaning that renewable energy is used in the paper production.

How could it get any greener? Enter PrintReLeaf. Tracking the amount of paper that clients order and consume, PrintReLeaf equates that data to the amount of trees used, and then plants the same amount of trees in areas where forests have been degraded or depleted. Felix Sanchez, CC’s creative director, says a representative from Triangle Printing in Denver where the Bulletin is printed, introduced him to PrintReLeaf.

“It was fairly easy to join the PrintReleaf program,” says Sanchez. “We have been a part of PrintReleaf for the past two issues of the Bulletin. An online account and a customized dashboard show how much paper we have used for each issue and how many trees have been planted based on our consumption. It’s a fun, interactive, and transparent way to understand our impact, not only in paper usage, but in global sustainability efforts, too.”

This system makes responsible paper usage and reforestation efforts highly tangible. The PrintReLeaf certificates and dashboards actually allow CC to follow the growth of trees planted in honor of paper used for the Bulletin.

“Right now, we are helping to replant trees in Brazil through the We Forest project, which is working to combat the progressive loss of biodiversity in the Upper Paraná Atlantic Rainforest Ecoregion. This helps contribute towards the restoration of some of the best and most extensive examples of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil,” explains Sanchez. “PrintReLeaf’s goal is to replant 700,000 to 1 million trees every year. It makes me feel good to know that we are contributing to this honorable endeavor.” From paper consumption of the past two editions of the Bulletin, CC has helped We Forest replant 431 trees.

CC’s partnership with PrintReLeaf doesn’t have to be limited to the Bulletin. Sanchez promises efforts are being made to work with other print vendors to enroll in PrintReleaf to monitor paper consumption for most printed publications in the Office of Communications.

Sanchez encourages students interested in seeing their everyday paper usage equated to reforestation efforts to push for PrintReleaf’s expansion. He adds, “students have a strong voice in the college’s sustainable efforts — in fact, most of the sustainable efforts at the college would not exist if it were not for the demands or activism of students.”

Celebrating Shakespeare with CC’s ‘Sonnet-A-Thon’

By Montana Bass ’18

“Shakespeare was an extraordinary genius and there’s no better way to begin to discover [Shakespeare], than by actually speaking him,” says Andrew Manley, associate professor of theatre. Students, faculty, and staff will have the opportunity to do just that this Friday from 6-9 p.m. in Cornerstone Main Space. Manley says he created CC’s first “Sonnet-A-Thon”sonnetathonposter in the spirit of community celebration, with participants reciting all of Shakespeare’s sonnets in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

The sonnets are short, 14 lines each, so are accessible for those inexperienced in theatre and literature. “I think they’re cool,” says Abigayle Cosinuke ’16, who will be performing. “They’re very concise, but cover such a range of feelings. Everyone knows Shakespeare but not that many people have read a lot of the sonnets and also don’t realize how relevant and accessible they are.”

With 154 to choose from, it’s not hard to find one with a personal ring to it. Tinka Avramova ’16 connected with “Sonnet 47,” which she explains is about longing and the way that feelings of love are intensified when looking at one’s loved one. “I think I was struggling with not being with the person I love and wanting to see them,” she explains.

Cosinuke chose “Sonnet 142” for its uniqueness. “It’s the only sonnet written in octets,” she says. “It’s also about hate, which is unusual and fun because it’s so dramatic. They think it’s about his wife, Anne Hathaway. I actually already have it memorized because I recited it in high school when I went on a theatre trip and we visited Anne Hathaway’s house.”

The reciting of all of these works will give audience members and performers a chance to connect personally with one of the greatest literary geniuses of all time. Manley adds, “This is a reminder that we are still performing Shakespeare after all this time. His poems are still relevant – they speak to us across 400 years. That’s amazing!” And, according to Cosinuke, “Shakespeare is bae,” so don’t miss out.

Gretchen Hammer ’94 Honored with 2016 Livesay Award

By Monica Black ’19

Gretchen Hammer ’94, currently Colorado’s Medicaid director, has been spearheading change for a healthier Colorado via the nonprofit sector for decades.

The board of the Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) recently selected Hammer as the recipient of the 2016 Livesay Award for Social Change. The award is given to alumni who have contributed significantly to the nonprofit sector in their dedication to social change and mentorship.

“Colorado College graduates do so many amazing things in the world,” says Hammer upon receiving notice of the award. “I am humbled to be considered a contributing member of this community.”

Hammer, upon graduating with a master’s in public health from the University of Washington, worked as a consultant for nonprofit and other public-serving organizations for 10 years, where she first got acquainted with the world of public interest. During this time, she also worked on a number of boards for nonprofits. Then she took on the role of director for the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, fulfilling a goal to direct a nonprofit that she says was inspired during her time at CC.

Lani Hinkle ’83, director of PIFP, says Hammer’s strong advocacy role was one reason she was selected as recipient of the award. “Her work has included a strong commitment to mobilizing coalitions, a vital role as a thought leader and advocate for health equity, and a passion for mentoring younger members of the nonprofit sector,” says Hinkle.

Hammer has now moved into the realm of state government with her work in Colorado Medicaid. She remains focused nonetheless on programs and social services that will help the most vulnerable members of the state. “People with injuries who can’t access needed medical services can’t work, can’t attend school, and can’t take care of their families,” says Hammer. “These are challenges we can solve if we are willing to collaborate across all sectors of society and keep the needs of those we serve at the center of what we do.” Hammer will be honored at the annual PIFP dinner in May.

Distinguished Psychologist to Speak at CC

By Montana Bass ’18

Poster for Jamison's lectureKathryn Mohrman Theatre will be completely packed with students Wednesday evening, predicts Kristi Erdal, psychology professor, as they anxious await Kay Redfield Jamison’s delivery of the annual Sabine Distinguished Lecture in Psychology.

Jamison is the author of the bestselling memoir “An Unquiet Mind,” which details her personal struggle with bipolar disorder. She is also Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine, and a “Hero of Medicine” according to TIME magazine, Her lecture Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m., “Touched With Fire: Mood Disorders, The Arts, and Creativity,” should be especially interesting to CC’s creatively charged campus.

Mood disorders, which Jamison describes as “devastating illness with high suicide rates,” are particularly relevant to college students as onset typically occurs at college age. It is for this reason, Jamison says, that she made a commitment relatively early in her career to spend as much time as possible on college campuses and at medical schools talking to students. “When ‘An Unquiet Mind’ came out, I asked my publisher if I could gear my appearances more toward students,” she says, “I really enjoy talking to them. They tend to be very interested in subjects related to mood disorders and creativity.”

It was not until she began teaching at UCLA that Jamison herself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Before I became ill, my interests ranged all over the place,” she says, “I studied animal behavior, pain, and a host of subjects before I turned my focus to mania.” Despite her disorder, Jamison’s passion led her to make incredible contributions to both science and literature.

“She was a professor at a time when not many women were accepted into the field of psychiatry and has done it all while struggling with a severe mental illness,” says Erdal. “For years, students have been talking to me about their interest in her research and her ability to communicate. Once I read her work, I could see why they were so moved by it. She doesn’t hold back or paint mental illness in any sort of broad strokes.”

Despite the fact that Jamison’s works have received a multitude of praise and provided profound hope and insight for many readers, she admits that English was never part of her academic studies. “I always read a lot. At some point, I just started writing more,” she explains. “It’s more about loving literature. Writing is just so intrinsically fascinating and rewarding.”

According to Erdal, in Jamison’s case, beautiful writing translates to beautiful speaking. “I know that she is a tremendous speaker, very straightforward,” Erdal says “I think she can peel away a lot in just an hour because of the legitimacy of what she’s saying. Students will gain a deeper understanding not just of the connection between mood disorders and creativity, but of the nature of these diseases.”

Meet Maria Mendez: CC’s New SARC

Maria MendezBy Monica Black ’19

With the start of 2016, the Sexual Assault Response Program welcomed a new leader: Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Maria Mendez.

Mendez has been working since January 4, the beginning of Half-Block. “Aready, I have come to admire and be inspired by students on campus and the drive and passion they have in all facets of life,” says Mendez.

The SARC’s two main roles are support and prevention. She is a confidential resource that survivors, no matter the perceived severity of the violence, can use to work through all forms of dating and sexual violence in whatever capacity they choose.

Mendez’s previous work is mainly in prevention. Before coming to CC, she worked for a domestic violence and rape crisis center in her home state, California. There she worked in grant writing and eventually transitioned to working to develop programming intended to educate on and prevent sexual violence.

In recent years, Mendez says, media coverage of and White House focus on the high rate of sexual assault of women on campuses shifted the focus in sexual assault work to college communities. At the crisis center, Mendez became more involved with the local college. “It sparked interest for me to work on a college campus,” says Mendez. “When the opportunity here at CC came up, I jumped on it.”

CC in particular appealed to Mendez because of the history of the SARC program. “I loved how CC was talking about the issue and how the program had been around since 2004,” she says. “It was very encouraging for me.”

The program has seen transitions recently. When Tara Misra, SARC from 2013-2015, left the position, it created a temporary vacancy. Last semester Gail Murphy-Geiss, the Title IX coordinator, and Heather Horton, director of the Wellness Resource Center, acted as interim SARCs in the absence of a full-time employee.

The White House Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey that Murphy-Geiss conducted last April indicated that sexual assault is an ongoing problem at CC, in line with the national average on campuses, and that many survivors do not file complaints. Murphy-Geiss wrote in the conclusion of the study that “creative programs and ongoing dialogues must continue to be at the center of prevention and response efforts.”

In fact, reduction of sexual assault on campus is one of Mendez’s goals. “Moving forward, I hope that because of the prevention efforts from several offices around campus, including the SARC, and the community,” she says, “my support role will no longer have to be my primary function.”