In This Issue

– From the Director
– Students Take on Arsenic in Private Well Water
– An Exciting April!
– Remaining Spring Events
– Goldfarb Summer Jobs Now Available
– Goldfarb Events — Recorded and Live Streamed!

Letter from the Director

The “I’s” have it?

Each week, over lunch, the Goldfarb staff and student fellows come together to consider and plan. We set our sights on developing new initiatives-programs that incorporate what we call the “three I’s.” Our work should confront important topics, the format for events should be innovative when possible, and we should always consider interdisciplinary perspectives and partners.

I am pleased to report that our attention to important, innovative, and interdisciplinary programs will lead to some unique opportunities next year. For instance, we will team up with our colleagues in the Environmental Studies Program, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Colby Museum of Art for a year-long exploration and celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park System. Our look at the past, present, and future of large landscape conservation will entail a wide array of events including films, field trips, lectures, and panel discussions, capped by a large national conference-a multifaceted exploration that we anticipate will lead to insights and policy recommendations related to the topic.

We are moving rapidly on a three-semester program designed to examine elections in the United States. My colleagues in the Government Department–including Cal Mackenzie, Tony Corrado, and Sandy Maisel–have kindly agreed to help orchestrate the program, and we expect to draw support from colleagues in other departments and our many distinguished alumni. Among much else, we hope to team up with friends in the humanities to offer events under the heading of “elections through image and sound.”

We will also introduce our engaged scholarship initiative, as outlined in an earlier newsletter. The plan is to gather interdisciplinary teams of faculty, students, alumni, and community partners to confront significant and complex issues with real-world solutions. Several faculty teams are taking shape, and we plan to provide an in-depth update in the coming months.

I was interested to learn recently that the “three R’s” has roots in the proposed curriculum of 17th-century New England schools. Now you know: the “three I’s” come from the Goldfarb Center!

As always, please feel free to call or write if you have suggestions or thoughts on ongoing or proposed projects.


Daniel M. Shea

Students Take On Arsenic in Private Well Water

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Gail Carlson

Arsenic contamination of drinking water is a major problem in Maine, particularly for households using private wells because they are unregulated. The issue recently garnered statewide attention with a bill before the legislature that would establish a fund for education and remediation. With sponsorship from the Goldfarb Center, students in Assistant Professor Gail Carlson’s Environment and Human Health course have worked on a civic engagement project to raise public awareness and participate in the policymaking process.

In an effort to educate the public, the class organized an open forum in April at the Belgrade Lakes Resource Center. Many members of the community attended to learn about the dangers of arsenic in well water and the importance of testing their water. Ten free water test kits were raffled off. The forum was covered in a front-page story in the Morning Sentinel.

Later in the month Carlson and her students attended a legislative public hearing on the bill. Students submitted written testimony, and Carlson testified using maps created by her research student showing how many private wells in Maine have unsafe levels of arsenic. Carlson’s testimony was included in Maine Public Radio’s coverage of the public hearing.

“I think it’s a transformative learning experience for students to engage with community members on issues of public significance, and it’s also critical for them to learn about how decision-making is done and how public health determinants, like arsenic in drinking water, are regulated,” said Carlson. “They learn how a bill becomes a law, and also what a big difference they can have as concerned and informed citizens.”

Jeff Meltzer ’15 drafted a letter to the editor on the issue, and it was publishedin the Morning Sentinel.

More than 300 students are enrolled in civic engagement courses sponsored by the Goldfarb Center each year. For more information contact Associate Director Alice Elliott at

An Exciting April!

This spring the Goldfarb Center has tackled topics including meditation, invasive species, bipartisanship, and international affairs. Be sure to check out audio andvideo of these events in case you missed them.

ABC News anchor and New York Times bestselling author Dan Harris ’93 addresses a packed audience April 1.


An on-air panic attack launched ABC News anchor Dan Harris ’93 on a journey to discover a means to manage the pressure of his fast-paced career without losing his drive. Much to his surprise, he found that meditation has allowed him to quiet his mind and discover greater happiness. Harris provided a candid talk about his experiences to more than 300 members of the greater Colby community April 1. His journey is chronicled in his New York Times best-selling 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.

Director Dan Shea and research scientist Bets Brown present the first-place prize to the winner of the green crab mitigation competition Connor O’Neill  ’15.

Green crabs are an invasive species wreaking havoc on native species along the Maine coastline. In an effort to help find a solution, the Goldfarb Center hosted a mitigation competition in which 11 teams presented proposals to a panel of judges. Connor O’Neil ’15, a native of coastal Freeport, Maine and experienced clam digger, was awarded the $1,000 prize for his multifaceted approach to tackling the problem. Also as part of the conference, more than 50 students from area middle schools presented posters and participated in activities about invasive species in Maine. See this article for more information.

President David Greene greets U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Senator George Mitchell at the 2015 George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture April 9.

The 2015 George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture, April 9, featured U.S. Senator from Maine Susan Collins. In her lecture the senator stressed just how critical bipartisanship and moderation are to ensuring the country’s prosperity into the future. She stated, “Unyielding adherence to an extreme position is easy. It is compromise, the hard work of bringing people together to find common ground, that requires determination, intellect, and courage. It may not be easy to be passionate about compromise, but it is easy to be passionate about justice, opportunity, and progress.”

Students and faculty talk with Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala prior to her lecture on the state of Nigeria’s economy April 20.

As the first female finance minister of Nigeria, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is lauded for ridding the country of $30 billion of external debt and growing the GDP despite a slow global recovery. She has championed reform in the Nigerian government’s dependency on oil, the country’s main export. Okonjo-Iweala delivered a lecture April 20 titled “Nigeria Economic Prospects: Moving Forward in a Weak Oil World,” discussing some of the country’s newest challenges in managing its economy in the wake of a downturn in oil prices. This event was cosponsored with the Global Studies Program.

Remaining Spring Events

My Feet Are A Journey: Exhibit Opening and Artist Reception
April 24 | 3 p.m. | Diamond Atrium
Cosponsored with the Center for the Arts and Humanities and the Alfond Youth Center

What does our community look like through the eyes of a fifth grader? This unique collaboration between the Alfond Youth Center and Colby students and faculty empowered a group of local fifth graders to explore their worlds through photography. Inspired by the Colby College 2015 Humanities theme,Migrations, these young people produced photographs over two months that address how they imagine “journeys”: through movement, foreignness, travel, transportation. Their pictures and texts describe how they navigate their surroundings now and how they might reimagine them in the future.

Rolling Fatties: Local Food, Local Economies, and Sustainability
April 28 | Noon | Davis Science Building Lot
Rolling Fatties is a Maine food truck specializing in locally-sourced food in the form of a big FAT burrito. Owners Rob and Polly MacMichael will bring their restored and retrofitted 1974 Airstream to serve up some of their delicious creations and give a brief presentation about why sourcing local ingredients is a major component to their business plan. RSVP’s are required and the event is now full.

May 1 | 11 a.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.

Goldfarb Summer Jobs Now Available

The Goldfarb Center is offering students an opportunity to live and work at Colby through the summer while playing an important role in the development of several new initiatives.

Applications are now being accepted for an ES/Goldfarb summer assistant and a Colby Election Initiative website coordinator.

To learn more, please contact Director Dan Shea at

Goldfarb Events — Recorded and Live Streamed!

In an effort to expand the impact of our programming, the Goldfarb Center now offers live streaming for our most popular programs at

Video and audio recordings are also available on our website.