President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog
Dear Parents and Alumni,
Creativity and innovation were all around during Block 6. CC kicked off the block with New York Times film critic A.O. Scott as our First Mondays speaker. His impassioned argument that criticism is the root of creativity aligns well with our liberal arts mission. That connection, between critical thinking and creative action, is sparking innovation across the campus.
On February 22, CC celebrated five years of The Big Idea. While 17 student teams participated in the program that began last fall, the culminating event featured five amazing finalists. FlyPhone ended up as the winning pitch, with their concept of attaching a camera phone to a drone enabled by user-friendly software. Chica Chocolate, a subscription-based service for herbal-infused truffles that moderate hormone cycles, received second and Ogugu, a business analytics platform for global micro enterprise, came in third. With that foundation, our new innovation director, Dez Menendez ’02, is adding new programming that is already having a significant impact on campus.
In week three, the student-led Integrative Design Group and Art Professor Kate Leonard organized a week of special guests, alumni panels, and artistic demonstrations, kicking off the college’s first Design Week. With support from the Art Department Design Fund, the week helped students think about how to forge a career in design, and highlighted the many tools and resources CC has to offer.
The President’s Council annual Student Art Show provided an opportunity for dozens of student artists, musicians, filmmakers, and dancers to share their work. Last weekend, our Theatre and Dance Department performed “Mobilities,” a production of six faculty-choreographed, student-danced pieces. One work, “Never Not Falling” under the direction of Professor Shawn Womack, began as a community partnership between CC student dancers and BrainCare, an organization that provides support for individuals with brain injuries. And the Fine Arts Center museum is hosting three exciting exhibitions, including Don Coen’s large-scale portraits of migrant farm workers; the opening this block attracted national attention.
The great turnout of students, faculty, staff, and community members for all of these events takes on new significance when I think about the future of the arts, as CC and the Fine Arts Center build our partnership. The three groups planning for the museum, Bemis Arts School, and theatre finished their work, and with additional community feedback, we are moving forward to create a comprehensive plan.
With creativity blossoming all across the CC campus, Block 6 captures the spirit of spring! I hope your spring season is a great one too!
Yesterday, The Gazette reported that the job market in Colorado Springs is ranked as one of the strongest in the nation by the ManpowerGroup. The Springs ranked third, with job market strength measured as the difference between the percentages of local employers planning to hire and those planning cuts.
Staying in Colorado Springs is becoming a post-graduation choice for more CC alums. While the incredible climate and outdoor recreation options have always been strengths, the improving labor market, relatively affordable housing, and increasingly vibrant downtown scene are attracting more young people.
Spring is the season of awards at Colorado College and over the next several weeks, news will come in as our students and young alums win national and international awards and fellowships.
This week, we heard wonderful news about Soren Frykholm ’16, who was awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. This recent graduate was a standout on the soccer field and in the classroom during his entire CC career.
Congratulations to Soren and best wishes to our five Fulbright semi-finalists and all our students still preparing applications and awaiting news! You can find all the news on CC’s student and alumni awards page.
CC’s Mock Trial teams are getting ready to head to Geneva, Illinois to compete in the Opening Round Championship Series in hopes of qualifying for the national championships.
Formed in 2013, CC’s teams are coached by alumna and 4th Judicial District Court Judge Regina Walter ’80, who led a CC team to the national championship that very first year. The Mock Trial world noticed! And CC has sent a team to the national qualifying round every year since. This year, we’ll be sending two teams to the national qualifying round for the first time.
Graduates of the program have benefitted from learning how to think critically on their feet and remaining unflappable in any circumstance. They’ve taken these skills on to graduate schools, like Taylor Kelson ‘14, now at Columbia Law School, and Aish Raja ‘15, at U Penn studying environmental policy, or as they start their careers, like Political Science department paraprofessional Ansel Carpenter ’16. Ansel is the teams’ Assistant Coach this year, organizing the regional Mock Trial competition here at CC last month.
Best wishes to our Mock Trial Teams as they head to Illinois!