President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog
Around now is the time when I start getting notes from recent graduates telling me about their new jobs, and how excited they are to be starting their professional lives. Recent graduate Dan Levitt ’16 shared news that a film he made as a CC student this spring has been accepted as an official selection of the Brooklyn Film Festival. The Festival is this week. Congratulations, Dan!
A CC education is a multifaceted exploration, and Venture Grants have been creating opportunities for students to individualize their experiences for more than a decade.
Already this summer, Venture Grants have made it possible for students Tara Labovich ’19 and Bryce Kirby ’19 to travel to Ireland and Scotland for solo backpacking trips, where they are immersing themselves in the landscape, the experience of traveling alone, and the words and images they can create from these experiences. Both Tara and Bryce are devoted writers, and Bryce is an avid photographer. Seeking out additional funds to continue their adventures, they created a Kickstarter campaign to finance the publication of two collaborative books: a hardcover art and poetry book and a softcover collection of poetry and fiction. I can’t wait to see these books in print!
Last year, the Keller Family Venture Grant Program provided approximately $100,000 in funds to 109 students who designed and implemented their own research projects on campus and around the world. Venture Grants foster independence and innovation; they allow our students to make real what they have imagined.
“A critical thinker is a self-learning machine that is not constrained by memorizing commands or syntax.”
That may be my favorite line in this Wall Street Journal piece on the value of a liberal education by David Kalt. I’m also pretty fond of his assertion: “Looking back at the tech teams that I’ve built at my companies, it’s evident that individuals with liberal arts degrees are by far the sharpest, best-performing software developers and technology leaders.”
But it also could be the title of his essay: “Why I was wrong about liberal arts majors.”
Kalt has spent the last decade recruiting top programmers for the various tech companies he has led. He describes the liberal arts graduates who stand out among the teams of technologists he has recruited as leaders in the field. All of which I agree with, and all of which is exactly what we know about CC graduates, regardless of major.
Recent graduate Lila Rosenman ’16 wrote to our incoming first years with some advice. I enjoyed it and wanted to share it!
10 Things To Do Before you Graduate from Colorado College:
1. Befriend a staff member. Our dedicated college staff are the heartbeat of our campus. They’ll certainly support you professionally, but take the time to build a friendship.
2. Spend a Block Break on campus. Underrated and exquisite, there are times when Netflix, frozen dinners, and your bed will be in order. Don’t hesitate to spend your four days relaxing in Colorado Springs. Check out the Ivywild School to hear live music, Peak Bowl for $1 games on Sundays, or Kawa Coffee for the best breakfast sandwiches (shh! that’s my best kept secret).
3. Ride into the Full Moon. The student-run Bike Co-op leads a Full Moon Cruiser around Colorado Springs every month, complete with speakers blasting tunes. Don’t forget to howl!
4. Stop by Jill’s Office Hours. President Jill Tiefenthaler holds office hours every block in the Worner Campus Center. Stop by and share a thought, tell her about your class, or chat about a change you’d like to make in our community. The availability of such dialogue and community engagement should not be taken for granted, so go say hi!
5. Tell your story. Whether you share a story at the blockly Story Slam, give a TedTalk to peers, or informally share at a hall get together, tell the community what makes you unique. There are few things as powerful as a story—find a forum outside of your comfort zone to share.
6. Share a laugh during 4th week. The Theatre Workshop Improv Group (TWIT) puts on a show every 4th Monday. Take a break from your final studying to relax and share a laugh with 200 peers.
7. Take a Sociology Course. Ok, ok, I’m a biased Sociology major. I can promise you, however, that magical things are happening in the east side of Palmer Hall. Take a Soc course. You will not regret it!
8. Use student resources (!!). Your time at CC is sure to hold self-exploration and growth, stress and uncertainty, exhilaration and bouts of apprehension. Keeping yourself mentally healthy is paramount, and there are dedicated staff who can help. Every student is entitled to six free counseling sessions at Boettcher Health Center per academic year. Our Chaplains’ Office, along with Heather at the Wellness Resource Center, are also wonderful resources (and overall delightful people!).
9. Take a class in the field. Whether you take Intro to Geology and wake up during 3rd week in Colorado Monument Canyon, teach in a community classroom during an Education course, take a class in Hollywood or one abroad, get yourself into a field-heavy course. Your academic immersion will reflect just how incredible the block plan is.
10. Breathe, and take it all in. CC moves fast, and it’s your job to take it in. Schedule a weekly dose of quiet and reflection. I like to sit at the kidney bean table behind McGregor and take in the beauty of Pikes.
I wish each of you the best of luck as you embark on this most amazing adventure.
Much much love,
CC students frequently cross the street to our neighbor, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, for study of the artworks in its extensive collections, in particular the collection of art and artifacts from our Southwest region.
Professors work with the FAC using both CC’s collection housed at the museum for decades, and the FAC’s own incredible collection to create special learning experiences for our students.
For example, in Block 7 of this year, students in Jennifer Lozano’s class “Introduction to Mexican American Literature and Culture” did a close visual analysis of contemporary and historical religious icons of the Southwest from the FAC’s extensive Spanish Colonial permanent collection as well as santos, bultos and altarpieces from a temporary exhibition. The students connected their observations to their class readings and engaged in a captivating conversation.
The FAC collection is a powerful teaching tool and offers endless possibilities for enrichment and understanding of our region. We are excited about the possibilities for an even stronger alliance with the FAC!