In This Issue

– From the Director
– The Goldfarb Center travels to Washington, D.C.
– Uniquely Maine
– Spring Semester Event Schedule
– Goldfarb Center and Oak Institute Welcome New Assistant Director Amanda Kitchen

From the Director…

The telltale signs of the start of a new semester have reached the halls of the Diamond Building — faculty members are readying classrooms, students are stopping in to share stories of new experiences during Jan Plan, and the staff in the Goldfarb Center is finalizing plans for what is sure to be a busy, exciting semester. We are eager to hear from our world-renowned guests, to address a host of important, controversial issues, and to expand our partnerships with others on campus and in the community. At the core, our events are meant to engage our students in issues and topics relevant to an ever-changing world. 

Speaking of staff, we have welcomed a new assistant director to the Goldfarb Center and Oak Institute. Amanda Kitchen joined our team in mid-January and has hit the ground running. An added bonus to her arrival on the staff means I am no longer the “newbie.” Welcome, Amanda!

I should share that I’m writing this letter a few thousand feet in the air on my way to Washington, D.C., where I will have the opportunity to connect more names and faces and to share the Goldfarb Center’s initiatives and plans for the future. Pulling together my remarks proved difficult; there is simply too much to share and not enough time. I anticipate many more of these gatherings in the coming weeks and months, and I hope you’ll join us for one of them.

Finally, as you might imagine, the campus is abuzz with planning for Colby’s bicentennial celebration on Feb. 27. The faculty and administration have planned an impressive set of programs — not the least of which will be a procession of students representing all departments. The Goldfarb Center will be well represented throughout the day; we are all so grateful to play a part in such an important occasion.

Best Regards,
Dan M. Shea
Professor of Government and Director of the Goldfarb Center

The Goldfarb Center Travels to Washington, D.C.


More than 200 Colby alumni, parents, and friends gathered at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Feb. 6 for a reception to meet Goldfarb Center Director Dan Shea. Goldfarb Student Advisory Board executive committee members Madison Louis ’13, Michelle Seares ’13, Noah VanValkenburg ’13, and Lisa Kaplan ’13 had the opportunity to travel with Dan to the event, where they each gave a brief talk about their work and involvement with the Goldfarb Center. Similar events are slated for the coming months in several other cities across the country.

Uniquely Maine

Whether you are within city limits or making your way through rural Maine, you need not travel far to discover something that sets Maine apart from the other 49 states. In January the Goldfarb Center initiated a new program to introduce students and friends of the center to the people and places that make Maine unique. Aptly titled Uniquely Maine, the new program offers a field trip during Jan Plan, beginning this year, when a group of about 20 student and friends traveled to Skowhegan, where they visited the Margaret Chase Smith Library and the Somerset Grist Mill. 
The Somerset Grist Mill is a locally owned and operated grain mill providing milling services to local farmers, and milling locally grown grain for wholesale and retail sales. The project grew out of the success of the Kneading Conference, an annual gathering of artisan bakers, who dreamed of being able to bake using locally sourced flour. Housed in the former Somerset County Jail, the mill aims to revive local grain production and create a staple food that is grown locally. Amber Lambke, one of the principal project organizers, led the Colby group on a tour and talked about its start-up and operation. Some group members even purchased flour to try for themselves. 

The group then gathered for lunch at the Bankery, a Skowhegan bakery located in an old bank, where they dined on delicious flatbread pizza made of flour ground at the mill.  The day ended with a trip to the home of Maine’s first woman senator, Margaret Chase Smith, known for her famous “Declaration of Conscience” speech against Joe McCarthy. 

The Margaret Chase Smith Library is an archive, museum, educational facility, and public policy cenUniquely_Maine_2ter honoring the legacy of former U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith. The library’s collection includes political papers, documents, honors, photographs, and memorabilia all accessible to researchers and students. Library Director David Richards gave the group a thorough tour of the library and museum, which at one time served as the former senator’s home.

Another Uniquely Maine program will be held next Jan Plan. For more information, please contact Associate Director Alice Elliott at

Spring Events

The Goldfarb Center staff and students worked diligently through Jan Plan to finalize a full slate of events for an exciting spring semester. There is something for everyone, so please review and make plans to join us if you are in town. Please remember to check our website often for updates, as even more plans are in the works.

March 1: Large Landscape Conservation Conference, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Diamond Building

Colby’s Environmental Studies Program, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy have partnered to offer the Large Landscape Conservation Conference on March 1. The event will provide students, practitioners, and scholars with the opportunity to network with, and learn from, peers and leading experts in the field of large landscape conservation from North America and beyond.

Scheduled speakers will include leaders in large landscape conservation: James Levitt, director of the Program on Conservation Innovation at the Harvard Forest; Robert Lilieholm, E.L. Giddings Associate Professor of Forest Policy at the University of Maine; Mike Tetreault, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine; Gary Tabor, senior fellow at the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana; and others.

March 5: Censorship and the Media in Putin’s Russia, Dr. Mikhail Makeenko, 7 p.m., Diamond 122

The inaugural faculty lecture exchange between Colby College and the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State will bring Mihail Makeenko, a specialist in media theory and economics at Moscow State.  Makeenko is the author of two books on the U.S. media and more than thirty scholarly articles.  During his residency, he will provide an insightful lecture about media censorship in what is considered by many to be one of the most dangerous countries to work as a journalist.

March 6th: Beyond the Vote: Scholars Explore the 2012 Election, 7 p.m., Diamond 141

Super PAC’s, microtargeting, novel voter mobilization, recordbreaking fundraising, the gender gap, early voting, hidden cameras, and much more. As the 2012 election begins to fade into our collective memory, scholars are rolling up their sleeves to explore whether recent trends will alter the very nature of our systems. Helping us understand these undercurrents and to sort out long-term implications will be a team of renowned scholars:

Ray La Raja, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jennifer Lucas, Associate Professor, School of Politics, St. Anselm College
Michael Franz, Associate Professor of Government, Bowdoin College
Tony Corrado, Professor of Government, Colby College

Professor Dan Shea, director of the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement and professor of government, will moderate.

March 8: Maine Tech Connect, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Diamond Building 

Through the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, Maine was the first state in the country to equip all students and teachers in grades seven through 12 with personal learning technology statewide, leading the charge in transforming student learning through integrated technology in the classroom. The Goldfarb Center will host Maine technology integrators serving K-12 schools with featured speaker Phillip Nyhus, associate professor of environment studies at Colby. Nyhus will discuss the ways he uses technology in the classroom to meet his teaching goals and the needs of his community.

April 2:  Guns and Politics, 7 p.m., Ostrove AuditoriumSpitzer

“Gun control has proven to be one of the most enduringly contentious, even acrimonious issues in American politics. I set out to discover why.”  Author and Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at SUNY Cortland Robert J. Spitzer will explore the issue of gun control and politics in light of recent events. Leaving plenty of time for discussion, Spitzer will engage the audience on the many facets of this hotly debated issue.

April 10: George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture Series, Alan K. Simpson Keynote Speaker, 7 p.m.

Simpson, Alan KThe Goldfarb Center is pleased to welcome former U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson for the 2013 George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture Series.  Simpson served as the U.S. Senator of Wyoming from 1979 to 1997.  In 2010, he was appointed to co-chair President Barack Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with co-chair Erskine Bowles of North Carolina.  Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell will be the special guest for the evening and provide the lecture’s introductory remarks.

April 26: Common Ground? Facing a New Reality with Compassion and Conviction, Noon, Diamond Building

Colby College and Maine Association of Nonprofits will partner to hold the fifth annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference April 26. Held each spring, the conference features Colby’s Philanthropist of the Year award and a nationally recognized speaker on nonprofits and leadership. This year’s event will focus on bringing community leaders together to start down the pathway of bringing civility back to the conversation and finding common ground in defining a new system dynamic. Four areas will be explored, including:

  • Taking responsibility to meet shared community challenges
  • Recognizing and allowing diverse voices to add vitality to a defined common purpose
  • Revitalizing the bonds between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors through collaborative efforts
  • Removing the barriers to building trust and common ground

The conference begins at noon with a keynote address by Professor Robert Putnam, Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and concludes with the Maine Philanthropy Awards dinner and celebration.

Goldfarb Center and Oak Institute Welcome New Assistant Director Amanda Kitchen

A_KitchenThe Goldfarb Center is pleased to welcome Amanda Kitchen as assistant director of the Goldfarb Center and Oak Institute. Kitchen will help to organize events and communications for the Goldfarb Center and coordinate the events and activities for the Oak Fellowship program.

Kitchen is a graduate of Husson University, where she earned her B.S. in business administration/marketing with a minor in English, an M.S. in business administration, and an M.S. in human relations. She went on to work for her alma mater as director of annual giving, director of advancement communications, then as director of university communications. Kitchen has also worked at the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce as director of promotions and marketing. There her work focused on programming, event coordination, communications, and marketing. 

“I’m thrilled to join the great team here,” said Kitchen. “I look forward to working closely with Colby faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the greater community to help further the mission of the Goldfarb Center and Oak Institute.”

Kitchen is an Oakland, Maine, native and currently resides in Bangor with her fiancé, Tim, and their 2-year-old daughter, Claire. They plan to relocate to the Waterville area this spring.  

Amanda can be reached at or 207-859-5319.