In This Issue

       From the Director
       MCMI Leading the Way with Path-Breaking Research
       Goldfarb Grants: New Opportunities for Hands-On Learning and Service
       Sneak Peek at the Spring Semester

From the Director

Reflecting on the fall semester, one word that may best describe the center's programming is “diverse” — not only in terms of topics, but also formats. Our inaugural conference for student journalists, held in conjunction with the Lovejoy Convocation, included workshops and reaction roundtables with students from institutions across New England. We launched what will become a series of events to explore complex issues facing women in leadership with a dinner and lively panel discussion. A hands-on workshop led by the writer and producer of the acclaimed documentary Bully provided local guidance counselors and teachers with new tools and techniques to tackle this difficult issue. Our goal is to explore creative approaches to pressing issues, and we are pleased not only in the varied crowds we attracted, but also with the ways in which participants engaged our presenters and continued the conversations long after the events were over.

We are putting the finishing touches on plans for spring semester events, which are shaping up to be equally diverse and busy. The center will team up with the Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) to bring the 2014 TEDMED conference to Colby. We'll host our annual Mitchell Lecture, and we'll honor a distinguished judge at the Brody Awards. The theme of this year's conference for Maine nonprofits is “Leadership from the Ground Up.” Remember, if you can't make it to an event that piques your interest, you may be able to find it as a podcast on our website.

In this issue you'll also read about recent developments in MCMI. This dedicated group of staff, faculty, students, and community volunteers has real potential to help reduce concussion risk in young people, and it is exciting to know that Colby and the Goldfarb Center are a part of this breakthrough research.

Lastly, on behalf of the staff, students, and faculty of the Goldfarb Center, I extend our warmest holiday wishes. Thank you for your continued involvement and support.

Best Regards,


Daniel M. Shea

MCMI Leading the Way with Path-Breaking Research

The Maine Concussion Management Initiative (MCMI) has taken a national lead in gathering and analyzing an extensive database on concussions in football and other contact sports, and MCMI's efforts are gaining the attention from leading experts in the field. One of the foremost researchers on traumatic brain injury, Grant L. Iverson, director of the Neuropsychology Outcome Assessment Laboratory at the Harvard Medical School, recently noted, “I'm not aware of any databasehigh school, college, or boththat comes close to the size of the MCMI database.”

Led by Colby's Director of Health Services Dr. Paul Berkner, and under the auspices of the Goldfarb Center, MCMI was formed in 2009 to help high schools around Maine recognize the signs of concussions in their athletes and properly manage concussed students. Understanding the value of reliable diagnostic data, MCMI began working with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's computer-based testing model, ImPACT. Over time, the initiative was able to test tens of thousands of Maine students, completing 43,629 baseline and 9,804 post-injury assessments.

Recently, MCMI formed a collaborative partnership with Harvard Medical School, IMG_5326Boston Children's Hospital, and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, among others. Doctors and researchers have already begun using MCMI's data to produce groundbreaking scholarly research aimed at understanding concussions and their impact on the human body. Together with faculty, staff, and students involved in MCMI at Colby, these organizations expect to glean clinical insights into new ways to reduce concussion risk, prevent injury, and ensure best practices.

The data collected by Dr. Berkner and his colleagues is on track to play an important role in changing the assessment and treatment of not only concussions, but other forms of brain injury.

To learn more about MCMI, contact Dr. Berkner at

(Photo: Colby students test a concussion management iPhone application.)

Goldfarb Grants: New Opportunities for Hands-On Learning and Service

In an effort to support scholarly work among faculty members and students, twice each year the Goldfarb Center provides funding for independent and collaborative student and faculty research projects, faculty-sponsored conferences, civic engagement course development, and student internships. The broad nature of the center's grants program allows students and Civic Engagement Course - Gail 3faculty members to pursue a wide array of opportunities that foster hands-on learning and service to the local and global communities.

The grants committee recently awarded nearly $20,000, allowing several students to pursue internships in countries including Russia and Zimbabwe, faculty members to incorporate civic engagement components into courses offered in the Environmental Studies Program and Biology Department, and students to conduct research in Syria, China, Cuba, and elsewhere.

“Our students and faculty are working on some of the most interesting, diverse projects that involve partners from across the globe,” said Professor John Turner, associate director of the Goldfarb Center and chair of the grant selection committee. “Whether they are researching political graffiti in Colombia or interning with the Zimbabwe Peace Project, they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to something that they are very passionate about and bring it back to the Colby community.”

For more information about funding opportunities, please visit the Goldfarb Center's website at or contact Turner at

(Photo: As part of Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Gail Carlson's Environment and Human Health course, a Goldfarb-sponsored course with a civic engagement component, several students stand in front of the State House with signs encouraging lawmakers to restrict the use of the chemical BPA.)

Sneak Peek at the Spring Semester

The Goldfarb Center is finalizing its spring programming, which includes an array of topics and formats. Although not all dates and details are set, here is a glimpse of what's in store.


Lecture with Jessica Winegar — On Feb. 11 anthropologist Jessica Winegar will talk about her work, which focuses on contemporary Egypt and art. Her visit will coincide with an exhibit of contemporary Egyptian artists featured at the Colby Museum of Art.

True Life After Colby — On Feb. 27 a recent Colby graduate will share his or her experiences after graduation and provide advice for those soon to enter the workforce.

Legislative Panel — The center will host members of the Maine Legislature to discuss opportunities and obstacles facing the state today.


Annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference — On March 14 the Goldfarb Center teams up with the Maine Association of Nonprofits for the sixth annual Nonprofit Leadership Conference. This year's theme will be “Leadership from the Ground Up.”

Maine Technology Integrators ConferenceTechnology integrators representing K-12 schools throughout the state will discuss challenges and opportunities they face in infusing technology in the classroom to help educators meet their teaching goals and develop new approaches to learning. The keynote speakers will be renowned education technology scholar Elliot Soloway of the University of Michigan and his colleague Cathleen Norris, Regents Professor of Learning Technologies at University of North Texas.

True Life After Colby — The center will host another intimate lunchtime talk with a recent Colby graduate who will share his or her experiences and provide advice for those soon to enter the workforce.


Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service AwardOn April 6 the greater Colby community will join jurists from around the country to honor an outstanding United States federal or state judge who embodies the qualities of integrity, compassion, humanity, and judicial craftsmanship exhibited by long-time Colby friend and community leader Judge Morton A. Brody.

TEDMED Conference — April 8-11 the Maine Concussion Management Initiative and the Goldfarb Center will bring the 2014 TEDMED conference to campus with a dinner and keynote along with live-steaming coverage of each session. During conference breaks, Colby students and faculty will provide their own TEDMED talks on topics ranging from anthropology to medicine to theater.

Senator George J. Mitchell Distinguished International LectureEach year this series welcomes a prominent foreign policy leader to campus for a lecture to foster interaction among students, faculty, and members of the greater Waterville community while honoring former U.S. senator, statesman, international negotiator, and Waterville native George Mitchell.


Colby Cares About Kids BBQ — On May 9 nearly 400 grade- and middle-school students will come to the Alfond Athletic Center to meet their mentors for an afternoon of food, games, and activities to celebrate another successful year.