Get to Know Two New Faces at The Butler Center

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

This semester, the Butler Center welcomed new members to its staff: Tre Wentling, gender and identity development specialist, and Michelle Stallings, administrative assistant. Both Wentling and Stallings took the time to answer a few questions to help you get to know them and why they’re excited to be a part of the campus community.

Michelle Ann StallingsMichelle Ann Stallings

What were you doing before arriving at CC?I earned a BA in history and an MA in educational leadership with an emphasis in student affairs in higher education from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. During my undergraduate studies, I was heavily involved with various multicultural student organizations including the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union, Native American Student Union, Spectrum: The Gay-Straight Alliance, and Student Diversity Council.

 

What are some personal or professional experiences you’ve had either at CC or outside of it that play into your current role?
Personally, being a student leader, specifically within multicultural student organizations, has helped me to realize the significance of actively participating in the campus community. Professionally, each of the positions I held in higher education helped me learn to work with a variety of students, each with their own story and background.

 

What was the biggest influence on your career path?
Strangely enough, working at a for-profit institution inspired me to work in higher education. I was immersed in a culture that viewed each student as a dollar amount rather than respecting each person as an individual with their own background and journey into college life. Rather than trying to keep the status quo, I was inspired to make each conversation meaningful and focused on the student’s needs.

What have you noticed about CC?
I have noticed that CC is extremely friendly. Titles have less meaning because each and every professional staff and faculty member I have meet really cares about each student they meet.

When she’s not working, you might find Stallings watching movies with her husband and dogs, reading, and traveling. Stop by the Butler Center on the second floor of Worner Campus Center, or email michelle.stallings@coloradocollege.edu.


Tre WentlingTre Wentling

What is your position and how do you think it will impact CC?
The gender and identity development specialist position supports students’ identity development with an emphasis on gender and sexuality. My position also contributes to the campus community in ways that promote learning, discovery, scholarship, and social justice. The transformative possibilities of this position include the opportunity to join the work already underway at CC as well as expand practices that honor the complex lives of CC students, staff, and faculty who diversely embody trans, gender nonconforming, queer, bisexual, lesbian, gay, and asexual identities and experiences.

 

What were you doing before you arrived at CC?
I am a first-generation college graduate, with a military-dependent history. I was born on a U.S. Air Force installation in Germany and by my 18th birthday had lived in three German states and three American states. Growing up, I attended different school systems: U.S. Department of Defense schools, public schools in the U.S., and a private international school, which made evident how uneven educational systems are, including the dominant values and organizing practices within them. So much moving also taught me about community, culture, and belonging and was likely the impetus of my intellectual journey in sociology. I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in sociology. I completed my Ph. D in sociology and a certificate of advanced studies in women’s and gender studies at Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. My research concerns how individuals with diverse, transgender embodied identities navigate incoherent U.S. policies that regulate identification documents produced at different governing scales.

What are some personal or professional experiences you’ve had either at CC or outside of it that play into your current role?
My journey to becoming more of my authentic self – a white queer transman with intentional commitments to social justice — involved multiple, transformative experiences; much of that assemblage manifested during my undergraduate study. My connections to campus, community, and curriculum, or the three C’s as I call them, necessarily included university staff, faculty, and community members. Uniquely positioned on- and off-campus, a diverse constellation of mentors supported my identity development. They acknowledged my personhood; gave me space to wrestle with tensions and contradictions in my own life as well as our socio-political worlds; listened carefully and offered constructive insights; presented leadership opportunities that were productive and empowering; advocated on my behalf; and over time, some became allied-comrades and friends. The three C’s inform my commitment to students and efforts to offer support, advocate when invited, recommend and discuss critical scholarship, encourage self-reflection, and propose empowering leadership opportunities.

 Something you might be surprised to know? Wentling used to compete in country-and-western partner dancing. Stop by the Butler Center to meet Wentling in person, or email tre.wentling@oloradocollege.edu.

The Big Idea is Coming

Big Idea 2016

The annual Big Idea pitch competition highlights innovation and entrepreneurship at CC, providing $50,000 in seed money for winning ideas. It’s coming up Wednesday, Feb. 22.

This year, 17 teams registered for the competition, representing a broad spectrum of ideas and ventures; that pool has now narrowed to seven. After presenting to a panel of community members this week, five teams will be selected to compete in the final round.

“The process of thinking through the idea, how to articulate it, and how to execute it is a really valuable process for students,” says Dez Menendez ’02, director of Innovation at CC. “And it’s great to see students interacting with the community and working together, and watching how they build strong, diverse teams to balance one another’s strengths and weaknesses.”

Patrick Bultema is overseeing the pitch competition for the fourth time this year, providing leadership and guidance as students refine their ideas from initial concepts to a thoughtful, comprehensive pitch presentation.

It’s the first year that female-led teams have made it into the final rounds, which Menendez says is also exciting for the Big Idea program. “Patrick has built a really successful program and I’m looking forward to carrying it forward,” she says.

The 2017 Big Idea judging panel includes Trustee Bob Selig ’61, Meriwether Hardie ’09, Trustee Kishen Mangat ’96, Susan Smith Kuczmarski ’73, and Richard Koo ’82. The fifth annual Big Idea competition is Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Celeste Theatre.

Thirty Minutes to Tech Savvy

Want to expand your tech skills or learn something new? Do you have 30 minutes? Participate in an upcoming Tech Tuesday session, a program initiated by Weston Taylor, instructional technologist for emerging technologies, in 2011. The presentation/demonstration series covers various technical topics designed to help students, faculty, and staff accomplish tasks effectively and efficiently. It is held every Tuesday of the block, from 3-3:30 p.m. in the WES Room in Worner Campus Center. Members of the CC community cover a range of topics, each within a 30-minute session.

During Block 5, Tech Tuesday participants learned about “Talking to Your Computer,” and how to research and write using Pomodoro, Zotero, and Scrivener programs. The final Block 5 Tech Tuesday, Feb. 14, features Social Explorer, one of the library’s newest subscription databases that uses demographic and statistical data to create customized GIS maps. It includes a built-in “Tell a Story Studio” that allows users to create presentations with their maps.

Here’s what’s coming up in Block 6:

Feb. 21 Create your own Augmented Reality

Did you know we’re living in the future? Now you, too, can easily create your own augmented reality, for fun and education. Using the same technology as companies such as Disney, Argos, and Best Western, you can create cool augmented reality experiences and share them with others; experience examples and make your own.

Feb. 28 Get a Preview of Canva for Work! (rescheduled from Feb. 7)

Canva for Work is a new web tool that provides templates for print and promotional materials. It is a drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create wonderful designs easily (even if you have no design experience). The inaugural Canva for Work Tech Tuesday will cover basic use of the interface, reviewing CC identity guidelines, and creating a unique poster using pre-formatted templates.

March 7 iPads: Not for Academic Lightweights Anymore

CC’s distinguished professors will share the innovative ways they are using iPads in their classrooms, demonstrating academic and pedagogical approaches, as well as various applications and iPad management techniques they use with students.
March 14 — How Research Guides Can Help Faculty

Librarian Mimi Wheatfield will demonstrate some of the features of the library’s research guides, including embedded multi-media, downloadable documents, web links, and how to find library holdings on a certain topic. Librarians work with faculty to create these subject, class, or general interest guides.

Recyclemania Starts NOW

Recycle mania

By Leah Veldhuisen ’19

With sustainability as one of the college’s strategic priorities, CC is always looking for ways to reduce environmental impact. Each year the college is involved in a competition with other universities to do just that.

The eight-week competition, called Recyclemania, incorporates more than 400 colleges and universities nationwide and keeps tabs on who recycles, composts, and throws away the most.

The program has existed since 2001 and began as a competition between Ohio University and Miami University to motivate students to recycle by way of competition. From Monday, Feb. 6 through Saturday, April 1, CC will participate by measuring the daily weight of waste, compost, and recycling and will post results in Worner Campus Center.

Zoe Holland ’17 works as the zero-waste intern in the Office of Sustainability and is spearheading CC’s participation in Recyclemania for 2017. Holland says she’s excited for Recyclemania because it’s “an awesome opportunity to get students aware of waste reduction initiatives on campus,” and although many CC students are “environmentally conscious, it doesn’t always manifest in our daily habits.”

She says she hopes the competition will be an incentive to remember small, daily tasks, such as using reusable mugs and sorting waste before throwing it out. Holland says the Office of Sustainability hopes to improve upon CC’s competition standings from last year, but also to promote sustainable habits beyond the completion of the competition.

Participating in the competition is easy for students, as they can “simply be conscious of what they throw away and where they do so.” Holland also emphasizes the importance of “paying attention to signage, reading packaging for recycling information, and trying to minimize use of disposable items like coffee cups, to-go ware and other single-use products.” Eco-RAs across campus are also a great source of information for waste management in on-campus housing, Holland says. Supported by the Sustainability Office, the Eco-RA program promotes peer-to-peer education to foster sustainable living practices and all residential areas, including large residence halls, apartments, smaller campus houses and off-campus areas are served by one or more student Eco-RA.

Throughout the competition, the Office of Sustainability will host recycling-themed events. On Thursday, Feb.23, the campus community can participate in a crafting night that will repurpose old books from Tutt Library into storage bins. As a finale to the competition, there will be an art show Thursday, March 30, with student pieces made of recyclable materials. Both events will take place in Perkins Lounge in Worner Campus Center. Anyone interested in getting involved in the show or other sustainability initiatives should contact Holland at zoe.holland@coloradocollege.edu.

Bañagale Composes Music for CC, FAC Production

The alliance between Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is striking a musical chord.

Colorado College Assistant Professor of Music Ryan Bañagale has composed the original score for “Enchanted April,” a production opening Thursday, Feb. 9 at the Fine Arts Center. The romantic comedy, based on the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim, is coming to the FAC for the first time, following 500 critically-acclaimed productions worldwide.

“I think this foreshadows the exciting ways that we can think about collaboration and innovation in the arts as we move forward with the CC and FAC alliance,” Bañagale says.

The music has been scored for a Colorado College student string quartet comprised of Anna Lynn-Palevsky ’18 and Naomi Sherman ’17, violin; Emily Fitzgerald ’20, viola; and Cirl Lee ’17, cello. In addition to the musicians, Max Sarkowsky ’20 and Caleb Cofsky ’17 have been assisting with the recording set-up and process, providing them with exposure to professional-level production techniques and procedures. The students have been recording in Packard Hall with the assistance of the FAC’s sound designer, Ben Heston.

Bañagale notes that there are more than a dozen individual cues, ranging from 10 seconds to several minutes in duration.  Says Bañagale of the score, “The interesting challenge has been how to sonically set the dreary mood of post-World War I London that dominates the first act with the lighter, brighter location of Act Two — a villa on the Italian coast.

An added benefit of the collaboration was the addition of the language skills of Amy Brooks, Tutt Library’s special collections coordinator and regional performing artist. Brooks, who often works as a dialect coach, met with the cast individually and in groups, helping them hone their upper-class British accents. She also coached three non-Italian-speaking actors for a show in which their characters speak fluent Italian. Says Brooks, “I see this alliance as presenting wonderful possibilities for cross-pollination.”

“Working collaboratively with the students, the FAC production team, Amy Brooks, and director Joye Levy has been a truly wonderful experience,” adds Bañagale.

An additional perk of the alliance is that Colorado College students can show up an hour prior to any performance and receive a free ticket (as available) by showing their CC ID.

“Enchanted April” runs Feb. 9-27, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

FAC Selected as Colorado’s Gallery for “Vogel 50×50” Project

Vogel 50X50 Project

Each of the 50 states has received 50 art gifts from the Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection. Since 2008 the “Fifty Works for Fifty States” project has disseminated 2,500 prestigious and valuable works of contemporary art across the country. Would you like to check out a few? The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is the repository institution for the state of Colorado!

“The Fine Arts Center is tremendously honored to have been selected as the Colorado recipient of 50 works from the renowned Vogel Collection, in the company of such prestigious institutions as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Harvard Art Museums, and the New Orleans Museum of Art,” says Joy Armstrong, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “The Vogel Collection gift provided the FAC immediate strength in works by influential Conceptual and Minimal artists of the late 20th century, filling significant gaps in the historical narrative of our holdings. Largely comprised of works on paper, this gift has also added depth and breadth to the FAC’s celebrated history as a center for printmaking and continually expanding collection in this area.”

A feature in The Creators Project titled “Why This Couple Gave Away Their Priceless Art Collection to All 50 States” tells the full love story of Dorothy, a librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, and Herbert Vogel, a postal worker from Harlem, who ended up the unlikely owners of one of the most important art collections in the country.

 

Delaney Bayles ’20 Juggles More Than Just Schoolwork

Delaney Bayles

By Leah Veldhueisen ’19

While you may not consider juggling a competitive activity, for CC student Delaney Bayles ’20, that’s exactly what it is. Bayles is a competitive juggler who participates in events all over the country.

She grew up playing soccer and softball and says she always enjoyed being a competitive athlete, which is partly how she ended up juggling. Although Bayles grew up interested in learning how to juggle, she wasn’t quite sure how to get started. She found her opportunity five years ago: Her uncle was teaching her cousins how to juggle and she joined in. Once she learned the basic skills, Bayles discovered a whole community of jugglers putting on festivals and competitions. Eventually she entered into the competitions herself. In addition to competitions, Bayles participated in “Circus Smirkus,” which is the only youth travel circus in North America.

Now, Bayles continues her competitive juggling and recently placed first in the advanced division of the juggling exhibition put on by the World Juggling Federation in December. Bayles says juggling is a stress reliever and a way to continuously challenge herself, as well as something she can practice completely on her own time. Since coming to CC, Bayles has not found much of a juggling community on campus, but she does attend the weekly juggling club meetings at the Colorado Springs YMCA and practices her juggling regularly at the CC fitness center. In the future, Bayles hopes to maintain juggling as a hobby, and to continue advancing her skills, eventually juggling nine balls and seven clubs at once – it makes some of the juggling required for the Block Plan a little less daunting, right? For now, Bayles has her sights set on a competition put on by International Jugglers’ Association this summer in Iowa. Watch Bayles in action.

 

Wind Storm Recovery

The CC grounds crew is still cleaning up following the wind storm Monday, Jan. 9. The storm had a tremendous impact on the campus landscape, and according to the crew, it’s the most severe that CC has seen since the early 1990s. The Colorado Springs area, including campus, experienced winds equivalent to a category two hurricane. Winds were recorded near the campus in excess of 90 miles per hour. While many campus trees held up well in the severe conditions, 25 trees were either uprooted or snapped at the trunk and the storm damaged the root system of another ten trees. The grounds crew is still working to clean up debris; they’ve removed hazardous trees and the campus arborist, Mike Spruce, is in the process of evaluating the health and root system integrity of all campus trees. View the map below of all trees that had to be removed following the storm. Thank you for your patience and understanding throughout this clean-up process. Contact Josh Ortiz with any questions: josh.ortiz@coloradocollege.edu.

Tree Map

Cate Stetson Shares Post-Inauguration Insight

The U.S. Supreme Court is experiencing an unprecedented moment. With an anticipated vacancy on the bench on Inauguration Day, the stage is set for a historic change to the judicial landscape.

Cate Stetson, co-chair of the appellate practice and partner at Hogan Lovells, will address the current issues before the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential impact of the Trump Administration. Join Stetson for a post-inauguration discussion Wednesday, Jan. 25, 4 p.m. in Celeste TheatreThe event is free, but tickets are required and available at the Worner Desk.

While on campus, Stetson will also connect with political science students. “Having students interact with someone like Stetson brings the material alive,” says Dana Wolfe, assistant professor of political science. “It allows them to consider the real-world consequences of elections and Supreme Court appointments.”

Wolfe says it’s also a timely opportunity to connect course material to the current political climate. “I am excited to have Stetson to campus so that we can consider some of the most important consequences of the election,” she says. “Specifically, it will be wonderful to hear her perspective about the future of the Supreme Court.”

Stetson handles high-stakes and complex appeals in federal and state courts across the country. She has argued nearly 75 cases, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, in federal courts of appeals, and in multi-state appellate courts.

Embracing the “Roma Experience”

Vatican Hall of Maps Students 1480

If education is all about breaking boundaries and surpassing limits, studying abroad may be one of the most effective and enjoyable ways to learn, at least according to Davide Bolognesi, former visiting professor of Italian.

“I was particularly impressed by the students,” he says of his time teaching at CC during the Spring 2014 semester. “They all were eager, talented, and curious about Italian culture. We conducted excellent projects together.” Though he’d taught in the U.S. previously, this was his first experience on the Block Plan. Bolognesi says the format lends itself specifically to foreign languages by providing students with an immersive experience, citing the “transformational power of travel.”

Incorporating a variety of projects related to Italy and Italian culture in his Ph.D. work, from educational movie production to travel, led Bolognesi to his current role. He is applying his extensive knowledge of Italian culture to a new venture, working with Roma Experience, an organization that promotes knowledge of Italy, and of Rome in particular, through experiential itineraries designed to provide a cultural context, in-depth information about the history of the visited sites, and powerful storytelling presented by talented guides.

“Roma Experience takes the interaction with Italian culture and its great beauty one step further by offering authentic experiences to curious and eager non-Italians. It feels like a continuation of my teaching because I am providing an introduction to Italy and Italian culture through my work,” he says. From private Vatican tours, to intimate group tours through Rome, to Italian cuisine tours and shore excursions to Rome and Florence for cruise passengers, Bologesi says Roma Experience customizes itineraries to meet the desires of visitors.

Heather Powell Browne, assistant director of off-campus study, had the opportunity to experience Rome firsthand while in Italy visiting CC’s partner study abroad programs. She was able to take additional time to visit some of the lesser-known sites and “hidden gems” of the city by connecting with Bolognesi and Roma Experience.

“It was very cool to have the ‘academic experience’ of learning in-depth cultural and historical information when I was there. I really enjoyed connecting with our former visiting professor Davide, and seeing how he is still sharing his knowledge and passion for Italian history and culture. This art history undergrad learned things I’d never heard on my own study abroad program!”

As he guides visitors – Bolognesi notes that his work with Roma Experience caters to travelers more than tourists – moments of silence can be just as important as the dialogue about various locales. “In a guided tour, people need time to admire and feel in awe, and to stand before incredible art masterpieces that represent some of the greatest achievements of history’s greatest men and women. The experience is something they would never forget. Something that changed them.”

Guiding tours to the less-frequented, though still extraordinary, cultural sites, reminds Bolognesi of his time guiding students through their educational experiences. “When I witness somebody with their eyes wet with tears and mouth opened in awe, it reminds me of my time teaching at CC where I got to see students light up about Dante, Caravaggio, and Italian culture and literature. It is a pleasure to watch them grow excited about all the things we Italians grew up with which have been so important in our lives. These moments reinforce the feeling that I am doing the right thing, and making my time and energy worthwhile.”

Bolognesi is a sincere advocate for inter-cultural and experiential learning – a value from his time at CC that extends to his work with Roma Experience. “There cannot be personal, cultural, or intellectual growth without experience and there is no experience unless we leave our comfort zones,” he says. “We must travel abroad and immerse ourselves in new cultures to evolve. Perhaps this does not come without risk, but I believe it is a greater risk not to try — especially in a globalized world like the one in which we now live.”

Bolognesi welcomes collaboration with members of the CC community traveling or studying abroad.