Around the Block
Colorado College introduces its new tenure-track faculty. They are:
Helen Daly, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Daly received a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 2011, and holds a B.A. in philosophy and English from the University of Akron. She specializes in metaphysics and the philosophy of language. In her dissertation, “Vagueness and Borderline Cases,” Daly clarifies the various explanations of people or things which are stuck in a state of “in-between.” She has published in “The Oxford Handbook of Causation” and “A Companion to Metaphysics.”
Darrell Killian, Assistant Professor of Biology
Killian received his B.A. in molecular biology and biochemistry from Wesleyan University, and in 2004 earned his Ph.D. in biology and developmental genetics from New York University. He was a visiting professor at Colorado College and recently held an assistant professor position at the College of New Jersey. Much of his graduate and postdoctoral research deals with the regulation of sex-specific programmed cell death in C. Elegans. He has been recognized by numerous grants and awards, including a Society for Developmental Biology Teaching Faculty Travel Grant and the Gladys Mateyko Award for Excellence in Biology.
Scott Krzych, Assistant Professor of New Media
Krzych holds a B.A. in English from California State University-Northridge, an M.A. in English from the State University of New York-Buffalo, and recently earned his Ph.D. in screen studies and English from Oklahoma State University. Krzych will be the first tenure-track professor of New Media at Colorado College. His various papers and publications address a range of subjects from digital cinema to video game studies to analysis of Glenn Beck’s television show. His dissertation examines evangelical representations of the apocalypse, including such films as “A Thief in the Night,” “Left Behind,” and “The Omega Code” and such prophecy-based cable programming as “The Hal Lindsey Report” and “Jack Van Impe Presents.”
Christina Leza, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Leza earned her M.A. in linguistic anthropology from the University of California, Davis and obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 2009, where she wrote a dissertation on indigenous activism in response to United States and Mexico border enforcement policies. She works with the Indigenous Alliance Without Borders and has won numerous grants and awards for her work. Her interests include legal and political anthropology, indigenous cultures and social movements in the Americas, and grassroots political organizing.
Corina McKendry, Assistant Professor of Political Science
McKendry received her Ph.D. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in June 2011. Her dissertation, “Smokestacks to Green Roofs: City Environmentalism, Green Urban Entrepreneurialism, and the Regulation of the Postindustrial City,” examines the relationship between city environmentalism and the changing role of cities in the globalized economy. She is particularly interested in how city leaders are using environmentalism to promote economic growth and the implications that this has for social equity in the green city.
Jim Parco, Associate Professor of Economics
Parco received a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona, where he studied under Amnon Rapoport and Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith. After completing his doctorate, he returned to the faculty of the Air Force Academy, his undergraduate alma mater, and taught courses in management, leadership, decision-making, and investments. In addition to teaching at the Academy from 1996-1999 and 2003-2007, Parco served on the National Security Council at the White House during the Clinton Administration and in a diplomatic capacity overseas with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. In 2007, he received the Thomas Jefferson National Award from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) for his forthright actions in advocating for cadets at the Air Force Academy. In 2009, he was awarded the Military Officers Association of America’s (MOAA) Outstanding Faculty Award for his work at Air Command and Staff College, and in 2010, was named educator of the year.
Andrea Righi, Assistant Professor of Italian
In 2004 Righi received his M.A. in North American Literatures from the University of California, San Diego. Since then he received a degree in comparative literature at the University of Bologna and a Ph.D. in Italian studies from Cornell University. His book, “Gramsci Fell Asleep: Life, Biopolitics and Social Change in Italy,” will be published by Palgrave Macmillan. He also has published several articles in journals and books in both English and Italian. Righi has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including a Fulbright Scholarship in 2004.
Habiba Vaghoo, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Vaghoo received a B.A. in chemistry from Concordia College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She went on to pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Southern California. Her dissertation explores the synthesis of organofluorine compounds. She recently served as a visiting assistant professor at The College of Wooster in Ohio. She has earned several awards and scholarships, including the Stauffer Post Doctoral Fellowship and the Harold and Lillian Moulton Graduate Fellowship for excellence in research.
Dana Wittmer, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Wittmer earned her Ph.D. in political science at The Ohio State University in 2011, where she also earned her master’s degree. She studies American politics, with specific interests in public opinion, gender and politics, public policy, and Congress. Her dissertation, “A Theory of Institutional Representation: The Link Between Political Engagement and Gendered Institutions,” focuses on public opinion about Congress as a gendered institution, paying particular attention to how these perceptions affect political engagement. Her other research interests include human trafficking within the U.S., the impact of gendered leadership on public policy, and gender and legislative effectiveness within Congress.
Shawn Womack, Associate Professor of Drama and Dance
Shawn comes to Colorado College from Grinnell College’s department of theatre and dance, where she was an associate professor. In addition to her experience as performer, choreographer, and teacher, she also was founder and executive director of Dance Projects, Inc., a non-profit organization that produced contemporary dance and interdisciplinary projects. Shawn holds a B.F.A. of fine arts, ballet, from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music, where she graduated magna cum laude, and an M.F.A. in dance from the University of California, Riverside. Shawn will serve as chair of the drama and dance department at Colorado College.
Naomi Wood, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Wood earned her M.A. from the University of Minnesota in Hispanic literature, where she specialized in Spanish-American literatures and cultures and Latin-American history. She completed her Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian literatures and cultures, with a minor in feminist studies in May 2011. Her dissertation, “Ciphering Nations: Performing Identity in Brazil and the Caribbean,” explores concepts of both cultural repression and freedom through performance arts in Latin and South American Countries. She has published her work in The Global South and Literatura e Autoritarismo.
KRCC will offer a special presentation featuring select pieces from the 2010 CC Summer Music Festival during their fundraising drive on Saturday, June 11. Beginning at 4 p.m., the NPR-member station will air pieces performed during last year’s festival. Among the selections to be aired are:
- The Overture to Die Fledermaus by Richard Strauss, performed by the Summer Music Festival Orchestra, recorded June 27, 2010.
- Sonata for violin and piano in three movements by Edvard Grieg, performed by Scott Yoo on violin and Summer Music Festival Music Director Susan Grace on piano, recorded June 17, 2010.
- Divertissement for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon by Ervin Schulhoff, with Anne Marie Gabrielle on oboe, Bill Jackson on Clarinet and Michael Kroth on bassoon, recorded June 10, 2010, at last year’s Colorado College Summer Music Festival.
Now in its 27th season, the Colorado College Summer Music Festival is an intensive three-week program for 45 advanced student musicians. Festival participants work closely with CC faculty, who spend many hours coaching small ensembles and giving private lessons and master classes. All students participate in a concert series including formal and informal chamber music concerts, five orchestra performances, including a free children’s concert, and several off-campus outreach concerts. This year’s festival runs June 6-26.
Currently, KRCC is heard in Westcliffe, Gardner, Limon, Manitou Springs, Trinidad, Buena Vista, Salida, Villa Grove, Canon City, Colorado Springs, La Junta, Raton, N.M., and globally online at www.krcc.org. Tune in to 91.5 FM to hear the broadcast.
A proposal submitted by four Colorado College students has been selected as a Davis Project for Peace for 2011.
Akie Mochizuki ’11, Nikhil Ranadive ’12, Melissa Serafin ’11 and Erin Yamamoto ’11 will spend three months working with the disenfranchised women of Ugenya, an area of impoverished subsistence farmers and sparsely distributed, ill-equipped medical facilities in Kenya.
The goal of their project, “The Zuia Initiative,” is to elevate the health of the Ugenyan people by reducing their susceptibility to HIV infection, and to improve the social and economic status of the women by expanding their employment opportunities.
The CC students will work with the women of Ugenya who, for a variety of social and cultural reasons, are particularly susceptible to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The project seeks to provide the Ugenyan women a means of greater financial and social standing by teaching them tailoring skills, a valuable and marketable asset in their region. The Colorado College students have rented a training space and have arranged for 10 regular and two industrial tailoring machines, as well as an instructor.
In addition to the vocational training, the CC students, working with Matibabu Foundation Clinic, will present an HIV/AIDS public health curriculum for the women. The students plan to set up youth center that provides reproduction education to the boys and girls of the community.
The Davis Projects for Peace was launched in 2007 by philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis on her 100th birthday. During the summer of 2011, college students from nearly 100 campuses will collectively receive more than $1 million in funding for projects in all regions of the world. The program is designed to encourage and support students to create and implement their ideas for building peace throughout the world.
About the participants:
- Akie Mochizuki is a senior biochemistry major and has taken a service-learning course on HIV/AIDS from Neena Grover, volunteered with the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, and worked with young children as a teaching assistant.
- Erin Yamamoto is a senior neuroscience major and has organized and implemented outreach programs targeted at Colorado Springs youth.
- Nikhil Ranadive is a junior and a UWC-USA Graduate and a Davis UWC Scholar. He has experience in education, working with children, and community organizing.
- Melissa Serafin, a senior, has experience in sociological fieldwork, education, working with children, and civic engagement.
The CC Board of Trustees met May 19-21 on campus and conducted the following business.
Voted to approve:
- The Revised Faculty Handbook, to become effective July 1, 2011.
- Promotion to full professor for Hong Jiang in the Department of German, Russian, and East Asian Languages.
- The transferring of $1.6 million of year-end dollars to fund the previously approved FY 2011-12 distribution from the Financial Aid Quasi Endowment for scholarships during the 2011-12 academic year.
- Renewal of trustee Mike Lampton’s term.
- 2011-12 trustee committee membership and chair assignments.
- Renewal of the current trustee officers’ terms for 2011-12.
- A resolution naming the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center theater the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”
The Board celebrated with the William Jackson Palmer Society inductees; dined with President Celeste and Jacqueline Lundquist to honor them for their efforts on behalf of the college for the past nine years; and recognized outgoing trustees Liz Larned ’83, Ray Petros ’72, and Hans Utsch P’92 and P’95.
The Colorado College Board of Trustees has honored President Richard F. Celeste, the 12th president of Colorado College, by naming the south theater in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center the “Richard F. Celeste Theatre.”
Board members passed the resolution at their May meeting, saying they wished to recognize Celeste for his “exemplary leadership as president of Colorado College for nine years; his deep passion for all things CC, including the interdisciplinary arts; and his strong commitment to building and sustaining a rich relationship between the college and its treasured community of Colorado Springs.”
The venue is the main theater in Colorado College’s iconic $33.4 million, 72,400-square-foot interdisciplinary arts center, designed by architect Antoine Predock. The building, dedicated at the October 2008 Homecoming and Parent’s Weekend, has earned a gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The theater has been the venue for such events as lectures by author Amy Tan and U.S. Poet Laureate Kay Ryan; the first-time gathering of three cutting-edge playwrights, David Henry Hwang, Tony Kushner and Suzan-Lori Parks; the “Four Governors, One Stage” event in which former Colorado governors Dick Lamm, Roy Romer and Bill Owens gathered for a discussion moderated by Celeste, a former two-term governor of Ohio; and numerous concerts, films and dance presentations.
The theater holds a maximum of 451 seats. The venue is equipped with a variable room acoustic system with which the necessary acoustical aura can be literally dialed in with digitally controlled enhancements.
Celeste steps down as president of the college on June 30 and will be succeeded by Jill Tiefenthaler, currently the provost at Wake Forest University.
Dave Moross, CC’s athletic media relations director, recently was named a recipient of the 25-Year Award, presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The organization presented national awards for outstanding achievements. When announcing Moross as an award winner, the organization published the following profile:
At hockey-rich Colorado College, Dave Moross has been responsible for tremendous publicity for the hockey program and players during his long tenure as the Tigers’ primary athletic communications contact. Moross will receive his 25-Year Award from CoSIDA during the annual CoSIDA Convention in Marco Island next month – with all 25 of those years spent at Colorado College.
Moross has served as director of athletic media relations at Colorado College since 1986. The athletic program is among those schools which offer different levels of competition, as teams compete at both the Division I level and Division III level. The men’s ice hockey program plays a powerhouse Division I schedule as a member of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while the women’s soccer team has been an affilate member of Conference USA since 2006.
Moross is the primary contact for hockey and women’s soccer, while Dave Reed, associate director of athletic media relations, is the contact for all Division III sports.
Moross and Reed, who have run their two-man shop together for more than 11 years, have served on various CoSIDA committees during that period and before.
Moving to Colorado in 1974, Moross is an avid hiker in the mountainous state. He occasionally leads small expeditions and, quite impressively, has successfully summited 19 different “14ers” since the age of 45. The centerpieces of the Colorado Rockies are the 54 peaks over 14,000 feet, or “Fourteeners,” as they are affectionately referred to by climbers.
Moross is editor of CC’s major athletics publications, including the annual hockey media guide which consistently finished among the top 10 in CoSIDA’s nationwide contest throughout the last decade. The 1999-00, 2000-01 and 2001-02 versions earned “Best Cover in the Nation” recognition.
A charter member of the CC Athletics Hall of Fame selection committee, Moross has publicized the accomplishments of 21 Tigers who have earned a total of 27 All-America honors in men’s ice hockey. He also helped coordinate promotional campaigns that culminated in Peter Sejna (2003) and Marty Sertich (2005) winning the Hobey Baker Memorial Award (ice hockey’s national player of the year honor).
Serving as media coordinator for the 2004 and 2008 NCAA Hockey West Regionals held at the Colorado Springs World Arena, Moross has worked as a statistician for NHL and college hockey telecasts by ESPN, Fox and CBS College Sports. He also assists annually in press-box operations at the Western Collegiate Hockey Association’s premier event – the WCHA Final Five in St. Paul, Minn.
Prior to his athletic media relations career, Moross previously worked as a writer and assistant sports editor at the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper, where his duties included covering the school’s varsity teams for eight seasons.
Moross graduated with honors from Michigan State University in 1973, earning a bachelor’s degree in advertising communications. A native of the Detroit area, he has served as a contributing writer and done freelance work for several national magazines during his professional career.
He and his wife, Amy, have five grown daughters and four grandchildren.
It goes throughout the region via the Southern Colorado Aids Project. It goes to towns in Tanzania and Kenya. It goes to K-12 schools in Colorado. Any student interested in science outreach can participate in the biosciences club, which goes to a local elementary school and teaches scientific methodology. High school students and teachers learn about RNA research in her laboratory.
Grover, chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department, wants to make science fun and accessible. She uses real-life problems in teaching biochemistry, an approach called problem-based service learning. Students learn nucleic acid biochemistry by reading current literature on AIDS-causing HIV virus and present the science of virus multiplication and drug action to the local community. “These students have enough knowledge to make a difference,” Grover says. “They may not be experts, but they have learned enough to be useful to society. One does not need a Ph.D. to make a difference in the world.”
She also wants her students to know that science is a puzzle and never a finished project; that there are always new directions to pursue. And she practices what she preaches: Eight to 10 students each year conduct RNA-related research in her lab. The students get a lot of one-on-one mentoring in her lab, but they also learn independently, with every student getting his or her own research project. “That way, each student gets ownership of the work,” Grover says.
Although each student has a project, they all deal in some way with how local structures form in RNA. They examine the affect of ions on RNA stability. “We want to determine the rules for forming RNA structures. We study small regions of RNA that are functionally important. We want to improve the accuracy with which we get RNA-based information from genomic databases,” Grover says. The research results are impressive, and every year Grover takes four or five students to national conferences where they present their work. Students also get a chance to publish their work in nationally renowned journals.
When she was in her early 20s, Grover, the daughter of an Indian Air Force officer and a teacher, came to the United States, where she earned a master’s degree in biophysical chemistry from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in bioinorganic/biochemistry from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. While there she worked with Dr. Holden Thorp to study drugs that cut DNA for such uses as in chemotherapy.
During her postdoctoral work in the laboratory of renowned RNA researcher Dr. Olke Uhlenbeck at the University of Colorado, Boulder, she began delving into catalytic RNA, one of the hottest fields in biochemistry. “RNA controls everything in the cell. You have ribosomes acting as enzymes, and RNA cutting itself out of a larger RNA, perhaps telling us that RNA is the original molecule of life,” Grover says. Boulder was the center of the “RNA world” during the 1990s. While at Boulder, Grover taught an organic chemistry and biochemistry course to CU nursing students. She found she enjoyed it, and that students responded well to her teaching. She realized then that she wanted to improve science education for all students.
Grover joined the Colorado College faculty in 1999. She teaches organic chemistry and biochemistry, as well as gender and science, and ecofeminism. “I’m not here to open their brains and dump information in,” she says. When she tells her students that what they are learning now may be obsolete in 10 years, they groan and ask, “So why are we learning this?”
“Ah,” she replies, “you should be thinking of the principles, and not memorizing.”
“The liberal arts philosophy fits me,” she says. “I want students to see science from multiple angles; to see science broadly. I want them to think for themselves, think logically and build a foundation.”
Grover is married to Gerald Miller, a professional cellist who plays with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and with symphonies in Calfornia. They travel to India every few years to visit her two siblings, mother and their nephews and nieces.
Collin Knauss ’13 of Chevy Chase, Maryland, has been awarded the 2011 Charlie Blumenstein Water and Wildlife Conservation Internship. Knauss, a biology major, will serve as an intern at The Nature Conservancy Silver Creek Preserve in Picabo, Idaho. He is responsible for assisting stewardship staff with protection and enhancement of wildlife habitat and natural resources on The Nature Conservancy’s preserves in Idaho.
The internship is named after Charlie Blumenstein ’96, who was passionate about the environment and conservation of water resources. He credited his informal, out-of-classroom, extra-curricular, field experiences with his decision to become a hydrogeologist and to devote his professional life to the improvement of water resources.
Four Colorado College students recently presented posters at the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s highly competitive undergraduate poster competition, with one student receiving an award for her work. The poster competition was part of the organization’s national conference, held in Washington, D.C., last month.
Presenting posters at the conference were Allison O’Connell ’11, Shane Strom ’11, Arian Frost ’12, and Justin Garoutte ’12. All four students are biochemistry majors and work with Associate Professor Neena Grover of the chemistry and biochemistry department.
O’Connell, a biochemistry major from Sea Cliff, N.Y., won an award for her poster titled “Thermodynamic Examination of the Internal Stem-Loop in U6 RNA.” She investigated the stability of the small RNA that is responsible for spliceosome assembly and catalysis. Understanding this can help explain the role of RNA and help in developing better RNA-based drugs in the near future.
Two Colorado College philosophy majors recently presented their work at Pacific University’s Undergraduate Philosophy Conference.
Madeline Mindich ’11 presented “The Human Condition and the Ethics of Remembering It: An Essay Inspired by the ‘Concluding Unscientific Postscript’.” Joel Bock ’11 presented “Dwelling as Being at Home in the World: The Heideggerian Plight of Dwelling in Wolfe’s ‘You Can’t Go Home Again’.”
The Pacific University Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is an annual, two-day conference held each spring, attracting students from across the country and internationally. The purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for the presentation of philosophical work of undergraduates to their peers. Since 1997, almost 1,000 students from more than 240 schools have participated.
All of the participants are undergraduate students, with the exception of the annual keynote address by a renowned philosopher. Past keynote speakers have included Paul Churchland, Hilary Putnam, John Searle, Keith Lehrer, Catherine Elgin, John Perry, Hubert Dreyfus, Jerry Fodor, and Alvin Plantinga.