Lily Funahashi teaching piano

For the Love of Music

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Funahashi was started on the piano at the age of three by her parents, and they immediately recognized that she had an aptitude for music. Over the rest of her childhood, as her family moved back and forth between the United States and Japan for her father’s medical career, music would […]
Sonja Thomas, assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies

Deep North

This was in eastern Montana, where her father moved the family from Washington, D.C., to take a job as a medical doctor at the local VA clinic. Thomas was the fourth of six children in a strictly observant Catholic household. Growing up, Thomas and her family experienced racial discrimination in small and large ways. “My […]
Unknown photographer, portrait of Georgiana, Vitaline, Eugenie, and Ophelia Poulain, ca. 1894, tintype. Picher-LaVerdiere Family Photograph Collection, Colby College Special Collections, Waterville, Maine.

Tanya Sheehan

Q: The ongoing human migration situation has been chronicled extensively by global media and yet you describe photographic coverage as “highly circumscribed.” What are we missing? When the international press portrays global migration, it tends to publish the same kinds of photographs. Those images focus on dislocated people, presenting them as anonymous victims deserving of […]
Walter Hatch

Q&A: Walter Hatch

Q: How did Oak change under your leadership? A: Mostly we expanded. Originally, Oak had a singular mission: It brought a human rights activist to campus every fall, giving them a chance to take a breather from the front lines of activism. The activist led a seminar, and Oak scheduled programs to educate the community […]
Illustration of birds and trees

Essay: From Teachers comes the Gift of Teaching Writing—and Writers

American Lit. Honors, Lathrop High School, Fairbanks, Alaska, Fall, 1987: our teacher, John Selle, acts out the “gazing grain” in Emily Dickinson’s “Because I could not stop for Death.” He bends his knees slightly, holding them together as if he is about to slalom between our desks, and, motionless, stares off into the horizon at […]

Doing Science—and the Liberal Arts

It was the right move. Yeterian, professor of psychology, retired in June after 40 years at Colby, including a dozen years as vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty. He held two endowed chairs in psychology, chaired the department for two stints, and was health professions advisor. All of this was accomplished as […]
Miriam Valle-Mancilla ’16

Love at First Sight

To view one painting, the Beaune Altarpiece by Rogier van der Weyden, in the 15th-century Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, Valle-Mancilla said, “you needed a magnifying glass but [the room] was pitch black. And then, when they turned on the lights, it was this huge painting that was covered in gold leaf. I was just so amazed […]
Jack Foner

Blacklisted but not Defeated

Change did come to Colby during Terrell’s time, but it came in the form of a new white professor in his late 50s who hadn’t taught in a college for 30 years because he’d been blacklisted as a communist sympathizer—and singlehandedly introduced African-American history to the curriculum. “It certainly did not matter that he was […]
Praying Mantis

From Bugs to Robotics

So says Colby neurobiologist Josh Martin, who recently received a $325,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to deepen the study of intelligence as it applies to robotics. His subject? The praying mantis. Martin, assistant professor of biology, and his collaborators will use the four-year grant to make robots behave like mantises, which researchers have […]
Data and DNA illustration

Big Data

Imagine that the resulting product, that huge number, represents tiny bits of data: information about what makes you human, what gives you brown eyes, and why your hair is curly. Now, take these data, these trillions of facts, this micro-universe of information, and use them to change the world. Far-fetched? Not anymore, and not at […]