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Guest Blogger

Occasionally, The ConnCollegeLive Experience will invite guests to blog about their experiences as a Camel. You can find these guest posts below. Each guest post ends with a short description of the writer and their role on campus.

To Bogotá for Peace

- Guest Blogger  Ramzi Kaiss '17 and Alexandra McDevitt '17 - Guest Blogger

Ramzi Kaiss and Alexandra McDevitt on the first day of the World Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates.

Editor’s note: Guest bloggers Ramzi Kaiss '17, an international relations and philosophy double major, and Alexandra McDevitt '17, a CISLA (Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts) scholar majoring in East Asian studies focusing on Chinese language with a gender and women’s studies minor, traveled to Bogotá, Colombia for the 16th World Summit for Nobel Peace Laureates from Feb. 2-5.

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The Study of Latin

- Guest Blogger  Anne Holly ’17 - Guest Blogger

This photo of me was taken at the Colosseum, behind me is the ruins of the Roman Forum.

Editor’s Note: Anne Holly ’17 of York, Pennsylvania, graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minors in mathematics. She was a captain of the Connecticut College women’s squash team, which is ranked No. 28 in the country.  At Conn, she was also a member of the Peggotty Investment Club, Outdoors Club, Tennis Club, and is Green Dot-trained. She thinks Conn has a great mascot and loves being a Camel. She was a guest blogger for The Experience this spring. 

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The Role of Women Across Classes

- Guest Blogger  Ashley Myers '19 - Guest Blogger

Student Ashley Myers relaxes on a picnic blanket.

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Ashley Myers '19 of Winchester, Massachusetts, is majoring in English with a concentration in fiction writing, and minoring in Classics and Psychology. She is the president of Cadenza, the literary magazine on campus, a member of Relay for Life, and an editor-in-chief and writer for the Odyssey Online. Writing is her passion, and she wouldn't want to pursue it anywhere other than Conn. 

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The Importance of Hearing Greek Tragedies

Ashley Myers - Guest Blogger

Editor's Note: Guest blogger Ashley Myers '19 of Winchester, Massachusetts, is majoring in English with a concentration in fiction writing, and minoring in Classics and Psychology. She is the president of Cadenza, the literary magazine on campus, a member of Relay for Life, and is an intern at SWAAY, an online media platform that is empowering women in business. Writing is her passion, and she wouldn't want to pursue it anywhere other than Conn.

Last week, I left the long-awaited spring sunshine and entered Tansill Theater, the black box theater on campus. Contrary to my usual aversion to being stuck inside when the weather is fine, this was a welcome shift to darkness; soon I was raptly listening to dramatic readings of the Greek tragedies I’d been studying in class. The dim-lit setting reflected the grim nature of the tragedies. It would feel wrong to discuss infanticide, deserted soldiers and mourning sisters in the pleasant glow of May light. The event itself was titled: “Truth, Lies, and Deceit in Greek Tragedy,” a collaboration between my “Greek Tragedy” class, taught by professor Nina Papathanasopoulou, and professor David Jaffe’s class “Acting II: Play Analysis.”

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At the Republican National Convention

- Guest Blogger  Teddy Parsons '18 - Guest Blogger

Former NYC Mayor Giuliani spoke to the Arkansas Delegation on July 21 at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

I have always been passionate about politics and economics. This summer, I had the unique privilege of attending the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which was provided by Connecticut College. I was first approached by my government professor Dorothy James and was honored when I was awarded the opportunity to attend one of the conventions. Although the experience of the convention itself has furthered my interest in the political process, I was also able to take part in a lecture and academic seminar through the Washington Center on topics surrounding political parties, campaigns and elections from distinguished faculty in the field. This education opportunity has helped to shape my outlook on our current election cycle and coursework for the fall semester, and will provide me with a new perspective as I continue my studies on political science and economics.

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

- Guest Blogger  Maggie Newell - Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger Maggie Newell ’19 of Lexington, Kentucky, is a film studies and environmental studies double major. She is the senior fellow for waste reduction in the Office of Sustainability, a representative for the Class of 2019 on Honor Council, and the treasurer of the women’s rugby team.

I love properly sorted waste. My passion for recycling began at a very early age. I was in the recycling club in elementary school, and in middle school I made a fairly embarrassing video with my mom to enter into the Green Team Kentucky Video Festival*...we did not win. At Conn, I have gone on to bigger and better things. I am the Senior Fellow for Waste Reduction in the Office of Sustainability. The Waste Reduction Team works with the campus community to expand and develop programs that will help the College reach its goal to reduce waste generation on campus by 5% by 2018. Needless to say, I know what goes in which bin. As someone “in the know” who cares about recycling I try to spread this information. I hope to steer others down the right path and to the right bins. I’ve gotten mixed results.

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Of Flora and Foreign Language

- Guest Blogger  Georgia Hann ’18 - Guest Blogger

Guest blogger Georgia Hann ’18 is a return-to-college botany major with a strong interest in native plants, farming, and composting. She has an academic background in Environmental and Conservation Biology and a wide variety of interests that include but extend beyond languages; holistic health and nutrition; and the literary, visual, and performing arts.

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My TRIP to Greece

Jai Gohain ’19 - Guest Blogger

Jai and classmates pose together in front of the Parthenon
Class pic at the Parthenon!

Jai Gohain '19 is an international student from Kolkata, India. He is a classical studies major, with minors in dance and mathematics. He is also a member of the Connecticut College Dance Club and Connecticut College men's rugby team.

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Challenging the International Media Narratives on the Employment of Drones

Maryum Qasim - Guest Blogger

Headshot of Maryum Qasim
Maryum Qasim ’20

Maryum Qasim '20 is an international student from Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She is an International Relations major on a pre-law track and is also a CISLA scholar. Maryum is the Student Government Association's Chair of Equity and Inclusion and is also an executive board member of the Muslim Student Association.  

Little did I know that a research paper for my first-year law class taught by professor Peter Mitchell would eventually take me to the tribal areas of Waziristan, a military controlled drone warzone cut off from the rest of developed Pakistan. My primary research paper for the class explored the legality of the employment of drones. I felt so passionately about the subject that when I became a scholar with the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts (CISLA) I decided to conduct my senior project on it. My CISLA project, guided by former CISLA Director and Professor of History Marc R. Forster, aimed to explore the psychological impacts of drone strikes on young adults. This summer I was awarded the Stephen and Pamela Rearden '67 Travel Fellowship to conduct research in Pakistan on the psychological impacts of drones for my project. I arrived in Bannu, a city about 200 kilometers away from the military-controlled areas of Waziristan. These areas are highly secured with multiple military check posts monitoring any and all movements in and out. Due to security concerns, I decided to stay in Bannu to meet my point of contact Farooq Mehsud, a local journalist from North Waziristan. Mehsud coordinated interviews for me with other journalists and university/college students in Bannu.

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How I chose peace (and conflict)

- Guest Blogger  Hanna Bobrowicz - Guest Blogger

Hanna Bobrowicz ‘20 of Burlingame, California, is a history major and theater minor at Connecticut College. She is on the Leadership Committee of HerCampus, a member of the PR committee for the Women’s Empowerment Initiative, a member of Connecticut College Democrats and a Tour Guide. She plans on declaring her Peace and Conflict Pathway this fall.

As a first year, I was one of those lucky people who knew what they wanted to major in. History has always been a passion of mine, particularly social movements. Before college, I would often spend hours watching documentaries and interrogating my parents about life during the ‘60s. I was also extremely passionate about social events and community service. In high school, I was a part of the Young Dreamer organization that allowed me to work in communities in Guatemala, Costa Rica, and India. So while I was determined to major in history, I also wanted to make sure I would use my degree to impact the world in a positive way.

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From English to Entrepreneurship

- Guest Blogger  - Guest Blogger

Editor’s Note: Guest blogger Jade Hui ’20 is pursuing an English major and a sociology minor at Connecticut College. As part of Connections, Conn’s new curriculum, she will declare her Pathway, Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, Value and Change, this fall. Jade works as a tour guide for the Office of Admission and as a student adviser to first-years. She is a member of the a cappella group The Connartists, and treasurer of the Ski and Snowboard Club.

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Down to a Publici-tee

- Guest Blogger  Sharon Van Meter - Guest Blogger

Sharon Van Meter ‘20 of Hebron, Connecticut, is a history major and a religious studies minor at Connecticut College. She is the co-marketing director of Wig and Candle, Conn’s student-run theater organization, the social media manager of Cadenza, Conn’s literary and arts magazine, and a student advisor.

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At the Democratic National Convention

- Guest Blogger  Christina Rankin '18 - Guest Blogger

I was writing the first of many final papers for my fall courses when I received an email. Thinking it was just another fake "leadership conference" spam email, I almost deleted it. But my love of procrastination got the best of me and I opened it to discover that the Career Office wanted to send me to The Washington Center, an academic seminar hosted in Philadelphia during the Democratic National Convention.

Fast-forward eight months: It is the last day of the convention and I am feeling an odd mix of exhaustion and excitement. I had never had the opportunity to watch so many of my role models speak or given out so many business cards in my life.

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Discovering the World of the Ancients

Ruby Johnson ’21 - Guest Blogger

The cover art for the book: D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths.
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths

Ruby Johnson ‘21 hails from Medford, Oregon. She has yet to declare her major at Connecticut College but has an interest in education, American studies, Classics, and music. She sings as a soprano in Camel Heard, Connecticut College's advanced vocal ensemble, and is a member of the Connecticut College Figure Skating Club, where she teaches learn-to-skate lessons to local children on the weekends. She is working on designing her own major and is planning on declaring a Pathway this coming fall.

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Why is Healthcare so Expensive?

Daniel Taekmin Nam - Guest Blogger

Daniel Taekmin Nam '19 is an international student from South Korea. He is majoring in Economics and minoring in Applied Statistics. He is a member of the Connecticut College Football Club (CCFC), and the Pegotty Investment Club. He is currently in the middle of a two-year leave from Conn to serve in the Korean Army

Over the summer, I was granted an exciting opportunity to conduct research on health care economics with Assistant Professor of Economics Mark Stelzner. I was able to pursue my academic interests out of the classroom thanks to the Funded Internship Program our college offers for juniors through the Office of Career and Professional Development. 

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First person: Playing in the NCAA Division III tournament

- Guest Blogger  - Guest Blogger

Women's soccer captures first conference title; now headed to NCAAs
The women's soccer team celebrates their NESCAC Championship win

Occasionally, The ConnCollegeLive Experience will invite guests to blog about their experiences as Camels. Today, Chelsea Preston '16 contributes to the guest blogger series. Chelsea was a member of the 2014 Connecticut College women's soccer team, which won the College's first NESCAC Championship and played in the NCAA Division III tournament. We asked Chelsea to capture, firsthand, what it was like to head into the national tournament.

Friday, Nov. 14, 2014

We boarded the bus at 1 p.m. after being sent off by a group of students and fans, including President Bergeron, at the entrance to the Athletic Center. After a three-hour trip, we arrived at Montclair State University to practice on the turf field where we'd play our game on Saturday and, hopefully, again on Sunday. We only had an hour to practice before the next team would need the turf, so we quickly went through our typical drills. The energy was high. We were playing music and were just happy to be there, in the national tournament. After practice, we headed back to the hotel, watched some film on Swarthmore — the team we would play the next day — and headed to bed.

Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014

In the morning, the team boarded the bus to go to teammate Leah Salituro’s house for breakfast. Her house is only 30 minutes from where we were playing, so we had a great team breakfast there. On away games, Coach Riker likes us to take a walk to clear our heads for the upcoming game, so we walked around the neighborhood before going back to the hotel. We had some downtime to catch up on homework, then it was time to leave for the game. We arrived at Montclair's athletic center and started to prepare for the game. We played our usual music to get us pumped up and we were ready to go. We were excited, but nervous to play a team we had never seen before. It was a new challenge we were ready to face.

Game: Conn College vs. Swarthmore

The game, the first round of the NCAA tournament, was exciting as we pulled ahead with a set-piece goal from my teammate Becca Raymond. Swarthmore came back and tied it with a goal. In the second half, we got another goal from Livi Block and, to finish it off with a minute left, Mitchy Medina scored to make the final 3-1. We were so excited to have made it through that game and to be able to play on Sunday. It seemed like a never-ending season.

Sunday, Nov. 16, 2014

We woke up, had team breakfast, and hung out at the hotel until we left for our game. Two games in two days is never easy, especially when you are playing teams you have never seen before. We gathered up all our energy in the locker room like we had the day before and were ready to play. This day was different because we weren’t as nervous as we had been on Saturday.

Game: Conn College vs. Montclair State

Montclair put up a fight, and so did we. It was a tough game and we made it through regulation time without a score. It seemed as though we were going to make it all the way to penalty kicks with 50 seconds left in overtime. Unfortunately, Montclair got a shot off that ended up in the back of the net. Our season was over.

The historic, long, exciting season we had worked so hard for was over, in mid-November. Not many teams can say that. We are so proud of our season, for being NESCAC championss and for having made it as far as we did. We went from the bottom of our league to No. 1 in one season and won our first NCAA tournament game. This season was certainly one for the books!

Chelsea Preston '16  is an art major and a forward on the 2014 women's soccer team.

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#ConnCollCarries: Bringing the #CarryThatWeight movement to campus

- Guest Blogger  - Guest Blogger

Occasionally, The ConnCollegeLive Experience will invite guests to blog about their experiences as a Camel. Today, Bettina Weiss '15 contributes to the guest blogger series.

On Oct. 29, Connecticut College students participated in a National Day of Action inspired by the art and activism of Emma Sulkowicz, a student at Columbia University. Sulkowicz has been carrying a 50-pound mattress wherever she goes on campus for her senior art thesis. The New York Times calls Sulkowicz’ project “an artwork of last resort.”

In 2012, Sulkowicz filed a complaint with Columbia after an alleged sexual assault. Her complaint led to a hearing before a panel that found the alleged perpetrator not responsible. This decision was upheld upon appeal. Sulkowicz brought her case to the police but decided not to follow through after the report. She began carrying her mattress around campus to protest the fact that her alledged attacker was allowed to remain enrolled at the university. 

In response to Sulkowicz’ project, the coalition “Carrying the Weight Together” was formed by students and activists who are working to support survivors of sexual and domestic violence. It is made up of members from No Red Tape, Carrying the Weight Together at Columbia University, Hollaback! and Rhize.

When students at Connecticut College heard about the National Day of Action to support Sulkowicz, we sprung into action. Sal Bigay '16, the Student Government Association (SGA) chair of residential affairs, brought the idea to our SGA and began planning with the Public Art Task Force subcommittee. Members of SafetyNet, a peer education group within the Think S.A.F.E. (Sexual Assault Free Environment) office were brainstorming ideas on how to bring the movement to our campus. At the same time, the sophomore seminar class “Art of Protest: Occupy ___” was also inspired to bring the movement to campus. In a phenomenally successful collaboration, all three groups came together to organize our College's participation in the day of action. Representatives from each group met, and off we went. “This is how things need to happen at Connecticut College: authentically and passionately,” said Bigay.

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The Return of the Frost

- Guest Blogger  Christine Roundtree '15 - Guest Blogger, Sustainability Blog, Christine Roundtree '15

Sprout Garden, Christine fall blog post

The Sprout Garden epitomizes time’s evanescence. As I walked in the garden at the end of summer, I worried about how weeds would eventually overtake the ripe vegetables and fruits. Fortunately, however, the student gardeners that arrived in the fall dispelled my fears that the summer’s work would go to waste.

When I met the other students, I knew our teamwork would make our garden the best it has ever been. We planned out the fall crop sections during our weekly meetings and divided the garden in order to manage each portion. Our planning has helped us to prioritize our tasks and remain organized.

We let the sunflowers and last three basil plants seed in the hopes that birds would peck away the pests and that individuals would enjoy the sunflower seeds and the sight of beautiful Velvet Queen sunflowers in the future. We also have covered our hoop house to allow us to grow greens and roots all winter long. Our effort to cover the hoop house went more smoothly than ever before, with more than 10 student and staff volunteers showing up to help. We owe a special thanks to the four Library staff that came up to help with this effort!

This fall, we had the honor to meet with one of the major donors who has supported the expansion and ongoing success of the Sprout Garden. We gave her a grand tour of the garden. She was impressed with the amount of hard work we had contributed to the garden and wished us luck for the winter season. Sure enough, it has been a terrific semester with the help of such caring and invested student gardeners. 

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Mystery Solved: The (not-so-secret) Food Systems Sustainability Fellows Projects

- Guest Blogger  Julia Goldman '15 - Guest Blogger, Sustainability Blog, Julia Goldman '15

This year, the Connecticut College Office of Sustainability has partnered with the New London County Food Policy Council (NLCFPC), hiring student fellows to help implement the plans of the Council. NLCFPC works to reduce food insecurity, improve diet-related health, and expand the viability of local agriculture throughout New London county. There are fellows working in five different areas to accomplish these goals. Each fellow works with community partners, allowing the fellows to make real connections with the community at large and to make lasting impacts.

The Emergency and Supplemental Food Systems Fellow, Ariana Pazmino ’18, and the Food Insecurity Fellow, Emma Galante ’15, work together to increase access to sustainable food in the county. Ariana collaborates with the Gemma E. Moran Food Center and Emma focuses on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)/WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) benefits. The Nutrition Education Fellow, Paige Ziplow ’15, meets with the Farm to School coordinator in the county to develop high school level workshops for students on sustainable food as well as curriculum for preschoolers and their parents and teachers at the Connecticut College Children’s Program in coordination with the Holleran Center. Eleanor Hardy ’15, the Policy Fellow, concentrates on implementing policy changes that affect the food system within the county and its residents. The final area of focus is on a food hub. The Council received a grant from the USDA to conduct a food hub feasibility study in the county, so the Food Hub Fellows, Wesley Conner ’17 and Brent Lo ’16, are searching for a consultant group to hire in order to complete that study.

As the Senior Fellow on the project, I oversee all of the work of the fellows, in collaboration with Josh Stoffel, Sustainability Officer at the College. Everyone is extremely excited about the impact this project can have on the county as well as the opportunities for community engagement! 

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Children to Get Groovy in the Garden

- Guest Blogger  Rebecca Brill Weitz '18, Soo Cho '17 - Guest Blogger, Sustainability Blog, Rebecca Brill Weitz '18, Sustainability Blog, Soo Cho '17

Children's Program Garden

Did you know that Connecticut College has its own Children’s Program? It is located at Holmes Hall, 75 Nameaug Avenue (right down the road from the River Ridge Apartments). With about 90 students, the Children’s Program is an early childhood preschool program for young children of all backgrounds. The Program’s curriculum is based on the premise that play enables children to interact and learn from their environment. The children have enjoyed and learned from their interactions with the Children’s Program garden.

This year, the Office of Sustainability is collaborating with the Children’s Program to completely renovate the garden! We, Rebecca Brill Weitz and Soo Cho, are the Office of Sustainability fellows working on the many phases of this exciting project.

With the frost approaching, Mother Nature has set us an approaching deadline for getting work in the garden done this fall. We began our project by weeding, a hefty task given the garden’s location on prime sunny real estate. Fortunately, after just two days of weeding, we could see the layout of the garden. We now must decide how much of the current infrastructure to keep. Since the garden lies on a slope, we plan add crushed stone to all pathways in an effort to support rainwater to naturally filter into the ground.

Once we finalize the layout of the garden, we will decide on what to plant and where each plant will be placed. We will first choose the locations of the flower bulbs and garlic. The rest can be decided over a good cup of hot cocoa after the snow comes. After the bulbs are in the ground, we will mulch the garden and then let it sleep under the soft blanket of snow.

Long-term goals include building a curriculum for the students that incorporates the garden into their daily activities, mapping out the garden’s produce, and writing grant proposals. We want this garden to not only look awesome, but to be a place where the children come together to play and to grow. Keep an eye out for more updates about this amazing project!

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