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Zhou Tian’s new violin concerto “The Infinite Dance” delights

June 24, 2015
Composer and Colgate music professor Zhou Tian

Composer and Colgate music professor Zhou Tian

What do J.S. Bach’s Partitas and traditional Chinese erhu (violin) music have in common? For one thing, a new concerto, “The Infinite Dance,” called by one reviewer “quite original” with “soaring melodic loveliness” and “magical” effect — a “minor masterpiece.”

But for Colgate music professor and composer Zhou Tian, a deeper commonality served as his inspiration: both are musical forms inspired by dance.

“I am fascinated by the frequently similar energy … even though their musical roots cannot be more different: partitas were composed based on matured Western music theory, while erhu music is often freely improvised,” Zhou explained.

Read more


Exploring the intersection of MoMA’s print and digital marketing

June 8, 2015
Lauren Casella '15 at MoMA, where she is interning for the summer

Lauren Casella ’16 at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, where she is interning for the summer

Editor’s note: This blog post is the first in a series written by students about their summer experiences.

Last week, I started my internship in New York City, working for the marketing department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Housing collections of architecture, design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, and film, MoMA is regarded as one of the most influential modern art museums in the world. Read more


April Bailey ’14 and Professor Spencer Kelly publish in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

May 28, 2015

April Bailey ’14 began studying gender and power dynamics at Colgate, in classrooms and in the lab with Spencer Kelly, professor of psychology and neuroscience. Now a PhD student in the social psychology program at Yale, Bailey has already published the first paper of her career.

Titled “Picture power: Gender versus body language in perceived dominance,” the paper is based on Bailey’s senior thesis at Colgate. It appeared in the April 2015 issue of the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, and was subsequently covered by Psychology Today.

“The upshot of the study is clear,” wrote Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. “For women, if you want to appear powerful, you have not only to walk, but to stand and sit, like a man. It doesn’t take designer clothes, expensive suits, killer heels or even short hair to show that you’re in charge. Your body’s pose will tell it all.”

April Bailey '14

April Bailey ’14, PhD student at Yale

Bailey, first author on the paper, conducted her research at Colgate. Participants were presented with images of men and women in dominant and submissive poses, and then given a word and asked to quickly classify the word as dominant or submissive. The research also measured how quickly participants could make this decision and how many errors were made.

The results showed that participants associated dominant words with dominant poses for both men and women, but when it came to submissive poses, things weren’t as clear. While participants did link submissive words to submissive poses for women, men in submissive poses caused confusion. Participants didn’t always link submissive words to submissive poses for men.

Bailey also presented her research at the Nonverbal Preconference to the 16th Annual Meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in Long Beach, California, in February 2015. (PDF of poster)


Colgate honors first-generation graduates

May 27, 2015
First Generation Lunch photo

Students, faculty, family, and friends gathered at the inaugural First Generation Luncheon last week. (Photo by Daniel DeVries)

It started with one student standing to thank her family for their support at the inaugural First-Generation Luncheon during commencement weekend.

“I think I’m here to thank you, not just for your sacrifices in the past four years, but for everything you’ve done in my life,” said the political science major from the Bronx, N.Y.

Read more


Colgate joins new consortium for online pedagogy

May 11, 2015
Administrators collaborate at a shared table

Left to right: David Smallen, vice president for libraries and information technology, Hamilton College; Wendy Raymond, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, Davidson College; Douglas Hicks, provost and dean of the faculty, Colgate University; Andrew Shennan, provost and dean of the college, Wellesley College (credit: Wellesley College)

Colgate University and three peer liberal arts institutions joined together today in a new consortium focused on online teaching and learning.

The agreement between Colgate, Davidson College, Hamilton College, and Wellesley College is aimed at strengthening collaboration around online technologies, including the edX platform, where Colgate is now hosting its first fully open online learning experience: Greeks at War.

Read more


Japanese Speech Contest fosters cultural connections

May 8, 2015
Photo by Zoe Zhong '17

The Japanese Speech Contest, now in its 13th year, was open to students of Japanese and all other disciplines. Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17

The Japanese Speech contest celebrated its 13th year this April with a lineup of 13 competing speakers and a variety of Japanese food and performances. Read more


Alexandria Dyer ’14 awarded a Fulbright to conduct research in Ghana

May 6, 2015

Alexandria Dyer ’14, of Portland, Ore., has been awarded a Fulbright research grant to travel to Ghana to study public health.

Dyer will conduct research on the empowering social space of women’s hair salons and will then develop a pilot women’s health workshop for these informal settings.

Read more


Members of Colgate Class of 2015 award their Torch Medals

May 1, 2015
Ben Cook '15 gave his torchmedal to Roxanne Benson

Ben Cook ’15 gave his Torch Medal to Roxanne Benson, the administrative assistant for Outdoor Education.

From professors to deans, food service employees to athletic coaches, and many more, countless individuals contribute to students’ academic and personal growth while at Colgate. This spring, members of the Class of 2015 are recognizing those who have influenced their time over the last four years by honoring them with Torch Medals. Read more


Colgate ranks #2 in the nation in new survey of college outcomes and value

April 29, 2015
Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Colgate alumni give students an important leg up in the business world.

Behind only California Institute of Technology and ahead of MIT, Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale and many others, Colgate today was ranked second-highest among four-year schools for “value-added” with respect to mid-career earnings.

A new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, titled Beyond College Rankings, a Value-Added Approach to Assessing Two- and Four-Year Schools, is the first to study a broad array of colleges on economic outcomes for graduates, using a blend of government and private data sources, including Linkedin and PayScale.

It also factors in seven quality metrics: Curriculum value, percent graduating in a STEM field, alumni skills, graduation rate, retention rate, aid per student, and instructional staff.

Read here for a summary of the report and the list of  the “10 universities that will increase your career earnings the most.”

According to Inside Higher Education, “Brookings characterizes the unobservable reasons why an institution might provide a large value-added boost to its graduates as ‘x factors,’ and attributes 59 percent of Colgate’s value added to such unobserved factors.”

Jonathan Rothwell, lead author and a fellow at Brookings, said, “It’s not the majors that are driving their student success, and it’s not the skills they list on résumés. It may be they have access to great teachers; it may be that their alumni networks are strong.”

According to Brookings, the survey improves on conventional rankings in several ways. The survey includes a much larger number of schools; it focuses on factors that best predict measurable economic outcomes; and it attempts to isolate the effect colleges themselves have on those outcomes, above and beyond what students’ backgrounds would predict.

“This report is serious and comprehensive,” said President Jeffrey Herbst. “The focus on outcomes makes it superior to other rankings. It measures salaries, which is important but not, of course, the whole story. The report articulates the power of our Colgate University professional networks .”

The timing of the new survey from Brookings is attracting widespread media attention, as it comes as many families are in the final throes of weighing college admission and aid offers.

So far, Colgate has been mentioned by Inside Higher EducationNational JournalCNN Money, cbs.com, National Journal, Fusion, and Huffington Post.


Leader of campus reform earns 1819 Award, Colgate’s highest honor

April 28, 2015
Kori Strother '15 receives the 1819 Award

Kori Strother ’15 accepts the 1819 Award from President Herbst at the awards ceremony. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Kori Strother ’15, an Africana & Latin American studies major from Saint Louis, Mo., is the 2015 recipient of Colgate’s 1819 Award, the highest student honor granted by the university.

The 1819 Award is given annually to one student representing character, sportsmanship, scholarship, and service above and beyond their peers. While this year’s winner represents all of those qualities, she also had the courage to look Colgate in the eye to say, “you can do better.”

Read more


Balinese Gamelan Ensemble to perform concert tonight

April 27, 2015
Professor Peter Steele leads a class on Balinese Gamelan music. Photo by Zoe Zhong '17

Professor Peter Steele leads a class on Balinese Gamelan music. Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17

If you’ve walked into James C. Colgate Hall on a Monday afternoon, you might have heard unfamiliar yet intriguing musical sounds flowing out of classroom 209. That’s Colgate’s brand-new Balinese Gamelan Ensemble rehearsing; their concert is tonight. Read more


First ColgateX open online course begins

April 26, 2015

Greeks at War: Homer at TroyOne of Colgate’s best-known professors will reach more than 3,000 people from more than 100 countries in the university’s first public, open, online course, Greeks at War: Homer at Troy, beginning Monday.

Robert Garland, Roy D. and Margaret B. Wooster Professor of the classics will teach the university-quality course on the ColgateX platform. Read more


Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide

April 24, 2015
Students in class with Colgate professor Peter Balakian

Colgate professor Peter Balakian is a world-renowned Armenian genocide expert.

As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide today, Colgate professor Peter Balakian continues to press the U.S. government to join a growing number of nations and dignitaries, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Pope Francis, to publicly denounce and formally brand the killings as genocide.

Balakian, a descendant of survivors of the atrocity that killed about 1.5 million people, is a commentator, poet, author of seven books, and the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor in Humanities, professor of English, and director of creative writing at Colgate. He has provided expert commentary on the legacy and trauma of the Armenian genocide, and what he calls “the continued denial of the Turkish government to come to terms with its past.”

“I think what’s shocking in the Turkish case is the refusal, in the face of large world-wide pressure, not just from Armenians, but from 22 countries that have passed Armenian genocide resolutions, for Turkey to deal with the aftermath of the genocide in an ethical way,” said Balakian. “Turkey’s refusal has been shocking to the world.”

Additional commentary can be found in the news links below.

All Things Considered
Los Angeles Times
The Guardian
60 Minutes Overtime
The Economist
Salon
Chicago Tribune
International Business Times
The Daily Beast
The Take Away
Tablet Magazine
Portland Press Herald

 


Sara Reese ’16 named a 2015 Udall Scholar

April 20, 2015

Sara Reese ’16, of Midlothian, Va., is one of just 50 students nationwide to be awarded a Udall Scholarship in 2015.

The Udall Scholarship is awarded to college sophomores and juniors for leadership, public service, and commitment to issues related to the environment or to American Indian nations. The scholarship honors the legacies of Morris Udall and Stewart Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on American Indian self-governance, health care, and the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

Read more


This week on campus: juggling, sustainability, and SPW

April 20, 2015
Photo by Andy Daddio

The juggling club will be turning up their act on Tuesday, adding knives and torches to their repertoire. Photo by Andy Daddio

As the semester winds down, plenty of activity still keeps campus buzzing. Here are the events you won’t want to miss this week

On Tuesday from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., enjoy the juggling club’s Light ’em Up show with knives and torches on the Academic Quad.

The Oak Awards (or Oakies) will be presented on Wednesday at the Atrium Cuniff Commons in the Ho Science Center. Formerly known as The Green Awards, The Oak Awards (or Oakies) are presented to students, faculty, and staff have made an impact on campus sustainability. The night of fun and awards is a wrap-up of #13DaysOfGreen.

Also on Wednesday, Daniel Wilkinson will give a talk titled “Against All Odds: The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America” in Persson Auditorium at 4:30 p.m. The managing director of the Americas Division of the Human Rights Watch, Wilkinson is an expert on Latin America. He has conducted fieldwork and advocacy throughout the region, and authored reports on human rights issues in Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, the United States, and Venezuela. His book Silence on the Mountain: Stories of Terror, Betrayal, and Forgetting in Guatemala won the PEN/Albrand Award for nonfiction.

3LAU and Skizzy Mars will headline Spring Party Weekend, starting at Sanford Field House at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday. 3LAU (pronounced “blau”) is an American progressive house and electro house producer, and Skizzy Mars is a New York City-based MC who specializes in melodic, slightly left-of-center rap.

To see more events on campus and in the community, check out the Colgate calendar.


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.

Read more


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.

Read more


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.

Read more


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.

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: 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


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.


Noh performance shows glimpse of ancient Japanese culture

February 26, 2015
Yamai Tsunao,

Yamai Tsunao leads a workshop in Noh theater, a Japanese drama that is one of the oldest theatrical forms in the world. Photo by Nick Gilbert

The curtain in Brehmer Theater opened to reveal Yamai Tsunao kneeling under a single spotlight on stage. He was dressed in a stiff, dark-colored Hakama costume, and his only prop was a brightly colored fan. He sang in a deep, full voice, moving through a series of deliberate, careful gestures.

Read more


C-Span2 Book TV to feature Colgate Professor Nina Moore this weekend

February 24, 2015
Professor Nina Moore speaks about race and the criminal justice system at a recent presentaiton.

Professor Nina Moore speaks in the O’Connor Campus Center. Cameras were on hand to record the presentation for broadcast on C-Span2 Book TV this weekend. (Photo by Zoe Zhong ’17)

C-Span2 Book TV will air this weekend a recent presentation by Colgate Associate Professor of Political Science Nina M. Moore in which she discusses her new book, The Political Roots of Racial Tracking in American Criminal Justice.

Moore’s thought-provoking presentation is slated for broadcast at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, February 28, and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, March 1. (EST)

Read more