Dave Armstrong’s one-man show runs through Dec. 20

Dave Armstrong copyBe sure to check out the one-man show featuring collages by Dave Armstrong, CC’s director of information technology services, at The Bridge Gallery in the Depot Arts District, 218 West Colorado Ave. The show runs through Sunday, Dec. 20, and gallery hours are  11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday.

Working Group on Staff Compensation and Classification presents new salary concept

The Working Group on Staff Compensation and Classification, a group formed this year, presented a concept for one part of staff compensation in a Staff Council Hot Topics open session on Dec. 16. The group is seeking staff input on the concept, which would apply a fixed cost of basic goods and services — rather than a percentage – as part of staff salary increases. Working group presenter Chad Schonewill said the concept is aimed at reducing a widening gap between lowest and highest salaries, improving fairness, aligning with the college’s compensation philosophy and core values, and achieving sustainability.

View the PowerPoint presentation, video of the session and Staff Council minutes here.  Staff Council is surveying session attendees to see if there is enough interest in the concept. If there is, the working group will pursue it further, Schonewill said.

Bookstore Advisory Committee recommends outsourcing

The Bookstore Advisory Committee, working since September 2009 on the question of whether the CC bookstore operations should be outsourced or return to a self-operated model, on Dec. 10 presented a  unanimous recommendation to President Celeste and Vice President for Finance and Administration Robert Moore in favor of outsourcing. The committee, which included faculty, staff and students, said: 

“The committee unanimously recommends that the college negotiate an outsource contract with Barnes and Noble or Validis. These two companies appear to be more flexible in their ability to respond to our needs, and more likely to provide a good fit with CC. Follett’s service over the last eighteen months is appreciated and we expect they will work with us in the transition to a new management.”

Read about the goal of a “uniquely Colorado College bookstore,” the committee’s process and its recommendation here. Follett’s support-services agreement is scheduled to continue until late January.

CC receives $2.3 million for unrestricted financial aid

Colorado College has received more than $2.3 million from the James W. Austin Charitable Remainder Unitrust, which will go toward a scholarship fund providing unrestricted financial aid. The donation is the single largest life income gift in the history of Colorado College.
The funds will establish the James W. and Esther Austin Scholarship Fund, in memory of Austin and his wife. James W. Austin graduated in 1929 from Colorado College with a degree in geology.
The gift to fund the Unitrust was originally made in 1993. Austin received monthly payments from his Unitrust until his death in 1997; payments then went to beneficiaries, the last of whom died in August 2009. The remaining principal and interest of the Unitrust will now go to Colorado College to establish the scholarship fund.
Austin was an alumni trustee at Colorado College from 1958-60. He was awarded CC’s Louis Benezet Award in 1991 for outstanding professional achievements.

Two CC students take top prize at microbiology meeting

Nguyen Nguyen and Nicole Laniohan in front of their prize-winning poster.

Nguyen Nguyen and Nicole Laniohan in front of their prize-winning poster.

Colorado College students Nicole Laniohan ’09 and Nguyen Nguyen ’11 took first prize for the best undergraduate poster presentation at the Rocky Mountain Branch meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Laniohan and Nguyen, who worked with CC Associate Biology Professor Phoebe Lostroh, presented a poster on “Effects of Oxidative and Nitrosative Damaging Agents on Vibrio fischeri” in Denver in late November.
Vibrio fischeri are facultative light organ symbionts for specific squids and fishes.  Strains isolated from one host species show adaptation to that host. In future experiments, Lostroh and the students plan to identify genes needed to detoxify various agents in a particular strain.

Susan Grace honored for Summer Music Festival

Susan Grace, lecturer and artist-in-residence with Colorado College’s music department, was honored at the ninth annual Pikes Peak Arts Council Awards for her work as music director of Colorado College’s Summer Music Festival.
Grace, who has served as music director of CC’s Summer Music Festival since 1989, received the “Vision, Courage and Achievement Award” on Sept. 20 at Colorado Springs’ Stargazers Theater. 
In April Grace received a Pikes Peak Arts Council “Force for the Arts” award, which celebrates Colorado Springs community members who contribute to the arts in education. She is a member of the Quattro Mani piano duo and a 2005 Grammy nominee for her work on George Crumb’s “Ancient Voices of Children.”

Mike Taber elected president of Geoscience Teachers Association

Colorado College Education Professor Mike Taber has been elected president of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Taber, who is director of the secondary teaching program and director of the environmental program at CC, will serve as president for a year. He was formally inducted at the Geological Society of America meeting held in Portland, Ore., in mid-October. The National Association of Geoscience Teachers works to raise the quality of and emphasis on teaching the geosciences at all levels.

Anjali Desai and Nguyen Nguyen awarded Gilman Scholarships

Two Colorado College students have been awarded Gilman Scholarships for study abroad. Anjali Desai ’12 will study Spanish in Salamanca, Spain, for six weeks next summer, where she will live with a family. Nguyen Nguyen ’11 will study at the University of Botswana during the spring semester. She will take courses in political science, history, and Setswana, the local language. She also will be working on a yet-to-be-determined independent research project.
The Gilman Scholarship Program offers awards for undergraduate study abroad. The program, established by the International Academic Opportunity Act of 2000, allows undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study-abroad programs worldwide.

Visiting fifth-graders get opportunity to quiz CC students

Henock Yeman, a sophomore from Ethiopia, ponders a question from a visiting fifth-grader.

Henock Yeman, a sophomore from Ethiopia, ponders a question from a visiting fifth-grader.

Approximately 15 fifth-graders from Patrick Henry Elementary School attempted to stump Colorado College students in the Worner Campus Center on Friday, Dec. 11, testing their knowledge of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

The younger students have been studying the history of the documents, their content, and their impact on everyday life. The visit to Colorado College was the culmination of their studies and they weren’t shy about testing the CC students’ knowledge.

“What rights are guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment?” fifth-grader Rafael Hernandez asked Kyle Novak, a senior from Princeton, N.J. Kyle, an English major, answered correctly, but confessed that he hadn’t gotten some earlier questions right. “That’s OK,” Rafael replied, “you did pretty good,” adding Kyle probably earned a B+. “Wow,” Kyle responded, “he sure is an easier grader than Tom Cronin!”

First-year student Maggie Ruble from Portland, Ore., who volunteers with local fourth-graders, said it was fun having the students on campus. She, too, got most, but not all, of the questions right.

The Patrick Henry Elementary School students also met with Political Science Professor Bob Loevy and ate lunch in Rastall Hall. Virginia Vonderweidt, programs assistant for Partnership for Civic Engagement who helped coordinate the visit, said one of the fifth-graders had only taken about 10 steps into the Worner Center when he stopped and said, “I want to go to college,” and pointing at floor, emphatically added, “here.”

Colorado College joined forces with several local service clubs, including the Colorado Springs Sertoma Club and the Academy Optimist Club, for the event.

CC staff, students exhibit wares at Arts and Crafts Fair

A variety of arts and crafts were available for sale.

A variety of arts and crafts were available for sale.

By Greg Collette ’12

If you attended CC’s annual Arts and Crafts Sale earlier this month, you might have come across several familiar faces.

Colorado College’s Worner Campus Center was packed with students and Colorado Springs residents Dec. 4-6, as crowds spent the weekend looking for unique gifts for their loved ones, or themselves, at CC’s annual Arts and Crafts Sale. The sale featured nearly a hundred artists, both professional and CC students and staff. Worner brimmed with thousands of the artists’ handmade wares. There was everything imaginable, from jewelry and pottery to greeting cards and handmade soaps.

Arts and Crafts Program staff members Brenda Houck, Greg Marshall and Jeanne Steiner also sold their homemade products at the fair, with Houck selling jewelry, Marshall selling pottery, and Steiner selling weaving. Several other CC staff members also had spaces at the fair, and it was a great opportunity for them to display their hidden talents. Elizabeth Pudder, service coordinator at the Center for Service and Learning, sold jewelry, LaVerne Garcia, processing preservation specialist at Tutt Library, sold beaded leather, Stephen Weaver, technical director in the geology department, sold his photography, and Lynnette DiRaddo, campus reservations manager at the Worner Campus Center, sold weaving.
The annual sale, which is nearly 30 years old, is an immense undertaking. Almost overnight, Worner Center is transformed into a show room. The entire first floor, with the exception of Rastall Dining Hall, is used, including Gaylord Hall and Benjamin’s. All of downstairs Worner also is used. It takes 15 Facilities Services workers all Friday morning to remove the furniture from Worner and load it into storage rooms and trucks, and all of Sunday night to bring it back in.

From the moment the sale ended on Sunday, planning for the next year begins. Advertising for vendors is a yearlong process, and attracts some of the region’s best artists and craftspeople (the furthest artist this year traveled all the way from Arizona).

While there are many applicants, not all are selected to sell their goods. Sixty spaces are reserved for professional artists; however, more than 100 regional artists apply each year. Each application includes a CD with images of the artists’ crafts. A jury of 15 CC students involved in the Arts and Crafts Program and three staff members view the CD and then select 60 applicants.

Selling alongside the professional artists and CC staff are the CC students. This year, there were 25 CC students who had displays. Many of the students are part of the Arts and Crafts Program and sell their own handcrafted art. Other students sold handmade products to raise money for their activities like BreakOut, a student-run organization that sends CC students and staff on service trips during block and spring breaks. BreakOut sold products from the Women’s Beans Project, a Denver nonprofit that provides job and entrepreneurial skills to women with a history of unemployment, to help raise funds for the BreakOut trips.

Though the annual sale is the Arts and Crafts Program’s only fundraiser, it generates a substantial amount of money. On average, the sale raises close to $6,000 each year after operating costs, and did so again this year. The profit helps provide for many of the Arts and Crafts Program’s simple but necessary expenses, such as upkeep of existing equipment and the purchasing of new equipment for the clay, fiber, and jewelry studios.

There was never a time during this year’s sale when the Worner Center was not filled with people. Even Sunday evening, just before the sale ended, Worner was filled with shoppers trying to find the perfect holiday gift.