Colgate University News Items of interest about the Colgate community Tue, 26 Jul 2016 20:40:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Growing hope Tue, 05 Jul 2016 12:00:45 +0000 Sunrise Camp residents wave from the window of their new treehouse

Caroline Danehy ’19 never expected to appear on national television. But a stroke of inspiration at a special summer camp offered her the chance to make an appearance on the Animal Planet series Treehouse Masters.

Two years ago, Danehy, then a junior in high school, decided to spend a summer day volunteering at Sunrise Day Camp in Pearl River, N.Y. The camp, one of six Sunrise camps located worldwide, cares for children with cancer, providing a refuge in nature for them and their families, and offering fun and healing away from lonely hospitals and painful treatments.

“It’s such a good thing for the kids,” Danehy said. “They’re in a place now where they don’t have to be worried about doctors or medicine, and they can just be kids and have fun. It’s taking them out of the hospital and into nature, which is such a healing environment.”

It was this unencumbered view of nature that first struck Danehy upon her arrival at the Pearl River camp. Specifically, she remembers the multitude of trees, which brought to her a sudden inspiration.

“I was reminded of earlier that morning when I had been watching the show Treehouse Masters, and I just thought of what an amazing place this would be for a treehouse,” Danehy said.


A room with a view, brought to Sunrise by Caroline Danehy (center) with Arnie Preminger (right) and Pete Nelson (left)

After approaching camp management for the green light on the project, Danehy took action, first reaching out to a local construction company to ask for a donation of one of their treehouses. When they were unable to provide one, she turned to the very people who inspired the project, the team at Treehouse Masters. Danehy sent an e-mail to the show’s casting director, never expecting to receive a response.

“But sure enough,” she said, “I got an e-mail back saying they loved this idea, and they wanted to set up a meeting with me and Arnie Preminger [the director of the Sunrise Foundation].”

From then on, Danehy acted as a liaison between the camp and the show’s production team, and after a casting call, she was chosen to appear in the episode for an interview with Preminger and Pete Nelson, the show’s host.

But Danehy’s involvement with the project didn’t end on screen. She also organized a fundraiser with her school’s lacrosse team to raise approximately $2,000 toward the nearly $200,000 in funds needed to build the wheelchair-accessible structure complete with a peek-a-boo roof and plenty of room for games and activities.

On June 21, 2015, Danehy’s dream came to fruition when camera crews filmed the reveal of the treehouse to the eager campers waiting below. Nearly a year later, on June 2, 2016, she received the Sunrise Champion Award at the Sunrise Association’s Third Annual Dare to Dream Benefit recognizing all of her hard work in bringing the treehouse to life.

Danehy’s commitment to activism has only grown since attending Colgate. In 2015, she and her brother, Jake Danehy ’16, pitched their idea for Fair Harbor Clothing at Colgate’s Entrepreneur Weekend, gaining $5,000 in funding. Their business sells environmentally sustainable beachwear, including board shorts crafted from recycled plastic bottles.

Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE)
Fair Harbor

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Picture this: science at Colgate Fri, 01 Jul 2016 13:34:07 +0000

First place winner by Claire Kittock ’17 and Noor Anvery ’17

Veins of neon green trace a path across a stark black background in a photo taken by Claire Kittock ’17 and Noor Anvery ’17, displaying a web of microscopic neurons within the brain of a genetically altered fruit fly.

Kittock and Anvery captured the photo through a microscope while researching the cellular architecture of different animals with Mala Misra, assistant professor of biology. The photo later earned first place in the Cooley Science Library’s first ever photo contest.

Kristi Mangine, Colgate’s science library coordinator, thought of the idea for the contest because she wanted to decorate the library’s bare walls and was inspired by several student workers whom she knew were passionate about photography.

“The student photographers have great perspectives on what’s going on around campus,” Mangine noted. “So I thought a photo contest would be great to highlight how [the students] see science at Colgate.”

Second place by Geology professor William Peck

In early February, Mangine and Peter Tagtmeyer, associate science librarian, e-mailed students, faculty, and members of the Colgate community asking for photos that represented their vision of “science at Colgate.”

After receiving 30 photo submissions, Mangine turned again to the community, this time for a vote to determine the six winners whose photos would be placed on permanent display in the library.

The winning photographs varied widely in subjects, techniques, and fields of study.

Geology professor William Peck’s jewel-toned photomicrograph of a moon rock took second place in the contest. The rock was collected by the Apollo 12 mission to Oceanus Procellarum in 1969. Peck receives a set of lunar samples from NASA every spring for use in his Geology 202 class, and this year’s sample, Lunar Basalt 12005, contained minerals that settled out of the moon’s lava lake approximately 3 billion years ago.

Third place by Leda Rosenthal ’18

In third place was a portrait of an inquisitive dairy cow snapped by Leda Rosenthal ’18. Rosenthal’s photo came from her time spent at the Durfee dairy farm in Chittenango, N.Y., where she worked as an agricultural economic fellow for Colgate’s Upstate Institute last summer.

Mangine noted that the contest had the added benefit of exposing little-known research projects on campus. “That’s the thing about Colgate,” she said. “There’s such amazing research going on behind closed doors. This contest lets you see it.”

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Summer internship blog series: recipe for business at Chicory Thu, 30 Jun 2016 17:24:18 +0000 2Web

Erica Pais ’17 at Chicory headquarters in New York City with founder Joey Petracca ’13

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 Erica Pais ’17, a sociology and educational studies double major from Sharon, Mass., interning at Chicory — a startup launched by Yuni Sameshima ’13 and Joey Petracca ’13. 

This May, I moved to New York City to work as a marketing intern at Chicory. Chicory makes recipes shoppable by connecting recipe websites with online grocers, allowing consumers to have their ingredients delivered. At Colgate, I’m a member of Thought Into Action, which inspired me to intern at a startup and also put me in touch with Chicory’s founders, who mentor through TIA and are Colgate alumni. I’m an avid baker and cook, so I was thrilled to find a company that has food at the forefront of its mission.

As part of the Marketing Team, I help manage all social media outlets, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. We use social media to promote our food bloggers and our own written content, as well as to create a community among our recipe partners. I also contribute to the company blog and create weekly e-mail newsletter content.

Now that I’ve been here for four weeks, I’ve learned that marketing is about a lot more than just posting on social media. Our team actively pursues potential recipe partners while maintaining relationships with current partners. Chicory pays attention to detail and ensures that our partners feel a personal connection to the company.

With only seven full-time employees in our office, Chicory is a small company, and I’m able to interact with everyone on a daily basis. The company culture is fun and friendly, but professional at the same time. Chicory has struck a nice balance on that front. I love that the whole team eats lunch together every day to catch up and check in with one another. We even have a Ping-Pong table in the office. All of the employees are amazing players, so they are collectively training me!

Being a small startup, Chicory is the perfect place to learn about many aspects of a company. I have been offered opportunities to participate in sales calls and even to learn about how our technology works. Working at Chicory has been a fantastic experience, reaffirming my passion for working in a food-related field.

Although I don’t know exactly what career I hope to pursue, being here has shed light on multiple possibilities. Going into senior year, I’m still figuring it out, but am sure I will find my way. I look forward to learning more throughout the rest of my internship!


Erica Pais ’17 on making connections through baking

Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration

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Jess Blank ’11 and Adam Weisbarth ’10 to the rescue Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:22:14 +0000 Portrait of Jessica Blank, Adam Weisbarth, and their rescue producer/editor Jess Blank ’11 and her boyfriend, Adam Weisbarth ’10, volunteer as foster “parents” for Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue, a four-year-old group that rescues dogs from high-kill shelters in the South. Without its own facility, the rescue relies on foster care until dogs are adopted, which can take anywhere from one week to several months. So far, the couple has fostered four dogs: Ezra Klein, Ellen Page, Tara Chambler, and Sally Finkelstein (Badass dogs are named after celebrities and characters). Blank tells us what they’ve learned along the way.

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New agreement launches Singapore exchange program Fri, 24 Jun 2016 15:13:43 +0000 A new agreement between Colgate University and the Naitonal University of Singapore will create new off-campus study options in 2017.

Representatives from Colgate University and the National University of Singapore sign a memorandum of understanding creating a new student exchange program in 2017. (photo by Alice Verdin-Speer)

Students looking for a dynamic off-campus experience that also allows them to engage in scientific research will have more options in 2017, thanks to a new agreement between Colgate University and the National University of Singapore (NUS).

After more than a year of exploration and development, representatives of Colgate and the NUS signed a memorandum of understanding June 7, creating a new exchange program to benefit students from both institutions, and to act as a catalyst for future faculty collaboration.

The agreement affords new research options for students in the departments of mathematics, computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics & astronomy. Jason Meyers, associate professor of biology, will lead the first group of Colgate students to Singapore in the fall of 2017, but unlike other full-semester study groups, Meyers will accompany students for just a few weeks before returning to campus in Hamilton, N.Y., to teach.

In the spring, NUS students, already acquainted  with students from Colgate, will then come to Hamilton, N.Y., to take courses, conduct research, and experience the liberal arts.

“We really wanted to build on the successful National Institutes of Health program in Washington, D.C., in which students take two courses and independent research for credit,” said Nicole Simpson, professor of economics and associate dean of the faculty for international initiatives. “Undergraduate research isn’t common at large institutions internationally, so there was a short list of places that are rigorous and strong in the sciences, but that also applaud undergraduate research.”

Simpson said that, because NUS has existing relationships with Yale and Cornell universities, their faculty and administrators are already familiar with the liberal arts, and their curriculum has rigorous standards akin to Colgate’s.

The new partnership was developed, in part, thanks to Ed ’62, P’10 and Robin Lampert P’10, whose generosity supported the founding of the Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs at Colgate. The Lamperts have made a $2.5 million commitment to internationalization, and they also offered to match additional gifts of $500,000 up to $2.5 million for international initiatives.

NUS Professor Roger Tan, vice dean and faculty of science, education and special duties, said he hopes this new endeavor will create more opportunities for cooperation in the future between the two institutions of learning.

“[NUS] students will certainly benefit from your broad-based liberal arts education,” Tan said during a visit to Colgate earlier this month. “I hope we give them an unforgettable experience.”

Professor Damhnait McHugh, Colgate natural sciences and mathematics division director, said that when she visited NUS with Meyers, Simpson and four other faculty in the natural sciences on their fact-finding mission this past January, it became abundantly clear that the university had extensive support systems and a strong commitment to welcoming international students.

“We want our students to really make the most of their social and cultural experience as well, and we hope for international faculty collaborations to develop in the coming years,” McHugh said. “We are very excited about the possibilities.”

Off-campus study
Lampert Institute for Civic and Global Affairs
Colgate Study Groups

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Summer internship blog series: fighting frontotemporal degeneration Thu, 23 Jun 2016 19:13:49 +0000 Laynie Dratch ’17 (left) and Meghan Healey ’11

Laynie Dratch ’17 (left) and Meghan Healey ’11

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 Laynie Dratch ’17, a neuroscience major from Ambler, Pa., conducting research at the Penn Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

This is my second summer at the Penn FTD Center, which brings together an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers with common goals of studying frontotemporal degeneration spectrum disorders as well as providing care and support to patients and their caregivers.

Frontotemporal degeneration is a term used to describe a continuum of disorders marked by progressive brain cell loss in the frontal and temporal regions of the brain — the most recognizable disorder is Alzheimer’s disease. Few realize that similar dementias exist. Disorders such as primary progressive aphasia and corticobasal syndrome often present as changes in personality, gait, or language, rather than memory loss, and are challenging to diagnose. These atypical dementias, which can be confusing and frustrating for patients and their families, often appear in people in their 50s and 60s.

Places like the Penn FTD Center are rare, and I am proud to be part of a team that is leading the research and patient care for this struggling population that is still looking for a cure. A bonus: I have the pleasure of working with Meghan Healey ’11, a graduate student in the center.

This summer, I am involved in a project that compares typical Alzheimer’s to its atypical variants by studying differences in imaging biomarkers throughout disease duration. Working at the Penn FTD Center has provided me with countless other educational opportunities: I have participated in lab meetings, presented papers, served as a control in experiments, learned computer skills, observed a brain autopsy, and attended the center’s annual FTD Caregiver Conference, bringing together patients, caregivers, researchers, clinicians, and advocates for a day focused on practical information and the state of the science.

There are few, if any, centers that can match the resources, ability, and compassion that allow the Penn FTD Center to both care for and learn from its patients. The underlying themes of Penn’s success are collaboration and compassion. Every member of the team is important, and everyone contributes. Working at the center among the field’s brightest doctors, researchers, and nurses has taught me so much, both professionally and personally. I entered the center with absolutely no biomedical research experience, and now understand all of the different contributors to what is a much bigger and more complicated process than I ever imagined. I learned that my strengths include collaboration and analysis, while coding and statistics are my next areas to focus on improving. Most importantly, my time at the center has shown me that I work best in a collaborative environment, and has provided me with a network of support comprised of some of the field’s top academics and medical professionals. This experience has also shown me that I want to work in a sector of the field that has contact with, or direct impact on, the lives of patients and their families.

Career Services
Jobs and Internships

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Summer internship blog series: Greening Glimmerglass Thu, 16 Jun 2016 20:06:21 +0000 Grace Thomas ’17 stands with Bob Sutherland outside of a barn at Mohican Farms

Grace Thomas ’17 with Bob Sutherland of Mohican Farms (Photo by Karli Cadel)

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 Grace Thomas ’17, interning at the Glimmerglass Festival, where Francesca Zambello ’78, H’12 serves as artistic and general director.

I am fortunate to be working this summer as a member of the Summer Field School within the Upstate Institute, pursuing my interests in environmental sustainability.

This opportunity blends academic research with a more traditional working setting. My goals for the summer are to assess and advise the staff at the internationally famous Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, N.Y., on a variety of sustainable initiatives, from water use to energy efficiency, with a host of projects in between.

Picturesque and rural, the nonprofit Glimmerglass campus is miraculously able to support an increase of 30 full-time staff this year — to more than 300 summer participants for the festival. They produce four main operas and a number of side performances, drawing impressive audience members like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Sondheim. Glimmerglass staff are creative, passionate, and above all, proud of the work they are doing in the opera world and for the community in which they live.

To initiate sustainability efforts, I will collect and access preliminary data on the resource usage of the Glimmerglass campus and assist staff in achieving short-term sustainability focused projects. The data I am collecting is focused on energy, water, and waste and will result in baseline information that will allow the staff to begin making choices regarding efficiency initiatives (low flush toilets, updated lighting) and renewable energies. I also hope to research implementation of a garden, more straightforward recycling systems, and greening concessions for the opera house.

In the meanwhile, I have made some great connections within the company and local community. I recently spent an afternoon with Mohican Farm’s Bob Sutherland learning about advanced local composting operations.

I hope my work this summer will help staff and visitors to the Glimmerglass Festival engage with the beautiful natural environment more mindfully and responsibly and that I can help aid the staff in making cost-effective, meaningful choices about greening their operation.

Summer internship blog series: Tips from career services director Teresa Olsen

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The linguistic lawyer Wed, 15 Jun 2016 14:37:17 +0000 Portrait of Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 standing in front of conference room doors

Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 (Photo by Gerard Gaskin)

It all started on a St. Louis, Mo., elementary school library shelf. Clarissa (Polk) Shah ’10 discovered her love of Chinese culture at age 10 with a book of short stories. That fascination blossomed into a career, as well as advocacy work.

Although she studied Spanish throughout middle and high school, those short stories — written by Chinese authors and translated into English — had a hold on Shah. When her Spanish teacher told her, “So much is lost in translation,” she wanted more than ever to read them in Chinese. “I wondered, what am I missing?” she said.

At Colgate, Shah finally had the opportunity to learn Chinese. “Professor [Gloria] Bien made the language fun and accessible,” she said. Shah added that “the entire department was great,” and because it is small, each of the three professors (including John Crespi and Jing Wang) “helped with my development.”

Coincidentally, Bien assigned some of the short stories that Shah had first picked up a decade earlier, including her favorite: “The Kite” by Lu Xun. “Things had come full circle,” Shah said. “The language skills I developed made the story more tangible.”

As a sophomore, she was put on the spot to use her Chinese in real life while interning for the office of (then Senator) Barack Obama. Arranged through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Shah’s internship involved handling constituent mail and answering phones. When a Chinese constituent called one day, a colleague asked Shah to speak with him. “I froze because I only had one year of Chinese. I was thinking, ‘Why didn’t our textbook have a scenario about working in a congressional office?!’” Shah said she stumbled through the call, but it ended well.

A year into law school at Washington University in St. Louis, Shah missed her Chinese studies. “I just didn’t feel like myself,” she said. So, Shah began to earn her master’s in Chinese, “and I felt like I was back home.” Shah earned her law degree as well as a master’s in East Asian Studies.

Today, Shah is supply chain counsel for Emerson, a manufacturing company in the Fortune 150. She gave an example of what her role entails: “If we want to buy plastic parts for a closet organizer [ClosetMaid is one of Emerson’s brands], I make sure that we do the purchasing via terms that are in the best interests of Emerson. So, that means having a contract that requires that suppliers don’t use slave labor, that suppliers are compliant with data privacy and security regulations, and the suppliers are equal opportunity employers, among many other things.” Shah travels to China often because many of their suppliers are there.

In addition to using her speaking skills regularly, Shah writes for China Daily. Her first article was about her experiences on Colgate’s China Study Group in 2009. She also wrote a piece when President Xi Jinping visited Obama, and she’s been asked to write a third article.

Shah also finds time to advocate for the importance of language learning. Last spring, she spoke at the National Chinese Language Conference. Afterward, a Chinese immersion school in New York City asked her to be on its advisory board.

For the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Shah recently taught a three-part crash course on Chinese language, history, and culture. She’s also trying to coordinate a program in which university students in St. Louis would tutor middle school students who don’t have access to language study. “You give back in the way you know how,” Shah said, “and for me, that’s through language.”

She gives back to Colgate, too. The Scene spoke to Shah when she participated in the SophoMORE Connections career program in January. “I love Colgate,” Shah said. “I made three of the most amazing life decisions here: I fell in love with my husband [Tushin Shah ’10], I fell in love with Chinese, and I persuaded my brothers [Caden ’12 and Charles ’16] to come here. I couldn’t ask for more.”

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Message to community regarding vigil for Orlando shooting victims Mon, 13 Jun 2016 20:49:25 +0000 Pride Flag

Photo by Andrew Daddio

To the Colgate community:

I write to express sorrow and sympathy on behalf of Colgate University following Sunday morning’s tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Fla. Our thoughts and prayers go to all those affected and to everyone who feels the pain of this tragedy in a deeply personal way.

We grieve this senseless loss of life and injury, with echoes of, and links to, other acts of historical violence as well as contemporary terrorism. It is a tragic instance of the violence that LGBTQ people continue to suffer despite many recent legal gains for the community.

I write, as well, to affirm the values of this institution in creating and maintaining an inclusive, welcoming, and safe place for all — a place where we recognize injustice, challenge intolerance, and combat hate. As Omid Safi, former Colgate philosophy and religion professor, told our graduating Class of 2016 in his baccalaureate address, “Continue expanding your circle of compassion until every sentient being and every human being is included.”

In that spirit, the Colgate community is invited to join a vigil of contemplation, reflection, or sharing this evening outside Memorial Chapel on the Academic Quad at 8:30 pm. In case of inclement weather, the gathering will take place at the ALANA Cultural Center. Staff from the LGBTQ Initiatives Office will be present to assist, counsel and refer.

Members of the counseling center (315-228-7385) staff are available to talk with any students on campus for the summer who are feeling distressed or troubled about this tragedy or any other concern.


Jill Harsin

Interim President

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