Four CC Seniors Present Research at Microbiology Conference

 Four Colorado College seniors, Mengyi Cao, Nguyen Nguyen, Branden Petrun, and Amber Dornbusch, presented their research at the American Society for Microbiology-Rocky Mountain Branch meeting in October at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. Petrun won third place for the undergraduate poster presentations, and Dornbusch, current

From left to right: Nguyen Nguyen, Mengyi Cao, Amber Dornbusch (thumbs up), Phoebe Lostroh, and Branden Petrun

president of CC’s Native American Student Union, won first prize for best undergraduate poster presentation.

 The students’ collaborative research was done with associate biology professors Phoebe Lostroh and David Brown, and was funded by an Interdisciplinary Training for Undergraduates in Biological and Mathematical Sciences grant, National Science Foundation grant, various Colorado College venture grants, Natural Sciences Division Executive Committee, the biology department, the Dabb Fund, and Southwest Studies. The trip to present the research was funded by the Dean’s Advisory Committee and Lostroh’s NSF grant.

Michael O’Riley Publishes “Cinema in an Age of Terror”

Michael F. O’Riley, Colorado College associate professor of French and Italian, has recently published “Cinema in an Age of Terror: North Africa, Victimization, and Colonial History.” The book looks at how cinematic representations of colonial-era victimization inform our understanding of the contemporary age of terror. By examining works representing colonial history and the dynamics of viewership emerging from them, O’Riley reveals how the centrality of victimization in certain cinematic representations of colonial history can help one understand how the desire to occupy the victim’s position is a dangerous and blinding drive that frequently plays into the vision of terrorism.

O’Riley also is the author of “Francophone Culture and the Postcolonial Fascination with Ethnic Crimes and Colonial Aura” and “Postcolonial Haunting and Victimization: Assia Djebar’s New Novels.”

Randy Stiles Elected to EDUCAUSE Board of Directors

Randy Stiles, vice president for information management at Colorado College, has been elected to the board of EDUCAUSE, the association for information technology in higher education. Stiles, who oversees the college’s office of institutional research and planning and its information technology services, will serve a four-year term that begins this month.

Stiles’ service to EDUCAUSE includes conference presentations, several papers and prepublication reviews of studies, and consulting for the 2008 Core Data Survey revision. He also has served as a board member and chair of the Consortium of Liberal Arts Colleges and is an experienced peer reviewer and team leader for the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Stiles is an American Council on Education Fellow and holds a B.S. and M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, an MBA from Northeastern University, and a Ph.D. in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University.

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association and the foremost community of IT leaders and professionals committed to advancing higher education. Its programs and services are focused on analysis, advocacy, community building, professional development and knowledge creation.

Board of Trustees Meeting Actions

The CC Board of Trustees met September 23-25 at the El Pomar Foundation’s Penrose House and conducted the following business.

Swore in newly elected alumni trustee Karen Pope ’70 and young alumni trustee Isabel Werner ’08 (new pilot category).

Voted to approve:

  • A bequest acceptance policy.
  • A resolution formally establishing the presidential search committee and its charge.

The trustees met with over 80 faculty, staff, and students to hear their thoughts on the college’s priorities and challenges and the desired experience and qualities of the 13th president.  Representatives of the presidential search firm, Storbeck/Pimentel, were on hand to listen as well.  In addition, the trustees participated in substantive discussion sessions on diversity and on the liberal arts in the digital age, the latter led by Susan Ashley and David Weddle; attended a reception with local alumni and community members; and dined with the new faculty members and their mentors.

Recent Grad, Two Geology Faculty Members Present Research at Convention

Two Colorado College geology professors and a recent geology graduate will present their research at the 2010 annual meeting of the Geological Society of America.
Robert Jacobson ’10 will present “The Last Glacial Maximum Climate in the Southernmost Rocky Mountains”; Associate Professor Henry Fricke will present “Paleoelevation of the North American Cordillera from the late Cretaceous to Late Eocene: An Integrated Climate Model-Oxygen Isotope Approach”; and Professor Eric Leonard will present “The Post-Laramide Rocky Mountain Surface on the Front Ranges of Colorado–Its Character and Possible Causes of its Deformation.”
Approximately 6,000 scientists are expected to attend the Denver meeting, which runs from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3.

80 Years Later, Original Shove Dedication Program Presented to CC

On Oct. 17, 1930, eight-year-old Bob Funk attended the cornerstone dedication at Shove Memorial Chapel with his mother and two brothers. Funk’s great-uncle, Horace Mitchell, was the grand master of the Masonic Lodge and, as such, was to lay the cornerstone.
Almost exactly 80 years later, on Sept. 10, 2010, Funk returned to CC and presented the original programs to Chaplain Bruce Coriell,

The dedication programs were in excellent condition, despite the turns Funk’s life had taken. He moved to New Jersey, enlisted in the Army, and served in Italy. After the war, Funk worked for duPont before enrolling in Rutgers University in 1951. He later asked a dean at Rutgers to recommend a smaller school, and the dean, learning that Funk was from Colorado Springs, told him CC was one of the best schools in the country. Funk transferred and graduated from Colorado College in 1954 at age 32.

Funk attends St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Denver, as does CC Trustee Bill Campbell ’67. When Funk learned Campbell was a CC alum, he asked Campbell to help him return the programs to the college. Campbell helped arrange the September visit to CC, the first time Funk had been back in decades. Funk and Campbell met with President Dick Celeste, toured the Cornerstone Arts Center, and visited Cutler Hall (where both rang the tower bell).

Funk and Campbell also went to Shove Memorial Chapel, where Funk gave the two programs to Coriell, and was presented with a book about the chapel. Funk also reviewed a collection of historical photos of the chapel ceremonies, and was able to find his mother, brothers, and himself in the front row of the guests.

Funk also recalled his impressions of the ceremony to augment the chapel’s records, including the fact that there were two dedication ceremonies. In the morning faculty members led a dedication of the four stones imported from England that are now in the lower part of the front wall of Pilgrim Chapel, located in southeast corner of Shove Chapel. The stones came from a parish church in Gatton, where a Shove ancestor served as parish priest in the 1600s; Winchester Cathedral, which inspired the architect’s design for Shove; Christ Church at Oxford; and King’s College in Cambridge.

Later that afternoon, the Masons led the program to dedicate the cornerstone, which was laid at the northwest corner of Shove Memorial Chapel. It is readily visible on the left as one enters Shove from the main, western-facing entrance. Coriell says, however, that until a few years ago, the cornerstone was obscured by heavy evergreen foliage.

Shove Memorial Chapel was completed the following year, and dedicated on Nov. 24, 1931.

Christine Siddoway Awarded $145,260 from NSF for Research in Antarctica

Student researcher Maggie Cowling '11 and Christine Siddoway

Colorado College Geology Professor Christine Siddoway has been awarded a $145,260 grant from the National Science Foundation for geological research in West Antarctica. The grant, which begins this year, will enable Siddoway to continue her work examining “the transformation of a vast quantity of oceanic mud into lovely rose-colored granite that constitutes the continental crust of East Gondwanaland.” The process she is studying, in collaboration with University of Maryland researchers, is “analogous to distillation of clear, concentrated alcohol (grappa or single malt) from a dark, thick mash of grapes or grains.” Siddoway’s research also involves Colorado College students, on campus and off.

The work is part of an integrated research program that uses multiple approaches to explore the tectonic and climate evolution of West Antarctica. This is Siddoway’s second NSF-Polar Programs grant this year. She also was awarded $49,545 in June, which supports CC undergraduates who undertake “virtual geology” research on Antarctica while learning advanced GIS techniques in CC’s Keck GIS Learning Commons and the Antarctic Geospatial Information Center (agic.umn.edu). Colorado College alumni, parents, and friends took part in Antarctic explorations this year, as well, when Siddoway led a trip to the Antarctic Peninsula during the 2009-10 winter break.

Square Dance Rounds Out Block 1

The beautiful Block 1 weather inspired a group of CC faculty, staff, and students to do some square dancing right in front of Tutt Science Building. The caller, Gregg Anderson, got everyone organized and dancing like a pro in no time (even though some in the group professed to have two left legs).  After 90 minutes of dancing, all dancers received A’s for the knowledge they acquired pertaining to left-hand stars, promenades, and do-sa-dos. Kudos to Emily Chan for organizing the event.

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.