CC Gets $85,000 for Max Kade House ADA-Required Improvements

Colorado College has received an $85,000 grant from the Max Kade Foundation to support ADA-required renovations to the Max Kade House.

Renovations to the house, slated for next summer, include an ADA-accessible kitchen, shower, and lavatory, an exterior ramp, and improved signage. The grant will enable the college undertake the necessary improvements so that the Max Kade House is fully ADA-accessible and usable to people with disabilities.

The Max Kade House, the focal point for an active German cultural program, was inaugurated in 1964 as a residence for Colorado College students interested in German language and culture. Dr. Max Kade was present for the house’s opening ceremony, as his foundation made it possible for the college to purchase the century-old residence.

The Max Kade House also includes a garden house annex for small group screenings, meetings and study groups, and a garden for outdoor activities.

Get to Know: Mona El-Sherif

Mona El-Sherif can’t wait to teach CC students Arabic.

She admits that learning Arabic may appear to be daunting, but says that by the end of two blocks, most students will be able to conduct a 10-minute presentation in Arabic.

El-Sherif, the newest member of CC’s Francophone and Mediterranean Studies department, says teaching Arabic, her native language, is challenging, but rewarding. “You can see the rewards – they are immediately visible. In class, you can see the difference between yesterday and today. It gives me happiness to know I am sharing my knowledge,” she says.

Born in Cairo but raised in Alexandria, Egypt, she grew up speaking an Egyptian dialect of Arabic. Here she will teach modern, standard Arabic, the form of Arabic that is used by media throughout the Near East and for all intellectual debate. Various countries throughout the region, from Morocco to Saudi Arabia, have their own Arabic dialects, which have varying degrees of dissimilarity among them.

El-Sherif knows what it is like to learn a new language. A native Arabic speaker, she learned English starting at age 4 when she entered a British school. She began learning French when she was 9, and later added Farsi. In California, where she earned her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, she realized she would need to add Spanish as well.

CC’s nascent Francophone and Mediterranean Studies program drew El-Sherif, the daughter of a lawyer and an accountant, to the college. “I’m very excited about the Mediterranean component, and how it looks at geography and its influence on culture. It’s a good fit with my research,” she says. Other programs she looked at were focused exclusively on Near Eastern studies or on the language component. “What CC is trying to establish is very unique. I feel I can contribute ideas here.”

El-Sherif took the long route to Colorado College. After graduating with a B.A. in English and American literatures from Alexandria University, she went on to earn an M.A. in Islamic, Jewish, and Near Eastern Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from UC Berkeley.

How did she get from Alexandria, Egypt, to St. Louis, Missouri? “A lot of people ask me that,” she says. She was friends with several British students at Alexandria University, and with their mentor, who had done his Ph.D. at Washington University. He recommended Washington University’s program, and she applied, only to find herself presented with an acceptance letter. She took the opportunity, which culminated with her getting her Ph.D. from Berkeley.

In addition to beginning and intermediate Arabic, El-Sherif also will teach Arabic literature, and culture. “Artistic Expressions of the Experience of Modernity in Various Arabic Cities,” which she will teach in Block 8, focuses on representations of urban modernity in different Arab cities.

El-Sherif believes it is important for everyone to learn more about the Arab world. “It takes a bit of effort on the part of students and educated people,” she says, noting that it especially takes effort for Americans, who are so far removed geographically from Arabic-speaking countries. “Here you are across the Atlantic – it’s not like in Europe,” she says. “You don’t get a rounded picture of what the Arab world is like. But it is huge, and very diverse and economically developing. There are so many reasons why people might want to learn about it.”

When El-Sherif is not teaching Arab language, culture, and literature look for her out running – jogging and athletic conditioning are some of her favorite pastimes.

What’s Cooking at the Community Kitchen? A Major Renovation

Colorado College’s Community Kitchen, one of the oldest student-run community kitchens in the nation, underwent a renovation this summer. Gay Victoria, director of the Center for Service and Learning, reports that the changes include:

  • Moving the dishwashing operation out of the kitchen and into side hallway, and adding a rinse station and stainless steel countertops and backsplash
  • Two new freezers and two refrigerators for storing food
  • An under-the-counter commercial dishwasher
  • New slip-resistant flooring in the dishwashing and kitchen areas
  • The removal of all upper cabinets and the installation of stainless steel shelving
  • A new warming oven to keep hot foods hot until served
  • A cold salad server to keep salads on ice until served
  • A new commercial microwave for warming
  • New hanging pot racks to keep pots organized
  • A commercial can opener
  • Two new commercial food disposals
  • New commercial faucets in the kitchen
  • A new hand-washing sink in the kitchen
  • A new paint job, and lots of new trays, plastic glasses, coffee cups, and bowls

Check out all the changes next time you are helping at the Community Kitchen!

Why it is Good to be Good? Ask John Riker

John Riker, CC professor of philosophy, has published a new book that looks at ethics and moral issues.

Yet talk about irony: He says there were many obstacles in the writing of “Why it is Good to be Good,” including the fact that his computer and all the backups were stolen just as he completed the first draft.

In the book, Riker shows how modernity’s reigning concept of the self undermines moral life and lays the basis for the epidemic of cheating that is devastating social and economic institutions. The aim of the book is to provide a compelling answer to the question of why persons living in modern society should want to adopt an ethical way of being in the world.

Riker says “Why it is Good to be Good” is written for an intelligent lay audience and should be of interest in a world “in which a few too many people think that it is in their best interest to cheat if they don’t get caught.”

The book has just been released by Jason Aronson, an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

“This is the book I have been wanting to write for my entire 40 years at CC,” he says. “Sometimes it takes a long time and many adventures of ideas to finally be able to think and say what you most want to.” The book began seven years ago when he was the Kohut Professor at the University of Chicago. During that year he presented his ideas both at the university and at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis. “The response was so positive and strong that I set out to write the book.”

Riker also is the author of “Ethics and the Discovery of the Unconscious,” “Human Excellence and an Ecological Conception of the Psyche,” and “The Art of Ethical Thinking.”

Get to Know: Jason Newton

In November 2007 Jason Newton pulled three college girls from a burning car in Sherwood, Ore., after a drunk driver, going 65 mph down the wrong side of the street, crashed head-on into their vehicle. Arriving at the scene as the students were trapped in the car by flames, Newton yelled to them to get down, then struck the left rear window until it shattered. He broke out the glass pieces, told the closest woman to wrap her arms around him, and dragged her out.

The flames grew so hot Newton and another officer could approach the car for only a few seconds at a time. The tires popped from the heat and the seams on Newton’s trousers melted. Three of the George Fox University students were saved. It was later learned that the fourth student, whom the officers were unable to rescue, had been killed on impact.

Newton, CC’s new campus resource officer, sat through an hour-long interview for an Around the Block profile and never mentioned the incident – or the fact that he and another officer were named as national Hero Cops in 2008 for their actions.

“I’m not big into awards, but I have passion for what I do,” he said later.

Newton is a Colorado Springs police officer who is serving as a liaison between the college and the police department. He’s been with the CSPD for three years, where he has focused on narcotic investigations; prior to that he served as a cop for four years in Oregon. A native of Wisconsin, he is a 2003 graduate of Western Oregon University, where he studied criminal justice, minored in psychology, and ran track.

Newton will be patrolling CC and the neighborhood by foot, bike, and car. His goal is to build trust and relationships on the college campus and nearby neighborhoods.

“This is an experimental position for the fall semester,” says Ron Smith, director of campus safety, noting there is no cost to the college for the pilot program. Newton is the CSPD’s officer dedicated to CC, and serves as a liaison between the college, the surrounding neighborhood, and the police department. “This provides supplemental campus patrol and more coverage in the neighborhoods. It’s helping the city by reducing calls for service from this area,” Smith says.

Newton and John Lauer, director of residential life and housing, currently are visiting with representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where a similar program is in place. UW-Madison has a community police officer assigned to the campus, as well as a campus security staff. Newton and Lauer are learning how the relationships work between residential life, campus security, and the community police officer.  UW-Madison has been fine-tuning their program for 12 years, and their experience should prove instructive for CC, Lauer says. 

“This goes back to the community policing model,” Newton says. “I hope to serve as a resource for students, faculty, and staff, as well as the CC neighbors. I want to build trust and communication, and have people feel free to come to me.

“I want them to be able to ask me about anything – if they have a problem at home, or questions about the community. I want to be a mentor and a friend,” he says.

Newton is no stranger to the CC: His fiancée, Andrea Weatherford, is a 2002 Colorado College graduate who introduced him to CC hockey, and he’s been a dedicated fan ever since. (They plan to get married in mid-September.)  He’s also familiar with the college – and its neighbors. During the last several years Student Life and Residential Life have asked the CSPD to send an officer meet with students and discuss such things as the importance of being good neighbors on- and off-campus, how to host safe parties, and personal safety.

“Whenever they needed a volunteer to talk at CC, I would jump on it. I’d go whenever there was an opportunity to talk with the students,” Newton says. The collaborative effort between CC and the local police department paid off: Last year a student who felt comfortable with Newton called him saying “We need help with this party – it’s gotten out of control.” Later, when an irate neighbor also called Newton, he was able to say, “Yes, we know about the party – the students have already called and asked for our assistance.” The neighbor, says Newton, was very surprised.

“When this job came up, I saw it as a tremendous opportunity. I’m really excited about it and I want to put myself in the community. I want to be a part of as many things as I can,” Newton says.

Apparently that won’t be a problem. Newton went to each of the first-year residence halls during orientation, introducing himself and getting to know the students. He happened to visit Slocum Hall when some students were baking banana bread, and was promptly invited to have some. He ended up spending about 30 minutes in the kitchenette there, surrounded by students. “It was great,” he says. “And the banana bread was great, too.”

No Stiff Upper Lip While Viewing this Jessy Randall Poem

An online poem by Jessy Randall has an unusual presenter: a little kid with a British accent and enough stage presence to assure a successful theater career (even when she flubs her lines).

Randall’s poem, titled “My Friends,” is featured this month on the website Smories, which shows videos of children reading poems and very short stories written for kids.

Randall, the archivist and curator of special sections at Tutt Library, says she doesn’t usually write rhyming poems, but this one is an exception.

“I loved Cricket magazine when I was a kid, and my mom subscribed my daughter to Cricket’s little-sibling magazine, Ladybug, which has poems in it,” Randall says. She thought it would be fun to have a poem in Ladybug, and noticed they seemed to run short rhyming things.

“So I wrote a set of rhyming couplets that I thought Ladybug would eat up. Well, Ladybug didn’t care for them. They sat in my files for a long time.” Eventually, a friend sent Randall a link to Smories and she submitted her poem.

Randall, the author of several books of poetry, says “The key to the humor in the poem, for me, is making the rhyme be a little unexpected. So, if I were doing one for “Jane” I couldn’t rhyme it with “plain” – I’d have to think of something weirder, like maybe “drain.”

To watch the poem being performed, go to:

“My Friends”
by Jessy Randall

I have a friend, her name is Claire
She likes to throw things in the air.

 I have a friend, his name is Peter
His room could be a little neater. 

I have a friend, her name is Kate
And she is always, ALWAYS late. 

I have a friend, his name is Lance
Sometimes he does a funny dance. 

I have a friend, her name is Janet
I think she’s from another planet.

Human Resources Department Announces New Hires

The human resources department has announced the following new hires, rehires, transfers, and promotions:

New Hires/Rehires

Michael Applegate, maintenance worker, residential life and housing
Andrew Benger, shift supervisor, campus safety
Aaron Cohick, printer of the press, The Press
Marina Eckler, assistant to the curator, I.D.E.A. Space
Jay Engeln, director of alumni & parent relations, advancement
Michele Klein, staff assistant, sociology
Amy Lareau, admission counselor, admission
Lisa Ly, program coordinator, office of minority and international students
Lauren Mocilac, residential life coordinator, residential life and housing
Jeffrey Moore, technical/statistical coordinator, economics and business
Una Ng, staff assistant, education
Sean Roberts, audiovisual support technician, media services
William Rogers, patrol officer, campus safety
Jean “Renee” Shipley, gift records specialist, advancement services
Sara Springer, assistant director of admission
Jason Tricket-Lammers, assistant men’s hockey coach, athletics 

Stormy Burns, office coordinator, music
Laura Foster, office coordinator, Summer Programs
Jim Grey, office supervisor, advancement services
Brandy Lachocki, receiving coordinator, Tutt Library
Jason Taylor, special events technical supervisor, media services

Get to Know: The Class of 2014

Nearly 5,000 students applied to Colorado College this year. The Class of 2014 brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent to the campus. The incoming class features:

  • Students who speak 21 different languages, including Persian, Telugu, and Greek.
  • 46 editors of student publications.
  • An internationally recognized Irish step dancer.
  •  Eight nationally ranked competitors, including a three-time national champion in alpine skiing, a national gold jump rope medalist,  and an equestrian gold medalist.
  • Two members who coached Special Olympic athletes.
  • 18 members who have finished screenplays, 13 of which were converted into shows.
  •  A student who earned more than $40,000 from a self-started ultimate Frisbee T-shirt company.
  •  A two-time grand prize winner in a national gingerbread competition.
  • 42 founders of campus organizations, including book clubs, newspapers, animal rights associations, and breakfast clubs.
  • An ultra-distance runner who finished the Leadville Trail 100, a 100-mile course in the Rocky Mountains with its lowest elevation falling just above 9,000 feet.
  • A variety of leaders, including 17 student government presidents, 24 service organization leaders, and 75 heads of school groups, ranging from Quidditch Club to philosophy societies to ski and snowboard groups.

CC’s New Student Orientation Trips Promote Friendships, Service Ethic

Colorado College is sending incoming first-year, transfer, international exchange, and international students – a total of 597 students – on a wide range of New Student Orientation trips. The 60 trips, all of which have a service component, will depart Wednesday, Sept. 1 and return Sunday, Sept. 5.

Elizabeth Pudder, service coordinator for the Center for Service and Learning, and Steve Crosby, outdoor education director, are in charge of the trips, with Pudder overseeing 39 front country and urban trips, and Crosby overseeing 21 backcountry trips. All of the NSO trips are led by CC students, with at least two leaders per trip (and more than 100 students on the wait list to lead a trip).

Among the 39 expeditions Pudder oversees are trips to the Koshare Indian Museum in La Junta, St. Elizabeth’s Shelter in Santa Fe, Mission Wolf in Westcliffe, Mesa Winds Farm in Hotchkiss, and a charter school in Taos, N.M.

Crosby’s backcountry trips go to the Collegiate Peaks, Sangre de Cristo, Holy Cross, and Uncompahgre wilderness areas, all in Colorado.

“Most of the trips, whether they are urban, front country, or backcountry, are three to six hours away,” Pudder says. “We want the new students to experience the region.”

The orientation helps new students get to know a small group of people very well outside of the residence hall and classroom, Pudder says. The service component is also a great group- and team-building activity, and underscores CC’s strong service ethic. The time away from campus also allows the new students an opportunity to get to know and ask questions of the group leaders, all of whom are upperclassmen.

The logistics of the undertaking are massive. All the necessary gear must be checked out to be sure it is in working order. Gear is then assigned to NSO excursions, and is lined up in Slocum Commons in order of trip departure. Food for the 597 NSO participants and the 122 student leaders is organized by trip and stored in Bemis Hall. Buses and vans and trip routes must be arranged, with trips heading to the same region sharing a bus to help reduce CC’s carbon footprint.

This is the eighth year that Colorado College is undertaking the massive effort. The Priddy Experience began in 2003 as the result of a $7.9 million grant to CC from the Robert & Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust the previous year. Funds from the grant, one of the largest in CC’s history, were spread across various campus programs, with $125,000  being designated for NSO trips.

Get to Know: Marina Eckler

Marina Eckler may be the new assistant to the curator at the I.D.E.A. Space, but she’s not new to Colorado College.

Eckler was the print shop technician for CC’s art department from 2006-08, where she managed studio space for classes and open work sessions, provided technical assistance to students, and helped to develop workshops for visiting and resident artists.

She later volunteered as an installer for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and worked as an art handler for special collections for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where she created unique housing for hundreds of drawings and prints for the Whitney’s Works on Paper Collection.

Now Eckler, who holds a degree in painting and printmaking from San Francisco State University, is combining her skills and interests in curatorial work. “There is a thin line between creating art and curating,” she says. “Curating is its own art form.”

Eckler is excited about the ways in which the I.D.E.A. Space and Curator Jessica Hunter Larsen use the community at large as a medium. “It’s an open-door art center, and I like that,” Eckler says. As an example, she cites an upcoming multidisciplinary event titled “Hair-esies” that explores the connection between hair, personal and cultural identity, and feminism. “It’s a fascinating event that draws together a visiting established artist, faculty members, and a local artist,” she says. “Hair-esies,” which takes place on Sept. 14, was inspired by an I.D.E.A. Space exhibition that runs from Sept. 7 to Oct.  26 and features May Stevens, who was involved in benchmark social justice movements of the 20th and 21st centuries. “It all ties in so well together,” Eckler says. “While art centers are trying to figure out how to stay open and be resourceful, it happens naturally here.”

Eckler, an artist interested in bookbinding, painting, and drawing, has a studio in downtown Colorado Springs. She describes her paintings as “landscapes of my own imagination. They combine mountains and cities and impossible horizons, and are loosely based on folk art.”

Other interests include gardening, although she calls herself a failed gardener, and baking, especially cakes and French pastry. “This can be an all-day or all-weekend project for me. It’s what I turn to. I’m always thinking ‘What should be baked for this occasion?’ ”

Eckler also has strong ties to KRCC: She has been a volunteer DJ at the station for many years, and was the inaugural DJ for the Monday night radio show “Brick House,” a dance/soul/electronic music show still in production but with different DJs. Eckler, who still fills in as a guest DJ for “Brick House” and other shows, is married to Noel Black, producer of KRCC’s “The Big Something,” and they have a 9-year-old son, Ursen.