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LGBTQ advocate wins 1819 Award

April 26, 2016
Portrait of Providence Ryan ’16, winner of the 1819 Award

Providence Ryan ’16, winner of the 1819 Award. (Photo by Brian Ness)

An exemplary student and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ awareness and promoting positive sexuality, Providence A. Ryan ’16, a biology and philosophy double major from Schenectady, N.Y., is the 2016 recipient of Colgate’s highest student honor, the 1819 Award.

The 1819 Award is given annually to one student representing character, sportsmanship, scholarship, and service above and beyond their peers.

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Syllabus: “Horror” and the American Horror Film

April 25, 2016
Campus at night

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Editor’s note: Wondering what’s happening in the classroom at Colgate? Here’s a real-time glimpse into academic life on campus — a syllabus from a course underway this semester.

FMST 352 “Horror” and the American Horror Film
Kevin Wynter, visiting assistant professor of Film & Media Studies
TR 2:45–4:00, 105 Little Hall

Course description:

This course examines some the key factors that have contributed to the horror genre’s capacity to maintain its continued viability in popular culture across a wide range of media including graphic novels, video art, and interactive gaming.

Beginning with the modern period of the American horror film and then expanding beyond its physical and ideological borders, this course is designed to encourage students to challenge the ideas that have become associated with the term “horror,” and to consider whether some other term or terms may be better suited to describe the types of feelings horror films and related forms of media actually inspire.

The following questions will be considered: What is horror? Do horror-genre films truly inspire horror or are we, as participants, moved by some other affect or response? Is it possible to locate cinematic representations of horror and its experience outside of the horror genre?

Readings:

Course readings include Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, Mark Seltzer’s Serial Killers: Death and Life in America’s Wound Culture, and various articles.

Key assignments/activities:

Coursework includes keeping a nightmare journal, in which students are asked to describe an “especially potent nightmare” that they have had and to consider it in relation to horror films screened in class. The class also requires students to present on class readings and write a short essay about Watchmen. The final paper, meant to take into account all that was explored over the course of semester, has the option of taking the shape of a video essay.

Class format:

In addition to weekly meetings, there is a film screening on Thursday nights, 7–10 p.m. Students are expected to complete all reading assignments and come to class prepared to raise points of interest or difficulty. Attendance and class participation are crucial and will be taken into consideration when calculating the final grade.

The professor says:

After taking this course, you will never look at horror movies the same way. One of the learning goals I propose is to try to distinguish feelings of terror from feelings of horror, and to interrogate how horror movies really make us feel. What students soon come to learn is that the feeling of horror is not confined to the genre conventions they have become familiar with, but can be found with more intensity in films outside of the horror genre.

Related links:
Zombie film Here Alone by Rod Blackhurst ’02 takes home Tribeca’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature


Syllabus: Silent Warfare

April 21, 2016
Persson Hall

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Editor’s note: Wondering what’s happening in the classroom at Colgate? Here’s a real-time glimpse into academic life on campus — a syllabus from a course underway this semester.

POSC 390 Silent Warfare: Intelligence Analysis and Statecraft
Danielle Lupton, Assistant Professor of Political Science
MW 1:20-2:35, Persson 133

Course Description:
This course introduces students to the complex and crucial process of obtaining, analyzing, and producing intelligence in the making of American foreign policy. We cover subjects including problems with the structure of the intelligence community, covert action, psychological and bureaucratic constraints on analysts and policy makers, and how the intelligence community has responded to key threats. This course also explores the ethical issues raised by intelligence gathering, such as the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, the role of whistleblowers, and accountability of the intelligence community.

Key assignments/activities:
There are three central written assignments. The first is an analysis of an intelligence agency, where students identify challenges facing an agency and provide solutions. The second is an active learning assignment in which students conduct research on themselves based on publicly available data and write a report regarding the ethics of open-source intelligence based on their findings. The final paper for this course is an in-depth investigation into a major intelligence failure, its causes, and ways to prevent such failures in the future.

Readings:
The main text will be Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy (6th Edition) by Mark Lowenthal.

The professor says:
“Students will gain a deeper understanding of the inter-workings of foreign policy by analyzing the value of information and how it supports the policy process. We engage with critical issues that affect not only policy makers, but also each of us as individuals, such as the use of drones to combat terrorism, the rise of increased domestic surveillance, and the ethics of enhanced interrogation techniques.

“In class, we focus our discussion on dissecting problems facing the intelligence community as well as providing solutions to those problems. Using this problem-based approach, students can apply the skills developed through course discussions and written work to any area of analysis in the future.”


Hannah Bercovici ’17 reports from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

April 4, 2016
Research vessel Atlantis sits beside a dock

Research vessel Atlantis ready to cruise atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (photo by Maris Wicks)

Editor’s note: Hannah Bercovici ’17, a geology major from Woodbridge, Conn., is the only undergraduate member of the science party aboard the research vessel Atlantis, currently cruising over the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, somewhere around the 14th parallel north. Bercovici and her colleagues from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are hunting for seafloor basalt — “popping rocks” that could give insights into the volatile (gaseous) composition of Earth’s mantle. We asked Hannah to give us a snapshot of her life on Atlantis, and she obliged with this note to the Colgate community.

On board, the day starts at every hour.

One person will be eating breakfast as another is settling in for bed, and you get that mid-afternoon feeling at 2 a.m. because you’ve only been awake since 8 p.m. As a member of the science party, I’ve gotten pretty lucky with my sleep schedule. While in transit from Bridgetown, Barbados, to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, I was on the 8–12 watch. I would wake up at 8 a.m. and work until 12 p.m., and then have eight hours off.

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Konosioni to hold 19th annual auction on April 8

April 4, 2016
From travel aficionados to baseball fans to supporters of the local food movement, bidders showed their spirit at the 16th-annual Konosioni Charity Auction. The senior honor society’s largest annual public event — whose theme this year was “’Tis the Spirit that is Colgate” —raised $20,000 that will be used to give funding to local nonprofit organizations in Madison County. Items for the auction, which was held on Friday, April 12 at the Palace Theater, were donated by local businesses and Colgate students, parents, professors, and alumni. The wide variety of offerings ranged from gift baskets, handmade crafts, and jewelry to yard work and other services, dates with Konosioni members, and a Common Thread Community Farm Share. Among the big-ticket items were a weeklong stay at a Paris apartment and seats at several New York Mets, Yankees, and Boston Red Sox games. In the hours before the auction, Konosioni held a Spirit Festival that showcased student and local talent, with performances at various locations across campus and in downtown Hamilton. The festival was meant to demonstrate not only the Colgate spirit but also that of the surrounding community, said Konosioni member David Esber ’13, through the participation of residents, and local business owners. The Konosioni Charity Auction raises funds to be distributed to nonprofit organizations in Madison County.

The Konosioni Charity Auction raises funds to be distributed to nonprofit organizations in Madison County.

The Konosioni Senior Honor Society will host its 19th annual charity auction on April 8 at 8 p.m. in the Hall of Presidents. Proceeds from the auction will benefit nonprofit organizations in upstate New York via Madison County Gives.

Konosioni is excited to welcome alumni, Colgate community members, and residents from the area to this event. Items of all kinds, from vacation escapes in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to baseball tickets and home-cooked meals, are available for bidding. The $25,000 raised during last year’s auction benefited a diverse group of seven charitable organizations, reaching a wide group of needs and populations throughout Madison County.

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Colgate students teach coding at local elementary school

March 18, 2016
Colgate Women in Computer Science students help teach coding to local elementary school students.

Samantha Braver ’18 helps teach computer coding at Hamilton Central School as a member of the Colgate Women in Computer Science club. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Little fingers tapped away at computer keys after school at Hamilton Central School (HCS) on a recent sunny afternoon, but instead of manipulating blocks in Minecraft or posting to Facebook, they were busy writing computer code.

The afternoon coding class for students in grades three through five is the creation of Colgate’s Women in Computer Science club, whose members decided to share the skills learned in their college classrooms with the eager elementary school students.

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English department hosts Miltonathon

March 18, 2016
The serpent cake the English department served during Miltonathon.

Let them eat snake: English department serves a serpent-shaped cake during its Miltonathon

On Sunday, March 6, the English department hosted a live reading of the epic poem Paradise Lost, by John Milton.

Volunteers sat around the big oval table in the Fager Lounge and read the more than 10,000 lines from 12 books.

“The Miltonathon, which began last year, is a tribute to my late friend and colleague Professor George Hudson, who taught Milton at Colgate for over forty years,” said Professor Deborah Knuth Kleck, who now teaches the Milton course at Colgate, and started this event.

Marathon readings of Paradise Lost at other colleges exist, but Kunth Kleck has never heard of one that has the reader play parts. Participants at Colgate divided up roles as they read, so sometimes the narrator had only a couple of words — like “she said” — before a speech resumed. “Professor Judith Oliver, emerita professor of art and art history, for example, got to be God!” reported Kunth Kleck.

The day included a snake cake (pictured above, designed and executed by local baker Sharon Stevens) and live tweeting on Colgate’s Twitter feed. Every tweet was written by English major Emily Daniel ’18.

See all the posts below, including a video by Lizzie Souter ’16 and revised for 2016 by Dylann McLaughlin ’18.​

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Applying lessons from the Sophomore Residential Seminar experience

March 11, 2016
Members of the fall 2015 Sophomore Residential Seminar course Immigrant and Sexual Cultures on location in San Francisco in front of the Golden Gate Bridge

Members of the fall 2015 Sophomore Residential Seminar course Immigrant and Sexual Cultures on location in San Francisco

As spring break approaches, the fall seems like a very long time ago. For members of the five Sophomore Residential Seminars (SRS), this is especially true, since the intensive learning, community-building, and travel experiences of the first semester have given way to a comparatively quiet second semester.

SRS remains present in our everyday lives, however, because the lessons we learned in the fall are meant to be applied to the new classes and spaces that we find ourselves in now.
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Students, faculty, and staff “Unite to fight lymphoma”

March 8, 2016
Three students stand together smiling in the Hall of Presidents during the Colgate Lymphoma Gala

(Left to right) Lucy Allen ’18, Ali Hogue ’18, Alex King ’18 at the Colgate Lymphoma Gala (Photo by Anna Heil ’16)

The results are in: last semester’s student-initiated Colgate Lymphoma Gala raised more than $11,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

On December 3, 2015, more than 400 students, faculty, and staff joined together in the beautifully decorated Hall of Presidents for a semi-formal night of dancing, mingling, and fellowship.

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Netflix and will

March 1, 2016
Abandoned study spaces at Case Library

Photo by Andrew Daddio

Stress, sleep deprivation, and constant pressure can be a drain on even the most hardworking college student’s motivation.

Last November, members of the first-year seminar (FSEM) Willpower: The Science of Self Control, studied ways in which students can manage their workload — and its fallout — by finding ways to motivate themselves. Then, they gave a presentation to members of the Ciccone Commons to discuss their findings.

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Suzy Nelson named vice president of student life at MIT

February 24, 2016
Portrait of Dean of the College Suzy Nelson

Vice President and Dean of the College Suzy Nelson (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Suzy Nelson, Colgate’s vice president and dean of the college since June 2012, has been named vice president of student life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., effective July 1, 2016.

“From the very first days after her arrival in 2012, Suzy has been an accessible, collaborative, and compassionate leader dedicated to building innovative programs that enhance student life, and to identifying solutions to the pressing issues that college students face today — always with the goal of building resilience in young people,” said Interim President Jill Harsin.

Nelson’s efforts to transform the dean of the college division organizationally have helped improve the extracurricular experience as well as deepen support services of all kinds for students, including, for example, the creation of the Shaw Wellness Institute and increased support for international students and LGBTQ students.

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Buzzer beater by Austin Tillotson ’16 makes ESPN SportsCenter

February 22, 2016

Sunday’s men’s basketball game was a senior day to remember for Austin Tillotson ’16, from York, Pa. Tillotson’s family was at the game, his younger sister sang the national anthem, and his late-game heroics were hailed on SportsCenter as the top highlight of the night, caught by Bob Raiber ’68, P’02.

 

As tradition dictates on senior day, Tillotson’s career was celebrated before the game, along with fellow senior Alex Ramon (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain), who posted a career-high 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Read about the lead up to the game on the Colgate athletics game report, or watch the highlights below.

Related Links:
Division I Athletics
Prospective Division I recruits
Athlete Alumni 


Lights, camera, Colgate internships

February 12, 2016
Actor Michael Shannon prepares for a scene in the filming of Pottersville in Hamilton, N.Y., in January

Actor Michael Shannon (left) prepares for a scene during the filming of Pottersville in January. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

When actor and director Ron Perlman cast Colgate’s hometown of Hamilton, N.Y., as the setting for his new movie, Pottersville, in January, Colgate film and media studies students were ready for internship opportunities in movie-making magic.

The light-hearted comedy stars Michael Shannon and Judy Greer, and includes the acting talents of Michael Torpey ’02.

The filming was identified by Colgate’s Center for Career Services and film and media studies program as an excellent opportunity for students in the concentration. Within a few short weeks, six internships were established, including everything from managing extras to wardrobe to set design.

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Fair Harbor sails to KickStarter victory

January 25, 2016

A pop-up Fair Harbor shop in 2015

When siblings Caroline ’19 and Jake Danehy ’16 set out to make the eco-friendly clothing line that would eventually become Fair Harbor, Caroline was still in high school, and the idea was firmly rooted in soil, not the sea.

“We had an initial idea called Three R Clothing. It stood for reuse, refresh, and revitalize. We were going to plant a tree with every boardshort sold,” said Jake Danehy, a geography major and Division I athlete from Larchmont, N.Y.

As they started looking for suppliers to manufacture their clothing line, they found a specific fabric directly made from recycled plastic bottles. With that, they decided to go in a different direction. Instead of planting trees, they would turn 11 plastic bottles into a single swimsuit, and would donate a portion of their profits from every sale toward cleaning up beach towns along the east coast.

“For me, I’ve always been incredibly interested in fashion and the environment so this was a perfect combination – a clothing company focused on sustainability and preserving the beach environment,” said Caroline Danehy, who is still considering majors. “For me, starting Fair Harbor has showed me at a young age that, if I have an idea, I can make it happen.”

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Denise Larson ’19: A Letter To My Fellow Second Semester Classmates

January 16, 2016
Photo by Denise Larsen '19

Photo by Denise Larson ’19

Dear Class of 2019,

I had an experience the other day that forced me to think deeply about something that is of immediate importance to us all. I attended a holiday brunch, and my neighbor asked me: “Can you believe you finished your first semester of college?” My answer: “Not at all…I mean kinda yes?” My neighbor probably expected that as a college student I’d be a little more articulate, but as I spoke, that question struck me as surprisingly complex.

It’s a question that we all must consider. Whether or not we’ve realized it, we’re in an odd place. As winter break comes to a close, it’s notable that the last time we were away from campus for this long, many of us had only ever been there on a college visit. Yet, as we flock back to campus with the same magnitude of peers that we encountered on move-in day, we’ve got a full semester under our belt, and that’s significant.

In terms of what this means in regards to second semester, let me break down my disjointed answer to the not-so-simple question.

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Good Morning, Dolphins!

January 13, 2016
Tori Hymel stands on a platform looking down at a dolphin

Tori Hymel ’16 works with dolphins during an extended study trip to the Florida Keys (Photo by Krista Ingram)

(Editor’s note: Fourteen students accompanied Associate Professor of Biology Krista Ingram on an extended study trip to the Florida Keys during winter break to study marine mammal cognition, behavior, and conservation at the Dolphin Research Center. They chronicled their full experience on the off-campus learning blog — here’s a sample, written by Elly Hilton ’17, Madeleine Tsao ’17, and Lacey Williams ’16 on day two of their trip.)

We began the day as usual with a walk around the docks to each lagoon, waving and saying hello to each dolphin. We were still amazed to see the eagerness with which each dolphin approached us, seeming to recognize us from the day before. From the far side of every lagoon the dolphins would swim over to us as soon as they spied us walking down the docks, swimming the length of the dock and eyeing us with a curious sense of recognition and interest. After the rounds we headed over to the front lagoon to prepare for our second dolphin encounter.

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Shining light on atmospheric chemistry

December 17, 2015
Ephraim Woods, associate professor of chemistry, looking at a paper with a student (photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio)

Ephraim Woods, associate professor of chemistry (photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio)

Deep in the forest, the same chemicals that give pine trees their smell might have a powerful effect on climate change.

Sunlight can convert those naturally occurring molecules into secondary organic aerosol (SOA) particles with the potential to change local cloud cover and rainfall patterns. SOAs also help to determine how much sunlight reaches Earth and how much longwave radiation escapes.

Professor Ephraim Woods, chemistry department chair, is training high-powered lasers on aerosols to see if molecules like pinene, limonene, and isoprene can form SOA with the sun’s help. Backed by a $285,500 grant from the National Science Foundation, Woods and his student research team measure the lifetime of the short-lived chemical species that spark these reactions, as well as how much particulate organic matter they create. The goal is to determine which conditions promote the formation of SOA particles.

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Interim Provost Constance Harsh invited to White House roundtable

November 21, 2015
Sustainability at Colgate University

Colgate’s sustainability efforts recognized by White House

On November 19, Interim Dean of the Faculty and Provost Constance Harsh participated in a roundtable discussion at the White House to take part in launching the American Campuses Act on Climate day of action.

“It was very good to witness the serious purpose that animated the participants,” Harsh said after the event. “Students have a real sense of urgency about this. Higher education has an important role to play here.”

Harsh joined a select group of higher education presidents, other campus and business leaders, as well as high-ranking government officials, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Karen Florini of the State Department, at the White House event.

Colgate has a nationally renowned commitment to sustainability. On Wednesday, Interim President Jill Harsin reiterated our commitment to sustainability in a letter to the White House. Specifically, Colgate’s commitments include:

  • Achieving carbon neutrality by 2019, our bicentennial
  • Making carbon neutrality and sustainability a part of the curriculum and other educational experiences for all students
  • Incorporating sustainable practices in all campus planning and building design from inception to implementation
  • Achieving a minimum of LEED Silver standards for all new construction and major renovations
  • Enhancing teaching and learning, creating long-term economic resiliency, building and restoring robust ecological systems, and supporting a healthier and more just society

“I am proud that Colgate is one of the higher education leaders in confronting climate change, particularly in our pledge to achieve carbon neutrality by 2019,” said Harsh.

Colgate also participated in the #ActOnCampus hashtag on Twitter, showing some of our sustainability successes.


Pondering life “without the game”

November 18, 2015
Lexi Panepinto ’16 kicking the soccer ball in a game vs. West Point

Lexi Panepinto ’16, women’s soccer co-captain and environmental studies major from Buffalo, N.Y. (Photo by Bob Cornell)

Silence is usually described as a feeling of stillness; a state of peace, a split-second of quiet, a season of serenity. It’s harmonious and soothing and usually portrayed by unruffled waters or someone sitting in tranquility. This is what silence looks and feels like to a lot of us most of the time. We long for a moment of silence in this loud and crazy world. We crave it and when it finally comes, we close our eyes and hang on tight to it, for it is ever-fleeting.

But, what if this isn’t what silence always looks like? What if there was a silence that hung around for a little while? A silence that is deafening, unwanted, and conflicted. A silence that looks more like someone struggling to stay afloat in rough waters rather than someone sitting peacefully near unruffled ones. What if silence looked like this instead? What if silence felt like this instead? What if I told you that this type of silence actually exists? Would you believe me?

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Students to launch online course for kids

November 6, 2015
BreadX video shoot

Four classmates work to record a video for the BreadX online course.

A lot of science, engineering, artistry, and culture have gone into that piece of crusty, buttered bread devoured at the dinner table. It’s those elements that are the basis for a new open online course, BreadX, soon to be launched by Colgate first-year undergraduates for use by school-age students, grades six and up, worldwide.

Starting November 15, BreadX: From Ground to Global, on the EdX Edge platform, will guide participants in scholarly exploration of one of the world’s most ubiquitous foods and its global connections.

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Colgate takes next step on international journey

October 20, 2015

It was a Colgate Hello that could be heard around the world.

On October 15, Colgate ushered in a new era of internationalism and officially celebrated the opening of the Center for International Programs (CIP). The center will serve as a hub for the university’s numerous global initiatives, conducted by faculty and students.

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Activist Bree Newsome talks to students about social justice

October 6, 2015
Bree Newsome, activist, filmmaker, and musician, visited Colgate at the end of September. She's pictured here at Spelman College's celebration of art and activism.

Bree Newsome, activist, filmmaker, and musician, visited Colgate at the end of September. She’s pictured here at Spelman College’s celebration of art and activism.

Nearly three months after climbing up a flagpole in South Carolina to remove a Confederate flag, Bree Newsome sat surrounded by Colgate students last Tuesday during a brown bag luncheon in the Center for Women’s Studies. Read more


Actor Josh Radnor offers perspective to students

October 5, 2015
How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor spoke to Professor Greg Ames's English class. Photo by Andrew Daddio

How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor spoke to Professor Greg Ames’s English class. Photo by Andrew Daddio

A student of the liberal arts himself, actor, writer, and director Josh Radnor stopped by to share his experiences with the Colgate community on Sept. 24. The How I Met Your Mother star first visited with English professor Gregory Ames’s Advanced Workshop class before hosting an event at the Palace Theater in the village that night. Read more


Helping refugees to new beginnings

September 30, 2015
Students pitched in to help Utica residents

Students pitched in to help Utica residents as part of a first-year pre-orientation program.

The news has been inundated with stories about refugees — in the United States and abroad. With a burgeoning refugee community in Utica (approximately one-fourth of the population is made up of refugee families), which is located less than 30 miles from the Colgate campus, students and professors are finding ways to help.

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Fostering community through reading

September 23, 2015

How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America book coverAn interdisciplinary series of events kicks off this week, addressing themes raised in this year’s Colgate Community Reads book, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America by Kiese Laymon.

Colgate Community Reads 2015 is intended to transform the traditional first-year summer reading assignment into a community-wide discussion, according to Jeff Bary, associate professor of physics and astronomy, and director of the first-year seminar program for the 2014–15 academic year.

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