“It would not have been obvious to him during those decades in prison on Robben Island that this vision was the right one. He must have wondered, coming out already as an old man, if he had made a mistake, but he had the conviction of his own beliefs to understand that what he said in the early 1960s was still true in the early 1990s. He acted accordingly. And that was brilliance of a particular type from which his country and the entire world benefited.”
— President Jeffrey Herbst on the life and work of former South African President Nelson Mandela, in his Great Minds Exhibition talk Nov. 13, 2012
“In the case of Russia, there was probably a sigh of relief.”
— Valerie Morkevicius, assistant professor of political science, during a “What Happened?” post-election panel discussion in Persson Hall
“He did not live to provide answers and in some ways, one hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, we are still bedeviled in this country by the questions Lincoln raised in the second inaugural.”
— Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Eric Foner, who spoke about Abraham Lincoln and American slavery in his Douglas K. Reading Lecture
“The idea was this was going to lead to greater inclusive change, eliminate some of the corruption, that it would bring democracy or some sort of equality, and these things just aren’t happening.”
— Joshua Stacher, fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and political science professor at Kent State University, about why change won’t happen immediately in Egypt
Go figure –
the digits on Dancefest
12/1/12 date of this fall’s fest
13 dance groups
800+ people in the audience
150–300 gold coins on a belly dancer’s skirt
4:27 length of the longest dance, performed by Kuumba Dance Troupe
702 total cumulative rehearsal hours
2nd year the event was Livestreamed
688 people from 32 countries watched live from their computers
Back on campus
A virtual hangout
Four alumni who work at Google offered their career advice to students via a Google Hangout session on November 13. During the video chat, New York City–based Debra LoCastro ’05, Jim Habig ’06, David Perry ’99, and Lisa Stern ’06 gave their insight to approximately 40 students who were gathered around a projection screen in Case Library.
“We represent the twenty percent of employees who work on the business side,” explained LoCastro, who is university programs manager at Google. She and the other three alumni said they landed their positions with the help of liberal arts educations.
Perry, who is in advertising sales, said that playing lacrosse at Colgate gave him a strong sense of teamwork that is effective in the workplace. “To make things happen, you have to push each other,” he said.
Stern said her Colgate experience has translated well to her position in Google’s human resources department. “The most important thing I learned was how to be autonomous, how to be innovative,” she said.
The hangout allowed students to ask questions of the graduates, and facilitated participation by a student and an alumna who were in Japan.
“This was applicable not just to Google, but also for seeing how what you do outside the classroom helps build career skills,” said Sophie Salzman ’14.
Chip Schroeder, associate director for employer relations, helped coordinate the event, with assistance from Viktor Mak ’15, who has been serving as Colgate’s Google ambassador since last summer.
Schroeder added that in addition to computer science majors, technology companies also have great opportunities for “candidates who are good problem solvers, and are innovative and creative.”
For many Native Americans, the fourth Thursday in November is not a jovial celebration with football games, parades, and a hearty dinner, but a time to fast and grieve. As part of Native American Heritage Month in November, professors Michael Taylor and Jordan Kerber led a lunchtime discussion about the many misrepresentations that characterize the mainstream story of the first Thanksgiving.
The event opened with a reading of an account of a Thanksgiving Day protest in 1970, when a group of Native Americans attending a feast in Plymouth, Mass., walked out. They decried the happy caricature of the relationship between the Pilgrims and Indians as a cover-up of their strife in the aftermath of English colonization, dispossessed of their traditional way of life, religion, and lands. The demonstration began an annual day of mourning for Native Americans in the region, and the trend has continued to spread.
“We have a distorted view of the Thanksgiving that may or may not have happened in 1621,” said Kerber, a professor of anthropology and Native American studies. “But after that one day is over, Native Americans disappear from the public consciousness.”
Students in attendance shared their personal experiences in grade school, where stereotypes are often perpetuated. Kelsey John ’13, who is half Navajo Indian, encountered this problem in first grade when her teacher instructed her to dress up as either a Pilgrim or an Indian. “For Native American students, it is strange to dress up as you, but that depiction really isn’t you,” said John. Education will be the force to dispel these stereotypes and enlighten future generations, said John; her notion was echoed by others in attendance.
To raise awareness, “A more sustained effort needs to take place, more than just a day,” said Kerber.
— Natalie Sportelli ’15