While alumni of the 1960s-1980s had the “J-term” option to fill the break between fall and spring semesters, today’s enterprising students and faculty found an array of ways to keep sharp their minds and spirits. Here are a few examples:

Colgate’s annual Day in the Life program matched 135 students with alumni for on-the-job training in architecture, conservation, education, entertainment, finance, medicine, retail, and other fields. Placements were arranged across the United States and Canada, plus in Bolivia, Dubai, and Germany.

In a stand-alone 0.5-credit course, 10 students studied microeconomics in Bangladesh with Jay Mandle, W. Bradford Wiley Professor of Economics, and Joan D. Mandle, associate professor of sociology and anthropology, emerita. Through lectures and field trips, the group observed the work of BRAC, a development organization dedicated to alleviating poverty by empowering the poor to bring about change in their own lives.

Competitive speaking students did Colgate proud around the world. Economics professor Ed Fogarty led a group of nine students to Wroclaw, Poland, for EuroSim, where they played the roles of the political leaders of the European Union’s member states. This year’s exercise was to discuss, debate, and draft an EU policy for policing, supporting, and protecting refugees from foreign conflict zones.

Colgate’s Model United Nations team earned the Best Large Delegation Award at the Harvard National Model United Nations Latin America conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while the debate team competed at the Worlds tournament in Manila, Philippines.
The COVE mounted three service trips, including a return to the village of Neyba, Dominican Republic, where work continued on building latrines and painting murals with members of the community. Closer to home, one group built homes in Chatham, N.C., with Habitat for Humanity (pictured) while another assisted with disaster relief in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

And finally, with an eye toward eventually offsetting the carbon footprint of all this world travel, Colgate’s sustainability coordinator John Pumilio traveled with professors Ellen Kraly and Ian Helfant and Sonya Falcone ’12 to the Patagonia Sur Nature Reserve in Chile, where the Colgate forest is planted. Together, they explored opportunities for faculty-student research, service learning, extended study trips, and other academic partnerships between Patagonia Sur and Colgate.

Where were you in January? Students and faculty, comment on this story and let us know!