The Colgate Scene
January 2008

Around the college

Students in Professor Connie Soja's Core Distinction class, Darwin and the Victorian Age of Discovery, spoke with Charles Darwin's great-great-grandson, Randal Keynes, who was in London at the time, by way of videoconference. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

In November, students participated in Step It Up! and Power Shift, rallying both on campus and Capitol Hill to demand governmental action to combat global warming and address other pressing environmental issues.
Step It Up! is a grassroots movement started by environmentalist Bill McKibben, a recent visitor to campus. Approximately 60 students, faculty, and community members gathered on the Academic Quad as part of a nationwide demonstration on Nov. 3, urging politicians to support climate change legislation.

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Family Weekend 2007

A number of students also attended the Power Shift conference held in Washington, D.C. The four-day event, which drew 6,000 college students, consisted of workshops, panels, and speakers providing information to affect change. The event culminated with a march to Capitol Hill, where students met with their representative or senator.

"Every social movement, the way they have succeeded is by coalition. That was what this was — building coalition. It was students going to a conference and getting as much information as they could in order to put it into action on campus and in communities," explained Katelyn Ciolino '10, organizer of Colgate's Power Shift group. — Brittany Messenger '10


Willoughby Sharp stands behind Ice, an installation that he re-created from his work in the '60s with the help of Professor DeWitt Godfrey and sculpture students on the lawn next to the library. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko] Artist Willoughby Sharp's ephemeral installation Air involved Dewitt Godfrey and an art student rowing out on Taylor Lake to anchor an 8-foot weather balloon.

Visiting artist Willoughby Sharp created two outdoor installations on campus Halloween morning with the help of Professor DeWitt Godfrey and his sculpture students.

More on the Sharp exhibition and related arts videos

Ice was composed of five solid blocks of ice reminiscent of tombstones protruding out of mounds of dirt next to Wesson Terrace at Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. An eight-foot tall, white weather balloon floating above Taylor Lake was Air.

Although the balloon blew away after about three hours and the ice eventually melted, the ephemerality of the installations was purposeful. "Both pieces [were] designed to dissipate," Godfrey explained. "Willoughby's work interrogates the idea of what the art object is. It's not so much about connoisseurship; it's about the experience of the work, and the work has its own timeframe, its own narrative," he said.

Sharp, of New York City, re-created the pieces from his 1967 show in Central Park called Earth, Air, Fire, Water. Forty years later, the 71-year-old artist's spunk still shines through, as witnessed by studio art major Lee Sloan '08, who noticed Sharp dancing by the edge of the lake as students helped set up the weather balloon. Tall and dressed all in black, with shoulder-length gray hair sticking out from beneath his black fedora, Sharp, like his art, draws attention.

In addition to the outdoor installations, the Clifford Gallery exhibited Retrospection, the first comprehensive examination of Sharp's career. "It is not a retrospective in a traditional sense, but a retrospective of an attitude of a way of being in the world," Godfrey said in a panel discussion with Sharp and Professor John Knecht about emerging art during the '60s and '70s.

The exhibition was presented in a multimedia style, of which Sharp has been on the forefront with his multifaceted work in video, performance art, and publishing. In the entrance of Clifford Gallery, a monitor showed a live feed of the exhibition. Televisions lining the wall played excerpts from Sharp's video performances, and a suite of drawings and articles documenting his work hung on adjacent walls. Telepresence involved two chairs, each with a camera and a monitor showing what was happening in and around the other chair. The gallery was also rigged with a webcam, enabling people to view the exhibition through the gallery's website.

Knecht used Sharp's work in his video art class to introduce students to the concept of video as an installation. "He documented the use of that medium from its beginning in the early '60s, so it was like having living history right here," Knecht said.

The edginess of Sharp's work, in which he often videotaped himself in Houdini-like situations, also served as an example of experimentalism for students. "Willoughby explores uncharted territory in his installations and performances that makes the audience uncomfortable, forcing them to reconsider the meaning of the piece and what is unfolding in front of them," said Katie Zarrella '08, an art and art history student.

Pamela Seymour Smith, Sharp's wife and co-curator of Retrospection, explained that much of Sharp's work has been about his body and that he continues to use himself as the subject of his art, including his current battle with cancer. Sharp added, "I don't have to go out in the world and find new work; I can look back on myself, and I find that very satisfying."

The Colgate Hunger Outreach Program's Local Food Fair drew students, community members, and the Swinging 'Gates to The Loj for a feast made entirely of fresh ingredients produced in the Hamilton area.

Students shopped at the farmers' market in Hamilton the weekend before and then worked together to prepare the food, according to Liz Whitehurst '08, community coordinator at The Loj, a college theme house dedicated to the environment.

Several local vendors also donated to the event, which was held during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Hamilton Whole Foods, Red Roof Maple and Produce, Stone Brothers Farm and Greenhouse, and Heidelberg Baking Co. supplied desserts, drinks, appetizers, fresh produce, and bread.

"We wanted to show people what they can buy locally from the farmers' market and from locally owned businesses," said Whitehurst. "By keeping money in our community, we can battle the sorts of issues that are associated with hunger and homelessness, which often come when money is concentrated in corporations and at the top of the heap."

Because the fair was held to foster awareness within the Hamilton area, the Broad Street Community Council, whose mission it is to connect people within Broad Street houses, also sponsored the event. — Brittany Messenger '10

New York State's first lady, Silda Wall Spitzer, visited the campus on Nov. 13 to learn about cooperative partnerships between local nonprofit organizations and the university. In her visit, arranged by the Partnership for Community Development, Spitzer met with students and faculty from the Upstate Institute, COVE, and in her capacity as chair of the New York State Commission on National and Community Service. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Watching Ken Burns's World War II documentary The War was a deeply personal and emotional journey for music professor Laura Klugherz. Not only did Klugherz spend her formative years in Germany; but it was an even more personal experience for her because Florentine Films selected her recording of "La Captive" to be included in the soundtrack.

The cut, from Klugherz's Amy Beach: Music for Violin/Viola and Piano album, was played twice in episode two of the critically acclaimed documentary, which aired on PBS.

"To have my `La Captive' played at a place where I spent time and be able to relate to that history as I did when I was living in Germany as a student was very moving," she said.

The music, paired with different poignant situations, is an essential element in evoking emotion and telling the story of heroism and heartbreak during World War II.

"Music brings emotions to a place that words can't always go," said Klugherz, a celebrated violinist who has performed around the world.

Her recording is mixed in with the works of artists such as Wynton Marsalis, who composed and performed several pieces specifically for the documentary.

Working out of an office inside the Ho Science Center, a group of students is having an impact on a community more than 7,000 miles away — in Uganda, Africa.

The undergraduates are part of a unique venture between Colgate and Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), an Africa-based nongovernmental organization focused on environmental conservation and public health in a remote region of Uganda.

Since the office at Colgate is CTPH's only North American location, the students play a critical role, said the organization's founder, Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, who visited from Uganda to recognize the efforts being made on campus.

"The students are responsive to our needs. They show a unique interest in helping the people and animals in Uganda, and because of that, they're having a great impact in Africa," said Kalema-Zikusoka.

During her visit, she met with Kyla Dzwilewski '08, a student who's been analyzing data from surveys conducted by CTPH in hopes of determining how best to educate Ugandans about tuberculosis.

The partnership grew out of a meeting in 2003 between geography professor Ellen Kraly and Kalema-Zikusoka. Kraly was so intrigued by CTPH's mission that she visited the organization's main office in the southwest corner of Uganda. She returned to Colgate with a desire to help the organization. Her vision is paying off as students and faculty build on this global partnership.

Last fall the Colgate Environmental Studies Program contributed funds from a $300,000 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant to help set up the CTPH office on campus.

Along with providing public affairs, grant writing, and administrative assistance, students are conducting research specifically for CTPH. Geography students work with Kraly to identify the relationships between human disease and gorilla groups in Uganda.

Undergraduates are also working with biology professor Frank Frey to test gorilla samples for parasites and markers of infectious disease.

Dzwilewski hopes to take her work one step further by studying in Uganda during the spring semester.

"I'm thrilled with the opportunity to have an impact beyond the classroom. I look forward to observing how my work at Colgate is paying off for those who need assistance the most," she said.


The boarded up Parkside Deli after a downtown fire [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

The Parkside Deli on Broad Street reopened three-and-a-half short weeks after a downtown fire on Oct. 22 gutted the popular off-campus eatery and displaced a dozen students living in nearby apartments.

No one was injured in the fire, which broke out around 10 p.m.

Parkside owners Carolyn Gherardi and Craig Di Battista temporarily relocated the deli to a space that had been recently vacated a few doors down.

The university provided alternative housing and temporary meal plans to students affected by the fire, according to Jennifer Adams, director of residential life. Students were also provided with essentials such as bedding and were loaned computers.

Ten students living in four apartments above the deli were displaced, along with two students from a nearby apartment that also suffered smoke damage. Most of the students were able to return to their apartments within a couple of weeks following cleanup.

On Oct. 22, internationally acclaimed author Tim Flannery discussed his book The Weather Makers with first-year students, who were assigned the book as part of their summer reading requirement.

During a luncheon, Flannery explained his intentions with the book: to turn scientific information into a story that the public could understand and portray a sense of optimism in order to encourage people to modify their actions in hopes of preventing further climate change.

Flannery, the 2007 Australian of the Year, said that before he started writing the book, he spent four years researching global warming and read 10 years worth of back issues of magazines related to the topic.

He stressed the urgency of starting to fight global warming now because 60 percent of the Great Barrier Reef was destroyed by 2002 and the Arctic ice cap could be gone in 20 years.

A few weeks following Flannery's visit, Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, presented his contradictory viewpoint that global warming poses no imminent threat.

While Flannery contends that diminishing rainforests, melting ice sheets, and animal extinctions can all be connected to global warming, Lindzen argues that these events cannot solely be linked to a slight temperature increase and there are separate causes for each one.

"Confusion and illogic are at the heart of the global warming alarm," said Lindzen. His skeptical view on climate change was hard for some audience members to swallow as they pointed out current scientific, political, and ethical beliefs indicating global warming is a major problem.

The discussion has continued online with readers debating both sides of the issue in response to Colgate web stories on these two visits. — Kristen Meisner '11

The annual Native American Arts and Culture Festival kicked off November's Native American Heritage Month with a daylong celebration.

Musical performances were given by Corn Bred, 2007 Native American Music Award winner for best blues recording, and Inca Son, who are noted for their traditional Andean music and elaborate indigenous costumes. The Haudenosaunee Singers and Dancers performed fast-paced Smoke Dances and Plains Indian—style hoop dances, as well as traditional Iroquois social dances.

Throughout the day, Native American artisans demonstrated craftwork; vendors from many Native American communities offered a wide array of unique craft items; and visitors sampled traditional Iroquois foods.

The festival was organized by the Longyear Museum of Anthropology and Native American Studies Program in association with the Native American Student Association. — Brittany Messenger '10


A memorial was dedicated to the four teenagers killed in a car crash on campus seven years ago during a ceremony on Oak Drive. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

A remembrance of the four teenagers killed in a car crash on campus seven years ago was dedicated Nov. 12 during a windswept ceremony on Oak Drive.

Families of three of the victims and members of the campus community stood along the main entrance to the campus where Katherine Almeter, Emily Collins, Rachel Nargiso, and Kevin King died in the Nov. 11, 2000, accident.

"We are here today not to memorialize the accident, but to memorialize the lives of Emily, Katherine, Rachel, and Kevin and to celebrate their energy, spirit, and creativity," said Charlotte Johnson, vice president and dean of the college.

A permanent memorial and a student project were dedicated at the ceremony, which followed a three-week exhibition at Case Library that provided a close look at the teens' lives through mementos and pictures. The Friends exhibition, which has traveled to universities around the state, also carries a strong message about the dangers of driving drunk.

Near the Oak Drive memorial — a plaque carved into stone — sits a tribute designed by art major Kathleen Kohl '09 consisting of four 18" by 24" laser-engraved portraits, one of each victim, affixed to a 10-inch-thick concrete block. The students' names and the date of the accident also are engraved.

The university also has honored Almeter, who was a Colgate student, by planting a garden outside of West Hall in her memory, and an honorary bachelor of arts degree was awarded posthumously to her in 2004, the year she would have graduated.


Kimberly Regler '08 (left) and Caroline Tobias '08 examine an ancient Roman coin in their classics senior capstone seminar. [Photo by Matthew Culbreth '09]

Last semester, eight senior classics majors had the opportunity to dig deeper into the world of antiquity and hold a piece of Roman history with the help of David Kellogg '62.

A collector of coins, mostly from the Roman Imperial period, Kellogg lent part of his collection to students in the classics senior capstone seminar for the section on numismatics. After he gave a presentation on ways of looking at and interpreting coins, Kellogg lent each of them a different coin to research on their own.

Students delved into the stories of emperors such as Julius Caesar and Constantine the Great to determine the origin of their assigned coins, which typically served as vehicles of propaganda for the emperor who issued the coin.

"They were using a coin from ancient Rome as a portal to experience exactly what a person of ancient times would have felt when they held that coin. In a time when there was no newspaper, radio, or television, coins were an important means of communication from the emperor to the soldiers and citizenry," explained Kellogg. "It's by holding them that a portion of the enjoyment comes because you don't know who's held it before," he said.

"Reading the text offers a glimpse into the lives of the ancients, but holding the coin was a tangible link between the past and the present," said Kimberly Regler '08, a double major in Greek and Latin, who plans to continue studying the classics in graduate school.

The assignment was the second part of the capstone seminar, a new course designed by the classics department to give seniors a comprehensive overview of their four years' studying the classics and the greater implications of their concentration. Led by Professor William Stull this year (the main teacher will rotate yearly), the course is team taught in that other members of the department present their areas of expertise and provide guidance during that segment of the course.

Professor Rebecca Ammerman, who led the section on material culture, described how the numismatics assignment required students to use their culmination of knowledge from studying the classics. "Each student has a different background, but the exercise helps them coalesce different elements of their four years here," she said. "This one small object allows them to bring together in a single focus many of the things they have studied," Ammerman said.

"It is nice to have the opportunity to accumulate all of our knowledge as seniors into a single definitive course," said Theodora Guliadis '08, a double major in classics and English literature. "Each student holds a different interpretation of the intentions of the coins and their significance, but what is concrete is the coin itself and its ability to inspire scholarship."

Krissy Williams '06 talks to students and faculty members on Nov. 27 about the biophysics research she is conducting as a graduate student at the University of Rochester. She is studying the structure of protein-RNA interactions, which could have larger implications for applications such as cancer treatment. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

Joining the nine nationally recognized chapters on campus, the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity received its formal charter from national headquarters on Nov. 17. Brothers from the national organization and local chapters, as well as alumni and parents, attended the weekend's events, which included initiation rituals, the official charter signing ceremony, and a banquet dinner.

"Colgate is proud to welcome Phi Kappa Tau as one of the nationally recognized organizations on campus," said Tim Mansfield, assistant dean of student affairs and director of Greek-letter operations. "This is a great milestone."

Mansfield gave a few remarks at the signing ceremony, as did Phi Kappa Tau national president Charles Ball and director of chapter services Tim Hudson.

Prior to receiving national recognition, Phi Kappa Tau was considered an individual colony. By attaining charter status, the fraternity will receive multiple layers of support from the national organization, including scholarship and award opportunities, explained Phi Kappa Tau brother Michael Wenger '09. In addition, the national recognition "solidifies our place on campus," Wenger said.

In October, Darcy Nolan was promoted to director of the annual fund. She moved to this position from her role as leadership gift officer in the Parents' Fund. Previously, Nolan served in the Annual Fund office, where she was an associate director.

Earlier this fall, Thomas Cruz-Soto became the director of the ALANA Cultural Center. He formerly served as acting director for Kean University's GEAR UP Program, which served more than 4,000 students within New Jersey communities. In addition to a master's degree in higher education administration from Rowan University, he has 10 years' experience as an administrator working in higher education programs and student personnel services.

Ursula Olender was named director of career services. With a master of education from Springfield College, Olender came to Colgate from Dartmouth College, where she served as associate director of career services. She also served as a chief health professions career advisor and served on Dartmouth's Dean of the College Diversity Committee. Her more than 12 years' experience in career services includes career counseling, pre-professional advising, and leadership experience.

Three promotions in the Office of Business and Finance became effective in November. Hugh Bradford was promoted to associate vice president for budget and financial aid, John Collins to director of budget and decision support, and Carolee White to associate vice president for finance and assistant treasurer.

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