From the Director

Greetings from Mayflower Hill!

As the fall semester draws to a close, and as winter nudges away a spectacular autumn, the staff and I have been taking stock of recent programs, some strategic developments, and plans for the coming term. Here are a few highlights.
Our new student program centered around the Lovejoy journalism award had a successful second year and shows additional promise. In October, some 40 students representing 11 different colleges and universities in the Northeast attended the conference. Participants had an opportunity to hear from some of the very best journalists in the country, including Pulitzer Prize-winner Matt Apuzzo ’00, a national security reporter for the New York Times, and his colleague, 2014 Lovejoy Fellow Jim Risen, also of the New York Times, who gave the lunchtime keynote lecture.
I am pleased to report that the 2014 William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate on hydraulic fracking was a resounding success. In Ostrove Auditorium, the three panelists offered a range of perspectives to a capacity audience from Colby and the community. Diversity of opinion and respectful disagreement are key components of our work at Colby, as you know, and this program models those important values as it tackles complex issues from varying perspectives. We have already begun preparations for next year’s Cotter Debate, likely on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We hosted a lively Election Day celebration, and followed with a post-election panel discussion by renowned scholars and Colby professors Cal Mackenzie, Joseph Reisert, and Sandy Maisel. The midterm results were a lot to absorb, and our colleagues helped us make some sense of it all. As you will note below, we are excited about some new initiatives and a host of winter and spring events. The snow is piling up and the lights come on early in the Diamond Building, but rest assured we are hard at work building important, novel opportunities for students and the broader Colby community. Wishing you the best this holiday season,
Daniel M. Shea

From Passion to Purpose:  Writing After Colby

Writing is a crucial component of a liberal arts education, and it is a potent means for creating a public platform for civic engagement and cultural expression. The analytical, interdisciplinary, and humanistic education that students receive at Colby forms a foundation for their future success as writers and public communicators in a wide variety of settings.

From Passion to Purpose: Writing After Colby is an innovative, interdisciplinary program that will showcase how Colby alumni, including some who never imagined they would become high-profile writers, developed a passion into a significant civic, cultural, or personal initiative through writing. All of the alumni who will present in this lecture series have gained a national stage for their passionate commitments by articulating their ideas through fiction, memoir, essay, or film–highlighting the multimedia nature of writing today. From Passion to Purpose will enable students, faculty, staff, and community members to hear how alumni use the written word to shape our world.

Each semester, a Colby graduate who embodies this idea will be invited to campus as part of the From Passion to Purpose series. The Goldfarb Center, the Center for Arts and Humanities, and the Colby Writing Program will partner to produce the series and reach audiences appropriate to each author’s focus.

For each writer’s visit, we will organize a seminar with a group of students who have read from the author’s work in advance. This session will allow students to ask detailed questions about the writing product, but also about the process. An informal, small dinner will allow cosponsors and select students and faculty to have some personal time with the guest, and a plenary lecture for an audience of both campus and local community members will cap the day’s events.

ABC’s Dan Harris to Kick Off New Colby Author Series

Dan Harris ’93

Most Americans recognize Dan Harris ’93 as co-anchor of ABC News Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America. He also files reports for other ABC News shows, but did you know that he is also author of a New York Times bestseller?

Harris’s book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self Help That Actually Works-A True Story, was published in the spring. It chronicles his career journey and his struggle with anxiety. To his surprise, Harris discovers that meditation can quiet the mind and lead to greater happiness.

We are pleased that Harris will be back at his alma mater Feb. 16. He has agreed to lead a seminar on the writing process and to offer a lecture to a wider audience. His trip back to Colby seems a perfect beginning for the From Passion to Purpose Colby writers series, discussed above.

Announcing A New Faculty Student Research Opportunity

We are pleased to announce the creation of a new scholarly initiative for Colby students and faculty.

The William R. and Linda K. Cotter Debate Research Stipend:

Upwards of $10,000 per year will be provided to fund faculty/student collaborative research projects aimed at exploring the broad complexities of pressing public policy questions. This new opportunity, which springs from the Cotter Debate program, will support summer research and related expenses for faculty and students. Applications will be solicited in early spring.

Green Crab Mitigation Competition

European Green Crab

Announced this fall, the Green Crab Mitigation Competition connects academia and Maine fishing- and aquaculture-related organizations to harness the energy and intellect of students to mitigate the growing problems the shellfish industry faces from the invasive crab.

Partnering with University of Maine MachiasCEI, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the Maine Coastal ProgramMaine Sea Grant, and the Island Institute, the Goldfarb Center is inviting undergraduate students enrolled in colleges and universities across Maine and coastal New England to submit a mitigation plan that will be judged by a panel of scientists and industry representatives. Competition day will be April 3 and will also include a green crab recipe competition and tasting as well as poster presentations by middle school students.

Colby Cares About Kids

Bon Voyage Mentors!

CCAK mentors who are headed abroad this spring had a “Bon Voyage Party” with their mentees.  Along with lunch, these special pairs participated in activities to promote a geographical understanding and maintain a connection until reuniting in the fall.


 Upcoming Events

Plans are coming together for a series of stimulating events in the 2015 Spring Semester, and a complete list will be forthcoming in our January newsletter.