Students Reflect On Six Professors Newly Tenured

“Future art students can rest assured that they will have a professor who, in being committed to their education, searches out engaging and creative ways to teach.
—Veronica Vesnaver ’15, about Associate Professor of Art Tanya Sheehan

“Professor Brunetaux not only leads students to deepen their understanding of the subject matter at hand, but also enhances their cultural and intellectual consciousness.
—Annie Kramer ’14, about Assistant Professor of French Audrey Brunetaux

“What Colby gets is an academic who for many years has actively worked to close the gap between academia and filmmaking, celebrating alternative ways of producing and acquiring knowledge.
— Milton Guillen ’15, about Assistant Professor of Global Studies Maple Razsa

“Professor Soto’s authentic curiosity and commanding intellect are contagious. I am convinced that he could step up to a whiteboard, spontaneously, and write out an entire research design off the top of his head; he really is that good at what he does.”
— Molly Wylie ’15
, about Assistant Professor of Psychology Christopher Soto

“Professor Bhimull’s teaching style is transformative. She celebrates the diversity of thinking within the classroom and allows students to express their knowledge of course work in traditional and creative ways.”
—Tionna Haynes ’15
, about Assistant Professor of Anthropology and African-American Studies Chandra Bhimull

“Scott Taylor exerts an incredible effort to contribute to his students’ Colby experience beyond the classroom, from attending and encouraging attendance at every Mathematics Colloquium to helping students organize a trip to a conference in mathematics over Jan Plan.”
— Erin Lavoie ’17, about Assistant Professor of Mathematics Scott Taylor

These accomplished professors received tenure in February. Learn about their scholarship and teaching >

New to Colby, Not to Success

As President David A. Greene works to further diversify the student body, increase alumni engagement and support, and bolster experiential opportunities for students, two new vice presidents position the College for success in these areas.

Daniel G. Lugo, currently vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., will be the vice president for College and student advancement beginning in April. In a newly configured role, Lugo will oversee development, alumni relations, and the career networking that will allow Colby to expand students’ experiential opportunities. Press release >

Matthew T. Proto, who leads Stanford University’s admissions marketing and communications efforts, will be Colby’s vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid beginning in June. At Stanford Proto is assistant dean of admission and oversees a marketing and communications strategy that led to the university’s largest applicant pool in history as well as the largest-ever percentage of admitted students who chose to attend. Press release >

Colby could soon be the first college in NESCAC to have synthetic turf fields for baseball and softball.

Baseball and Softball FieldsThe project, which now is in the fundraising stage, calls for a combined facility that would include a pavilion-style hitting tunnel and improved viewing areas for spectators. Because the synthetic surfaces can be cleared of snow and the pavilion-style hitting tunnels can be used year-round, these improvements would extend the home-field practice and playing season.

When not in use by Colby students, the fields would be made available to youth and community athletes. If fundraising targets are met, the facility is expected to be ready for the 2016 season.

More information about the project and giving opportunities can be found at

At the Head of the Class

Chad Higgins '97

Chad Higgins ’97

Colby alumni are returning to the classroom, this time as instructors. Jan Plan each year offers alumni a chance to come back to campus and share their own expertise with current students. Here’s who arrived on Mayflower Hill to sit on the opposite side of the desk this January.

John Atkinson ’72 (Global Financial Markets) retired from Morgan Stanley, where he advised central banks in Latin America and Southeast Asia on investment of foreign exchange reserves.

Ken Eisen ’73 (The Image of Women and Men in American Film) is cofounder of Railroad Square Cinema, programming director of the Maine International Film Festival, and cofounder of Shadow Distribution, a film distribution company.

David Epstein ’86 (Meteorology) has spent 30 years as a meteorologist. He is also a horticulturalist and founder of

Chad Higgins ’97 (Legal Writing and Legal Argument: Through and After Law School) is a counsel for the law firm Goodwin Procter in Boston. He works in the firm’s litigation department and is a member of its products liability and mass torts group.

Greg Lusk ’06 (Views of a Changing Planet through Film and Fiction) is a doctoral candidate in history and philosophy at the University of Toronto.

Aine Seitz McCarthy ’06 (Policy and Methods in Global Development) is a doctoral candidate in applied economics at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Minnesota Population Center.

Lucas Penney ’97 (Sustainable and Socially Responsible Business) is founder and CEO of LEAP Organics, a USDA-certified organic, sustainable, all-natural soap and skin-care company.

Catherine Zweig Worsnop ’08 (International Politics of Health and Disease) is a doctoral candidate in the department of politics at Brandeis University. She studies international relations and comparative politics, specifically international organizations and global health.

For more ways alumni can connect with Colby, visit

It’s a Plan—for Performing Arts and Athletics

Planning is underway to improve spaces on campus for performing arts and athletics.

A planning committee got to work this winter, and the College hired Pfeiffer Partners, based in New York City and Los Angeles, to oversee planning for expansion and improvement of teaching and performance spaces for music, theater and dance, and cinema studies. The firm has done performing arts planning studies for more than 50 colleges and universities across the country.

Similarly, the College launched a planning study to develop options for improving and replacing elements of the athletics facilities. The international design firm Perkins+Will is overseeing the planning process. The firm has decades of experience developing athletic and campus recreation projects at institutions across the NCAA Division I, II, and III.

Both projects involve planning groups comprising administrators, faculty, staff, and students. In February and March members of the Colby community participated in sessions with architects to discuss needs, goals, and aspirations for the future of athletics and performing arts programs.

Planning efforts follow the College’s initiative that secured $101 million in debt financing to invest in strategically important areas including performing arts and athletics facilities, financial aid, career programs to dramatically enhance life outcomes of Colby graduates, academic programs of acknowledged or emerging excellence, and community redevelopment efforts in Waterville.

“Colby’s strong credit rating, tradition of prudent fiscal management and effective governance, and the attractive interest rate environment make this an ideal moment to utilize debt financing as one element of a larger plan for Colby’s future,” said President David A. Greene.

Robert Redford

Robert Redford
Photo by Marc Hom

Robert Redford to Speak at 194th Commencement

Robert Redford, the iconic independent filmmaker who founded the Sundance Film Festival, will deliver the Commencement address at Colby’s 194th commencement ceremony Sunday, May 24, 2015.

Redford, who was recently labeled the “Godfather of Indie Film” by Time magazine, will also receive an honorary degree.

The address will cap a weekend of events for members of the Class of 2015 and their families. More information is at

New York Times Quote of the Day:

“I see this as a call for action to close the gap between conservation on land and in the sea.”

Colby’s Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Loren McClenachan, quoted in the New York Times regarding a study that says environmental damage to the world’s oceans could soon cause widespread and unprecedented damage. McClenachan, featured with the Times quote of the day Jan. 16, said, “Marine species are not immune to extinction on a large scale.”

Carnegie HallHow do you get to Carnegie Hall? Through Mayflower Hill and the Colby College Chamber Choir.

Eighteen students under the direction of choral director Nicolás Alberto Dosman performed in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York March 9 as the only ensemble on the bill. Read more >

Big Ideas for Waterville

Illustration by Robert P. HerhandezIn March President David A. Greene convened a group of external stakeholders to begin discussing ways to build on existing efforts to revitalize downtown Waterville into a vibrant, dynamic destination for residents, visitors, and businesses. The group, which consists of nonprofit, business, and city leaders, will identify areas of potential for downtown and create a set of priorities for implementation. The committee, chaired by Greene and staffed by Assistant to the President and Director of Planning Brian Clark, is joined by consultants from Beyer Blinder Belle and Sirefman Ventures, who will lead the urban planning and design and development elements of the project.

In his inaugural address, at Family Homecoming Weekend, and at welcome events across the nation, Greene has talked about the College’s commitment to helping to revitalize Waterville. “Waterville and Colby have been intertwined from the very beginning,” he said at homecoming, referencing specifically the way citizens of Waterville have stepped up to help Colby over the course of its history. But now, many mills and factories have shut down and the city that once thrived economically faces new challenges. “This is not unlike a lot of places where, with urban renewal, with the advent of big box stores, the center of the city gets moved out,” Greene said.

 “We have to think about how we can assist with economic development in Waterville,” he said. “It can be an absolutely beautiful place, it’s got a really quintessential New England feel in the Waterville center, but it also needs some economic stimulus.” Greene noted a few possibilities, like bolstering Waterville as an arts and cultural destination, creating off-campus housing for Colby students to help support businesses, and establishing new attractions that would appeal to the local community and visitors. “There are a number of things that I think we can do in a relatively short period of time that would make a big difference.”

New Athletic Director Takes the Field

Tim Wheaton arrived on campus in January as the new Harold Alfond Director of Athletics. Wheaton served as Harvard’s associate director of athletics since 2007. He began his Harvard career in 1985, first as an assistant coach for women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse, then as head coach of women’s soccer, where he guided the team to eight NCAA tournaments and four Ivy League championships in 18 years. Read press release >


The time posted by Jeff Hale ’15 as he won the 5,000-meter run at the Open New England Men’s Track and Field Championships Feb. 27 at Boston University.

Hale bested a field of Division I, II, and III competitors, including a trio of Northeastern runners who set the pace for 3,000 meters before falling back. Brian Sommers ’17 placed third in the 400-meter dash.


The number of Colby women alpine skiers in the top 11 in the slalom at the Eastern Championships at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, N.Y., Feb. 28. The team finished in second place overall, behind the University of Vermont. Mardi Haskell ’17 was fourth, Sierra Leavitt ’16 was eighth, and Paige Whistler ’16 was 11th.