Posts in: Kudos
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
This year, the Colorado College Nordic ski team grew immensely, and qualified the most skiers ever in school history for the Collegiate National Championships in Bend, Oregon in this month. Team captain Ines Siepmann ’18, along with Alice Oline ’18, Kelsi Anderson ’18, and Oliver Jones ’20, qualified for the National Championships by accruing points throughout the season and competing in a specific number of races.
Siepmann says the many new members of the team aided in making a great group dynamic across the team. Last year, the team had 6-10 skiers at each race, while this year a range of 13-21 CC athletes competed. Many had never skied before, meaning a lot of the team’s success was measured by progress and time spent on the snow. The most recent competition for the team was the Cowboy Chase and Laramie Loppet in Laramie, WY over the Block 5 block break. The team competed in four other races over the course of Block 5, performing well and racing hard. While it’s an exciting marker to qualify for the national competition, none of CC’s skiers will be able to attend the meet, which is taking place March 5-11. Siepmann says it is just too much school to miss on the Block Plan.
Sieppman says balancing schoolwork and skiing is generally manageable. The team trains mostly on dry land, since the closest Nordic area is in Monument and hasn’t received enough snow this year for good skiing. The next closest Nordic area is at Breckenridge, which is a two-hour drive from campus, so a lot of training happens at or near campus. According to Siepmann, the team places a lot of importance on inclusivity by providing all the necessary equipment, so “different athletes participate with the team in different ways.” Not every skier comes to all practices and meets, so students are able to tailor their participation to their school work load.
Looking ahead to next year, Siepmann says the team will get together to decide goals for the upcoming season. They have already decided to continue practicing throughout this spring, and have had a pancake breakfast for the team. Siepmann says she’s excited for the continued team bonding activities, and is also looking forward to discussing next year’s intentions and leadership.
Photo of Ines Siepmann ’18 (right) and Alice Oline ’18 by CJ Monson ’20.
Saturday, March 4, more than 300 students, staff, faculty, and community members took part in the Student Art Show, hosted by President’s Council. Over two dozen artists were featured in the largest display of student art of the year. Three jurors – Dean of Students Mike Edmonds, Professor of Art and Fine Arts Center Director Rebecca Tucker, and Fine Arts Center Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Joy Armstrong – awarded twelve “Juror’s Choice” awards to student artists.
Hannah Seabright ’18, “Shadows in Tiananmen”
Amelia Eskenazi ’19, “Moonlight Rollaway”
Suzanna McMurtry ’17, “Mona H.”
Jenny Welden ’18, “Nothing New Under the Sun”
Works on Paper
Amelia Atencio ’18, “Clothesline”
Abby Wigdale ’18, “Nasty Woman Pt. 1”
Liz Ellinger ’18, “Blue Noise”
Caitlin Taber ’17, “La Voyageur”
Catherine Sinow ’17, “Nonfunctional Objects”
Brian Chen ’18, “Weathered Bronze Vase”
Special Category: Most Relevant
Elsa Bonyhadi ’18
Special Category: All-Around Awesomeness
Jenny Welden ’18
Congratulations to all CC student artists on their exceptional work, we can’t wait to see what’s next!
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
The accolades continue to roll in for Idris Goodwin, assistant professor of theater and dance, with one of his most recent plays, “Bars and Measures” nominated for the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for writing. A scene from the play is pictured.
The musical score by Noah Argus has also been nominated. The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, started in 1969, is dedicated to critiquing, encouraging, and improving theatre in the Los Angeles area, and provides awards in many categories.
Goodwin’s play is inspired by a true story and focuses on two brothers who connect through jazz while one is in prison. Goodwin says that the play was part of a “’rolling world premiere” supported by the National New Play Network, which allowed the performance to develop progressively in four theatres around the country, ending in Los Angeles. He says receiving recognition on the final production stop is tremendously encouraging.
Goodwin’s other recent success is closer to home. His play “#matter,” which he directed and presented at CC with students Alec Sarche ’17 and Alex Farr ’17, will be produced at the Bush Theatre in London. This is a big step for Goodwin, as it will be the first time one of his works will be produced outside the United States. The production is part of a series of six short plays titled “Black Lives, Black Words,” and was one of two American works selected.
The short play focuses on the friendship of two young adults, one black and one white, when the Black Lives Matter movement causes conflict between them. Goodwin’s inspiration for the story came from his conversations about race on social media. He says that his identity and heritage have always been essential to who he is, and his conversations caused him to question old friendships, and this theme is central to “#matter.”
Beyond these two successes, Goodwin has plenty of other projects in the works. “I just released a new chapbook called ‘Inauguration’ that I co-wrote with a former student, Nico Wilkinson ’16,” he says. He also has a play currently touring Washington, D.C. schools called “From the Mouth of Monsters,” that was commissioned by the Kennedy Center and is a spinoff of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.” It will be performed at the Kennedy Center March 10-12. His play “Hype Man” just won the Blue Ink playwriting award, and will have a staged reading in Chicago on May 22 at the American Blues Theater. Finally, he will be directing “Yellow Face” by David Henry Hwang during Block 8, and is working on plays with the Public Theater in New York, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He invites any students wanting to learn about writing plays to enroll in one of his courses on writing
By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
For providing both a home for a multitude of beautiful trees, and a campus community that is interested in conservation, CC has received a recent award honoring its passion, pride, and protection of trees.
The Arbor Day Foundation runs a program called Tree Campus USA that rewards campuses around the country for effectively managing their tree populations, working with the greater community to facilitate healthy urban forests, and engaging students in service opportunities related to forestry.
This year, CC has received recognition for its efforts and has been accepted into the Tree Campus USA program. To be recognized, a campus must meet the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry: Establishing a campus tree advisory committee; implementing a campus tree care program; providing dedicated annual funding for tree care; observing Arbor Day; and providing service learning opportunities. CC has met all of these standards, earning recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation.
Mike Spruce, CC’s arborist, says this recognition demonstrates “CC’s continued commitment to our trees on campus.” The college has more than 2,100 campus trees that “create the unique sense of place that is Colorado College.” Spruce plans to celebrate Arbor Day 2017, and says that “we will definitely have a community tree planting event on Armstrong Quad sometime in late April,” with more events to be announced. Colorado’s Arbor Day is April 21, and events may fall on or around that date. There will be other tree plantings on Armstrong Quad to replace trees lost in the January windstorm, says Spruce, and students, faculty, and staff volunteers will be welcome to help. More details are coming in the spring.
Check out this video students and members of the grounds crew put together during a recent cleanup project from the wind storm, promoting the tree care committee and CC’s Tree Campus US status.
Each of the 50 states has received 50 art gifts from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Since 2008 the “Fifty Works for Fifty States” project has disseminated 2,500 prestigious and valuable works of contemporary art across the country. Would you like to check out a few? The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is the repository institution for the state of Colorado!
“The Fine Arts Center is tremendously honored to have been selected as the Colorado recipient of 50 works from the renowned Vogel Collection, in the company of such prestigious institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Harvard Art Museums, and the New Orleans Museum of Art,” says Joy Armstrong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “The Vogel Collection gift provided the FAC immediate strength in works by influential Conceptual and Minimal artists of the late 20th century, filling significant gaps in the historical narrative of our holdings. Largely comprised of works on paper, this gift has also added depth and breadth to the FAC’s celebrated history as a center for printmaking and continually expanding collection in this area.”
A feature in The Creators Project titled “Why This Couple Gave Away Their Priceless Art Collection to All 50 States” tells the full love story of Dorothy, a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, and Herbert Vogel, a postal worker from Harlem, who ended up the unlikely owners of one of the most important art collections in the country.
By Leah Veldhueisen ’19
While you may not consider juggling a competitive activity, for CC student Delaney Bayles ’20, that’s exactly what it is. Bayles is a competitive juggler who participates in events all over the country.
She grew up playing soccer and softball and says she always enjoyed being a competitive athlete, which is partly how she ended up juggling. Although Bayles grew up interested in learning how to juggle, she wasn’t quite sure how to get started. She found her opportunity five years ago: Her uncle was teaching her cousins how to juggle and she joined in. Once she learned the basic skills, Bayles discovered a whole community of jugglers putting on festivals and competitions. Eventually she entered into the competitions herself. In addition to competitions, Bayles participated in “Circus Smirkus,” which is the only youth travel circus in North America.
Now, Bayles continues her competitive juggling and recently placed first in the advanced division of the juggling exhibition put on by the World Juggling Federation in December. Bayles says juggling is a stress reliever and a way to continuously challenge herself, as well as something she can practice completely on her own time. Since coming to CC, Bayles has not found much of a juggling community on campus, but she does attend the weekly juggling club meetings at the Colorado Springs YMCA and practices her juggling regularly at the CC fitness center. In the future, Bayles hopes to maintain juggling as a hobby, and to continue advancing her skills, eventually juggling nine balls and seven clubs at once – it makes some of the juggling required for the Block Plan a little less daunting, right? For now, Bayles has her sights set on a competition put on by International Jugglers’ Association this summer in Iowa. Watch Bayles in action.
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
Colorado is a great place to be a craft beer enthusiast and Julian Dahl ’17, senior at CC, is taking advantage of it. President of the recently founded CC Homebrew Club, and previously a summer intern at Triple S brewing in Colorado Springs, Dahl engages his passion for beer throughout the community.
Dahl admits he “didn’t really like beer” until he was exposed to “good, Colorado craft beer.” He describes the evolution of his affinity for the beverage: a brew journal of his favorite beers and their details turned into what’s called extract brewing, where he would buy a company produced malt extract and create his own brew from it. Now, he has upgraded his one-gallon system to a five-gallon set, where he makes his own recipes from different combinations of grains and hops.
“Our goal is to think about what we’re tasting,” Dahl says of CC’s Homebrew Club. Additionally, the club helps engage CC students with the community through interactions with local brewers. “There are 28 breweries in Colorado Springs, which is a ton, and it creates a culture of brewing,” he explains.
The Homebrew Club is where Dahl met Steve Stowell, a community mentor to the club who works for Triple S brewing. The relationship evolved, as Dahl began working for Triple S brewing over the summer as the “resident microbiologist,” where he combined his skills as a biology major with his interest in beer.
For his internship with Triple S, Dahl set up a simple lab at the brewing company, using a microscope to evaluate the yeast and testing samples for contamination. “It’s 15 barrels of microbes’ paradise” Dahl jokes of the yeast and sugar concoctions that will eventually be beer. His job was to determine the right ratios of yeast based on the current state of the yeast and “quantitatively find infection.” When he did find contaminants, the brewery could better clean that section of their equipment before risking their whole batch.
Dahl was lucky enough to find an overlap in his longtime interest in biology and developing desire to make beer. By following his interests, he has been introduced to a “friendly, supportive community,” one he describes as an incredibly “sharing community among competitors,” grounded in helping each other out and enjoying good beer. As Dahl approaches graduation, he knows he wants to stay involved in brewing and has toyed with idea of a microbiology startup that utilizes what he learned over the summer. In the meantime, contact Dahl if you want to learn more about home brewing, see the process, or help him bottle: email@example.com.
By Alana Aadmot ’18
Keller Venture Grants, made possible by the Keller Family Foundation, allow hundreds of Colorado College students to create and implement their own research projects by providing students up to $1,000. Last year, the program provided nearly $150,000 in student research funds and saw 146 CC students pursue their own individual research projects on campus, across the United States, and around the world.
Last Spring Break, Celia O’Brien ’18 pursued her project titled “Teachers at Busesa Mixed Day and Boarding Primary School, Uganda.” O’Brien spent three months teaching fifth grade students at this same school back in 2014 as part of her gap year, which served as inspiration for her project.
“I was really affected by my time there,” she elaborates, “I knew I needed to somehow find my way back. I took Professor Charlotte Mendoza’s Globalization of Education course my first year, and that sparked the idea to apply for a Venture Grant to return to the school and dig a little deeper.”
O’Brien formulate her idea into a plan to investigate the teachers at a particular school and the growing role of English in their classrooms. Particularly, she wanted to study what factors shape teachers’ lives, the daily and long-term challenges they face, and the experiences that shape and motivate them as teachers.
O’Brien’s research involved a series of interviews with teachers as well as classroom observations to learn “how the teachers interacted with the students, how they organized the class, and especially how they used English versus their local language,” she says.
“I was surprised to learn how much of themselves they invest in their students in unseen, or at least subtler ways,” O’Brien says of her results. “They spend so much time and energy and thought on the kids. This quality, I learned, isn’t very common in Ugandan schools; at this one (Busesa), the high quality and dedication of the teachers attracted new students every day I was there.” This popularity, O’Brien learned, brought new challenges to the school, leading her to explore not only the successes of the school but also the consequences of a success, all thanks to her Venture Grant.
Soren Frykholm ’17 also received Venture Grant funding, on two separate occasions, to enact his own projects. He pursued his first Venture Grant, “Going the Distance: The Effects of Travel on Team,” in the summer of 2015. Frykholm, a member of CC’s varsity men’s soccer team, traveled to England, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany with the team to play soccer, and with the aid of a Venture Grant, he was able to create a documentary film of their experiences.
“During our travels, I used my camera and some audio gear that I borrowed from CC’s film department to conduct interviews with all my teammates and many of the people we encountered on our trip,” describes Frykholm. “Over the course of 18 days, we played ten soccer games in four countries, toured many historic cities, volunteered at several local schools, and much more. I captured many of our best moments on camera.” The result was a ten-minute documentary, with a 25-minute extended edition, that examined the travel’s effect on the team and helped Frykholm grow his filmmaking skills.
“It slowly evolved to feature more of the people we were meeting instead of just the guys on our team,” he says of the progression of his project, “it became increasingly about not only the camaraderie forming between us, but also about the international connections we were making and the implications of the fact that we were acting as ambassadors for our school and our country. I ended up interviewing many of our hosts, some of whom were CC alumni, and others we met.”
Frykholm says he hopes that his work and the conversations it created inspired his team to do some deeper thinking “about the opportunities we have as CC students to expand our intellectual, cultural, and humanistic horizons,” like it did for him.
These are just two examples of the ways Venture Grants can be interpreted and enacted. Read more about Venture Grants and explore grants from years past. Or, hear from Venture Grant recipients at the 2016 Keller Venture Grant Forum Wednesday, Nov. 2, in Celeste Theatre. The event begins with presentations at 4:15 p.m., followed by a reception in Cornerstone Main Space at 5:15 p.m.
Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Until this year, Colorado College has not had a spoken word poetry group. Now, thanks to the inspiration of Eliza Mott ’16 and Hollis Schmidt ’17, CC has its own troupe for spoken word. In its inaugural year, SpeakEasy was recently awarded “Excellence in Poetry Programming” by the Pikes Peak Arts Council, granting the group an honorary membership within the council and official recognition within the Colorado Springs art community, an accolade featured recently by the Catalyst.
Mott and Schmidt began the group in Fall 2016, but both had been thinking about it long before then. As Schmidt, the vice president of the group, SpeakEasy, says, the community of spoken word “just didn’t exist at CC. There were a few workshops for poetry, but nothing like slam poetry or spoken word.” For Mott, SpeakEasy’s president, her inspiration to start the group came last year, when Yolany Gonell, director of residential life and campus activities, began the “I am” poetry performance. Mott says that “the impact of that performance on myself, the other performers, and the students who watched, was incredible.” Mott says she wanted to continue to share the experience of spoken word with others and, while performing at other open mic events, noticed that there were other talented poets at CC. Schmidt and Mott recognized the lack of “space for these poets to gather” on CC’s campus.
With these ideas in mind, Mott began collaborating with Gonell and Schmidt, and SpeakEasy began to come together. Both students had their own visions for the group, but at the core, their goal was to create a place for students to come together to write and perform poetry that explores interesting and sometimes difficult topics. As a creative writing major with an emphasis on poetry, Schmidt says she hopes to provide a community “outside of the academic classroom where students can be creative and also be held accountable for continuing to write.” Mott says her goal for the group is to “create spoken word poetry and art that addresses issues of identity and personhood” and to “put on performances with our troupe that create conversation regarding these issues.” Mott also emphasizes her goal to explore powerful issues and allow people to share their own story though poetry.
SpeakEasy’s purpose has resonated with many CC students; after holding tryouts on campus, the troupe already has 18 members. Their first official performance is this Sunday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in the screening room at Cornerstone Arts Center.