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Worner Campus Center Undergoes Major Renovation

This artist's rendition from Shepley Bulfinch shows the new glass doors between Rastall and the Perkins Lounge area.

The Worner Campus Center, the nucleus of all campus activity, is undergoing a major renovation that will result in a more welcoming and energy-efficient building.

Most of the Worner Center improvements are focused on the main level, with the goal of transforming the dated and congested Rastall Hall into a dining area that is bright, sustainable, and easily navigated.  A portion of the north side of Rastall will be opened to the Perkins Lounge area with full light doors (see artist’s rendition), resulting in a flexible layout that can accommodate a variety of functions. Most notable of the changes will be the servery area which will be open to the dining area and will provide a variety of new food choices.

Colorado Coffee is moving inside the entrance to Benji’s, and Benji’s will be upgraded with an improved layout, which includes a new grill area, Taqueria, Sushi, Grab n’ Go coolers, flooring, furniture, and new paint. Benji’s, along with Colorado Coffee, also will be used as an additional study area in the evenings, giving students more study area options.

Energy efficiency is a major goal of the renovation, and the project is aiming for LEED certification, said Will Wise, building trades manager for facilities and project manager for this project.  Approximately 144 solar panels producing 35KW are being installed on the Worner Center roof to help offset the electrical usage in the building. An interactive flatscreen on the main floor will be devoted to monitoring energy consumption in Worner Center, he said.

The shared kitchen between Rastall and Benji’s will have the most energy-efficient dishwasher available, one which drastically reduces water use.  The new kitchen appliances are Energy Star-rated, lighting throughout the building will be upgraded to low-energy usage lights,  plumbing will be low-flow and all 25 toilets in Worner will be dual-flush.

The building’s seven air handlers, most of which date from the original 1959 building, will be reduced to five vastly more efficient ones. The air handlers take care of the building’s ventilation, heating, and air conditioning needs.

“Our goal is to reduce energy consumption by a minimum of 30 percent,” Wise said. A 30 percent reduction would result in an anticipated savings of $108,000 a year, he said. Total cost of the project is $9 million, which includes $7.7 million for construction, as well as architect, engineer, permits, and testing fees, and funds for new paint and carpeting, and other aesthetic issues, Wise said.

The project has a tight timeline of 81 days, and in order to complete the work by the August 19 deadline, two crews are working two shifts, six days a week . Bon Appetit will then have a week to get the kitchen ready before new students arrive on campus. In the meantime, the kitchen in Bemis Hall, which was remodeled last summer in preparation for the Worner Center renovation, is handing all the campus’s summer dining needs.

The project is the first major renovation of Rastall Hall since 1988, when the building took on a major transformation, and follows recommendations made in a 2009 study involving faculty, staff, students, and trustees.

Board of Trustees Meeting Actions

The CC Board of Trustees met May 19-21 on campus and conducted the following business.

 Voted to approve:

  • The Revised Faculty Handbook, to become effective July 1, 2011.  
  • Promotion to full professor for Hong Jiang in the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages.
  • The transferring of $1.6 million of year-end dollars to fund the previously approved FY 2011-12 distribution from the Financial Aid Quasi Endowment for scholarships during the 2011-12 academic year.
  • Renewal of trustee Mike Lampton’s term.
  • 2011-12 trustee committee membership and chair assignments.
  • Renewal of the current trustee officers’ terms for 2011-12.
  • A resolution naming the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center theater the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”

The Board celebrated with the William Jackson Palmer Society inductees; dined with President Celeste and Jacqueline Lundquist to honor them for their efforts on behalf of the college for the past nine years; and recognized outgoing trustees Liz Larned ’83, Ray Petros ’72, and Hans Utsch P’92 and P’95.

Board Votes to Name Cornerstone Venue ‘Richard F. Celeste Theatre’

The Colorado College Board of Trustees has honored President Richard F. Celeste, the 12th president of Colorado College, by naming the south theater in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”

Board members passed the resolution at their May meeting, saying they wished to recognize Celeste for his “exemplary leadership as president of Colorado College for nine years; his deep passion for all things CC, including the interdisciplinary arts; and his strong commitment to building and sustaining a rich relationship between the college and its treasured community of Colorado Springs.”

The venue is the main theater in Colorado College’s iconic $33.4 million, 72,400-square-foot interdisciplinary arts center, designed by architect Antoine Predock. The building, dedicated at the October 2008 Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend, has earned a gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The theater has been the venue for such events as lectures by author Amy Tan and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan; the first-time gathering of three cutting-edge playwrights, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks; the “Four Governors, One Stage” event in which former Colorado governors Dick Lamm, Roy Romer and Bill Owens gathered for a discussion moderated by Celeste, a former two-term governor of Ohio; and numerous concerts, films and dance presentations.

The theater holds a maximum of 451 seats. The venue is equipped with a variable room acoustic system with which the necessary acoustical aura can be literally dialed in with digitally controlled enhancements.

Celeste steps down as president of the college on June 30 and will be succeeded by Jill Tiefenthaler, currently the provost at Wake Forest University.

Two Philosophy Majors Present Work at Philosophy Conference

Two Colorado College philosophy majors recently presented their work at Pacific University’s Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.

Madeline Mindich ’11 presented “The Human Condition and the Ethics of Remembering It: An Essay Inspired by the ‘Concluding Unscientific Postscript’.” Joel Bock ’11 presented “Dwelling as Being at Home in the World: The Heideggerian Plight of Dwelling in Wolfe’s ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’.”

The Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is an annual, two-day conference held each spring, attracting students from across the country and internationally. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation of philosophical work of undergraduates to their peers. Since 1997, almost 1,000 students from more than 240 schools have participated.

All of the participants are undergraduate students, with the exception of the annual keynote address by a renowned philosopher. Past keynote speakers have included Paul Churchland, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Keith Lehrer, Catherine Elgin, John Perry, Hubert Dreyfus, Jerry Fodor, and Alvin Plantinga.

Dylan Nelson’s ‘Soundtrack for a Revolution’ to Air May 9 on PBS

“Soundtrack for a Revolution,” the documentary produced by Dylan Nelson, Colorado College’s artist-in-residence for film studies, will air on Monday, May 9 on PBS’s “American Experience.”

Poster for the documentary "Soundtrack for a Revolution"

The 82-minute documentary is the story of the American Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, told through the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in meetings and in jails. As current singers perform songs from the era, interviews and archival footage evoke the movement’s emotional history.

A companion to the PBS history series, “American Experience” includes features on a range of people and events in American history. Praised as the finest documentary series on television, “American Experience” brings to life the compelling stories from the past that inform our understanding of the world today.

In addition to the documentary’s debut on “American Experience,” Nelson, along with the directors, will present the film at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, May 11, at its contemporary documentaries series. The program is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the Academy Award nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

Nelson, along with her husband, Clay Haskell, teach a variety of filmmaking classes, as well as the popular off-campus class, “On Location: Hollywood.”

KASA Members Host Korean Culture Camp for Community Members

Members of CC’s Korean American Student Union (KASA) recently held a day-long Korean Culture Camp for Korean children in Colorado Springs adopted by American families.

KASA members, campers, and their families at the Korean Culture Camp. Photo by Mina Chung

The camp, held during the Block 6 break in Loomis Lounge, was attended by 15-20 children ages 3-10.

In the past, KASA has held a Korean culture night with dancing, food, and music, but this year the group wanted to tackle something different. “We wanted to do something that would last,” said YaeEun Grace Hahm ’11, a biochemistry and music major.

The event was organized by Hahm, who co-chairs KASA with Mina Chung ’13, and Alexandria Song ’12, secretary of the group. Six additional KASA members helped with the camp.

Sample of a worksheet distributed at the camp.

The day featured games, songs, food, story-telling, and crafts. The adopted children’s American families also attended, so they, too, could learn about Korean culture. “It was a good community outreach project,” said Hahm, who is from Korea originally but moved to Boulder with her family when she was 9.

The goal was to teach the adoptees about their Korean heritage because many of their American parents were not equipped with that knowledge. KASA members taught parents about Korean cuisine and how to prepare simple dishes, and gave parents recipes and samples. The children were taught simple Korean phrases, songs, and games. 

“We wanted the Korean adoptees to know that we do care, and that they have a lot of support from everyone,” Hahm said. Although she is a senior, Hahm said she is hopeful that the camp will continue. “We got a lot of ideas for other things we want to do next time,” she said. “The first time is the most difficult.”

Bowed Piano Ensemble Goes Down Under

Bowed Piano Ensemble Director Stephen Scott, nine Colorado College students, and soprano soloist Victoria Hansen will begin their third concert tour Down Under on Monday, May 16.

The ensemble, CC’s internationally recognized experimental music group, will perform in New Zealand and Australia during their two-week tour. Concerts will be held at the University of Auckland and the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington, followed by concerts in Australia at the prestigious Canberra International Music Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre in Sydney, and Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane.

A preview concert will be held at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 11 in Packard Hall, on the Colorado College campus.

The ensemble, which performs using fish line, ribbon, mallets, and brushes on the interior components of a grand piano, was founded by Scott in 1977. Hansen, principal voice instructor at Colorado College, often performs with the group.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ensemble’s second Australia tour; their first trip there, in 1987, centered on a live national radio broadcast from the Sydney Opera House. The ensemble has released five recordings, appeared numerous times on network and cable television in the U.S., Europe, and Australia, and are frequently heard on live and recorded national radio broadcasts.

On the first and fifth anniversaries of the September 11 attacks, the group was featured on National Public Radio’s “Sonic Memorial Project” commemorating the people and neighborhoods of the World Trade Center, where they had performed shortly before the attacks.

Three CC Math Majors Receive NSF Research Fellowships

A current student and two recent Colorado College graduates have received National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships.

Lauren Shoemaker ’11, a double major in mathematics and biology, will embark on a Ph.D. program in ecology at the University of Colorado in the fall. Shoemaker carried out her senior thesis research on the sustainable management of reef fish at the National Marine Fisheries Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Sarah Wolff ’10, a soccer player who graduated magna cum laude with a mathematics degree, is a first-year graduate student in math at Dartmouth College. At her senior thesis presentation, her teammates showed up with a big banner that read: “Prove That Theorem!”  It now hangs proudly in the math department student lounge.

Jess Coyle ’08, who graduated magna cum laude with degrees in biology and mathematics, is a first-year graduate student in ecology at the University of North Carolina. She spent a year before graduate school teaching at a school for HIV orphans in Malawi.

“These NSF fellowships are very prestigious, so for three students from a small college to get them in one year is a really amazing accomplishment,” said David Brown, associate math professor. “It is a real testament to the talent of our students and to the educational opportunities available at Colorado College.  It is a privilege to work with bright young scientists like these, and we couldn’t be prouder of them.

The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based masters’ and doctoral degrees. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google founder Sergey Brin and “Freakonomics” co-author Steven Levitt.

Have S’more of the Cornerstone Arts Center

The Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center was designed to be interdisciplinary, but we’re not sure that edible was part of the plan.

But, if you want to have your building and eat it too, head to Nosh, 121 S. Tejon St., where pastry chef Alicia Prescott has created the Cornerstone Almond S’more, a graham cracker, marshmallow, and almond cake rendition of Colorado College’s state-of-the-art interdisciplinary arts center. 

The six-inch, multi-layered dessert is available Thursday through Saturday evenings in April, designated as Colorado Architecture Month. Prescott teamed up with architect Christy Riggs for Delicious Designs, a program that celebrates architecture through dessert. The Colorado component of the American Institute of Architects  pairs up several Colorado architects and chefs to create a limited-time offering of desserts inspired by architecture throughout the state.

The foundation of the dessert is a flourless almond cake cut into building block shapes and coated with milk chocolate. The glass is depicted with marshmallow, and the iconic prow and copper side walls are rendered with chocolate-covered graham crackers. Once the building is assembled, the marshmallow is torched for a glazed appearance. Caramel sauce and orange segments complete the presentation.

The Cornerstone Almond S’more feeds two to three and costs $12. The wait staff presents the dessert with an artist’s rendition of the building, to help orient diners.

Prescott says it takes several days to prepare the dessert for assembly, as her staff needs to make the almond cake and graham crackers, coat them with chocolate, and cut them into the proper sized pieces. However, once the ingredients are ready, assembling CC’s iconic building can be done in three to four minutes.

“It’s fun and challenging,” Prescott says. Last year she and Riggs also participated in the program with two entries: a dessert rendition of the Fine Arts Center served at Nosh, and the then-new Goodwill building served at The Blue Star.

Other architecture being represented via desserts throughout the state this month include the Brown Palace Hotel, Pepsi Center, Marble Garden at Aspen Meadows, and Denver’s Millennium Bridge.

Chloe Banning ’14 Secures Spot on World Cup Tour

Chloe Banning '14 on the podium at the USASA Nationals. Note the CC Tiger sticker on her snowboard.

Competitive snowboarder Chloe Banning ’14 recently completed an impressive season, securing a spot on the World Cup tour for the 2011-12 season. Banning, who finished 20th overall in World Cup boardercross standings, also was named the Nor-Am championship for the second consecutive year. The Nor-Am Cup is a snowboard series one level below World Cup competition.

Banning, who competes in boardercross competitions, placed fourth in this season’s Sprint U.S. Snowboarding Grand Prix. She finished behind world champion Lindsey Jacobellis, 2010 boardercross Olympic Silver medalist Deborah Anthonioz of France, and Olympian Faye Gulini.

Banning also had a third-place finish this season at the Junior World Championships (age 20 and under), held in Valmalenco, Italy. This season she competed in Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Utah, Oregon, California, and Colorado – with a CC Tiger sticker on her snowboard!

Banning, of Steamboat Springs, Colo., started snowboarding when she was 7 and began competing a year later.  She plans to pursue a career in medicine, with a major in either biology or math.

Boardercross is a snowboard competition in which a group of snowboarders, usually four, start simultaneously atop an inclined course of various features, then race to reach the finish line first. Snowboard cross became an Olympic sport in 2006, and has been part of the Winter X Games since the annual event began in 1997.