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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

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CC Receives NSF Grant for Teacher Preparation

Congratulations to Education Professors Mike Taber, Manya Whitaker, Howard Drossman, and Tina Valtierra on their National Science Foundation grant for $1,190,012 to support the Colorado College Noyce Scholarship Program. The program will increase the number of CC math and science majors completing the college’s teacher preparation programs. Aligned with national trends to emphasize STEM education among underrepresented groups, these Noyce Scholars will commit to teaching in schools serving a high percentage of low-income students.

In addition, the grant provides internships for first-years and sophomores to work in local school districts to develop their skills as classroom teachers and education researchers.

This award is a great example of our strategic plan in action. Mike Taber was the first recipient of an internal grant, now known as the SEGway program, designed to support faculty efforts to secure external funding.  There are many hands involved in building institutional capacity – thanks to everyone who participated in bringing these resources to CC!

CC’s alums are an entrepreneurial group

A number of us on campus have been enjoying CC’s 3rd place ranking in Forbes list of most entrepreneurial colleges. What pleased me most about the ranking was Forbes’ methodology, which was based on the percentage of alumni who have founded or run their own nonprofits or businesses.

Our ranking reflects the type of people CC attracts and has always attracted – bold thinkers who make things happen. Our vision for the future includes finding new ways to support and reinforce the innovative piece of CC’s special identity.

Fall Convocation Reflection

I am inspired by the diversity of accomplishments of the outstanding alumni who received CC honorary degrees on Monday morning at Opening Convocation. We had the privilege of honoring Inger Thomsen Brodey ’87, a leading Jane Austen scholar and university professor who cares deeply about her students. We also honored Eric Duran ’91, an investment banker who has given back to his community as a leader and activist with the same passion he brings to financial deals. The third honorary degree recipient and our keynote speaker was Doug Pray ’83, a documentary filmmaker who is also a generous teacher. Doug spoke to us about how, while it might look like he lived his life backwards, he actually lived like he learned to do here at CC.

On occasions like Opening Convocation, when alumni share how their liberal arts education contributed to their success, I am reminded of how our alumni, and our students, faculty, and staff, each bring valuable contributions and perspectives to our community. I encourage us all to start this year with a commitment to the “Serious Spontaneity” that Doug so beautifully described; it’s both who we are and the journey that we embark upon together that characterizes the Colorado College experience.

2015 Fall Conference

Welcome Back!

Dear CC Students,

Welcome to the 2015-16 academic year! The summer months are about recharging our batteries, and I hope that your time away included relaxation, reconnecting with friends and family, and some adventure. My family and I vacationed in Iceland and Scotland. After that time away, I am energized and thrilled to welcome you back to campus.

There are many new faces on campus. Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting our new tenure-track faculty members, visiting professors, and Riley Scholars. I am so excited about the impact these energetic teacher-scholars will have on our intellectual community. In addition, Maggie Santos ’86, a CC alumna and long-time member of the Colorado Springs Police Department, joins the college as our new director of Campus Safety.

And of course, welcome to our new transfer and first year students! Class of 2019, you join a student body of thinkers and doers. Our Rocky Mountain location, our creative spirit that gave rise to the Block Plan, and our bold and adventurous people have created an institution like no other. Your talents and interests will enrich the campus, making Colorado College even stronger.

It was a busy summer at CC! Four-hundred thirty-seven students (288 of our own and 149 others) participated in Summer Session. Classes like Professor Idris Goodwin’s on hip hop got out into the community, and a group of our chemistry faculty collaborated with an art preservationist, developing a new interdisciplinary course — The Science of Painted Art. The Documentary Film Institute had a successful second year. In addition, 165 students participated in 12 off-campus courses, like two blocks of Portuguese in Brazil, with Professor Naomi Wood, or study in Alaska with Chaplain Bruce Coriell. And in July, the Office of Alumni Relations launched their new alumni summer programming with The Art of the Pitch, co-led by Innovation Institute Director Patrick Bultema and Professor Steve Hayward. In addition, the Symposium on Field Study brought our faculty together with other national experts to share best practices for experiential learning, which is a hallmark of CC.

We also made some improvements to our campus over the summer months. The narrowing of Cache La Poudre Street, which will be finished by mid-September, will slow traffic and better connect the campus. This project, a recommendation of our Master Plan and built with our commitment to sustainability in mind, includes a rain garden on the north and south sides of the road.

You will also notice progress on improving our wireless environment. Tigernet2 has been replaced by WiOfTheTiger, which should be a noticeable improvement for everyone to varying degrees, depending on the building. New equipment will provide the best experiences in Loomis, Mathias, Slocum, Armstrong, Barnes, Tutt Science, and the CC Inn. Other buildings on campus will be upgraded in the coming years. Check the progress of the three-year network upgrade project, including specifics about status in major buildings here.

Planning for additional improvements is underway! The architects for East Campus housing have been enlisted to help us keep up with the growing demand to be part of our residential community. And of course, the planning to renovate Tutt Library continues, with a goal of breaking ground by the end of this academic year.

As always, I want to hear your ideas. In addition to working through CCSGA, the President’s Council, Heads of State, and other student organizations, you can talk with me directly during my Monday afternoon office hours in Worner, by scheduling an appointment, or informally in Rastall or walking across the quad. Please reach out to discuss an issue, ask a question, or just say hello.

It is so wonderful to have you all back on campus. It is going to be another invigorating year. Welcome to it!

Best regards,


Jill Tiefenthaler | President


Fall Conference 2015

What do you get when you mix 500-plus of CC’s amazing faculty and staff, stimulating sessions on topics across a wide range of expertise, and a kick-off of the academic year with a strong sense of mission and a good dose of community?  Here at CC you get the annual Fall Conference. I had the opportunity to mingle with colleagues in every area of the college, and attend sessions led by faculty members Eric Perramond on the state of water in Colorado and the region, and Claire Garcia about the current thinking on Race, Ethnic, and Migration Studies. Once again, I begin the year excited and greatly inspired!

After meeting our incoming class at NSO activities last weekend, and now this event today, I know that this is CC’s time to shine.  In addition to being incredibly high-achieving, our students are passionate, interesting, and wonderful to be around.  Our faculty and staff adore our students, and are dedicated to our mission.

Spending a day together, in preparation for the academic year ahead, there is a sense of energy, excitement, and also confidence – a sense that, three years into our strategic plan, we are hitting on all the cylinders.

Fall Conference