Posts in: Upcoming Events

Quad Innovation Partnership Opens Up Opportunities for Students and Community

Quad Innovation Partnership

 

Jacob Eichengreen gets excited when a plan comes together. In fact, it’s actually his job to connect dots, strike up conversations, and match resources with ideas. Eichengreen is executive director for the Quad Innovation Partnership, a joint initiative between the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak Community College, the United States Air Force Academy, and Colorado College. He’s spent months digging in to the Colorado Springs community and building a set of programs that connects students with opportunities to implement new ideas, with the goal of integrating recent graduates into the Colorado Springs workforce. Now, he says, it’s time for action.

Applications just opened for the Quad’s signature Summer Intensive. The intensive will run the month of June and is open to current students and recent alumni from the four partner institutions, with preference given to rising juniors and seniors. Ten students from each school will be selected for the opportunity to build, test, and validate a commercially viable solution to some of Colorado Springs’ “most gripping problems” as identified by city and industry leaders. Submitted problems range from homelessness and food insecurity to the implementation of new technologies in a business context. Participants choose which problem they find most interesting to work on and will work in cross-campus teams to realize their ideas.

The program will be facilitated by Air Force Academy faculty with support from Eichengreen, but most actual teaching will be done by members of the community. For example, a unit on design thinking will be led by a premier design-thinking consultant from the area. Other units that touch on marketing, feasibility analysis, branding, fundraising, and legal will all be taught by local experts.  The end result is an opportunity for students to learn step-by-step what it takes to bring an idea out into the marketplace from some of the region’s most compelling practitioners. Interested students can attend an information session: Thursday, March 30, 4 p.m. at the CC Career Center.

The summer intensive isn’t the only thing that excites Eichengreen or the community about the partnership.

“The most exciting thing about this partnership is the range of opportunities that I’ve come across; the breadth of opportunities that are right here is awesome,” he says. The partnership’s mission focuses on students from the four participating institutions, working to elevate, educate, and create innovators in Colorado Springs. The elevate component focuses on events programming and celebrating the opportunities for innovation in Colorado Springs, and the four institutions. Educate specifically involves developing skills and providing hands-on opportunities for students through workshops and classes, and offering ways for the students to engage with the broader community. The create component encompasses just about everything else, says Eichengreen.

“That could mean opportunities for students to serve as project-based consultants in the community. The Air Force Academy, for example does problem-solving work with the IndyGive campaign, and has offered their framework to the Quad to create a way for students to earn payment for their work. It’s work that can be lower-risk than an internship, because it’s just for one project. It provides students portfolio development and can offer transitional opportunities for newer alumni, lowering the barrier for entry to smaller for-profits and nonprofits.”

But that’s just one example. Eichengreen doesn’t want the partnership to be limited by a strict definition of innovation. “We’re really trying to be responsive to needs and opportunities,” he says of developing programming. “We have a framework, but it’s flexible. If students are passionate about something, we want to build that in — homelessness, robotics, bitcoin, take your pick on the socioeconomic spectrum. Because our community is smaller, opportunities to get involved at a meaningful level are way more abundant here.” He says innovation can be anything that turns ideas into “valuable action.”

Here, in the Pikes Peak Region, Eichengreen says, there are numerous opportunities to practice innovation professionally, and they’re more accessible here than they might be in other parts of the country. He lists several local organizations off the top of his head that are leading the way locally: “Innovations in Aging is located here, for example, translating cutting-edge research in aging from a research group at UCCS into real-world action; there’s the Olympic sports and outdoor infrastructure; the National Cybersecurity Center; food justice – at least two CC grads are making tremendous waves in food equity, translating waste into plenty and disrupting the food distribution system; and the city itself is looking for new ways to deliver better services, be more agile, and be more responsible with limited funds.” With so many opportunities, Eichengreen says, it’s hard to focus the program because there’s so much happening.

The Quad Partnership is putting the finishing touches on its own dedicated space, a 2,000-square-foot facility right downstairs from Loyal Coffee on the south side of downtown Colorado Springs. “One component is an open workspace, accessible to students, faculty, and staff from our participating institutions to use in a way that’s beneficial,” says Eichengreen. “We have the capability to host art installations, or performance showcases, anything that doesn’t have a home on campus or would benefit by immersion in community. This becomes a neutral, third-party space where the partner campuses and broader community can interact and build relationships. Celebrate the grand opening Wednesday, April 19, 5-7 p.m. at 408 S. Nevada.

He says local and alumni-founded companies can use it as a test marketplace or a space to conduct student, alumni, or faculty-based research. “One week, we could have a demonstration of the national winner of the search-and-rescue robot competition that PPCC did last year; over the holidays, we can host a pop-up retail shop; and if there’s sufficient demand,” he says of the possibilities. There are so many areas in which innovation can be applied and practiced. I hope our space will be compelling, cool, fun to be around, and contribute broadly to applying new thinking and turning ideas into valuable action in our community.”

 

 

 

FAC Docents Stage Play Highlighting Female Founders

Docent performance

By Montana Bass ’18

In a creative and fun-spirited performance, the docents of Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center tell the history of the FAC, contextualizing this important cultural monument and reemphasizing its continuing contemporary cultural impact. The play comes at a particularly important moment in FAC history, as soon the museum will merge with CC and begin a new era of partnership. This relationship will allow for sharing of resources between the college and the museum and revamped programming of presentations, classes, and workshops for both the college’s and Colorado Springs’ community members.

The play was adapted from a skit that was part of the FAC’s “Off the Wall” program, which was designed to familiarize children with the museum and bring its art to life. FAC staff were looking for a presentation on the museum’s founding for the popular “First Saturdays” members tour, FAC docents took on the challenge of writing and staging a 45-minute “founding women” play.

Docent Specialty Co-Chair Cindi Zenkert-Strange, a former writer and editor, scripted the play and Wendy Gray, professor of theatre at Pikes Peak Community College, directed. The new, full-length performance describes the founding of the FAC by three incredible women, Julie Penrose, Alice Bemis Taylor, and Elizabeth Sage Hare.

“We spent a lot of time researching,” said docent Kathy Olson, who plays Julie Penrose, “We wanted to add a lot of tidbits about their personal lives, really develop their personalities. These were really incredible, interesting women.” Much of the plot centers around how the three founders incorporated their three very different backgrounds and visions into one cohesive museum. All three were part of Colorado Springs’ elite, although their interests and personalities varied widely.

Julie Penrose and husband Spencer Penrose, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who developed the Broadmoor Hotel, donated their home on Dale Street to be used by the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy. This, in turn, became the site for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, which incorporated a museum, art school, theatre, and music performance space under one roof. Julie Penrose’s vision for the FAC was based on her love of beauty and classical art. In contrast, Alice Bemis Taylor had an impressive Native American Southwest and Spanish Colonial art collection, so she held that as her primary interest. “She realized she couldn’t continue to house the collection in her own home,” explained Zenkert-Strange. Bemis Hall was named after Judson Moss Bemis, Alice’s father. Alice herself made significant contributions to Colorado College in the form of student scholarships and building funds. “Also, the Bemises really wanted to give back to the community, so her interest was really in making her collection more widely accessible.” Lastly, Elizabeth Sage Hare’s involvement in the New York City modern arts scene added a third vision for the museum. “She wanted everything to be modern, cutting-edge,” said Zenkert-Strange.

The docents will give their next performance on March 8 to members of the Cheyenne Mountain Newcomers Club and will perform at four other venues through May. They look forward to continuing to share this story with FAC visitors and members of the CC and Colorado Springs community. “I think we want to express what a gem we have in the building and in the collection,” adds Zenkert-Strange. “When you understand history, you can better appreciate the present, and plan for an exciting future.”

Check out events and exhibits at the FAC and look out for a CC-focused showing of the docent’s performance next block!

 

CC Design Week Starts Monday

By Alana Aamodt ’18

Monday, March 6, marks the start of CC’s first Design Week, organized by the extended format art class Graphics Research Lab, taught by Kate Leonard, professor of art. “The idea behind the week is to generate an awareness of design and its role in our community,” explains Mikala Sterling ’17. Sterling and Naomi Van der Lande ’17 are the two students spearheading the week of events.

“The week will give students who are interested in this topic the chance to learn about resources on campus that work to create opportunities for students to get involved with these departments,” says Van der Lande. While CC does not have an explicit design program, this week helps demonstrate that there is no lack of involvement in design fields during and after a student’s time at CC.

Multiple open houses, showcasing the creative resources at CC, will occur throughout the week at places such as the arts and crafts studios, the Office of Communications, the costume shop in Cornerstone Arts Center, the CC Press, and Innovation at CC in the Morreale Carriage House. The Integrative Design Group, which is a club at CC, will also be involved throughout the week, and will run a trial of the Packard Projection Project on at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, in which student design work is projected onto the north wall of Packard Hall.

“The week is also meant to highlight successful CC graduates who have incorporated design into their careers, and to provide workshops and talks to encourage new conversations about how we think about design in our everyday lives,” Sterling says, referring to activities like the talk “Designing with Reclaimed Materials” with Susan Hoff ’06, and a typography workshop in the Visual Resource Center in Packard Hall.

The organizers share that they are especially excited for the Alumni Panel on Tuesday, March 7, at 4:30 p.m. in Cornerstone Screening Room, where past students will be able to share their experiences and successes in the design world since graduating from CC.

View the events schedule for CC Design Week, an event Sterling and Van der Lande hope will continue in years to come, bringing awareness and consciousness to design in the CC community.

 

Students Showcase Artistic Talents at Art Show Saturday

Student Art Show

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Saturday, March 4, CC students will have a unique opportunity to showcase their creativity at the third annual Student Art Show, sponsored by the President’s Council.

With more than 100 pieces on display, this is the largest student-run event of the year. While planning for the event is a team effort, Jaxon Rickel and Jake Walden, both fellows in the Office of the President, and six CC students are the primary organizers for this year’s show.

Caitlin Taber ’17, who has been involved in the Student Art Show since its inception, says the initial goals were to provide “the opportunity beyond art courses for students to show their work to the CC and the Colorado Springs communities,” and to “give artists a chance to gain experience selling their work in a gallery-like setting.” Both of these goals have been met, and the show has grown significantly since it started. This year’s show will be the largest ever, and has more art than the past two years combined.

According to Walden, the art on display is enormously varied. Given its growth, the exhibit will “very likely be the largest display of student art and expression ever at Colorado College, with over 100 pieces of art by over three dozen artists,” Walden says. Paintings, photography, sculpture, pottery, textiles, dance, improv performance, jazz, and movie screenings will all be on display.

Walden says that while some of the artists are studio art majors, for many of the artists, it’s just a hobby. Hanna Bautz ’17 is new to the Student Art Show, and says she’s thrilled to be able to “dabble in the arts and gain an enriching interdisciplinary perspective outside of the classroom.”

The exhibit will take place on Saturday, March 4, 6-10 p.m. in Cornerstone Arts Center.

Stay Safe: Learn Something New at CC Safety Week

CC Safety Week begins today, Monday, Feb. 27, a campus collaboration led by the Office of Campus Safety to promote safety awareness and engagement. “We want the campus community to realize that everyone has a role in keeping CC a safe place to live, learn, and work,” says Marty Toland, CSPD campus resource officer.

Monday, Feb. 27 through Friday, March 3, presentations on things like fire safety, crosswalk safety, and substance abuse will be featured. Hands-on experiences like a distracted driving simulator and a self-defense class will also be offered. Here’s a full schedule of the week’s events:

Monday, Feb. 27

Safety Week Information Tables: noon-1 p.m.
Learn about safety tips related to fitness and wellness, including how to know the right supplements to use and information about eating disorders and how to support a friend. Look for representatives from the Adam F. Press Fitness Center and Wellness Resource Center at the tables in Worner Campus Center.

Sexual Safety Program: 12:15-1:45 p.m. Worner Campus Center, Room 212
Join a discussion of safety concerns specific to sexual assault and sexual violence while on Spring Break, risk reduction techniques, party culture, and consent. Lunch will be provided. 

“How to Support Someone Struggling with an Eating Disorder” Workshop: 3-4:45pm JLK McHugh Commons
A workshop focusing on how to support a friend who may be suffering from an eating disorder.

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Safety Week Information Tables: noon-1 p.m.
Learn about crosswalk safety including laws surrounding crosswalks and tips on how to stay safe over Spring Break. Students can also learn information about eating disorders and how to support a friend. Look for representatives at the tables in Worner Campus Center.

Wednesday, March 1

Safety Week Information Tables: noon-2:30 p.m.
Learn about a variety of safety topics including the dangers of substance abuse, crosswalk safety, and staying safe during Spring Break. Look for representatives from the Wellness Resource Center and Campus Safety, and the sexual assault response coordinator at the tables in Worner Campus Center.

Safety Simulators: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Worner Quad
Try on beer goggles and learn how being just a little bit impaired can greatly impact driving. Students can also test out the seat belt convincer to see how important it is to wear a seatbelt, and learn how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

Thursday, March 2

Self-Defense Demonstration: 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Bemis Lounge
Check out a demonstration of the self-defense class Campus Safety instructs on campus; learn basic self-defense moves and see if you’re interested in taking the full course.

Eating Disorder Information and Screenings with ED Cares: noon-3 p.m. Worner Campus Center
Learn and ask questions about eating disorders and participate in an eating disorder screening.

Science of Substances Series — Alcohol and the Brain: 12:15-1:30 p.m., JLK McHugh Commons
Learn the truth about how certain substances affect the body from Kristi Erdal, professor of psychology. Lunch is provided.

Friday, March 3

Distracted Driver Simulator: 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Worner Quad
Learn about the hazards of driving while distracted and how to avoid being distracted behind the wheel.

Eating Disorder Information and Screenings with ED Cares: noon-3 p.m. Worner Campus Center
Learn and ask questions about eating disorders and participate in an eating disorder screening.

Find Your Voice in Musical Sing-Through Group

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

Ever wish you could sing along with one of your favorite musicals? A new blockly event on campus provides the opportunity for the campus community to come together in song.

Organized by Alec Sarche ’17, the Musical Sing-through Group is a group of students (faculty and staff can also join if interested) meeting each block to read and sing through popular musical scripts. There is no audition process, and the meetings are open to anyone who can read and wants to sing. The atmosphere of the read-throughs will be casual, and is meant to diversify means of performance on campus. It will provide a place for students of all experience levels to read through a play in front of an informal audience of anyone who wants to listen. The MSTG held its first event, performing “Westside Story” Wednesday, Feb. 8, in Taylor Theatre.

As the artistic director for CC’s Theatre Workshop, Sarche says that the “world of theatre on campus is deep and rich and wide,” but putting on a full-scale musical is exceedingly difficult. The financial, musician, and cast requirements are a lot, and the Musical Sing-through Group will be able to “bring musicals to CC with a speed and breadth that other departments can’t match.” The only resources these performances require are people and scripts, allowing them to proceed regardless of other circumstances.

In addition to speed and ease of performance, the group’s accessibility is something Sarche is proud of. He says that he aims to provide a “completely unintimidating performance environment” for people “who may never have been onstage in their lives get to do a show in front of their friends without having to worry if they are any good.” No one will be turned away from the read-throughs.

Although the performance opportunities at CC are vast, this group is slightly different in its goals. The focus of the group is not to ever have finished, polished productions, but just to have fun “throwing yourself at a show that you either know a little of or have never heard of before,” Sarche says. Stay tuned to the Campus Calendar for MSTG events happening once a block.

Discussing the “R” Word

How we speak about racism is central to CC’s academic mission and role as a residential liberal arts college. An upcoming workshop on campus promises to provoke thoughtful and challenging discussion that allows students, faculty, and staff to come together as a community and think about essential issues.

The local chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Beta of Colorado, along with the CC Crown Faculty Center and President Jill Tiefenthaler, invite you to take part in a Phi Beta Kappa Deliberation Workshop Friday, Feb. 24, 3-4:30 p.m. in Gaylord Hall, Worner Campus Center.

Jane Murphy, associate professor of history and director of the Crown Faculty Center, is a Phi Beta Kappa member, and says, “What liberal learning is or should be and how we enact liberal learning are always relevant questions for a campus with our aspirations. The selected reading for the workshop cuts to the heart of several ongoing initiatives and questions we are already discussing. This deliberation workshop allows us to further these discussions and become a more informed community.”

The workshop will be led by Brooke Vick ’97, associate professor of psychology at Whitman College. Vick has titled this deliberation, “The ‘R’ Word: Acknowledging Racism While Valuing Diversity.” Students, faculty, and staff are all invited to attend the workshop and contribute to these discussions.

Space is limited and refreshments will be provided during the event. Please RSVP.

To download the short reading that Vick has selected and for more information about the event, check the PBK Deliberations Canvas site.

 

Fostering Dialogue and Contemplation at Coming Together Conference

By Alana Aamodt ’18

 The eighth annual Coming Together Conference, a national interfaith conference for students from across the country, is happening on campus right now, Feb. 16-19. The CC Chaplain’s Office is hosting student representatives from more than two-dozen colleges joining 53 CC students on campus this weekend, gathering to engage in spiritual discussion and practice. An exploration of what it means to be a spiritual community in an academic setting, the conference has been hosted at places such as Harvard, Princeton, and Yale Universities and the University of Puget Sound.

Colorado College Chaplain Kate Holbrook, the driving force behind the weekend’s activities, says she wants to “highlight what we do well,” referencing CC’s contribution as conference host. “The focus is the intersection between interfaith dialogue and contemplative and embodied spiritual practices,” she says.

In other words, this conference aims to expand beyond intellectual conversations and include actual engagement in various spiritual practices. In a world as fragmented as academia, Holbrook emphasizes the importance of “finding ways to connect our heads, our hearts, and our bodies,” in an effort to “integrate the whole person.” From “praying five times as day to walking barefoot in the grass,” she says this connection can be done through traditional and nontraditional practices, both of which will be featured and discussed at the conference. The result will be a weekend of diversity, intimacy, and rejuvenation.

The conference will be take place in three segments. The first focuses on interfaith engagement and contemplative education as spiritual practice, the second on rest, renewal, and the Sabbath, and the third on disruption, compassion, and social justice. To facilitate these themes, teachers and practitioners in Qigong, Five Rhythms Dance, Jewish mysticism, Sufi mysticism, and Christian monasticism will gather in various places around campus, marking the first time CC has hosted the annual Coming Together event.

The Big Idea is Coming

Big Idea 2016

The annual Big Idea pitch competition highlights innovation and entrepreneurship at CC, providing $50,000 in seed money for winning ideas. It’s coming up Wednesday, Feb. 22.

This year, 17 teams registered for the competition, representing a broad spectrum of ideas and ventures; that pool has now narrowed to seven. After presenting to a panel of community members this week, five teams will be selected to compete in the final round.

“The process of thinking through the idea, how to articulate it, and how to execute it is a really valuable process for students,” says Dez Menendez ’02, director of Innovation at CC. “And it’s great to see students interacting with the community and working together, and watching how they build strong, diverse teams to balance one another’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Patrick Bultema is overseeing the pitch competition for the fourth time this year, providing leadership and guidance as students refine their ideas from initial concepts to a thoughtful, comprehensive pitch presentation.

It’s the first year that female-led teams have made it into the final rounds, which Menendez says is also exciting for the Big Idea program. “Patrick has built a really successful program and I’m looking forward to carrying it forward,” she says.

The 2017 Big Idea judging panel includes Trustee Bob Selig ’61, Meriwether Hardie ’09, Trustee Kishen Mangat ’96, Susan Smith Kuczmarski ’73, and Richard Koo ’82. The fifth annual Big Idea competition is Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Celeste Theatre.

Recyclemania Starts NOW

Recycle mania

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

With sustainability as one of the college’s strategic priorities, CC is always looking for ways to reduce environmental impact. Each year the college is involved in a competition with other universities to do just that.

The eight-week competition, called Recyclemania, incorporates more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide and keeps tabs on who recycles, composts, and throws away the most.

The program has existed since 2001 and began as a competition between Ohio University and Miami University to motivate students to recycle by way of competition. From Monday, Feb. 6 through Saturday, April 1, CC will participate by measuring the daily weight of waste, compost, and recycling and will post results in Worner Campus Center.

Zoe Holland ’17 works as the zero-waste intern in the Office of Sustainability and is spearheading CC’s participation in Recyclemania for 2017. Holland says she’s excited for Recyclemania because it’s “an awesome opportunity to get students aware of waste reduction initiatives on campus,” and although many CC students are “environmentally conscious, it doesn’t always manifest in our daily habits.”

She says she hopes the competition will be an incentive to remember small, daily tasks, such as using reusable mugs and sorting waste before throwing it out. Holland says the Office of Sustainability hopes to improve upon CC’s competition standings from last year, but also to promote sustainable habits beyond the completion of the competition.

Participating in the competition is easy for students, as they can “simply be conscious of what they throw away and where they do so.” Holland also emphasizes the importance of “paying attention to signage, reading packaging for recycling information, and trying to minimize use of disposable items like coffee cups, to-go ware and other single-use products.” Eco-RAs across campus are also a great source of information for waste management in on-campus housing, Holland says. Supported by the Sustainability Office, the Eco-RA program promotes peer-to-peer education to foster sustainable living practices and all residential areas, including large residence halls, apartments, smaller campus houses and off-campus areas are served by one or more student Eco-RA.

Throughout the competition, the Office of Sustainability will host recycling-themed events. On Thursday, Feb.23, the campus community can participate in a crafting night that will repurpose old books from Tutt Library into storage bins. As a finale to the competition, there will be an art show Thursday, March 30, with student pieces made of recyclable materials. Both events will take place in Perkins Lounge in Worner Campus Center. Anyone interested in getting involved in the show or other sustainability initiatives should contact Holland at zoe.holland@coloradocollege.edu.