Theatre Professor Earns Fifth Wilde Award for Best Lighting

Wilde Awards Recognize Lanny Potts for Lighting in Bright Star
Theatre Arts Professor Lanny Potts was selected recently as the recipient of a 2022
Wilde Award for Best Lighting as a result of his work in the 2021 Farmers Alley Theatre
production of “Bright Star.” Photo by Kat Mumma.

A Kalamazoo College faculty member is receiving accolades from a Michigan theatre organization for the fifth time in his career. Theatre Arts Professor Lanny Potts was selected recently as the recipient of a 2022 Wilde Award for Best Lighting as a result of his work in the 2021 Farmers Alley Theatre production of Bright Star, a musical written and composed by actor, comedian and songwriter Steve Martin and songwriter Edie Brickell.

Wilde Awards are distributed through, a web-based publication focusing on the state’s professional theater industry, highlighting the top productions, actors, artists, designers, writers and technicians. Potts previously earned Wilde Best Lighting honors through his work at Farmers Alley Theatre in productions such as The Light in the Piazza in 2012 and Bridges of Madison County in 2018.

In Bright Star, a literary editor, Alice Murphy, meets a young soldier, Bill Cane, who is just home from World War II. Her flashbacks to the 1920s tell the audience about 16-year-old Alice meeting Jimmy Ray Dobbs and giving birth to a son. The love story, inspired by real events and set in the American South, provided Potts and the Farmers Alley Theatre team with some distinctive challenges of how to move the story forward with lighting and other effects. 

“Working closely with the brilliant Director Kathy Mulay, every scenic transition was created with lighting which then constantly moved until the downbeat of the next music, scenic or narrative moment,” Potts said. “Picture slowly moving tree leaves. In every transition moment, they would create an almost ripple effect, like wind through the leaves, that continued until the music resolved or carried us through to the next narrative moment. Having the lights breathe the music of each transition was an approach that allowed the team to seamlessly meld action, dialogue, music, blocking and projections in a way that helped the audience understand that our narrative was a constantly moving story.” 

Bright Star was produced at Farmers Alley Theatre from June 23-July 10, 2021, qualifying Potts— a professional designer and consultant—for this year’s honor. His work has also included international lighting and production design; national tour designs for opera and dance; and regional designs for opera, modern dance, ballet, drama and corporate events. 

Potts has presented portfolios of his work at regional conferences, worked at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and received many professional awards including a Michigan Governor’s Commendation, a design commendation from the John F. Kennedy Center (Fun Home) and Atlanta Critic’s Choice awards for his design work for the Atlanta premier of A Few Good Men. But each opportunity inspires Potts for what he will do with the next one. 

“When I think about having the privilege of doing what I love, I don’t think about a particular show, production or artistic team,” Potts said. “I do have warm fuzzies when I reflect upon some great work accomplished collaboratively with so many great artists. But I think I’m a looking-forward kind of person, where one scenic idea, one costume idea or one directing idea inspires a unique new direction for the artistic team. There is no greater gift than working with talented artists who care about the work as much as you do, who will challenge your own ideas, and inspire you to pursue new ones. I also think the very nature of light requires us to look forward and not dwell upon past work. Lighting is so ephemeral, so in the moment, that once a production is complete, I’m ready for the next artistic team I get to work with, the next production I get to work upon, the next set of problems we get to resolve, the next story to be told.” 

City Names K Alumna its Poet Laureate

Fairfax Poet Laureate Danielle Badra
Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill (left) and Chairman Jeffrey McKay congratulate
Danielle Badra ’08 on being named Fairfax’s poet laureate. AE Landes Photography.

The community of Fairfax, Virginia, is celebrating the work of a Kalamazoo College alumna, who will serve as the community’s poet laureate through 2024. 

Danielle Badra ’08 has earned the esteemed honor of representing Fairfax County and will extend her love of poetry through literary-engagement activities in Fairfax County Parks.  

“Language, for me, is a salve,” Badra said. “The more you use it, the more power you have to heal your wounds and the wounds of others. My experiences in life and in the literary world directly inspire my vision for the next two years as Fairfax poet laureate. Through poetry workshops, readings and activities in the parks, I want to illuminate how language and our natural environment can be a source of comfort and creativity.” 

In addition to receiving her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from K, Badra earned a master’s degree in poetry from George Mason University, where she was the poetry editor of So to Speak, a feminist literary and arts journal, and an intern for Split This Rock, a national network of socially engaged poets witnessing injustice and provoking social change. 

Badra’s manuscript, Like We Still Speak, was selected by Fady Joudah and Hayan Charara as the winner of the 2021 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize and published through the University of Arkansas Press. It was named a semifinalist for the Khayrallah Prize, which identifies, awards and publicly honors those whose original work focuses on any aspect of life in Lebanon, or among Lebanese immigrants, whether in the past or present. It was also listed in Entropy magazine’s Best of 2020-2021: Poetry Books and Poetry Collections. 

Since 2020, the Fairfax poet laureate has served as a literary arts ambassador, promoting poetry as an art form in the county, region and state of Virginia. During her tenure, Badra will encourage residents to write and read poetry and all types of literature through a community-service project designed for county residents. 

Dialogue with the Dead (Finishing Line Press, 2015) is Badra’s first chapbook, a collection of contrapuntal poems in dialogue with her deceased sister. Her poems have appeared in Mizna, Cincinnati Review, the Maynard, Outlook Springs, 45th Parallel, the California Journal of Poetics, Duende, the Greensboro Review, Bad Pony, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, Beltway Poetry Quarterly and elsewhere.  

In addition to teaching undergraduate composition, literature and poetry at George Mason University, Badra has led writing workshops at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Split This Rock Poetry Festival, OutWrite DC, and in high schools. She has been a featured reader for Split This Rock’s Sunday Kind of Love series, a judge for Brave New Voices in DC, and a participant in Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, a festival commemorating the 2007 bombing of a historic book market in Baghdad, Iraq.  

“The Fairfax Poet Laureate is a remarkable example of how support to a single artist can impact the whole County,” ArtsFairfax President and CEO Linda S. Sullivan said. “Danielle’s vision to bring poetry to the parks is inspired, and we’re as excited to learn from her as we are thrilled to share her work with the Greater Fairfax community.” 

Discover more of Badra’s work at her website,

K Announces $250,000 Gift to Support Faculty-Led Student Research, Creative Works

Faculty-Student Research and Creative Works Endowment
Richard J. Cook and Teresa M. Lahti have established an endowment for Undergraduate
Research and Creative Activity to facilitate faculty-student collaborative work.

Kalamazoo College students participating in faculty-advised research or creative projects now have access to dedicated funding thanks to a $250,000 gift from a couple who previously served as members of the College’s faculty and administration.

The Richard J. Cook and Teresa M. Lahti Endowment for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity was established to facilitate faculty-student collaborative work. The fund provides stipends, materials and essential project-related travel assistance to students engaged in such research or creative activity.

The fund began awarding grants in 2020, providing support to projects as varied as chemistry research related to solar energy production and efficiency, the study of the physical structure of viruses and a poetry collection exploring themes of identity.

“A gift such as this one improves equity for students with financial need who want to take advantage of these collaborative opportunities—particularly in the summer months, when students are also working and saving for the coming academic year,” Provost Danette Ifert Johnson said. “We are so grateful to Richard and Terry for supporting what is often a transformative experience for K students.”

After earning a bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Princeton University, Richard Cook joined the faculty at Kalamazoo College in 1973, eventually serving as chair of the division of natural sciences and mathematics. In 1987, he received one of Kalamazoo’s highest honors, the Lucasse Fellowship for Excellence in Scholarship. He was named provost of the College in 1989 and served for seven years in that role before being named president of Allegheny College in 1996. Cook left Allegheny in 2008 and joined Lahti Search Consultants. Today he is a higher education governance and leadership consultant with Cook Leadership Partnership.

Teresa Lahti was the dean of admission at K from 1991-1996, where she helped to lift K’s national profile on the admission stage. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Saint Benedict and completed graduate work at the University of Notre Dame. Lahti began her career at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University in Minnesota as an admissions counselor and later served as director of recruitment at the University of Miami in Florida and director of admissions at Agnes Scott College in Georgia before joining K. She founded Lahti Search Consultants in 1997, an executive search firm that specialized in placing enrollment leaders at more than 250 colleges and universities.

“We know from firsthand experience the life-changing difference scholarship support and dedicated mentors can make in a student’s trajectory,” Cook and Lahti said. “It is a true privilege to support K’s longstanding commitment to its nationally recognized student-faculty research program. We are confident that future students will benefit from the excitement of discovery through faculty-guided projects as previous generations of students have.” 

Repair or Replace? Professor’s Book Addresses Resources

Repair Book Cover
Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies Péter Érdi
is a co-author of “Repair: When and How to Improve
Broken Objects, Ourselves and Our Society.”

If you’ve ever asked yourself whether to “repair or replace” certain possessions or facets of your life, a new book co-authored by Kalamazoo College Luce Professor of Complex Systems Studies Péter Érdi is for you.

Érdi and co-author Zsuzsa Szvetelszky have released Repair: When and How to Improve Broken Objects, Ourselves and Our Society. The book, available through Springer, provides a new way of thinking about managing resources through integrating the perspectives of social psychology with complex systems theory, which is concerned with identifying and characterizing common design elements that are observed across diverse natural, technological and social complex systems.

By resources, the authors mean objects, such as cell phones and cars, along with human resources, such as family members, friends, and the small and large communities to which they belong. Their hope is that readers will understand how to repair themselves, their relationships, their communities and contribute to repairing the world.

The authors say the book is offered to Generation Z, which is growing up in a world where some aspects of life seem to be falling apart; people in their 30s and 40s, who are thinking about how to live a fulfilling life; and Baby Boomers, who are thinking back on life and how to repair relationships. Reviews have said the book is an intellectual adventure of connecting the natural and social worlds to understand the transition of going from a “throwaway society” to a “repair society.”

Repair is supposed to be a general interest book,” Érdi said. “It converts scientific theories to conventional applications by raising and answering questions like, ‘when should we attempt to repair something, and when is it better to save one’s energy and let things go?’ We wrote the book with my Hungarian social psychologist, co-author Zsuzsa Szvetelszky, intending to explain how to live a resilient life and design resilient technological and social systems at small, intermediate and large scales.”

Érdi also wrote the 2019 book Ranking: The Hidden Rules of the Social Game We All Play, which examines how and why humans rank certain aspects of life and how those rankings are viewed. That book has been published in seven languages including German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Hungarian. Further, Érdi has been a prolific researcher with more than 40 publications published since joining K. In that time, he has given more than 60 invited lectures across the world, and he received the 2018 Florence J. Lucasse Fellowship for Excellence in Scholarship, honoring his contributions in creative work, research and publication. He also has been the editor-in-chief of Cognitive Systems Research and served as a vice president of the International Neural Network Society.

Plus, more publications by Érdi will be available in the near future.

“It happens that I’ve signed a contract with Springer for my subsequent book Feedback: How to Destroy or Save the World,” he said. “There is a narrow border between destruction and prosperity. To ensure reasonable growth but avoid existential risk, we need to find the fine-tuned balance between positive and negative feedback. The book will offer a non-technical intellectual journey around the application of feedback control to the emergence and management of crises from dynamical diseases to natural and social disasters.”

Woman’s Fall Tests LandSea Leaders’ Mettle, Training

LandSea Leaders Ava Apolo and Julia Leet
LandSea leaders Julia Leet ’22 (left) and Ava Apolo ’25
received accolades from emergency medical services
officials after they helped a woman who had fallen,
causing a seven- to eight-inch gash on her leg that revealed a bone.

Imagine being in a remote area of the Adirondack Mountains with a companion when you hear something that sounds like a scream while a storm is approaching and darkness is falling. Not many people would instinctively know what to do or call on themselves to respond.

Ava Apolo ’25 and Julia Leet ’22, however, encountered that scenario as leaders this fall on LandSea, Kalamazoo College’s outdoor pre-orientation program that occurs before first-year students arrive on campus. They said the scream had the innocuous intonation of a bird call that Boy Scouts are known to use in the area, but it could’ve also been indicative of an emergency.

“We had set up camp at a location called High Rock, which is close to a canoe waterway,” Apolo said. “At first, we thought, ‘Who’s making that noise?’”

They decided to investigate. That’s when they found a woman who had fallen, causing a seven- to eight-inch gash on her leg that revealed a bone. Her adult daughter had screamed when she found her mom lying on the ground. The women had precious few supplies, no cell service and no way of getting help other than the two LandSea representatives.

“We determined it was safe for us to help, so Julia was the first to go down to their location with a med kit and I followed right after,” Apolo said.

Apolo and Leet knew exactly what to do. Both received wilderness medical training they were grateful to have as a part of their preparations for LandSea.

“Our patient wasn’t panicking and she communicated with us very well, which was helpful,” Apolo said. “Julia was the first on the patient, putting pressure on the wound, and I had a Garmin that works as a device for us to stay in contact with our directors. We also have an option to press SOS, which gave us a countdown and allowed us to talk with our directors and emergency response. I’d never had an experience with a real medical response like that. At first, I was freaking out inside, but I had to quickly flip a switch to act.”

The accident victim’s husband arrived on scene as it started to rain. Apolo and Leet had to cover their patient and begin thinking about what they might need to treat while brainstorming an evacuation plan.

“I definitely felt our training kick in,” Leet said. “We were following a scenario, except it was real life. We were taking her vitals, making sure our patient was as comfortable as possible. It was getting dark and we were making a lot of judgment calls as to the best way to help her. The family had arrived by canoe and they couldn’t canoe in the dark to get out. Our adrenaline was pumping.”

Many of those judgment calls were determined through Leet’s conversation with the fall victim.

“We’ve been taught that when someone falls, you have to be really sure that they didn’t hit their head because that can cause the most serious of injuries and you don’t often notice the signs of a head injury until a lot later, when it can be too late,” Leet said. “I consistently was asking her, ‘Are you sure you didn’t hit your head?’ and I was checking her LOC, which is level of consciousness. If that starts to go down, it’s an indication that there could be some sort of internal trauma to the brain.”

Their other concerns were for the victim’s loss of blood and her loss of feeling in her feet.

“She had a pretty big wound and I didn’t know what might’ve been severed,” Leet said. “I was consistently checking movement, circulation in her feet and stopping the bleeding.”

More than two hours into the rescue work, emergency medical services arrived on all-terrain vehicles.

“We had two fire department chiefs that showed up, two EMTs (emergency medical technicians), a forest ranger and some volunteers,” Apolo said. “The volunteers did the heavy lifting of getting her on a backboard.”

Once off the hill, the fall victim was taken into a U.S. Army helicopter.

“No private companies were allowing helicopters out at the time and the Army donated their services,” Apolo said. “Because of that, the patient and her family didn’t have to pay the thousands in hospital fees that a helicopter ride to the hospital would require.”

At this point, Apolo and Leet had finished their job. The family and first responders alike congratulated the K duo and expressed their appreciation.

“When they came down, they were prepared for the worst-case scenario,” Apolo said. “They realized her bleeding was stable, so they relaxed for a second, but were still quick about getting her evacuated. They said that we did a good job and there wasn’t anything different they had to do because Julia had also cleaned the wound once the bleeding stopped. They complimented us and the chiefs’ departments acknowledged on social media that we had responded, which was really cool.”

“Once the first responders came in, we were pretty much hands off,” Leet added. “We didn’t want to be in the way, which was kind of strange because we had spent a few hours talking to someone and we felt we got to know a good amount about her life. Then we knew that we would never see her again. The daughter expressed gratitude to us and so did the chiefs in the fire department, and then we tried to go on with our night.”

All that was left was the debriefing. LandSea and Outdoor Programs Director Jory Horner and Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs Jess Port had a bare minimum of information regarding the emergency after receiving the SOS, so it was necessary to update them and the LandSea logistics leaders.

“The only information Jess and Jory got when we pressed the SOS button on the Garmin was, ‘Patrol B1 pressed SOS,’” Apolo said. “They don’t get information of who was involved, so at first, they were concerned it was a participant. When it wasn’t, it took down their stress level. It was new for them to see how EMS brought in their response teams.”

Meanwhile, the first-year students were aware of what happened, but removed from the scene, which helped them keep each other calm. As soon as the fall victim was evacuated, Apolo and Leet had dinner with the first-year students and informed them of what transpired.

“When we had a group debrief, they didn’t express distress from the situation; this affirmed that they were not strongly affected by it and a good amount separated from what happened,” Apolo said.

Yet for the two wilderness emergency responders, the crisis was a life-changing experience within the already life-changing experience of LandSea.

“Having the experience helped me know how a similar experience might affect me emotionally, and also what I might want to consider more in an emergency in the future like the weather and keeping the patient warm,” said Apolo, a biochemistry major who is considering medical school and a career in emergency medicine or women’s health. “I would definitely feel more prepared should I need to do it again in the future.”

“I think it’s good evidence that I can do hard things,” Leet said. “I was a psychology and Spanish double major. I want to become a marriage and family therapist, and pursue psychology to a higher degree. Although it’s not always a medical crisis, a mental-health crisis isn’t all that different in how you respond to it, so I think this was great practice for me. This kind of scenario tests your ability to stay strong and communicative, while making the right choices as best as you can.”

Appreciation from the LandSea Director

“This accident had many conditions that made it very challenging: unstable weather and intermittent thunderstorms; a long rescue that lasted into the late evening, well after dark; and managing both their own group of students and a patient outside of their group, nearly 4 miles down a trail within a designated wilderness area, which does not allow motorized vehicles. Despite these challenges, Ava and Julia did a great job. They remained calm, cared for the patient and her family, communicated the important information to dispatch using their satellite messenger, and saw to it that their own group remained safe and comfortable amidst stormy conditions during the multi-hour ordeal. These are the kinds of situations that our leaders train for during the nine-day wilderness first responder training that they attend as part of their LandSea trip leader role, but handling a real patient and all of the variables of an extended evacuation in the outdoors still presents a lot of challenges. The crews from Star Lake and Cranberry Lake Fire and Rescue who responded to the scene and evacuated the patient to the trailhead made multiple comments about how impressed they were with Ava and Julia’s response and treatment on the scene. From our perspective, we were equally thankful that they and the DEC Forest Rangers could help with the challenging work of evacuating the patient to the trailhead. After the trip had concluded a few days later, we wanted to debrief their group to see if the students needed to process any of what happened that day. Apparently, Ava and Julia did such a great job of remaining calm and keeping their group comfortable during the rescue that the students on the trip seemed a little confused which day we were even talking about when we were referring to the ‘incident’ that they experienced. That, to me, was a real indication of how well they handled themselves—that they could juggle the various responsibilities of that day so well that for the students in their group it felt like ‘just another day.’”

— LandSea and Outdoor Programs Director Jory Horner

Music Department Slates Four Concerts

College Singers Performing at Light Fine Arts
The Kalamazoo College Singers will present their fall program, a concert titled
“Unattached,” at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 13, in the lobby outside Dalton Theatre.

Kalamazoo College’s Department of Music has four ensembles that will be performing their free and open-to-the-public fall concerts on Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. 

Directed by Thomas G. Evans, K’s Jazz Band pulls together an eclectic collection of contemporary and classic jazz arrangements to provide the participating students and the audience with an electric experience. The group will perform a set list titled “Swing Set” at 8 p.m. Friday in the Dalton Theatre at Light Fine Arts. Music selections will include favorites from Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Jimmy Davis and more with songs such as “Satin Doll,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “In the Mood.” Two dance groups will also entertain the audience: a community group and a K dance group. 

The Kalamazoo Philharmonia, directed by Guest Conductor Anthony Elliott, is an orchestra of Kalamazoo College and the community. The group brings together students, faculty and amateur and professional musicians. The group won the 2014 American Prize—Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming and has produced several CDs. Philharmonia also has appeared on CBS Sunday Morning, and collaborated with the Bach Festival Chorus, as well as many renowned soloists. The ensemble, at 3 p.m. Sunday in Dalton Theatre, will perform selections such as “Global Warming” by Michael Abels, “Symphony No. 29” by Wolfgang Mozart, “Fountains of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi and “Suite No. 2” by Albert Roussel. Hear from Elliott about the concert in this interview with WMUK 102.1

The College Singers choral group includes music majors and non-music majors, offering a different approach to choral singing with a specialty of social justice. At 7 p.m. Sunday in the Dalton lobby, the group—with solos from choir members—will perform songs such as “California Dreamin’,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” “Imagine” and more with the theme of “Unattached.” 

Finally, the International Percussion Ensemble will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Dalton Theatre. The group—which includes African drums, Japanese taiko drums and Caribbean steel drums—features individuals with varied musical backgrounds from K, nearby institutions and the general community. 

For more information on these performances, contact Susan Lawrence in the Department of Music at 269.337.7070 or

Honors Day Hails Students’ Achievements

Student receives recognition from professor on Honors Day
Kalamazoo College recognized outstanding achievements by its students Friday with the annual
Honors Day Convocation.

More than 300 students were recognized Friday during the annual Honors Day Convocation for excellence in academics and leadership. Students were recognized in six divisions: Fine Arts, Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Social Sciences, and Physical Education. Recipients of prestigious scholarships were recognized, as were members of national honor societies and students who received special Kalamazoo College awards. Student athletes and teams who won Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association awards also were honored. The students receiving Honors Day awards or recognition are listed below.

Fine Arts Division

Brian Gougeon Prize in Art
Mabel Bowdle
Josetta Chekett
Aiden Morgan
Ping Smith

The Margaret Upton Prize in Music
Isabella Pellegrom

Cooper Award
Milan Levy

Sherwood Prize
Marilu Bueno

Theatre Arts First-Year Student Award
Megan Herbst
Raven Montagna
Nguyen Nguyen
Jadon Weber

Division of Modern and Classical Languages

LeGrand Copley Prize in French
McKenna Wasmer

Hardy Fuchs Award
Alex Nam
Joaquin Ramirez

Margo Light Award
Aliza Garcia

Department of Spanish Language and Literatures Prize
Paige Anderson
Evan Pollens-Voigt
Maxwell Spitler

Clara H. Buckley Prize for Excellence in Latin
Beatrice Hawkins

Provost’s Prize in Classics
Elle Ragan

Humanities Division

O. M. Allen Prize in English
May Tun

John B. Wickstrom Prize in History
Daniel Koselka
Ryan Muschler

L.J. and Eva (“Gibbie”) Hemmes Memorial Prize in Philosophy
Madeleine Lawson

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division

Winifred Peake Jones Prize in Biology

Isabella Pellegrom
Lucas Priemer
Noah Pyle
Vivian Schmidt
Hannah VanderLugt

Department of Chemistry Prize
Lillian Kehoe
Maxwell Rhames
Hannah VanderLugt

First-Year Chemistry Award

Lillian Grelak
Angela Jacobo
Nguyen Nguyen

Lemuel F. Smith Award
Marissa Dolorfino

Computer Science Prize
Addison Atwater
Sophie Decker
Cole Koryto
Chau Ta

First-Year Mathematics Award
Laura DeVilbiss
Joseph Horsfield
Judah Karesh
Alexander Kish

Thomas O. Walton Prize in Mathematics
Matthew Nelson
Xavier Silva

Cooper Prize in Physics
Alexander Kish
Mackenzie Moore
Tristan Uphoff

NSF S-STEM PRIME Scholars Program
Jessica Antonio-Ulloa
Zoie Banger
Caleb Ewald
Corey Garrison II
Sarah Jaimes Santos
Caleb Jenkins
Rachel Meston
Zoee Perez
Yuliana Reyes
Lauren Stallman   

Social Sciences Division

Departmental Prize in Anthropology and Sociology

Alexandra Armin
Clarke Austin
Tali Deaner
Vivian Kim
Malin Nordmoe
Addison Peter
Sara Reathaford

C. Wallace Lawrence Prize in Business
Holly Bowling
Andreas Fathalla
Farah Ghazal
Christian Kraft

C. Wallace Lawrence Prize in Economics
Nikhil Gandikota
Emma Hahn
Lukas Hultberg
Blagoja Naskovski

Irene and S. Kyle Morris Prize
Colton Jacobs
Meganne Skoug

William G. Howard Memorial Prize in Political Science
Joseph Shumunov

Department of Psychology First-Year Student Prize
Madalyn Farrey
Vivian Kim
Malin Nordmoe
Grace Snyder

Physical Education Division

Division of Physical Education Prize
Adnan Alousi
Vivian Schmidt

Maggie Wardle Prize
Jaelyn Horn


Gordon Beaumont Memorial Award
Litzy Bahena

Henry and Inez Brown Prize
Violet Crampton

Davis United World College Scholar
Unayza Anika
Shiqi (Shaina) Bai
Kinga Fraczkiewicz

Virginia Hinkelman Memorial Award
Ryley White

Heyl Scholars

Class of 2026

Zahra Amini
Michael Ankley
Annaliese Bol
Olivia Cannizzaro
Lilli Daniels
Devi DeYoung
Brigid Roth
Anoushka Soares

Posse Scholars

Class of 2026

Christopher Adeniji
Jimmy Arana
Shyane Barnes-Taylor
Erendira Cabrera
Luis Castro-Limon
Litzy Hernandez
Alyson Ramillano
Arely Roman

National Merit Scholars

Class of 2026
Eleanor Parks-Church

Voynovich Scholars

Elisabeth Kuras
Jack Soderberg

Alpha Lambda Delta

Class of 2025

Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that recognizes excellence in academic achievement during the first college year. To be eligible for membership, students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and be in the top 20 percent of their class during the first year. The Kalamazoo College chapter was installed on March 5, 1942.

Paige Anderson
Ava Apolo
Carolyn Bennett
Daphne Bos
Mairin Boshoven
Anna Buck
Isabella Caza
Alexndra Chafetz
Josetta Checkett
Kyle Cooper
Sophie Decker
Ethan DeNeen
Laura DeVilbiss
Adaora Emenyonu
Justin Essing
Madalyn Farrey
Emma Frederiksen
Lillian Grelak
Elizabeth Grooten
Beatrice Hawkins
Megan Herbst
Maya Hester
Ella Heystek
Sierra Hieshetter
Gavin Houtkooper
Amalia Kaerezi
Kiana Kanegawa
Judah Karesh
Roze Kerr
Vivian Kim
Si Yun Kimball
Alexander Kish
Cole Koryto
Madeleine Lawson
Margaret Lekan
Luis Lizardo-Rodriguez
Ava Loncharte
Madeline Lovins
Jacob Lynett
Andrew Mallon
Arjun Manyam
Sophia Merchant
Mackenzie Moore
Alex Nam
Nguyen Nguyen
Malin Nordmoe
Emma Olson
Isabella Pellegrom
Kaitlin Peot
Benjamin Pickrel
Lucas Priemer
Elena Pulliam
Noah Pyle
Julie Rambo
Sara Reathaford
Laura Reinaux Silva Oliveira
Keegan Reynolds
Maxwell Rhames
Sheldon Riley
Luke Rop
Charlotte Ruiter
Leslie Santos
Vivian Schmidt
Eden Schnurstein
Ping Smith
Grace Snyder
Maxwell Spitler
Eleanor Stevenson
Meredith Steward
Hannah Summerfled
Chau Ta
Claire Taylor
Levi Thomas
Sophia Timm-Blow
Tristan Uphoff
Hannah VanderLugt
McKenna Wasmer
Emerson Wesselhoff
Carson Williams
Laurel Wolfe

Enlightened Leadership Awards

Performing Arts: Music

Shiqi Bai
Avery Brockington
Trustin Christopher
Noah Chun
Sally Eggleston
Luke Hanson
Madeline Hanulcik
Emilia Kelly
Caden Lowis
Kira McManus
Emma Morrison
Lorelei Moxon
Chelsea Paddock
Bea Putman
Molly Stevison
Jeremy Tarn
Hannah Ulanoski

MIAA Awards

These teams earned the 2021-2022 MIAA Team GPA Award for achieving a 3.300 or better grade point average for the entire academic year:

Women’s Basketball
Men’s Cross Country
Women’s Cross Country
Men’s Lacrosse
Women’s Golf
Men’s Soccer
Women’s Softball
Women’s Lacrosse
Women’s Soccer
Men’s Swimming and Diving
Women’s Swimming and Diving
Men’s Tennis
Women’s Tennis

MIAA Academic Honor Roll

Student Athletes 2021-22
The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association each year honors students at MIAA member colleges who achieve in the classroom and in athletic competition. Students need to be a letter winner in a varsity sport and maintain at least a 3.5 grade point average for the entire school year.

Adnan Alousi
Olivia Anderson
Paige Anderson
Alexandra Armin
Addison Atwater
Annalise Bailey
Spencer Baldwin
Madison Barch
Travis Barclay
Elena Basso
Ella Black
Rose Bogard
Mairin Boshoven
Chelsea Bossert
Alex Bowden
Leslie Bowen
Holly Bowling
Austin Bresnahan
Lukas Broadsword
Jonathan Brunette
Anna Buck
Pierce Burke
Isabella Caza
Ben Chosid
Walker Chung
Madeleine Coffman
Nicholas Cohee
Lucy Cripe
Emma Curcuru
Nick Dailey
Jessica Dant
Zachary Dean
Emmelyn DeConinck
Ethan DeNeen
Sarah Densham
Olivia DePauli
Chris DeVito
Eva DeYoung
Adam Dorstewitz
Rorie Dougherty
Ryan Drew
Hannah Durant
Gina Dvorin
Rebecca Elias
Kelsi Elliott
Sara English
Jake Fales
Colton Farley
Peter Fitzgerald
Payton Fleming
Parker Foster
Andre Fouque
Emma Frederiksen
Aliza Garcia
Brynna Garden
Farah Ghazal
Katie Gierlach
Nicole Gorder
Lillian Grelak
Natalie Gross
Matthew Gu
Sydney Hagaman
Emily Haigh
Ryan Hanifan
Alison Hankins
Lucy Hart
Tanner Hawkins
Noah Hecht
Maya Hester
Sam Hoag
Jacob Hoffman
Garrick Hohm
Jaelyn Horn
Joseph Horsfield
Molly Horton
Tyler Houle
Gavin Houtkooper
Sam Hughes
Lukas Hultberg
Madelaine Hurley
Casey Johnson
Thomas Kartes
Lucas Kastran
Kai Ketola
Hunter Kiesling
Meghan Killmaster
Rylie Kipfmueller
Lena Klemm
Allison Klinger
Ella Knight
Daniel Koselka
Marissa Kovac
Brandon Kramer
Kathryn Larick
Annmarie Lawrence
Ava Loncharte
Jack Loveland
Jacob Lynett
MacKenzy Maddock
Natalie Maki
Grace McGlynn
Dylan McGorisk
Amy McNutt
Luke Middlebrook
Camille Misra
Jana Molby
Mackenzie Moore
Ryan Morgan
Samantha Moss
Anna Murphy
Nicholas Nerhood
Alexis Nesbitt
Caroline Norton
Alina Offerman
Larkin O’Gorman
Jeremiah Ohren-Hoeft
Olivia Oswald
Ella Palacios
Scott Peters
Eve Petrie
Alexis Petty
Sydney Pickell
Benjamin Pickrel
Noah Piercy
Harrison Poeszat
Evan Pollens-Voigt
Grayson Pratt
Doug Propson
Elizabeth Rachiele
Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci
Julia Rambo
Sara Reathaford
Keegan Reynolds
Mya Richter
Sheldon Riley
Michael Robertson
Lily Rogowski
Luke Rop
Alec Rosenbaum
Elizabeth Rottenberk
Jacob Roubein
Charlotte Ruiter
Tyler Sakalys-Moore
Marco Savone
Vivian Schmidt
Eden Schnurstein
Hannah Schurman
Michael Schwartz
Darby Scott
Steven Shelton
Elizabeth Silber
Colby Skinner
Erin Somsel
Armaan Sood-Mankar
Jonah Spates
Adam Stapleton
David Stechow
Alex Stolberg
Hayden Strobel
Ella Szczublewski
Emily Tenniswood
Levi Thomas
Cade Thune
Kaytlyn Tidey
Sophia Timm-Blow
Frances Trimble
Mary Trimble
Oliver Tye
Samantha VandePol
Hannah VanderLugt
Cameron VanGalder
Anna Varitek
Caleb Waldmiller
Riley Weber
Margaret Wedge
Tanner White
Dylan Wickey
Ava Williams
Laurel Wolfe
Tony Yazbeck
Ian Yi
Sophie Zhuang
Margaret Zorn

Festival Playhouse Presents ‘Othello’

Xavier Bolden rehearses his role as Othello
Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse will stage
William Shakespeare’s “Othello” beginning Thursday, November 3.

Kalamazoo College’s Festival Playhouse will examine an old tragedy through a modern lens when it stages William Shakespeare’s Othello from Thursday, November 3–Sunday, November 6 at the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse, 129 Thompson St.

In the play, the character Iago has served as a soldier and trusted ensign, fighting alongside Othello, the Moor of Venice, for many years. However, he grows angry about being passed over for a promotion and plots to take revenge against his general, Othello. Iago tricks Othello into believing that his wife, Desdemona, is unfaithful. That stirs Othello’s jealousy, leading him to kill Desdemona and then himself. 

The production demonstrates the importance of communication, trust and respect, and how they relate to mental well-being while lifting the curtain on the Playhouse’s 59th season under the theme of Mental Health Matters. 

“Throughout the show, we explore how Iago’s influence and being surrounded by racism affects Othello’s mental health,” said Meaghan Kelly ’23, who is working as the play’s dramaturg. As the dramaturg, Kelly researched the historical topics and time periods addressed in the play to assist Director Ren Pruis, a K professor of theatre arts, in teaching the actors about the characters and the play’s settings. 

“Racism at the time this show was written is incredibly significant. Shakespeare bases his characterization of Othello on a book written by a European author who had just done a tour of Africa,” Kelly said. “This author implies that all African people are brave and noble, but very jealous, which almost exactly describes Othello. We’re always looking to take on challenging theatre like this and we think there’s a lot to learn from it.” 

Kelly also designed an informational display for the Playhouse’s lobby, something that she hopes will make Shakespeare’s ideas understandable. 

“I find that a lot of the struggle with Shakespeare comes with reading his plays when it’s naturally meant to be seen and heard,” Kelly said. “My lobby display will feature the actors and their roles along with a list of vocabulary that’s used in the play. That’s one of the benefits to having a dramaturg in college theater. It will help make the language more accessible.” 

Meaghan Kelly
“Othello” dramaturg Meaghan Kelly ’23

Guest Artist Xavier Bolden, a Western Michigan University alumnus, will play Othello. Bolden has been involved with community theatre since he was about 10 years old, performing at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, in addition to Kalamazoo Public Schools. He also was an extra on episodes of the TV shows Bones and No Ordinary Family.

“As far as acting is concerned, I’ve loved dramatic or theatrical plays that lend a deeper message,” Bolden said. “With how (the Playhouse) is dealing with mental health issues and the overwhelming emotional side of the tragedy in Othello and the loss with it, I hope to rise to the occasion with the role. From watching the rehearsals when I’m not on stage and seeing what we’ve accomplished with lighting and sound, all credit goes to the other actors and everyone who has brought in their talents. Everybody has grown in a tremendous way. The students have had midterms in the middle of rehearsing a 146-page play. That’s nothing short of incredible. It’s going to be an amazing production.”

Sean Gates ’23 and Sedona Coleman ‘23 will perform as Iago and Desdemona respectively. Other actors include Evan Barker ’26 as Cassio, Raven Montagna ’25 as Roderigo and Max Wright ’26 as Lodovico. 

The play will be staged at 7:30 p.m. from November 3–November 5, and at 2 p.m. November 6. Tickets are available online or by calling the Festival Playhouse at 269.337.7333. Friday’s show will also be livestreamed. Purchase a livestream pass online. Please note that masks and proof of COVID-19 vaccinations are required to attend. 

Obon Festival to Feature Taiko Drums, Dancing

Obon Festival Featured Performer Ken Koshio with stretched out arms and a drum looking over a city.
Taiko Master Ken Koshio will be among the featured performers Saturday
at Kalamazoo College’s Obon Festival.

Kalamazoo College will host a Japanese cultural festival on Saturday that traditionally is held to commemorate deceased ancestors as their spirits return to visit their relatives. 

The Obon Festival, the first of its kind at K, will feature Bon dancing, Japanese martial arts and taiko drums with Japanese Taiko Master Ken Koshio, along with crafts and food. The event is presented by K’s International Percussion Ensemble, a group that features a West African ensemble and Caribbean steelpans in addition to Japanese taiko. 

K’s taiko group will perform with the Michigan Hiryu Daiko drumming group, the Japanese instrumental group Sakura and Fort Wayne Taiko. The free event will be conducted on the Quad from 2 to 5 p.m. with the Dalton Theatre in Light Fine Arts reserved as the rain site.  

For more information on this performance, contact Susan Lawrence in the Department of Music at 269.337.7070 or

WMUK interview: Hear from Ken Koshio and Carolyn Koebel of the Michigan Hiryu Daiko Taiko Drummers.