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Billy Barkhausen ’13
Bob Quitzau ’55
Mark Falcone ’85
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(photo by Andrew Daddio)
– Assistant professor of psychology since August 2011
– BA, Dartmouth College; PhD, University of Missouri-Columbia
– Plays flamenco guitar, blues jazz piano, and banjo
What piqued your interest in the psychology behind alcohol and drug use?
As an undergraduate, I did research under a physician who was studying how a person’s memory of a recent trauma contributed to post-traumatic stress disorder. We excluded all the people who had been drinking right before the trauma because alcohol can affect memory. However, there had been a large percentage of people who had been drinking, and who were essentially being ignored. So, I went on to study alcohol use and abuse in graduate school, and I have been doing it ever since. It is a really interesting area of clinical psychology because it is so prevalent across age, race, and socioeconomic status.
Do you specialize in a particular area of alcohol studies?
My biggest interest is how drinking in the college-age group develops into an alcohol use disorder. It’s a myth that alcoholism is most prevalent in older groups; it’s actually most prevalent in the 18- to 25-year-old range. People are most at risk during that time.
Tell us about your current research studies.
I have three campus-based studies going on this summer that are examining college drinking and the things that promote the development of alcohol use disorders. Two of these are about social reinforcement — peers encouraging people to drink, and encouraging pathologic behavior around drinking. In one study, a student and I are examining how people portray their alcohol use and behaviors on Facebook, and to what extent certain behaviors and pictures are “liked,” and how that relates to a person’s actual drinking.
In another study, we’re asking students to relate their most positive and negative drinking stories, along with the social components that may make them seem positive or negative. It is interesting that the things people experience at the onset of their drinking career may be the things that promote or discourage further drinking.
The third study is looking at how college is both a time when people develop their problem-solving abilities and decision-making skills, yet also may engage in drinking behaviors that are not always consistent with good decisions, such as continuing to drink despite it causing problems with friends or classwork. One of my students is assessing problem-solving skills by administering neuro-psychological tests — games or riddles — to students. The way people solve them indicates their problem-solving and decision-making abilities and correlates with long-term functioning.
How should universities address the problem of drinking among students?
For those already suffering from an alcohol use disorder, there are many therapy techniques and other treatments that work, but may improve with adjustments that focus on the unique situation of college students. For risk prevention, the latest research has been looking into enriching the college experience. Colgate is at the cutting edge in terms of thinking about environmental ways to reduce campus drinking problems (which remain a major health concern at universities throughout the nation). There needs to be consistently enforced and well-known regulations about drinking on a campus, and there also needs to be a vibrant atmosphere that directs students’ attention away from the drinking culture and toward becoming involved in fun ways to improve oneself academically and socially.
Billy Barkhausen in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Born three months early, Billy Barkhausen ’13 got a head start on life, and he’s been leading the pack ever since. Barkhausen naturally assumes a leadership role in all of his activities, whether it be while guiding campus tours for the Office of Admission or conducting training workshops for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI).
“Billy is one of the most genuinely kind and caring people I’ve worked with,” said Rachel DiDomizio, associate director of the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE). DiDomizio got to know Barkhausen well and see him in action when they went on a COVE alternative break trip to Neyba, Dominican Republic, in January 2011. Part of the group’s mission was to educate the community about nutritional health, and Barkhausen led some of those classes. “He had an ability to work through cultural barriers with the community there, and he had the courage to teach in a different language,” she said of the international relations major who is minoring in Spanish.
Recognizing Barkhausen’s knack for “making people feel comfortable to be who they are,” last year, DiDomizio suggested that he become involved with Colgate’s chapter of NCBI, an international training organization that works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination.
“It’s one of my favorite things that I do here,” said Barkhausen, who has been facilitating workshops for the institute. “The point is to educate people that there isn’t one ‘ism’ — everyone deals with some oppression and bias from other people, so it’s about how to navigate those issues and create and sustain dialogue around them. It’s about interpersonal dialogue and how you can use your experiences to address other people’s biases.”
Having grown up in Lake Bluff, Ill., Barkhausen said that Colgate has pushed him to explore opportunities outside of his comfort zone. “Right off the bat, I met people from all different backgrounds, which was very different from my hometown,” explained Barkhausen, whose network stretches from his Phi Delta Theta brothers to collaborating with the ALANA Cultural Center.
Barkhausen has been crossing boundaries not only on campus, but also abroad. He spent last fall in Argentina, studying corporate social responsibility — a field that he is considering for his post-Colgate career. This summer, he’s interning in Tanzania for an American-based company, where he will be helping with needs assessment for its philanthropic endeavors.
Always looking toward the future, Barkhausen already knows that when he returns to Colgate in the fall, he’ll be serving as treasurer for the Konosioni senior honor society and continuing his internship with the COVE. “He’s a rock star,” DiDomizio said. “We’ve been very lucky to have him.”
— Aleta Mayne
Bob Quitzau ’55, Alumni Council member
(photo by Rebecca Costello)
– Class president since 1955; Real World volunteer; reunion gift and program committee; Maroon Citation, 2010
– Geophysicist for Shell Oil, 37 years, plus 7 years as a consultant post-retirement
– MS in geophysics, University of Utah
In layman’s terms, describe the work you did for Shell Oil.
Well, geophysics puts a quantitative edge on geology. My best work was in seismic interpretation. I spent the better part of 22 years exploring the Gulf of Mexico and another 22 in other parts of the world. To locate a well in an unexplored area, you have to understand what’s below the surface. So, we send energy into the subsurface and record reflections from the strata below. Interpretation of these data determines if a potential trap for oil or gas may exist.
What got you excited about geology?
When I first came to Colgate, I walked into the wonderful museum on the second floor of Lathrop Hall, with its rocks and minerals and Indian artifacts — archaeology was one of my earlier loves. Up walked John Woodruff, head of the geology department. John suggested I take geology as one of my electives. I didn’t know much about what geology was, but I stuck with it. And he was just a good person. He was a mentor for me.
Who else at Colgate made an impact on you?
Lloyd Huntley, the director of student activities and the marching band. I played the slide trombone. At the time, Colgate played every school in the Ivy League. Lloyd traveled with the band, always displaying his love for our alma mater.
Name a particular experience here that really shaped you.
I was a Lambda Chi. What comes to mind is the fellowship and good spirit. In regard to my career, you can take credit for big oil or gas discoveries, but usually you were part of a team of people, each involved in their own specialty. Learning teamwork came in the fraternity experience.
You also served many years in the Air Force reserve.
At graduation from Colgate, I and about 100 classmates were commissioned into the Air Force. I had three years of active duty, and then served for 25 years in the active reserve as a pilot.
Is there a particular issue you care about deeply?
I would say diversity. When I was here in the ’50s, we had very few people of color on campus. But once out in the industry, and especially in the military, I dealt with people of all colors. I did a lot of work in places like Malaysia, China, and Africa. Those who work overseas must learn how to communicate and interact with all sorts of people.
What do you do for fun?
We have five children and 14 grandchildren, with one more on the way. A lot of our time is spent chasing grandchildren around — 10 of them live near us in Houston. About 20 years ago, Colgate professor Bruce Selleck ran a field trip on Galveston Island (Texas) that I attended. That year, we bought a beach house there, so fishing and boating are among my favorites. Mostly we go wave fishing. Depending on the wind direction, one can wade out to a sandbar in the gulf or into the bay, cast lures, and catch fish! Also, as one interested in things geological, I’ve done quite a bit of lapidary work, polishing petrified wood and things like that.
— Rebecca Costello
Mark Falcone ’85, Colgate trustee
– Trustee since 2004; chairman, Hamilton Initiative; nominating and capital assets committees; Maroon Citation, 2010
– Board President, Denver Museum of Contemporary Art; Trustee, Bonfils Stanton Foundation; NEA’s Mayor’s Institute on City Design Advisory Board; past board chair, The Nature Conservancy, Colorado chapter
– Founder of Continuum Partners, a real estate development company in Denver
Your company’s motto is about creating sustainable human habitats. What were the roots of that philosophy for you personally?
I spent my junior year abroad in Florence, Italy, with a family whose father worked for the telephone company. They lived in a cramped apartment behind the train station. After about six months, I realized that my quality of life there was much more fulfilling than at home, despite the fact that my life in the United States was by almost any measure more abundant. Literally, my walk to class every day was filled with all kinds of extraordinary experiences. And there were all those simple pleasures. Eating lunch, which was so different from the fast-food grab-and-go way we did it at home. The evening walks, which had no purpose except to take in the night air. There was an awareness about the way people lived their lives and built their habitat that caused me to see life at home in a much different way from then on. I became interested in urban history and decided I wanted to play a much more deliberate role in the future of the American settlement.
In your work today, what project are you particularly jazzed about?
One of the most exciting things we’re building is the Union Station Intermodal Center, a $500 million transportation infrastructure in Denver that will serve the city for 100 years and will completely reshape future development patterns throughout the city. As the master developer, we assembled and led the team responsible for the design, finance plan, and construction. It’s a hub for eight fixed rail lines that spread out to every region of metropolitan Denver. As the infrastructure improvements near completion, we are now shifting our focus to the development around it. Over the next five to seven years, we expect to have completely transformed more than 50 acres of downtown Denver.
Name a specific person at Colgate who impacted you.
I came back from Italy quite invigorated and took a lot of art history my senior year. Bob McVaugh’s 20th-Century Contemporary American Art class continues to offer a lot of relevance in my life.
What are your thoughts on the art scene today?
My wife, Ellen, and I were fortunate to help establish Denver’s contemporary art museum. It’s a non-collecting institution, so we primarily show living artists, most of whom come visit while their show is being installed. I often compare visual artists to scientists who are working on the next great discovery — lots of failure involved, by the way. It’s fun to watch society churn and anticipate what’s next. A lot of people get drawn into art as collectors, but collectors are motivated to filter out failure because they want to invest in things that will have sustained value. I think that can drive artists to produce work that the galleries want, but which may not always be their most courageous work. Some of the most exciting artists for me are the ones who risk failure.
Tell us about your family.
Our son, Luke, will be a sophomore at Willamette University. Our daughter, Sonya, just graduated from Colgate in May. She is a much better student than I was. The nice thing about that is, professors will say, “Oh, are you Sonya Falcone’s dad?” So that becomes the reference point. I’m hoping that her academic reputation is now extending to me!
— Rebecca Costello