Posts in: Kudos

Student-athletes Start Academic Year at Wildlife Refuge

Baca Wildlife Refuge

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Every student who comes to CC participates in a Priddy Trip and individual trips engage in a wide variety of service work, ranging from trail construction to working with animals. This year, the early athlete Priddy Trip worked with the Baca National Wildlife Refuge to lower and remove barbed wire fences. Our group, which included incoming freshmen on the volleyball, men’s soccer, and men’s and women’s cross-country teams, camped at the North Crestone campground and worked at the wildlife refuge for three days.

Although working on the fences was tiring, it was also quite rewarding for everyone on the trip. On the first day of work, Ron Garcia, who works at the wildlife refuge, explained that the fences are too high for deer and other animals to jump over. The top wire of the fence ensnares their legs, and the animals go into shock and usually die before anyone can free them. Because of this, Garcia instructed us on how to lower the top wire and attach it to the lower wires to make the fences passable for wildlife. We spent most of one day walking along a fence and leap-frogging from post to post while lowering the wires. The second day, while also working with fences, was slightly different work.

Lots of the fence in the refuge is considered historical, so we were instructed to leave the wooden posts intact while removing and rolling the barbed wire to allow wildlife to pass through. Cross-country athlete and first-year Ben Gellman says, “I really enjoyed getting to work with the Baca Wildlife Refuge because I believed in the importance of the service work we were doing. When we drove down the road and saw the quantity of fencing that was now safer for antelopes and other animals it hit home how important the work was.” Many first-year students echoed this sentiment as we drove by the fences we worked on. Gellman adds that he appreciates the connections made during NSO, and feels like he is now more likely to cheer on other athletes he got to know while fixing fences.


Max Pil ’20 Climbs eSports Top 500 Leaderboards

Max Pil, eSports

By Miriam Brown ’21

 In the virtual world, Max Pil ’20 is a world-class hamster. In Overwatch, a video game in which heroes must come together to control global conflict, Pil regularly plays as Hammond, a hamster nicknamed “Wrecking Ball” for his ability to crush people with his mechanical ball.

Pil plays Hammond so well that he ranks in the top 30 in the world for the position and in the top 500 players overall in North America.

Pil is a member of Colorado College’s eSports team, which was founded last year. The team has around 18 students who play video games, specifically League of Legends and Overwatch, competitively against other collegiate eSports teams.

Despite being new to the team this year, Pil is already teaching the team’s private coach how to play his position.

“He’s doing things that people have never even thought of before,” eSports manager and co-founder Lilly Chen ’19 said. “For the team, there’s a noticeable difference when he’s in the game.”

After Pil posted to a Reddit forum about his play, so many people had questions that he started streaming to explain while he played. Now, in addition to Pil’s regular games and practices with CC’s team, he plays in matches alongside Overwatch paid professionals.

“I think it’s really fun, having grown up playing video games, to finally reach a point where you’re really good,” Pil said. “It’s really cool to get into matches and be at a very high level of competition for something that I always thought was kind of a stupid hobby.”

Chen says that in CC’s future matches, the team just needs to keep starting Pil. “It’s like [in basketball], he’s dunking on kids, and you just have to give him the ball,” Chen said.

TheCC eSports Overwatch team plays its first official games in the collegiate gaming organization Tespa Fall season this Sunday, Sept. 30. Game 1 vs. Purdue University Indianapolis, is at 6 p.m., Game 2 vs. University of South Carolina is at 7:30 p.m. Tune in at, or view the broadcast directly on the CC eSports homepage

Lostroh and Udis-Kessler Release Third Album

Rejoice: Songs and Hymns

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Although Associate Professor of Molecular Biology Phoebe Lostroh and Director of Assessment and Program Review Amanda Udis-Kessler have been a couple since 1997, they were making music together long before.

They recently released their third album, “Rejoice: Songs and Hymns” under the band name EverySoul. The album contains 15 original songs and liberal religious hymns written by Udis-Kessler. The idea for the album started when Udis-Kessler was preparing for liver cancer treatment and wanted to compose at least one more album.

About the music, Lostroh says, “I want to help make the world a better place by encouraging people who value social justice,” and, “to make music that will help sustain activists in times of trouble and make us feel less alone.” The duo hopes to have the album included in the Unitarian Universalist Church’s music, which Lostroh says is quite remarkable.

“There are almost no other out queer women writers in U.S. church hymnals — Amanda is one of the very few, with a song in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal,” she explains. Since the release of the album, Udis-Kessler has already submitted a hymn for inclusion in a Methodist hymnal, and written a few new songs, which Lostroh says she is always happy to sing.

“Rejoice: Songs and Hymns”  is available on Spotify, and anyone who wants a free copy of the CD can contact Amanda Udis-Kessler via email:


Matt Rosen ’21 Connects with the Human Condition in First Book

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Matt Rosen ’21 has an exciting spring coming up: His book “Speculative Annihilationism: The Intersection of Archaeology and Extinction”will be published by Zero Books in June. The book is about philosophy, a topic Rosen has been interested in for a long time. His curiosity stems from watching a cartoon version of “The Hobbit” at the age of four, which he says was “the first time that I realized that I too must die, that in being born I had been given no choice in the matter.”

With his book, Rosenuses his passion for philosophy to argue that archaeology can be granted a new basis, a new avenue of inquiry at its intersection with extinction.He uses a variety of philosophical approaches to make his case.

Inspiration for the book, Rosen says, was frustration. He explains that the field of philosophy has a long history of only focusing on humans, and ignoring the reality that does not include humans. Because of this, “we need a vision of the sciences and of philosophy itself which can help us to better understand our place in this very inhuman world.” Rosen had a clear idea of what he wanted to say with his book, and was able to finish in only a block and a half. The process, he says, helped him gain respect for other writers who are juggling multiple projects and tight deadlines. The short writing time also “further legitimates the wonders of the Block Plan.”

Only in his second year at CC, Rosen, who hails from Ridgewood, New Jersey,has not yet declared a major but plans to study philosophy. He also hopes to continue his study of philosophy into a doctorate program, and eventually teach. Even with these academic goals, Rosen says that philosophy does not start or end with the academy. “Philosophizing is what each of us does every day, it’s how we cope (or don’t cope) with our situation, with the condition of being in the world and being in a world precisely like this one,” he explains.

Outside of academics, Rosen will continue to philosophize and write, as he began to do as he watched “The Hobbit.” Rosen’s book can be pre-ordered on Amazon.

Zunneh-bah Martin ’19 Represents Indigenous Peoples as Ceremonial Queen

Zunneh-Bah Martin '19

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

CC senior Zunneh-bah Martin recently completed her year as the Miss Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial Queen representing the Diné(Navajo) and Modoc tribes.

The role is part of one of the longest-running events in New Mexico, the 97th Annual Gallup Inter-tribal Indian Ceremonial, and was the second time Martin competed. Martin first competed in Fall 2015, as she prepared to leave her reservation for the first time to attend CC. She says she did not run with the goal of winning, but just to “be surrounded by my family, friends, and Native peoples during the Ceremonial events before I left my community.”

She ran again in August 2017 and had a similar inspiration. It was right before she left to study abroad in New Zealand (Aotearoa in Maori), and she says, “I wanted to be part of this annual celebration of Native peoples and our cultures.”

Martin won the title of Miss Ceremonial Queen her second time. She explains that the pageant differs from others in that it “includes getting judged on an essay and public speaking as well as a professional interview with several judges asking tough questions about issues that affect Native American communities and Indigenous women. I was also judged on my Traditional Indigenous Cultural talent and skills as well as my Contemporary talent and skills on stage before the general public.”

These trials are meant to prepare the winner for her year-long stint as Miss Ceremonial Queen, a position that involves representing all Native American tribes and acting as a Native/Indigenous Woman leader and role model.

Martin particularly enjoyed using her platform to inform larger audiences about indigenous rights and environmental issues. The Miss Ceremonial Queen role is well-known across the Southwest, and Martin says it enabled her to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds and tribes with whom she wouldn’t otherwise have been able. She also had the opportunity to represent the title differently from past queens, as she is a full-time college student who studied abroad during her year as the Ceremonial Queen. “I hope to bring awareness and education of the original peoples of this land to CC and how the CC community can become allies who support and stand for Indigenous peoples, our rights, and issues we are still facing with the environment,” Martin says.

CC Makes Sustainability Gains in STARS Report

Tutt Library

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

CC made a number of appearances in the recently published 2018 Sustainable Campus Index. Run by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, the Sustainable Campus Index is a self-reporting system to highlight colleges’ and universities’ sustainability efforts.

They measure 17 different areas and rate them on the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Ranking System. CC’s Director of Sustainability Ian Johnson highlights the significance of the report, saying “it is important to be in the know about what other schools are doing and to make sure that we remain leaders in our work.”

The newly renovated Tutt Library was highlighted in the “Buildings” section of the report, saying the library is a “major contributor to the college’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.” CC also tied for 10th place on the “Purchasing” list, which reviews the environmental and social responsibility of a school’s services and products.

The “Water” section evaluates conservation, recycling, and reuse of water, as well as effective use of rainwater; CC was number two on the list. Johnson sees these results as a big step for CC, as it “is a clear indication that not only is our approach working, but that in some cases it’s put us at the head of the pack.  That tells me that we’re doing something real and doing it right, not just embracing an image.”

Bonner Fellows Class of 2022

Nicole Chavarria

My name is Nicole Chavarria and I am from the DMV area. I was born in D.C. but have done most of my schooling in Montgomery County, Maryland. I love being in D.C. and exploring there. I have had experience in community service through my school and other programs I have been a part of such as NJROTC, NHS, IB, and LTI. I have volunteered at family markets, food banks, helping pick up trash from my school’s side of the road, tutoring and in many school hosted events. I am going to into CC as a Chemistry major for now, I know I might change majors. I am into sports and games. I am very competitive, at times, when it comes to games.




Yajie (Angelina) Chen

Hello! I’m Yajie Chen (or Angelina) from China. I grew up in Guangzhou (a city where the best food in China exists), and went to high school in Shenzhen to study A-Level courses. Sociology, Spanish and Theater were my favorites but my major at CC is still undecided. I enjoy hiking and doing farm stays, so Environmental Sciences might be a fit too. In terms of community service and engagement, I’ve been an activist and volunteer in the fields of education, sustainability, feminism and LGBTQ+. I also worked with both local and international NGOs, schools, sociologists and anthropologists in China. I’m a huge fan of post rock and indie, and I listen to a little bit of everything in different languages. My favorite bands are Sigur Rós, Arcade Fire, mol-74 and Beach House. Looking forward to meeting you all and getting to know about each of you!


Daniel Cortes

I am Daniel Cortés. I grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and became acquainted with community service during my time attending Amy Biehl High School. Beginning my freshman year, I visited several service sites, each providing me with new skills, and an opportunity to make a difference. The following year, I helped to spearhead “Project NOVA”, an opt-in, week long service trip to Portales, New Mexico, where we assisted New Mexico Christian Children’s Home in their mission to better the lives of vulnerable children. My junior year I remained a part of that project and volunteered at a summer camp. My senior year I conducted a 100-hour service project involving the operation of my own organization. In my free time, I enjoy bike rides, soccer, meditation, and hanging out with my closest friends. I also have a passion for creating and listening to music.



Dylan Hall

My name is Dylan Hall, I’m 18 years old and a 2018 graduate from Nichols School in Buffalo, New York. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, I moved to Buffalo when I was 10. At Nichols, I discovered and explored my interest in languages and cultures; studying Mandarin Chinese for 8 years and Spanish for 3. I plan to continue my study of these languages and others at CC. My life goal is to visit as many countries and learn as many languages as possible. I enjoy listening to music, reading, and watching Netflix in my spare time. My focus on community engagement led me to organize and host the Nichols annual Inclusivity Conference, construct a Black History course my junior year, volunteer with the Home Again organization, and assist with a children’s play day for underprivileged kids at my school. I look forward to becoming a Bonner Fellow and working in the Colorado Springs community.



Annika Koch

My name is Annika Koch, and I grew up in the small town of Zimmerman, Minnesota. I come from a large family of eleven children and one beautiful mother. I have always known I’ve wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I volunteered in mentor groups for younger students and I was an Avid coach. I took a gap year before attending CC. During that time, I dedicated 900 hours of my year to volunteering as a Minnesota Reading Corps tutor at a local preschool. My passion for education has guided a lot of my decisions in my life. I enjoy reading a good book, playing video games, and listening to some great music. My favorite hobbies are sewing and quilting.




Julieta Lechini

My name is Julieta and I am from Montevideo, Uruguay. Since early ages I participated in different organizations such as “Un techo para mi pais”, I was a facilitator at my high school for 2 years and I created a project to build libraries in some of the poorest schools of my city. When I was 16 years old I attended UWC in Germany. Apart from the community events I lead and participated, I worked with refugees and immigrants helping to teach English or doing integration activities. During the last year I went to Senegal for a bridge year and I tried to immerse in the culture, learn the beautiful language of Wolof and be part of many activities such as English classes, a women cooking cooperative and an NGO for children with disabilities. Through my life, experiences taught me the importance of stepping out and learning before trying to help and that to change the world first we need to understand each other. Apart from a deep love to serve, meet people and learn I love anthropology, feminism, traveling, singing and playing (some) sports.


Jasmine Linder

My name is Jasmine Linder and I am so honored to be joining you as a Bonner Fellow! I grew up in Portland Oregon with my single mom and our many pets. In my free time, I love to paint, play the guitar, and hike in Oregon’s beautiful forests! While living in Portland, I have developed a strong passion for many issues, especially those regarding environmental justice and women’s rights. So far, my most influential commitments of service, community engagement, and leadership have been through public protests, as well as two organizations called Outdoor School and Amigos de las Americas. These opportunities have challenged me, but were undoubtedly the most rewarding experiences of my life. Although I have participated in some political activism and service, I am excited to further my experience through the Bonner Fellowship. I can’t wait to get to know you all!



Min Pan

Hello, my name is Min and I am from Los Angeles. Over the past three years, I had the pleasure of participating in a mentoring organization at Minds Matter. My involvement as a mentee instilled an interest in me to help the immigrant and under-resourced communities, specifically to better inform and provide resources for students and families on the education system in the United States. I was also engaged with my school’s track and field team, in which I helped guide and support the underclassmen in jumps. Because of my activities, I hope to learn more about sports medicine, leadership, and the people I will work with and for. One activity I hope to learn at Colorado College would be ice skating. In my free time, I enjoy watching dramas, journal, and attempt to cook.



Maddie Ross

I am a life-long local of the Colorado Springs region here in the Centennial State. Growing up in the downtown area, the non-profit hub has left a major impact on me from an early age. Since accompanying my parents on their volunteer efforts and discovering the vitality of communal spirit over time, engagement with my surroundings has become an ongoing mission. Thus far, I have had the opportunity to become involved with the Pikes Peak Library District, Penrose Hospital, Catamount Institute, and Colorado Springs Teen Court.

Additionally, I enjoy gaining perspective through photography, poetry and literature–am currently intrigued by transcendentalism and Greek theater–and hiking. I am also an advocate for communication (avid speech writer for speech/debate) and a Taekwondo black belt.

Lonnell Schuler

Lonnell Schuler graduated from Manual Arts High School as Senior Vice President in Southern California. In high school, he was the Battalion Commander for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp program. For the past two years Lonnell has been an avid peer educator for Black Women for Wellness, a community-based non-profit organization, that has empowered him to become an instrumental member in his community. As a peer educator, he taught comprehensive sexual education classes to high school students. His classes include information on birth control, STD/STIs, and healthy relationships. During his time as a peer educator he founded the Youth Advisory Board for BWW. He now aims to lower the rates of STD/STIs in his community and educate his peers on safe sex and healthy relationships. In his spare time, he plays the trumpet, listening to music, and reading.

CC Paragliders Featured in Pilot Magazine

CC students are featured in this Pilot magazine article.

Get to Know the Class of 2018

More than four years ago, when members of the Class of 2018 first started their CC experiences, we knew lots of random trivia about them based on admission applications: Two members of the incoming class had biked across the U.S., four were Girl Scouts, nine were black belts in karate, and they spoke a combined 27 languages. Now, as they prepare for CC graduation, here are a few fun facts about those same students, now that they’re seniors: 97 students have received Keller Venture Grants (so far), 30 students have been awarded at least one Ritt Kellogg Expedition Grant.

Seventy senior students have presented research at a past summer research symposium and 11 of the student bands that competed at CC’s Battle of the Bands are primarily made up of senior musicians. Fifteen members of the Class of 2018 completed art theses and there will be 16 academic paraprofessionals and four full-time interns from the graduating class on campus for the 2018-19 academic year.

There have been 14 year-long PIFP fellowships and 19 summer fellowships awarded to members of the Class of 2018. More than 250 students have used Tutt Library’s thesis carrels this year. The class has 50 graduating varsity athletes, one Watson fellow, one Fulbright winner, two Fulbright alternates, two recipients of NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, and one Goldwater scholar. And the awards list keeps growing.

Lachlan Nutting ’18 Selected to Present Philosophy Paper

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Philosophy major Lachlan Nutting ’18recently attended the 20th annual Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, to present her paper, “Emotionally Determined Destiny.”

Nutting says she has been interested in determinism, the philosophical theory that all events are determined by causes outside of human will, since sophomore year, but doubted that she could write a paper on it. It wasn’t until her senior year, in the class Philosophy of Emotions, when the themes that had originally interested her reappeared and she decided she would write her final paper on the topic.

“I argued that emotional responses are determined based on Cheshire Calhoun’s idea of biographical subjectivity and Max Scheler’s individual destiny,” explains Nutting. “This basically means that emotional responses are determined by who you are at your core as an individual, and they allow you to actualize your destiny by telling you what is significant in your life.”

After having this topic swirling around in her head for years, Nutting decided that her final paper was worth submitting to the Midwest Undergraduate Philosophy Conference, and she was honored to have the opportunity to speak, saying that “everyone there was amazingly nice and supportive. I think more people should submit their papers to conferences; it was the most wonderful experience.”

Reflecting back, Nutting says she was drawn to the many diverse frameworks of philosophy, and how the subject took on huge questions about life and reality. Her studies required her to keep an open mind and, as she describes, “see how these different ideas might apply to my life, making studying philosophy incredibly worthwhile.”