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Dani Solomon ’13 explores the connection between theater and science

October 26, 2016
Dani Solomon '13. Photo by

Dani Solomon ’13 in One Way Red. Photo by Nick Gilbert ’18

Real science fused with science fiction when Dani Solomon ’13 performed One Way Red, a solo show that followed a young woman’s one-way journey to Mars. The 90-minute performance on October 6 unfolded as Sam, played by Solomon, stumbled upon an online video about the Mars One project — an actual nonprofit that intends to colonize Mars by 2026.

The performance jumped back and forth between Sam’s bedroom, where she applied for the Mars One project, and the surface of the red planet. There were moments of both humor and profound loneliness as Sam left Earth to experience interplanetary adventures on Mars.

“We didn’t start with a script,” Solomon said. She and her collaborator, Mason Rosenthal, use an unconventional approach to theater in their work with Philadelphia-based Medium Theatre Company. “We start with a question or curiosity. We often start from a known, familiar place, and through the process of following a curiosity, we follow the known into the unknown.”

Space travel has long captivated American’s imaginations; One Way Red questions why we look spaceward and what we hope to find there. The possibility of interplanetary travel serves as the backdrop for this existential fever-dream populated by alien mirrors, talking lamps, and a sassy computer-assistant named Morgan.

“I think a lot of people in our generation want to do something exceptional to be remembered,” Solomon said. “This character has a lot of that drive, that ambition to do something great and historical.”

Solomon, who was a physics and theater major at Colgate, is interested in the process of discovery found in both the sciences and the theater. The play was performed in the Ho Atrium to mingle the arts and sciences and to allow the audience to enter an otherworldly space between reality and fiction.

In addition to performing the play, Solomon gave a talk about alternative career paths for physics majors. She and Rosenthal also hosted a workshop that encouraged students to explore unconventional approaches to theater.

Solomon hopes that there will be more intermingling of the arts and the sciences in the future, especially at Colgate. “Getting people from different disciplines to ask hard questions together is the next step toward interdisciplinary dialogue,” she said.

Congressional debate brings national issues to Colgate

October 21, 2016
A 22nd Congressional District debate was held at Colgate October 20.

Candidates for the 22nd Congressional District seat took part in a wide-ranging policy debate in the Memorial Chapel at Colgate University, televised live by Time Warner Cable News on October 20, 2016. (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

National and state issues, ranging from gun control to refugee resettlement and the future of job creation in New York State, were front and center at a live debate for the 22nd Congressional District hosted by Time Warner Cable News in the Colgate University Memorial Chapel.

If you missed the live hour-long broadcast, with co-moderators Liz Benjamin and Nick Reisman of Capital Tonight, it is now available to stream online at no cost.

An outstanding opportunity for students interested in political science, debate, or any of the many politically oriented clubs on campus, the event provided students and members of the local community a front-row seat to democracy in action.

Independent Martin Babinec, Democrat Kim Myers, and Republican Claudia Tenney are in the midst of a heated campaign for what has become one of the most hotly contested battleground seats in the nation, with more than $8 million estimated spent between all of the campaigns and outside political groups.


Professor Rebecca Shiner featured in New York Magazine article on presidential temperament

October 17, 2016
A photo of Colgate's Olin Hall, were Rebecca Shiner is based

Professor Shiner and psychology department are in Olin Hall

When New York Magazine planned an article on presidential temperament, they went to psychology professor Rebecca Shiner, the editor of the Handbook of Temperament for her thoughts on the subject.

The article is titled “What Is ‘Presidential Temperament,’ Anyway?” and it analyzes the history, science — and political implications — of temperament.

Temperament is an issue in this election because, during the first debate, Donald Trump suggested his “winning temperament” was his biggest asset, yet many people have asked whether his temperament makes him unsuitable for the Presidency.

The author of the New York Magazine piece, Drake Baer, thinks temperament isn’t a new consideration in U.S. Presidential elections: “The discussion of ‘presidential temperament’ is long (it goes back to the country’s founding) and weird (because the political usage doesn’t match up with the scientific understanding, except when it does).”

Drawing on her research on personality development, Shiner offers insights into how temperament is expressed and its role in shaping life outcomes. The Handbook of Temperament considers “… the pivotal role of temperament in parent-child interactions, attachment, peer relationships, and the development of adolescent and adult personality and psychopathology.”

As the 2016 election comes to a close, the expertise of Colgate professors continues to inform students and the media.

Read the full article at New York Magazine.


Colgate to open first of four residential learning communities
Ciccone Commons
Department of Psychology

Colgate and Time Warner Cable News partner for live congressional debate

October 14, 2016
Colgate Memorial Chapel will be the location for a live debate for the 22nd Congressional district.

Candidates for the 22nd Congressional District will square-off in a televised debate in the Colgate Memorial Chapel.

Colgate’s historic Memorial Chapel will be the site of a live televised debate for the hotly-contested 22nd Congressional District seat, October 20, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The hour-long debate with co-moderators Liz Benjamin and Nick Reisman of Capital Tonight will feature Independent Martin Babinec, Democrat Kim Myers, and Republican Claudia Tenney in a political showdown with a focus on issues that are of the most importance to New Yorkers living in the enormous 22nd District, which stretches from the shores of Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border. With no incumbent following the departure of Congressman Richard Hanna, Ballotpedia.org has labeled the 22nd District a battleground race in the 2016 election.

The debate will air on TWC News in Binghamton, Syracuse, and the Watertown area on channel 200. The 24-hour newschannel will also re-air the debate at 10 p.m. Tickets to attend the event in person are free and can be found at colgate.edu/twcdebate.


Geography alumni: on the map

October 7, 2016
Sal Curasi ’15 (left), pictured here doing research in the field, recently published his senior thesis in Environmental Research Letters. Photo by Chris Linder

Sal Curasi ’15 (left), pictured here doing research in the field, recently published his senior thesis in Environmental Research Letters. Photo by Chris Linder

It’s relatively uncommon for alumni to publish their student theses in a professional journal, but even more so when it happens within the same department and in the same issue.

Geography majors Sal Curasi ’15 and Wil Lieberman-Cribbin ’14 did research under the tutelage of Professor Mike Loranty and then wrote their honors theses. Environmental Research Letters recently published the papers, co-authored by Loranty, in a special issue focusing on arctic and boreal vegetation dynamics.

Curasi traveled to Siberia, Russia, with Loranty in the summer of 2014 to research water flow, vegetation growth, and carbon cycling. Supported by the National Science Foundation, Loranty was part of a project designed to take students to the region for fieldwork.

“We picked a research site and turned them loose,” Loranty said. “Sal was the driving force on this project.”

Curasi found that areas of subsurface water flow, called water tracks, can help scientists make predictions about carbon cycling in arctic ecosystems — a process that influences climate change.

Now in his second year of a biological sciences PhD program at Notre Dame University, Curasi is still researching the topic. “The research I did as an undergrad led me to the position I’m currently in,” Curasi said. “I actually met my graduate advisor at a conference while presenting the research I did with Mike.”

Lieberman-Cribbin ’14, meanwhile, began working with Loranty as a researcher the summer before his senior year. The pair coauthored a paper that focuses on vegetation change and soil in arctic-boreal permafrost ecosystems.

Lieberman-Cribbin is now pursuing a master’s in public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. His current work — using geographic information systems to study lung cancer and racial disparities across New York State — involves similar tools and problem-solving approaches that he used in his research with Loranty.

“These two papers are a really nice illustration of what geography is,” said Loranty. “Sal and I were looking at a pretty small area in northeastern Siberia, but Wil’s research was looking at the entire arctic and subarctic.”

Read more about Loranty’s research — specifically, his expedition across the Alaskan tundra — in the winter 2016 issue of the Colgate Scene.

Colgate media panel explores future of journalism

October 6, 2016
The Colgate Media and Communications in the 21st Century was one of several inauguration-week events.

Members of the Media in the 21st Century panel talk to a crowd in Olin Hall, September 30. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

When asked to talk a bit about the thought process that goes on behind closed doors at some of the nation’s most elite media organizations, CBS 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager ’77 summed it all up in a single sentence: “We try to shed light in dark places.”

Read more

Art, psychology, and the environment: Professor Turner explores the connection

October 5, 2016

It’s estimated that 50,000 pieces of plastic are floating in each square mile of the world’s oceans. Photo by Rich Carey (Shutterstock)

Does seeing an image of plastic bags floating in the ocean influence people to be more environmentally friendly? That’s what Bob Turner, professor of economics and environmental studies, hopes to find out with his new research.

In Turner’s study, participants are asked a set of questions designed by psychologists that assesses their opinions on the state of the environment’s health. Next, one group is shown an artistic image of a whale, accompanied by text explaining that the whale image is comprised of 50,000 plastic bags, equal to the estimated number of pieces of floating plastic in a square mile of the world’s oceans. Other groups see different combinations of image and/or text. Sometimes, a photograph of bags in the ocean replaces the whale image. Afterward, all participants answered a subset of the initial survey questions and questions on their beliefs about plastic bag pollution.

Professor Bob Turner (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Professor Bob Turner (Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Although the study is ongoing, so far, Turner has found that those who are shown either one of the images and/or the text become more pro-environment. “It’s an open question whether environmental art, by itself, has an impact, but clearly information seems to matter,” he said. “I’m hoping the research will narrow down the ways, and, in what circumstances, the art has an impact.”

Turner first started thinking about the effects of art on people’s thoughts about the environment during a 2008 visit to Colgate by the Canary Project, which produces art and media about ecological issues. But it wasn’t until several years later when Turner was invited to speak at a scientific communication conference that he decided to pursue it further.

In the fall of 2014, Turner designed a new a scientific perspectives class, called Environmental Activism, Science, and the Arts. Through working with students in the class, which discussed art, psychology, statistics, and the environment, Turner modified his study to this current iteration. Students from that class worked with him on the design of his survey instrument.

When he came to Colgate in 1983, Turner was purely an economist, and the environment was hardly on his radar, but now he teaches both subjects. “I married into a family that hiked in the Rockies every summer,” he said. “[While in] the national parks out there, I realized there were interesting economic questions associated with them.” He then helped expand the Environmental Studies Program to include environmental economics and has continued to conduct research about national parks in addition to his recent work about environmental art.

Brian W. Casey inaugurated as the 17th president of Colgate University

October 3, 2016

(Photo by Mark DiOrio)

Within the historic precincts of Memorial Chapel, the Colgate University community looked forward to a bright and exciting future when it inaugurated Brian W. Casey as its 17th president on September 30.

Hundreds of well-wishers packed the chapel for the ceremony — the highlight of a weeklong celebration of Colgate.

Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17’20, chair of the Board of Trustees; history professor Jill Harsin, former interim president; English professor Connie Harsh, interim dean of the faculty; Matthew Swain ’17, president of the Student Government Association; Thomas Cruz-Soto, associate dean of campus life; and Hamilton Town Supervisor Eve Ann Shwartz all offered welcoming words to Casey. Pulitzer Prize–winning English professor Peter Balakian read a poem he wrote for the occasion, and Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, praised Casey’s energy, wisdom, and commitment to the liberal arts.

Casey himself spoke of his awe and his great respect for liberal arts college campuses as places set apart — one of America’s best settings where we expect great things to happen. He said:

By some turn, or by sheer incredible luck, I have been able to live my life in those places. Now, by an even greater turn of good fortune, I begin, with you, my service to this faculty, to our students, to the Board of Trustees, to this work. I can think of no greater calling than to be one more person on this campus, longing to advance knowledge, to perpetuate it to posterity, and with this faculty, this administration, this board, to alter the world with the power of our ideas.

In the days leading up to the inauguration ceremony, professors, students, alumni, and friends gathered for panel conversations on the university’s history, developing community leaders, and the current state of communications and media. Colgate’s inaugural poet, Peter Balakian, gave a reading and discussed his Ozone Journal as part of the Living Writers series. You can watch many of the events via our livestream archive, and read more about Casey at colgate.edu/president.

Homecoming Weekend 2016 followed, with the dedication of the new Class of 1965 Arena. Members of the class, along with more than 2,500 other fans, were on hand for the first games in the Steven J. Riggs ’65 Rink: women’s hockey defeated New Hampshire, 4–2, and men’s hockey tied Army, 2–2. The university hosted a total of nine athletic contests between September 30 and October 1. Visit gocolgateraiders.com for results.

Raiders dedicate Class of 1965 Arena

October 3, 2016
Exterior of Riggs ’65 Rink

(Photo by Mark DiOrio)

The Colgate community came together Saturday morning at the Class of 1965 Arena dedication to celebrate the culmination of a $37.8 million dollar project that has been years in the making.

The state-of-the-art facility is the new home of the Colgate men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. The Raider men’s and women’s lacrosse and soccer teams also have brand new locker rooms inside the Class of 1965 Arena.

The ice surface in Colgate’s Class of 1965 Arena will be known as Steven J. Riggs ’65 Rink in honor of the former men’s ice hockey team captain. Riggs was killed in combat in Vietnam in 1968 and was inducted posthumously into the Colgate Athletics Hall of Honor.

Saturday’s dedication and celebration of the 2,222 capacity arena featured words of appreciation and gratitude from newly-inaugurated Colgate President Brian Casey, Colgate Vice President and Director of Athletics Vicky Chun, Board of Trustees member Bill Johnston ’73, Head Men’s Hockey Coach Don Vaughan and women’s hockey junior Annika Zalewski. An official ribbon-cutting capped off the celebration.

Peter Balakian reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning text during Living Writers event

September 30, 2016
Peter Balakian is seated a table teaching an English class in Lathrop Hall

Peter Balakian teaches an advanced writing class at Colgate. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Living Writers — one of Colgate’s most popular courses, both on campus and in the wider Colgate community — featured Pulitzer Prize-winning professor Peter Balakian as part of inauguration week festivities at Colgate.

Balakian, the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in humanities, professor of English, and director of creative writing at Colgate, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Ozone Journal, a collection of poems.

Here is a replay of his reading and talk.

Balakian is also the inaugural poet and will be featured at the inauguration ceremony today, September 30, at 4:30 p.m. The ceremony will be streamed at Colgate.edu and archived at Colgate.edu/inauguration.

Read more about Balakian’s Pulitzer victory.

Balakian is the fourth Living Writer in the 10-week online experience. People can still join for free and watch videos, listen to podcasts, and relive the Livestream events with the writers who have already appeared. There are deep discussion threads about Balakian and the other authors that involve students, faculty, and the Colgate community.


Cultivating Community Leaders: From the Local to the Global

September 29, 2016

In an ecosystem of leadership, one seeks justice, mercy, dignity, empathy, and beauty. One listens and shares, partners and serves, and immerses oneself in the community. These were the themes — and the tangible advice — discussed by a slate of people who have dedicated their careers to doing good works at Cultivating Community Leaders: From the Local to the Global.

Moderator Ellen Percy Kraly, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Geography and former director of Colgate’s Upstate Institute, asked the panelists to share their personal experiences and inspirations in building community locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. This was the second Colgate In Discussion event in honor of Brian W. Casey’s inauguration as the university’s 17th president.

Kraly also asked the panelists to share their perspectives on how to best cultivate and promote leadership on Colgate’s campus in the future.

“Push students to think deeply, to talk about their experiences and share it with someone else,” said Ayanna K. Williams ’08, a healthcare policy professional at The Lewin Group who noted that the foundation for her passion for public service was created at Colgate. “Why was it meaningful? How did it shape you?” Williams helped to write the selection criteria and charter for the National Abolition Hall of Fame in nearby Peterboro, N.Y., as an Upstate Institute Summer Fellow. She also traveled the world through study abroad, where she could engage with communities.

The other panelists included Roger Ferlo ’73, president of the Bexley Seabury Episcopal Center for Learning & Discipleship; Mark Golden H’14, CEO of Golden Artist Colors in nearby New Berlin, N.Y.; Peter A. Dunn, president of the Central New York Community Foundation; Katie Redford ’90, co-founder and director of EarthRights International; and Jo Kroes Randell ’91, director of development, Sustain for Life.


For complete coverage of Inauguration Week visit colgate.edu/inauguration.

Looking ahead to inauguration day and back at Colgate University’s history

September 28, 2016


This Friday, Colgate inaugurates Brian W. Casey as its 17th president. A full slate of special inauguration-week events kicked off yesterday with a panel discussion focused on Colgate’s historical roots. Participants then turned to the question of how the university’s long journey from Baptist seminary to modern liberal arts institution may inform its path forward.

“We have certain markings that make us distinct, and I would argue that we embrace those things,” said Casey, whose scholarship has focused on the history of American higher education. Referencing Colgate’s dynamic Liberal Arts Core Curriculum, Division I athletics, and relatively large student body, Casey said, “That’s what makes us unique.”

The panel conversation, titled Colgate’s History: Reflections on the Past and Future, featured Casey as well as Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the Classics Robert Garland; NEH Professor of the Humanities Mel Watkins ’62; Assistant Professor of History and Bicentennial Fellow Jennifer Hull; and James Allen Smith ’70, director of research, Rockefeller Archive Center and author of the forthcoming book on the history of Colgate University. The panel was moderated by Jill Harsin, professor of history and chair of Colgate’s Bicentennial Committee.

Visit colgate.edu/inauguration for a full schedule of events leading up to inauguration day. Friday’s ceremony will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. Those unable to attend are invited to watch the celebration live at colgate.edu.

A new exhibition, and new opportunities for students, at the Picker Art Gallery

September 13, 2016
Marko Mäetamm, Self-Portrait in the Cage, 2015, cast plastic figure, hair, clothes, and birdcage; 33 1/8 x 17 1/2 x 27 3/8 in. (84.1 x 44.5 x 69.5 cm). Image courtesy of Marko Mäetamm and Temnikova & Kasela Gallery.

Self-Portrait in the Cage, 2015 (Image courtesy of Marko Mäetamm and Temnikova & Kasela Gallery)

Estonian multimedia artist Marko Mäetamm tells stories, both personal and global, in the exhibition I Want to Tell You Something, opening this Thursday at the Picker Art Gallery.

The exhibition features paintings, drawings, sculptures, ceramics, and video installations through which Mäetamm communicates with viewers about his life, his problems, and the world around him.

“For me, making art is always about saying something, or at least provoking communication or dialogue,” said Mäetamm, who is the 2016 Christian A. Johnson artist-in-residence. “If I don’t have anything to say, then I don’t see why I should paint, or why I should do anything.”

Many of the works in the exhibition are intended to provoke conversation about everyday life and cultural issues. The installation titled Bookshelf appears to be a room covered with books, but inside is the video Just Checking if There’s Something New, which shows a man continuously checking his smartphone.

“I don’t know if it’s good or bad,” said Mäetamm, reflecting on social media and texting as new forms of communication, “but it’s different now, and it’s exciting, and that is what interests me: observing it.”

In preparation for the exhibition, Katie Jean Colman ’18 assisted the Picker Art Gallery staff as a summer intern. She wrote an essay for the exhibition catalogue, organized a student event, and started a project with Estonian fashion designer Reet Aus that will provide sustainably sourced T-shirts to complement Mäetamm’s exhibition.

“There is so much that goes into planning and executing an exhibition that I had never thought of until this summer,” said Colman, who is an art history major. “I did all sorts of work during my internship, from curation to collections management. Each day presented something new.”

Colman and other student interns will give remarks and lead mini-tours at the exhibition’s opening reception Thursday at 5 p.m.

Internships at the Picker Art Gallery satisfy the internship requirement of the museum studies minor, a new interdisciplinary program that focuses on cultural property, public history, and museum theory.

In addition to the exhibition at the Picker, a complementary exhibition of Mäetamm’s video art, called Something Moving, is on display at the Clifford Gallery until October 2.

Mäetamm is also teaching an advanced studio art course, presenting a lecture, and completing a project with the theater department during his four-month residency at Colgate.

Living Writers – an experience for the community

August 30, 2016

A photo of four book covers from Living Writers course

Living Writers — one of Colgate’s most popular courses, both on campus and in the wider Colgate community — will return with a new focus next week. Led by English professor Jennifer Brice, the class will feature conversations with authors from a wide range of genres, including journalism and poetry, cartoons and novels, as well as memoirs and short stories.

Online, the course will offer interactive materials for all 10 visiting writers on the ColgateX platform. Videos, podcasts, and Livestream events with the writers, as well as discussion boards with students on campus will also be accessible on the site. As in past years, participants can tailor the course to their own schedules and interests, engaging with as much (or as little) of the material as they see fit. (Enroll here.)

The class format will match each visiting writer with a member of the Colgate faculty. Professor Meg Worley (writing and rhetoric) will discuss the multifaceted approach of cartoons with Lynda Barry, the artist and author behind What It Is. Tim Byrnes (political science) will explore an industry’s exploitation of intellectually disabled men with reporter Dan Barry. The course will also feature Professor Peter Balakian and his Pulitzer Prize–winning Ozone Journal, a book of poems on the Armenian genocide and related topics. Jane Pinchin, who retired from the English department in 2015, will return to dialogue with author James Wood (The Nearest Thing to Life). And English professor Nimanthi Rajasingham will introduce Michael Ondaatje (Running in the Family).

Lessons begin on September 8 with Sundance Film Festival award winner Penny Lane, a documentarian and an assistant professor of art and art history at Colgate, introduced by Brice herself. Clips from Lane’s yet-to-be-released Nuts! documentary will be available to view and discuss online.

Internship blog series: asking important questions

August 29, 2016
Angelica Greco '18, left, and Julia Feikens stand in front of

Angelica Greco, left, and Julia Feikens in the city of Oswego, where they conducted interviews.

During the summer months, Colgate students fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They wrote back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. Angelica Greco ’18, from Bethesda, Md., and Julia Feikens ’18, from West Nyack, N.Y., described their travels through upstate New York as they investigated the closure of nuclear power plants.

Our research this summer tied into a larger question that our mentor, Professor Dai Yamamoto, has been studying: how does the decommissioning of a nuclear power plant impact the community that hosts it?

With Professor Yamamoto on sabbatical in Japan, we planned, organized, and carried out independent research focusing specifically on the James A. FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant, located in Scriba, N.Y., half an hour away from Hamilton.

The FitzPatrick plant, having been unprofitable for the past few years, was scheduled for decommissioning in January of 2017.

For this summer’s research, we gathered qualitative, on-site data by interviewing stakeholders in Scriba and Oswego County. We interviewed people involved in local government and school systems to give us a picture of how the plant’s closure would affect the community from a variety of perspectives.

The picture that emerged during interviews was what we expected: the loss of the FitzPatrick plant would have a serious impact on many parts of the community. In addition to employing 615 people in a county that already struggles with high unemployment and poverty rates, the plant contributes vital revenue to the local school districts, the Scriba town government, and Oswego County.

But getting the information we needed and reaching the heart of the matter wasn’t always easy for us. Having to plan and conduct interviews by ourselves meant that both of us had to sharpen our interview skills. Banal “how do you feel about that?” questions just didn’t cut it this summer.

We asked interviewees about the future — were they optimistic about Scriba and Oswego County? Would the loss of the FitzPatrick plant, a large, well-paying employer, devastate the community? Were people worried about how the decommissioning of FitzPatrick will affect the programs in the local school system or access to municipal services?

The responses fell all across the spectrum: while interviewees were worried about their community’s future, many were also optimistic. People were hopeful that revenue from the Novelis aluminum plant and the two other nuclear power facilities in the area would be able to help make up for the loss of FitzPatrick. Participants were also optimistic about a government plan to subsidize FitzPatrick and other struggling nuclear plants. The subsidies may be enough to keep the plant open.

We learned that the overall situation was more complicated than we initially anticipated. However, this offered us more opportunities to learn about the different dynamics of communities that interact with nuclear decommissioning.

While growing our connections in the area, we also learned more about how nuclear plants affect far more than economies in an area. They aid in social events and support local organizations with time and effort. In order to create a whole picture of Oswego County, it was necessary to learn as much as possible about each facet. Consequently, our research and perspectives improved drastically by looking at every angle the plant’s relationship with the county.

Many of the issues that we asked participants about are delicate, and being caring, sympathetic listeners was very important. While we started this summer with varying levels of interview experience, we both undoubtedly grew as interviewers and researchers.


Summer internship blog series: a capital experience

Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer

Career Services: Summer internship funding

Colgate University Center for Career Services


Colgate welcomes the class of 2020

August 26, 2016
Students and parents gather on campus for first-year Move-in Day

Students and parents make their way to residence halls Sunday, August 21, during first-year Move-in Day. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Thirty minutes before the doors opened to the James C. Colgate Student Union, a line of first-year students and their families began to form in anticipation of new student registration Sunday morning.

Huashuo Zhang ’20 and Carrie Zhang ’20 were part of the line, waiting to receive information about the next three days of orientation. The two girls, both from China, met during last week’s International Student Orientation, where first-years who hail from outside of the United States learn about on-campus resources.

“I’m excited to start school and begin meeting classmates,” Carrie enthused. She and Huashuo are two of the 77 international students currently enrolled in the Class of 2020.

In addition to International Student Orientation, other first-year pre-orientation programs included Wilderness Adventure, Maroon-News, WRCU radio, Raider Pep Band, Masque and Triangle, and community outreach.

Student-athletes like cross-country runner Emily Peck ’20 also arrived early, in order to practice during the pre-season. “The campus is very welcoming,” she said. “You can tell that everyone’s excited for us to be here.”

From cheering on students as they arrived, to helping move belongings, to answering questions about move-in day and campus life, student workers from Link staff and residential life created this welcoming atmosphere.

“Keeping the mood up and getting everyone excited is our main goal,” said Lila Sullivan ’17, a Link staff member who was posted outside of the student union to talk to students and families. “We make sure we’re a resource for them, like we are during the school year.”

The Class of 2020 comprises 755 students who “truly represent the best of Colgate, not only in their excellent academic record, but also through their demonstrated commitment to community service and making the world a better place,” said Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Gary Ross ’77.

“Every year, the Colgate admission team receives an enormous amount of support from faculty, staff, and hundreds of students, so I am most grateful to the many members of the Colgate community who helped to build this tremendous class of scholars and future leaders.”

Arrival day 2016

Some early birds might steal the worm

August 19, 2016

New research from Colgate University demonstrates how biologically determined “early birds” are more likely to make risky or unethical decisions in the afternoon, while biologically determined “night owls” often make the same missteps in the morning.

The research, published in the journal Nature (Scientific Reports), titled “Molecular Insights Into Chronotype and Time-of-Day Effects on Decision-Making,” is authored by Colgate biology professors Krista Ingram and Ahmet Ay along with three undergraduate co-authors: Soo Bin Kwon ’16, Molly Gordon ’15, and Angela Escobar ’15.

Professor Krista Ingram sits at her desk

Professor Krista Ingram (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

“It is an interdisciplinary study on how oscillations in our circadian clock genes (and whether we are a morning person or an evening person) affect our ability to make ethical or risky decisions,” said Ingram. “We found that if your clock genes cycle early (morning person), you are more likely to make unethical or risky decisions in the afternoon, while the same can be said about a night owl making unethical decisions in the morning.”

The study included 139 participants, who were split into two groups based on a survey that helps gauge preference for morning or evening hours. Researchers determined the daily RNA profile of circadian clock genes and identified individuals whose clocks cycled early (RNA larks) and late (owls). Participants were then given a risk-taking test and an ethics test.

The risk assessment is known as the Balloon Analog Risk Task. In each round, participants could earn money for pumping up a virtual balloon, but they would lose all of the money from the round if the balloon bursts before taking payout. The ethics test challenged participants to match and add numbers in a time trial, with payments earned for each successful match.

Results show that RNA-determined night owls are more than three times as likely to cheat on the matching test in the morning, compared to their early-bird peers, while early birds are more likely to cheat at night. When it comes to risky decisions and the balloon test, early birds are far more likely to push the envelope in the afternoon, while night owls are only slightly more likely to take more risk in the morning.

“Just imagine a judge or investment banker, who are larks, making their decisions in the late afternoon,” Ingram said.

Nature (Scientific Reports)
Department of Biology
Ahmet Ay
Krista Ingram

A senior in the city, preparing for the real world

August 18, 2016
Ryan Diew stands on stage and speaks to panelists

Ryan Diew speaks to a panel of entrepreneur experts at Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend 2016. (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

Editor’s note: Ryan Diew ’17 is already preparing for graduation next May. In a series of posts during the upcoming academic year, Diew will track his progress through the Center for Career Services’ Real World program — signature events and workshops that prepare seniors for life on the other side of the commencement stage. Real World events are also powered by the Colgate Professional Networks.

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Colgate Seniors in the City event in San Francisco. Seniors in the City is a networking program — part of the Center for Career Services’ Real World series — that provides students, parents, and alumni with a venue where they can talk and make lasting connections in order to help ease the transition after graduation.

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area (Oakland to be specific — Go, Warriors!), so I was impressed and incredibly excited to meet so many Colgate alumni who have ventured out west.

I was able to connect with professionals working in careers that intersected with each of my school activities, interests, and experiences: I am a computer science major and a member of the Colgate Men’s Basketball team. I am also a part of Link Staff and Colgate’s Google Student Ambassador. Most recently, I founded my own company, Trippie, through Thought into Action. Trippie is a mobile application that helps travelers better navigate airports. (We expect to be in the App Store this Fall, so be on the lookout!)

I had the opportunity to interact with athletes and fellow entrepreneurs, as well as professionals who have worked for some of the biggest tech companies in the world. In addition, I was able to strengthen connections with classmates who are also interested in starting their professional careers in the Bay Area.

One of the reasons Colgate is so special is because of its amazing alumni network. During my time at Colgate, I have been afforded numerous opportunities and have made many lasting connections. This was reinforced multiple times at Seniors in the City, when an overwhelming majority of alumni encouraged us to reach out to other alumni for opportunities as well as advice. They emphasized that Colgate grads would be more than excited to help if we reached out. A simple LinkedIn message or e-mail introduction could really change a life. Seniors in the City underscored the beauty of the Colgate connection. Colgate alumni really look out for one another.

It’s great to know that, based on conversations I had in San Francisco, I will enter the professional world having forged strong relationships and alliances with those who are also transitioning into the “real world.”

Center for Career Services
Thought Into Action
Trippie – The Answer to Tired, Hungry and Grumpy

Summer internship blog series: a capital experience

August 18, 2016
Doug Whelan '19 in his Washington, D.C. office

Doug Whelan ’19 in his Washington, D.C., office

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. Doug Whelan ’19, from Webster, N.Y., wrote about his legislative internship in the nation’s capital.

This summer, I was lucky enough to work as a legislative intern in the Washington, D.C., office of my home-district congresswoman, Louise M. Slaughter, gaining valuable experience in government and politics.

I was doubly fortunate to be working in the office of one of the most experienced leaders of the House of Representatives. Representative Slaughter is the oldest woman in Congress and has represented the Rochester, N.Y., area for nearly 30 years. She currently sits as the ranking member of the Rules Committee, which she chaired from 2007 to 2011. During that time, she was instrumental in moving landmark legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, through Congress.

My job as an intern varied from day to day, but primary tasks included answering phone calls; replying to constituent inquiries by researching policy issues relevant to their questions and then drafting response letters; providing tours of the Capitol building to visiting members of the district; and relaying information that I gathered at policy briefings to legislative staffers.

One of the most enriching elements of my time in Washington was the opportunity to listen to famous speakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Jeff Merkley, and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson. At the end of the internship, I completed a research project on a piece of pending legislation of my choice. The project included a set of memos to be delivered to the congresswoman.

While my internship was full of unforgettable memories, I will always remember the days following the tragic shooting in Orlando, Fla., when I sat in the House gallery watching Representative Slaughter participate in the gun control sit-in. It was a rare opportunity to witness civic action firsthand at the highest levels of our democracy.

Spending the summer on Capitol Hill affirmed my commitment to public service as a personal passion and long-term career goal. While I was sad to leave a place that so often felt like the center of universe, I know I’ll be back in the future to build on the experience I’ve gained.

Whelan wasn’t the only person interning in Congress. Here are a couple posts saying thank you to Colgate students for their work during the summer.


Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer
Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages
Career Services: Summer internship funding
Colgate University Center for Career Services

Colgate rolls out new custom cruisers

August 17, 2016
The new Colgate Cruisers are not making the rounds around campus, and in the Village of Hamilton. The service is free and open to the community.

New Colgate Cruisers are now making the rounds on campus and in the Village of Hamilton. The service is free and open to the community.

If you’re looking to grab a ride on the university’s free shuttle service around campus and throughout the the Village of Hamilton, you’ll need to look for a new color.

White shuttles have been replaced with a new fleet of maroon buses operated by First Transit.

“These new cruisers are all handicap accessible, have bike racks, and are equipped with special route signs above the windshield to make it easier to know whether or not it’s the shuttle you want to take,” said Colgate Director of Purchasing Alan Leonard.

New GPS systems are being installed in the buses to provide more robust route tracking in the mobile app, but that process is ongoing, Leonard said. The cruisers are currently stopping at the same designated pickup locations on and off campus, including the Colgate Bookstore, Parry’s Hardware, and Price Chopper. Visit colgate.edu/cruiser for detailed route information.

First Transit, which is also providing Colgate’s separate on-demand shuttle service to local airports, train stations, and nearby cities, is now staffing an office on campus to help assist with the community’s bus needs. For questions about service, call 315-228-4287 during regular business hours. For after-hours assistance related to the on-demand service, call 315-269-3874.

Lauren Schmetterling ’10 earns gold in Rio

August 14, 2016
Lauren Schmetterling '10 (forth from left) earned gold in Rio on Saturday as part of the US Women's Rowing Team.

Lauren Schmetterling ’10 (fourth from left) earned gold in Rio Saturday as part of the US Women’s Eight team.

RIO DE JANEIRO – The United States Women’s Eight and crew member Lauren Schmetterling ’10 won the gold medal Saturday morning in the 2016 Olympic Women’s Rowing final.

“All of Colgate is extremely proud of Lauren for this great accomplishment,” said Colgate Vice President and Director of Athletics Victoria M. Chun ’91, MA’94. “Lauren is a great example for our student-athletes. She has put in the time and work necessary to reach her dreams. It has been fun cheering along with the races and it was truly inspiring to see the nine members of the boat come together and perform so well on their way to victory.”

The Americans finished the race in 6:01.49, defeating silver-medalist Great Britain by 2.5 seconds at Lagoa Stadium.

Schmetterling became the first Patriot League student-athlete to win an Olympic medal in the 26-year history of the league.

Schmetterling is also the first Colgate athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympics, and third overall Olympic medal winner since Frank Castleman won the silver medal in the 200-meter hurdles at the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri and Dick McGlynn won a silver medal with the United States Hockey Team at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan.

For Schmetterling, it is her first Olympic appearance after winning gold medals at the 2013 and 2014 world championships.

The United States Women’s Eight have now won three straight gold medals dating back to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, and four overall gold medals in the event.

Women’s Eight Final Standings
1. United States 6:01.49
2. Great Britain 6:03.98
3. Romania 6:04.10
4. New Zealand 6:05.48
5. Canada 6:06.04
6. Netherlands 6:08.37

(Editor’s note: This post, by Kevin Noonan, originally appeared on Gocolgateraiders.com.)

Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer

August 11, 2016
Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. Josh Winward ’18, from Scarsdale, N.Y., wrote about his research.
portrait of Josh Winward ’18

Josh Winward ’18

I am on campus conducting research with Professor Ana Jimenez on the effects of oxidative stress, which scientists believe is one of the leading causes of aging in animals. This is a fairly new topic of study, because scientists did not connect oxidative stress to aging until the late 2000s.

Oxidative stress deals with the balance between pro-oxidants — molecules that damage cells and membranes — and antioxidants, which stop damage. Both are produced during cellular respiration, the main mechanism by which bodies turn food into energy. When the process works correctly, it produces antioxidants, but less than 2 percent of the time it produces pro-oxidants instead.

Our research deals with oxidative stress and aging in dogs. Small dogs tend to live longer than large dogs, even though small dogs have slower metabolic rates and in almost every other mammalian species, animals with slower metabolism have shorter lifespans than animals with faster rates. We believe oxidative stress is behind this aging anomaly.

The summer was split into two parts. During the first two weeks, my lab partner, Alex Ionescu ’19, and I familiarized ourselves with mountains of journal articles on oxidative stress and its effects. We also asked vets from central New York for dog skin samples.

The second part of our summer has consisted of lab work. When we receive a sample from the vet, we isolate the primary fibroblasts (connective tissue cells) in our lab. Fibroblasts are easily manipulated. By using chemicals to break the tissue into a solution, we can then use a centrifuge to separate those cells from everything else. We then plate the separated cells in specialized flasks and incubate them to grow for a week before we analyze them.

Once we have enough cells, we run different tests to measure rates of oxygen consumption and glycolysis, antioxidant content, pro-oxidant content, and amount of membrane damage. All of these measurements help us to determine what it is about small dogs that let them live longer than large dogs.

As a rising junior, I am grateful for the opportunity to do primary research, and this experience has made me want to continue down this path after I graduate.


Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages

Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids

Career Services: Summer research funding

Colgate University Center for Career Services

Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages

August 8, 2016
Portrait of Brynne Becker ’17

Brynne Becker ’17

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Brynne Becker ’17, an English and history double-major from West Chester, Pa., conducting research in preparation for Colgate’s bicentennial celebration in 2019.

I first became interested in the history of Colgate while writing about the topic for a paper in my history workshop class in 2014. In the process, I discovered how little I knew about the past of the place that I have called home for the last three years.

Now, I’m working with a team of researchers, including Emily Wong ’18, Professor Jennifer Hull, Professor Jill Harsin, and James Allen Smith ’70, to help tell the history of Colgate in a way that includes people, trends, and events that may not have appeared in traditional stories of the university.

This position provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about Colgate’s past, while simultaneously improving my research skills. I am focusing particularly on the history of coeducation and Title IX at Colgate. It is fascinating to learn about the history of women who have made a difference at this school — to my surprise, it begins far earlier than the official advent of coeducation at Colgate in 1970.

There are too many to single out any one of them as “most important.” Through my research, I have met individuals like Mabel Dart Colegrove, Colgate’s first official coed, who attended Colgate during the 1880s; veterans’ wives, who took classes after World War II; and the women in the graduating class of 1974, who were the first women to start as freshmen at Colgate and graduate from the school.

I have encountered members of the Women’s Coalition, Women at Colgate, and the Women’s Caucus of the 70s and 80s; members of the women’s hockey team in the 90s, who sued the university for violating Title IX. I have learned about the female faculty members and administrators who worked to turn this school from an all-male university to a coed institution — then, from a place where female students felt marginalized, to a school where I have never questioned my place or rights as a student.

Aside from conducting interviews and working on a few other projects, I do most of my research in the Special Collections and University Archives section of the Case Library and Geyer Center for Information Technology. My work involves identifying, summarizing, and organizing documents of interest that are found either in the archives or through Colgate’s digital collection.

This is a process that requires a lot of patience and perseverance. There are times when it is very difficult to find information on particular topics, and sometimes the information in these documents differs from what I thought I might find. However, this is also what makes this work so interesting and rewarding.

Working in the archives is like trying to put together a puzzle without having seen the illustration on the front of the box. In the end, I hope that the rest of the team and I can piece together these documents into a narrative that sheds light on an important part of Colgate’s past.

Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills
Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids
Career Services: Summer Internship Funding
Colgate University Center for Career Services

Class of 2015 reports strong one-year outcomes

August 1, 2016
Tenth-grade student Radha and Amanda Brown '15 pose for a photo at Life Vision Academy in Nepal.

Tenth-grade student Radha and Amanda Brown ’15 pose for a photo at Life Vision Academy, which is supported by the non-profit Children and Youth First, in Nepal.

A non-profit in Nepal is the recipient of a $10,000 KIND Cause award, thanks to the efforts of a Colgate alumna and a little help from the Colgate community.

Children and Youth First USA Executive Director Amanda Brown ’15 said that the funds won in the KIND contest will help her organization launch a new science, technology, engineering, and math program for women and girls in Nepal.

Read more

Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids

July 26, 2016
8 Mariam Nael Headshot

Self-described Third Culture Kid and researcher Mariam Nael ’18

Colgate students have fanned out across the globe to apply their liberal arts know-how in a variety of real-world settings. They are writing back to campus to keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Mariam Nael ’18, a women’s studies major from Singapore, completing a student-initiated research fellowship with the university studies division. 

My parents are Pakistani, but I have lived in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and New York City. The way I see myself has changed a little since I arrived at Colgate — I think my race and ethnicity have become stronger facets of my identity.

One day, I was chatting with some friends from high school about our cultural identity, and I realized that studying the shifts would be an interesting summer research project. Luckily, Colgate has a great program to conduct student-initiated summer research (with funding).

I quickly reached out to Meika Loe, professor of sociology and women’s studies. She helped me focus my idea and supported my proposal, and, fortunately, my proposal was accepted.

According to sociologist David Pollock, a Third Culture Kid (TCK) is defined as someone “who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside [their] parents’ culture.” The “third” culture refers to the mixing of the host country’s culture (the country in which he or she lives) and his or her parents’ culture.

The purpose of my research is to learn about how Third Culture Kids form their personal and cultural identity, especially in college, and whether they experience a shift in the way they self-identify. Additionally, I am interested in whether there is a difference in the formation of identity with non-white TCKs and white TCKs.

Throughout the last month, I have been conducting 45 to 90 minute interviews in Singapore with Third Culture Kids between the ages of 18 and 24. Additionally, I have begun transcribing interviews and systematically coding them for themes. The next step is to analyze them and write a research paper.

It has been fascinating hearing their stories and seeing the similarities and differences not only between the interviewees, but with my own experience as a TCK.

This has been a tough, but valuable, learning process. I wish to continue studying TCKs and identity formation throughout the next few years, hopefully using different methods as well. I am planning to write a research paper, and hopefully, down the line, will try to present or publish it.

Related links:

Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills

Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice

Career Services: Summer Internship Funding

Colgate University Center for Career Services