A good idea paired with a little bit of money can create amazing results.
Colorado College has a multitude of funds from which students can draw to pursue research, art installations, study abroad, and outdoor adventures, to name just a few opportunities.
Now, the college is ensuring that all students know about and have equal access to these funding opportunities.
A new webpage that provides a gateway to CC student funding was launched in September — www.coloradocollege.edu/studentfunding.
The new webpage Funding Opportunities for Students is a central location where students can find the many sources of CC student grants. The college has also created a few new grant opportunities and streamlined the funding application processes.
In a message to campus announcing the new webpage, President Jill Tiefenthaler says students often approach her to share their great ideas for research projects, cultural events, internships, community engagements, and travel abroad experiences.
“They ask me about where they can find campus funding for these initiatives,” she says.
“With these changes, we can make high-impact educational experiences available and accessible to even more students.”
Emily Chan, associate dean of academic programs and strategic initiatives, says that at CC, all students have the independence to pursue and complete projects unique to their interests and courses of study. But Chan points out that sometimes students know how to advocate for themselves and their projects and find funding, and sometimes they don’t.
“Putting these funding opportunities out there and making them more accessible helps all students see the full canvas of their opportunities,” Chan says. “With the creation and promotion of this central gateway page, they will know how to obtain resources to make their projects happen, regardless of family means.”
“It’s an important skill for students to learn how to implement their own initiatives. So instead of relying on word of mouth, we wanted to make this resource accessible to everybody. We want students to become intentional, to think about, ‘These are my resources. How do I plan my four years to make the most of them? How do I want to stage my four years, with funding opportunities for study abroad, internships, outdoor education experiences, etc?’ and map it out.”
Frances Heiss ’15, a Southwest studies major, used funding opportunities at CC to help her complete her senior capstone project on Navajo textiles.
“I had never woven anything prior to Jeanne Steiner’s Fiber Arts class, which I took the first block of my senior year. I was in the process of reshaping my thesis—wishing to include some sort of multimedia in addition to a paper—when I learned how to weave,” she says. Heiss decided to focus her thesis on weaving — specifically Navajo weaving. From there, the different components of her thesis, including environmental history, a discussion of frontier commerce, museum studies and immersion in culture through weaving samples and traveling to a weaving community in New Mexico, all fell into place.
Steiner put her in contact with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, where Heiss learned about the proper handling and examination of Navajo textiles. She applied for and received two grants at CC, the Keller Family Venture Grant and the Joel T. Benezet grant in Southwest Studies, which enabled her to complete her research.
“With these grants, I was able to travel to La Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, New Mexico, a more than 100-year-old weaving community center that has its own flock of Navajo churro sheep. While at La Tierra Wools, I purchased naturally dyed wool, with which I completed my weaving replications. In addition, while there I experienced an active weaving community center and showroom, where I was able to interact with other weavers and experience a weaving community,” Heiss says.
Back at Colorado College, she wove replications of Navajo textiles in the Fiber Arts Studio in Worner Center and handled the Navajo textiles that are owned by Colorado College and housed at the Fine Arts Center. “My final capstone project is a compilation of all these aspects, including a research paper and five textiles,” she says.
Morgan Mulhern ’17 began her 2016 semester at CC in a Latin America study abroad program with a grant to study the food of southern Peru over Winter Break before the Spring Semester started. “I traveled from Lima down the coast to Arequipa, Puno, and Cusco. I visited restaurants of Acurio Gaston along the way. His restaurants serve to integrate, celebrate, and explore various fields surrounding the culture and creation of food,” says Mulhern.
To make his travel with the CC men’s soccer team even more memorable, Soren Frykholm ’17 applied for and received a grant to create a documentary exploring the effect of travel on team companionship. “I had the camera rolling as much as I could,” says Frykholm. “I really wanted to get at, ‘What is the importance of world travel’ and ‘What is the purpose of this trip?’”
Many of the funding opportunities available to students are made possible by alumni, parents, and other friends of the college. Chan says she hopes more people will be encouraged to give to make additional opportunities possible.