Posts in: General News

Award-Winning Poet Dominique Christina to Perform at CC

By Miriam Brown ’21

Dominique Christina has performed her poetry for National Poetry Slam Championships, TEDx stages, YouTube videos with thousands of hits, and conferences across the country. Next Monday, she will add Colorado College to the list.

Christina is an award-winning writer, educator, and activist who has written and performed poems broaching topics such as police brutality and menstruation. On Oct. 7, Christina will perform in Kathryn Mohrman Theatre with SpeakEasy, CC’s spoken word troupe, and Poetry 719, a Colorado Springs-based group, in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Montana Bass ’18, health education paraprofessional at the Wellness Resource Center, says the WRC sponsors ongoing programming throughout the month, but this performance is probably their biggest event.

Last year, they hosted spoken word poet Olivia Gatwood as part of their Domestic Violence Awareness Month events. This year, they’re also collaborating with the Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team to follow the performance by providing relevant resources available to community members.

“I [hope] that students and community members who attend the event … develop a better understanding of the dynamics in intimate partner violence of power and control and the way that that is related to systems of oppression and other forms of identity-based violence,” Bass says. “I think Dominique is going to be really wonderful at drawing those topics together.”

Christina will perform on Monday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. in Kathryn Mohrman Theatre in Armstrong Hall. She will also be holding two workshops open to the CC community on Tuesday, Oct. 8: “Ally’s a Bad Word” at 12:15 p.m. in Sacred Grounds, and a writing workshop at 4 p.m. in the Cornerstone Flex Room.

Students Partner With Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission for Archival Project

By Miriam Brown ’21

For the next three months, Arielle Gordon ’21 will be sorting through crates of documents in the Collaborative for Community Engagement’s basement.

“I’m excited,” she says. “I don’t know what sort of hidden gems we have.

The crates contain memos from meetings, newspaper clippings, undated photographs, and other documents belonging to the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for issues of peace, justice, and sustainability. In celebration of the organization’s 40th anniversary, Gordon will be working with other CC students to read, organize, preserve, and share 40 years of archived documents with the community.

Gordon is a member of the Community Engaged Leaders program, a three-year program designed by the CCE to integrate civic leadership into students’ everyday lives, and this project will serve as one of the final pieces of the program — her capstone project.

But for Gordon, the project is more than a short-term project. She hopes that students will not only use this project as an opportunity to engage others about the work and history of the PPJPC, but also use it as a starting point for many future collaborations with the PPJPC.

“It’s important to help a community partner that’s done so much for the Springs … [and] to give students who are interested in history or some sort of social work the opportunity to engage with a community partner,” Gordon says.

Students interested in the PPJPC archival project can contact Gordon at

Another Locale for Wooglin’s


Wooglin’s Deli will soon open its second location in northeast Colorado Springs. The eatery, which has been a fixture at 823 N. Tejon St. for nearly 30 years, plans to open another location near the corner of Barnes Road and Oro Blanco Drive by the end of the year. In the proposed site plans, the deli would also occupy a prominent spot next to the new Robson Arena.

“Our goal has always been to be 100 percent in tune with what students need and what they want. And of course the general public, but CC is our primary audience and customer,” says Todd Renz, Wooglin’s manager.

Renz says he plans to close the Tejon location in late November, when students leave for Thanksgiving break, and have the new location at Barnes up and running by mid-December. “We’ll need to have some flexibility with inspections and equipment installations,” he says.

Renz says he’s “excited but nervous” about the changes coming to the neighborhood with Robson Area. “We are doing as much of the work as we can to get ready before moving time. After 18 years in one [location], it’s exciting to have the additional space.”

The eatery will be open at just one location when the Robson Arena construction gets underway. Wooglin’s aims to be in a new space near the arena when it opens, and Renz says the Barnes location will stay open as a second location.

“I’m really proud of the fact that we have a clientele that are dedicated and regular,” says Renz, and he’s looking forward to the “preexisting customer base,” joining Wooglin’s. “Ultimately, two years from now, everyone’s going to be better off and, in the meantime, the second location is going to be a great anchor location once it takes off, too.”

CC Launches Pledge to Increase Affordability

Pilot program boosts access for low- and middle-income students

Colorado College is launching the Colorado Pledge, a historic undertaking to address affordability concerns in higher education. CC’s Colorado Pledge is a financial aid initiative designed to ensure Colorado College is as affordable for Colorado students from low- and middle-income families as the state’s flagship public university.

The Colorado Pledge is a pilot program aimed at supporting Colorado families with adjusted gross incomes below $200,000. All students admitted to the next fall’s incoming class and transfer students who meet the eligibility criteria will receive this award. Early Action and Early Decision deadlines are Nov. 1.

“Colorado College is one of only a handful of colleges in the nation to consistently meet the full demonstrated need of every admitted student,” says Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. “The Colorado Pledge goes one step further and is a bold initiative aimed at making a private education as affordable, or more affordable, than many public universities.”

Colorado College’s pledge is that:

  • For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income of less than $60,000, there will be no parental contribution for tuition, room, and board at CC.
  • For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income between $60,000 and $125,000, there will be no parental contribution for tuition at CC; they will only pay for room and board.
  • For students from Colorado families with an adjusted gross income between $125,000 and $200,000, CC pledges that the parental contribution for a Colorado College education will be the same or less than the cost of attendance at the flagship state university in Colorado.

CC’s strategic plan calls for an additional $20 million in fundraising, which will allow the college to endow the program for future students, thus opening the doors more widely to a Colorado College education for the best and brightest students in the state. The college already has received more than $3.5 million from generous donors, including a gift that has been issued as a challenge to other donors to match their own contributions of $50,000 or more to the Colorado Pledge.

Currently about 15 percent of CC students are from Colorado. The pledge comes as Colorado College seeks to cultivate a more diverse student body across the socio-economic spectrum. By making the cost of attending Colorado College as affordable as the state’s flagship university, CC can attract and enroll a higher percentage of students from low- and middle-income Colorado families.

“We fully recognize that middle- and upper middle-income families have been asked to contribute a high percentage of their take-home pay,” says Mark Hatch, vice president for enrollment management at Colorado College. “The Colorado Pledge, for many families, will reduce this contribution significantly and will make Colorado College an attractive option for many more students.”

Colorado College, which was founded two years before Colorado became a state, has always had a strong commitment to meeting the full demonstrated need of all admitted students. The Colorado Pledge is about affordability; it’s a commitment to students in Colorado that CC is not only the most selective college or university in the region, but is just as affordable and accessible.

The college administers a financial aid budget that exceeds $40 million annually, and approximately 50 percent of Colorado College students receive scholarship support each year.

As part of Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College, a $435 million fundraising initiative that includes a $100 million effort to secure funds for financial aid, the college is raising $20 million specifically to support the Colorado Pledge.

Read more about the specifics of the Colorado Pledge.

Accolades for Mary Margaret Alvarado’s “On Memory With No Devices”

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

While CC’s Thesis Specialist Mia (as she is known) Alvarado has published much of her writing, including poetry and nonfiction, in magazines and journals including The Boston Review, The Kenyon Review, VQR, and Outside, her recent essay is particularly exciting: It has been named a finalist for “Best of the Net” honors and selected to be published in an upcoming print anthology, Omnibus!. The essay, titled “On Memory With No Devices,” was selected by president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux Jonathan Galassi to be part of this anthology.

Alvarado says the idea for this essay is “part of a long-time obsession with what is a machine, and who are we among them?” It is also part of a series of lyrical essays Alvarado has written about the digital revolution that comprise a book-length manuscript, “They Say This Thing Works.” She adds, “I also wrote it to console myself; as I often write; and to revisit that girl that I once was, and offer her some mercy.” The themes of memory and technology have been interesting to Alvarado since before “On Memory With No Devices,” as she says, “I am interested by the degree to which we are outsourcing the very act of thinking, and the many arts and practices of memory.” Additionally, she says “I am interested by how we remember, and what; how a self-mutates in time; how nations and peoples create or erase memories; and by how domestic technologies, like, say, a letter, can form a whole life.”

The inclusion of this essay in Omnibus!is exciting and humbling for Alvarado, as she loves and admires the work of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. “It is an honor for Galassi to have read and then to recommend this writing,” she explains.

Alvarado’s essay can be found on the Cagibi website:

The Well Campaign is Here for You

The Well Campaign is a new initiative from the CC Wellness Resource Center that seeks to promote awareness that wellness and well-being mean something different to everyone. As CC strives to become a more equitable and inclusive campus and continues to implement the Equity in Mental Health Framework as part of the JED Campus Project, it is important to continue broadening understandings of what wellness means.

The Well Campaignpromotes holistic well-being as a process that is different foreveryone and invites members of the campus community to participate. The campaign builds on the holistic model of wellness to highlight five practices that help facilitate well-being: engage, relate, care, reflect, and rest.

WRC Paraprof Celia Palmer ’16printed posters in the Press at CC corresponding to the five terms; start looking out for those around campus.  In addition to the posters, the WRC will be sharing photos in which CC community members hold one of the posters and comment on what the given term means to them. The posters also direct viewers to the WRC webpagefor mental health resources and tips for reflecting on your own well-being. The more people who participate, the more diverse and meaningful the campaign will be, so reach out to Celia ( if you’re interested!

By engaging students, faculty, and staff from across the CC community and asking them to share the ways they practice and promote well-being in their own lives. Some of the terms (rest, reflect) are more personal and others are more social (engage, relate), but each involves vulnerability, self-awareness, communication, and an emphasis on growth.

CC Shows Support for Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Still In Banner

By: Miriam Brown ’21

The United States may intend to pull out of the Paris Agreement in 2020, but Colorado College is saying, “We Are Still In.”

In 2015, 195 countries, including the U.S., came together in Paris and agreed to make strides to limit the effects of global warming, such as by reducing carbon emissions to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. In June 2017, President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the climate deal in 2020, so American political and business leaders formed the “We Are Still In” coalition that same month to show that they would still stand by the agreement.

As part of the Economics of International Climate Policy course in Block 4, Lily Weissgold ’20, vice president of outreach for the CC Student Government Association, attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice, Poland. When she returned to campus, she wrote a resolution asking CC to sign onto We Are Still In. The faculty approved the resolution unanimously during the Block 5 faculty meeting, and now CC is one of 348 colleges and universities to sign on.

“Signing onto We Are Still In is sort of taking a stand and saying that as an institution, we believe climate change is real; we believe it’s going to affect our future students and our current students in their futures; we care, and we’re going to do everything in our institutional power to make the world a better place,” Weissgold says.

As an institution, CC has already beat the timeline of the Paris Agreement. CC made a commitment in 2008 to become carbon-neutral by 2020, so since then, CC has reduced direct emissions on campus by over 50 percent, and overall emissions — including air travel and commuting — by 33 percent.

According to Director of the Office of Sustainability Ian Johnson, the school community can support these efforts by continuing to reduce their emissions, particularly in the areas of electrical use, heating/cooling and domestic hot water, business travel, solid waste and wastewater, and commuting.

“We know that this is a monumental challenge, which means every thing we do as individuals and everything we do as a college that reduces emissions helps move the world closer to that goal,” Johnson says.

Innovator-in-Residence Program Fosters Culture of Creativity

Innovator in Residence

By Miriam Brown ’21

Sound artist, performer, and composer Reiko Yamada has built her career around pushing past disciplinary boundaries. In Block 4, Yamada will bring her expertise to Colorado College as the latest innovator-in-residence.

Innovation at CC launched its Innovator-in-Residence Program two years ago to give students the opportunities to collaborate and connect with people who are particularly groundbreaking in their work. While innovators are on campus — which can range from a week to a block — they give lectures, participate in panels, collaborate with students on class projects, and provide guidance through more casual conversations.

Even though Yamada is not yet present on campus, she is already pushing students and faculty to collaborate and problem-solve in different ways. Jane Hilberry, professor of English, is teaching a class next block on contemporary poetry. Iddo Aharony, professor of music, is teaching a class on songwriting. Hilberry and Aharony have never collaborated before, but Yamada’s presence was the impetus for them to join forces in a combined class project where students will create a musical piece with lyrics. Yamada will use her experience as a sound artist and performer to help the students think critically about their sounds and how they convey meaning.

But Yamada’s presence will not just be limited to music. She will also be working with Professor Sara Hanson’s molecular biology genomics lab, where she will help students to transform genetic code into music and sound.

“I think there’s something really valuable in completely reframing the way that you look at something,” says Jessica Hunter-Larsen, associate director of Innovation at CC. “Huge creative leaps have happened because people have been able to go totally outside of a discipline or set of protocols or practices and get information from other places.”

Yamada will present her own work, specifically her latest project on fruit flies called “Small, Small Things” on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 5:15 p.m. in Cornerstone Arts Center. Immediately following her presentation, artists Virgil Ortiz and Eiko Otake will join her for a panel about their creative processes, moderated by Hunter-Larsen and Hilberry.

Hunter-Larsen says that this is still the beginning for the Innovator-in-Residence Program, and they hope to use it in even bigger ways in the future.

“Sometimes when you’re able to bring somebody from another area … it can be a catalyst and a place to focus so that we are all pushed to find new ways of doing things or to collaborate differently,” she says.

Justice Watch: CC Students Look for Bias at Local Courthouse

By Miriam Brown ’21

Judges in the El Paso County Courthouse are supposed to be fair and impartial, but if they aren’t, Anna Grigsby ’19 and other Colorado College students are there to document it.

Grigsby is one of the leaders of Justice Watch, a student organization whose mission is to hold attorneys and judges accountable for fair treatment by observing trials and collecting data.

Associate Professor of Sociology Gail Murphy-Geiss introduced Grigsby and co-leader Key Duckworth ’19 to the organization through her sociology course Law and Society, in which students collect data at the courthouse. Justice Watch used to be a community-based group, but after it dissolved, Murphy-Geiss stepped in to revive it on CC’s campus.

“One of our goals is to normalize going to the courthouse because it’s public, and a lot of people don’t really understand that,” Grigsby says. “While we’re going to class, people’s futures are at risk.”

On the second and third Monday of every block, students ride with Grigsby and Duckworth to the courthouse, where they pair off to separate courtrooms. The pairs follow the trials with a pre-made worksheet, which asks questions like, “Do you think the judge treated both sides fairly?” If enough data is collected, they can present a report to the chief justice, which in the past has resulted in the removal of judges for inappropriate behavior.

Duckworth explains that with newspapers losing funding, reporters who were responsible for reporting on court events are often cut. Because of this, she says that organizations like Justice Watch are more important now than ever.

“This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done at CC,” says Duckworth. “I hope people can feel empowered to get more politically active and just realize that they can actually change things if they go out and try.”

Day of Service Morphs Into Week of Action

By Miriam Brown ’21

 What do creek clean-ups, blood drives, and anti-racism workshops have in common?

 They are all ways for Colorado College students, faculty, and staff to engage with the local community during CC’s recent Week of Action.

 Historically, the events focused on cleaning up local creeks during CC’s annual Day of Service. The annual Creek Week Clean-Up is a community-wide effort of the Pikes Peak region to clean creek and watershed fronts across the area. In the past, CCstudents and members of the campus community have done their part by trekking to Monument Creek to pick up trash along the bank. Duringthe 2016 event, theypicked up 3,140 pounds of trash intwo miles.

 This year, Niki Sosa, community partnership development coordinator for the Collaborative for Community Engagement, wanted to provide more opportunities to join in on the fun. Because of the fast-paced nature of the Block Plan, the CCE settled on a full week of action.

 “We thought with the week, we would have multiple afternoons where we could have diverse opportunities and showcase different ways that our CC community can be engaging in the greater Colorado Springs community,” Sosa says.

 The Week of Action, which took place from Sept. 29, to Oct. 6, featured nine intercampus groups and 11 community partners.On Monday, 18community organizations set up tables in Worner Campus Center for an engagement fair to show students the myriad ways they could participate.

 “Big change happens on the local level, and we are helping to create pathways so that students can get connected to that,” says Sosa.

 The week included events like an anti-racist agenda workshop, a discussion with city council members Jill Gaebler and Don Knight, a Bonfil Blood Drive, and a day exploring Colorado Springs with Leadership Pikes Peak.

 “It’s just hopefully the beginning,” says Anthony Siracusa, the CCE’s engaged learning specialist.