From The Director

Happy New Year!

One of the best aspects of Jan Plan is the opportunity to pause, reflect, and envision. I have used some of this rare time to noodle on an important component of our work — support for student and faculty scholarship and how we might better link this work to important issues in central Maine.

The Goldfarb Center is pleased to fund many student and faculty research opportunities, mini-conferences, and data collection projects each year. Among much else, these and similar programs help distinguish Colby for its commitment to provide meaningful undergraduate research opportunities.

We also know that Colby students demonstrated a true desire to lend a hand in the community. Several new studies suggest, however, that college students often pay scant attention to policy-based solutions. Without guidance and reflection, volunteer work and service learning can leave the student frustrated, confused, and feeling helpless. Students can fail to discern the systemic forces that shape relationships. The conditions are deemed inevitable, and the significance of what sociologist C. Wright Mills called the vital link between “public issues and private troubles” is lost.

Some colleges and universities are moving toward a practice known as community-engaged scholarship (CES) or action research (AR). For the faculty, this means applying their expertise to real-world problems, often in the immediate community, and collaborating with peers in other sectors to enhance understandings.

Very few schools are linking undergraduates to these research initiatives.

What if the Goldfarb Center were to merge faculty/student research with community engagement? Might we sponsor research teams to explore issues that are of true concern to residents of central Maine? There certainly are innumerable important topics. Perhaps we could call this the Colby Engaged Scholarship Initiative. The linchpin, it seems to me, would be to publish the findings and distribute them widely.

As I said, Jan Plan allows one to reflect and plan — and perhaps to think big!


Daniel M. Shea

Jan Plan in Action

Leah Breen ’15 stands with her Guatemalan co-worker after delivering birth control methods to three towns around beautiful Lake Atitlán, pictured in the background.

For many students, Jan Plan is a time to put their classwork into action. Internships and research projects send students all over the globe. In an effort to increase access to these opportunities, the Goldfarb Center funds more than a dozen internships, student and faculty research projects, course development grants, and more, with the aim of fostering real-world experiences and increasing faculty-student interaction.

Through a Sandy Maisel Internship grant, Leah Breen ’15 spent several weeks of her Jan Plan in Guatemala, where she assisted a clinic in delivering birth control to women in communities surrounding beautiful Lake Atitlán. Breen wrote, “It is this type of experience that drives my desire to study global studies, government, and anthropology at Colby. I would not be the same student — one who, after interning in Liberia and Guatemala, is hoping to create a career aimed at increasing citizens’ access to quality sexual and reproductive healthcare services — without these moments of learning to shape how I view our world.”

Russian majors Emily Tolman ’16 and Caitlin Lyons ’15 visit Red Square during their Jan Plan internships at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

In mid-January, Russian majors Emily Tolman ’16 and Caitlin Lyons ’15 traveled to Moscow to complete internships at the Lomonosov Moscow State University’s Faculty of Journalism as part of the Colby-Moscow State University Exchange Program. In addition to attending several classes, Tolman and Lyons worked alongside faculty to edit the 2014 edition of World of Media, a publication of scholarly essays published in English. Their experiences will culminate with the production of a paper — Lyons’s on nationalism and sports culture in Russia, and Tolman’s on how Russian identity is linked to traditional Russian culinary dishes.

Danielle Levine ’15 discusses the surface anatomy of the heart with Cierra, a Dover-Foxcroft sophomore, and Shea-Lynn, a home schooled junior, as her classmates Ari Thomas ’16 (far left) and Laurel Edington ’15 (second from left) look on.

Biology Instructor Thom Klepach’s Civic Engagement Course grant provided funds to build on his efforts to engage the community in his Human Anatomy and Physiology Jan Plan course. On Jan. 19 high school students from several local districts came to Colby to learn more about human anatomy and to help inspire science projects for the Maine State Science Fair in March. The event was held in conjunction with the Maine Math and Science Alliance, who provided significant logistical support and are cosponsors of the fair. To learn more about the day’s activities, please visit Klepach’s course blog.

For more information about Goldfarb grants, please click here or contact Associate Director Sahan Dissanayake.


 MCMI’s Concussion Research Consortium Receives Funding to Expand Student Internship Program

Lily Cabour ’14 (right) and Margie Rayford of Tougaloo College were research partners for Summer 2014 at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

MCMI‘s Concussion Research Consortium will grow its internship program thanks to generous gifts from Bill ’72 and Joan Alfond and William Goldfarb ’68 P’00. The funds will allow five Colby students to serve as researchers this summer at several sites, including Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, MaineGeneral Medical Center, and Boston Children’s Hospital.

“The Colby Concussion Research Consortium is poised to make important scholarly contributions that may very well lead to a reduction in concussions among student athletes across the country,” stated Goldfarb Center Director Dan Shea. “This new funding allows even more students to be at the center of these efforts.”

The Colby Concussion Research Consortium was formed to partner students, researchers, and physicians at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and other Boston-area institutions to produce scholarly work aimed at understanding brain injuries and their impact on the human body. The consortium’s internship program was launched in the summer of 2014 when Lily Cabour ’14 served as a researcher at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

Learn more about MCMI here.

National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver to Keynote Green Crab Mitigation Competition

Undergraduate students from throughout Maine will gather at Colby to present their ideas for mitigating the impact of the European green crab in the center’s first-ever student competition. The event will also include a keynote talk by Barton Seaver, a National Geographic Fellow, Maine chef, and author; a green crab tasting; and an opportunity for local middle school students to participate.

For more information about the event, contact Associate Director Alice Elliott.


Spring Term Event

Below find a preliminary list of spring events. More events will be added, so please continue to check our website for announcements and details of events as they emerge.

Colby Cares About Kids Lunchbox Talks
February 6 | 11 a.m. | Dining Halls
CCAK mentors will have an opportunity to connect with their mentee’s guidance counselors to set up the semester’s visit schedule, review carpooling options, and privately answer questions about their mentees.

10% Happier: ABC’s Dan Harris on Meditation
February 16 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Most Americans recognize Dan Harris ’93 as co-anchor of ABC News Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America, 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, 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.

True Life After Colby: Michael Cuzzi ’98
February 19 | Noon | Diamond 146
As part of the True Life After Colby lunchtime talk series, Michael Cuzzi ’98 will share his experiences as a political, communications and advance veteran of presidential and congressional campaigns. As senior vice president of VOX Global, Cuzzi works with clients in the energy, sustainability, natural resources, and economic development sectors.

February 22 |Given Auditorium, Bixler Art and Music Center
Cosponsored with Office of the President and Dean of Students Office
This independently organized TED Talks session, spearheaded by Max Berg ’15 and William Lin ’16, will explore the intricacies of disruption and the promises of deviation through the lens of academics, innovators, and visionaries.

Humor for Humanity: Comedy Show with Jimmy Tingle
February 27 | 7 p.m. |Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building
Cosponsored with the Colby Alumni Council
Jimmy Tingle is regarded as one of the top social and political humorists in America. He worked for two seasons with 60 Minutes II as the humorist/commentator in the Andy Rooney spot. He has worked as a contributor and satirist for MSNBC and has appeared on the Tonight Show, CNN, Larry King Weekend, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, as well as his own HBO comedy special.

Arsenic in Private Well Water in Maine: Community and Political Engagement by Environmental Studies Students at Colby College
March | More Details to be Announced
Cosponsored with the Environmental Studies Program
Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a major problem in Maine, particularly for private well users. Arsenic causes cancer in humans, and was recently linked to lower IQ in Maine schoolchildren. Private wells do not have to be tested for arsenic. A bill before the Maine Legislature aims to remedy this and to establish a fund for education and remediation. Students in ES366 (The Environment and Human Health) will work in the spring on a project to raise public awareness about arsenic in drinking water, to help with testing, and to engage in the policy-making process.

Concussions in Sports: Creating Evidence-Based Concussion Management Policies
March 10 | 7 p.m. | Diamond 122
Christine Baugh, Ph.D. Student in Health Policy, Harvard University
In recent years, concussions have garnered significant public attention as well as state and sports-league policy responses. This lecture will discuss existing evidence about concussions, their acute and long-term effects, and concussion management policies currently in place at the state and sports-league levels.

Is Satire Saving Our Nation?: Mockery and America
March 18 | 7 p.m. | Diamond 122
Sophia A. McClennen, PhD, Penn State University
Dr. McClennen is director of Penn State’s Center for Global Studies and Latin American Studies program. She has published eight books, many on the intersection of culture and politics.

TechConnect Conference
March 20 | 8:30 a.m. | Diamond Building
TechConnect draws K-12 technology integrators and classroom teachers together for a one-day conference focused on skills and methods for improving the integration of technology into the classroom. This year’s conference will feature Chris Bentzel of Google speaking on Google Apps for Education and Chromebooks for Education. Additional break-out sessions addressing a variety of topics will also be offered using the unconference model. For more information, contact Associate Director Alice Elliott.

AAUW’s University Future Focus
March 24 | 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | Lovejoy Building and Given Auditorium, Bixler
Future Focus is an event to increase the aspirations of eighth grade girls. Local girls will come to Colby and engage in fun, interactive activities with successful women across a wide variety of careers.

Red Noses Meet the Red Cross: The Global Aid Work of Clowns Without Borders
March 31 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium
Cosponsored with the Theater and Dance Department
Brendon Gawel, professional clown, Clowns Without Borders
Gawel will discuss the history of this innovative relief organization, offer personal insights into his journey from college to a humanitarian clown, and present how Clowns Without Borders fits into the psychosocial relief work of other NGOs such as Plan International.

George J. Mitchell School Mentor/Mentee Family Dinner
March 31 | 5:30 p.m. | George J. Mitchell School
Mentors from Colby will share dinner with their mentees’ families at the school cafeteria.

The Green Crab Mitigation Competition
April 3 | 8 a.m. | Diamond Building
Green crab (Carcinus maenas) is an invasive species that has the potential to alter the ecology of Maine’s intertidal and subtidal habitat. The competition pairs academia and Maine fishing- and aquaculture-related organizations to harness the energy and intellect of undergraduate students to identify new and innovative ways mitigate the problem. National Geographic fellow and chef Barton Seaver will be the keynote speaker. The event also includes a green crab tasting and an opportunity for local middle school students to participate.

George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture featuring U.S. Senator Susan Collins
April 9 | 7 p.m. | Ostrove Auditorium
The 2015 George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture will feature U.S. Senator from Maine Susan Collins. First elected in 1996, Senator Collins is serving her fourth term in the U.S. Senate. Known for her work in facilitating bipartisan compromise, Senator Collins is a key leader in the U.S. Congress.

Maine-Abenaki TRC
April 14 | More Details to be Announced

Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
Cosponsored with Global Studies Department
April 20 | More Details to be Announced

May 1 | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. | Alfond Athletic Center
Nearly 400 grade school and middle school students will meet their mentors for an afternoon of food, games, and activities to celebrate another successful year of the Colby Cares About Kids (CCAK) program.