Colgate University News Items of interest about the Colgate community Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:08:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Colgate welcomes the class of 2020 Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:08:37 +0000 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

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Some early birds might steal the worm Fri, 19 Aug 2016 20:19:21 +0000 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

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A senior in the city, preparing for the real world Thu, 18 Aug 2016 20:56:10 +0000 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

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Summer internship blog series: a capital experience Thu, 18 Aug 2016 14:21:16 +0000 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

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Colgate rolls out new custom cruisers Wed, 17 Aug 2016 14:54:48 +0000 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 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.

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Lauren Schmetterling ’10 earns gold in Rio Sun, 14 Aug 2016 20:58:54 +0000 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

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Summer internship blog series: little dogs living longer Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:55:46 +0000 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

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Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s back pages Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:57:44 +0000 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

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Class of 2015 reports strong one-year outcomes Mon, 01 Aug 2016 13:00:30 +0000 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.

“This grant enables us and our partner, Women in STEM Nepal, to provide free coding classes to hundreds of girls and women across the Kathmandu Valley,” said Brown, who helps run the organization dedicated to assisting children and youth from marginalized families in Nepal.

“The winner was determined by online voting, and the Colgate community was a huge help in securing this win. Colgate also helped make this happen by coaching our organization when I was part of the Thought Into Action program,” Brown said.

Brown is just the most recent example of post-graduation success for the Class of 2015, as newly released first-destinations data collected by Colgate’s Center for Career Services shows remarkable outcomes for students just one year after graduation.

With an 85-percent response rate, 96 percent of graduates in the Class of 2015 report being employed, admitted to graduate or professional school, or awarded a national or international fellowship.

Top graduate schools for the class include Harvard, Yale, Columbia University, and Boston University. Graduate school enrollment one year after Colgate is at a four-year high, with 14.9 percent saying that they are working on an advanced degree.

Only 1.6 percent of students report that they are still in transition or seeking new jobs — the second-lowest rate in five years.

Top employers of the Class of 2015 include the National Institutes of Health, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Google Inc., EY, Deloitte Consulting LLP, PwC, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 9.02.14 AM

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Summer internship blog series: Colgate’s third culture kids Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:40:42 +0000 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

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Summer internship blog series: (NBC)Universal skills Thu, 14 Jul 2016 20:51:32 +0000 Beni Geisler '18 at NBC News Group headquarters in New York City.

Benji Geisler ’18 at NBC News Group headquarters in New York City.

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 Benjamin Geisler ’18, an art and art history major from Groton, N.Y., interning at the NBC News network.

This summer, I am working at NBCUniversal in New York City as a creative marketing intern for the NBC News Group. (Even though technically I am an intern for NBC News network, I often work on projects for MSNBC as well.)

As a creative marketing intern, I get to work under the creative directors, producers, and editors in the NBC News and MSNBC marketing departments to help produce promotional spots for television. These are the videos – aired on NBC News and MSNBC – used to advertise upcoming programs, network specials, and more.

The two programs I primarily work with are the TODAY show and Nightly News with Lester Holt. It is my job to pull specific archival footage at the request of the marketing producers for upcoming spots. I also log the programs and create written transcripts that can be used to recall specific segments or moments of the show, and their respective time codes, when looking for future promotional material.

One of the best parts of my job is getting to see the finished spot on television once it has been delivered. Working under so many different producers and editors for various programs means it can be hard to keep track of every project, but it is really rewarding to see an NBC News or MSNBC spot on television knowing I helped produce it.

It is an incredibly exciting time to work at NBCUniversal, especially with the News Group, this summer. Between the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio (to which NBCUniversal has exclusive rights), MSNBC’s twentieth anniversary, the political conventions, and the presidential election, there is a lot of material to cover, market, and produce.

Even working in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, surrounded by some of the most talented professionals in media and entertainment, has been a great opportunity. Just this Monday, I had the chance to hear Colgate graduate and president and CEO of NBCUniversal Steve Burke ’80 speak and give professional advice.

My work as a creative marketing intern at NBCUniversal has provided me with a great insight into the creative production processes behind television marketing. This is only my first summer at NBCUniversal, but I would love to return sometime in the future, possibly as a page.

Related links:

Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice

Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go

Colgate University Center for Career Services

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Flaherty Film Seminar shapes Colgate classroom experience Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:54:17 +0000 Flaherty Film Seminar participants sit outside and engage in conversation

Conversations that begin at the Flaherty Seminar will continue in Colgate classrooms (Photo by Amy Jenkins, courtesy of The Flaherty)

They came. They saw. They confabbed — on culture and identity politics, the ethical responsibilities of a documentarian, and the proper balance of race and ethnicity in a program lineup. Then, the 170 attendees of this year’s Flaherty Film Seminar, held at Colgate from June 18 to 24, disbanded.

For the university — Flaherty’s home base during the past nine summers — that’s just the trailer. The full story plays out during the fall and spring semesters, because six to eight Colgate professors have also had the opportunity to attended the seminar each year, meeting filmmakers and broadening their understanding of the international documentary film landscape.

“We’re using those contacts to integrate film into our courses,” said Mary Simonson, assistant professor of film and media studies and women’s studies.

Simonson, for one, uses the Flaherty submission Lovely Andrea, by Hito Steyerl, to engage students in conversation about intellectual property and ethics. Flaherty films also end up exactly where you would expect: in courses like introduction to film and media studies and The Documentary Impulse, taught by Ani Maitra, assistant professor of global film and media.

“I’ve used astounding shorts and features that my students and I would not have seen otherwise,” Maitra said. “These ongoing conversations [at the Flaherty Seminar] have proven to be very rewarding, both in terms of future programming at Colgate and my own research on transnational and diasporic visual cultures.”

“Flaherty extends the boundaries of our documentary knowledge,” Simonson added. “For example, watching the curators’ approach has changed how I think about gender and race representation when programming Colgate’s Alternative Cinema and Friday Night Film Series,” Simonson said.

The university also provides scholarships for one to three high-achieving film and media studies students interested in participating in the seminar. Dan Kwartler ’15 was on hand in 2013 and now works as an editorial coordinator at TED.

“Flaherty was my first experience at an academic conference,” Kwartler said. “Coming out the other side intact played directly into my remaining time in the film and media studies department, which I spent pursuing a thesis outside of department mandate and working with Professor Penny Lane on her (now award-winning) film Nuts!”

Consequently, Kwartler’s first academic conference wasn’t his last. “My time at Flaherty helped prepare me to present one of my papers at the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference at Notre Dame,” he said. “I likely wouldn’t have pursued speaking at the conference had I not seen the value of hearing from the wonderful media academics who presented at the Flaherty.”

Matt LaPaglia ’17, a history major from Cicero, N.Y., was around the Flaherty table in 2015. “I came to understand that, by pursuing filmmaking, I would not only be entering into a profession or an industry,” he said, “but I would also be entering into a community of brilliant people.”

That community has come home to Colgate every summer since 2008, drawn in by the combination of technology resources, human capital, and scenic beauty that attracts many undergraduates. Colgate maintains the 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm projection equipment that the seminar needs for its screenings. It features an IT staff that can provide constant support. And the Chenango Valley is a perfect setting for inspiration, reflection, and conversation.

“Part of the allure of the seminar is that you’re taken out of your normal context, and you can focus on the movies and people around you,” said Lane, who was attending the seminar even before she joined the Colgate faculty.

The last frames in the 2016 seminar showcase didn’t end the Flaherty’s connection with Colgate this year. Thanks to the Colgate/Flaherty Distinguished Global Filmmaker Residency program, Flaherty programmers will be back on campus during the fall semester, accompanied by filmmaker and 2016 fellow Sandra Kogut. Together, they will engage with students in classroom conversations, film screenings, project critiques, dinnertime discussions, and more — making the reach and impact of the Flaherty/Colgate partnership even more real.

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Summer internship blog series: a relentless pursuit of justice Mon, 11 Jul 2016 17:46:31 +0000 Madison Bailey '18 is pictured infron of the offices of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project headquarters

Madison Bailey ’18 at the Pennsylvania Innocence Project headquarters

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 Madison Bailey ’18, a peace and conflict studies major from Wayne, Pa.

This summer, I am the development intern for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project (PIP) in Philadelphia. The PIP is a legal nonprofit that works to exonerate those convicted of crimes that they did not commit and to prevent wrongful convictions of innocent people.

I had heard about the Innocence Project before, most notably from its work with Steven Avery and the Netflix series Making a Murderer. The Innocence Project has revolutionized the criminal justice system in using DNA testing to exonerate the wrongfully convicted. In Pennsylvania alone there have been 57 exonerations since 1989 — four through PIP since its office was established in 2009 — with a total of 576.6 years lost by clients.

As the sole development intern at the PIP, I help to manage all marketing, communications, and advertising projects that arise. My responsibilities, therefore, vary greatly from day to day. In the few short weeks that I have been here, I have crafted graphics and marketing materials for fundraisers; managed social media accounts; built part of the website; created a Wikipedia page for our branch; written e-mails that were sent to 10,000+ supporters; and drafted press releases. On June 27, I was given the honor of drafting the official press release announcing the release of exonerated PIP client Crystal Weimer.

One of the most moving jobs that I have been involved with is helping a former client, Kenneth Granger, with his personal campaign for reintegration after he was wrongly imprisoned for 28 years. I work with Granger on a day-to-day basis, and I have found our interactions transformative, as they show me the current faults that exist in our criminal justice system. My interactions with Granger have also taught me that people who have been wrongly imprisoned in Pennsylvania receive no compensation from the state, a fact that I found startling.

I feel that I am making a difference in the world with the work that I have been a part of this summer, and it has helped me to narrow down what exactly I would like to do after graduating from Colgate. As I enter my junior year at Colgate, I know that I will take advantage of available resources to enable myself to potentially pursue a career in humanitarian law.

Internships from Career Services
The Center for Outreach and Volunteerism at Colgate
Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go


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Reflections on Elie Wiesel at Colgate Fri, 08 Jul 2016 19:18:35 +0000 Elie Wiesel stands with professors and administrators in front of staircase in Merrill House

Elie Wiesel visits Colgate in 1998. (Left to right) Dean and Provost Jane Pinchin, Balakian, Wiesel, Miriam Grabois and President Neil Grabois, Director of Jewish Studies Steven Kepnes

Peter Balakian is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Chair in the humanities in the Department of English. He was the first director of the Center for Ethics and World Societies. His book Ozone Journal won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

I first met Elie Wiesel when my friend and English department colleague Terrence Des Pres hosted him for a lecture at Colgate in 1982. Terrence, who had written a trailblazing and best selling book The Survivor: An Anatomy of Life in the Death Camps was a leading scholar in Holocaust studies and had worked with Elie in the planning phases of the U. S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Washington.

At a reception on the great green slope of Terrence’s yard at Olmstead House, where he lived on the lower knoll of Preston Hill Road, I spent an hour talking with Elie about survivor experience, Armenian and Jewish experiences of diaspora, Turkish government denialism of the Armenian genocide, and so forth. It was the beginning of a collegial friendship of more than 30 years.

Over the years, Elie came to campus a number of times, and his books — especially Night — were taught in our curriculum year after year. In 1984 he gave the baccalaureate address to the graduating class, and I published that address in the literary magazine Graham House Review (published by Colgate University Press), which I edited then with the poet Bruce Smith. In 1998–99, when I was asked by then Dean and Provost Jane Pinchin to direct the Center for Ethics and World Societies (the center was Jane’s creation), Jane and I brought Elie to campus three times that school year as part of our year-long series we called “Art out of Atrocity.”

Elie’s third visit was scheduled for a culminating two-day symposium to be held during Reunion Weekend 1999, and it turned into a dramatic culmination of a year of extraordinary programing for the center. Because Elie had been asked at the last minute to go with President Clinton to Kosovo, where the United States was intervening in the human crisis, he had to cancel his visit to Colgate. But, it was Jane’s idea to turn Elie’s absence into an even more spectacular event — one that would entail our doing an interview with Elie at his apartment in New York City as he was leaving on his mission and one immediately upon his return.

Jim Leach, then director of communications, our film specialist Jim Bona, and I took a Colgate van, which Jim drove, to Elie’s apartment in New York City, where we met Colgate alumnus Chis Hedges ’79, then a New York Times reporter who had covered the Balkans during the war of the mid-90s, to conduct an interview with Elie on the eve of his departure for Kosovo. Then, upon Elie’s landing at Kennedy airport from Kosovo, we conducted a video conversation with him about his experience in Kosovo — that chaos-riven, small Balkan province that was soon to be a country.

The conversation, which was marked by a spontaneous authenticity, was broadcast live in the Colgate Memorial Chapel to an audience of hundreds — alumni, students, faculty, and townspeople. It was an important event and one that embodied some of the best of the cutting-edge kind of education that can happen on a college campus.

Elie Wiesel, who died on Saturday, July 2, at 87, was a singular figure in a global age, and his life as a Holocaust survivor, a writer, a teacher, and a public intellectual brought a large humanistic vision to millions of people over many decades. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The following are excerpts of the baccalaureate address he gave to the graduating class of 1984, at which time he received an honorary doctorate from Colgate:

I’ll tell you a few things. First, I have learned that evil must be fought right away. Don’t give evil a second chance. Always remember that ten or eleven years passed between Hitler’s book Mein Kampf and the death camps. Words, a few words, produced the greatest tragedy in recorded history. If evil had been fought then, I think the world would have been spared millions and millions of lives. If Hitler had been stopped in ’33, and he could have been stopped, human multitudes would have been spared. And in ’36 the same. And in ’39 the same. Had the world spoken up in ’42, hundreds and hundreds of communities would still be alive and vibrant.

The second lesson I learned is the importance of words. Language. Words can kill. Words can hurt. Words can be vehicles of hate and death. But words can also be vehicles of generosity. There were times when one word from one person meant more than anything you could have given us — more than bread or water. The word is important. Words can be spears. They can also be prayers. Words can destroy, and they can heal. I’m afraid that what we are doing to words these days is almost criminal. After all, I deal with them. I write, I teach. But, when I listen to our own language, I get frightened …

In spite of scientific achievement, men and women have never felt so lonely and so estranged, so alienated in their own surroundings. I wish I could sound more hopeful, but you will enter a world often disgorged by bigotry and endangered by fanaticism. Just open the newspaper — today’s paper, for example. How many more casualties in Ireland? And what about the empire of evil in Iran? What about the mass slaughter in India? And the bloodshed in Lebanon? The armed conflicts in the Persian Gulf? And what about the thousands and thousands of nuclear missiles produced weekly or daily? There isn’t a month without the discovery of a new tragedy …

As a teacher, as Jew, as a witness, as a student — and I study from students: they are my best teachers — I can tell you that, although we know almost with certainty that there is not much we can do to save our species, we must try. It is the individual spirit, the individual gesture that will ultimately matter. It seems desperate. It seems hopeless. And yet, beyond despair there is something else. And beyond hopelessness, there is something else. I suggest that you do not be afraid to go beyond despair; that you face it and continue.

Are we going to succeed? I have a child, and I would like my son, one day, to be among you. I would like him to learn better things. And I would like him to read better novels. With love, and with happiness and with fervor.

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Summer internship blog series: 4th down and 24 hours to go Thu, 07 Jul 2016 18:00:56 +0000 Jacob King '18 in the lab.

Jacob King ’18 in the lab at Colgate

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 keep our community posted on their progress. This article was written by Jacob King ’18, a molecular biology major from Burlington, Conn.

This summer, I’m on campus completing research with biology professor Krista Ingram. Professor Ingram is a leading researcher on circadian rhythms — physical, psychological, and behavioral patterns that roughly follow a 24-hour cycle in humans.

These rhythms influence important aspects of life, like sleep-wake cycles and hormone release. Researchers have also found a correlation between abnormal circadian rhythms and health issues like obesity, cancer, and psychological disorders.

When Chloe Weiss ’18, Celine Marlin Andrews ’18, and I walked into the lab on our first day, we had no idea what to expect. Unlike some research interns, we began at square one, learning about the current findings in the field in order to form a hypothesis that had not already been addressed. We decided that we want to see how student-athletes’ circadian rhythms could influence their performance, both physically and academically.

Our schedule consists of two types of days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do sampling on human participants: the football players who are on campus for the summer. We have the players complete a physical and cognitive task for us, then collect biological markers, which are physical measurements of effort. In our study, we look at heart rate and a stress hormone found in saliva.

The second type of day occurs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and consists of mostly processing the saliva we collected, taking the raw data from participants’ task scores, and correlating their performance with their circadian rhythm by looking at the expression levels of certain clock genes.

Clock genes are a set of genes that influence the body’s ability to cycle within 24 hours. Measuring their expression involves looking at the subject’s RNA; the more RNA a subject has at a certain time of day, the more the gene is being expressed.

Then, we have the participants complete a survey that asks about certain daily routines and sleeping habits and allows us to predict what type of rhythm they have.

We have been able work through every aspect of a researcher’s life and get to see the results within the same summer, which is incredible. We hope to have our research published in the months ahead.

Going into my junior year at Colgate, I can easily say that I will be looking into research after I graduate.


Summer internship blog series: recipe for business at Chicory

Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration

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