The Colgate Scene
Around the college
Ken Schanzer '66, president of NBC Sports, kicked off the two-day Real World career conference on Jan. 18 and 19. Afternoon panels dealt with a variety of topics to help students navigate first jobs and the graduate school search.
About 150 alumni from a diverse group of career fields — real estate and finance to marketing and government — were more than willing to offer frank advice. But, no matter their background, alumni presented one unified message: A Colgate degree is a valuable and marketable asset in any career. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]
The Colgate Thirteen has been singing the praises of Dean William Griffith '33 for decades. With his passing on Nov. 19 at the age of 95, Colgate Thirteen alumni — or "Crusties," as they are called — wanted to do more. They decided to express their love for "Griff" and his mentorship with an endowed memorial scholarship that could benefit future members of the a cappella group.
Between the announcement of Griffith's death on Nov. 30 and his memorial service at Hamilton's First Baptist Church on Dec. 9, alumni leaders of the Colgate Thirteen made personal phone calls and sent e-mail messages over the group's online network, CrustNet.
Dean Griffith's family led the way with a $25,000 investment, and more gifts followed, including an additional $25,000 from Doug Wilson '57. At the reception following the service, Thirteeners announced that they had raised $113,000 toward the Dean William Griffith '33 Endowed Memorial Scholarship — an amount well over Colgate's $100,000 threshold for creating restricted endowed funds.
"From the moment the thing started," said Scott Christensen '70, one of the fundraising effort's coordinators, "it was incredible to see such an outpouring of gratitude for Dean Griffith."
During his 30 years at Colgate, Griffith served as director of student aid, assistant dean and director of admissions, dean of admissions and student aid, dean of students, and finally as professor of education and director of the January Studies Program. In the early 1970s, he accurately predicted the eventual integration of residential life programming and academic studies that have made Colgate an innovator in liberal arts education.
Online buzz about custom coffee offered at the Barge Canal Coffee Co. — Colgate's downtown coffeehouse — has stoked sales of the roasted blend.
Java lovers from around the nation have been taking advantage of a collaborative effort between the Barge and Colgate Bookstore that has resulted in easy online ordering.
The buzz about the brew began in late November, when Peter King, a senior writer for Sports Illustrated, wrote about Colgate University Blend in his popular "Monday Morning Quarterback" column that appears on SI.com. A huge coffee fan, King also wrote about the Colgate coffee on his Coffeenerdness blog.
He's had lots of opportunities to sample the java because his daughter, Mary Beth King, is a senior who works at the Barge. The columnist has written about Colgate several times in the past, extolling the Colgate "experience" and the beauty of its campus.
King's mentions of the coffee led to numerous phone calls and e-mails to Judy Schenk, manager of the Barge. She and Roger Bauman, president of the Hamilton Initiative who oversees the Barge, went looking for a way to sell the coffee online.
They contacted the bookstore's Linda Gregory, who handles merchandise sales, and Marty Bair, marketing manager. The bookstore has long been able to handle secure online sales, and Bair was able to quickly add a page for the Barge.
When King talked again about Colgate University Blend and mentioned the web link, orders jumped, with more than 20 coffee orders coming in from Dec. 24 to 27.
Schenk said the coffee blend has been around for about six years. It was developed by the Barge's vendor, Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters, after Schenk had conducted a long series of taste tests with students. "We mixed and matched a lot of beans until we found the one that students just loved," she said.
As the 2008 presidential hopefuls travel the campaign trail, news outlets from across the country are turning to Colgate professors for their perspectives.
Faculty members are providing expert analysis on topics ranging from candidates' character and religious beliefs to campaign finance reform and spending limits.
Political science professor Robert Kraynak recently spoke to the Dallas Morning News and Newsday about how former President Bill Clinton's infidelity changed the political landscape. He believes traits like infidelity — once campaign killers — are more tolerated by voters. "People are genuinely not sure if the office of the presidency is supposed to be a results-oriented job or a moral authority," he said. U.S. News & World Report also cited Kraynak in an article about Hillary Clinton's win in the New Hampshire primary.
Michael Johnston, Charles A. Dana Professor of political science, spoke on Minnesota Public Radio about corruption and special interests: presidential candidates vow to fight them, but is it all just rhetoric? Corruption can lead to an erosion of democratic values and have a real effect on citizenship, said Johnston, author of Syndromes of Corruption.
Also, psychology professor Carrie Keating has been commenting to the media about candidates' body language. "I don't think you can get to the top rung in politics anymore without being a pretty fair actor," she told WSYR-TV. Specializing in interpreting facial expressions and gestures, Keating believes that Senator John McCain and Senator Hilary Clinton make good use of their body and hands when speaking, while Senator Barack Obama has physical attributes that give him the look of a leader.
Gregory Victory joined the Colgate administration in December as director of the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement. He was previously associate director, campus and employer engagement, Center for Career Services at Syracuse University. He received his BA from Le Moyne College and MS in higher education administration from Syracuse University.
In January, Scott Brown was appointed associate vice president and dean of students. A student affairs leader with more than 15 years of experience in higher education, he most recently served as director of the Daniel L. Jones Career Development Center at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. During his eight-year tenure at Mount Holyoke, Brown was instrumental in supervising all aspects of the career development center including recruitment, graduate school advising, budget management, and alumnae-student programs.
Also in January, Provost and Dean of the Faculty Lyle Roelofs announced that the Board of Trustees has approved the following faculty appointments and promotions. Continuous tenure and promotion to associate professor were awarded to: Francis (Frank) Frey, biology; Meika Loe, sociology and anthropology and women's studies; Cheryl Long, economics; Nicole Simpson, economics; Jing Wang, East Asian languages and literatures; and Ephraim Woods, chemistry.
Promotion to full professor was given to Clarice Martin, religion, and Fernando Plata, Romance languages and literatures.
The New York Zeta Chapter of Colgate University held its Second AnnualcaPhi Delta Theta Career Seminar on Jan. 11 at New York City's Cornell Club. Twenty undergraduates were joined byca60caNew York Zeta alumni from variouscaindustries. Following the welcome greeting by Bruce Clayton '89, executive recruiter Mark Moyer '86 gave a keynote address. Studentscainteracted with alumni and asked questions about the job market both in an open forum and in smaller career-specific focus groups.
The New York Zeta Fund was established in June 2006 as a separate endowment fund of the Phi Delta Theta Educational Foundation.
Colgate students had the chance to tackle pressing issues such as independence for Kosovo and the image of the European Union while taking part in the Model European Union (EuroSim) conference in Germany.
The international conference was held the first week of January at the European Academy in Otzenhausen, Germany. Assistant professor of political science Mai'a Cross led the Colgate delegation, which was composed of three sophomores and three seniors. The group joined students from more than 20 universities across Europe and the United States to negotiate the future status of Kosovo.
Using a specific issue, EuroSim provides a framework for a partial simulation of the EU decision-making process. The mock EU conference could not have come at a better time because the European Union is, in reality, desperately trying to avert a possible conflict on its eastern border. The Colgate delegation played the positions of top-level ministers in the Hungarian government and a German member of the European Parliament. Their deliberation skills were tested as each delegation attempted to secure favorable resolutions over the course of the summit. For the first time, a number of crisis situations were played out during the course of the conference, keeping the delegates on the move to reshape and renegotiate their positions.
The conference culminated in a banquet at an archaeological excavation site in the city of Trier. — Safwan Shabab '10
Sweet Honey in the Rock performed as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration. [Photo by Petro Exis]
Singing the praises of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 23 was female a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. The Grammy Award—winning group was the keynote presentation for Colgate's Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration that included events over three days. Sweet Honey in the Rock spread their message of empowerment to a packed audience in Memorial Chapel.
In opening remarks, Vice President and Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson encouraged audience members to challenge themselves. "It is only through expressing yourself and getting to know yourself through diverse interactions and experiences that you also make a contribution to this community, and it is this community that it is all about," she said.
A brown bag discussion on arts and activism took place the following day at the ALANA Cultural Center to address how music and the arts are vehicles for doing the work of social justice. "Music is a powerful way to touch people," said Myra Guevara '10, who was involved in supporting the week's events. "Art is one of the few disciplines that can go across cultures and nations and races ... it's a good way to get people moving, to activate people," she said.
Students also attended workshops that fostered discussions on race and society; cultural appropriation versus cultural appreciation; racism; and leadership. Students who had traveled to the Washington, D.C., National Black Student Leadership Conference in early January facilitated the leadership workshop.
Also, student members of the National Coalition Building Institute continued the annual tradition of hanging signs stating "For Whites Only" and "For Coloreds Only" around campus in order to remind students what campus would be like without the work of activists such as King.
"It is your job as an individual to remind others that this isn't just a one-day event, that things would be drastically different without the help of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Guevara, encouraging students to bring the meaning of social justice into their academics and everyday discussions.
Dr. Edward Dickinson '82 speaks to students at the Michael J. Wolk '60 Conference on Medical Education. [Photo by Luke Connolly '09]
Make no bones about it: there are few career paths more challenging or more rewarding than medicine. In late January, Colgate hosted the Michael J. Wolk '60 Conference on Medical Education. Thanks to the efforts of the conference's namesake and the university's health sciences advising office, more than 100 students met with physicians from around the Northeast. Together, they dissected the medical profession, how to join it, and what to expect from life as a clinician.
The conference began with opening remarks from Wolk and segued into a keynote address from Dr. Edward Dickinson '82, associate professor of emergency medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
The next day's lessons on disease prevention were given by Dr. Theodore Tyberg P'10, a cardiologist with New York Cardiology. Programs that emphasize healthy diets and active lifestyles, research that identifies at-risk populations, and protocols that treat causes rather than symptoms all represent less than 3 percent of America's staggering $2 trillion annual health care expenditure, he said. "The social issues that we're all going to face in the next 20 to 25 years are going to be extraordinarily complex," warned Tyberg.
Panel discussions focused on all areas of medical practice, from the graduate school application process to the impact of long working hours on family life.
So why, given the state of the American health care system, the long hours, and litigious patients, would anyone be looking forward to medical school? "I've just always wanted to be a doctor. It's a part of me," Brian Walkowski '08 said during a dinner break in the Hall of Presidents.
Wolk himself encouraged students to acknowledge the challenges of the profession but not to be overwhelmed by them. "It's a wonderful life despite the hours and the hassles: great friendships, great relationships with patients, and there's honestly nothing better than seeing a patient get better."
Yukari Hirata, associate professor of Japanese, and Spencer Kelly, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, researched the effects of learning Japanese with gestures. [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]
It was billed as a humanities colloquium, but there was a whole lot of science going on at the Jan. 29 lecture in the Robert H.N. Ho Science Center. That's because Spencer Kelly, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience, and Yukari Hirata, associate professor of Japanese, were presenting the results of their neurolinguistic research, and their official sponsor was the Harvey Picker '36 Institute for Interdisciplinary Study in the Sciences and Mathematics. Last year, they earned the institute's first research grant, and the colloquium was their platform to report on the results.
The idea to join with a linguist to study the way non-native speakers learn Japanese came to Kelly three years ago at a science colloquium in which Hirata presented her work on Japanese speech sounds, or phonemes. "After that day, we talked many times over coffee," Kelly recalled. "We wondered if aural instruction, combined with videotaped hand gestures, could help English speakers discern the length of certain syllables that make learning Japanese so difficult." The Picker Institute's call for proposals was especially opportune.
"The project was a great first project for the Picker Institute to fund," said its director, Bruce Selleck. "It truly required an interdisciplinary approach, applying Spencer's multimodal communication expertise and Yukari's phonetic theories."
Over the past 18 months, the $82,000 grant has supported some 110 hours of data collection by six students whose academic concentrations include Japanese, psychology, neuroscience, and peace studies. The professors and students are now writing abstracts they hope to present this summer at conferences in Japan, Paris, and the Netherlands.
[Photo courtesy CBS News]
Lesley Stahl, award-winning correspondent for 60 Minutes and author of Reporting Live, will deliver the keynote address at Colgate's 187th commencement exercises on Sunday, May 18.
During her distinguished career, Stahl has covered many high-profile stories. Her interviews with the families of the Duke lacrosse players exonerated in a racial rape case and with Nancy Pelosi before she became the first female speaker of the house were big scoops for 60 Minutes and CBS News.
In September 2005, Stahl landed the first interview with American hostage Roy Hallums, who was held captive by Iraqis for 10 months. She was the first to report that Al Gore would not run for president, in a 60 Minutes interview broadcast in 2002.
Stahl also has a collection of Emmy Awards for her 60 Minutes reporting and her interviews on Face the Nation.
Prior to joining 60 Minutes, she served as CBS News White House correspondent during the Carter and Reagan presidencies and part of the term of George H.W. Bush. During much of that time, she also served as moderator of Face the Nation.
Her experiences covering Washington over 20 years became the subject of Stahl's book, Reporting Live.
Professor Peter Balakian's curiosity about his family roots led him on a personal and intellectual journey. Balakian has spent decades unraveling his Armenian ancestry and, in the process, educating the world about the atrocities of the Armenian genocide.
Recently, the Armenian government recognized Balakian, the Constance H. and Donald M. Rebar Professor in the humanities and professor of English. During a ceremony in November at the Embassy of Armenia in Washington, D.C., he was awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal. The medal — one of Armenia's highest civilian honors — is presented to individuals for their prominent contributions in the fields of culture, arts, literature, education, and humanities.
Ambassador Tatoul Markarian lauded Balakian's literary accomplishments along with his active position and leadership on Armenian issues. "His books preserve for us and the entire humanity the record of the tragedies, the challenges, and the perseverance of the Armenian people in the most tragic chapter of our millenniums-old history."
Balakian is the author of eight books including The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, which was a New York Times Notable Book and Best Seller. His award-winning memoir, Black Dog of Fate, chronicles his sudden awareness of his ethnicity.
In his remarks at the Embassy of Armenia, Balakian discussed the remarkable resilience of the Armenian people and stressed education as the key to progress. "It is gratifying to be able to say in 2007 that we have educated significant chunks of Europe, North America, and the Middle East about who we are and what our history has entailed. If you asked Armenians in 1970 if we would have transmitted our history into popular consciousness, into the curriculum, into the news of the day, I think they would have dismissed you as a dreamer."
In December, Balakian was also honored by the Virginia Quarterly Review when it awarded him the Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry, which is given to the single best poem or group of poems published by the magazine in the previous year. "World Trade Center/Mail Runner '71," "World Trade Center/Mail Runner/Summer '73," and "World Trade Center/Black Holes/'74" appeared in the Summer 2007 issue, and are part of Balakian's new book of poems in progress.
Striking images of melting glaciers in Austria, "drunken" forests in Alaska, and river erosion in Bangladesh were part of the Canary Project, a photography exhibition on display in Clifford Gallery from Jan. 21 to Feb. 16. Just as canaries were used by miners to warn of deadly methane levels, the Canary Project serves to warn people of the "severe changes to come" due to global warming. Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris presented their work, which uses photography to communicate the urgent need for action against human-induced climate change, in Golden Auditorium on Feb. 8.
Top of page
Table of contents
|<< Previous: People on the go||Next: Focusing on mother earth >>|