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President Jill Tiefenthaler's Blog

CC Tigers Beat Pacific Lutheran

Today, CC Volleyball beat Pacific Lutheran 3-1 to win their first round NCAA game.  We will most likely face Claremont in the second round later this weekend.

What a great win for the program!

Our Strategic Plan’s Best Kept Secret: Block Projects

Sometimes people just need to come together quickly and solve problems and at CC, we can do anything in three-and-a-half weeks. It’s the philosophy of our students and now it’s a rewarding challenge that can be embraced by faculty and staff.

Block Projects support our strategic initiative of Workplace Excellence, fostering an organization that is as innovative and dynamic as the CC academic experience through vibrant collaboration. These projects, which give intense focus over a short period of time, accomplish a specific mission, and the work has a defined beginning and an end.

“It’s time well spent. One block. It’s perfect,” said Gail Murphy-Geiss, associate professor of sociology and Title IX coordinator, who has served on two Block Project teams. “We get exciting moments of innovation, and then we’re done. You’re putting the right people together in a system that works in our mindset. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?”

It’s a uniquely CC initiative that has gone somewhat unnoticed since projects launched in summer 2013. Four projects (with a fifth wrapping up now) have been completed, one block at a time, in the nine blocks since the initiative was announced. Participants like Murphy-Geiss and Mandy Sulfrian, a staff assistant in the Geology Department, who participated in one of the first Block Projects, say the success depends on bringing the right people to the table. Often, it’s people who may not otherwise interact, and those relationships are an important byproduct of the Block Project initiative.

“I liked the brainstorming and problem solving and the way it morphed into an end-product,” said Sulfrian. “It’s freeing to do it in that block timeframe. It’s intense, but very quick, because with the mentality of the Block Plan, you have to get things done quickly.”

Transparency, accountability, and efficient solutions are also goals of the Block Project concept, inviting the campus community to participate in identifying issues and solving problems.

“If there is a topic or a question about a crazy rule, bring it forward as a possible Block Project,” said Barbara Wilson, director of Human Resources, and who has served on two Block Project teams. “We all want to make CC a great place to work and we’re afforded an opportunity to contribute to the decision making of the college. We all have a voice in how we can improve it.”

Submit your ideas and review past and current Block Projects.

Professor Scott Johnson’s Work at Denver’s Museum of Outdoor Arts

Denver’s Museum of Outdoor Arts currently features the work of CC arts faculty member, Professor Scott Johnson.  The commissioned exhibit, Mute Earth, features the transformation of discarded library books into ceramic sculptures, evoking both library and landscape.  The exhibit, which opened with a reception on November 1st, runs through April 11, 2015 at the Museum’s indoor gallery space at the Englewood Civic Center.

Professor Siddoway Discovers Rare Rock Formation

In the most recent edition of Lithosphere the peer-reviewed journal of the Geological Society of America, Geology Professor Christine Siddoway documents a rare rock formation where sandstone and granite meet, vertically fused together.  Her ground-breaking conclusion is that this formation marks the origin of the Ute Pass fault, an event that took place 750 million years ago.  More recently, this same fault was responsible for creating the Front Range Mountains, including Pikes Peak, “only” 65 million years ago. The Colorado Springs Gazette feature Christine’s work in an article last week http://gazette.com/colorado-college-geology-professor-makes-discovery-of-career/article/1540460.

Professor Ben-Amots debuts Odessa

Sunday, November 2 marked the world premier of Odessa, a work by composer and chair of CC’s music department, Professor Ofer Ben-Amots.  The complete work was performed alongside two other trios by Russian, and Russian-Isreali composers, Dmitri Shostakovich and Joseph Dorfman.  Highlighting the special relationship between three generations of influential composers, each of the trios was written in memory of a mentor and a dear friend.  A bus full of CC music students, faculty and staff made the trip to see the thought-provoking, classical music program, A Trio of Trios. The concert was featured in the Denver-based lifestyle magazine 5280Congratulations Ofer!

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