Gleanings from Earl Smith's campus newsletter, FYI, including:
Michael Donihue and Randy Nelson on economics of Oscars, Michael Daisey '96 and his one-man show; Raffael Scheck goes worldwide; Guilain Denoeux's commentary joins presidential ranks.
Colby Goes Hollywood
As a result of economics professors Randy Nelson and Michael Donihue '79's article "What's An Oscar Worth," which appeared in the January 2001 Economic Inquiry journal, Colby has been making other Academy-Award appearances. The February 15 edition of USA Today had a story on the Oscars, picked up by Chicago and Denver papers, with the following lead: "Hollywood is scrambling to make the most from this week's Oscar nominations--make the most money. Late-year releases up for best picture can bring in more than $30 million after nominations, according to a Colby College study."
We Remember Michael
When Michael Daisey graduated in 1996, we might have predicted he would enjoy at least 15 minutes of fame. He got that much in February when Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition, interviewed him. Mike, a performer as a student here, now has a one-man show, "21 Dog Years: Doing Time @ Amazon.com." Watch Daisey's show at www.mikedaisey.com. As he said on the air, he doesn't just burn bridges behind him, he "nukes the whole river."
Long Arm of the Web
In 1996 Raffael Scheck (history) posted lecture notes for his course Germany and Europe 1871-1945 on the Web as an online text for the class. Since then the text has drawn responses from scholars and students in South Korea, Romania, Chile and Finland, to name a few places, and professors around the world have built it into their syllabi, Scheck reports. Now WebPath Express, a service developed by the Follett Software Co. to help students find online resources, has tapped into the site, and the Scottish Executive School Committee will include material from www.colby.edu/personal/r/rmscheck in a CD-ROM going to all high schools in Scotland to show how to improve teaching with the Internet.
The well-remembered "Colby Corner" sign that once hung in the rear of the Levines' store in downtown Waterville can now be found in Colby's Seaverns Bookstore . . . Pacy and Ludy would be pleased. . . . See the March issue of Down East magazine and read the piece on the huge sugar camps on the Quebec border of Somerset County, by Michael Burke (English). . . . Bruce Barnard reports that bookstore sales have more than doubled in the year since catalogue items have been available on the Web.
We have word that Beth DeSombre (government) is the winner of the prestigious Chadwick F. Alger Prize, presented each year by the International Studies Association. The award is "for the best book published in 2000 in the area of international organization." Beth's book is titled Domestic Sources of International Environmental Policy. It is a terrific and well-deserved honor.
Rowley's Loss . . .
We didn't know it but the family home of Colby's founder, Jeremiah Chaplin, still stands in Rowley, Mass. Trustee Emeritus Bob Lee '51 of Danvers sent us pictures. Accompanying text from an Essex County history recounts: "In Waterville, Maine, was a seminary [sic] known as the Maine Literary & Theological Institution; this school called him [Chaplin] to become its leader in 1818. With sorrow the Baptist church [in Rowley] allowed him to resign; in tears their many friends watched the Chaplins depart. The trip was made by sailing vessel up the coast, then along the Kennebec River to their new home."
A Muddied Report
Cal Mackenzie (government) was the first person NPR called for reaction to GW's inaugural speech January 20. Mackenzie, who had front-row seats, spoke by cell phone with NPR's Scott Simon, and Colby was mentioned several times. It "was like reporting from a war zone," Mackenzie told our Office of Communications. The weather was "horrid" and a military band blared in the background while what he called "a very Republican crowd" celebrated noisily. "I kneeled down in the mud and had Sally surround me with her coat while I talked on the cell phone," Cal said.
All for Tenure
Most everybody already knows, but now that the Board of Trustees has affirmed this year's tenure class, let's tip the mortarboards to Jeffrey Anderson (anthropology), Elizabeth DeSombre (environmental studies and government), Leo Livshits (mathematics), Véronique Plesch (art) and Tarja Raag (psychology). All have also been promoted to the rank of associate professor, effective in the fall.
In early December Bowdoin students taking a computer science course on artificial intelligence challenged Colby to a "simulated soccer" tournament, where participants were required to build computer programs that would intelligently control teams of soccer-playing agents. Assistant Professor of Computer science Randy Jones, together with students Ray Mazza '01 and Eric Fleischman '02, built four different teams and pitted them against 14 teams from Bowdoin. In a double-elimination tournament, the best Colby team went undefeated and beat its five Bowdoin opponents by a combined score of 55-7.
For Want of a "C"
A typographical error in December's faculty meeting agenda proposed allowing committee nominees to post informal statements on "the Dean of Faulty Web page." The Dean of Faulty Web Pages would be right next door to the Ministry of Silly Walks, according to one Eustis wag.
The Mule before Jakarta
As if our political scientists haven't been busy on the home front, Sandy Maisel did a live videocast to Jakarta, Indonesia, on election night. Speaking from Augusta, Sandy provided commentary while the Indonesian Ambassador to the U.S. joined from Washington and a GOP consultant chimed in from Denver. The audience was about 500 people organized by the Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, where Bob Gelbard '64 (and P '03) is our ambassador. Research assistant Alexandra Gelbard '03 was clearly visible in the video feed. The timing was such that Sandy predicted a Gore victory. "I wonder if they ever found out!" he mused.
The cover of the autumn 2000 edition of Politique Internationale, the French equivalent of our Foreign Affairs magazine, lists 19 contributors, including two presidents (Tunisia and Croatia), two prime ministers (Ukraine and Hungary), France's foreign minister, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Dick Cheney and Joseph Leiberman. And among the heavyweights from think tanks and academe there's Guilain Denoeux (government). Guilain has a 25-page article titled "La Face Cachée du Miracle Tunisien"--The Hidden Face of the Tunisian Miracle.