Five student teams are preparing to battle it out at CC’s annual Big Idea pitch competition Tuesday, April 5. Teams will present compelling pitches for their ideas to a distinguished panel of judges and at the end of the event, the judges award a monetary prize, $50,000, to the winning team(s), providing seed money for launching the students’ ideas. The competition supports CC’s strategic initiative to provide resources, structure, and encouragement to students and faculty as they investigate social and environmental challenges, understand the context in which they exist, identify sustainable solutions, and put them into action. Presented by Innovation@CC and Mountain Chalet, the competition takes place 4-6 p.m. in Celeste Theatre. Come out and see who wins, plus CC students in attendance can win prize drawings. Learn about this year’s competitors: I-Vest Colorado, Lion of the Sea, Neonic, Pick Up, and Spindle.
The five teams competing at the event are:
I-Vest Colorado: I-Vest Colorado is an online crowdfunding platform that serves as an intermediary between local non-accredited investors and local startup companies.
King of the Sea: Lion of the Sea seeks to grow a regular market for consumption of a tasty, exotic seafood: Lionfish. Lion of the Sea will connect with fishing operations in the Caribbean and West Atlantic to harvest Lionfish and thereby reduce the negative impact Lionfish have on aquatic ecosystems.
Neonic: By creating an interactive way in which concert-goers can become part of the performance, Neonic uses people’s smartphones to create a unique crowd-sized canvas of art.
Pick Up: Pick Up is a cloud platform that helps colleges and their students improve the intramural sports experience.
Spindle: Using neurotechnology, Spindle is creating a ‘smart mask’ to improve memory retention and enhance the function of the brain.
By Montana Bass ’18
Kathryn Mohrman Theatre will be completely packed with students Wednesday evening, predicts Kristi Erdal, psychology professor, as they anxious await Kay Redfield Jamison’s delivery of the annual Sabine Distinguished Lecture in Psychology.
Jamison is the author of the bestselling memoir “An Unquiet Mind,” which details her personal struggle with bipolar disorder. She is also Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders, Professor of Psychiatry at John Hopkins School of Medicine, and a “Hero of Medicine” according to TIME magazine, Her lecture Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m., “Touched With Fire: Mood Disorders, The Arts, and Creativity,” should be especially interesting to CC’s creatively charged campus.
Mood disorders, which Jamison describes as “devastating illness with high suicide rates,” are particularly relevant to college students as onset typically occurs at college age. It is for this reason, Jamison says, that she made a commitment relatively early in her career to spend as much time as possible on college campuses and at medical schools talking to students. “When ‘An Unquiet Mind’ came out, I asked my publisher if I could gear my appearances more toward students,” she says, “I really enjoy talking to them. They tend to be very interested in subjects related to mood disorders and creativity.”
It was not until she began teaching at UCLA that Jamison herself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “Before I became ill, my interests ranged all over the place,” she says, “I studied animal behavior, pain, and a host of subjects before I turned my focus to mania.” Despite her disorder, Jamison’s passion led her to make incredible contributions to both science and literature.
“She was a professor at a time when not many women were accepted into the field of psychiatry and has done it all while struggling with a severe mental illness,” says Erdal. “For years, students have been talking to me about their interest in her research and her ability to communicate. Once I read her work, I could see why they were so moved by it. She doesn’t hold back or paint mental illness in any sort of broad strokes.”
Despite the fact that Jamison’s works have received a multitude of praise and provided profound hope and insight for many readers, she admits that English was never part of her academic studies. “I always read a lot. At some point, I just started writing more,” she explains. “It’s more about loving literature. Writing is just so intrinsically fascinating and rewarding.”
According to Erdal, in Jamison’s case, beautiful writing translates to beautiful speaking. “I know that she is a tremendous speaker, very straightforward,” Erdal says “I think she can peel away a lot in just an hour because of the legitimacy of what she’s saying. Students will gain a deeper understanding not just of the connection between mood disorders and creativity, but of the nature of these diseases.”
With the start of 2016, the Sexual Assault Response Program welcomed a new leader: Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (SARC), Maria Mendez.
Mendez has been working since January 4, the beginning of Half-Block. “Aready, I have come to admire and be inspired by students on campus and the drive and passion they have in all facets of life,” says Mendez.
The SARC’s two main roles are support and prevention. She is a confidential resource that survivors, no matter the perceived severity of the violence, can use to work through all forms of dating and sexual violence in whatever capacity they choose.
Mendez’s previous work is mainly in prevention. Before coming to CC, she worked for a domestic violence and rape crisis center in her home state, California. There she worked in grant writing and eventually transitioned to working to develop programming intended to educate on and prevent sexual violence.
In recent years, Mendez says, media coverage of and White House focus on the high rate of sexual assault of women on campuses shifted the focus in sexual assault work to college communities. At the crisis center, Mendez became more involved with the local college. “It sparked interest for me to work on a college campus,” says Mendez. “When the opportunity here at CC came up, I jumped on it.”
CC in particular appealed to Mendez because of the history of the SARC program. “I loved how CC was talking about the issue and how the program had been around since 2004,” she says. “It was very encouraging for me.”
The program has seen transitions recently. When Tara Misra, SARC from 2013-2015, left the position, it created a temporary vacancy. Last semester Gail Murphy-Geiss, the Title IX coordinator, and Heather Horton, director of the Wellness Resource Center, acted as interim SARCs in the absence of a full-time employee.
The White House Sexual Misconduct Climate Survey that Murphy-Geiss conducted last April indicated that sexual assault is an ongoing problem at CC, in line with the national average on campuses, and that many survivors do not file complaints. Murphy-Geiss wrote in the conclusion of the study that “creative programs and ongoing dialogues must continue to be at the center of prevention and response efforts.”
In fact, reduction of sexual assault on campus is one of Mendez’s goals. “Moving forward, I hope that because of the prevention efforts from several offices around campus, including the SARC, and the community,” she says, “my support role will no longer have to be my primary function.”
By Montana Bass ’18
Retirement, investing, and budgeting were topics of discussion for about 40 students during the break between Blocks 5 and 6. The Bridge Scholars Program provided an alternative break program focused on financial literacy titled “Work Hard to Play Hard: A Unique Spin on Financial Literacy” consisting of an on-campus session and a daytrip to Denver.
Prentiss Dantzler, current Riley Scholar and sociology professor who helped lead the workshop, says it was a great success. “The most important point for students to take away is that actions performed today have an impact on their lives long-term. Whether it’s attending CC or swiping their credit card to pay for miscellaneous items, what we do today has an effect on our position tomorrow.”
Atiya Harvey ’18 attended the workshop and says she was pleasantly surprised by the amount she learned. “It was much more beneficial than I thought it was going to be,” she admits. “We discussed what financial literacy means to us and talked about our own financial goals.” Students traveled to Denver for a career-focused component of the workshop, visiting with professionals, including CC graduates, from a variety of companies to talk about career choice and opportunities.
Ultimately, Harvey says she came away with encouragement to pursue her dreams, and with practical information like how to choose a credit card and how to deal with debt. “I also talked with with an environmental education paraprof who talked to me about my options after CC, which I really appreciate,” she adds.
Dantzler says this type of programming addresses a disconnect between the financial burden often placed on students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and their education regarding financial topics.
Emily Chan, associate dean of academic programs and strategic initiatives, says programming like this is critical to students’ success at CC and beyond. “These are not students of great means, so for them to be responsible for their own finances can be very stressful,” Chan says. “They suddenly have a lot more goals and a lot more financial independence. We know that we need to offer them tools and give them places to learn.
By Montana Bass ’18
Through a partnership between EnAct and the Palmer Land Trust, CC collectively raised over $2,900 to support land conservation as part of Colorado Springs Independent’s annual Give Campaign.
Sierra Melton ’18 and Laurel Sebastian ’16 spearheaded fundraising efforts on behalf of EnAct, CC’s club dedicated to environmental activism. Melton, a new co-chair this year, had heard of PIFP fellows working on fundraising for the Palmer Land Trust in past years, and reached out to expand efforts. “It was really driven by her,” Erica Oakley-Courage, development director for Palmer Land Trust, says of Melton. “It was really cool to see her and Laurel come to us with ideas and follow through. I could see their excitement and desire to push this issue.”
Together, the three came up with different methods to gain participation from CC students. As a club, EnAct conducted multiple outreach events, asking for donations from students. “We set up informational tables to collect donations almost every day during third and fourth block,” Melton says. They also threw a festival in November, complete with student bands and plenty of food. The State of the Rockies Project joined the fundraising push as well, providing posters featuring photography by the Geology Department’s Steve Weaver for any students who donated more than $10 Additionally, students who donated more than $20 received a hat from Palmer Land Trust.
The funds raised by the campus community surpass the $2,000 needed to steward a property through Palmer Land Trust for a year. Because of CC students’ participation, Palmer Land Trust came in fifth place out of 88 nonprofits in the Youth Involvement competition. “It was totally a shock to us,” Oakley-Courage admitted. “We generally don’t have a lot of young donors. I was sitting at the fundraiser when we found out we won and a couple of trustees were behind me. I could hear them saying, ‘What? We really won?!’”
Going forward, this campaign can continue to be a source of environmental education and collaboration for the CC community. “I really enjoyed engaging CC students in the local nonprofit sector,” says Sebastian. “I got to explain a lot of these issues and how they relate to land spaces students here use so frequently, like Bear Creek Park and Red Rocks Open Space.”
“I think we could use this idea to collaborate with even more groups on campus,” Melton says. “Land conservation is related to environmental recreation, food, cultural heritage, and so many other issues.
By Monica Black ’19
With chatter on campus about tough issues growing to a dull roar, a student-led forum for sharing stories allows individuals to share their experiences in a way that cuts through all the noise. At Story Slam, students and faculty tell their stories in front of a microphone in Sacred Grounds, where a crowd gathers to listen and support.
Students, faculty members, and staff audition stories, then the directors of Story Slam, Lena Engelstein ’16, Abby Portman ’16, and Madi Howard ’16, select their favorites and curate the show accordingly. Each block has a theme and the stories must fit, more or less, within that theme. Past examples include “Lost and Found” and “Borderline.”
“I’m attached to the stories being on the theme,” said Engelstein. “But we also look for a story with an arc.”
Portman added, “I look for what you would come away with after the story.” The stories, beyond these criteria, range hugely: some are funny, some are moving.
Engelstein, Portman, and Howard started Story Slam during Block 3 as the continuation of a prototype version last academic year. The Slam is modeled after the popular storytelling radio show “The Moth,” which is a recorded version of a live story slam.
Listeners love “The Moth” for its unique format, funny and moving stories, and celebrity appearances, but Story Slam emphasizes that this type of platform on a college campus has a particular role. “People that you see around campus, but who you don’t necessarily know, are telling really relatable stories,” said Engelstein. “Your image of that person changes [when you hear their story].”
One such example of breaking down those day-to-day barriers is when Kathy Giuffre, an associate professor and chair of the Sociology Department, told a love story at one Story Slam. “She was just as nervous as the students to tell her story,” said Portman. “She was hugging everyone who was about to tell a story too, and there was this nervous excitement. She’s just like another human who has a story. It’s not really about her position at CC, or how distinguished she is.”
The Slam can also air difficult topics, right out of the mouths of those who experience them. “We had two stories last slam about sexual assault,” said Portman. “There are lots of voices on campus talking about those issues through other media, but I thought it was really interesting that they could tell their own story.”
Story Slam happens the third Sunday of each block in Sacred Grounds, so for Block 6 you can catch Story Slam this Sunday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. The theme is “Stranger.” Auditions are the first week of every block, and Block 7’s theme is “Crush.”
Carolyn Finney, author of “Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors,” will bring her expertise to the Colorado College campus March 3. Finney is currently a geography faculty member at the University of Kentucky.
In a time when racial tension has exploded on college campuses across the country, including CC, and environmental discussion is at the forefront of political and social debate, Finney facilitates conversations regarding the intersectionality of these topics. “We have a long history of marginalizing people, and the environment is included in that,” Finney says. “It doesn’t mean that black or brown people haven’t had a relationship with the environment, but that relationship differs depending on their unique experience and history. We have developed a culture that pushes a universal way of looking at things, and that classic narrative isn’t a bad thing, but it’s not truly universal.”
It’s thanks to Drew Cavin, director of the Office of Field Study, that students will have the opportunity to discuss such topics with Finney. “I had a strong hunch that a large portion of the missing sense of inclusivity at CC was due to the ethos around nature, outdoor adventure, and the environment. I know from my research that these things do not resonate equally with all people for a variety of different reasons, but largely, I think, because of our country’s past and present of systemic racism, and the cultural paths that have emerged in different communities because of those systems,” says Cavin of his push to bring Finney to CC.
Both Cavin and Finney are excited about her visit to campus, and hope students will be, too. “As soon as I start talking about it I’m pacing back and forth,” she exclaims. “I love hearing about what people are experiencing.”
Find full event information at: “Black Faces, White Spaces.”
Esther Chan ’16 is sharing an inspiring message of struggle and empowerment. For her thesis project, she spent months gathering video footage and conducting interviews. Now, through a multimedia presentation, she will highlight the lives of three young people in Colorado Springs who overcame adversity to incite change in their community.
Chan’s thesis project is a culmination of an innovative, independently designed major – visual media, and social change. It follows Miguel Roacho, David Atencio, and Danielle Atencio in their daily lives, focusing on their work at Meadows Park Community Center. The thesis event will take place Friday, March 4, from 4-8 p.m. at Cottonwood Center for the Arts, 427 East Colorado Ave., in Colorado Springs.
The three individuals featured in Chan’s film all grew up with MPCC as a major influence in their lives. “It has always been their safe space and home and where they’ve found comfort,” says Chan. “Their story is of growing up in low-income Colorado Springs. It has a lot of violence, struggle, and drug use. It’s defined by the strength to break the cycle and make Colorado Springs better.” MPCC’s main goal is to empower youth to overcome the adversity they face, and have a successful and functional adult life. “Brian Kates ’93, the MPCC director, calls it organized chaos,” adds Chan, laughing. “Kids just get to run around and play.”
Chan volunteered at MPCC during her sophomore year as part of a youth empowerment class. Later, as she thought about her thesis, the lasting impression MCPP left on her sparked an idea. “I wanted to use a sociological research method called ‘photovoice,’ where you give cameras to kids in the community, then base the research on the videos,” she explains.
Filming began in September and Chan has continued once or twice a week ever since, gaining over four months of footage for her final documentary. “I just told them, ‘whenever you’re doing something, let me know,’ [so I could document it]. Mostly, I’m at MPCC where they work and hang with the kids,” says Chan. “They’ve totally let me into their lives and shared special moments with me.”
Shuttles to Cottonwood Center for the Arts will leave from the south side of Worner Campus Center continuously between 4-8 p.m. on Friday, March 4. There, attendees can watch the short documentary, view a gallery of photos from MPCC children, catch live music from student band Ominous Animals, and enjoy food provided by Mobile Meals.
From the rooms of Packard Performance Hall, Susan Grace, artist-in-residence and lecturer in music, is making waves. At CC, she’s known as Susan, director of the Summer Music Festival and talented professor of piano. Recently, though, she’s been receiving recognition for her work outside of the school as well. The London Sunday Times recently named her as a contributor to one of the top ten contemporary recordings of 2016 for her recording “Stefan Wolpe – Music for Violin and Piano,” and that’s just one in a long line of acknowledgments. To name a few formidable awards, she was nominated for a Grammy in 2005 and received the Spirit of the Springs award in 2014.
Grace, a pianist, has led a diverse career: she performs collaborative music, chamber music, in duos, and concertos. “I’m not stuck to one thing,” says Grace. While she loves the variety her career offers her, she acknowledges that it can be overwhelming. “I do a lot of recording,” she says. “It can be challenging to balance [my career and my teaching], but most of my students are pretty advanced and work hard.”
Grace is a mainstay in the CC Music Department. Beyond teaching classes, she directs the Summer Music Festival, an annual event that attracts advanced music students and faculty from all across the nation to participate in a month-long workshop. “I feel really fortunate to be a part of the community here,” Grace says. “The faculty development and possibilities are great.”
Her most recent accolade for the Stefan Wolpe was the fruit of a recording done in Packard Hall for Bridge Records. Her co-musicians on the recording were renowned violinists Movses Pogossian and Varty Manouelian. Her recording company had asked her to record Wolpe. “I had never even heard of Wolpe,” said Grace, “but I found the music really interesting.”
In addition to another Wolpe piece, she continues work with her piano duo, Quattro Mani. Grace is also preparing for an August recording of “Poul Ruders for Harpsichord and Piano,” a performance at famous venue National Sawdust in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a Quattro Mani performance at Bargemusic, also in Brooklyn.
By Montana Bass ’18
Part of the Cornerstone Arts Initiative, a 13-year-old program that emphasizes collaborative, interdisciplinary arts teaching linked by current and developing technologies, Cornerstone Arts Week is a series of talks, screenings, performances, and exhibits that celebrates artistic collaboration around an annual theme. The theme for 2016 is “Where Is Hollywood?” The week provides a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary events that address conceptions of Hollywood as a “cultural factory,” as a metaphor/mythology, and as a physical space.
Cornerstone Arts Week is sponsored by the Film and Media Studies Program, the Cultural Attractions Fund, the NEH Professorship, Innovation@CC, the IDEA Space, the History Department, the Economics Department, the English Department, Student Life, The Butler Center, the Office of Residential Life and Campus Activities, the Career Center, and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Institute.
MONDAY, Feb. 22
4:30 p.m. Coburn Gallery: Reception and Artist Talks. “Staged: Constructed Realities, Altered Worlds.”
Exhibit runs January 29-March 5, 2016
“Staged” explores the ways in which photographers — like filmmakers or authors — can create new worlds, construct different realities, or narrate alternative histories. Building carefully imagined scenes, the photographers featured in the exhibition variously take on the roles of director, stage and costume designer, make-up artist, and occasionally, of performer. Featured artists: Bill Adams, Carol Dass, Carol Golemboski, Heather Oelklaus, Emma Powell, and Sally Stockhold.
6:30 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: Screening and discussion: “The Last Picture Show” (1971), dir. Peter Bogdanovich. This classic of the “New Hollywood,” the second golden age of Hollywood cinema, won two Academy Awards and is preserved in the Library of Congress. Post-film discussion will be led by CC faculty.
TUESDAY, Feb. 23
4 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: “Directed by John Ford” (1971-2006), dir. Peter Bogdanovich. This documentary examines the life and work of Hollywood Golden Age artist John Ford.
6:30 p.m. Celeste Theatre: Keynote Address with Peter Bogdanovich – “Where is Hollywood?”
This event will be live-streamed.
The keynote speaker for 2016 is director, actor, and film historian Peter Bogdanovich. As the Oscar-nominated director of celebrated films including “The Last Picture Show” (1971), “What’s Up, Doc?” (1972), and “Paper Moon” (1973), Bogdanovich was a key figure in the 1970s American cinema renaissance known as the New Hollywood. His most recent film, “She’s Funny That Way” (2015), stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson and premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. Bogdanovich has written more than 12 books on film and filmmaking, among them “Who the Devil Made It” (1997), which features interviews with 16 legendary directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, George Cukor, and Howard Hawks; with Orson Welles, “This is Orson Welles” (1998), and his classic interview book “John Ford,” which has been continuously in print since its first edition in 1967. He is a frequent commentator for the Criterion Collection and other DVD releases. As an actor, Bogdanovich is perhaps best known for his recurring role as the “shrink” for Lorraine Bracco’s psychiatrist character, Dr. Melfi, on HBO’s groundbreaking series “The Sopranos.”
Bogdanovich’s talk will draw on his close relationships with many classical Hollywood auteurs, including John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, and Orson Welles, whose legendary unfinished film, “The Other Side of the Wind,” Bogdanovich is currently completing. He will also discuss his thoughts about the current state of Hollywood cinema.
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24
3:30 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: Faculty Panel. “Fault Lines: Social History, Culture, and Geography of Hollywood”
In this presentation, an interdisciplinary panel of CC faculty examines the landscape, culture, and social history of Hollywood/Los Angeles.
6:30 p.m. Celeste Theatre: Cari Beauchamp and Sone Quartet – “Without Lying Down: The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood”
Film historian Cari Beauchamp is the author of numerous books about Hollywood, including “Without Lying Down: Frances Marion; The Powerful Women of Early Hollywood;” and “Joseph P. Kennedy Presents: His Hollywood Years.” Her books have been selected for “Best of the Year” lists by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and Amazon.com. Beauchamp was nominated for a Writers Guild Award for the documentary film “Without Lying Down: The Power of Women in Early Hollywood,” which she wrote and co-produced for Turner Classic Movies. She has twice been named the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Scholar and is resident scholar of the Mary Pickford Foundation. Beauchamp’s talk will include screenings of several early Hollywood short silent films directed by, written by, and starring women. Acclaimed Denver quartet Sone will improvise live musical scores to accompany the films.
THURSDAY, Feb. 25
5 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: F.W. Gooding and Faculty Panel – “Diversity and Representation in Hollywood”
One “space,” broadly speaking, rare in Hollywood is one that includes diverse roles for and positive representation of people of color and members of marginalized communities – not to mention jobs for same. This presentation by scholar F.W. Gooding, assistant professor of ethnic studies at Northern Arizona University and author of “You Mean There’s Race in My Movie?: The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood,” critiques matters of diversity and representation in Hollywood cinema and will include a panel discussion with CC faculty.
7:30 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: Ted Miller – “Economics of Hollywood Television”
Ted Miller ’86 is a partner and co-head of television at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), a worldwide talent and literary agency based in Los Angeles. Miller represents many of the world’s leading television producers, writers, directors, and showrunners, including Noah Hawley (“Fargo”), Alex Kurtzman (“Star Trek,” “Hawaii 5-0,” “Scorpion,” “Limitless”) Damon Lindelof (creator of “Lost” and “The Leftovers”), Clyde Phillips (executive producer of “Dexter” and “Nurse Jackie”), Matthew Weiner (creator of “Mad Men”), and Marc Webb (director and executive producer of “Limitless” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”). Prior to CAA, Miller was an investment banker in New York. Miller will discuss the evolution of television, the creative renaissance in television series and argue that the “where” of Hollywood has moved to the small-ish screen.
FRIDAY, Feb. 26
1 p.m. Cornerstone Screening Room: Andrew Goldstein and Robyn Tong Gray – “Empathy, Entrepreneurship, and Virtual Worldmaking”
Andrew Goldstein ’09 and Robyn Tong Gray are co-founders of Otherworld Interactive, one of the most highly sought virtual reality development studios in the growing industry. Their projects, such as “Spacewalk” and “Café Âme,” have been featured at festivals and conferences throughout the country, from the Game Developers Conference to the Interactive Playground at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Innovation Week. Their project “Sisters” was accepted to the New Frontiers section of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Goldstein will discuss virtual worldmaking – specifically, the emergence of virtual and alternate reality technologies and their potential impact on the Hollywood entertainment industry – and Gray will discuss the role of empathy in designing interactive stories.
After the talk, participants will be able to view Otherworld’s mobile virtual reality apps and experience their Sundance-selected project, “Sisters,” in Cornerstone Studio B.