President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog
Inside Higher Ed took note that CC’s Director of Parent and Family Relations Debra Zarecky helped parents say goodbye to their first-year students on Saturday with a pack of tissues. New Student Orientation started on Saturday morning with move-in and parents enjoyed a special parent program later that day. On-campus orientation for new students continued through Tuesday evening and students leave today for the Priddy Experience Trips.
Every year, all new students are divided into small groups of about 10 and head off for service-based trips in Colorado and the Southwest. All Priddy Experience trips include 2 days of community service with a variety of organizations and one day to explore the local surroundings. The result is over 8,000 hours of student service provided to about 36 community partners and a wonderful introduction to this beautiful region.
Our first-year students arrived this past weekend, and what a great weekend it was! Our Resident Assistants, also known as RA’s, are a huge part of the college’s preparation for welcoming over 500 members of the Class of 2020. It was my pleasure to meet the Mathias RAs for breakfast to hear their plans for the year ahead. Our RAs help to make the CC residential community a vibrant and safe one for students who live on campus, and I am so grateful for all that they do.
The work of CC Professor Ryan Bañagale (Music) and Joshua Duchan, of Wayne State University, is attracting national attention. The two are co-hosting a musicology conference, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me: The Music and Lyrics of Billy Joel,” October 7-8, on the CC campus. The conference will feature over 30 presenters (including five CC professors from across the disciplines), artistic responses to Joel’s work, and a live phone interview with Billy Joel himself. Wired Magazine recently highlighted the event.
Professor Bañagale’s (who is a CC alum from the Class of 2000) research on popular American music intersects with the memories of many current CC alumni and parents (not to mention faculty and staff). This conference, and others our faculty organize and host, serves as a reminder of CC’s creative culture, where passion for ideas is in our DNA. As Joel reminds us: “If you’re not doing what you love, you’re wasting your time.”
Find out more about the conference (which is open to the public).
One of the sure signs that the academic year is upon us is the arrival of new faculty members. This week, eleven tenure track faculty, four Riley Scholars and 24 visiting faculty in disciplines from English to Southwest Studies to Molecular Biology, are beginning their CC careers with a three day orientation led by our Dean’s Office and Crown Faculty Center. Helping these new teacher-scholars acclimate to the unique demands of teaching on the Block Plan while maintaining an active research life is on the agenda, as is making the social connections that will help make Colorado Springs home to these talented folks and their families.
I am thrilled with our continued success in hiring top faculty from around the world. Excellent faculty are the key to our mission of providing the finest liberal arts education to our students. The life-long mentorships that begin in our classrooms help launch brilliant careers, like that of MacArthur Fellowship award winner John Novembre ‘00, who will deliver this year’s keynote address at Opening Convocation (August 29th). When receiving word of this prestigious award, two of John’s first calls were to his mentors, CC professors Ralph Bertrand and Jim Ebersole.
It’s stories like John’s that inspire our work every day here at CC. I join Dean of the Faculty Sandi Wong in welcoming these new faculty members to campus!