From The Director

The other day I received a call from a reporter asking about youth turnout in the 2016 general election. Would young folks come out for Secretary Clinton or Donald Trump if they are the nominees?

Given that much of what I and other political scientists seemed to know about the electoral process had been sent to the scrap heap in the last six months — or at least to the garage for repairs — it seemed a precarious move to offer a prediction. Thankfully, I had recently attended a lunchtime lecture by John Della Volpe P’17, Harvard’s Institute of Politics pollster. John offered the keynote address at our “Election Data Day” program, which was a series of workshops and lectures.

Each year John and his staff conduct their Millennial Poll of roughly 3,000 18- to 29-year-olds from across the nation. Since 2010 they have asked a battery of questions related to trust and efficacy. Not surprising, the decline in trust for nearly all institutions has been considerable — and quite disturbing. But unlike among older Americans, declining levels of trust among young people have led to less involvement in politics and much less interest in partisan labels. They have come to see the system as broken — not worthy of their time and effort.

Perhaps that’s why Bernie Sanders has done so well with this generation. He promises a radical change — a revolution. A clarion call for change inspired young voters eight years ago, but the enthusiasm for political involvement has waned. Would his young supporters come to the polls if Clinton prevails? Would a Trump nomination draw out young conservatives — and perhaps also a throng of deeply concerned progressives? How would they respond to a Cruz candidacy?

So what did I tell the reporter? I relied upon a pearl of wisdom from Yogi Berra: “It’s tough making predictions … especially about the future.”

Wishing you a pleasant and warm spring!

Best regards,

Daniel M. Shea

The G.C. goes to D.C.: Students Experience Washington Post-Super Tuesday

After traveling throughout the city for one-on-one job shadows, students came together for a lunchtime talk with John Hudak of the Brookings Institution to get his expert take on top issues in the 2016 election.

Lucas Lam ’17 takes a photo for Peter Vogt ’63 and his wife, Pamela Zilly, during a tour of the Capitol Building, which was led by Patrick Boland ’09, Laura Maloney ’12, and Chris Gorud ’11.

In the wake of a historic Super Tuesday, the Goldfarb Center, together with the Career Center and Division of College and Student Advancement, flew 14 students to Washington, D.C., in March to explore career opportunities, network with alumni, and engage with experts on issues related to the 2016 election.

Components of the three-day trip included one-on-one job shadows and site visits with alumni and parents at various organizations and government agencies, a cocktail mixer with the Colby Club of Washington, D.C., dinner and dialogue with alumni, and a tour of the Capitol building followed by an alumni and student networking brunch.

“Being able to meet with high-powered Colby parents and alumni showed me the value of my eventual degree,” said government major Jacob Bleich ’16. “These interactions gave me proof that, no matter what field I enter when I graduate, I can apply the skills I’ve learned at Colby to achieve tangible success in the real world.”

Goldfarb Center Director Dan Shea sees the trip as the first of many programs the center will host in Washington. “Colby is fortunate to have an incredible network of highly successful alumni, parents, and friends working in all branches of government and other organizations in D.C. The goal was to help students engage in hands-on experiences, build connections, and deepen their understanding of important concepts in government and politics. And, hold tight, as we’re planning other trips.”

Simone Leung ’17, a student worker for the Career Center and trip participant, compiled this video chronicling the student experience.

Stay tuned for more information about upcoming programs in the D.C. area.

Senator George J. Mitchell Delivers the 2016 George J. Mitchell Distinguished International Lecture

Senator George J. Mitchell signs a copy of his latest book, The Negotiator, for Professor Cal Mackenzie, a fellow Bowdoin grad who introduced the Senator for the lecture.

Former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell returned home March 15 to deliver an inspiring lecture about where Americans can find hope in the midst of a chaotic and contentious election cycle fraught with divisive rhetoric.

Senator Mitchell concluded his remarks with the following: “Our goal should be a society that encourages striving, celebrates success, is conducive to innovation, and enables us to use the talent, energy, and skill of all Americans. The twenty-first century could be, like many in the past, a time of war, of famine, of oppression, of injustice. But it also could be a time when the dominant power uses its strength carefully and commits its people, its power, and its prestige to a great and noble vision — a world largely at peace, with the rule of law, individual freedom, education, opportunity, and prosperity extending to more and more people in our country and around the world. That is our challenge; we must make it our destiny.”

Video and audio of the lecture are available on the Goldfarb Center’s website. Learn more about the Mitchell Lecture series here.

Spring Events

With spring break in the rearview mirror, the semester is now in the home stretch. Please be sure to join us if you can, or check out our website for podcasts and event videos added regularly. A complete event list can be found here.

Community, Culture, and Conservation: Sustaining Landscapes and Livelihoods
A National Conference
April 7-9 | Venues across campus
In partnership with the Environmental Studies Program, Colby Museum of Art, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities
Offered during the 100th anniversary year of the National Parks System, this conference will bring together noted writers, scholars, performers, public officials, and community members to facilitate discussion, make connections, and find solutions to economic and conservation challenges faced by communities in Maine, New England, the country, and the world. Speakers and panelists range from noted writers to residents of towns in northern Maine, including Bill McKibben, Terry Tempest Williams, Wesley McNair, and Peter Forbes.

Women in Law: Obstacles and Opportunities
Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award Panel Discussion
April 25 | 4 p.m. | Diamond Building, Ostrove Auditorium
One of the most significant transformations in American society in recent decades is the growing ranks of women in the law and on the bench. The panel will offer a lively discussion on a host of important issues related to the growing number of women and minorities in the legal profession. Panelists include Danielle Conway, dean of the University of Maine School of Law; the Honorable Barbara Lynn, judge for the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Texas; and Maeghan Maloney, district attorney for Kennebec and Somerset Counties of Maine. The discussion will be moderated by the Honorable Nancy Torresen, chief judge, U.S. District Court, District of Maine.

2016 Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award Ceremony
April 25 | 5:30 p.m. | Diamond Building, Ostrove Auditorium
This year’s Brody Award recipient is Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the 28th chief justice of the State of California. Cantil-Sakauye, the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice, will speak. She has served for more than 20 years on California appellate and trial courts and has been appointed or elevated to higher office by three governors. Cantil-Sakauye will accept the award and deliver an address.

Women’s Leadership Seminar

Through facilitated discussions, skill-based workshops, conversations with women leaders, networking sessions, field trips, and more, the Goldfarb Center and Career Center‘s Women’s Leadership Seminar offers comprehensive leadership training with a focus on issues confronting women in the workforce today.

For more information, including how to sign up to participate in each of these events, please visit the Women’s Leadership Seminar website. The seminar is cosponsored by the Colby Feminist Alliance and the Colby Women of Color Alliance.

Surviving Your Roaring Twenties
April 7 | 12:20 p.m. | Dana, Fairchild Room
Have you heard before how your twenties can be both a defining period in your life but also a trying time? Adulting is rough sometimes, but this discussion will help. Join us for a facilitated discussion that will give you advice about life directly after college (including tips for those of you who may be almost out of your twenties) and hear valuable stories about surviving what may be some of the most exciting and stressful years of your life.

$tart $mart Workshop: Salary Negotiation and Navigating the Wage Gap for Women
April 12 | 5 p.m. dinner; 5:30-7:30 p.m. workshop | Cotter Union, Pugh Center
The Career Center will host the Wage Project for the third year in a row to offer a two-hour $tart $mart interactive workshop on salary negotiation and eliminating the wage gap for women. This workshop is open to all students and all class years.

Mocktail: Learning How to Navigate a Reception
April 13 | 4:30pm | Cotter Union, Blue Light Pub
At some point in your career, you’ll find yourself at a reception. Do you know the best way to hold a plate and glass while being available to shake hands? What about entering or exiting a conversation? And what should you wear? We’ve enlisted the help of women faculty and staff to provide you with an opportunity to practice your networking skills and get valuable, personalized feedback.

Facilitated Discussion on Women’s Leadership
April 14 | 12:30 p.m. | Dana, Fairchild Room
Sarah Watkins, Visiting Professor of History
Professor Watkins will lead a discussion focused on issues related to women in leadership.

Skill-based Workshop: Professional Social Media
April 22 | 12:20 p.m. | Dana, Fairchild Room
Keeping your social media use professional is key to developing your personal brand. Learn the ins and outs, dos and don’ts for professional use of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more.