Dear Alumni, Parents, and Friends,

In our technologically dynamic society, we as educators are confronted with the challenge of preparing our students for jobs that don’t yet exist. While we may not be certain what the job market will look like in five years, we can be certain that the skills our students gain through their liberal arts education will remain valuable five, 10, and even 50 years from now. Skills such as resilience, collaboration, comfort with ambiguity, and creativity equip our students to find both professional and personal fulfillment throughout their lives.

As the naturalist E.O. Wilson remarked, “The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers — people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” To support our students in becoming the synthesizers of the future, we developed a new recommendation in our strategic plan addendum: “Connect the CC Experience.” This recommendation focuses on helping our students to build connections across diverse communities, disciplines, and academic and co-curricular experiences, and to link their CC education to their future aspirations.

The types of connections vary widely. Through our Public Interest Fellowship Program, students and recent graduates receive mentoring from Colorado nonprofit leaders and contribute innovative ideas to their partner organizations. This year, 22 summer fellows and 14 yearlong fellows will serve with nonprofits in Denver and Colorado Springs. Another way we’re strengthening our connection to the Colorado Springs community is through PikeRide, a bikeshare program launched by the Downtown Partnership in June. 

Additionally, we’re encouraging our students to “think outside the block” by connecting their curricular and co-curricular experiences. Innovation at CC provides a space where work merges with play, empowering students to use creativity, design thinking, risk/failure/resilience, and mindfulness as tools for change making. 

For example, Innovation at CC and the State of the Rockies Project are supporting four student interns as they develop a proposal for enhancements to Monument Creek. The innovation program is also collaborating with faculty to offer interdisciplinary courses that engage students’ creativity. One example featured is “The Moving Line” creative writing course co-taught by calligraphic performance artist Barbara Bash and English Professor Jane Hilberry. 

Finally, we hope to prepare our students to leverage their CC experience as they embark on their post-graduate pursuits. The story featuring Parker McVey ’18 and Beka Adair ’16 illustrates some of the ways our young alumni are building upon CC connections to launch their careers. 

One of the best resources for supporting our students in this transition is you — our alumni, parents, and friends. Your insight, expertise, and connections are invaluable in helping students articulate their personal narratives and define their goals for the future.

I encourage each of you to help us connect the CC experience by joining our online mentoring platform, TigerLink, and exploring the Career Center’s volunteer opportunities.

Warm regards,

Jill Tiefenthaler