Around the Block – Connecting with Our Community

Lasmawan Among Denver Mayor’s Arts Award Honorees

I Made Lasmawan on stage with his students during  the Performing the Hindu Epics class performance. 
Photo by Mila Naumovska ’26
Colorado College Gamelan director and Indonesian music instructor I Made Lasmawan was among those honored during the 36th annual Denver Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in Arts and Culture event on Dec. 7. Lasmawan is the artist-in-residence and director of Gamelan Tunas Mekar, a Denver-based Balinese-style orchestra and non-profit organization, which was presented with the Arts and Culture Global Award by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock during the ceremony.

The all-volunteer Gamelan Tunas Mekar presents traditional and new Balinese gamelan music locally, nationally, and internationally in an effort to educate audiences about the music, dance, and traditions of Bali and Indonesia. Modeled after typical village groups found throughout Bali and taught through traditional methods, the community ensemble provides audiences the rare opportunity to experience one of the world’s most beautiful and sophisticated performing arts.

Lasmawan is a native of Bali and received his degree in Indonesian traditional gamelan music from conservatories in Bali and Java. He taught for several years in Java before arriving in the U.S. in 1990. He has been teaching at Colorado College for 30 years and is considered one of the foremost experts in gamelan performance and Indonesian music.

Anthropology Professor to Host Workshop on Religion, Anthropocene, and the Climate Crisis

By Julia Fennell ’21

Sarah Hautzinger, professor and associate chair of the Anthropology Department, was recently awarded a $20,000 grant to host a four-day workshop focused on religious communities’ engagement with climate challenges.

The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research awarded Hautzinger and Sophie Bjork-James, assistant professor of anthropology at Vanderbilt University, the grant based off of their proposal, entitled, “Religious Responses to Climate Turmoil: Anthropological Perspectives.”

Hautzinger and Bjork-James will co-lead the workshop, which will take place May 31 through June 3 on the CC campus. The seminar participants, all of whom have expertise in different regions and religious and spiritual practices, will discuss how religious institutions and leaders are responding to the climate crisis and Anthropocene, or the current geological age in which human activities have had transformative effects on the earth’s ecosystems.

French Class Thrives with Block Plan’s Immersion

Michael O’Riley, chair and professor of the French and Italian Departments,
Photo by Mila Naumovska ’26
By Julia Fennell ’21

Colorado College students go from having little to no experience with a language to being able to speak it at an elementary level in less than a month. How? Total immersion.

Block 3 Elementary French 1 was taught entirely in French by Michael O’Riley, chair and professor of the French and Italian Departments. Most of the students began the course with hardly any experience in French but were expected to be able to speak basic French by the course’s conclusion, which is just three and a half weeks after it began.

In just seven days of instruction, students could present and describe themselves and others in fairly long sentences, O’Riley said during the second week of the block. The class size varies, but usually ranges between 15 and 18 students. This class had 11 students.

Identity, Power, and Environment

Professor Jillian Jaeger’s Environmental Social Science course took a field trip to Food to Power.

Photo submitted by Noah Furuseth ’26.
By Paikea Kelley ’26

Professor Jillian Jaeger recently taught a new Environmental Social Science course titled Environmental Justice: Identity, Power, & Environment. The students dove deep into the intricacies of environmental justice within the local Colorado Springs community, as well as on a global scale. The course aimed to help students understand the intersectionality behind the environmental harms we experience, and how local policies interact discordantly within each community because of their socioeconomic status.
Recently, Colorado’s legislature passed an act which enables the state government to create an environmental justice task force. With this new law in place, the state is beginning to acknowledge the environmental harms that directly link to injustices felt by families living within these low-socioeconomic communities.
“There is no time to waste, and the sooner we realize how much power an individual has, the sooner we will collectively use that individual power to bring justice to these communities,” says Noah Furuseth ’26, a student in the course.

Stroud Scholars Featured in Chronicle of Higher Education Case Study

Stroud Scholars participate in orientation at Tutt Library during their time on campus in July of 2022.
Photo by Lonnie Timmons III 
By Julia Fennell ’21

Colorado College’s Stroud Scholars program was recently featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, a newspaper focused on college and university news. The Chronicle of Higher Education partnered with Ascendium Education Group to produce this case study on college-school partnerships.

Each year, CC accepts 25 rising high school sophomores from the Pikes Peak Region to its Stroud Scholars program. Over the next three summers, the students build their writing and quantitative reasoning skills through classes taught by CC faculty and local high school instructors, while learning what the college experience is like through adjunct classes and a residential experience. The students are mentored and guided through the college admissions and financial aid processes.

Photo of the Week

Cutler Hall on Jan. 18, after a moderate, overnight snowfall.

Photo by Lonnie Timmons III
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