Colorado College News http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/cc-rss-news.html Untold Stories: Sonlatsa Sunshine Jim-Martin ’94, P’19 Thu, 14 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/untoldstories/stories/sunshine_jim-martin.html https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/untoldstories/stories/sunshine_jim-martin.html <p>...</p> Ryan Bañagale '00 Publishes in The Conversation Wed, 13 Feb 2019 17:30:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/ryan-ba-agale-00-publishes-in-the-conversation http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/ryan-ba-agale-00-publishes-in-the-conversation <p>Colorado College <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/dept/music/people/profile.html?person=banagale_ryan_raul">Associate Professor of Music Ryan Raul Ba&ntilde;agale</a> published an article in The Conversation on Monday, and by Wednesday it had more than 17,000 views. His article, &ldquo;<a href="https://theconversation.com/weezers-cover-album-is-the-rock-band-honoring-or-exploiting-the-originals-110559">Weezer&rsquo;s Cover Album: Is the Rock Band Honoring or Exploiting the Originals?</a>&rdquo; has been picked up by 21 outlets so far, including<em> Salon</em>, the <em>San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle</em>, and <em>Seattle Post-Intelligencer</em>. It also has been read by more than 2,000 people overseas.<br /><br />Ba&ntilde;agale, a musicologist, writes, &ldquo;If you&rsquo;ve noticed the 1980s hit &lsquo;Africa&rsquo; playing on the radio more than usual, you likely weren&rsquo;t listening to the original version by Toto. Instead, it was probably the recently released cover by Weezer, which has already been heard over 25 million times on Spotify.&rdquo; Ba&ntilde;agale goes on to discuss the question of &ldquo;who gets to cover whom&rdquo; and some of the problematic aspects of the genre.</p> <p>Ba&ntilde;agale, who&nbsp;graduated from CC&nbsp;in 2000 with a degree in music and drama,&nbsp;wrote another piece, &ldquo;<a href="https://theconversation.com/oklahoma-at-75-has-the-musical-withstood-the-test-of-time-94110">&rsquo;Oklahoma!&rsquo; at 75: Has the Musical Withstood the Test of Time</a><span style="text-decoration: underline;">,</span>&rdquo; for The Conversation in March 2018.</p> Teaching and Learning by Creating Art Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/teaching-and-learning-by-creating-art http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/teaching-and-learning-by-creating-art <p><strong>The Charge</strong>: <em>Develop a premier art educator program that focuses on innovation in teaching and learning through arts integration</em>.</p> <p><strong>What&rsquo;s Happening:</strong> A &ldquo;messy collision between the theory and the practice of teaching community-based studio arts,&rdquo; had seven students wheel-throwing, sculpting, painting, and making collages during at 10-day Half-Block course. &ldquo;We practiced how to identify, and fill, the gaps between what a student already knows and what they are about to learn,&rdquo; says Jeremiah Houck, who taught the course. &ldquo;Our students worked hard on the thought processes necessary to teach people how to both make things and create art.</p> <p>Houck and Mike Taber, professor of education and chair of the Department of Education, developed the dynamic Half-Block course to provide an early arts education experience closely tied to the vision, mission, and programming at Bemis School of Art. &ldquo;We wanted undergraduate students to develop a better understanding of the important role of education in informal educational contexts,&rdquo; says Taber.&nbsp;The goal was to get CC students excited about arts education. &ldquo;I am hopeful students will consider art teaching as a logical career choice, whether that be formally through our Master of Arts in Teaching, K-12 art program or informally through becoming an education minor and continuing to work in schools&rsquo; art programs, including Bemis,&rdquo; Taber says.</p> <p>The CC students developed curriculum and lesson plans to pass on their new and/or improved studio arts skills to the children of Colorado Springs. &ldquo;Whether people are creating teapots from clay, or creating their own concepts of morality, learning how to teach the skills needed to draw, paint, and sculpt bestows an infinitely large range of tools that can be used in each aspect of life during and after college,&rdquo; Houck says.</p> Colorado College Named a 2018 Tree Campus USA Mon, 11 Feb 2019 10:15:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/colorado-college-named-a-2018-tree-campus-usa http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/colorado-college-named-a-2018-tree-campus-usa <p>Colorado College has been honored by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management with a 2018&nbsp;Tree Campus USA recognition.</p> <p>The Tree Campus USA program recognizes colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals.</p> <p>Colorado College&nbsp;achieved the title by meeting Tree Campus USA&rsquo;s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and a student service-learning project. Currently there are 364&nbsp;campuses across the United States with this recognition.</p> <p>According to CC Campus Arborist Mike Spruce, trees provide multiple benefits to the CC campus. In addition to their aesthetic appeal within the landscape, trees help reduce storm water runoff, provide oxygen to the air, help cool buildings during the summer months, and provide habitat to numerous birds, animals, and insects. Trees also provide areas for students to relax and enjoy the outdoors amid the hustle and bustle of the Block Plan.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;</strong>The Tree Campus USA designation reflects CC&rsquo;s commitment to sustainability. By providing proper tree management and maintaining a healthy campus forest, the CC Grounds Crew is actively contributing to a sustainable campus. By investing in trees, CC is investing in the future of the campus,&rdquo; Spruce says.</p> <p>Students are involved in the CC tree care program too, according to Spruce. They plant trees at events such as Arbor Day and in the summer, student workers help with the day-to-day maintenance of the campus trees. In addition, students have helped inventory and map all of the roughly 2,400 trees on campus and they have been important members of the Tree Advisory Committee.&nbsp;</p> <p>What does the future hold for the trees on CC campus?</p> <p>&ldquo;There are several challenges that the campus trees face, including ongoing drought stress, campus construction projects, current and potential insect outbreaks, and a high amount of trees that are passing their natural maturity (old age) and going into decline. Despite these challenges, the future looks positive for CC&rsquo;s trees due to the establishment of a tree management plan and investing in the addition of new trees throughout campus,&rdquo; says Spruce.&nbsp;Check out a <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/basics/campus/tour/trees/">walking tour of the CC forest</a>.</p> The Life-Changing Power of Scholarships Mon, 11 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/the-life-changing-power-of-scholarships http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/the-life-changing-power-of-scholarships ]]> <p><strong>Antonio Skarica &rsquo;12</strong> remembers the day as clearly as yesterday. <br /><br />&ldquo;It was one of the happiest days of my life,&rdquo; Skarica says. &ldquo;I was on a Spring Break service trip in New Orleans when I found out.&rdquo;<br /><br />The news came via e-mail with two items: an admission letter from Colorado College and a Davis United World College scholarship statement.<br /><br />&ldquo;I immediately called my family over a particularly spotty Skype connection, yelling, &lsquo;I got in, on a full scholarship&rsquo;.&rdquo; <br /><br />Skarica is recalling that memorable day from his office at International Finance Corporation, an investment, advisory, and asset-management firm in Washington, D.C., that is part of the World Bank Group. His work there helps shape the world into a better place. As a global economics and strategy analyst, he brings development and opportunities to the people of Latin America. &nbsp;<br /><br />It&rsquo;s an impressive position and he&rsquo;s quick to link his career success back to his time at CC and that scholarship. &ldquo;My job is essentially a professional application of my degree,&rdquo; says Skarica, who graduated with a bachelor of arts in international political economy. &ldquo;At CC I picked up both the understanding of the main concepts plus many relevant technical skills like statistical analysis and research.&rdquo;<br /><br />During his time at the college, Skarica completed summer research on international energy security and a project on consumer ethnocentrism focused on Bosnia and Herzegovina.<br /><br />And he adds that scholarship &mdash; a combination of a Davis United World College Fellowship and an international student grant, which covered tuition and living expenses &mdash; was a true game-changer. &nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t have been able to attend without it,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;The scholarship was also a source of inspiration because the college recognized my potential and entrusted me with all these resources. That made me even more committed to taking full advantage of all the opportunities the college had to offer.&rdquo;<br /><br />Looking back, Skarica says he believes CC and his scholarship helped open the world for him. And now it&rsquo;s all about using what he learned to do what he can to improve that world.</p> Charting Our Course – President’s Class Examines CC’s Place in Higher Education Mon, 11 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/charting-our-course-president-s-class-examines-cc-s-place-in-higher-education http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/charting-our-course-president-s-class-examines-cc-s-place-in-higher-education <p>By Laurie Laker &rsquo;12</p> <p>Examining oneself is never easy. Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler&rsquo;s Block 5 class, The Economics of Higher Education, which she is team teaching with her husband and college research professor Kevin Rask, is one such opportunity for CC students and faculty to do that work.</p> <p>A higher-level economics course, this class takes a unique look at the shifting financial landscape of higher education, applying economic theory, data analysis, and meetings with local and national experts to discuss and dissect issues of prestige, admissions, financial aid, endowments, and so on.</p> <p>The class often turns the lens on Colorado College itself, offering students a rare insight into the college&rsquo;s decision-making process, with direct access to both the college&rsquo;s president and another of the field&rsquo;s foremost experts (Rask).</p> <p>&ldquo;Jill teaches a lot of the higher education-specific material,&rdquo; explains <strong>Elianna Clayton &rsquo;20</strong>, an economics major. &ldquo;I actually took econometrics with Kevin, and he encouraged me to take this class when it was next offered. Jill&rsquo;s brilliant, truly brilliant. She&rsquo;s very messy on the board, re-drawing loads of graphs and charts, but she&rsquo;s such an expert in this material, too.&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s rare that the heads of prominent institutions set foot in classrooms at all, never mind take on a daily teaching commitment on top of their administrative and leadership duties.</p> <p>&ldquo;It gives me a chance to be with students in a different way,&rdquo; explains Tiefenthaler. &ldquo;I interact regularly with a lot of student leaders and groups, but it&rsquo;s rare that I get to meet them in an everyday capacity. This class allows me to get to know them on a more personal level.&rdquo;</p> <p>The focus of the class isn&rsquo;t new to Tiefenthaler or Rask, both of whom are field experts, professors, and longtime economics researchers with a higher education focus.</p> <p>&ldquo;That interest started for us when we were teaching at Colgate University,&rdquo; explains Rask. &ldquo;At the time, Colgate didn&rsquo;t have an institutional research office. I was teaching statistics and econometrics, and Jill was juggling professorial and administrative roles. I found that my students had questions about how things worked in higher education, so my research was really a coming together of three interested parties &mdash; the university, my students, and myself.&rdquo;</p> <p>One such interested party for the class at present is economics and political science double-major (and Chinese minor) <strong>Rowan Rockafellow &rsquo;20</strong>.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s probably the most quintessentially CC class I&rsquo;ve ever taken,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Jill and Kevin both have an insane amount of access to people in this field, from the presidents of other universities in Colorado Springs to the Colorado Department of Education and CC&rsquo;s lobbyist in Denver, the network we&rsquo;ve been able to interact with is second-to-none.&rdquo;</p> <p>The class met locally with leaders and students at both Pikes Peak Community College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, as well as with members of the Colorado Department of Education in Denver in recent weeks.</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s so important to get us thinking about the larger decision-making process involved in the college experience,&rdquo; says Clayton. &ldquo;Every single thing I experience as a student here, it has a purpose and a decision behind it. It&rsquo;s about learning how the money invested in me, in my time here, is put back into the market in an effective way.&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s quite unusual in economics that the consumers of an industry simultaneously become outputs from that same industry. In higher education, &ldquo;the students are the consumers, but they&rsquo;re also a direct output of the experience they&rsquo;re consuming,&rdquo; explains Rask. &nbsp;&ldquo;This class positions our students with knowledge, hopefully allowing them to take away an appreciation for the inherent issues and challenges that are involved in running a nonprofit business such as CC.&rdquo;</p> <p>The future of higher education itself, and indeed CC in particular, hinges upon that understanding &mdash; both from the student level and the administrative.</p> <p>&ldquo;For the first time, we&rsquo;re seeing closures of institutions beyond one or two a year, and we continue to see more stress placed on small, private institutions like CC,&rdquo; says Tiefenthaler.</p> <p>&ldquo;The stronger schools keep getting stronger, and my job &mdash; both in the classroom and beyond &mdash; is to make sure CC remains one of those. What contributes to our strength is what every other college would wish to have, our distinctiveness and consistent financial support.&rdquo;</p> Foundations Support Milestone Anniversaries, Conservation Poll Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/foundations-support-milestone-anniversaries-conservation-poll http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/foundations-support-milestone-anniversaries-conservation-poll <p>Some of the grants the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/us/giving/corporate-and-foundation-giving.html" target="_blank">Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations</a> at Colorado College recently has helped CC secure include one from the Hewlett Foundation and two from Inasmuch Foundation.<br /><br />A $280,000 grant from the Hewlett Foundation&nbsp;was used&nbsp;primarily to conduct a professional, non-partisan poll on public opinion regarding natural resource and conservation issues in the Rocky Mountain West. This&nbsp;was&nbsp;the ninth year that the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/conservationinthewest/" target="_blank">Conservation in the West poll</a> was&nbsp;conducted. A small part of the grant&nbsp;funds&nbsp;student engagement around the poll findings, including a photo contest and support for student journalism on issues related to the polling results.<br />&nbsp;<br />&ldquo;Every year, the poll results generate substantial media attention and offer insights to decision-makers regarding how Westerners value and prioritize use of their public lands,&rdquo; says Corina McKendry, director of the State of the Rockies Project and associate professor of&nbsp;political science.<br /><br />The Inasmuch Foundation awarded a $225,000 grant for the college to produce a book, a podcast, and documentary film that will tell the story of the adoption, implementation, and evolution of the Block Plan to mark its 50th anniversary in 2020.<br /><br />&ldquo;Our goal is to capture and convey the uniqueness of the people and circumstances behind the creation of the Block Plan,&rdquo; says Steven Hayward, chair of English and associate professor. &ldquo;It's also a look at the present &mdash; at the stories of those who inhabit the Block Plan today. The combination of the two are a powerful testament to the plan&rsquo;s continued relevance and vitality.&rdquo;<br /><br />Hayward is conducting interviews alongside Professor Susan Ashley (History), who is also deep in archival research. <br /><br />In another grant, Inasmuch Foundation awarded $50,000 to support a symposium timed to celebrate the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.csfineartscenter.org/100-years/" target="_blank">100th anniversary</a> of the founding of the Broadmoor Art&nbsp;Academy (predecessor of the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College). The symposium, to take place in late 2019,&nbsp;aims to provide a new forum for inquiry into the development of American Scene, Regionalist, New Deal, Modernist, and other art movements of the mid-20th&nbsp;century.<br /><br />&ldquo;We are honored to have essential support from the Inasmuch Foundation for a very special symposium. Our hope is to illuminate both the&nbsp;role the Broadmoor Art Academy&nbsp;(like other art colonies) played as a crucible for&nbsp;artists and the new paradigms that emerged from the creative mixing of artists&nbsp;of different backgrounds, stylistic bents, and philosophies,&rdquo; says Rebecca Tucker,&nbsp;museum director of the FAC.<br /><br /></p> Slinging Ink Dynamic Half-Block Class Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/slinging-ink-dynamic-half-block-class http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/slinging-ink-dynamic-half-block-class <p>Master printer Amos Paul Kennedy, Jr. came to Colorado College from Detroit in January to teach the Dynamic Half-Block class, Slinging Ink. Kennedy was no stranger to <a href="https://www.thepressatcoloradocollege.org" target="_blank">The Press at CC</a>, having taught there two years earlier. Thanks to a revival of letterpress printing in education, Kennedy teaches all over the country. He says The Press at CC is special.<br /><br />&ldquo;I think that this is a wonderful press, and it&rsquo;s a well-equipped facility,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;This form of printing was basically the only way that books and any distributed information was put out to the world until the early 1920s. You had armies of people employed to make this happen.&rdquo; <br /><br />The Half-Block afforded him three hours per day over nine days to acquaint students with The Press at CC and teach them to make zines. Historically, zines were printed and distributed as a grassroots way of sharing ideas, particularly on political or social topics that weren&rsquo;t well covered by mainstream media. As part of their research, the class visited Special Collections to view a collection of zines.<br /><br />Of the 11 students in the class, from all majors and disciplines, only two were familiar with letterpress printing. About two thirds of their class time was spent in the process of printing, providing valuable hands-on experience.<br /><br />&ldquo;It is the doing that I&rsquo;m encouraging people to undertake. Because as you do, you learn,&rdquo; Kennedy says.<br /><br />He recalls coming to the art and craft of printing at age 40 after working as a computer programmer. <br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;m enjoying the heck out of printing. The things that I make ... some of that joy is infused in it. And so for the person who gets it, it&rsquo;s released to that person, or it ignites a certain joy in them,&rdquo; he explains.<br /><br />He says that joy is transmitted even when the print is a somber one like his gift to Half-Block students &mdash; a zine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Red Summer of 1919, during which racial riots initiated by whites against blacks occurred in dozens of cities across the U.S., claiming the lives of nearly 200 people.<br /><br />Ultimately, each student created a zine that will be exhibited at the <a href="https://www.csfineartscenter.org" target="_blank">Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado Colleg</a>e from Feb. 2 to April 7.<br /><br /><br /></p> On Navigating 2,650 Miles, Life’s Changes, and a Lasting Legacy Fri, 08 Feb 2019 00:00:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/on-navigating-2-650-miles-life-s-changes-and-a-lasting-legacy http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/on-navigating-2-650-miles-life-s-changes-and-a-lasting-legacy ]]> <p>In April 1999, <strong>Henry Shires &rsquo;82</strong> stood on the Mexican-U.S. border gazing northward over a California desert trying to grasp how he was going to get to the Canadian border on foot in five months. It was a daunting sight. <br /><br />But then a three-word phrase hit him: break it down. &ldquo;I realized that all I needed to do was focus on getting to the next food drop,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Then the entire trip and summer became a series of much smaller problems.&rdquo; <br /><br />Chalk up the practical thinking in part to his Colorado College education. He recalled the title of his CC Commencement address by Justice Sandra Day O&rsquo;Connor, &ldquo;One Step at a Time &mdash; And Keep Walking.&rdquo; <br /><br />Shires and his wife, <strong>Cynthia Gilbert &rsquo;82</strong>, are no strangers to change. The two met nearly 40 years ago in Loomis Hall, and they led relatively normal lives &mdash; Shires working in software, Gilbert teaching biology &mdash; until summer 1997. That&rsquo;s when they came across five hikers on the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.<br /><br />Shires grew mesmerized with the idea of hiking the 2,650-mile trail. &ldquo;Their dream became mine,&rdquo; he says. At that same time, he grew disillusioned with work and soon quit to begin his two-year prep for the trek. <br /><br />A year before the hike, Shires visited his local Sears for a sewing machine &mdash; he wanted to make a few things to take with him &mdash; one being a simple shelter. All told, it ended up being a kind of modified tarp with a mosquito net. He then decided to publish how to make it on the internet for fellow adventurers. Before long, folks began asking him to make the tarps for them. <br /><br />But Shires says what truly improved the tent was Gilbert&rsquo;s feedback. She said it was too hard to set up. So, Shires reworked it and eventually they launched their own company,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.tarptent.com" target="_blank">Tarptent</a>, now celebrating 16 years of covering campers. <br /><br />Looking back on it all, both Shires and Gilbert say they began to realize just how vital it had been that their CC education prepped them for life&rsquo;s changes. And they&rsquo;re grateful, so much so that they&rsquo;ve opted to name Colorado College in their wills, qualifying them for the Barnes Legacy Society.<br /><br />&ldquo;For me, it&rsquo;s a recognition of what the Colorado College experience meant and still means in the context of my development as a thinking person,&rdquo; Shires says. &ldquo;The older I get, the more I appreciate how much and how well my Colorado College experience taught me to think critically. It isn&rsquo;t what you learn at CC but rather that you learn how to learn.&rdquo;<br /><br />Gilbert adds, &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t plan on starting a small company, but it has been a broadening experience that I know started with the friends I met at CC and the professors that always pushed me to ask questions. I want future CC students to have this opportunity.&rdquo; <br /><br /><em>To learn more about including Colorado College in your estate plans, contact Stephany Marreel at (719) 389-6231 or <a href="mailto:smarreel@coloradocollege.edu" target="_blank">smarreel@coloradocollege.edu</a>.</em></p> Momentix Returns to Big Idea Competition to Take First Prize Thu, 07 Feb 2019 19:30:00 MST http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/momentix-returns-to-big-idea-competition-to-take-first-prize http://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/momentix-returns-to-big-idea-competition-to-take-first-prize <p>Momentix team members <strong>Alana Aamodt &rsquo;18</strong> and <strong>Anna Gilbertson &rsquo;19 </strong>returned to the stage &mdash; and the winner&rsquo;s podium &mdash; at <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/other/innovation/the-big-idea.html">Colorado College&rsquo;s Big Idea</a> competition this year to take first place honors and $15,000 in seed money. The seventh annual Big Idea competition was held Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Celeste Theatre in the Cornerstone Arts Center.</p> <p>Aamodt, a physics major, and Gilbertson, a physics and integrative design major, took third place last year with their open-ended toy kit that upcycles old toys to create chain reaction machines, designed to use creative fun to transcend inequalities in STEM programs. &ldquo;Momentix was just an idea last year,&rdquo; says Aamodt. &ldquo;This year it was more than that. It actually was more nerve-racking to present this year.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;We knew we were going to do this regardless of whether we won this year or not,&rdquo; says Gilbertson. &ldquo;We knew our direction no matter what happened.&rdquo;</p> <p>Aamodt was fascinated by Rube Goldberg-like machines as a child, and&nbsp;wishes there had been something like Momentix when she was growing up.&nbsp;She took her first physics class as a high school senior, and notes that there are chemistry, biology, and even computer coding kits for children, but not physics kits.</p> <p>The $25,000 prize money was divided between Momentix and second-place winner Advanced Water Sensing. Team members <strong>Jose Monge Castro &rsquo;20, Nick Humphrey &rsquo;19</strong>, and <strong>Jero Miranda &rsquo;18</strong> received $10,000 in seed money for a device they designed that allows people to detect toxic metals in their water affordably, accurately, and quickly. Castro, of Guatemala City, Guatemala, is a chemistry and math major; Humphrey, of Pleasanton, California, is a biochemistry major; and Miranda, of Montevideo, Uruguay, is a chemistry major and math minor.</p> <p>The competition provides an opportunity for students to win up to $25,000 in seed money for business, non-profit, or social enterprise innovations.This year, instead of the $50,000 that was available in the past, half the funding is being used to create programming related to the Big Idea that will increase access and allow more students the opportunity to benefit from the competition, says <strong>Dez Stone Menendez &rsquo;02</strong><strong>, </strong>director of Innovation at CC.</p> <p>The other two teams competing in the final round were:</p> <ul> <li>Infinite Chemistry: Team members <b><strong>Prakhar Gautam</strong> <strong>&rsquo;20, Pietro Giacomin</strong> <strong>&rsquo;20, Kochi Nakajima &rsquo;20</strong>,<strong> Paul Price &rsquo;20</strong>, </b>and<b> <strong>Nichole Chaney &rsquo;20. </strong></b>Infinite Chemistry is software that changes the way students learn chemistry by allowing them to visualize and interact with 3D molecules in a Virtual Reality (VR) environment that lets them analyze, visualize and create chemical reactions.</li> <li>SaFire: Team members <strong>Louie Shi &rsquo;19, Christian Kennedy &rsquo;19</strong>, and <strong>D Adams &rsquo;19</strong>. SaFire aims to listen to the needs of emerging market consumers and offer high quality laptops at fair prices to underserved customers.</li> </ul> <p>The four finalists were culled from an initial field of 15 teams. From there, 11 semifinalists were selected, and four teams moved on to the finals. Menendez noted that seven of the 11 semifinalist teams included international students and nine of the teams were mission-driven, promoting high impact solutions to real-world problems. &ldquo;They were a very high-level group with important ideas. They all had really viable ideas that will help change the world in a positive way,&rdquo; she says.</p> <p>Many of the teams competing this year participated in a <a href="https://www.coloradocollege.edu/newsevents/newsroom/big-prep-for-the-big-idea#.XFDfLEmG_cs">Half Block course</a> taught by Menendez and Jake Eichengreen, director of the Quad Innovation Project. The course was geared toward helping students prepare for and compete in the competition, and included topics such as aligning a proposition with a target population, developing effective pitches and crafting executive summaries.<br /><br />This was the second time that<strong> Susan Smith Kuczmarski &rsquo;73</strong>, co-founder Kuczmarski Innovation, served as a judge for the final competition. &ldquo;Judging was extremely difficult,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;There was a variety of projects, and they were all very different. The caliber of pitches was phenomenal; really remarkable in terms of poise, relaxation, style, and color in their presentation. All the teams were excellent.&rdquo;<br /><br />First-time judge<strong> Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish &rsquo;00</strong>, energy and climate justice manager at CU Boulder and the founder of the Eco-Social Justice Leadership Program, says each of the four teams made powerful presentations. &ldquo;They all have really viable businesses that can take off. It does not seem like these are fulltime college students who are putting this together. It seems like they are entrepreneurs ready to launch a business. Period.&rdquo;</p> <p>The seven other teams that made it to the semifinal round are:</p> <ul> <li>eduEats: Team members <strong>Lili Uchida &rsquo;20, Hugh Alessi &rsquo;20, Georgie Nahass &rsquo;20, Patrick Ende &rsquo;20, Max Pil &rsquo;20, </strong>and<strong> Margot Flynn &rsquo;20</strong>. eduEats aims to provide a streamlined service for college students to obtain food in a community-focused and convenient manner.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Aribba: Team members <b><strong>Eyner Roman &rsquo;19, Noah Smith</strong> <strong>&rsquo;20, </strong></b>and<b> <strong>Oliver Jones</strong> <strong>&rsquo;20</strong>. </b>Arriba&rsquo;s mission is to make higher education accessible to all students in Peru.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>In Real Life (IRL): Team members<strong> Sawyer Freeman</strong> <strong>&rsquo;20 </strong>and <strong>Kage Guenther</strong> <strong>&rsquo;21</strong>. IRL is an app that tackles the problems of social isolation through psych-informed match-making.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Cuddlefish: Team members <strong>Bryce Riffenburgh-Kirby &rsquo;19</strong> and Aaron Riffenburgh-Kirby (student at UC Berkeley). Cuddlefish uses technology to bring cutting-edge sleep therapies to insomniacs for a fraction of current prices.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Pickr: Team members<b><strong> Lilly Chen</strong> <strong>&rsquo;19 </strong></b>and Tan Chen (Lilly&rsquo;s older brother).<b> </b>Pickr is an algorithm that solves difficulties with meal planning, addressing inefficiencies in preference, time and budget.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Lobti Fri: Team members <strong>Chaline Lobti &rsquo;19 </strong>and <strong>David Trevithick &rsquo;17</strong>. Lobti Fri aims to ensure that youths in developing countries, primarily girls, complete at least a secondary level education.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Geek Girl: Team members <strong>Lauren Weiss &rsquo;21</strong> and <strong>Melissa LaFehr &rsquo;20</strong>. Geek Girl seeks to expose girls to computer science early and support them often.</li> </ul> <p>While the Big Idea Competition is focused on making real startups successful, the overarching objective is learning and building experiences that create bridges of relevance to the careers and activities of students beyond life at Colorado College. Eichengreen notes that the main objective is learning &ldquo;how to turn an idea into something actionable,&rdquo; something every student will do after graduation, regardless of their career path.</p> <p><br /> <iframe width="1280" height="720" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EG35XcwJSig?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe><br /><br /></p>