Alumna’s commercial airs during Super Bowl

“CASKET,” the  Super Bowl Doritos commercial for which CC alumna and English film track major Char Lee ’09 was casting director, was one of four in the Crash the Super Bowl commercial competition that aired during the game. There were 4,000 entries, and Lee’s was one of six finalists; four of those advanced to the grand prize winning status and were aired. “CASKET” and the three other grand prize winners’ ratings will be measured against other Super Bowl commercials, and if any of the competitors rated in the top three, the winners stand to win up to $1 million. You can see the commercial here:

CC’s new mobile website is live

iphone_burberryCC’s new website optimized for mobile browsers is live. Now you can quickly access the campus directory, campus map, events, news, game scores, CC on YouTube, CC on Facebook, KRCC and emergency info via your smartphone. The site is intended to make information easier to access when you’re away from your computer; it’s not meant to be a replacement for the main website. Point your iPhone, Blackberry, Android or other smartphone to iPhone users can bookmark the site and save it to their device desktop, so that it functions much like an app.

Film by two ’92 grads nominated for Academy Award

Daniel Junge

Daniel Junge

A documentary film by Henry Ansbacher and Daniel Junge, who both graduated from Colorado College in 1992, has been nominated for an Academy Award. The  film, “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner,” is a nominee in the short documentary category. The film focuses on Booth Gardner, the former governor of Washington, who leads a campaign to legalize assisted suicide while dealing with the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease.

Henry Ansbacher

Henry Ansbacher

The winners of the 82nd Academy Awards will be announced on March 7. More information about the film is available at:

CC alumna becomes sixth nominee for U.S. administration

cynthia_chavez_lamarCynthia Chavez Lamar CC ’92 has been nominated to the board of trustees of the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development by President Barack Obama. She becomes the sixth Colorado College alumni to be selected for a position with the current administration. Chavez Lamar is the director of the Indian Arts Research Center at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M., where she works to foster collaborative relationships and projects among Native peoples, organizations, and institutions. She is the former museum director of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, and the former associate curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Colorado College presented her with an honorary doctorate in 2008 and she received a governor’s appointment to the New Mexico Arts Commission in 2009. Chavez Lamar also was the guest lecturer at the October 2008 Aficionados Luncheon and Lecture, where she discussed “Respecting the Past, Engaging the Present: Pueblo Artists of the 21st Century.”

The other five CC alumni in the current administration are:

  • Harris Sherman ’64, agriculture undersecretary for natural resources and environment
  • Jane Lubchenco ’69, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Marcia Kemper McNutt ’74, director of the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Ken Salazar ’77, Secretary of the Interior
  • Lori Garver ’83, deputy administrator at NASA

Marion Hourdequin awarded NSF grant for military land restoration

Marion Hourdequin, assistant professor of philosophy at Colorado College, has been awarded a $244,881 grant from the National Science Foundation. Hourdequin received the grant in collaboration with David Havlick, assistant professor of geography and environmental studies at University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. The funding supports three years of research on the ecological restoration of former military lands, focusing specifically on lands now managed as National Wildlife Refuges. The grant also provides research opportunities for two CC undergraduate students and a UCCS graduate student, as well as a workshop for land managers.
Hourdequin and Havlick, a husband-and-wife team, will examine restoration goals at these military-to-wildlife (M2W) sites, many of which are heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals and unexploded ordnance, yet also are ecologically rich and relatively undeveloped.
To view the Gazette’s story, go to:

C.J. Pascoe co-authors youth and digital media book

C.J. PascoeC.J. Pascoe, assistant sociology professor, is co-author of a new book, “Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media.” The book provides a grounded and nuanced description of today’s digital youth culture and practices as they negotiate their identity, peer-based relationships, and relationships with adults. The data comes from an ambitious three-year ethnographic investigation into how young people are living and learning with new media in varied settings—at home, in after school programs, and in online spaces. The book, published by MIT Press, was written as a collaborative effort by members of the Digital Youth Project, a three-year research effort funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The veiled birthday celebration

VeilsGina Lujan’s 50th birthday was kept under wraps, sort of.
Lujan is the benefits specialist in the CC Human Resources department. And Tuesday, she discovered one of the “benefits” of working in that office: The entire department wore black and adorned themselves in veils to commemorate Lujan’s 50th birthday.
All six members of the department wore black tulle veils that Human Resources Manager Pam Butler whipped up the night before. Lujan had no idea what was in store when she arrived at work, and at first was mystified when one by one, her coworkers walked into her office wearing the black veils. (They later presented her with a veil too.) Shaleen Prehm, human resources manager and benefits administrator, baked a “dirt” cake with gummy worms for the occasion, and decorated Lujan’s office with balloons.

Dan Johnson’s Olympic predictions making media waves

Dan Johnson, CC associate professor of economics, is making waves in the media world with his Olympic medals predictions. Television stations, newspapers, and blogs around the world are picking up his predictions, which were released January 18. Within 36 hours, he was featured in Forbes:; on Canadian television:;
in the Toronto Sun:; on a Reuters blog:; in an Italian newspaper (link not available); and cited in an on-air report by Bloomberg.
Johnson uses only non-athletic data to make his forecasts. He considers per capita income, population, climate, and political structure of the nations competing, along with the obvious advantage of hosting the Games. This last factor works heavily in Canada’s favor this year, putting them one medal ahead of the United States and Norway in the model’s predictions.
As a Canadian-born economist, that prediction warms Johnson’s heart, but he insists that the results are pure statistics.
Johnson first constructed the model with a colleague before the 2000 Summer Games in Sydney, Australia. Since then, the model has proven itself over five consecutive Olympics, averaging a correlation of 94 percent with actual medal counts, and 87 percent for gold medals specifically.
The big story this year, from Johnson’s perspective is that Canada should win three more medals than it won in Torino in 2006, due primarily to its home-field advantage. Canada is predicted to narrowly edge out the U.S., Norway, Austria, Sweden, Russia, and Germany for the title. However, Russia is predicted to win the race for gold medals, edging out Germany and winning three more than Canada or the U.S.
Why does he do it? Johnson says that he treats the model’s predictions as ‘benchmarks’ to help set national expectations at realistic levels. “We all subconsciously know,” he says, “that small, poor, warm nations are at a disadvantage when it comes to the Winter Games. Our model quantifies those effects, so that each nation can celebrate victory if they exceed the model’s predictions. For a small nation, winning three medals is an amazing accomplishment. For the U.S. or Germany or Russia, it’s appropriate to expect a lot more.”
This year, Johnson decided to publicly report only the predictions for nations that are expected to win 10 or more medals. “We can all celebrate with the nations not on the list, every time that they win a medal,” he says.

Accuracy rate of Johnson’s predictions for total medals won by a country:
2008 Beijing Summer Games: 93 percent
2006 Torino Winter Games: 93 percent
2004 Athens Summer Games: 94 percent
2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games: 94 percent
2000 Sydney Summer Games: 95 percent

Accuracy rate of Johnson’s predictions for gold medals won by a country:
2008 Beijing Summer Games: 92 percent
2006 Torino Winter Games: 89 percent
2004 Athens Summer Games: 86 percent
2002 Salt Lake City Winter Games: 85 percent
2000 Sydney Summer Games: 84 percent
A complete news release with Johnson’s predictions can be seen at:

Campus Sustainability Council launches online tour

Solar panelsWhen people ask what sustainability measures Colorado College has initiated, do you point with pride to pervious paving? Compliment the composting program? Praise The Preserve? Expound enthusiastically on the environmental mobile lab and energy audits?
Colorado College has a variety of sustainability initiatives in place, and to help increase awareness of them, the Campus Sustainability Council has launched the Campus Sustainability Virtual Tour: Links to the site are posted on CC’s internal and external home pages, as well as the sustainability page.
The online tour is the brainchild of George Eckhardt in facilities services, and Mark Lee and Jen Kulier in the office of communications. All three are members of the Campus Sustainability Council.
“We wanted to promote awareness to the campus community and the larger outside community as to what the various efforts are at CC with regards to sustainability,” Lee said.
“So many things are happening on campus, and we wanted to locate all initiatives in one place,” said Kulier. “Hopefully, the more people learn about it, the more they will get involved.”
The tour, which includes text, photos, video, and maps, has 16 major points of interest, as well as one called “More Sustainability Initiatives.” Among the initiatives featured on the tour are the CC Student Garden, the solar panels on the Edith Gaylord Apartments, the car-sharing program, and water-saving landscaping. The online tour also includes an option for a printable version for those who want one.
The online sustainability tour, which took about three months to create, develop, and post, is aimed at multiple audiences: the campus community, alumni, prospective students, and community members.
“This sustainability tour will be invaluable in communicating to everyone on how the broader college community is contributing to campus sustainability. I learned a lot from going through the tour myself,” Eckhardt said.
The format is similar to the CC historic walking tour ( which was launched in 2008.

Commercial by Char Lee ’09 contender for Super Bowl airing

Check out the Super Bowl Doritos commercial competition.  CC alum and English film track major Char Lee was casting director for a commercial that has made it into the top six of 4,000 entries. Three of the finalists will air during the Super Bowl.  If you’re interested in watching her commercial (and voting for the top three), Google “Crash the Superbowl” or go to the following online link:  Char’s commercial is “CASKET.” Unfortunately, she won’t know if her commercial has been selected until it airs during the game.