Around the Block: Commencement is Next Week

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‘The Mother of DNA Vaccines’ to Deliver Commencement Address

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Dr. Margaret A. Liu ’77, who is renowned in the fields of vaccines, gene delivery, and cancer immunotherapy, will deliver the 2022 Commencement address. The Commencement ceremony is Sunday, May 22, at 8:30 a.m. in Ed Robson Arena.
Liu is a Colorado native who graduated summa cum laude from CC and was a Boettcher Scholar. She pioneered two technologies for cancer and vaccines (bispecific antibodies and DNA vaccines), for which she has received a number of awards internationally, with two honorary doctorates including a D.Sc.hc from Colorado College and an M.D.hc, from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, where she had been previously invited to lecture by the Nobel committee. She is known as “The Mother of DNA Vaccines,” a technology that also laid foundations for mRNA vaccines. She was the scientific lead for the World Health Organization drafting group for the recently approved WHO guidelines for mRNA vaccines. She passed the Epreuve pour le Diplôme d’Enseignement à l’Unanimité du Jury in piano at L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, also in 1977, and earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1981. Click here for Liu’s bio
The Commencement 2022 venue, Ed Robson Arena, offers complete ADA accessibility. The state-of-the-art sound system and high-definition video scoreboard screen offer consistent audio, up-close viewing of the stage and speakers, and a clear view of sign language interpreters from all seats. In addition, Robson offers a temperature-controlled environment without the need for a weather contingency plan. Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates, their guests, faculty, and staff are invited to the President’s Reception on Tava Quad.
For additional information about Commencement 2022 activities, visit the event homepage.

Senior Spotlight: Lorraine Chen ’22

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Commencement 2022 is just a few weeks away! Today we honor the outstanding achievements of a senior student in our Senior Spotlight 2022.

Lorraine Chen ’22


Major: Sociology with a concentration in research methods and data analysis

Q: Tell us about your favorite extracurricular activity and explain why it was important for you at CC.

A: I had a great time playing mock trial in my freshman year. My teammates are like family to me, and Alan is probably the best coach one could ever find in the world. I’d definitely recommend everyone to join the mock trial team.

Q: Is there anyone you met at CC who has been particularly important to your experience here? What is your most memorable moment with them?

A: Gretchen Wardell is my pre-law advisor. During my ups and downs with the LSAT, law school application, and job search, she has always been supportive and assured me that everything was going to be OK. I remember there was a time when I had two days left before an important interview and Gretchen squeezed me in so that I could get prepared. A huge shoutout to Gretchen for being the best mentor ever.

Honors Convocation Celebrates Students, Faculty, Staff

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Photo by Lonnie Timmons III
Honors Convocation, an annual academic tradition, recognizes outstanding students across all departments and in all aspects of campus life.
This year’s event, held Tuesday, May 10, in Celeste Theatre, honored students, faculty, and staff with departmental awards, all-college awards, and awards from the Colorado College Student Government Association.
Among the all-college awards presented were the Outstanding Student Leader Award, presented to Karla Nelly Iruegas; the Emerging Student Leader Award, presented to Emma Logan; the Blue Key Award, presented to Professor Amy L. Kohout; and the Bill Hochman Prize, presented to Isaac Yee.
To see a complete description of the 2022 Honors Convocation awards and recipients visit our website. In addition, view a list of other student and alumni awards and accolades. The Honors Convocation program takes the place of the traditional First Mondays event during Block 8.

Nick Cleveland-Stout ’22 Wins a Fulbright Scholarship

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Photo courtesy of Nick Cleveland-Stout
By Zeke Lloyd ’24
Nick Cleveland-Stout ’22 has won a Fulbright Scholarship, a prestigious award for students interested in pursuing research or teaching opportunities abroad. Cleveland-Stout will travel to Florianópolis, Brazil, in February 2023 to study the nation’s international political policy. His proposal, “Assessing the Impact of the 5G Race in Brazil Through the Lens of Florianópolis,” provides an overview of his plans to study the political impact of the United States and China on Brazil. The two nations are both offering bids to Brazil with hopes of building its new 5G network. “To conduct this research, I will be working with two different groups at the Federal University of Santa Catarina who specialize in the Brazil-China relationship and international security,” Cleveland-Stout says.
Cleveland-Stout is a political science major from McMinnville, Oregon. He credits his time at Colorado College for preparing him to undergo this program. “I really have to specifically thank Dr. Naomi Pueo Wood for creating a vibrant community of people interested in Brazilian culture on campus,” Cleveland-Stout says. “Because of that, I feel as though I have been able to explore my interest in Brazil more through CC events like Carnaval, capoeira classes, or even just going to a Brazilian restaurant.”
This award comes years after Cleveland-Stout’s introduction to living internationally. During his gap year before college, he underwent a program called Global Citizen Year, during which traveled to Santa Catarina, Brazil, to live with a host family.

Best Friends Earn Grant to Help Improve Community’s Safety

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As anyone involved with Colorado College knows, El Paso County is a beautiful place to live. But it’s also home to two ugly statistics: Historically, the county leads the state in the number of suicides and in suicides involving firearms, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Two CC students, Maddi Schink ’23 and Fer Juarez Duran Jr. ’23, have a plan to help combat that. A $10,000 grant from the Davis Projects for Peace program will support their work.

Middlebury College in Vermont administers the worldwide program, which awards the grants annually to 100 or more students identified as “peacebuilders and changemakers.”

Schink and Juarez Duran, who are best friends, will use the funds to present free firearm safety workshops and a media campaign designed for parents who own guns.

The students will work with local experts and firearm owners to promote awareness about storing firearms safely, thereby limiting access. One study they cite found that 20 percent of Colorado high school students have access to firearms.

This summer, they’ll host six free two-hour firearm safety workshops throughout El Paso County and present a social media campaign. They’re collaborating with Colorado Ceasefire, the state-wide gun violence prevention organization, Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention, and the Suicide Prevention Collaborative of El Paso County. Juarez Duran and Schink also will reach out to parents in the county’s nine school districts, faith communities, and patrons of gun shows and shooting ranges.

Fulbright Winner Heading Back to Germany

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Photo Courtesy of Claire McCallum
By Rhonda Van Pelt 
Claire McCallum ’22 isn’t sure exactly where she’ll end up in Germany as a Fulbright English teaching assistant, but the odds are good that she’ll land on her feet. The environmental studies and German studies major knows she’ll be in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in western Germany and will work in a variety of schools that could include elementary, middle, secondary, or vocational schools. She’ll be there from September 2022 to June 2023.
Fulbright English teaching assistants work with local English teachers to instruct students ranging from kindergarten to college while acting as ambassadors for the United States.
Applying for the Fulbright award was an arduous process lasting months, McCallum says, so it was a relief to win after pouring so much effort and passion into it.
This won’t be McCallum’s first time in Germany: She participated in a study abroad program during Blocks 1 and 2 of her sophomore year, and lived with a host family in Lüneburg, a small city in north-central Germany. She took courses with CC professors and classmates, and a German language course at the local university. “The university had a lot of international students, and I really enjoyed getting to know people from around the world. Living with a German host family was very beneficial for my language skills, and I felt that I gained a really valuable cultural experience from that,” McCallum says.
McCallum isn’t sure what she’ll do afterward, but envisions herself working in international climate policy, sustainable development, or something similar. Whatever she does, post-graduation and Fulbright, she’ll be grateful to the “amazing” German Department at CC for all the opportunities she’s had.

Photo of the Week

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Intramural Spring Soccer Tournament participants play soccer on Tava Quad May 6.
Photo by Lonnie Timmons III
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