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."
Energy and the environment are central issues in this year's presidential campaigns, and Colby's Mitchell Family Professor of Economics Tom Tietenberg, an environmental economist, tells Discovery Channel News that those two areas add up to a huge economic issue as well. "The issues have lined up in a way they haven't before," says his quote in the article, adding that "the timing for these issues in this election is particularly good."
Upon graduation in May, Lee Emmons '07 hoped to find a job that would make a difference. As a program manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine, he has succeeded. Emmons, who organized community service efforts while at Colby, pairs children with adult mentors and friends. The midcoast region currently has fewer adult volunteers than children looking for "siblings," and Emmons is working to change that. Read more here.
Students returning to campus for the January term, which begins January 7, should be prepared to embrace a real Maine winter. After the snowiest December in more than 10 years, the forecast for January 1 and 2 was for up to a foot of more snow. Jan Plan is a month-long term, pioneered by Colby in 1961-62, where students take a single class or tackle a focused project or internship.
Noah Charney '02, who majored in English and art at Colby, has fashioned a multimedia career from the work of those who steal paintings. There's his debut suspense novel, The Art Thief, and another in progress. A television drama in development by DreamWorks that he describes as "sort of an art-theft CSI." An art-crime TV documentary that Charney hopes to star in and co-write. And lots more. Read about Charney and his many projects in Colby magazine.
Five banks and the Boston Fed, led by Eric Rosengren '79, are in the news for their effort to help homeowners with subprime mortgages. The campaign includes a $125-million fund for refinancing. According to CNNMoney.com, "The Boston Fed's Rosengren appears to have played a role similar to what Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson did in facilitating private-sector cooperation to head off a wave of foreclosures." Read a recent Colby magazine Q&A with Rosengren.
It was 46 years ago that Colby started the Jan Plan, a month-long term for focused study between semesters. Now the 4-1-4 calendar is common among colleges. Colby's Jan Plan has true global reach, with hundreds of students headed abroad for independent study, foreign internships, or participation in Colby courses traveling to Greece, China, Belize, India, Russia, and Ecuador.
Colby's Mock Trial Team attended its first tournament, in Easton, Penn., Nov. 30-Dec. 2, expecting "to learn and go down gracefully," according to Julia Duchon '10. Instead, the team won two of three rounds and the American Mock Trial Association's Spirit Award. The students are looking forward to their first regional tournament, in February, where they will act as witnesses and attorneys in a fictional sentencing hearing.
The supervisor of Colby's student post office, Allen LaPan, is known around campus for his cheerful demeanor and generosity. And for the ninth consecutive year, he will share some of that cheer with disadvantaged children through his holiday toy drive. According to the Morning Sentinel, LaPan has collected 13,000 toys in nine years. He solicits donations of toys, money, and even books that he sells online to buy gifts for children.
In the Escapes section of Friday's New York Times, Debra Spark, professor of English and creative writing, muses on alternative Christmas day activities when you're Jewish and not everyone in the family can eat Chinese food. She describes what has become a ritual for her family -- taking a hike. Read it here.
The Colby Eight, one of the a cappella groups on campus, will sing Christmas carols Thursday, Dec. 13, in downtown Waterville as part of Waterville Main Street's Alive After Five program. Other activities include free sleigh rides and a downtown art walk. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, businesses on Main Street are staying open late to encourage people to buy locally.
Girls' groups in two local junior high schools are raising money for the Family Violence Project by selling white rubber bracelets inscribed with the message "There is Hope." Colby students, under the guidance of Professor of Education Lyn Mikel Brown, lead the coalition groups aimed at building support and understanding among girls. "This really was girl-initiated," Brown told the Morning Sentinel, "and that is what is so wonderful about it."
Seniors in the Problems in Environmental Science seminar wrapped up a semester-long study of Long Pond with a presentation to residents and lake association officials in Belgrade Lakes Dec. 6. Students offered recommendations to maintain water quality, according to a Dec. 11 Morning Sentinel article. "We predict that there's going to be a pretty big population increase (in the Belgrade Lakes region), so it's important that development is done right," said Eva Gougian '08.
When the Mathematical Association of America posted its best-selling titles for 2007, Math Through the Ages, by Carter Professor of Mathematics Fernando Gouv̻a and retired math professor Bill Berlinghoff, topped the list. "The list is not alphabetical. Math Through the Ages is our best-selling book," an MAA spokeswoman said. The 2004 volume tackles questions like "Who thought up all those algebra symbols, and why?" in a style accessible to anyone curious about the history of mathematical ideas.
Colby's Wadsworth Gymnasium reopened temporarily December 8 so the men's and women's basketball teams could play at home for the first time this semester. An April storm on Patriots' Day caused flooding that destroyed the court. Some areas are still inaccessible, but all work is expected to be complete before the end of the year, with a men's varsity game scheduled Jan. 3 against St. Joseph's.
Each year the president publishes a report narrating highlights from the past academic year and financial facts and figures. The 2006-07 Annual Report of the President was mailed in late November and is now available online. President William Adams summarizes progress on programs, facilities, and fund raising, and discusses findings from the NEAS&C reaccreditation self study that looked at transitions into and out of Colby.
The first day of winter is still more than two weeks away, but Mayflower Hill has its first blanket of snow, as a classic New England nor'easter promises more than a foot of powder Monday and Tuesday. Life at Colby goes on; classes are rarely cancelled and most on-campus events go on as planned.
Sam Koch '79 is breaking new ground for UMass-Amherst, where his men's soccer team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Div. I national tournament. Koch, the head coach at UMass, is in his 17th year there after an outstanding career playing for the Mules and six years coaching at Stanford. At Colby a men's soccer award named after him recognizes a player for spirit and dedication to the team.
The last week of first-semester classes is underway and students are intensely focused on deadlines and academic projects. Among semester-long projects that wrap up with formal presentations: The Intellectual and Ethical Climate at Colby by the Education Program's senior seminar; The State of Maine's Environment 2007 by senior environmental policy majors; the Colby Economic Outlook by the senior seminar on economics forecasting; and a report on water quality in Long Pond's south basin by the Biology 493 environmental assessment team.
Downtown Waterville's Hathaway Creative Center project just turned a significant corner with the official purchase of the former Hathaway shirt factory by developer Paul Boghossian, Colby Class of 1976. Recognizing the project's importance to Waterville and the region, Colby has offered a $1-million loan to help finance the development, which will feature both residential and commercial spaces.