Colby Alum Focuses on Art Theft

Noah Charney '02 may still be earning his Ph.D., but his scholarly work has caught the attention of The New York Times Magazine, not to mention the F.B.I. and the Italian Carabinieri. The December 17 issue explores Charney's study of the world's third-largest black market -- art theft -- "a field he appears to have invented: the use of art history, combined with the more conventional tools of criminology, psychology and deductive logic, to help solve modern-day art thefts and to prevent future art crimes."

Follow Your Nose

A recent University of California, Berkeley, study, led by Jessica Porter '00, has found that humans use both nostrils, in stereo, to determine the origin of a scent. The subjects of the research -- undergraduate students -- crawled across a meadow to track the scent of chocolate, according to The New York Times. Porter, a physics major at Colby, is finishing the biophysics Ph.D. program at Berkeley. Hear more on National Public Radio.

Wylie’s a Winner

Mark Wylie '88 works for a nonprofit organization called Best Buddies, which pairs young, intellectually disabled people with mentors. But that's not how he came to fame. As a contestant on the NBC show "The Biggest Loser," Wylie became the third-biggest "loser" on December 13 when his total weight loss of 129 pounds was announced during the show's finale.

Intensive Study in January

The January Program, a.k.a. "Jan Plan," is a month-long term for focused or independent study. Students may choose from among some 80 courses offered or can plan an internship or an independent academic project anywhere in the world. More than 400 other colleges have adopted a Jan Plan-type calendar since Colby pioneered the program in 1961-62.

Intercontinental Coincidence

A feature story in the December 11 New Yorker tells of Somali refugees landing in Lewiston, Maine, and the social implications. In it Professor of Anthropology Catherine Besteman, author of Unraveling Somalia (1999), shares a remarkable story. After years of trying to track down the Somali Bantu people she met in the Middle Jubba valley, she found them in a most unlikely place -- as co-participants in a panel discussion in Lewiston, 50 miles from her home.

Serendipity and Sports Illustrated

Colby ground out a four-overtime 10-7 victory at Bates on Oct. 28. And now, for all of their wet and muddy efforts, the Mules find themselves in the Dec. 4 issue of Sports Illustrated. Windy and rainy game conditions turned Garcelon Field into a quagmire -- but it was not enough to deter the intrepid Daryn Slover, a staff shooter for the Lewiston Sun-Journal on a freelance assignment for Bates.

Youth in Politics

Students gathered on December 6 to watch classmates discuss pressing issues for the Fox 23 (Portland, Maine) television program "Youth in Politics," filmed at Colby thanks to the Goldfarb Center. Moderated by Josh Handelman '07, Republicans Ralph Kettell III '09 and Jacob Roundtree '10 and Democrats Chris Appel '08, Merle Eisenberg '07, and Henry Beck '09 shared knowledge of domestic and world issues -- and got into some heated debates. The first of the two episodes will air Saturday, December 9, at noon.

In Support of Poetry

Poet Wesley McNair, who has taught at Colby and whose papers Special Collections recently acquired, has been awarded a fellowship to support his work. McNair was one of nine writers nationwide to receive the honor from United States Artists, a new organization founded by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Prudential Foundation, and the Rasmuson Foundation to foster creativity in the United States.

Problems in the Pond

Every year, students in the biology course "Problems in Environmental Science" spend the fall semester studying a local body of water to determine the factors that threaten water quality, among other things. They develop a detailed report to present publicly and share with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. This year students focused on the north basin of Long Pond in Belgrade, a popular destination in Maine's lakes region. The public presentation is Thursday, December 7, at 6:30 p.m. Read more in the Morning Sentinel.

Whistler Gets Ink

"Whistler as Printmaker" is an exhibit at the Colby College Museum of Art showing some 200 etchings and lithographs by the 19th-century artist, who is best known for his paintings. The show of his highly influential impressions has attracted attention from Maine to New York -- it was featured in the New York Times "Datebook" section, most recently on December 1.

Green Building Pros

All five members of Colby's project management team responsible for construction projects have been accredited by the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program. The LEED green building rating system is the national benchmark for sustainable construction, and certification requires experience and testing. "It's one of the College's goals to build sustainable buildings and we need to be looking at renovations and other projects in a green way," said Patricia Murphy, director of physical plant.

A Daisey in January

The Public Theater in Manhattan's East Village has announced that Mike Daisey '96 will present his one-man-show "Invincible Summer" as part of the theater's "Under the Radar" festival, January 17-28. Daisey, whose 2001 show "21 Dog Years" catapulted him into the spotlight, tells unscripted stories. Last January he taught students at Colby who later performed solo in "Rough Magic: Three Nights of Terribly True Stories."

A Student of Life

Qiamuddin Amiry '09 came to Colby from Afghanistan, where he spent nights as a translator with soldiers from the British special forces working to secure the streets of Kabul. When he arrived he was hopeful that the fall of the Taliban meant a new beginning for his country. Today, his hope is turning to fear. Read about Amiry in the fall issue of Colby magazine.

Speaking of the Speaker

Much has been written about Speaker of the House-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in the weeks since the Democrats' midterm election success. In a recent newspaper column, Goldfarb Center Director L. Sandy Maisel suggests that Pelosi's issues of choice -- like prescription drug prices, the minimum wage, immigration reform, and health insurance for children -- bridge the divide of partisan politics.

President Adams on Rankings

When Colby was named a "New Ivy" by a Kaplan/Newsweek college guide in August, President William Adams received many congratulatory e-mails and phone calls. "It is nice to be included on 'best of the best' lists," he writes in an essay in the latest Colby magazine. "But it is important not to let those lists dazzle us." Read more online.

Sundance on Sunday

Following a screening of The Weather Underground at Waterville's Railroad Square Cinema, Professors Alec Campbell, an expert on political and military sociology, and Robert Weisbrot, a historian who focuses on the 1960s, will discuss the film in a panel discussion (film begins at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 3). The event is part of this weekend's "Sundance Series," a celebration of the film festival's history at the independent theater founded by Ken Eisen '73.

TV Taping

Every Saturday at noon on Portland's Fox 23, students from Maine colleges and universities debate political issues on the show "Youth in Maine." Usually, participants Christopher Appel '07, Henry Beck '09, Joshua Handelman '07, and Ralph Kettell '09 travel to Portland for the taping. But on Wednesday, December 6, the show comes to Colby. Filming -- before a studio audience -- will begin at 4 p.m. in Olin 1.

Albee Demonstrates Improvisation

Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Edward Albee didn't just speak to the crowded auditorium of Colby students and visitors yesterday; he performed. In "Improvisation and the Creative Mind," he showed how he creates characters and becomes them -- developing dialogue, on the spot, behind the podium. The Morning Sentinel reports: "Albee, 78, stayed true to character throughout his nearly 80-minute performance, mixing facts with lies, humor with seriousness, whimsy with realism."

Dan Harris ’93 Named ABC Anchor

ABC News has announced that Dan Harris '93 is the new anchor of "World News Sunday." He will also continue as a New York-based correspondent for ABC News broadcasts on television, radio, and online. A government major at Colby, Harris returned as the commencement speaker in 2005 and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Authors and AAUW

Professor of Education Lyn Mikel Brown, author of Packaging Girlhood, and nature photographer Heather Perry '93 are two of the authors who will take part in a Meet the Authors Book Sale and Gala on Saturday, November 18, at 10 a.m. Sponsored by Waterville's AAUW chapter, the event will be held at The Center in downtown Waterville.