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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

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

Summer Reading

In addition to many novels, my summer book list included some reading in preparation for a new class that I’ll be teaching this year in Block 5. An advanced course in microeconomics, the course Widening Income Inequality had me reading — and re-reading —  Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” as well as ”The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future” by economist Joseph Stiglitz. I also read “Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson, the book assigned to this year’s first-year class

Great books, all of them, and I hope your summer included some stimulating reading as well.

Jill's Books


Professor Siddoway on Animas River Spill

There was a great story in yesterday’s Gazette quoting Geology Professor Christine Siddoway, based on her extensive knowledge of the geological development of the Front Range. The story was in reaction to the Animas River spill of toxic materials from an abandoned mine. The pollution in the river has been a major ecological disaster here in Colorado, and Christine clarifies how, despite our own mining history, the geology of El Paso County has helped spare the region from a similar fate.

The future of America’s rivers is the focus for this year’s State of the Rockies Project: the “Scales of Western Water.”  This year’s speakers series has the college hosting CC alumnus Scott Campbell ’91 for a talk entitled “Large Landscape Conservation and the Future of America’s Rivers” on August 31 at 7 p.m. in Gates Common Room.  Scott is the 2015 Lincoln Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, and former director of the Palmer Land Trust.

From English Major to coder

Excellent communication skills have always been one of the hallmarks of a liberal arts graduate.

Technology skills have been part of expression and artistic creation since the printing press. It’s only logical that our students are adding computer coding as yet another mode of expression they want to master.

For instance, English major Savannah Worth ’14 worked with CC Professor Steve Hayward. As Steve tells the story, her senior thesis was what you would hope for from an English major – a draft of her first novel. What Hayward didn’t expect was Savannah’s choice of a final block: Algebra 3.  She told Hayward that she was looking at a second degree in computer science.

Hayward, who is a faculty member on the innovation institute advisory board and co-teaches the “Start Up Boot Camp” with the institute’s Executive Director Patrick Bultema, suggested Savannah look at coding programs instead. Together, Hayward and Bultema helped Savannah pull together an application to tech accelerator Galvanize in Denver.  She got her application in just in time for the deadline, three days later.  Savannah is recognized in this recent NYT article. She returned the favor to her professor, with her work on a website for the KRCC radio show Hayward does with two other CC faculty.