Author Archives: rbishop

Community Engagement and the Fine Arts with Idris Goodwin

Idris Goodwin photo

Photo from CC News, February 5, 2020

Idris Goodwin, who previously taught for six years in the Department of Theatre and Dance at CC, returned to become director of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College in May of 2020. Because of his focus on using the arts to build more equitable, inclusive and inspirational spaces for everyone, the CCE staff was thrilled to reach out and get his thoughts on the intersection between community engagement and the fine arts!

Q: Most people don’t necessarily think about inclusion or community engagement when they think of art, particularly the fine arts. How do you see the interaction between community engagement and art?

A: “Some of it has to do with the with the culture created around the presentation, preservation and financing of the work. Museums can be seen as these large, intimidating, white-walled palaces where folks can’t make noise, can’t take pictures and can’t touch anything. Now obviously we want to keep the objects safe but if there is no demand, hunger, curiosity, or interest in those objects then what are we doing? If the community doesn’t feel comfortable, welcomed and connected to our building and with our objects, what’s our purpose?

“The FAC at its best has been able build and sustain bridges between our building and the world outside. This is where creative and intentional learning and engagement come into play in our programming, and we’re able to take full advantage of our interdisciplinary nature. Arts education through the FAC’s Bemis School of Art and the FAC Theatre School both invite and provide opportunities for all to explore their own artistic voice. Beyond the classroom, we nurture a community of artists by offering spaces of inclusion, collaboration, and inspiration on our stages, in the galleries, and more recently in community conversations happening online.

“The word vitality is in our mission and that’s a key– fomenting a demand and hunger for art as a lifestyle, a culture – not just a collection of objects.”

Q: Why do you think access to the arts is so important for all people?

A: “Our art is our story. And we have to know our story, or else, who are we? So it’s a form of history keeping and sharing. Moreover, the arts can be the galvanizing tool to bring different walks together in the same space and spark necessary conversations. I think the area where most arts organizations need to improve is ensuring that we have a wide range of opportunities for people to see themselves somehow reflected in what they’re experiencing. We can’t presume to know everything about everyone; it’s crucial that we seek to represent diversity in all the ways humanity presents it.”

Q: How will the incorporation of the Fine Arts Center by CC benefit the diverse communities in Colorado Springs? How would you like to see CC students become a part of that experience?

A: “This union is why I came back. I believe the marriage of these two entities is a unique and powerful beginning to a new chapter.

“The students, faculty and staff of CC will be key players in writing that chapter. It’s about being in conversation, a regular transference of ideas and needs. The diversity of each individual contributor bringing value to our work and the programming we build for the broader community. It’s our goal that every single student, faculty member and staff have at least one transformative experience with the FAC every year. Though obviously we think we can provide more than that.”

Q: Particularly regarding the engagement with all local communities, where would you like to see the Fine Arts Center in 5 years? 10 years?

A: “In the near term, 2021, we intend to bust out of the COVID confines and bring arts experiences outside—socially distanced and safe of course through an initiative we’re calling City As A Venue, designed to fill the existing stages and platforms in our city. Exciting stuff, more on this soon. In addition to this, we’ll continue to grow the digital programs and interactions introduced through 2020 to supplement these in-person experiences and further our efforts in reaching new audiences, creating access and experimenting with our creative output. 

“By seizing on these opportunities to evolve the way we present the arts, I truly believe the Fine Arts Center can be a unique and innovative institution that truly reflects the college, the region and the world in the years to come.”

We’d like to thank Idris for his participation and on-going efforts to transform the role of the FAC and the arts. You can read more about him here!

Building Community During a Pandemic

This past fall, Theatre Dance Professor Shawn Womack worked with CC students and residents from two participating care facilities – MacKenzie Place and Life Care Colorado Springs, on the “Of a Time” project, to attempt to counter the restrictions on social interaction and alleviate isolation that has come about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her project has had both extra-curricular and co-curricular components. Professor Womack noted that “This project was a direct result of the pandemic. How to build connection across different communities? Zoom was our means, of course. It felt all the more urgent when care facilities went to lockdown and students have become more isolated from one another.”

It is with this in mind, and amid a great amount of uncertainty, quarantines, shuttered campuses, and limited options to engage with others, a group of students attended one of two workshops titled “Of A Time: A workshop in Sharing Stories across Communities and Generations” in mid-September. The workshops, organized in collaboration with the CCE and BreakOut leaders, were designed to prepare and guide Professor Womack’s student how to meet with local elders over Zoom to create meaningful connections, grapple together on how to bond with others, and to share their experiences during isolation.

In her adjunct course, GS 222: “Of A Time: Sharing Stories and Creative Expression during COVID-19”, students took their Zoom meetings a step further and used them as inspiration for a creative project. Over the course of 3 blocks, students were instructed to meet with elders and then manifest their encounter using an artistic medium such as music, dance, writing, theatre, drawing, sculpture, photography, film, or digital media.

When asked about her inspiration and goals for the project, Professor Womack said “as both a CC professor and as someone who cares for a family member in a care facility, I was struck by how the pandemic was isolating yet that different generations experienced the sense of isolation differently. I witnessed both the first-year students being immediately quarantined for two weeks at the beginning of the semester after elders in my sister’s care facility had been quarantined for over five months. It occurred to me that it would be beneficial to both students and the elders to engage in conversation, to connect and share their stories across generational and institutional divides…I hoped that these conversations would, for a moment, alleviate the sense of isolation for all.”

The students who did artistic works met again after the Thanksgiving break to work out how to share their creative work back with those who had, in Womack’s words, “generously shared of themselves and their stories.”

Video or notes from the interviews are planned to be archived in CC’s Special Collections. Many thanks to Professor Womack for sharing about this much-needed work!

Summer Internships Enhance Bonner Student Experiences

Despite complications surrounding Covid-19, the CCE was pleased to be able to support some Bonner student internships this past summer.  Two of the students were Filip Carnogursky ’23 and Angelina Chen ’22. In the U.S., Chen had an internship with Justice is Global (JIG), which is based in Chicago, through which she worked to promote narratives around global cooperation to counter growing nationalism and xenophobia via phone-banking and individual meetings with political organizers in the Asian diaspora in the U.S. Meanwhile, Carnogursky worked with Incien, an environmental protection advocacy organization in Slovakia in addition to additional work with marginalized Roma communities. We asked Chen and Carnogursky to share some reflections on their experience, how it shaped their ideas, and the skills they developed because of their internships.

Chen started by admitting that “I wasn’t too sure what I was going into at the beginning because, with Covid-19, the organization itself was undergoing some changes in its agenda and programs.” She went to add that “eventually my internship experience exceeded my expectation…I got a glimpse into the experiences, aspirations, and struggles of seasoned organizers and activists, especially those rooted in the Asian American communities, as I helped to build a coalition of Asian American organizations” When asked about the effect Covid-19 had on her internship, she added that “surprisingly, Covid-19 became central to my work at JIG. As part of my internship, I participated in a deep canvassing project that aims to address anti-Asian sentiments and shift public opinion towards global cooperation during the pandemic. We called democrat and independent voters in Michigan and Pennsylvania and tried to start a conversation about the pandemic, checked in on their well-being, and built rapport over the phone.”

Carnogursky had a similar experience of quickly becoming part of something greater: “As I started my work, Incien was enveloped in projects from all sides. The first day I came to the beautiful office with a lush garden filled with hard working bees, I found myself at the spearhead of an exciting project ‐ designing an ecological product for the third biggest energy producer in Slovakia. After days of research, looking at examples from other electric utilities all around the world, with the supervision of my boss…we gave a presentation to the leading people of the company. They liked it! It was only two weeks into my internship and I felt like a significant part of the NGO.”

He added that part of what Incien was working on was establishing the path trash takes after being disposed of: “We visited landfills releasing toxic methane, which were covered by green healthy grass from the side of the road, and with an open trash dump on the side that is overlooking fertile fields. We visited polystyrene producers who were trying to include recycled polystyrene in their products. We visited an electronics recycling company where often fully functional speakers, toys, and devices were recycled.” Reflecting on his work, he added “I saw what recycling means…It comes down to our need for endless consumption in our daily lives and to the system that not only allows us to do so but cannot function without it.

Fortunately, many important people realize this conundrum and are trying to change our addiction to waste.” Carnogursky worked with Incien to do a waste analysis and presentation for Slovak President Zuzana Caputova: “I realized how relatively easy it is to get far when one is passionate and in the right place at the right time. Or I was just lucky. But it felt great to elevate the issue to the president’s attention.”

The impact of their internships was not small. Chen said “since coming to the U.S. for college two years ago, I’ve always felt like an outsider. At college, even as I’m speaking out on transnational solidarity and such, I’m always the foreigner…I’m constantly on the fence about conversing with new people because so many conversations ended up in something like ‘oh so is it true that you eat dogs in China?’ But the conversations I had through this project went beyond my imagination. Over the phone, I finally got to talk with ordinary people without the presumption of my identities and worldviews. It was just so heartening to see how this exchange of ideas and stories can break down cultural barriers and build emotional connections at difficult times like this. What’s ironic is that while the relations between my home country and the US are deteriorating every second, I finally see the possibility to grow peace and solidarity. And that’s through mutual care and understanding.” She continued, “I have definitely developed my skills in communication and building relationships…I’ve grown to find my voice and relate to different people’s experiences and backgrounds in my own way. On one hand, this learning experience is invaluable for me to reconcile with my identities in my work in the future. On the other hand, it also gives me leverage in future advocacy and fundraising efforts.”

And Carnogursky noted that the internship helped him not only feel more comfortable with public speaking, but made him “very happy that so many more people are interested in these issues because interest streams to action and action to a real change.” Filip now sees environmental advocacy work as not only a passion and interest of his, but also a paying, financially supportive future career. His boss at INCIEN has already offered him a job if he is interested.

Farewell to Dr. Anthony Siracusa

It is with mixed emotions that we announce Dr. Anthony Siracusa will be leaving Colorado College in mid-March for a new position as the inaugural Director of Community Engagement in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi. I personally, along with the rest of the CCE team, am incredibly grateful for Anthony’s contributions to the CCE.  Anthony consistently went above and beyond in his role as assistant director to enhance the capacity of the CCE and leaves us in a better place than when he began.  Since joining our team in the fall of 2017 after receiving his PhD in History from Vanderbilt, Anthony has led the student-facing work of the CCE – passionately, thoughtfully, and strategically deepening civic learning and development both inside and outside of the classroom. He played an integral role in shaping the direction of the office through our strategic planning process and has provided skillful leadership to CCE staff.  He has been a strong representative and advocate for the CCE throughout the institution, and shared his experience and insights in talks and presentations at CC and beyond.

One of Anthony’s greatest legacies for Colorado College and the CCE has been advocating for, institutionalizing, and developing our Community Engaged Fellowship program.  In its pilot year when Anthony joined our staff, the program is now a robust, intentionally-designed 4-year fellowship with 25 students.  He has laid out a 4-year, developmental civic co-curriculum for fellows, founded a student leadership team, and helped establish a High Impact Partnership Initiative to identify core partners to lay a foundation for meaningful student work.  He has strategically and collaboratively worked with Advancement to fundraise for the program, with Admissions to coordinate the application process with that of the college, with Financial Aid to integrate the fellowship into the aid process, with Global Education to adapt to regulations for international students, and with Student Employment to brainstorm the best ways to support students financially and uphold accountability in the program.

Anthony has helped transform the CCE into a bustling hub of student activity, building strong relationships with students and taking seriously the value of “co-creation” – working to cultivate student leadership in all CCE programs.  Our Public Achievement, BreakOut, and CoOp programs, as well as Community Engaged Scholars and Leaders pathways all engage more students and are more developed, intentional, impactful programs at the end of Anthony’s tenure.  He has also individually advised countless community-engaged students with care and skill, helping them to discern their passions and pathways, and supported numerous Watson Fellowship applicants to find their voice and dreams.

Anthony has been a true educator, seeking to integrate community engagement with teaching and learning, building on and extending the educational mission of the college.  His scholarship engages with and contributes to our understanding of social change and civic leadership.  His book, tentatively titled The World as it Should Be: Religion and Nonviolence before King, is under contract at the University Of North Carolina Press.   He co-taught an “Engaged Journalism” class with me in the spring of 2019, taught a community organizing adjunct this fall, and is teaching an Introduction to Community Engagement course to our Fellows.  He has also worked to integrate his expertise and skills as a historian into his student work, and has co-written a chapter for Discussing Democracy with a student, was active in the Digital Liberal Arts consortium, and has worked to build his skills around public knowledge-making and identifying untold narratives and areas of knowledge that have been excluded from platforms such as Wikipedia.  And finally, Anthony has worked to establish a robust curriculum for our Public Achievement program, and provided rigorous programming for Community Engaged Fellows.  These examples show how seriously he takes learning alongside the classroom, and the way that he has sought to elevate the expectations and learning outcomes for our students within these programs.

After March 13th, Anthony will pursue new opportunities to enable him the chance to grow professionally.  The CCE is deeply grateful for Anthony’s 2.5 years of service, and wish him the best in all future endeavors! Please join me in congratulating him, and wishing him luck on this next step in his professional journey.

Dr. Jordan Travis-Radke
CCE Director

Inside Out Youth Services – High Impact Partner Spotlight

Recent findings by the Human Rights Campaign show that only 26% of LGBTQ+ youth report always feeling safe in the classroom. 70% have been bullied for their sexual orientation. 11% have been sexually attacked or raped because of their sexual orientation. One in three LGBTQ+ adults experience mental illness. They are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to have an alcohol or drug use disorder. LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. These and more stats can be found at the links at the bottom of this article.

In a culture that can be uncaring, if not outright hostile, Inside Out is an organization dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ youth. Their main focus is providing a safe place to be for local LGBTQ+ youth age 13 to 22. A place to make friends, do work, and never worry about judgment. A place to be yourself. Four days a week, after school, they welcome youth into their space, creating a community of acceptance and togetherness. The organization will be 30 years old next year and is the only drop-in LGBTQ+ youth center in Colorado Springs. 

Located in downtown Colorado Springs, Inside Out aims to empower, educate, and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth from southern Colorado. Their education work includes peer support groups, education for youth and parents about transgender experience, education about healthy relationships, and more. They work to educate outside of their own youth community: they teach ‘LGBTQ+ 101’ and ‘Trusted Adults’ classes (pronouns, how to build trust, how to have hard conversations) to parents, teachers, therapists, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and more. Their advocacy work tries to build a better community for LGBTQ+ youth. One current project works with schools to learn about and develop spaces in the school where youth feel safe.

Inside Out Youth Services is also one of the CCE’s High Impact Partners, part of an initiative to develop deep, multifaceted, mutually-beneficial relationships between CC and the Colorado Springs Community. Several Public Interest Fellows and Community Engaged Fellows from CC have worked with Inside Out. Most recently, a sociology class collaborated with Inside Out to perform research and data analysis. 

The Inside Out staff have deep ties back to Colorado College: both the Executive Director and Youth Program Manager are CC graduates. The Development Director was a curator at the Fine Arts Center, and two CC students work as Peer Program Assistants right now. Angelina Chen ’22, a CC sophomore and Community Engaged Fellow from Guangzhou, China, is one of those students. In her first year at CC she explored several local nonprofits in the Colorado Springs area. Inside Out struck her as being a remarkably connected organization. Angelina has worked behind-the-scenes helping with their advocacy to government work, and this year began working with youth, teaching them how to be active community members. She says working with the youth energizes her, she’s always impressed by their social awareness and the level of discourse they’re able to have. 

Inside Out is looking to expand the opportunities volunteers from CC have to help the organization. They always need volunteers for behind-the-scenes work like communication and events like the Queer Prom they organize every year. Help with advocacy in government is also a potential goal. For more information or to discuss a partnership, contact the CCE, or the Youth Program Manager Candace Woods ’13 at  

Specifically to the LGBTQ+ students at Colorado College, Inside Out wants you to know that you are welcome. This is not an opportunity restricted to some other group, this is a place for you. Learn more at Marve Aguinaga ’21 from Escondido, California, is a second CC student working at Inside Out this year. When describing why the work was important, they said, “There are a lot of challenges that come with being queer in this country, and there are certainly challenges here in the Springs, but it can be easier when there are people that can share some of your burden with you.”

Thank you to Candace Woods ’13, Marve Aguinaga ’21, and Angelina Chen ’22 for their help with this story.

– Eric Ingram 



High Impact Partner Spotlight : Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Colorado College is blessed by its location: Colorado has more than 23 million acres of public land, and the City of Colorado Springs itself has more than 9,000 acres of parkland. One of the largest draws to Colorado College is the easy access to so much wilderness. But this gift is no secret, and the sheer number of people who enjoy the landscape are a threat to its existence. What keeps our public lands from deteriorating under such heavy use?

Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) envisions a world where volunteer work creates vibrant and healthy natural systems that are respected and cared for by the public. They are a Colorado Springs-based non-profit whose mission is to conserve and protect the public lands of Southern Colorado, with the help of the public. Rather than just employing people to do work on public lands, RMFI focuses on volunteerism. Their philosophy is that by involving the public in the preservation of nature, they can foster a better connection to the outdoors and help people take personal responsibility for protecting the environment.

CC students Madeline Ng ’21 and Mikaela Burns ’19 on a BreakOut trip.

RMFI hosts hundreds of volunteer work-days each year, including nearly every weekend day from April through November. Because the population of the Pikes Peak Region is growing fast, the risk of damage that can be done to local ecosystems is growing. RMFI enlists the help of thousands of volunteers to help preserve our public lands against this risk. In addition, to help maintain this spirit of environmental responsibility, RMFI incorporates environmental education into every project. Teaching volunteers about erosion, ecology, botany, or whatever else is relevant during volunteer workdays helps cement and spread the ethos that will keep our environment alive and well. To ensure the work they do is really worth doing, RMFI also facilitates research about environmental stewardship. They monitor the effectiveness of their trail and restoration techniques after they are completed, to ensure the projects are working as intended, and to help tailor their treatments and techniques to each new project location.

This year, RMFI was selected to be one of the first local non-profits designated as High Impact Partners with the CCE, meaning they have a deep, multifaceted relationship with CC that both parties hope to be mutually beneficial and more powerful than is possible with a shallower partnership. RMFI hosts an NSO Priddy Trip and a Spring Break Program in Utah every year. They also employ work-study interns and Community Engaged Fellows from CC, host non-work study internships, and partner with CC professors to run education class workdays in the field.

Madeline Tucker ‘19 is one such student. As an intern at RMFI, she works primarily as a marketing assistant, designing promotional and outreach materials and supporting the messaging of RMFI. She describes the RMFI team as a “kind, driven, passionate group of people,” but the fact that this is her third year interning with RMFI is the best endorsement of the organization.

Guffey Gorge. (Photo By Jguff330 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

BreakOut, a CCE program that partners to run student trips on Saturdays, block breaks, and spring break, routinely works with RMFI. During the first block break of this school year, CC-student Patricia Pi ‘21 helped lead a trip to Paradise Cove (Guffey Gorge), a Bureau of Land Management recreation area commonly used as a cliff jumping spot. Along with 10 other students, she helped rebuild the trail that leads down to the cove. According to Patricia it was hard work involving moving and breaking rocks to build steps, but it was also extremely rewarding and satisfying.

RMFI’s 2019 field season is winding down, but will resume in full force next April, providing CC students more opportunities to support our local parks and open spaces without requiring any previous experience with outdoor stewardship. Find out about these opportunities and sign up at their online calendar at Or, for a more robust experience, check out their Earth Corps program, a 21-day summer backcountry field course which allows environmentally-minded undergraduate students to live and learn in the classroom of the Colorado wilderness by clicking here.

Thanks to Molly Mazel, Madeleine Tucker, and Patricia Pi for their help with this story.

– Eric Ingram

Elam Boockvar-Klein ’20 Selected As Newman Civic Fellow

Elam Boockvar-Klein ’20 has been selected as CC’s latest participant in Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellowship. This award recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Boockvar-Klein started his involvement at CC during his first year, when he began work in political advocacy around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has also co-lead an after-school program at an underserved local middle school, where he helps younger students develop their own  community organizing skills.  A sociology major, Boockvar-Klein sees clear connections between localized and globalized systems of oppression, and believes the key to effecting community-level change is “to first understand the big-picture policy and economic structures at play.” You can read President Tiefenthaler’s nomination and Boock-var Klein’s full personal statement on the Campus Compact website.

Boockvar-Klein’s one-year fellowship will begin next fall. As part of the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide Boockvar-Klein with a variety of exclusive virtual and in-person opportunities and events, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows, that are designed to provide training and nurture fellows’ assets and passions to develop strategies to achieve social change.

This year’s class of Newman Civic fellows is made up of 262 community-committed students representing Campus Compact member colleges and universities from 41 states, Washington, D.C., Mexico, and Greece.

Elam Boockvar-Klein has also received a 2017-18 Venture Grant for his project “Asylum Advocacy: Investigating the Changing Policies of the Deportation Machine in the Rural South,” as well as the CCE’s 2017-18 Community Collaborator Award.

Congratulations, Elam!

Introducing our new Assistant Director!

It is our joy to share with you that Anthony Siracusa is now the CCE’s Assistant Director!

Anthony’s promotion aims to honor and value the role he has increasingly played in the office this year – which really has been assisting the direction of the office. The role of the “Engaged Learning Specialist” was envisioned to coordinate student programs with learning components, and Anthony has excelled at doing so – yet alongside this, he has taken a leadership role in directing the student-facing work of the office more broadly by increasingly guiding and advising other CCE staff.  He played an integral role in shaping the direction of the office throughout our strategic planning process and continues to shape our direction in thoughtful, deliberate ways.  And, he is a strong representative and advocate for the CCE throughout the institution.

Anthony brought with him and continues to cultivate a strong background in student learning in the classroom, experience in building curriculum for civic development programs alongside the classroom, and draws on his research interests to inform and center this work.

You can learn more about Anthony by visiting his staff bio page here.

We are ever grateful that Anthony has joined our staff and thankful for the ways in which he has built capacity for community engagement work at the college. Please join us in congratulating Anthony!

Jordan Radke
CCE Director

2018 El Pomar Scholarship Recipients

Each year, two incoming CC students from Colorado are awarded the distinguished El Pomar Scholarship, which helps them experience an exceptional liberal arts education, gain valuable hands-on exposure to the El Pomar Foundation’s work in the nonprofit sector, and encourages them to pursue a career in public policy or nonprofit work by covering the annual cost of tuition and fees, standard dorm room, and meal plan at Colorado College. In order to be considered for the scholarship, candidates must be a high school senior, a Colorado resident, eligible for need-based financial aid and have demonstrated leadership in, and passion for, community service and public policy. For 2017-18, the annual value of this scholarship was over $68,000.

In April, all finalists met and interviewed with Carly Stafford and Will Schiffelbein from the Office of Admission, and Richard Bishop from the Collaborative for Community Engagement. We’re pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of the El Pomar Scholarship are Deksyos Damtew and Abby Mercier!

Deksyos Damtew

Deksyos Damtew moved from Ethiopia to the United States with his family at the age of 3.  With the support of his family, he has overcome numerous obstacles, including cultural, linguistic and economic barriers, to become a respected leader in many different areas in high school. A successful International Baccalaureate student at Lakewood High School, Damtew has been active in soccer and cross-country, the president of both the Debate Club and DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs, and a member of the local KIVA Club, which distributed microloans to individuals in countries across the world to improve their livelihood and enhance business prospects. Damtew has also been an active member, and is currently serving as vice president, of the Reach for the Sky Foundation, an organization that provides dental supplies such as toothbrushes to underprivileged students within the Denver area. Finally, though certainly not least among his accomplishments, Damtew has been an intern for the Colorado Court of Appeals, learning about the legal system, honing his debate skills, and assisting with various needs of the court. Damtew currently plans to pursue a career in business, economics, or communications.  As stated by Will, “It’s rare to see a student who embodies both humility and confidence in equal measure. Deksyos is true to form in both respects. I’m excited to witness his positive attitude and intellectual prowess change our campus—and community– for the better.”

Abby Mercier

Abby Mercier comes to Colorado College from a family with a strong military connection.  Her father went to the Air Force Academy, and impressed upon her the importance of service before self.  Mercier’s success at having an impact on the community stems from her ability to relate to others – to give her time and attention to help reach others at a personal level, and then provide the help they need.  At Fairview High School in Boulder, much of Mercier’s community work and passion has centered on tutoring, especially Spanish-speaking youth – something she hopes to continue at local schools.  When not tutoring, Mercier spent much of her time playing club and varsity soccer. Last summer, she worked at Spyder Active Sports, where she provided administrative and customer service support. This fall, she plans to begin her focus on a medically-focused education so she can begin a career supporting military veteran health. Carly reflected that “Abby’s passion to not only pursue a career in medicine but to use this knowledge to serve underserved and underrepresented populations is nothing short of admirable. She is talented inside and outside the classroom — she’s a whiz in her science classes but also massively talented on the soccer field. Abby is intelligent, articulate, driven, and cares deeply about giving back to the state of Colorado. We couldn’t be happier to name her a winner of the El Pomar Scholarship, and we are lucky to call her one of our own!”


Congratulations to both of these outstanding and deserving students, as well as all of the other remarkable students who applied and interviewed for this award.  We all look forward to see what they do while at Colorado College and beyond!

For more information on the El Pomar Scholarship, click here.

Davis Foundation Annual Report Highlights CC Projects for Peace Winners!

Last summer, Colorado College students, Lucy Marshall and Eva McKinsley, travelled to a region of Central Peru that has been plagued by insurgent violence and instability to promote specialty coffee production and invest the proceeds in local education.

First, Lucy and Eva experimented with alternate methods of coffee production at a coffee farm in Ancahuachanan. Then, they turned their attention to education bringing the Internet to the local school, donating laptops and a projector to two area schools, supplying educational computer programs, games, sports equipment, school supplies, and so much more. Finally, on the farm, Lucy and Eva cleared and roofed a disused area, cleaned and repaired old washing wells for coffee, and installed new equipment. They eventually reached an essential agreement with the farm’s owner to donate a portion of the increased profits from the specialized coffee to continue supporting the schools.

Collaborative for Community Engagement and the whole Colorado College would like to congratulate Lucy and Eva for making such a difference in a disadvantaged community in Peru by promoting education, empowering members of the coffee industry, and promoting community growth and conflict resolution. We are very proud to have students who care about the larger world and put so much energy into creating projects that benefit people around the world! To see the full Davis Foundation annual report, please follow this link