Around the Block
Colorado College had a great turnout from students, staff, friends, and family for this year’s Race for the Cure, held on Sunday, Sept. 10 at Garden of the Gods.
Members of 2013 Tigers for Tatas team are, from left to right: Back Row, Standing: Karen Britton (Registrar’s Office), Spencer Britton, Ellie Swanson(S), Sarah Geisse ’13, Natalie Nicholls ’13, Dana Cronin(S), Livia Abuls(S), Madison Cahill-Sanidas, Sophie Ramirez(S), Spencer Spotts(S). Front Row: Linda Johnson, Sandra Nicholls, Jill Miller (Advancement), Alison Santa Maria, Susan Hall, Lisa Brommer (Human Resources), Candace Santa Maria (Registrar’s Office), Lyrae Williams (President’s Office and Komen Board Member), Pam Leutz (Dean’s Office), and Dianne Bertrand (Children’s Center). Not pictured: Liz Scherkenbach (Systems Programmer), Garret Scherkenbach, Donna Engle (Registrar’s Office), Re Evitt (Associate Dean), and Jacey LaManna(S),
Geology Professor Jeff Noblett led a group of approximately 15 Colorado College faculty and staff on a late-afternoon field trip through Garden of the Gods on Aug. 15. The group hiked about two miles, winding through the geological formations, as Noblett pointed out various features.
Colorado Springs is geologically unique in that it has one of the most complete and complex exposure of earth history anywhere in the country, he said. The city also is unique in that rocks from every geological period, except the Silurian, are exposed within the city limits.
Participants learned about various types of rocks, faults and fault interpretation, angular unconformities, and graded beds, in addition to viewing some spectacular scenery with a new appreciation and understanding.
Much of the information Noblett presented is in his book, “A Guide to the Geological History of the Pikes Peak Region,” available in the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center. In addition to the geology of the Garden of the Gods, the book includes information on a variety of geological features within easy driving distance – Wilkerson Pass, Manitou Springs, Highway 24, Pulpit Rock, Palmer Park, Section 16, etc.
The book includes photos by Steve Weaver, technical director of geology, and was copy-edited by Cathe Bailie, music events coordinator. The event was sponsored by the CC Wellness Champions, co-chaired by Ryan Hammes and Lisa Brommer.
A quote at the end of the book puts the magnitude of the region’s geology in perspective: “If we were to scale earth history on a one-year calendar, with the earth forming on January 1 and today being midnight December 31, the oldest rocks we find in Colorado would not appear until the beginning of August. The detailed sedimentary record of the seas begins about Thanksgiving, and humans reach Colorado only in the final hour. It would be worth the time to sit in a high place above town and briefly review the geological history of the region.”
Amanda Udis-Kessler, Director of Assessment and Program Review:
I started to record the third album of my music, welcomed an exchange high school student from Germany into our household, saw the TONY-award-winning musical Pippin on Broadway, preached the LGBTQ Pride Service sermon at my church, worked on a new sociology project about mechanisms of social inequality, read some ethics books, and visited the Bronx Zoo for the first time since my childhood.
Eric Perramond, Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Southwest Studies
I spent May and June preparing for a course on food and agro-ecologies of the Mediterranean Pyrenees, to be taught in summer (Block A) of 2014. Then in July we moved to Chicago to do research on my next book and to prepare (with Bill Davis) the ACM Newberry Research Semester in the Humanities, where we will be teaching a group of 14 students from across the ACM colleges through December of 2013.
Pam Leutz, Assistant to the Dean of the College/Dean of the Faculty:
I spent 10 days in a small castle town in the Czech Republic making miniature design bindings, eating and drinking well, dancing and laughing with old friends there, and enjoying my “other life.”
Marion Hourdequin, Associate Professor of Philosophy:
Taught an interdisciplinary CC summer course on ecological restoration with my husband, geographer David Havlick. Presented a paper at an environmental philosophy workshop in Durham, England, and a talk at the Ecological Society for America meeting in Minneapolis. Began editing chapters for a book on ecological restoration in layered landscapes, and wrote a chapter for that book. Visited family in Connecticut and traveled with my husband and our children to Northern California for camping and hiking in old-growth redwood forest. Played soccer and went for some long runs.
Claire Garcia, Professor of English:
Thanks to a Mellon grant, I spent July in Tours, France, in the Cours Avancé at the Institut de Touraine. I spent a couple of days in Paris making s arrangements for my Block 3 class, Black Writers in Paris. I was home for three days before going to New Mexico to attend a family wedding, and then the following week I went to Washington, D.C., and New York City to do research at Howard University and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture respectively. During my East Coast weekend, I dropped off my son, Mateo Garcia ’07 at Dartmouth where he is starting at the Tuck School of Business. I then barnstormed routine yearly doctor’s appointments and cleaned out my closet, which for some reason I always do just before Block 1.
Susan (Stuey) Stuart Elliott, Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach:
I was an assistant coach for the Team Canada women’s lacrosse team that competed in the World Cup games this summer in Oshawa, Calif. We proudly represented the Maple Leaf in winning a silver medal with the largest number of countries (19) competing this year. It is an every four year world championship competition, which Team USA won.
Owen Cramer, Professor of Classics:
Over the summer I spent four days reading first-year writing portfolios, then about a month mainly reading for pleasure and enlightenment, then three weeks of visits: to Eugene and Bandon, Ore., with my children and grandchildren, to Breckenridge for a reunion of my wife’s oldest friends from Mississippi, and to North Carolina to see some of my and my wife’s cousins and a sister- and brother-in-law. Then I began canvassing for John Morse against the recall organized by NRA and national Republican operatives. Along the way we bought a new car (the old one is 25 years old) and had the house re-roofed.
Kristi Erdal, Professor of Psychology
After teaching PY100 in summer session, my family took our travel trailer through the upper Midwest, seeing Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, Wind Cave National Park, attending a summer hockey game at the University of North Dakota (wearing our CC T-shirts!), sliding down the alpine slide at Lutsen Mountain on the north shore of Lake Superior, and visiting friends all along the way. Saw a lot of corn…
Bob Loevy, Professor of Political Science:
Over the summer of 2013, I published two new Internet books on the history of Colorado College. The first book is a collection of historical accounts of life at Colorado College written by faculty, staff, students, alumni, etc. Interesting items include an oral history on the founding of the Block Plan by Glenn Brooks and a chapter studying “The History of Gender at Colorado College.” The second book covers Colorado College history for the period 1999-2012. It includes the final years of Kathryn Mohrman’s presidency, all of Dick Celeste’s, and the first year of Jill Tiefenthaler’s.
Krista Fish, Assistant Professor of Anthropology:
This summer, I studied the behavior and biology of bushbabies, a group of nocturnal primates, at the Lajuma Reserve in northern South Africa. This pilot project was done in collaboration with researchers from other universities in the U.S. and the National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria. Although we were only at the site for six weeks, we gathered a unique and extensive dataset that we will build upon over the next five to 10 years. Following completion of our work in South Africa, I traveled to Madagacsar where I participated in the 2013 International Prosimian Congress at Ranomafana National Park.
Mari Lee, Visiting Faculty, Environmental Program:
I hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Incredible trek!
Ellen Rennels, Operations Assistant:
In July a wild nature episode unfolded in my back yard located eight minutes west of campus. At 4:30 a.m. I was jolted out of sleep by a horrific scream, like a rumble with 100 cats. The screams diminished and when I looked out a few minutes later , the early dawn light revealed a black bear killing a fawn. Gruesome as it was, I watched as the bear ate most of the fawn and then ambled over to my re-circulating fountain. He washed his paws, sat in it for a few minutes, then ambled off. That’s my summer story.
Jim Swanson, Director of Financial Aid
In cooperation with the Bear Creek Community Garden Association and El Paso County, my wife, Jannette, and I volunteered many hours this summer and donated perennials and labor to restore a neglected flower garden in a large median in the Bear Creek Regional Park on Creek Crossing Street off West Rio Grande and 21st Street. This is our third year rehabilitating and managing this flower garden, adding enhancements each year. It is our hope and goal that our efforts add to the beauty of our city for people to enjoy.
Ryan Raul Bañagale, Assistant Professor of Music:
Immediately following commencement I traveled to the Library of Congress for research in the George Gershwin collection. In June we celebrated the birth of our second son, Theo. Somehow I managed enough sleep to complete a full draft of my book on Rhapsody in Blue in July. Finally, with guidance from Professor Anne Hyde and support from the Crown Faculty Center, I hosted a book manuscript workshop wherein four expert musicologists came to campus to provide feedback on that book manuscript draft. I’m definitely ready to get back into the classroom!
Andrea Bruder, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science:
After one year of training, I met with friends from Belgium, South Africa, and England in Switzerland to begin our ride across the Swiss and Italian Alps. Every day entailed over 6000 feet of climbing, and the Alps are much steeper than anything I had ridden in Colorado. Pushing grades of 10-25 percent for several hours, we climbed mountain passes and rode over 40 miles each day. Breathtakingly beautiful views at the mountains made up for the pain. The descents were as steep on a mix of technical trails and roads. I finished strong and rolled into Riva di Garda at the end of day seven. Hardest thing I’ve ever done!
Esteban Gomez, Assistant Professor of Anthropology:
Megan Anderson and I did archaeological research in northwestern Costa Rica. This is the second summer in a row we have worked together to map out subsurface architectural features at archaeological sites in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province. This past summer Megan used Electrical Resistivity Tomography to test the Magnetometer data gathered in the summer of 2012, while I continued with excavations at locations targeted by the two geophysical techniques. With support from the Faculty Student Collaborative, students are currently working in the GIS laboratory to compile the data from the past two field seasons.
Diane Benninghoff ’68, Assistant Vice President for Advancement:
Faculty guest Bruce Coriell and I traveled with CC alumni and parents through Grand Canyon on the Colorado River. For 14 days, we floated through the greatest geology textbook on earth, saw wildlife, enjoyed the music and poetry provided by our guides and Al Mehl ’77 (and even some poetry from me), ran thrilling rapids, and hiked into side canyons. With Bruce’s guidance about Native American spiritual traditions associated with the canyon and river and how we might invite the special power of the canyon into our own hearts, it made for an experience that will be remembered forever. To get a flavor of the trip, view slides and videos.
A group of 10 from Colorado College hiked 12.6 miles to summit Pikes Peak on Saturday, June 8. The hike up the 14,110-foot mountain was coordinated by Ryan Hammes, outdoor education director, and Lisa Brommer, associate director of human resources, co-chairs of CC’s Wellness Champions.
The group started up Barr Trail at 5:15 a.m. and reached summit about 4:30 p.m., with a few group members reaching the peak closer to 3:30 p.m. It was the first time many had climbed the mountain, a designated National Historic landmark which rises 8,400 feet above Colorado Springs and one of the 54 “Fourteeners” in Colorado.
In addition to Hammes and Brommer, the group included Pat Cunningham, Caitlin Apigian, Jeff Apigian, Mike Applegate, Kat Hodges, Inger Bull, Anthony Bull, and Heather Browne.
“It was an incredible experience and a great way to create relationships that go beyond the work place,” Brommer said.
The group descended the mountain via a CC van driven by Glen Powers from the transportation department, and celebrated with dinner at Amanda’s Fonda.
Stay tuned for additional wellness activities for staff and faculty!
Rochelle Mason, CC’s associate dean of students, has been nominated for The League of Women Voters of the Pikes Peak Region’s seventh annual Making Democracy Work Award. The award honors an individual for her hands-on work in the community.
“Rochelle Mason’s work in civic life, in higher education, and in the arts, is making Colorado Springs a more vibrant place to live,” said Charlotte Gagne, chair of the League’s Award Selection Committee.
Mason has long been involved in community projects aimed at enhancing education and access for youth, working to ensure that they have the opportunities and resources to make connections with life-changing impacts. “This was a passion I discovered over the years. I just want all young people to have the same resources and access I did to higher education. As a first-generation college student (the first in my family to complete a four-year degree), having this type of support truly shaped my life,” Mason said.
Before joining Colorado College in 1990 Mason worked at the Urban League of the Pikes Peak Region, where her work helped ensure equal opportunity in education and employment. Mason participates in numerous organizations and has helped organize the annual Juneteenth and city-wide Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations. She also serves as assistant director of a Mexican folk music ensemble.
Mason and her fellow nominees will be recognized, and the winner announced, at an award reception to be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Stewart House, 1228 Wood Ave. The Colorado College community is invited to attend; cost is $25 and checks are payable to LWVPPR and may be sent to LWVPPR, P.O. Box 7888, Colorado Springs, CO 80933. RSVPs and payment are requested by Feb. 9.
An open house celebrating the new Cheryl Schlessman Bennett Children’s Center was held Friday, Sept. 28, with three generations of family members in attendance. Colorado College’s new children’s center is named in memory of Cheryl Schlessman Bennett ’77, an education major who was passionate about children’s welfare and taught elementary school in Colorado.
Construction of the new $2 million children’s center was made possible by a gift from the Schlessman family. Schlessman family and friends in attendance at the event were Lee Schlessman ’50 (Cheryl’s father), Susan Schlessman Duncan ’52 and Jim Duncan (Cheryl’s aunt and uncle), Bill Bennett (Cheryl’s husband), Eric Bennett (Cheryl’s son), Sandy Garnett ’75 (Cheryl’s sister), Mick Fredericks ’76 (Cheryl’s cousin), Deb Angell ’74 (Cheryl’s cousin), and Peggy Christie ’77 (Cheryl’s college roommate) and Alex Christie.
The new 9,000-plus square-foot center will accommodate 64 children, from infants to preschoolers, nearly doubling the number that the former children’s center could hold.
Beth Dovenspike, director of Cheryl’s Center, and Sandra Wong, dean of the college and dean of the faculty, both spoke at the open house. “At Colorado College, we often talk about enabling our students to become life-long learners. As we think about our own childhoods, many of us realize how much our earliest social and learning experiences mattered,” Wong said.
She added that the center, which provides child care for Colorado College’s faculty and staff, offers an opportunity for learning to begin in a rich and healthy environment. “The center creates the kind of community we value. It attracts faculty and staff to CC, and builds connections as children grow up together and share friendships,” she said.
The Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs presented a check for $27,659.77 to Colorado College on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 in conjunction with the club’s annual luncheon and fashion show.
The money will be added to a scholarship fund the Woman’s Club established at CC in 2002 when they gifted their club house to the college.
The Woman’s Club of Colorado Springs Scholarship Fund provides scholarships each year to two female CC students who are from Colorado Springs and who have participated in community service during high school or college. Kasi Carter ’11, a past Woman’s Club scholar and current scholars Shaye Smith ’13 and Jordyn Watts ’15, joined Debby Fowler, stewardship director for the college, in accepting the check. Smith and Watts both spoke about the opportunities open to them as a result of receiving this scholarship.
Karen Britton in the registrar’s office recently organized a CC team to run in the Race for the Cure. The CC team ran to celebrate Candace Santa Maria, office supervisor in the registrar’s office, being a 15-year cancer survivor.
The race was held on Sunday, Sept. 9, and the CC team raised more than $800 in donations. All CC team members who participated were given a team T-shirt that said “Tatas and Tigertails.” The group hopes to make this an annual event that will grow every year.
Libby Rittenberg, former CC economics professor, faculty assistant to the president, and dean of summer programs, is now wearing a new CC hat – ombudsperson, a position she will hold for a minimum of two years.
Rittenberg, who retired in 2010, started in her new position on July 1, taking over from Jane Cauvel. “It’s a good opportunity to continue to be part of the CC community,” Rittenberg said. “The position came at the right time. It’s part-time, and it allows me to make what I hope will be a valuable contribution. Plus, it’s an opportunity to learn something new, in an entirely different field.”
Rittenberg was nominated by both staff and faculty members, and is appreciative of that implicit vote of confidence. She attended “ombuds training school” in Orlando, Fla., this summer, and was surprised at the variety of organizations that employ an ombudsperson – everything from the F.B.I. to Coca-Cola to colleges and universities. The four major principles of the ombuds office are confidentiality, informality, independence, and neutrality, and the CC ombudsperson reports to the audit committee of the Board of Trustees and to the college president.
Rittenberg says she will be dealing mainly with “issues” rather than “disputes,” as many matters that come to the ombudsperson are not full—blown arguments but rather concerns that can fester if not addressed. She will identify trends, rather than report on individual cases, and in that way help to bring about change, if necessary. She plans to visit as many departments as possible during the next few months in order to explain what the office is about and how it can help CC employees.
Originally from Charleston, S.C., Rittenberg came to Colorado College in 1989 as an associate economics professor interested in international economic development. She applied for a position at the college – the only school she looked at that was not on the Eastern Seaboard – after seeing an ad that specifically mentioned international experience as a plus. Besides the opportunity to become part of such a fine liberal arts college, she selected Colorado College because of the value it places on an international perspective, and because it was the only school she interviewed at in which people from a variety of departments came to the presentation interview. “At all the other schools, it was only the people in the department who came to the ‘job talk,’ as we call it. At CC, I was struck by how many people from various departments attended. I thought, ‘Wow, people from different departments talk to each other here.’ That made an impression,“ she said.
Rittenberg earned a B.A. in economics-mathematics and Spanish from Simmons College in Boston, and master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. She initially was drawn to economics because of the way economists look at issues, rather than by the issues themselves. “Economists look at so many different kinds of issues beyond what people think,” she said. “That framework becomes a useful device, and has been useful in so many things I have done at CC.”
Her research areas include international trade, sources of economic growth, stabilization/liberalization policies, the transition of centrally planned economies, Third World debt, productivity analysis, and the Turkish economy. Rittenberg has visited Turkey more than 30 times, in large part because her husband, Nasit Ari, a research engineer whom she met while folk dancing when she was an economist at Mathematica, Inc., in Princeton, N.J., is from Istanbul.
Rittenberg keeps her hand in economics by working on the third edition of her book, “Principles of Economics,” co-authored with Timothy Tregarthen and published by Flat World Knowledge. In an effort to keep the cost of textbooks down, the book is an open-source textbook, based on the iTunes model, in which consumers can purchase and download as much or as little of the book as they want. “We’ll see how it goes,” she said. “It’s still a test model.”
Rittenberg enjoys hiking below tree line and riding her electric bike, and makes it a point to spend time outdoors every day. In recent years she started taking piano lessons, something she hasn’t pursued since junior high school. She also enjoys the arts, especially concerts, plays, and opera. Her passion for the arts meshed well with her six-year tenure as dean of summer programs, as she enjoyed spending summers in Colorado Springs attending as many of the arts and cultural events as she could. She has served on the boards of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival, the Colorado Springs Conservatory, the Bee Vradenburg Foundation, and the Foundation for School District 11.
Rittenberg can be reached at 330-0410 or email@example.com. A self-described email and phone junkie, Rittenberg will return an email or call as soon as possible. Her September office hours at Tutt Library, Room 212 are 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. Tuesdays and 4-6 p.m. Wednesdays. Office hours for subsequent months will be posted outside the ombuds office and on the ombuds website: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/ombuds/. She also is more than willing to meet people off-campus; call or email her to make arrangements.