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Geology professor Karen Harpp wins 2015 Balmuth Award

April 17, 2015
Geology professor Karen Harpp stands next to Provost Douglas Hicks

Geology professor Karen Harpp with Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks (Photo by Alice Virden-Speer)

Last week, Associate Professor of Geology and Peace and Conflict Studies Karen Harpp added a 13th line to her list of teaching accolades when she received the 2015 Jerome Balmuth Award for Teaching and Student Engagement.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in any room who has the energy that Karen Harpp has or the passion she brings to teaching,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Douglas Hicks told guests who gathered at the Colgate Inn to celebrate the occasion.

Harpp is the sixth faculty member to win the award, which was created through a gift from Mark Siegel ’73.

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Colgate to open first of four residential learning communities in Fall 2015

April 16, 2015
Curtis and Drake Halls

Curtis and Drake Halls will be home to the university’s first residential learning community.

Faculty directors are actively planning, student community leaders are assigned, the housing lottery is underway for current students, and the Class of 2019 is taking shape. That means things are falling into place for this fall, when Colgate will launch the first of four residential learning communities.

The pilot community — accommodating 200 sophomores and 200 first-year students in Curtis and Drake Halls — will be co-led by Rebecca Shiner, professor of psychology, and Mark Shiner, university chaplain.

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Colgate community bids loving farewell to Adam and Eve

April 15, 2015
Swan beside Taylor Lake

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Always known as Adam and Eve, the mute swans that have graced Taylor Lake since 1929 will no longer make their home at Colgate University. The announcement came after the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) published new draft regulations governing their maintenance and care.

“Adam and Eve have been a memorable part of the Colgate landscape for generations of students, alumni, and parents,” said Brian Hutzley, vice president for finance and administration. “They will be missed.”

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This week on campus: Take Back the Night, Earth Day, and Holi

April 13, 2015
Students celebrate Holi annually at Colgate. This year's celebration is Saturday. Photo by Duy Trinh '14

Students celebrate Holi annually at Colgate. This year’s celebration is Sunday, April 19, at 12 p.m. in the Hall of Presidents. Photo by Duy Trinh ’14

Spring is really coming. While you enjoy the vibrancy and sunshine on campus, check out these events! Read more


Susanna Meyer ’15 awarded Fulbright to teach in Mexico

April 12, 2015

Susanna Meyer ’15, of Philadelphia, Pa., has been awarded a 2015 Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

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All-star Entrepreneur Weekend panel encourages Colgate students to think big

April 10, 2015
Entrepreneur Weekend panel onstage in Cotterell Court

Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend 2015 all-star panel (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Colgate’s entrepreneurial spirit soared tonight as the university welcomed five leading business builders to campus for Entrepreneur Weekend 2015.

The panel included Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and co-CEO of Warby Parker; Greg Coleman, president of Buzzfeed; serial entrepreneur and entertainer MC Hammer; and Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman — all interviewed by Colgate trustee and Chegg! CEO Dan Rosensweig P’15’17.

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Colgate students meet President Obama

April 10, 2015
President Obama at a podium addressing a town hall event in Jamaica.

A snapshot of President Barack Obama addressing a town hall event in Jamaica. Photo by Stephanie Rameau ’15.

President Barack Obama’s brief visit to Jamaica this week included time to chat with three excited students in the Colgate Jamaica Study Group.

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Entrepreneur Weekend starts today with all-star panel; watch live at 5 p.m.

April 10, 2015

eweekend_storyColgate kicks off Entrepreneur Weekend 2015 today with a panel conversation featuring five all-star entrepreneurs: Jessica Alba, founder of The Honest Company; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker; Greg Coleman, president of Buzzfeed; serial entrepreneur and entertainer MC Hammer; and Rent the Runway co-founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman.

The event will be streamed live at colgate.edu.

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Aviation Club reaches new heights with flight simulator

April 9, 2015
Colin Shipley ’15 (right) takes the controls of the new Redbird Jay flight simulator just purchased by the Aviation Club. Overseeing his flight is the club co-president, Aaron Simon ’15. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Colin Shipley ’15 (right) takes the controls of the new Redbird Jay flight simulator just purchased by the Aviation Club. Overseeing his flight is the club’s vice president, Aaron Simon ’15. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Navigating the skies of Dubai, from takeoff to landing, is no easy task. But members of Colgate’s Aviation Club have been getting some practice thanks to a new flight simulator that lets users fly any plane in any weather condition in any city in the world.

The new system is kept in room 446 in Case-Geyer Library and is accessible to members of the community upon request to the Aviation Club. Read more


Quanzhi Guo ’18 reflects on Benton Scholars trip to Silicon Valley

April 8, 2015
Benton Scholars in San Francisco

Benton Scholars in San Francisco

This post originally appeared on the Benton Scholars blog. Last month, the Benton Scholars traveled to San Francisco to explore innovation in the education and technology sectors. The trip included visits to Khan Academy, Tesla, and the Minerva Project. Guo, who had been accepted to attend the highly selective and innovative Minerva School but chose Colgate instead, reflects on the trip and her college choice. (A longer version of this post is featured at China Personified.)

On the ninth floor overlooking the busy San Francisco downtown, everyone is working on Macs in open-plan stations — the atmosphere feels like any startup in California.

But I am in a school, with no students in sight — Minerva Schools at KGI, a new institution that hopes to shake the whole education sector.

Over spring break, I traveled with an online education-themed Benton trip to San Francisco, where we visited both Minerva and Khan Academy.

The Benton seminar I am taking this semester is called the Advent of Atomic Bomb, which examines the history, science, and ethics behind atomic bomb. My experience had been, so far, bittersweet. While it is interesting and intellectually stimulating to engage with alumni from all age groups and various walks of life online, the workload is heavier. Besides the normal assigned readings and project-based homework offline, we need to watch the lectures online beforehand because class-time is reserved for advanced discussion. So we are expected to master the basics on our own time. This targeted and technology-enhanced blend is challenging and rigorous — it is the way I want to be pushed.

Colgate's Benton Scholars visit Minerva

Benton Scholars listen to a presentation at Minerva in downtown San Francisco.

To me, Minerva is exciting. However, while living in six countries (students at Minerva live in a new city each semester) and being one of a select few has allure (last year, the acceptance rate was only 2.8%), I question the real meaning behind it. Does being physically present in a country, spending most of your time taking online classes in dorms, while going shopping and sightseeing on weekends, equate to immersion in a foreign culture? Aren’t existing study-abroad programs, which allow students to take classes in local universities and live in host families, more authentic? For affordability, at least Colgate subsidizes all expenses for students receiving financial aid. Similarly with diversity: Does having a higher number of international students necessarily mean more different perspectives? At Minerva, one can definitely take advantage of urban resources; but how can you truly make use of it in Berlin if you can’t speak German, or Barcelona if you can’t speak Spanish?

Then there was Sal Khan, who sat on an organic-style stool at Khan Academy, talking about how he started making tutorials to improve the accessibility of new information. Thanks to people like Sal Khan, information is becoming more freely accessible, so class time can be reserved for engaged and deeper-level discussions, for skill development and real-life interaction. And I really appreciate how Colgate, too, can offer that — all with classes of size no more than 20.

Colgate students talk to the founder of Khan Academy

Benton Scholars meet with Sal Khan to discuss the future of online education.

When we discussed and shared views over a cup of coffee in the afternoon sun, I realized that what I value after nearly a year at Colgate is the sense of connection. Personally, I hate the panic when my computer breaks down and an online submission is due soon. Also, I don’t want to just “like” my classmate’s answer by clicking a button. I want to give him a pat or high-five with a wide grin. Most importantly, I treasure how my professors interact with me, not just in class or office hours, but how they share with me their life stories over home-cooked dinner, after guests’ lectures, and during trips like this one.

I don’t think that brick-and-mortar universities will be obsolete soon, but it [sic] can definitely become better. Technology is never a substitute, but a complement to make things better.

Read more from other Benton Scholars.


This week on campus: QueerFest, Konosioni, Entrepreneur Weekend

April 6, 2015

Colgate’s annual QueerFest kicks off tonight, with a keynote speech by Mia McKenzie, a writer, blogger, speaker, and performer whose work touches on intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. McKenzie’s blog, Black Girl Dangerous, has received national and international recognition. She takes the stage tonight at 7:00 p.m. in Love Auditorium. Read more


Alumni Council Entrepreneur of the Year award winners

April 2, 2015

During Entrepreneur Weekend, the Colgate University Alumni Council will give out this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year award to Ello Chief Operating Officer Pete Sheinbaum ’92 and Patagonia Sur Chief Executive Officer Warren Adams ’88.

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This week on campus: from art to Afghanistan

March 31, 2015
Artist Alexis Rockman, who collaborated with director Ang Lee on Life of Pi, will speak in Golden Auditorium on Wednesday at 4:30. This piece is Newtown Creek 2014, oil on wood, 68x108"

Artist Alexis Rockman, who collaborated with director Ang Lee on the film Life of Pi, will speak in Golden Auditorium this Wednesday at 4:30. This piece is Newtown Creek 2014, oil on wood, 68×108″

Before Passover and Easter celebrations, here are some of the campus events you won’t want to miss this week. Read more


Whoopi Goldberg offers life lessons and laughs for Colgate community

March 30, 2015
Whoopi Goldberg and Lee Woodruff ’82, P’13, H’07

Whoopi Goldberg and trustee Lee Woodruff ’82, P’13, H’07 on stage in Cotterell Court on March 27. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Last Friday, entertainer Whoopi Goldberg appeared before 2,500 Colgate community members in Cotterell Court. Her performance — a mix of comedy and grandmotherly advice — was a testament to the skills of a woman who has won countless awards for her work on screen, on stage, and in print.

For an hour, she held her audience’s attention, first offering a stand-up routine, then engaging in a Q&A session with trustee Lee Woodruff ’82, P’13, H’07. Afterward, she met with a small group of students in the Hurwitz Admission Center to discuss her life and issues of campus climate.

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Entertainer Whoopi Goldberg to perform at Colgate

March 26, 2015
Whoopi Goldberg

Actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg will perform at Colgate on March 27.

The New York Times has called actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg uncategorizable and compelling. Tomorrow, Colgate University will call her an honored guest.

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Professor Kiko Galvez fingerprints monstars

March 25, 2015
Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy

Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy (photo by Dylan Crouse ’15)

Some people look at the sunlight wandering across the bottom of a swimming pool and see only glare. Kiko Galvez, Charles A. Dana Professor of physics and astronomy, sees the fascinating effect of electromagnetic beams bouncing and sliding through watery matter.

The innate curiosity that leads Galvez to look beyond the obvious has served him well. Last year, for the first time, he and his fellow researchers intentionally created a light pattern known as a “monstar” by polarizing a beam of light and feeding it through a series of carefully placed lenses.

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LGBTQ advocate to visit Colgate in her ‘fagbug’

March 24, 2015
LGBTQ advocate Erin Davies poses with her "fagbug" car.

Erin Davies and her “fagbug” visit campus Wednesday.

A colorful Volkswagen Beetle with a very uncolorful name will arrive at Colgate Wednesday, March 25, to help spark discussion and understanding related to LGBTQ community issues.

“Erin Davies’ fagbug project is a provocative and compelling story of how someone can interrogate an act of interpersonal violence, reframe it, and raise awareness. We hope that students will learn more about social justice issues and how to be active bystanders. Ultimately, we hope it will provide an opportunity for discussion about creating an inclusive community at Colgate, and elsewhere,” said Thad Mantaro, Shaw Wellness Institute director.

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Summit provides constructive atmosphere to address hazing

March 23, 2015

Within the last 15 years, there has been a marked increase in awareness about hazing in college. This year, several reprehensible hazing-related incidents at schools around the country have made national news, and many schools have made a conscientious push to eradicate such damaging behaviors in Greek-letter, athletic, and extracurricular organizations. Colgate uses an educational approach to opening up discussion about the serious problems of hazing.

On February 28, approximately 30 members from all eight of Colgate’s Greek-letter organizations gathered in Olin Hall’s Love Auditorium to participate in the New Member Education Summit. Students discussed what qualifies as hazing, and how to ensure that new members experience a healthy transition into Greek life.

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This week: Cabinet of Curiosities revealed

March 23, 2015

Welcome back to campus! There is a wonderful array of events this week.

On Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., come to Clifford Art Gallery to celebrate the completion of a new installation by Mark Dion.

During the project “Mark Dion: The Phantom Museum — Wonder Workshop,” Dion invited the community at large to create three-dimensional objects based on illustrations of 16th- and 17th-century cabinets of curiosities. The completed objects were installed in a large cabinet specially built for the project.

Earlier on Wednesday, if you walk past the COOP in the afternoon, you’ll see the Fagbug, a Volkswagen Beetle owned by Erin Davies — who was a victim of a hate crime on the 11th Annual National Day of Silence. After the initial shock and embarrassment of finding discriminating graffiti on her car, Davies embraced what happened by embarking on a 58-day trans-American road trip to raise awareness of LGBT rights with the Fagbug.

Kicking off next week, on Sunday, March 29, at 12:00 p.m., A Staged Reading of Black History (Histoire de nègre) will be performed in Golden Auditorium at Little Hall.

Black History is a collaboratively authored, participatory drama performed by and for local audiences throughout Martinique. Originally published in 1972, it combines music, dance, image, and text into a three-act history of African peoples in the New World, from enslavement through neo-colonialism.

The reading by students is among the first performances of this historically important play in English, and the world premiere of the new translation by Professor Andrew Daily.

Daily is an assistant professor of modern French and global history at the University of Memphis and a specialist in French Caribbean intellectual history. He will be a guest at the reading on Sunday as well as the ALST brown bag lunch this Thursday at 111 Alumni Hall.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the Society for New Music (SNM) will hold a concert at 3:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel.

Co-founded by Neva Pilgrim, Colgate’s voice teacher and artist-in-residence, the SNM is a 2010 recipient of the American Music Center’s Letter of Distinction and is described as “a driving cultural force for contemporary music in the United States.” During the concert, music professor Zhou Tian will present Morning after the Deluge.

These are just a few of the many events happening this week at Colgate. For a full listing, check out the Colgate calendar.


Professional network presents Common Good Week

March 21, 2015

Following on the heels of the wildly popular Colgate Day of Impact, Colgate’s first Common Good Week for students takes place March 24–27. The week, sponsored by the Common Good Professional Network, will consist of seminars and speakers, including Colgate alumni who have nonprofit and government-sector experience.

The Common Good Network, one of eight Colgate Professional Networks, connects students, alumni, and parents who are interested in or work for nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or other social good enterprises. It builds crucial professional on-ramps for undergraduates — many of whom already volunteer through the Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE).

COVE director Krista Saleet and career services adviser Kelly Brant developed Common Good Week to educate students on career options within the field.

The week’s events will include:

Tuesday: Discussion of what careers are available in the field of Common Good. 4:15 p.m., 27 Persson

Wednesday: Samantha Darche ’01, chief of staff and legislative counsel for New York State Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas, will lead a discussion about her experiences working in the government sector. 12:15 p.m., 109 Lathrop

Thursday: Sarah Lange ’87, principal and founder of New Era (an organization that helps nonprofits of all types integrate best practices in the areas of fund development, marketing and communications, board development, strategic planning, and leadership), will discuss her experiences as a consultant for nonprofits. 12:15 p.m., 109 Lathrop

Friday: Corrine Ribble ’97, principal of Riverview Strategies, leads the Nonprofit Leadership Board Workshop. 2:00–4:00 p.m., 107 Lathrop

For more information on the Common Good Network and other Colgate Professional Networks, visit colgate.edu/networks.


Colgate community Hackathon in New York City supports student’s nonprofit venture

March 20, 2015
(Left to right) Thought Into Action founder Andy Greenfield ’74, P’12, digital technology network volunteer Jeff O'Connell ’94,  Amanda Brown ’15, and Thought Into Action Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07 during Colgate's Hackathon on Saturday, March 14

(Left to right) Thought Into Action founder Andy Greenfield ’74, P’12, digital technology network volunteer Jeff O’Connell ’94, Amanda Brown ’15, and Thought Into Action Executive Director Wills Hapworth ’07 during Colgate’s Hackathon on Saturday, March 14

On a rainy Saturday in New York City, about 40 Colgate alumni and students gathered to spend eight hours together for Colgate’s first-ever off-campus Hackathon, powered by the Digital Media and Technology Professional Network, the Entrepreneur Network, and the Common Good Network. The hackathon was one of many Colgate Day of Impact events held around the country.

Hosted by Jeff O’Connell ’94 at his downtown Maker Studios offices, the Colgate Hackathon involved engineers, computer coders, and technicians who helped Amanda Brown ’15 enhance the web presence of her nonprofit venture, Children & Youth First. Maker Studios, with its casual, loft-style space and multiple conference rooms, provided the perfect backdrop for the Hackathon.

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Raiders head north to ECAC Hockey Men’s Championships

March 19, 2015

There’s still time to hop in the car!

For the fourth time in six years, Colgate is headed to the ECAC Hockey Men’s Championships in Lake Placid. On Friday night at 7:30 p.m. the Raiders — one of the hottest teams in the nation — will face St. Lawrence. The winner will skate again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for the tournament championship and the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

Hundreds of alumni, families, and friends have registered so far to attend a free pre-game reception at the Lake Placid Conference Center. More information, the attendee list, and a link to register are here.

Read about the Raiders’ seven-game winning streak, how to watch the televised games, and more here.


New system recovers helium for laboratory use

March 19, 2015
Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Matt LeGro ’15 and Professor Ken Segall are using helium in their research studying the behavior of Josephson junctions (small electrical circuits) to see if they can model neuron behaviors in the brain. Photo by Andrew Daddio

Party balloons can no longer be taken for granted: there’s a worldwide shortage of helium. Prices quadrupled between 2000 and 2012, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. But a new helium-recovery system will put Colgate’s science laboratories at the forefront of efforts to conserve the dwindling supply of this increasingly expensive gas. Read more


Professor Eddie Watkins publishes paper in journal with current student, alumnus

March 17, 2015
Researchers hold the fern they discovered

Rehman Momin ’15, Professor Eddie Watkins, Caridad Zúñiga Calvo, and Weston Testo ’12 (left to right) holding the fern named after Caridad. (Photo by Jarmilla Pitterman)

Colgate professor Eddie Watkins published a new paper in the journal Brittonia with Rehman Momin ’15, Wes Testo ’12 and Jarmilla Pitterman, a professor at UC Santa Cruz. Brittonia is a specialized botanical journal managed by the New York Botanical Garden. The article outlines the discovery of a rare new hybrid fern in Costa Rica. Read more


Sohee Ryuk ’15 wins prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship

March 16, 2015
A photo of Sohee Ryuk ‘15

Sohee Ryuk ’15 wins Watson Fellowship

Sohee Ryuk ’15 is one of just 50 students awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States on a self-designed topic of their choosing. Ryuk receives $28,000 for the 12-month fellowship beginning in July, 2015.

Including Ryuk, 70 Colgate University nominees have received this prestigious fellowship since it was established in 1968.

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