The Colgate Scene
November 2005

Around the college

Hasidic Jewish reggae star Matisyahu performs in front of an enthusiastic crowd at the Palace Theater in September. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '05]

Women's summit offers mentorship, chance to reconnect
Alumnae traveled to Hamilton from all over the country to meet and share their wisdom with current students.
The annual U.S. News & World Report college guide ranked Colgate 15th -- its highest-ever placement -- among national liberal arts colleges this year. This category includes the 215 liberal arts colleges that emphasize undergraduate education and award at least 50 percent of their degrees in the liberal arts.

Colgate was also ranked sixth among liberal arts colleges that are "great schools at great prices."

President and Dean of the College Adam Weinberg has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at World Learning and the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vt. Weinberg joined Colgate as a member of the sociology and anthropology department in 1995 and has been dean of the college since fall 2002.

"Adam's vision and leadership have been important to Colgate's emergence as a national model for civic engagement and residential liberal arts education," said President Rebecca Chopp. "This new position will enable Adam to take his vision to the international level."

As dean, Weinberg has focused on civic education and identified ways in which Colgate could be a catalyst for sustainable forms of community development. He developed the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE) and the vision behind Colgate's Residential Education plan. A founding director of the nonprofit Partnership for Community Development, fostering economic development and quality of life in Hamilton, he has also been engaged in Colgate's Upstate Institute.

"Colgate has been a wonderful place for me and for my family," said Weinberg. "I am proud of everything we have accomplished over the last 10 years. This has been particularly true the last three years. Under President Chopp's leadership, Colgate has become a leader in higher education."

When he leaves to take his post in December, Weinberg will join a global organization whose scope and intensity have grown in the 72 years since it was founded as The Experiment in International Living. Much of this growth occurred during the many years the organization was led by Colgate alumnus F. Gordon Boyce '39.

Weinberg has been named the Phi Eta Sigma Professor of the Year and honored with a Maroon Citation by the Colgate Alumni Corporation.

Geetha Ramanathan Bennett on veena and voice, with Frank Bennett on mrdangan and Rusty Gillette on ghatam, performed a "South Indian Serenade" in September in Brehmer Theater. The event was co-sponsored by the Fund for the Study of Great Religions of the World, the music department, and Asian studies. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '05]

Two students from Tulane University have been welcomed at Colgate and thousands of dollars were raised for the American Red Cross as students, faculty, and staff joined together to assist victims of August's Hurricane Katrina.

Response efforts organized include:

  • a hurricane relief fund to collect donations
  • a community auction and dance co-sponsored and supported by the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education.
  • a blood drive
  • an aid trip to Lafayette, La., during October break coordinated by the COVE
  • dialogue circles for informal discussions of the roles that poverty and race play in our country, most notably in the Katrina disaster
  • a donation of 13 percent of the Colgate Bookstore's profit on September 3
  • an interfaith service that supported hurricane victims
  • a Hurricane Katrina Relief Banquet held by the African American Student Alliance in October in the Edge Café.
  • a Taste of New Orleans tent at the Hamilton Farmers Market, with tastings of regional favorites. Proceeds benefited the Gulf Coast rebuilding effort.

Additional rebuilding trips to Mississippi and Louisiana by faculty and students are also being planned, with attempts to coordinate trips over Thanksgiving, winter, and spring breaks, with possibly a longer-term trip at the end of the spring semester.

When the January 2006 academic semester begins, Colgate will make every attempt to enroll students within commuting distance who continue to be displaced from hurricane-damaged institutions. Students will be considered as non-matriculating, single-semester visiting students and will remit their normal tuition directly to the institution where they would have matriculated if the hurricane had not forced the institution to suspend operations.

Colgate is also very sensitive to the extraordinary needs of high school seniors from the hurricane-ravaged states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The university will extend the application deadline for students from hurricane-damaged schools in those states and will consider on an individual basis any special challenges that applicants from that region may face in meeting Colgate's application for admission requirements. If a Colgate admissions staff member is welcome, a representative will visit some schools in storm-affected regions at an appropriate time in an effort to provide applicants with as much information and assistance as possible.

Zakaria tells students, 'get to work'

Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International and host of the weekly PBS show Foreign Exchange, had two major messages for Colgate students during his visit to campus in September: be informed and get to work.

Zakaria delivered his lecture "Globalization: The Next Phase" to scores of students, faculty, staff, and community members who filled Memorial Chapel. His talk included a question-and-answer session that addressed issues such as U.S.-China relations, outsourcing, and environmental concerns. His appearance wasĘsponsored by the Colgate Activities Board, Student Government Association, Democracy Matters, Colgate Speaking Union, and the Muslim Student Association.

His parting words to Colgate students were a call to action.

"It's a great world out there, this is your welcome week to Colgate, most of the people who welcome you will tell you what a great job you've done in getting here and how fantastic you are, and I share all those thoughts," Zakaria said. "But I also add, get to work." [Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

During Colgate's Welcome Back Week luau, sophomore Dana Fisco hones her ultimate Frisbee skills on an inflatable water slide on Whitnall Field. [Photo by Aubrey Graham '05]

Twenty macroeconomists from top liberal arts colleges around the country attended an August workshop at Colgate where they presented current research. The Workshop in Macroeconomic Research at Liberal Arts Colleges was sponsored by the economics department, the dean of the faculty, and the social sciences division.

"The workshop exceeded the expectations of the organizers and the participants," said Nicole B. Simpson, assistant professor of economics at Colgate. "The format was casual and the discussions throughout the day were lively."

The daylong workshop provided an open forum that allowed macroeconomists to expose their work to a group of peers and gain valuable feedback. Organizers hoped the meeting would build a network of colleagues to share ideas and collaborate on research projects, and they intend to turn the workshop into an annual event that rotates among liberal arts schools.

"While primarily a research workshop, best teaching practices were also shared among participants during a panel discussion on teaching macroeconomics," Simpson said. "And workshop participants were impressed by Colgate's campus, resources, and active research environment."

First-year students spent part of their summer reading the New York Times bestseller Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. The book was assigned as required reading for first-year Colgate students.

"Nickel and Dimed had been on the list of suggested titles for a couple of years," said Beverly Low, dean of first-year students. "Every year, we look for a book that is readable and relevant."

In Nickel and Dimed, author Barbara Ehrenreich chronicles her life "undercover," moving from Florida to Maine to Minnesota taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. Throughout her journey, Ehrenreich records her experiences as part of low-wage America. "People really tore the book apart -- there were a lot of ways to discuss it," Low said. "All disciplines could certainly incorporate the book in a variety of ways."

Colgate teams of faculty and students led discussions of Nickel and Dimed at first-year orientation and some first-year seminars also included the book in the course plan.

Michael Taylor (left), organizer of the Native American symposium held at Colgate in September, admires Maya Indian textiles with other guests at the Longyear Museum of Anthropology. The symposium also included lectures and panel discussions such as "Philosophies of Matrilineality: Gender and Haudenosaunee World View," and "Native American Women as Educators." [Photo by Aubrey Graham '05]

Moody's Investors Service gave a favorable rating to plans by Colgate to borrow $46.5 million for building projects. Moody's assigned an Aa3 rating to Colgate's series 2005A bonds issued through the Madison County Industrial Development Agency. Moody's ratings measure the credit risk for bonds and its rating of triple-A has the least credit risk.

Cities have been contested sites for the embrace and rejection of modernity and the creation and destruction of citizenship. During 2005-2006, Colgate's Center for Ethics and World Societies, directed by M. Anne Pitcher, professor of political science, will explore this and more in its series "Cities, Citizenship, and Modernity."

While examining ancient conceptions of the city as the arena in which citizens voiced their opinions and negotiated political difference, the yearlong series also looks at how cities from the eighteenth century until the present have become the loci in which the public shapes nationalism and extra-nationalism, inclusion and exclusion, and power and rights.

"Cities, Citizenship, and Modernity" opened in September with "A Celebration of the City: Opening Reception for CEWS 2005-2006 New York Stories," with photographs by Frank Paulin, a gallery talk, a cappella performances, and more, organized in conjunction with the Picker Art Gallery. Other upcoming visitors include Gyan Prakash, Princeton University, on "The Cosmopolitan Imaginary of Bombay" (co-sponsored with Core Cultures and Asian studies); Zainab Bahrani, Columbia University, on "Battleground Mesopotamia: Cultural Heritage, History, and Human Rights in the Iraq War" (co-sponsored with the Department of Art and Art History); and Dorothy Solinger, University of California-Irvine, on "State Transitions, Citizenship Shifts, and the City in `Modern' China, 1980 to 2005" (co-sponsored with Core Cultures and Asian studies).

Established in 1998 through an anonymous gift to the college, the CEWS facilitates discussion of issues arising from the interactions of different nations, people and communities, with an emphasis on the ethical aspects of those issues. The center seeks to develop in Colgate students an intellectual and ethical orientation and to help bring about a vital connection between campus life and the world outside.

A Golf Digest piece listed the best colleges and universities to play golf, in terms of academics. Colgate was ranked 23rd.

. . . Colgate was mentioned in "Ten Schools Where the Students Never Stop Studying," an article from the Princeton Review that . . . in "Freshman Classes Getting Hooked on the Classics," a story in the Washington Post, Colgate is referenced as a university that requires first-years to take two required courses.

. . . the dedicated Colgate students who volunteer for the local fire department made national headlines. The New York Times mentioned them in an article about undergraduates who become firefighters while attending college. "Colgate encourages students to join the fire department in its hometown, Hamilton, by setting up tables at student activity fairs, which enticed Michael Lynch, a senior history major who now serves the department as a volunteer and as its campus recruiter," the story reads. "More than a dozen Colgate students serve."

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