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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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University community gathers for candlelight vigil

September 21, 2015
Chapel at nighttime

Photo by Andrew Daddio

A hush of mourning covered the academic quad this evening as the Colgate community gathered to grieve the deaths of first-year students Cathryn Depuy and Ryan Adams. The silence was punctuated by words of comfort, songs of hope, and 13 chimes from the chapel bell.

“Our lives are intertwined,” said Interim President Jill Harsin. “Some of those threads have been broken. The shape of our community will be different without those connections.”

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Expressions of hope launch first residential commons

September 3, 2015

Last week, with the arrival of the Class of 2019, Colgate launched its first residential commons. Students, faculty, and staff gathered in Memorial Chapel on August 27 to commemorate the moment. Then, they joined in an open-house celebration at their newly renovated upper-campus residence: Curtis and Drake halls.

Faculty Co-director Rebecca Shiner, professor of psychology, greeted students with these words.

I am so happy to be here with you tonight to celebrate the opening of our commons together. I have been looking forward to being with you here in this place for nearly a year.

I want to say something about why I agreed to serve as the faculty co-director for the first residential commons. I have worked as a professor of psychology at Colgate since 1999. I chose to teach at a place like Colgate, rather than a large research university, because I value community deeply; I went to a small liberal arts college myself, and I knew that these kinds of places are special because of their potential for creating strong and happy communities.

There are better and worse ways for communities and individuals to be happy, and I want only the best kinds of happiness for my students. So, I offered to serve as the faculty co-director with the hope that, together with a team of people, I could help create a community at Colgate that would enable students to be happy.

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Campus welcomes the Class of 2019

August 24, 2015
A family unpacks on arrival day, August 23, as the Class of 2019 joins the campus community.

A family unpacks on arrival day, August 23, as the Class of 2019 joins the campus community. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Waiting in line for arrival day registration Sunday, Alex Valdez ’19, of Ontario, Calif., and Enrique Nunez ’19, of San Antonio, Texas, said they became friends during this year’s First-Generation Initiative orientation.

“I decided to come here partly because of the beauty of the campus, and because of what I learned about the rigorous classes,” said Valdez, who added that his visit finalized that decision. “When I came for April Visit Days, everyone was totally welcoming.”

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Arrival day 2015 is almost here

August 11, 2015
Seniors welcome the first-year students on arrival day. Photo by Andy Daddio.

Students welcome the class of 2017 on arrival day. Photo by Andy Daddio.

Arrival day for the historic class of 2019 is days away. The historic class of 2019 will come to Colgate as students, and start a process that will end on Colgate’s 200th year in existence.

To celebrate, here are some highlights from the last few years, starting with this gallery of photos from Andrew Daddio.

Colgate arrival day 2014

12 hours of Whitnall Field on move in day.

Aerial view, courtesy of Kevin Lynch’s drone flyover, on arrival day 2013:

Flashback to move-in day, 2007:

Enjoy Raider’s search for his new roommate during move-in 2014:

Finally, the Colgate Thirteen sing to Raider.


Mallory Shaner ’18: advocating for elders

August 11, 2015
Mallory Shaner '18 (back, right) spent the summer interning for Jack Kupferman '77 and the Gray Panthers, alongside Florence Shen '18 (front, right) and other college students.

Mallory Shaner ’18 (back, right) spent the summer interning for Jack Kupferman ’77 (back, left) and the Gray Panthers, alongside Florence Shen ’18 (front, right) and other college students.

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

Working this summer as an intern for the Gray Panthers, an organization dedicated to achieving justice and peace for aging populations, has been incredibly rewarding. I have met many fascinating and hardworking people who fight for things most people don’t realize are happening. Read more

Jennifer Dias ’16: Organizing a no-cost clinic with the Chenango United Way

August 3, 2015
Jenn Dias (right) is a biology and Spanish literature double major from South River, N.J.

Jenn Dias (right) is a biology and Spanish literature double major from South River, N.J.

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Chenango United Way (CUW) through a fellowship with Colgate’s Upstate Institute Summer Field School. The CUW funds programs that address issues regarding health, income, and education. I’ve learned the ins-and-outs of the CUW, from marketing and finance to how the organization seeks to make a local impact.

Because of its focus on health, the CUW is a leading community organization in the Greater Chenango Cares: Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) mission. This collaborative health care project among Chenango County organizations was a project led by the Department of Defense as preparation for wartime and disaster missions. For each IRT mission, the military serves high-need areas across the country, while partnering with leading community organizations.

This summer, the IRT mission chosen for Chenango County was a clinic at Norwich High School from July 13–22. The clinic included free medical, dental, optical, and veterinary services. Altogether, we served approximately 2,500 residents with the help of more than 500 volunteers.

As the CUW intern for this project, I sat on the IRT planning committee, which was responsible for the logistics and operations sections of the mission, as well as budgeting and volunteer recruitment.

As an aspiring doctor, this experience has shown me the importance of compassion, and allowed me to embrace the privilege of serving.

I’m judging you – by Roxanne Maduro ’17

July 31, 2015
Colgate students are in Bogata, Columbia at a spanish debate comeptition

Roxanne Maduro ’17, an Environmental Sciences major from Bronx, N.Y., (third from left) is one of four Colgate students participating in CMUDE 2015 as a judge

Editor’s note: Colgate students are in Bogota, Colombia at CMUDE, a Spanish debate competition. This post appeared originally on the off-campus study blog. See more pictures from the trip.  

Debating is not easy. You have 15 minutes to prepare a persuasive and informed argument on a topic you may or may not know and then another seven to speak about it, all while attempting to sound confident in a claim that you may not necessarily believe in, but have to prove to be true nevertheless.

If you are told your position is to prove that 2+2=5, your job is to make the judges and the opposition feel like they are complete fools for ever having believed otherwise. I hold extreme respect for students who challenge themselves by debating, especially those in our Spanish Language Debate Society team, who not only have to debate, but do it in another language.

While I admit that debating is hard, the alternative — judging a debate — is not easy either. Debating and judging are both very difficult for different reasons, and require different skill sets to be successful. If you are a great debater, you can still turn out to be a terrible judge, and vice versa.

The role that proves to be harder varies by individual. People who are very quick on their feet and love to challenge others’ opinions without having to consider the other side of things most likely would be great debaters but terrible judges.

Although some people have traits that predispose them to be a good judge, there are techniques and ways of thinking for particularly exceptional judges. To begin, you have to train yourself to be very detail oriented because the smallest nuance that you notice in an argument can have a large impact on the results of a debate. After that, it’s all in the notes.

When I started out as a judge, I was a mess. I would sit and take very careful and tedious notes during the debates that I judged, but when it came time to deliberate, I had absolutely nothing to say. By the end of the fourth round, it reached the point where I was the head judge and was the person that said the least out of the three panelists. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong.

Eventually, I decided to look over my notes for the last four rounds, and just like that, I found the problem. I was taking notes like a debater. I wrote down the arguments, rebuttals, and anything else of importance in the speech itself, but did nothing to actually analyze what was being said, what points were stronger, and most importantly, the interaction between the arguments of opposing debaters.

I realized then that judging was twice as hard as debating in terms of note taking. Like debaters, you should keep track of arguments and rebuttals, but you also have to see which arguments are stronger, whether another team responded to the argument, if it was a sufficient response, whether points were elaborated upon, whether teams fulfilled their roles, and so much more.

The strongest teams are always those that make the strongest arguments, develop them, and destroy the bases of each opposing argument, point by point. A judge has to try to be as objective as possible and not hold any bias toward a motion or a debater. This wouldn’t be so bad if it were not for the fact that we’re not even allowed to laugh at a humorous comment or an entertaining debate in general, because judges are supposed to be as non-interferential as possible, and laughing could possibly distract from the debate.

I think that everyone, if given the chance, should debate at one point or another in their lives, because it has so many benefits with regards to reasoning, logic, and public speaking in general. But on a deeper level, judging has helped me begin to develop a new mindset and critical viewpoint that I would not have had if I just debated.

Being able to judge in CMUDE for this past week has allowed me to collaborate with students and professors who have years of experience as panelists, meet dozens of different teams from around the world, and most amazingly, learn from the vastly different experiences and lessons that my fellow Colgate teammates and I were able to go through in the exact same tournament.

Roxanne Maduro ’17.

Students present summer research

July 24, 2015


From photochemical pathways to early animation devices to homosexuality in the Arab world — undergraduate research topics explored this summer by students and faculty were presented at yesterday’s poster session.  Read more

Grace Littlefield ’16: Growing at the Colgate Community Garden

July 22, 2015
Littlefield is an environmental geography major from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Littlefield is an environmental geography major from Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I am interning at the Colgate Community Garden. As a local source of organically grown food, the garden is a great asset and educational tool for the university’s sustainability program. Read more

Adam Basciano ’16: Interning with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

July 20, 2015

Adam Basciano, originally from Randolph, N.J., is living and working in Washington, D.C., this summer.

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

Just following the July 4 holiday, I began my summer internship working for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, under the minority leadership of Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland. The past two weeks have truly offered many amazing and, at times, surreal experiences here on Capitol Hill.

Upon our arrival, the three other interns and myself were assigned to senior committee staff members based on our interests and previous experiences. As an international relations major with a focus on the Middle East, and having just returned from a semester abroad in Jerusalem, Israel, I was very excited to learn that I would be working with the Middle East and North Africa team.

While the recently announced Iran nuclear deal seems to have taken over every agency and think tank in the city, there are other topic areas relevant to the region that I have been able to explore. Each week, I sit in on meetings with policy makers and Middle Eastern representatives on matters ranging from Tunisia’s growing democracy to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria.

With regards to the Iranian deal reached in Vienna, Austria, last week, it has certainly made coming into work that much more exciting and dynamic. Between attending events on and off the hill and preparing the committee staff and senators for our first hearing on the issue this week, I have definitely been kept busy.

At this important and historic juncture for our country and the international community, I am extremely grateful to be in our nation’s capital working on these important issues. I am also very appreciative of the support from Colgate and our Center for Career Services, as well as the countless courses that have prepared me for this opportunity.

[More: Read Professor Nina Moore’s take on the Iranian Deal]

New grant supports the science of mind reading

July 15, 2015
Professor Bruce Hansen works with students to prepare a test subject for a brain scan.

Professor Bruce Hansen works with students to prepare a test subject as they try to determine whether electroencephalography captures the brain interpreting everyday experiences. (Photo by Andy Daddio)

Colgate Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience Bruce Hansen probably should have predicted his recent $600,000 James S. McDonnell Foundation award to fund the next six to eight years’ worth of lab work with dozens of students.

After all, his research could easily be considered mind reading.

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Warren Dennis ’16: Preparing for NASA’s future by understanding its past

July 13, 2015
Warren Dennis

Warren Dennis ’16 in front of the Space Shuttle Discovery

Editor’s note: In this series, Colgate students share stories about their summer experiences in offices, labs, and open spaces across the world.

This summer, I’m interning for the History Program Office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C. By providing easy access to information about its past successes and failures, the history office helps NASA to grow and better prepare for future situations. Read more

Susan Price ’16 presents at UN Human Rights Council

July 8, 2015

Susan-price-2_WEBIt’s almost unheard of for an undergraduate student to present a statement at a United Nations (UN) session. Yet, Susan Price ’16 has done so not just once, but twice. Most recently, on June 18, Price presented at the 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Read more