Where did you work before CC and what were you doing?
Before I came on board at CC, I was knee deep in a freelance photography career. I produced a lot of work for the Independent, The Denver Post, the Associated Press, Reuters, and several other local and national publications and agencies. Before I entered the world of freelance I was a staff photographer at The Gazette for several years.
Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?
There have been too many for me to count! I was entrusted to cover Hurricane Katrina, the devastating floods and forest fires in Colorado, the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and several presidential visits. It’s been quite a ride. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Honestly, one of my favorite assignments as a newspaper photojournalist was covering CC’s Frozen Four run in 2005. I was given the task of following the team around the country when they made that incredible run. It was tough to watch the Tigers lose to DU in Columbus, Ohio, but what a season that was! It culminated with Marty Sertich winning the Hobey Baker Award the next day. I was right there in the front row when he held up the trophy and looked right into his mother’s eyes. That was an incredible moment to witness and capture with the camera. My proudest achievement in the last year was seeing some of my photographs being picked up by The New York Times and Time magazine. That was a huge honor for me.
What do you bring to this job?
I bring passion. Lots of passion. You’re only as good as your last photograph and there is always room to improve. That’s something someone told me a long time ago and it has stuck with me throughout my career. Every time I snap a photograph I imagine I am trying to catch a big fish. I truly love taking photographs as much as a fisherman loves catching the big one.
Who/what was the biggest influence on your career?
Without a doubt, CC alum Dave Burnett. I saw his work for the first time in my high school photography class and was instantly hooked. At The Gazette I was able to call Bob Jackson a co-worker. Bob took the photograph of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald after President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Many consider that image to be the most important photograph of the 20th century. And I got to work every day with Bob! His presence in our photography department was a huge influence on my career.
What have you noticed about CC?
Everyone seems happy and I see so many smiling faces every day. And you cannot help but notice how hard the students, staff, and faculty work. This has already been reflected in the work I have produced so far.
Tell us a little about your background.
I’m an Air Force brat. My father met my mother here in Colorado Springs in 1966. We trotted around the country and parts of the world throughout my youth. We moved to Colorado Springs in 1982 and my parents swore they would never move again. I went to high school here and then went on to college at CU-Boulder. I met my wife, classically, in the newsroom. We have two kids, a boy and girl. Colorado Springs is my home. We have family roots in Colorado and parts of Northern New Mexico that can be traced back to the original Spanish colonists and Native American tribes. So it’s safe to say I’m rooted here.
What do you like to do when not photographing?
I hardly ever go anywhere without a camera. But naturally, I like to get into the mountains as much as possible. We’re always trying to figure out our next trip to Taos.
Do you have a favorite photo or photographer?
If I had to name a favorite photograph, it would be the image I took after my daughter was born and my wife and son are lying in the bed at the hospital. My son is seen in the photo holding his baby sister for the first time. That image tugs at my heart every time I look at it.
What is your passion?
I am passionate about my family and my children. But when it comes to photography, I am passionate about how powerful a medium it really is. I cannot imagine myself doing anything else other than working with a camera. It’s a major part of my life.
How do you think your photography will benefit CC?
CC now has a staff photographer. This means many, many opportunities to capture the uniqueness of the campus, the students, faculty, and staff, and the overall vibe that makes CC such an amazing place. Everyday something historic to the college takes place. And I have a chance to be right there to document things as they happen. It is such an honor to be a part of it! Colorado College is amazing and there is something beautiful happening every day. I am looking forward to capturing as much of it as I can with my camera and all the passion I bring to the craft.
Wildcard question: Tell us a little about the photo of you above.
I’m in Haiti standing in front of the UN headquarters building, now a pile of rubble after the earthquake. It’s a newsworthy photo because I was following Bill Hybl around Port-Au-Prince when he was there as a diplomat trying to help establish
election systems following the Aristide coup. So it’s got a nice CC tie. And it was a very dangerous time over there. We were always under threat.
An interdepartmental Colorado College annual giving campaign featuring CC students and faculty has received the Gold level award for fundraising programs from the CASE District VI. And that, as the college community would say, “Is so CC.”
In fact, “Giving Back:That’s so CC,” was the title of the campaign, which consisted of print materials, videos, and emails.
Created between the summer and fall of 2012 by Naomi Trujillo, advancement design manager; Arielle Mari ’12, video and digital media specialist; Andrea Pacheco, former director of annual giving; and Ash Mercer ’08, former associate director of annual giving; the campaign was aimed at developing a culture of philanthropy. The four-part series consisted of:
- Service: That’s so CC, featuring drama major Kasi Carter ’11
- Student Support: That’s so CC, featuring French and Francophone Studies major Johnny Reed ’13
- Interdisciplinarity: That’s so CC, featuring psychology major Nora Alami ’13
- Study Abroad: That’s so CC, featuring English Professor Barry Sarchett, Adjunct Associate Comparative Literature Professor Lisa B. Hughes, and economics major Jesse Marble ’08
What made the project particularly fun to work on was the fact that there was so much collaboration, Trujillo said. “I loved the way the pieces came together – the print, emails, and video. Each told a great story and there was awesome video to support the project. I loved seeing the faces of the people we featured, and the video really captured their character, who they are,” she said.
The video was provided by Mari, who said she enjoyed working on the fairly long-term project. “It gives you time to develop a look, a feel. There is a sense of continuity about it. I imagined the people receiving the materials, and I felt I could establish a rapport with them. The project builds on itself and offers a new sense of unity,” she said.
Working with students was a highlight for Trujillo. “It reminded me what I’m at CC for. It’s an amazing place with amazing people,” she said.
Andy Tirado, the 3D arts supervisor for the Colorado College art department, has sculptured a series of massive hands using a very appropriate CC material – reclaimed redwood from the deck outside the studios at Packard Hall, which houses the art department.
Tirado provides tech support for the art department, supervises the sculpture shop, and teaches a spring woodworking adjunct class. He also will be teaching sculpture at the Anderson Ranch in Snowmass this summer.
The four sculptures, all of which depict right hands (Tirado is left-handed; he uses his right hand as a model) are enormous – one is 13 feet long and weighs more than 300 pounds – and take up nearly all the space in Coburn Gallery, where they have been on exhibit. However, the huge hands, constructed from redwood, alder, and steel, all materials Tirado scrounged for, will soon be moved to make way for a new exhibit.
A Palmer High School graduate and an art major at University of Colorado—Colorado Springs, he started out building wood strip canoes. Later, he designed and built custom marketing-related props for clients such as Burton and Frito-Lay, before joining Colorado College in October 2005. The move allowed him to transition from building custom pieces and to enjoying the freedom that comes with making one’s own art. Taking the job at CC, he says, “was like walking into the perfect position. Like it was handcrafted – no pun intended.”
When Tirado embarked on the first piece in the hand series two years ago, he envisioned a large hand contoured as a chair. However, it evolved into something else entirely. “It’s fun not knowing where it will end up. With client work, you know exactly how it will end up. There’s not the same creativity and sense of freedom I have now,” he says.
Sections of the hands are little paintings and abstractions in themselves, coming together to form the much bigger piece. Each finger is individually carved from a larger piece of wood with various sizes of forstner bits, he says. One satisfying element of his work: “Responding to how the work is responding to your touch,” he says. Occasionally a piece will fall or a part will break off. “I don’t try to put it back; I leave some clues rather than hide all the evidence of a break – I think it’s important to allow the work to talk back to you rather than be dictated to.”
His two-car garage has been turned into a studio, and is where he will store the hands for the time being, while also working on another series of hands crafted from steel bands. See more photos of Tirado’s work.
The award is presented every year to a housing professional who currently is working in an associate director, assistant director, area manager/coordinator, or equivalent level at an AIMHO-member school. The award recognizes outstanding efforts and work taking place between the organization’s annually scheduled conferences. Weis was presented the award earlier this month at the annual AIMHO conference in Las Vegas.
The nomination on behalf of Weis notes that his job during the last year entailed a variety of additional duties, such as:
- Being the key point person for the $14 million Slocum Hall renovation project
- Providing leadership for revamping the off-campus application and education process
- Supporting on-campus housing efforts for those affected by the area wildfires
- Helping to manage residential facilities during highly unusual levels of flooding in the region
- Providing guidance to fraternities
- Opening a second Synergy sustainability living house
- Completing renovations of several student apartments
Weis’s regular workload did not diminish while he took on the other responsibilities. The nomination notes that he continues to be second in charge for his department, working with residential life, conferences, operations, room assignments, and facilities. In submitting his nomination, the residential life staff wrote that “Justin works hard to make sure our department functions at a high level and is innovative year round. We are lucky and thankful to have him as part of our team. He is genuine, seeks to help people, and sees the important role that facilities and relationships play in the learning for students.” This year marks Weis’s 10th year at Colorado College.
Chris Coulter, director of facilities services, recently was inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame. Just over a quarter of a century ago, Coulter played on the 1986-87 State Champion Rampart High School basketball team that went undefeated, 24-0, to win the state title.
The team achieved the impossible: perfection. The Rampart boy’s team chalked up a remarkable 24-0 record, beating Thompson Valley, 42-38 in the state 3A championship game. The Rampart team won their games by an average of 17 points and earned a team grade point average of 3.14, showing their prowess on and off the court. In Coulter’s two years playing with the state champion team, the team posted a 46-2 record.
Coulter is currently a varsity coach in the Pine Creek High School boy’s football program. They have a 10-2 record and are playing in the 4A state semifinals against Monarch High School this weekend.
Coulter enjoys coaching youth sports, especially football and basketball, and has been coaching the same group of eighth-graders since they were in the third grade.
Versen, who started at CC on Oct. 1, 2012, will receive the award at the CASE conference in Kansas City. He was nominated by his former supervisor at Dickinson State University, in Dickinson, N.D., where Versen worked prior to coming to Colorado College.
A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Versen graduated from Dickinson State University in 2009 with a BS in business administration and a minor in marketing. He received his AS degree at McCook Community College in 2007 and played collegiate basketball at both MCC and DSU, where he was named team captain three of the four years. Upon graduating, he worked for Dickinson State University’s Entrepreneurial Center, and in 2010 he joined the Dickinson State University Alumni and Foundation where he spent two and a half years as the assistant director of alumni and donor relations.
The Rising Star Award recognizes individuals working in the advancement fields of alumni relations, communications and marketing, and philanthropy. Individuals nominated must have been in the advancement profession for three to seven years and have served as a volunteer for CASE for a minimum of two years. Additionally, the nominee must have demonstrated a consistently high level of professional achievement and strong leadership qualities.
The nominee also should be actively involved in the advancement of CASE, offering new ideas which can make a positive impact, and demonstrating a commitment to participate in areas of responsibility with CASE in the future.
Members of the CC’s Registrar’s Office celebrate Halloween in style! Shown here are, front row, Candace Santa Maria; second row, Karen Britton, Donna Engle, Christine Brett, and Cecelia Vigil; and back row, Phil Apodaca. They received third place in the Halloween costume contest held in Bemis Hall. Photo courtesy Rita Zook.
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.