Venture Grant Program Receives Equivalent of $2 Million Endowment

Allison Stewart ’12 describes her research project “Movement of Cuba: Study of Rueda de Casino Style Dance” to Jeff Keller ’91 at the Venture Grant Forum on Nov. 9.

Colorado College’s venture grant program, in which students are awarded up to $1,000 for research or other academic projects of their choosing, has received a grant from the Keller Family Foundation that will fund the program indefinitely.

The program, which will be named the Keller Family Venture Grant Program for Student Research, allows approximately 100 Colorado College students to imagine, articulate and pursue original research or an academic project of their choosing.  The Keller family will provide 100 percent of the grant funding, which runs about $100,000 each year, making the gift the equivalent of a $2 million endowment.

Jeff Keller ’91 made the announcement on behalf of his family, parents Dennis and Connie, and brother David ’95, at the 2010 Venture Grant Forum, held Nov. 9 at Colorado College.

The venture grant program was established at Colorado College in 1970. While some schools have money available for advanced research, the funds are largely for conventional academic, lab or classroom research and are not broadly available to students. At Colorado College, the spirit of the venture grants program is different: It is expected that a student’s experience will be an adventure, a departure from the norm, whether the research takes place on campus or on some far corner of the earth.

The 92 venture grants awarded during the 2009-10 academic year include:

  • Magdalena C. Reinsvold ’10, research in India for a project titled “Politics of Polio: The Resurgence and Reemergence of Poliomyelitis in India and Nigeria”
  • Anais Gude ’10, research in Beijing, China, for a project titled “Aging in Beijing: An Analysis of What it Means to Grow Old in China’s Capital”
  • Will Rosenheimer ’10, research in Guatemala for a project titled “Where Does Your Coffee Dollar Go? Democracy, Transparency and Social Consciousness of Guatemalan Fair-Trade Coffee Cooperatives”
  • Drew Thayer ’11, a project titled “The Effects of Glacial Recession on Geohazards in the Cordillera Blaca”
  • Kerry Cavanaugh ’12, a project titled “Western Medicine Practitioners in Rural Uganda”

Susan Ashley, dean of the college and the faculty, says “There are three keys to a successful venture grant. The first is to imagine the project in the right way. The second is to articulate the project vision. And the third is to execute.”

All proposals for a venture grant must have academic merit; applicants must have a faculty sponsor and the maximum grant awarded is $1,000. For more information, go to: http://www.coloradocollege.edu/resources/dean/VentureGrants/

Tia Wood ’10, Geology Paraprof, Receives Award

Tia Wood ’10, a current paraprofessional in the geology department, competed with graduate and undergraduate students at the American Geophysical Union conference, held in December 2009 in San Francisco. Wood was awarded an “Outstanding Student Paper Awards” for her presentation “Anisotropy and mantle flow in the eastern Sierras Pampeanas from shear wave splitting” in the Study of the Earth’s Deep Interior category.

Does Your Office or Department Have What it Takes to Be “CC Fridays Best Dressed”?

by Erin Thacker, Coordinator of Sports Services

Are you an avid wearer of your black and gold CC gear each Friday?  Do you find yourself having a hard time picking out exactly what you will wear each Friday because your wardrobe is now bursting with black, gold, Colorado College or tiger print wear?  Do you walk around your office each Friday and find that everyone is donning their CC gear? 

 If this is the case, we want to see it!  During blocks II, III, and IV we will be running a photo contest to see which department on campus is “CC Fridays Best Dressed.”  Gather up your group and snap a picture of all those wearing their CC Fridays gear from now until Friday, Dec. 10. 

The winning office/department will receive a complimentary pizza and pasta party on Friday, Dec. 17.  Submit your photo by 5 p.m., Friday, Dec. 10 for your chance to win!  The winning office/department will be randomly selected the week of December 13 and will be notified prior to the 17th.  Offices/departments can submit one  photo each Friday.  Submit your photos to Erin Thacker at erin.thacker@coloradocollege.edu

Want to see what the competition is like across campus?  Take a look at the CC Tigers Athletics Facebook page and check out the “CC Fridays Best Dressed” photo album.  Weekly submitted pictures will be posted.  Let’s see which office/department on campus will be crowned “CC Fridays Best Dressed”!

Colorado College Receives $10 Million Matching Grant for Financial Aid

The Walton Family Foundation has awarded Colorado College a $10 million matching grant for high-need and first-generation students. The college’s goal is to match the grant with an additional $10 million from other donors, creating a $20 million infusion of new endowed scholarship funds over the next five years.

When this affordability initiative is fully funded, it will make significantly more scholarship funding available to students with high financial need and ensure that the college can continue to attract the best and the brightest, regardless of their ability to pay.

“This addition to our endowed financial aid will generate a dramatic and sustainable difference over time in what we can provide for prospective students,” said Richard F. Celeste, Colorado College president. “Scholarship support not only opens the door for many students who wish to attend CC, it gives them the freedom to focus more closely on their academics and pursue activities outside of class.”

Colorado College intends to use the grant to inspire other donors to join in helping to add to available scholarships. The grant comes in the final year of Celeste’s tenure; he announced in May that he will retire after June 30, 2011, completing nine years as president. Early in his presidency, he described a $300 million vision to build resources for student financial aid, faculty and campus projects.

The college awards $26 million in predominately need-based financial aid each year, with more than half of its students receiving some level of financial aid.

This is the third commitment of $10 million the college has received during Celeste’s tenure, bringing the total committed to the college since 2002 to about $180 million from alumni, parents, foundations and other college supporters.

Public Interest Fellowship Program Receives Boost with $250,000 Grant

Colorado College’s Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP) was awarded a $250,000 Special Opportunities grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The grant will go toward the challenge match, issued by the Randleigh Charitable Trust in January 2008, to establish a $1 million endowment for the program. The Randleigh Challenge deadline is Dec. 31, 2010, and this gift moves the college much closer to its goal of raising $500,000 for the endowment.

 The Public Interest Fellowship Program places Colorado College students and recent graduates in paid positions with Front Range public interest nonprofits in summer or yearlong fellowships. CC’s strong culture of service and civic engagement contribute to immense student interest in the program.

Among the nonprofit host organizations are the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, the National Council of State Legislatures, and Care and Share Food Bank. Jeff Livesay, CC sociology professor and PIFP founder, said, “PIFP is thriving. Even in these financially challenging times, an unprecedented number of nonprofit organizations have applied this fall for an unprecedented number of fellows for 2011-12, and access to PIFP fellowships has grown increasingly competitive on campus through the years.”

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.