The Colgate Scene ON-LINE


The Hamlets of Madison County

Assistant professor of sociology Adam Weinberg is giving a hand to Madison County as it strives to bring industry back to its 26 rural hamlets — a project launched in February by the Madison County Industrial Development Agency.

Along with 20 students from his fall 1997 community service class, Weinberg will help write a handbook explaining how the tiny municipalities can attract companies and increase employment opportunities.

Weinberg and his students will also teach residents how to construct a long-range development plan — to establish goals, evaluate their assets, scout out buildings that could be refurbished or converted into business properties, identify residents with special skills, and market themselves to entrepreneurs.

The first Chenango Summer MusicFest ushered in the season with four days of music at village and campus venues. Festival director and associate professor of music Laura Klugherz introduced the Meridian Arts Ensemble, which played on the Hamilton Green.

Academic Awards

George Cobb Fellows for 1996-97 were honored at the annual Awards Convocation. The award was established in 1944 to recognize effective and outstanding undergraduate leadership and service to the college. Representing the Class of 1998 are F. Xavier Estrada, Adonal Foyle, Rachel Hackenberg, Abigail Henrich, Andrea Hoffrichter, Shannon Horton, Meredith Matty, Jessica Mireider, Miriam Mirsky, Marlene Rajan, Jennifer Tierney and Noah Wintroub. Class of 1999 Cobb Fellows are Alfred Bentley, Matthew DeMonte, Christopher Mathews, Walid Muslih, Yvonne Okoh and Miesha Tate. Class of 2000 fellows are Jamie Schoer and Devon Skerritt.

Also honored at the convocation were five recipients of the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Award, which recognizes students who, over their undergraduate careers, enrich the lives of the student community of color: Dwight Benn, Jose Davila, Edward Kim, Chelsee Lisbon and Kavita Sharma.

Four Fulbrights

Four seniors were awarded Fulbright Fellowships and will spend next year abroad on teaching assistantships, instructing either high school or middle school students in English.

Emily W. Gaenzle, a biology and French double major, will teach in France. Gaenzle was co-editor in chief of the Colgate Journal of Sciences, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, and participated in the sailing team.

Jessica M. Fino, an Asian studies major with a concentration in Japanese language and literature, will teach in Korea. Fino plans to live with a Korean family in exchange for an hour of English lessons per day. Co-president of the Japan Club, she went on Colgate's Japan Study Group, and has been a member of the softball team. This year, she and nine other Colgate students started a non-credit Korean language class.

Megan E. Mockaitis, an international relations and Asian studies major, will also teach in Korea. Mockaitis participated in the Geneva, Switzerland and Japan study groups. During their time in Japan, both Mockaitis and Fino completed a 1200-km (900-mile) pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku on foot in 38 days.

Kristen K. Maul, a German major, will teach in the region of Thueringen, Germany. Maul participated in Colgate's 1995 Freiburg study group, was a German tutor and a member of the German Club, played club soccer and several intramural sports, participated in Newman community activities and service trips as well as the “Sidekick” program, worked in Case Library and was a `Link' mentor for first-year students.

1819 winner

Mridul Mehta, this year's 1819 Award winner, is committed to excellence in all areas of endeavor. His achievements are exceptional and his contributions will have a lasting impact on Colgate.

Mridul Mehta
Ranked number two in his class, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.05, Mehta concentrated in mathematics and physics and enrolled in five classes and audited a sixth class every semester, except in his first term when the university would not allow it.

Mehta has had a tangible, positive impact on the academic experience of other students. The Mathematics Department credits Colgate's extraordinary showing in the Putnam Exam, a national competitive mathematics exam, to his leadership. He organized practice sessions and helped to create a team spirit that led to Colgate placing 22nd in the country two years running. He served the same role in Colgate's honorable mention for the national contest in mathematical modeling.

Despite the demands of completing work for rigorous academic courses, Mehta committed himself to help others. In his first year at Colgate, after a tragic natural disaster in India, he organized students to raise money for humanitarian relief. Motivated by his own experience as an international student in America for the first time, he was one of the three co-founders of the Colgate International Community (CIC). His outreach efforts to the international community at Colgate have included helping students apply for driving permits, recruiting faculty and staff to participate in the host family program, and planning trips and activities for international students during college breaks. As the President of CIC, he also helped establish the annual tradition of the CIC International Banquet.

Marked by excellence in the classroom and service to the Colgate community, Mridul Mehta's career has been a rare combination of intellect and capacity to work hard balanced by striking humility, strength of character and concern for others.

Campus compost

Inspired by the class Ecology, Ethics, and the Environment, five students, juniors Emily Loeb, Jared Margolis, Erin Schlag and Brian Scranton and senior Phil Sieper, decided to take an in-class project and make it a campus reality. Their discovery that Colgate sends 250 tons of compostable waste to a nearby landfill motivated them to establish a compost facility at Colgate. The students have been talking with various staff, faculty and administrative personnel, but feel they also need to establish relations with Colgate supporters off campus.

The benefits from the compost site include economic and environmental factors. Over the course of five to 10 years, the facility will pay for itself and will save the school money. In addition, Colgate will be viewed as an environmentally sound institution, profiting from decreasing the amount of fertilizer and pesticides that the university must purchase for landscaping use, diminishing soil erosion and increasing the soil's water retention.

While the students are researching different grants available, they are seeking financial support from the university as well as from alumni and others who are interested in the project. They would also appreciate verbal affirmation of support through letters and phone calls to Colgate administrators.

A dry Phi Delt in 2000

Phi Delta Theta is one of two national fraternities (Sigma Nu the other) to announce that it will be alcohol-free beginning July 1, 2000. In the spring newsletter of the Colgate chapter of Phi Delt, undergraduate president Greg Dahlberg '98 and alumni president Stephen Smith '88 explained that the general council's decision was motivated by increasing costs for liability insurance, which “made it impossible to continue as we always have.” Wrote the two: “. . . it is clear: either we go dry, or we just plain go.” They added, “the new policy places Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Nu on the leading edge of reform in the fraternity world. By waiting three years before instituting this rule, we are providing time to give other fraternities a chance to follow our lead.”

The other Colgate

Alumni readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education were among those who called to alert the college to an ad in the publication's April 25 issue recruiting adjunct faculty for Colgate University in Metairie, La., a “national distance learning institution.” Following conversations between representatives of the Colgates in Hamilton and Metairie, administrator Harry Boyer of the Louisiana-based institution told a Chronicle reporter: “. . . we've discussed it with the people at Colgate, and we're changing our name to something else.”