Two years ago, Colby and Waterville High School launched an effort to revamp high school social studies, and a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation made the initiative possible by allowing teachers to take courses at Colby. This Friday some 40 high school history teachers from around Maine will come to Colby for a day-long conference, led by Professor of History James L.A. Webb, to share in the outcomes of the initiative.
Ice pellets, freezing rain, and rain on top of almost a half-foot of new snow caused the College to release some employees at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. Dining, health services, libraries, physical plant, and security will continue to provide essential services. Classes are not canceled, though faculty members may use their discretion on rescheduling. The bookstore is closed for the afternoon. Check with the switchboard to find if public events are taking place.
Colby admissions is having a record-breaking year, with 4,835 applications for the Class of 2012. That number breaks last year's record total of applications. Applications from Maine (11 percent of the pool) increased 49 percent, and students in the pool represent 124 countries. In two rounds of Early Decision, there were 212 students accepted from among 454 ED applicants. For a look "Behind the Decision," see Associate Admissions Director Dory Streett's popular blog.
Men's basketball coach Dick Whitmore and assistant John "Swisher" Mitchell, who have coached together since 1970, were featured recently in the Morning Sentinel. Former player David Arsenault '76, now head coach of men's basketball at Grinnell, was quoted saying, "Whitmore had the propensity to talk a level a little higher than we could understand. Swisher was there to translate." But, he noted, "I can never remember him [Whitmore] singling out a single player in front of his peers. ... He always talked about the team. He just did it the right way."
Colby's Diamond Building has received LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED green building rating system is the national benchmark for sustainable construction. Many factors make Diamond a green building. They include the use of local materials, the use of materials with recycled content (including carpeting and wallboard), about 84 percent of construction waste being diverted from landfills, occupancy sensors in classrooms that avoid electricity waste, and a touch-screen display in the lobby that allows visitors to learn about these and other green features.
At their first regional competition since the Colby Mock Trial Team was established this academic year, Colby's rookie competitors placed ninth overall, and three members received individual awards: Amy Ouellette '11 received an outstanding witness award and Alexis Kramer '11 and Julia Duchon '10 received outstanding attorney awards. The team is having a strong first year, having won the American Mock Trial Spirit Award at its first tournament ever, in November.
When Arey Professor of Biology Herb Wilson took his class to Flagstaff Lake for the culmination of the Winter Ecology Jan Plan, the 15 students all built snow huts, AKA quinzhees. All but one student spent the night in the huts. Two slept comfortably -- the one in the lodge and the one whose quinzhee was small enough to stay warm with body heat. Check out the students' YouTube video of one hut that was too big.
Andrea Nix Fine '91 caught the filmmaking bug as a senior in Professor Phyllis Mannocchi's documentary film class. Her globetrotting career, which has already included years making documentaries for National Geographic, hit a new high this winter with a best documentary feature Academy Award nomination for War/Dance, a film about child refugees in Uganda, co-directed by Fine and her husband, Sean Fine. Look for more in the upcoming issue of Colby magazine.
With Rudolph Giuliani and John Edwards out of the primary picture, the remaining candidates are competing for their donors. On American Public Media's Marketplace Wednesday, Anthony Corrado (government) said some contributors might take a step back for now. "Many of these large donors will probably wait until Super Tuesday so they have a clearer picture of who the winner might be," he said.
Karen Heck, a 1974 Colby graduate who settled in Maine, will be inducted into the Maine Women's Hall of Fame in March for her work to advance women's issues including reproductive rights, economic security, literacy, safety and health. In 1980 Senator Margaret Chase Smith was the first honoree; Olympic athlete Joan Benoit Samuelson and Colby's Dean of Women at Ninetta May Runnals have also received the recognition.
Colby is one of more than 1,600 institutions gearing up for a national day designated to create awareness about global warming and work toward positive change. Colby students participating in Focus the Nation have organized film screenings, talks, a nature walk, an electric car demonstration and more. Most places will hold their teach-ins on January 31; since Colby students will be leaving for post-Jan Plan break, Colby's events will take place on February 6.
Colby will begin a renovating the small residence halls on Roberts Row this spring. Pierce and Perkins-Wilson will be the first two of those buildings tackled in a program that has renovated most of Colby's other residence halls and all dining halls in recent years. The pace is ambitious: some work will start over spring break, followed by serious construction in the summer, with the halls to be ready for occupancy for the opening of school 2008.
Tara Allain, a Colby senior, represents Maine Saturday at the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas. In a profile January 18, the biology major told the Morning Sentinel she's competing for the scholarship that she would use toward a Ph.D. in biology. Pageant judges will name 15 finalists on Saturday; the public can vote online for a 16th finalist.
The flags on campus have been lowered today to mourn the death of Andrew Peff '11, who died Saturday in a snowboarding accident at Sugarloaf mountain. Peff, who spent his first semester of college in the Colby in Dijon (France) program, had already connected with many students there and on campus in his first two weeks here. Counseling services are available to the campus community and details about services are forthcoming.
Cedric Bryant, the Lee Family Professor of English, is guest speaker for Waterville's 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast at 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, downtown at the Muskie Center on Gold Street. Bryant took the title of his talk, "Ain't Been No Crystal Stair," from a Langston Hughes poem.
Installation artist Lihua Lei, highlighted in 2006 in the Colby College Museum of Art emerging artist series, currents, has work on view at the World Financial Center Courtyard Gallery in New York. Her installation Phantom Pain, now part of the Colby's collection, is in the VSA arts New Media Exhibition, "Renascence," which opens Feb. 5. Lei was recently recognized as a 2008 National Women's History Month Honoree.
Colby will receive a $1.4-million grant to support the hiring of teaching/research fellows and the advance hiring of new tenure-track faculty members, President William D. Adams announced this month. The grant, from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, supports Colby's innovative leadership in the professional development of scholars who have recently earned a Ph.D. and are interested in teaching in a liberal arts environment. Read more.
Junior Henry Beck, who was elected to Waterville's City Council as a first-year student, has even bigger plans for his senior year. Beck announced that he will run for the Maine State House of Representatives in 2008. Beck hopes to represent part of Waterville, his home city, and nearby Oakland. Last year he served as president of the Maine College Democrats.
The men's Nordic ski team earned Colby's first-ever team win in a cross-country carnival race on Friday, placing four skiers in the top 10 of the 10K freestyle at Black Mountain in Rumford, Maine. Colby skiing competes in NCAA Division I. In the race the Mules edged 2007 national champions Dartmouth, while Middlebury was a distant third. The Bates Carnival continues Saturday and Sunday.
With primary season in high gear, candidates are reaching voters in every way possible. But voters who don't appreciate phone calls can opt into the new Political Do Not Call Registry, founded by Shaun Dakin '89. "The beauty of the registry is that its use by political campaigns is strictly voluntary," reads an opinion piece in USA Today. "Without raising free-speech questions, it allows voters to serve notice that political calls could well backfire on the caller."