Skip to main content area Skip to block navigation Skip to institutional navigation Skip to sub-navigation

The Colorado College blog network

Create a blog | Log in

President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

Posts in: General

The Big Idea

2017 marks five years of student ingenuity and innovation nurtured and developed by The Big Idea.  It’s now a CC signature event and a cornerstone from which we are building innovation programming for the years to come! 17 amazing teams participated and five made it to last night’s finals – and each of the presenting groups did a great job.

The first place finish, and $30,000 in funding, went to FlyPhone, which uses a drone to turn a cellphone into an aerial camera. FlyPhone was developed by a team of seniors: Ben Tweedy and Kiki Kauffman, who pitched the concept, along with John Silvester, Dan Keogh, Teddy Corwin, and Matt Levitan.

Second place, and a $10,000 award, went to Chica Chocolate, a subscription service for herbal infused chocolates based on a Chinese medicinal formula to ease discomfort from monthly cycles. The venture was developed by Cassidy Lam ’19, and a long-time friend and CU student Elise Morgan.

Ogugu came in third place, and also received $10,000 in funding, with its mobile business analytics platform for micro enterprises. This concept was developed by Niyanta Khatri ’17, Harvey Kadyanji ’18, and John Roy Ballossini Dommett ’18.

The Big Idea has helped to launch successes like Wadi Climbing, KADI Energy, and King of the Sea, which are now thriving businesses.  It is exciting to imagine what kind of track record five more years will bring.

I am grateful for the level of expert coaching and guidance that the program offers our creative and hard working students.  I’d like to thank this year’s alumni judges, Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski ’73, Meriwether Hardie ’09, Kishen Mangat ’97, Richard Koo ’82, and Bob Selig ’61.

NYT Film Critic A.O. Scott Visits CC

CC hosted New York Times Film Critic A.O. Scott for our Block 6 First Monday, thanks to Professor Kathy Giuffre (Sociology).

Using film as a platform for cultural commentary, Scott is known for his thoughtful reviews with a scholarly tone. In his keynote, he spoke about the role of the critic; the same topic of his recent book, “Better Living Through Criticism.”  Scott linked the critic’s work to the aims of liberal education.

Scott and Professor Giuffre, pictured here together, were classmates at Harvard.

2017 Tony Scott and Kathy Giuffre 1

Celebrating Five Fulbright Semifinalists!

I could not be more pleased to share CC’s success in the selection for the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship program, with five semifinalists! Making it to this round is a significant accomplishment, and our five students have every reason to be proud.

Congratulations to Amanda Cahn, Theodore Corwin, Thomas Roberts, Madelene Travis and Sidharth Tripathi – all seniors with great futures ahead of them!

Block 5 Newsletter

Dear Parents and Alumni,

We started off the Spring Semester with our reinvigorated Half Block program. Participation continues to increase with more than 950 students taking part in one of the many for-credit courses, career development opportunities, and outdoor education trainings. Professor Jim Parco’s MLK Day 2017 at Colorado College(Economics & Business) course, Personal Financial Planning, is very popular with students and also open to staff as part of our Excel@CC professional development program.

Block 5 began with a number of events on campus, from our campus-wide celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, to a discussion of the Supreme Court by attorney Cate Stetson, to Cornerstone Arts Week. And if those events weren’t enough, CC joined with the Colorado Springs Downtown Partnership to kick-off The City Center, a series on urban planning and design. Most of our visiting scholars and experts also joined classes, giving students an opportunity to engage with them in a more intimate setting. It was a high-energy start to what I know will be an exciting spring here on the Colorado College campus.Tutt Library under construction

If you have been on campus recently, dropping off your student for Spring Semester, or as part of a reunion planning committee, or attending any of these Block 5 events, then you have a good sense of how the campus will look next fall.

The upward and westward construction on Tutt Library presents a new profile facing Cascade Avenue, and the views from the third and fourth floors will be among the best in the city. Tutt South will be removed this summer, opening up Armstrong Quad for the first time since 1980, when that addition was built.

The interest in watching the evolution has inspired many requests for tours of the project. Members of the planning committees, as well as alumni, parents, trustees and others on campus have toured the building during construction, and the common theme is a big “wow!”

East Campus construction Feb. 2017At the southeast corner of Uintah Street and Nevada Avenue, the campus is visibly changed by the emergence of the new East Campus residential development. This project was designed to build a strong sense of community for the 154 students who will reside in the eight townhouses, cottages and brownstones. The community building that will anchor this development includes a communal kitchen and laundry facilities as well as a second-story patio facing the mountains.

We recently announced that the new residences will be named for distinguished former students, an opportunity to connect today’s students to CC’s history. From figure skater Peggy Fleming, to Nobel Laureate James Heckman, to Frederick Roberts, the first African American elected to the California State Legislature, the alumni being honored have achieved first or great accomplishments that deserve to be recognized for generations to come.

The spring holds much promise, and I look forward to sharing more news as the year progresses. Thank you for your support in all that we do!

Best regards,


President Jill Tiefenthaler

5th Annual Big Idea Competition Next Week

This year’s Big Idea competition will be held Wednesday, February 22 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in Celeste Theatre in The Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center.

After five years, the annual Big Idea pitch competition, awarding seed money to help CC students launch new businesses and social ventures, will be changing hands. The shift represents the start of a new era. Inaugural director Patrick Bultema moves on to other adventures as part of his long entrepreneurial career, passing the torch to CC alumna Dez Menendez ’02, who arrived from Seattle last September to take the helm of our innovation program.

css.php