Two senior curators from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum are visiting Colby this week and took time to be interviewed for WCSH-6's "207." The show is scheduled to air May 7. In the meantime opportunities exist to see one of them, Roger Launius, live on campus. He will deliver the Undergraduate Research Symposium keynote address tonight and speak about his new book, Robots and Humans in Spaceflight, on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in Miller Library.
A program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency named Colby conference champion for use of green electricity. Beyond topping other NESCAC schools, Colby has the highest percentage use of green electricity of any college or university in the national competition. All of Colby's purchased electricity comes from renewable sources, the College has a co-generation turbine on campus, and it buys Renewable Energy Credits as well. Read more.
Colby recently was reaccredited by the New England Association of Schools & Colleges with its next comprehensive evaluation scheduled for 2017. A notice from NEAS&C praised a qualified, dedicated faculty and staff; bright, energetic students; comprehensive strategic planning; high-quality academic programs; and a willingness to confront challenges. "Colby College seems well positioned to acheive the goals it has established for itself," the report said.
The prestigious Fulbright Program was established in 1946 to promote mutual understanding between U.S. citizens and people from other countries. This year four current students or recent Colby grads received Fulbright grants to spend next year abroad: Hannah Coleman '08 will teach in Colombia, William Fong '08 will teach in Taiwan, Gretchen Markiewicz '08 will teach in Bavaria, and Danielle Preiss '07 has a research grant in Nepal. In addition Chris Hoffman '07, Chris Shelley '08, and Melanie Ungar '08 will all teach in Austria in a separate program administered by the organization that runs the Fulbrights.
"Extra weight on your back can ruin your knees, feet and neck, but most of all it can ultimately crush your spirit." That's one line in an eight-page article published by Bayley Lawrence '08J in Backpacking Light magazine about her solo through-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail. The piece began as a project in Professor Michael Burke's feature-writing course. Despite moments of despair, Lawrence's spirit ultimately soared.
Colby will receive $1 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to improve undergraduate science education by bolstering support to students, especially those in traditionally underrepresented groups. Among many initiatives, the grant will support a six-week summer program for students between high school and college, the hiring of two postdoctoral fellows, and work with local fourth- and fifth-grade students in the sciences.
From local to global, Colby students are celebrating Earth Day with events all week that include a Johnson Pond cleanup, a recycled art contest, and a clothing swap, a lecture about effective environmental policy, screenings of the BBC program Planet Earth in the student union, and more. A list of activities planned is online.
A program that embeds anthropologists with American military forces in Iraq goes too far, says Catherine Besteman (anthropology) and others in the discipline. Critics say the Human Terrain System program requires anthropologists to violate their code of ethics, which says they will not cause harm to come to subjects they study. Colby magazine covers the controversy.
Colby's Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement has won a $246,612 Knight Foundation grant to improve news literacy among liberal arts students. The grant creates the Visiting Lovejoy Journalists-in-Residence Program, a multimedia digital resource center, and allows for a Jan Plan course on news literacy each of the next three years and summer internships for three students interested in journalism.
Recognizing that Colby's comprehensive fee pays only part of the cost of running the College, students on the Senior Pledge Committee have designated April 17 as Tuition Runs Out, Philanthropy Begins Day. The comprehensive fee covers 74 percent of the cost a Colby education. With three quarters of the year over, organizers are highlighting the fact that all students receive a "silent scholarship" for the other 26 percent from donations and other sources. The event was organized to recognize the 12,000 alumni and parents who give to the Colby Fund.
Anthropology Professor Catherine Besteman worked in Somalia in the late 1980s and has been reunited with some of the people she knew there who are now refugees in Maine. She published an op-ed, "Somalia a Victim of American Failures" in the April 15 Portland Press Herald. In it she traces a history of U.S. involvement in Somalia over the past two decades and suggests actions she thinks our elected officials should take.
With events on campus and off, the Knock on Wood Guitarfest returns to Waterville April 18-19, with workshops and concerts featuring varied techniques and genres by an array of master musicians. This is the fourth annual edition, all with Colby as one of the sponsors, and this year Colby artist-in-residence and sarod virtuoso Aditya Verma joins the lineup.
Escar Kusema '09 won a third-place award for a neuroscience poster at the New England Science Symposium at Harvard University April 6, and Aynara Chavez-Munoz '08 received an honorable mention. The competition involved hundreds of graduate and undergraduate projects. Kusema's poster is titled "Cellular mechanisms of melatonin-induced and calmodulin-inhibited neurite growth in crustacean x-organ cells." Chavez-Munoz's is "Mifeprisone reduces HPA-axis responsivity and increases neuronal activation in prefrontal cortex following acute stress." Both will be presented in the upcoming Colby Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Biodegradable serving dishes and utensils in Colby's snack bar, including "Spudware" knives, forks, and spoons, are among a wide range of green-friendly initiatives in Dining Services. When you pick up disposable cutlery to eat in the Spa, it's made of potato starch. Cups for cold drinks are made of cornstarch. Properly composted, they disintegrate in 90 days. See Dining Services news, including sustainability initiatives, online.
A Morning Sentinel review of the Waterville Opera House production "Jesus Christ Superstar" highlights the Waterville-Colby collaboration. "Much of the magic of this production is due to the incredible set designed by master craftsman Jim Jenkins, the brilliance of Colby's Jim Thurston's lighting design, and Colby's Christine Nilles, whose costumes are stunning and letter perfect." With shows continuing this weekend, as many as 20 people with Colby connections are involved.
The Outing Club sponsored a half dozen trips over spring break, and this year an insideColby videographer brought back a vodcast about his group's trip to Death Valley. Death Valley comes alive online (along with other videos, podcasts, photos, stories, and more) at insideColby.com
Caroline Theoharides '06 is the winner of a prestigious Graduate Student Research Fellowship in Economics from the National Science Foundation. Her project on migrant remittances was one of just 7% of applications funded. After two years at the Federal Reserve Bank in Boston, Theoharides starts a Ph.D. program in economics at the University of Michigan in September. She talked about her undergraduate studies in a recent Colby magazine story.
Judge Leonie M. Brinkema, who received Colby's Morton A. Brody Distinguished Judicial Service Award Sunday, cited reasons for hope, despite her concerns about national rhetoric of a "War on Terror," a narrowly averted "Constitutional crisis," and threats against her that led the U.S. Marshals Service to prohibit photography at the event. She told the audience that the attorney general is modifying some of the most controversial policies of recent years, Congress is providing more counterweight to claims of executive power, and the judiciary is doing its job, stirring the pot. "It is our obligation to ensure that the executive branch acts reasonably," she said. Read more in the Morning Sentinel.
When Australian Broadcasting Corporation National Radio reported April 6 on efforts to artificially manipulate the climate to cool down the Earth, they tapped, among others, Professor Jim Fleming (science, technology, and society) for their program "The Climate Engineers." Fleming calls the subject "unsettling and relevant... with plenty of angst and potential bad guys," and he's writing a book about it. Also on the program: Nobel Laureate Thomas Schelling, who received an honorary degree as Colby's 2007 commencement speaker.
Colby seniors Tom Huff and Keane Ng represented the Colby Freeman Student-Faculty Fellowship Research team at the ASIANetwork Conference, March 13-15 in San Antonio. They explained the team's research findings and presented "Images from China: A Window to Social and Cultural Change" as part of an academic panel. The team has an online photo exhibition from their research trip to China.