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The Head and the Heart: A Presentation of Rock Artists

The Head and the Heart Performing at the Kalamazoo State Theatre in Downtown Kalamazoo on May 28

By Trisha Dunham

Kalamazoo’s State Theatre hosted the folk-rock band The Head and The Heart on May 28. Indie-rock quintet Lucius opened the night. The concert was completely sold out and the entire front stage area and aisles were filled with spectators. There was an obvious excitement in the air, visible by the continuous clapping and shouting both before Lucius came on stage and during their performance.

Lucius walked onstage with a wood block and tambourine. The two female lead singers, Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, wore identical half black half white outfits with short blonde bobs while the rest of the band, Peter Lalish, Dan Molad, and Andrew Burri wore all black suits.

During the bands interview with Sunday Times they explained their outfits, “[It] Is funny to us, because, 50 years ago, every act was hyperstylised. It wasn’t just about the music; all of it was connected, and people wanted it that way . . . For us, it all ties in: two voices as one, the fact that we write together and that we’re so close we finish each other’s sentences.”

Lucius started in Boston at the Berklee College of Music where lead singers Laessig and Wolfe met at school. The band’s debut album is titled Wildewoman and was released last October.

During the show the band played a variety of songs from their debut album Wildewoman and stopped to dedicate their song “Wildewoman” to, “all the women in the crowd.”

After Lucius finished, they welcomed The Head and the Heart. During the short transition period the audience was bursting with excitement. Several songs from the album were played over the loud speakers and the audience sang along eagerly anticipating the bands opening.

Unlike Lucius, the band did not wear coordinating attire. A majority of the members wore comfortable clothing—a mixture of T-shirts and button downs with no particular theme. Female vocalist and violinist, Charity Rose Thielen, distinctly wore all black with her blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail.

In an interview with Jerri Howell from Style Spotting Thielen said, “I would define my style as confident, classic, and eclectic. Confidence is the one piece from my wardrobe I won’t leave the house without.” And that, “My fashion is often inspired after a walk through an art museum.”

Kalamazoo College student Josefina Cibelli ‘16 attended the concert and said, “It’s hard to put into words what hearing The Head and The Heart live felt like. It was awesome being at the State Theater with amazing music and amazing friends.”

The band played a variety of songs from both of their albums, The Head and the Heart and Let’s Be Still. The crowd demanded an encore, and they got one. Vocalist Josiah Johnson came out and played a solo song, and then the entire band came out for another encore.

K’s Next Class to be Most Diverse

By Viola Brown

Kalamazoo College’s class of 2018 hopes to be the most diverse in history with 32 percent of the incoming students identifying themselves as people of color.

The domestic ethnic breakdown of the class includes: 27 Asian Americans, 30 African Americans, one Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 41 Latinos and 22 multiracial students. Eight percent of students will international students coming from 10 countries: China (eight), Georgia (one), India (two), Italy (one), Jamaica (three), South Korea (nine), Lebanon (one), Myanmar (one), Spain (one) and Vietnam (six). Domestically, the students represent 29 states.

“We won’t know how many will actually enroll until the day the students move in. So far we have 377 students who have said they are coming, but I know we’ll lose a few between now and September and maybe gain a few. I hope to matriculate around 360-ish students,” said Eric Staab, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid

Even though the College didn’t meet its goal of 390 students, it’s still proud of the numbers because college admissions have been down all across the Midwest.

“We are very pleased with many aspects of this class. It is slightly shy of our goal of 390 students, however this was a very rough year for liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. Many others saw shortfalls far greater that of K’s, so it could have been a lot worse. The academic quality of this class is excellent, similar to previous years,” said Staab.

Since this class isn’t as large as the previous incoming class of 464 students, Admissions believes that it will not be a problem to accommodate this new class through registration, housing or the College’s social atmosphere. The diversity of this class comes when students are pushing for an Intercultural Center on campus.

Admissions is still unsure of the impact this current crop of students will have on K history, claiming every class leaves a unique legacy at K.

“Every year the group of new students coming has some impact on the current students, but that is not something I could know in advance as to how this year’s new cohort of students will impact the returning students,” said Staab.

Database Trials Give Users Greater Access to Resources

By Kamal Kamalaldin

Kalamazoo College’s library subscribes to a myriad of databases such as JSTOR, PsycINFO, and ProQuest Research Library. Students, faculty, and staff have access to papers and journals that range all academic disciplines through these databases.

On top of its regular subscriptions, the library looks to bolster its database reach from time to time with database trials. These trials are offered by vendors for about a month, during which college-wide access to the respective database is allowed.

The library is always seeking feedback from students and faculty, and it uses this feedback to extend the offered databases accordingly. “For things we use as a trial, there are two voices we want to hear,” said Liz Smith, Reference and Instruction Librarian, “students and faculty.”

From faculty, the library wishes to receive feedback on whether the database contains information that their students will find helpful. As for students, the library looks for feedback on whether the students are finding what they need, and if the database’s structure and content are usable.

“Some [databases] are really hard to use, with the way they are organized,” said Smith, “and if students find something really difficult to use, we may not want to invest out money in it.”

While faculty feedback tends to be positive or informational, student feedback is mostly infrequent and negative, Smith mentioned. “I don’t think we get a lot of feedback from students, particularly on the database trails. We don’t always hear when people are happy; we always hear when people are sad. People email us when they think the library is noisy.”

Faculty offer more positive feedback and suggestions. Some faculty members suggest the trial of specific databases they believe will add value to the library’s index. Other faculty members point out that some databases on trial duplicate what the library already has access to, thereby helping the library reorient its budget to more effective uses.

Database trials will continue to be run for the coming years. The library runs 5-10 database trials a year. Trials are mostly implemented through the middle of the quarter, when students are apt to use them the most.

The library appreciates any feedback, especially from students and faculty via email or phone.

Careers in Student Affairs Promoted by OSI

By Annah Freudenburg, Staff Writer

Graduate interns Christina Fritz and Mark Campbell work on OSI plans in the Student Resource Room. Photos by Allison Tinsey.

The Office of Student Involvement (OSI), located in the Hicks Center may be unfamiliar to many students. However, most know of their efforts. Fliers for Zoo After Dark, Wind Down Wednesdays, and Zoo Flicks color campus.

These events and activities are all the products of OSI. The Index spoke with Mark Campbell and Christina Fritz, both Graduate Assistants of the Offices of Student Involvement about the work they do.

The Office of Student Involvement works primarily in student affairs. “Student affairs focuses on active learning, which helps students focus on their own experiences with co-curricular activities,” said Campbell. This would include a student being a member of a club or organization, or being involved in lead- ership opportunities. “Essentially it’s student development outside the classroom,” Fritz embellished.

Student affairs is a very broad field and offers many career paths: “Some of the well known ones are resident directors, area coordinators.” Campbell said, naming a few. “You can work in student activities, such as the office of student involvement, academic advising, career services or career counseling. There’s also a sect of student affairs that has a research component.”

For students interested in pursuing a career in student affairs after undergraduate ism complete, the next step is to apply to a graduate program to earn a masters degree in higher education in student affairs.

“All of the graduate assistants at Kalamazoo College are part of the Higher Education in Student Affairs (HESA) program over at Western Michigan University,” Campbell said.

Western is only one of many schools across the country that offers graduate programs in student affairs. The programs are typically two years in length, but may go longer.

“I never planned on doing students affairs, which is a very common story. No one knows student affairs exists until it happens!” Campbell exclaimed.

OSI has hosted up to 17 events in ten days and has even more planned. “Homecoming is coming up,” Fritz said, “so we’ll have a lot of fun events leading up to that weekend.”

In regards to movies, they have just set up an email account allowing students to send in suggestions for what is to be seen on Channel 22 as well as at Zoo Flicks.

Moreover, there will be new occa- sions for student involvement: “Coming up this fall we have Emerge Into Leadership,” informed Campbell, “which will be for first-year students who want to be involved with leadership.” The applications for this opportunity should be available towards the end of October.

The Multiplier Effect: Entrepreneurship by Accident

By Colin Lauderdale, Contributor

Bridgett Blough ‘08 is the owner and operator of The Organic Gypsy, one of a growing handful of food trucks in Kalamazoo.  The Organic Gypsy straddles the realms of small-scale, local agriculture and downtown service industry, which allows Blough to make her living exactly how she wants: nourishing bodies and growing a resilient local economy in southwest Michigan.

Blough calls what she’s doing “living the multiplier effect,” and firmly believes that the growing local food economy in Kalamazoo is the city’s path to prosperity.  “Small businesses,” she says, “are what drive local economies.  Local communities stay together and healthy and vibrant through local small businesses.”

Blough graduated from Kalamazoo in 2008 with a degree in economics.  She looks back on college fondly, but can’t quite figure out how much of her success as a small business owner is attributable to her college education, and how much to her own identity as a “creative solution finder.”

K does not necessarily have a strong technical curriculum for entrepreneurship.  But, according to Dr. Tim Moffit, Associate Professor of Economics and Business, the College does have a strong tradition of producing entrepreneurs.  “Probably our most effective business outcome is entrepreneurship – by accident.”

Moffit chalks this up to strong self-selection (K students are motivated, hardworking risk-takers) and a global, liberal arts curriculum.  “Mix an ambitious, overachieving student with holistic thinking, and you get an entrepreneur.”

Moffit refers to Blough’s entrepreneurial way of thinking as “genetic.”  As much as she has used her K education as an asset, she brought an awful lot to the table when she came to college.  She comes from a large family with parents, aunts, uncles and siblings who have all started their own businesses.  “Career-wise,” she says, “it always made sense that I would become an entrepreneur.”

Many aspects of Blough’s K education haven’t contributed directly to her work.  Her economics degree didn’t include a single marketing class.  Much of the material covered in her courses was “a lot of fluff” – highly theoretical, lacking in technical skills or concrete details.  She estimates that, from all the economic terms she learned in her major, she uses about five on a daily basis.

But she also credits K for helping her develop into the entrepreneur she is today.  A small business owner needs a diverse skill set, creative problem-solving ability, and effective strategies for coping with stress.  Kalamazoo College was fertile ground for developing those skills.

Blough identifies one skill in particular as critical to her work: “Being able to see small, right in front of you, and then lift your head up to see big.  In my truck, I’m making an awesome tomato sandwich for you today and it’s nourishing your body, but it’s also part of something much bigger.  What I really learned at K is we’re part of something much bigger.”

This is the first installment in our series on the effects of Kalamazoo College’s education in the City of Kalamazoo.