K Professor Wants More Diversity in Victorian Studies

Ryan Fong Victorian Studies
Associate Professor of English Ryan Fong is one of four scholars from around the country who founded Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, a digital humanities project that reimagines how to teach Victorian studies with a positive, race-conscious lens.

A Kalamazoo College English faculty member has helped develop a project that ensures his field will be inclusive and engaging with scholars from underrepresented groups.

Associate Professor of English Ryan Fong is one of four scholars from around the country who founded Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom, a digital humanities project that reimagines how to teach Victorian studies with a positive, race-conscious lens. The title was inspired by a recent essay by Ronjaunee Chatterjee, Alicia Mireles Christoff and Amy R. Wong in the Los Angeles Review of Books, titled “Undisciplining Victorian Studies,” which itself borrowed from York University Professor of English literature and Black studies Christina Sharpe’s call for scholars to “become undisciplined” as a way to undo racist theories and the limited, predominantly white scopes that scholars have inherited.

“The three other founders and I wanted to create a set of resources for how to bring this work into the classroom to infuse our teaching,” Fong said. “The website developed as a result of those conversations, and we collaborated with one another to build the site and involved other scholars from around the world to create our first batch of teaching materials.”

In addition to Fong, the founding developers are Pearl Chaozon Bauer, an associate professor of English at Notre Dame de Namur University; Sophia Hsu, an assistant professor of English at Lehman College, CUNY; and Adrian S. Wisnicki, an associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

The K community can take pride in the team’s project because many of the lesson plans featured on the website draw on those that Fong first developed in his classroom through his own pedagogy. Take, for example, the lessons regarding the work of Mary Seacole, a British-Jamaican nurse, healer and businesswoman who set up the “British Hotel” during the Crimean War. Seacole hoped to assist with nursing the war’s wounded but was turned away when she applied to be in the nursing contingent. Instead, she traveled independently and set up her own “hotel” for tending to the wounded, making her popular with service personnel, who raised money for her as she faced extreme poverty after the war.

“A lot of what we’ve been doing in the project is creating resources to help instructors teach materials like Mary Seacole’s,” Fong said. “She wrote an important travelogue and memoir about her experiences, and the teaching materials on the site will help teachers contextualize this work and teach it alongside people that we already know and love like Charles Dickens and Charlotte Bronte. We’re hoping that we’re giving scholars tools to incorporate new materials into their classes or perhaps even conceive and remake whole new classes.”

In addition to lesson plans and syllabi that involve writers such as Seacole, the Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom website provides Zoom-based broadcasts with recorded conversations, featuring professors to further promote a diverse base of historical writers.

“We’re recording conversations with colleagues about what we do in our classrooms,” Fong said. “It gives us a chance to share how we teach and how we can expand the materials and approaches that we have typically used. Hosting these has given me a lot of opportunities to share what I’ve developed at K. Bringing the expertise that I’ve been able to gain into these conversations with teacher scholars around the country and around the world has been really exciting.”

In the short term, Fong said the site’s success will be evaluated through the number of people visiting the website. Yet ultimately, the hope is to get experts and scholars throughout higher education excited to collaborate with the project while empowering everyone who does the work of teaching literature in colleges and universities—from graduate students to adjunct faculty and tenured professors.

“Around the world, we’re all really working toward these goals of social justice, anti-racism, and diversity, inclusion and equity,” Fong said. “If we’re working in alignment with those principles and we’re doing it thoughtfully as scholars, then I feel like that we have the potential to make an impact not just in higher ed, but all over.”

Poetry Professor Receives NEA Creative Writing Fellowship

Oliver Baez Bendorf Receives Creative Writing Fellowship
Kalamazoo College Assistant Professor of English Oliver Baez Bendorf is one of 35 writers receiving a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship.

The National Endowment for the Arts today announced that Oliver Baez Bendorf, a Kalamazoo College assistant professor in the Department of English, is one of 35 writers who will receive a 2021 Creative Writing Fellowship of $25,000.

Baez Bendorf was selected from about 1,600 eligible applicants. Fellows are selected through a highly-competitive, anonymous process and are judged on the artistic excellence of the work sample they provided. The fellowships provide funding for recipients to write, revise, research and travel.

“I am honored and still in shock to have received this prestigious grant,” Baez Bendorf said. The fellowship will help fund his work on a future collection of poems, including research travel when that becomes possible again after the pandemic. He hopes to go to Hessen, Germany, to visit the Ronneburg Castle, in which his father’s ancestors took refuge from religious persecution. The castle now houses festivals and a falconry center.

Baez Bendorf is the author of two poetry collections, most recently Advantages of Being Evergreen, published in 2019. Jennifer Natalya Fink, a professor of English at George Washington University, described that book as a “wild queer reimagining of the potential of language to redress our past oppression and imagine new possibilities for gender, nature, and ecstasy.”

In 2020, Baez Bendorf received the early career achievement award from The Publishing Triangle. His work has also garnered fellowships from CantoMundo, Vermont Studio Center and Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. His poems appear in recent or forthcoming issues of American Poetry Review, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, New England Review, Orion, Poetry, the anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics, and other publications.

Since joining the faculty in 2018, Baez Bendorf leads the poetry workshops at Kalamazoo College and teaches introductory creative writing classes. In fall 2020, he taught a first-year seminar he designed titled “Romance and Revolution: The Life and Times of Pablo Neruda.”

Outside the classroom, he has mentored K students in their pursuits of nature writing and literary editing. In 2019, he collaborated with colleagues across the college to host a celebrated writer on campus. A faculty research grant from the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership enabled him to participate in the New Orleans Poetry Festival, which featured his work in ecopoetics.

Baez Bendorf, who was born and raised in Iowa, holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Iowa, and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry and Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies, both from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The late Conrad Hilberry, a poet and beloved Professor Emeritus of English who taught at K from 1962 until 1998, also received a Creative Writing Fellowship from the Arts Endowment in 1984.

Since 1967, the Arts Endowment has awarded more than 3,600 Creative Writing Fellowships totaling over $56 million. Many American recipients of the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and Fiction were recipients of National Endowment for the Arts fellowships early in their careers. The full list of 2021 Creative Writing Fellows is available online.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support these 35 talented poets through Creative Writing Fellowships,” said Amy Stolls, director of literary arts at the Arts Endowment. “These fellowships often provide writers with crucial support and encouragement, and in return our nation is enriched by their artistic contributions in the years to come.”

Visit arts.gov to browse bios, artist statements and writing excerpts from a sample of past Creative Writing Fellows.

Honors Convocation Lauds Students’ Achievements

Honors Day Convocation
Kalamazoo College recognized outstanding achievements by its students Friday with the annual Honors Day Convocation.

More than 250 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. Watch the recorded event at our website.

FINE ARTS DIVISION

Brian Gougeon Prize in Art

Awarded to a sophomore student who, during his or her first year, exhibited outstanding achievement and potential in art.

Elena Basso
Nicole Taylor
Camryn Zdziarski-West

Margaret Upton Prize in Music

Provided by the Women’s Council of Kalamazoo College and awarded each year to a student designated by the Music Department Faculty as having made significant achievement in music.

Katherine Miller-Purrenhage

Cooper Award

For a junior or senior showing excellence in a piece of creative work in a Theatre Arts class:  film, acting, design, stagecraft, puppetry or speech.

Jonathan Townley

Sherwood Prize

Given for the best oral presentation in a speech-oriented class.

Sedona Coleman
Cameo Green

Theatre Arts First-Year Student Award

Given to a sophomore for outstanding departmental efforts during the first year.

Milan Levy

MODERN AND CLASSICAL LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES DIVISION

LeGrand Copley Prize in French

Awarded to the sophomore who as a first-year student demonstrated the greatest achievement in French.

Tristan Fuller
Claire Kvande

Hardy Fuchs Award

Given for excellence in first-year German.

Ben Flotemersch
Elizabeth Wang

Margo Light Award

Given for excellence in second-or third-year German.

Ellie Lotterman
Noah Prentice

Romance Languages Department Prize in Spanish

Awarded for excellence in the first year in Spanish.

Emma Sidor
MiaFlora Tucci

Clara H. Buckley Prize for Excellence in Latin

Awarded to an outstanding student of the language of the ancient Romans.

Sydney Patton

Provost’s Prize in Classics

Awarded to that student who writes the best essay on a classical subject.

Jane Delmonico

Classics Department Prize in Greek

Awarded to the outstanding student of the language of classical Greece.

Nick Wilson

HUMANITIES DIVISION

Allen Prize in English

Given for the best essay written by a member of the first-year class.

Shanon Brown

John B. Wickstrom Prize in History

Awarded for excellence in the first year’s work in history.

Helen Edwards
Sam Kendrick

Department of Philosophy Prize

Awarded for excellence in any year’s work in philosophy.

Julia Bienstock
Emma Fergusson
Luke Richert
Teague Tompkins

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

Awarded to a sophomore who in the first year shows the greatest promise for continuing studies in philosophy.

Garret Hanson
Clarice Ray
Mikayla Youngman

NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS DIVISION

Department of Chemistry Prize

Awarded for excellence in the first year’s work in chemistry.

Abby Barnum
Marissa Dolorfino
Elizabeth Wang

First-Year Chemistry Award

Awarded to a sophomore student who, during  the first year, demonstrated great achievement in chemistry.

Thomas Buffin
Mallory Dolorfino
MiaFlora Tucci

Lemuel F. Smith Award

Given to a student majoring in chemistry pursuing the American Chemical Society approved curriculum and having at the end of the junior year the highest average standing in courses taken in chemistry, physics and mathematics.

Jennalise Ellis

Computer Science Prize

Awarded for excellence in the first year’s work in computer science.

Eleanor Carr
Vien Hang
Aleksandr Molchagin
Erin Murphy
William Shaw
Hanis Sommerville

First-Year Mathematics Award

Given annually to the sophomore student who, during the first year, demonstrated the greatest achievement in mathematics.

Tolkien Bagchi

Thomas O. Walton Prize in Mathematics

Awarded to a member of the junior class for excellence in the work of the first two years in mathematics.

Joseph Jung
Tommy Saxton
Carter Wade

Cooper Prize in Physics

Given for excellence in the first year’s work in physics.

Oliver Tye
Blue Truong

SOCIAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Departmental Prize in Anthropology and Sociology

Awarded for excellence during the first and/or second year’s work.

Milan Levy
Milagros Robelo
Aija Turner

Wallace Lawrence Prize in Economics

Awarded annually to a student who has done outstanding work in the Department of Economics and Business during the sophomore year.

Kayla Carlson
Mihail Naskovski
Emily Tenniswood

William G. Howard Memorial Prize

Awarded for excellence in any year’s work in economics.

Nicklas Klepser
Nathan Micallef
Sage Ringsmuth
Andrew Sheckell

Wallace Lawrence Prize in Business

Awarded annually to a student who has done outstanding work in the Department of Economics and Business during the sophomore year.

Lucas Kastran
Cade Thune
Alex Wallace

Irene and S. Kyle Morris Prize

Awarded for excellence in the first year’s courses in the Department of Economics and Business.

Zoe Gurney

William G. Howard Memorial Prize in Political Science

Awarded for excellence in any year’s work in political science.

Elisabeth Kuras

Department of Psychology First-Year Student Prize

Awarded for excellence in the first-year student’s work in psychology.

Violet Crampton
Sarah Densham

PHYSICAL EDUCATION DIVISION

Division of Physical Education Prize

Awarded to those students who as first-year students best combined leadership and scholarship in promoting athletics, physical education and recreation.

Sam Ankley
Alexis Petty

Maggie Wardle Prize

Awarded to that sophomore woman whose activities at the College reflect the values that Maggie Wardle demonstrated in her own life. The recipient will show a breadth of involvement in the College through her commitment to athletics and to the social sciences and/or community service.

Camille Misra

COLLEGE AWARDS

Henry and Inez Brown Prize

Denise Jackson
Heather Muir
James Totten
Vanessa Vigier

Heyl Scholars (Class of 2024)

Lukas Bolton
Madeleine Coffman
Emily Haigh
Bijou Hoehle
Xavier Silva
Jordyn Wilson

Posse Scholars (Class of 2024)

Nicholas Davis
Nathan Garcia
Zy’ere Hollis
Tytiana Jones
Aaron Martinez
Udochi Okorie
Joshua Pamintuan
Anthony Peraza
Samantha Rodriguez
Rina Talaba

National Merit Scholars (Class of 2024)

Carter Wade

Voynovich Scholars
Awarded annually to a student who, in the judgment of the faculty, submits the most creative essay on the year’s topic.

Marina Bayma-Meyer
Yung Seo Lee

Alpha Lamda Delta

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.

Jez Abella
Hashim Akhtar
Cameron Arens
Tolkien Bagchi
Elena Basso
Cassandra Bergen
Thomas Buffin
Natalie Call
John Carlson
Mary Margaret Cashman
Cassidy Chapman
Nicholas Cohee
Violet T. Crampton
Lauren Crossman
Sarah Densham
Charles Pasquale DiMagno
Mallory Dolorfino
Marissa Dolorfino
Katia Duoibes
Hannah Durant
Carter Eisenbach
Benjamin Flotemersch
Caelan Frazier
Nathaniel Harris Fuller
Tristan Fuller
Grace Garver
Zoe Gurney
Yoichi Haga
Vien Hang
Garrett Hanson
Lucy Hart
Katherine Haywood
Marshall Holley
Audrey Huizenga
Ian Becks Hurley
Jonathan Jiang
Emily Robin Kaneko Dudd
Benjamin Tyler Keith
Isabella Grace Kirchgessner
Sofia Rose Klein
Lena Thompson Klemm
Rhys Koellmann
Elisabeth Kuras
Caroline Lamb
Am Phuong Le
Dillon Lee
Ginamarie Lester
Milan Levy
Thomas Lichtenberg
Cassandra Linnertz
Alvaro J. Lopez Gutierrez
Kanase J. Matsuzaki
Camille Misra
Aleksandr V. Molchagin
Samantha Moss
Arein D. Motan
Matthew Mueller
Erin Murphy
Maya Nathwani
William Naviaux
Sudhanva Neti
Stefan Louis Nielsen
Keigo Nomura
Rohan Nuthalapati
Jenna Clare Paterob
Sheyla Yasmin Pichal
Harrison Poeszat
Noah Prentice
Isabelle G. Ragan
Abby L. Rawlings
Katherine Rock
Skyler Rogers
Gi Salvatierra
Hannia Queren Sanchez-Alvarado
Madeline Gehl Schroeder
William Shaw
Hanis Sommerville
Alex M Stolberg
Kaleb Sydloski
Clara Margaret Szakas
Claire Tallio
Nicole Taylor
Abhishek Thakur
Kaia Thomas
Blue Truong
Oliver Tye
Duurenbayar Ulziiduuren
Chilotam Christopher Urama
Elizabeth G. Wang
Margaret L. Wedge
Ryley Kay White
Katelyn Williams
Skai Williams
Leah Wolfgang
Camryn Zdziarski-West
Sophie Zhuang
Nathaniel Zona

Enlightened Leadership Awards

Robert Barnard
Irie Browne
Rebecca Chan
Nolan Devine
Daniel Fahle
Grace Hancock
Julia Leet
Lia Schroeder
Matthew Swarthout
Jonathan Townley
Ethan Tuck
Ian Yi

MIAA Award

These teams earned the 2019-2020 MIAA Team GPA Award for achieving a 3.3 or better grade-point average for the entire academic year:

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

MIAA Academic Honor Roll
Student Athletes 2019-2020

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 academic year.

Max Ambs
Georgie Andrews
Grant Anger
Hunter Angileri
Samuel Ankley
Julia Bachmann
Travis Barclay
Elena Basso
Lillian Baumann
Alex Bowden
Austin Bresnahan
Jack Brockhaus
Pierce Burke
Annika Canavero
Raekwon Castelow
Claire Cebelak
Walker Chung
Nicholas Cohee
Thomas Cook
Noah Coplan
Rachel Cornell
Chase Coselman
John Crane
Cameron Crothers
Gwendolyn Davis
Riley Davis
Emmelyn DeConinck
Robert Dennerll
Sarah Densham
Eva DeYoung
Mallory Dolorfino
Marissa Dolorfino
Amanda Dow
Austin Duff
Alex Dupree
Hannah Durant
Thomas Fales
Dugan Fife
Gwendolyn Flatland
Payton Fleming
Matthew Ford
Clifton Foster
Luke Fountain
Sierra Fraser
Rachael Gallap
Brendan Gausselin
Katie Gierlach
Anthony Giovanni
Madison Goodman
Mya Gough
Matthew Gu
Rebekah Halley
Grace Hancock
Laura Hanselman
Lucy Hart
Katherine Haywood
Zachary Heimbuch
Alyssa Heitkamp
Daniel Henry
McKenna Hepler
Sam Hoag
Mathew Holmes-Hackerd
Matthew Howrey
Tre Humes
Aidan Hurley
Amiee Hutton
Benjamin Hyndman
Samantha Jacobsen
Jonathan Jiang
Jaylin Jones
Jackson Jones
Amani Karim
Lucas Kastran
Maria Katrantzi
Greg Kearns
Ben Keith
Will Keller
Jackson Kelly
David Kent
Hannah Kerns
Meghan Killmaster
Dahwi Kim
Alaina Kirschman
Lena Klemm
Allison Klinger
Ella Knight
Nicholas Kraeuter
Brandon Kramer
Matthew Krinock
John Kunec
Nicholas Lang
Juanita Ledesma
Jack Leisenring
Kathryn LeVasseur
Marissa Lewinski
Rosella LoChirco
Rachel Madar
MacKenzy Maddock
Deven Mahanti
Lauren Marshall
Samuel Matthews
Courtney McGinnis
Dylan McGorsik
Keelin McManus
Benjamin Meschke
Tytus Metzler
Nathan Micallef
Camille Misra
DeShawn Moore
Dominic Moore
Maxo Moran
Samantha Moss
Elizabeth Munoz
Alexis Nesbitt
Nikoli Nickson
Madeline Odom
Abigail O’Keefe
Marianna Olson
Michael Orwin
Ella Palacios
Cayla Patterson
Hellen Pelak
Calder Pellerin
Scott Peters
Eve Petrie
Nicole Pierece
Noah Piercy
Jared Pittman
Harrison Poeszat
Zachary Prystash
Erin Radermacher
Harrison Ramsey
Zachary Ray
Jordan Reichenbach
Benjamin Reiter
Ashley Rill
Molly Roberts
Katherine Rock
Lily Rogowski
Isabelle Russo
Justin Schodowski
Michael Schwartz
Darby Scott
Andrew Sheckell
Josephine Sibley
Elizabeth Silber
Nathan Silverman
Jack Smith
Katherine Stewart
Abby Stewart
Grant Stille
Alexander Stockewell
Alex Stolberg
Hayden Strobel
Thomas Sylvester
Jacob Sypniewski
Clara Szakas
Nina Szalkiewicz
Jack Tagget
Leah Tardiff
Emily Tenniswood
Cade Thune
Kaytlyn Tidey
Mary Trimble
Matt Turton
Oliver Tye
Damian Valdes
Madison Vallan
Naomi Verne
Alex Wallace
Maija Weaver
Margaret Wedge
Tanner White
Megan Williams
Madalyn Winarski
Hannah Wolfe
Brandon Wright
Tony Yazbeck
Julie Zabik
Christian Zeitvogel
Sophie Zhuang

Three Faculty Members Earn Tenure

Three Kalamazoo College faculty members from the English, music and political science departments have been awarded tenure.

The tenure milestone recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to the College, and signifies its confidence in the contributions these professors will make throughout their careers.

The following faculty members were approved by the Board of Trustees for tenure and promotion to associate professor:

Shanna Salinas tenure 2
Shanna Salinas

Arcus Social Justice Leadership Assistant Professor of English and Co-Director of Critical Ethnic Studies Shanna Salinas

Salinas teaches 19th, 20th and 21st century American literary and cultural studies with an emphasis on American race and ethnicity. She received her bachelor’s degree in American literature and culture with a minor in Chicana/o Studies from UCLA; and her master’s degree and doctorate in English from UC Santa Barbara.

Her published work includes “Raced Bodies, Corporeal Texts: Narratives of Home and Self in Sandra Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street;” Critical Insights: Virginia Woolf and 20th Century Women Writers, 2015; “Coloring the U.S.-Mexico Border: Geographical Othering and Postbellum Nation Building in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening (Studies in American Fiction 41.1, Spring 2018); and “For the Pleasure of the Chicanx Poet: Spatialized Embodied Poetics in Ana Castillo’s My Father Was a Toltec,” New Transnational Latinx Perspectives on Ana Castillo, ed. Karen Roybal and Bernadine Hernández (forthcoming, Pittsburgh University Press).

Beau Bothwell tenure
Beau Bothwell

Assistant Professor of Music Beau Bothwell

Bothwell has taught courses in ethnomusicology, music theory and music history since completing his Ph.D. in musicology at Columbia University in 2013. He received B.A.s in music history and ethnomusicology/jazz studies from UCLA, and previously taught at Columbia, the Juilliard School, the American University in Beirut, and the New School.

Beau’s research addresses the music, media and politics of the Arabophone Middle East and the U.S. He has published in a range of venues, and co-translated (with Lama Zein) Ali Kisserwan’s two-volume analysis, the Compositions of Mohammad ʿAbdel Wahab for Umm Kulthum. He is also co-chair of the Society for Arabic Music Research, President of the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music, and founding co-director (with Ahmed Tofiq) of the Kalamazoo College Middle Eastern Orchestra, the Bayati Ensemble.

Justin Berry tenure
Justin Berry

Assistant Professor of Political Science Justin Berry

Berry teaches Introduction to American Government; Race, Law and U.S. Politics; Constitutional Law; the Presidency and Congress; and Voting, Campaigns and Elections. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Villanova University, master’s degrees in education and educational leadership from Loyola Marymount University and Fielding Graduate Institute respectively; and a doctorate in political science and international relations from the University of Southern California.

Bags to Benches Targets Plastic, Unites K

Bags to Benches Plastics Drive
Lezlie Lull ’20 participates in the Bags to Benches plastics drive that is uniting the Kalamazoo College community in an effort organized by the Council of Student Representatives and the Eco Club. If the campus can collect 500 pounds of plastic or 40,500 pieces of film during the six-month drive, it will receive a bench made of recycled plastic from the Trex Recycling Co. in Winchester, Virginia.

The Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives (KCCSR) and the Eco Club are offering a creative way for you to deal with your plastic waste—including that supply of plastic bags that seems to grow every time you shop.

From now until July, the organizations are collecting clean, dry and residue-free produce bags, closeable food-storage bags, cereal bags and more in receptacles around campus through their self-titled Bags to Benches program.

With the Bags to Benches program, a volunteer will weigh the plastic collected each month at the Hicks Student Center, Upjohn Library Commons, Dewing Hall, Dow Science Center, Anderson Athletic Center and the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership collection sites. If the Trex Recycling Co. in Winchester, Virginia, then confirms that K’s plastics drive has gathered 500 pounds or 40,500 pieces of plastic film, bags and plastic during the six-month drive, the College will receive a bench made of recycled plastic it can place on campus.

Council of Student Representatives President Karina Pantoja encourages the K community to think big when dropping off plastic. Don’t just settle for plastic grocery bags; think about bread bags, bubble wrap, dry-cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, plastic overwrap, closeable food-storage bags and more.

She said the Bags to Benches program began as representatives were looking for a way to unite the campus and build community around a common cause. The sustainability aspect of the project is a bonus and it shows prospective students they can come to K and seek ways of acting to benefit the greater community.

“We avoided making this a competition between student groups or departments because we think it’s important for everyone to come together and work toward one goal,” said Pantoja, of Paw Paw, Michigan, who majors in English with a concentration in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. “An effort like this can tell students that someone on campus cares about sustainability, that student contributions are valued, and that student representatives exemplify their values. It’s nice to have something that sustains an optimistic and exciting energy throughout campus as all of us can come together to accomplish a goal like this.”

For questions and more ideas about how you can support the Bags to Benches program, email KCCSR at StudentRepresentatives@kzoo.edu.

Washington Internship Boosts Student’s Love of Museums

A fortunate pairing of four people with Kalamazoo College ties provided one student with a valuable internship experience last summer in Washington, D.C.

Marie Kohrman with Washington re-enactor at internship
Marie Kohrman ’22 had her picture taken with a re-enactor playing John Hancock last summer at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C., where she had an internship.

Marie Kohrman ’22 was an intern at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a home for more than 20 billion documents related to the federal government throughout U.S. history. There, she worked for K alumna Christiana Hanson ’06, a volunteer coordinator, and stayed with Genna (Beaudoin) Gent ’94 and Chad Gent ’92 from June through August.

Kohrman, who majors in English with a concentration in American studies, was one of 15 interns selected from 95 applicants to work at NARA after her love of museums and history and a desire to find constructive opportunities over the summer converged.

“My parents had been talking to me for a while about finding an internship, and I’m a person who needs to stay busy,” Kohrman said of her decision to apply. Students apply for internships through Handshake, a platform available through the Center for Career and Professional Development. “I had no idea my boss would be a K alum.”

Marie Kohrman with other interns at her internship
Marie Kohrman ’22 (third from left in front) poses for a picture with her fellow interns at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Hanson said NARA tries not to select interns based on where they attend college, although she was happy to meet a student from her alma mater and was delighted with Kohrman’s work.

“One of the things about K, is that it offers a very strong liberal arts education,” Hanson said. “At the National Archives, we have records that show science, history, civics — no one thing happens in isolation. Because (Kohrman) is a student of the liberal arts, we knew that this would be something she would understand.”

NARA typically hires interns to serve its Washington, D.C., departments ranging from presidential libraries to special events. Kohrman worked with other education and exhibits interns, who are interested in fields related to public education, museum studies, public policy, history, political science and communication.

“I really like the fact that working at a museum, you have a responsibility for how people interpret art and history,” Kohrman said. “Museums are focused on facts. It’s important to portray them in an unbiased way.”

In creating a hands-on environment for its interns, NARA tasked Kohrman with creating a game that would help visitors understand the Legislative Branch of the federal government. She created a flow chart that broke down the Legislative Branch, describing the requirements House of Representatives and Senate candidates need to follow to run for office and be elected. She paired that with Constitutional excerpts and documents from U.S. history to provide specific examples of how Congress functions. For example, Kohrman used:

  • A copy of a 1941 letter from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Congress regarding Japan to highlight Congress’s ability to declare war.
  • A political cartoon about taxes from Clifford Kennedy Berryman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, to show Congress’s power to collect taxes.
  • A picture of President Reagan and then-Supreme Court candidate Sandra Day O’Connor, along with a nomination letter Reagan penned to the Senate, reflecting the Senate’s ability to confirm justices.

Kohrman also assisted NARA with its biggest event of the year, a Fourth of July celebration that welcomed thousands of visitors from all over the world with re-enactors portraying founding fathers, a fife-and-drum corps and activities related to the time of the Revolutionary War. It was an event that suited Kohrman’s strengths well, Hanson said.

“Marie is a very strong personality and I mean that in the best of ways,” Hanson said. “She’s bubbly with the public, she worked very well with school groups and she had great conversations with adults. We’re subject to the Hatch Act, so we want to make sure anyone, regardless of any political affiliation, would feel comfortable here. We have to be neutral and Marie was very thoughtful about how she did that.”

Kohrman noted she accepted the internship earlier than most students would, considering she had barely finished her first year at K and was just 19 when she left for Washington, D.C. Regardless, she’s glad she followed her heart and pursued it because it cemented her desire to pursue a museum career.

“If you want it, go for it,” said Kohrman, regarding the advice she’d give her peers who are interested in internships. “If you don’t get the first one you apply for, find another one. Don’t be afraid and think you won’t get it. I think internships are important because they can help students learn whether a given field is truly for them.”

Honors Day Rewards Student Excellence

Honors Day Convocation
More than 250 students including Rebecca Chan ’22 were recognized Friday, Nov. 8, at the Honors Day Convocation at Stetson Chapel.

Family Weekend served as the backdrop for the Honors Day 2019 convocation. More than 250 students were recognized Friday, Nov. 8, for excellence in academics and leadership 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
Kate Roberts
Beth Schulman
Zoe Zawacki

The Margaret Upton Prize in Music
Sophia Yurdin

Cooper Award
Maria Jensen

Sherwood Prize
Rebecca Chan
Brianna Taylor

Theatre Arts First-Year Student Award
Rebecca Chan

MODERN AND CLASSICAL LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES DIVISION

LeGrand Copley Prize in French
Rebecca Chan
Thomas Saxton

Hardy Fuchs Award
Christian Zeitvogel

Margo Light Award
Daniel Fahle

Romance Languages Department Prize in Spanish
Emiley Hepfner
Hayden Strobel

Clara H. Buckley Prize for Excellence in Latin
Kelly Hansen

Provost’s Prize in Classics
Jessica Chaidez
Annabelle Houghton

Classics Departmental Prize in Greek
Lydia Bontrager

HUMANITIES DIVISION

M. Allen Prize in English
Abigail Cadieux
Jessica Chaidez

John B. Wickstrom Prize in History
Fiona Holmes

Department of Philosophy Prize
Mitch Baty
Julia Bienstock
Emma Fergusson

L.J. and Eva (“Gibbie”) Hemmes Memorial Prize in Philosophy
Max Bogun
Zoe Celeste Schneberger
Nick Wilson

NATURAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS DIVISION

Winifred Peake Jones Prize in Biology
Natalie Barber
Abigail Gray
Madeline Harding
Grace McKnight

Department of Chemistry Prize
Aleksandra Bartolik
Grace McKnight

First-Year Chemistry Award
Robert Barnard
Saudia Tate
Andrew Walsh

Professor Ralph M. Deal Endowed Scholarship for Physical Chemistry Students
Leonardo Sota

Lemuel F. Smith Award
Christopher Vennard

Computer Science Prize
Shruti Chaturvedi
Caroline Skalla

First-Year Mathematics Award
Haley Crabbs
Thomas Saxton
Carter Wade

Thomas O. Walton Prize in Mathematics
Lisa Johnston
Dahwi Kim
Samuel Ratliff

Cooper Prize in Physics
Revaz Bakuradze
Samuel Barczy
Kate Roberts

SOCIAL SCIENCES DIVISION

Departmental Prize in Anthropology and Sociology
Yuridia Campuzano
Mauricio Guillén
Jillian Lynk

Wallace Lawrence Prize in Economics
Rebekah Halley
Chaniya Miller

William G. Howard Memorial Prize
Georgie Andrews
Jade Jiang
Zachary Ray
Adam Snider

Wallace Lawrence Prize in Business
Nathan Micallef
Sage Ringsmuth

Irene and S. Kyle Morris Prize
Mihail Naskovski

William G. Howard Memorial Prize in Political Science
Ava Keller
Christian Zeitvogel

PHYSICAL EDUCATION DIVISION

Division of Physical Education Prize
Walker Chung
Kaytlyn Tidey

Maggie Wardle Prize
Darby Scott

COLLEGE AWARDS

Gordon Beaumont Memorial Award
Yasamin Shaker

Henry and Inez Brown Prize
Mya Gough
Mathew Holmes-Hackerd
Rosella LoChirco
Elizabeth Munoz
Erin Radermacher

Virginia Hinkelman Memorial Award
Jilia Johnson

HEYL SCHOLARS
Class of 2023

Samuel Ankley
Ben Behrens (’20)
Carter Eisenbach
Rachel Kramer
Rachel Lanting
Alexis Nesbitt
Suja Thakali
Elizabeth Wang

POSSE SCHOLARS
Class of 2023

Jayla Ekwegh
Naile Garcia
Devin Hunt
Juan Ibarra
Angel Ledesma
Milan Levy
Katharina Padilla
Milagros Robelo
Emilio Romo
Diego Zambrana

NATIONAL MERIT SCHOLARS
Class of 2023

Donald Brown
Claire Kvande

VOYNOVICH SCHOLARS

Audrey Honig
Nikoli Nickson

ALPHA LAMBDA DELTA
CLASS OF 2022

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.

Elizabeth Abel
McKenzi Baker
Natalie Barber
Samuel Barczy
Aleksandra Bartolik
Mitchell Baty
Julia Bienstock
Alexander Bowden
Haylee Bowsher
Irie Browne
Elizabeth Burton
Abigail Cadieux
Rebecca Chan
Gabriel Chung
Haley Crabbs
Sofia Diaz
Adam Dorstewitz
Imalia Drummond
Daniel Fahle
Emma Fergusson
Kaitlin Gandy
Levon Gibson
Jessica Gracik
Madeline Guimond
Emiley Hepfner
Ellie Jones
Joseph Jung
David Kent
Yung Seo Lee
Marissa Lewinski
Donna Li
Isabella Luke
Deven Mahanti
Clara Martinez-Voigt
Mihail Naskovski
Rushik Patel
Houston Peach
Anthony Peraza
Lucas Rizzolo
Marco Savone
Isabella Shansky-Genovese
Caroline Skalla
Emily Smith
Abby Stewart
Emily Tenniswood
Carter Wade
Samantha White
Zachary Worthing
Christian Zeitvogel

ENLIGHTENED LEADERSHIP AWARDS

Performing Arts: Music
Marilu Bueno
John Carlson
Emily Dudd
Sarma Ejups
Peter Fitzgerald
Rose Hannan
Garrett Hanson
Koshiro Kuroda
Milan Levy
Matthew Mueller
Clarice Ray

MIAA AWARDS

These teams earned the 2018-2019 MIAA Team GPA Award for achieving a 3.3 or better grade-point average for the entire academic year:

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

MIAA ACADEMIC HONOR ROLL

Student Athletes 2018-2019

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 academic year.

Hayleigh Alamo
Georgie Andrews
Hunter Angileri
Lauren Arquette
Brooklyn Avery
Julia Bachmann
Sonal Bahl
Nicole Bailey
Lillian Baumann
Brad Bez
Rose Bogard
Jacob Bonifacio
Maria Bonvicini
Alexander Bowden
Molly Brueger
Jane Bunch
Pierce Burke
Alexander Cadigan
Gabriel Chung
Isabelle Clark
Noah Coplan
Rachel Cornell
Chase Coselman
Eva Deyoung
Alexis Dietz
Adam Dorstewitz
Amanda Dow
Sydney Dowdell
Thomas Fales
Colton Farley
Anders Finholt
Clifton Foster
Jakob Frederick
Brendan Gausselin
Sarah George
Jacob Gilhaus
Anthony Giovanni
Rachel Girard
Sophia Goebel
Preston Grossling
Garrett Guthrie
Rebekah Halley
Emily Hamel
Grace Hancock
Megan Heft
Alyssa Heitkamp
Mathew Holmes-Hackerd
Matthew Howrey
Benjamin Hyndman
Samantha Jacobsen
Benjamin Johanski
Jaylin Jones
Jackson Jones
Claire Kalina
Grace Karrip
Lucas Kastran
Maria Katrantzi
Greg Kearns
Jackson Kelly
Brandon Kramer
Benjamin Krebs
Matthew Krinock
Stefan Leclerc
Kathryn Levasseur
Rosella LoChirco
Molly Logsdon
Nicholas Ludka
Andrea MacMichael
Rachel Madar
Deven Mahanti
Cydney Martell
Samuel Matthews
Eliza McCall
Benjamin Meschke
Hannah Meyers
Nathan Micallef
Zachary Morales
Max Moran
Amanda Moss
Elizabeth Munoz
Kelly Nickelson
Nikoli Nickson
Ian Nostrant
Drew Novetsky
Michael Orwin
Dylan Padget
Paul Pavliscak
Calder Pellerin
Anthony Peraza
Erin Perkins
Eve Petrie
Zach Prystash
Daniel Qin
Erin Radermacher
Harrison Ramsey
Zachary Ray
Jordan Reichenbach
Benjamin Reiter
Lucas Rizzolo
Margaret Roberts
Scott Roberts
Lily Rogowski
Marco Savone
Ashley Schiffer
Nicholas Schneider
Justin Schodowski
Darby Scott
Justin Seablom
Sharif Shaker
Drew Sheckell
Nathan Silverman
Maya Srkalovic
Abby Stewart
Grant Stille
Shelby Suseland
Garrett Swanson
Jacob Sypniewski
Nina Szalkiewicz
Jack Tagget
Leah Tardiff
Emily Tenniswood
Cade Thune
Matt Turton
Madison Vallan
Zachary Van Faussien
Travis Veenhuis
Tejas Vettukattil
Vanessa Vigier
Maija Weaver
Megan Williams
Hannah Wolfe
Sophia Woodhams
Austin Yunker
Christian Zeitvogel

Celebrated Poet Visits, Inspires K

When an award-winning poet speaks on campus, you can bet Kalamazoo College students are eagerly listening and learning.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
Poet Marcelo Hernandez Castillo reads to Kalamazoo College students from his book, Cenzontle, at the Intercultural Center.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, a celebrated writer known for his early life experiences as an undocumented immigrant, was warmly welcomed last week to K. He conversed with students in classes taught by Assistant English Professor Shanna Salinas (Reading the World: Identities) and Assistant Sociology Professor Francisco Villegas (Race and Racism). He also provided a poetry reading in front of about 80 students in the Intercultural Center at Hicks Student Center.

“Intersections of language and home are on the hearts and minds of so many of our students,” said Assistant English Professor Oliver Baez Bendorf, who helped facilitate Castillo’s visit. “It’s important for them to know that they can do anything, and to see different models for that. Their stories matter and they can survive the telling of them and even make it beautiful. Reading is always a portal through which they can transport and grow. I know that Marcelo was likewise touched by the energy of our community and our students, their readiness to engage with his writing, their intellectual and creative curiosity, and all that they so impressively juggle.”

Castillo’s poetry collection, titled Cenzontle, addresses the fears he once faced of being deported. Castillo came to the United States with his family from Zacatecas, Mexico, at age 5 and was an early beneficiary of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Sacramento State University and was the first undocumented student to graduate from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan.

For Cenzontle, the poet received the New Writers Award this year from the Great Lakes Colleges Association — a 13-member consortium of higher-education institutions in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania — which includes K. The award, founded in 1970, honors writers who are in the early stages of their literary career. Along with Cenzontle, Castillo has a 2018 chapbook titled Dulce. His memoir, Children of the Land, is scheduled for release next year.

Beyond poetry, Castillo is an essayist, translator and immigration advocate and a founding member of the Undocupoets campaign, which successfully eliminated citizenship requirements from all major first-poetry-book prizes in the country. His work has been featured in The New York Times, People Magazine, Buzzfeed and New England Review, and he teaches in the Low-Res MFA program at Ashland University.

With focused eyes and open minds, Salinas’ students listened intently to Castillo and asked a range of questions: poem- and content-specific, craft and poetic technique, themes and broader open-ended considerations. “I appreciated how generous Marcelo was in sharing his personal experiences and talking about his writing process,” Salinas said. “He was invested in their questions and insights, and I could tell the students felt that they were being seen, heard and respected.”

Opportunities to hear from renowned, in-the-field experts are celebrated occasions at K regardless of their field of expertise, although hearing from Castillo was a notable treat for students, faculty and staff, especially the aspiring writers among them.

“So many things about reading and writing happen in solitude,” Baez Bendorf said. “When you’ve read words on a page and then the human behind them arrives in your midst, it can be almost magical. I saw that happen with Marcelo’s visit. It’s thrilling to have a visitor, and even better when they’ve come with stories and generosity. Our students extended great hospitality to Marcelo and welcomed him into their spaces.”

Nature Center Nurtures Student’s Love of Writing

A nature center and biological field station in Hastings, Michigan, is home for a Kalamazoo College student this summer.

Paige Chung and Oliver Baez Bendorf at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Nature Center
Paige Chung ’20 is at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute this summer, serving as the nature center’s Nature in Words Fellow. Assistant Professor of English Oliver Baez Bendorf, who leads poetry classes at K, is serving Chung as a consultant.

Paige Chung ’20, an English and critical ethnic studies (CES) major, is at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, which is dedicated to environmental education and stewardship. She is serving the center as a Nature in Words Fellow by developing a collection of soundscape poetry and creative non-fiction based on her on-site explorations.

Soundscapes capture a sound or a combination of sounds that arise from an immersive environment, making Pierce Cedar Creek Institute an ideal atmosphere. The opportunity allows Chung to explore 742 acres of land, including lakes, forests and hiking trails, as she nurtures a hobby she hopes to one day parlay into a career: writing.

Bill and Jessie Pierce developed the Willard G. Pierce and Jessie M. Pierce Foundation to benefit Hastings and West Michigan in 1988. Just before they died in 1998, they had an idea to build an environmental education and nature center that became the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

Paige Chung Presenting at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Nature Center
Paige Chung presents to other fellows at the Pierce Cedar Creek Nature Institute.

Now, 14 students from Michigan colleges and universities are on the property as they study animals from box turtles to rattlesnakes or pursue creative opportunities such as painting. Chung, however, is the only writer, and she feels fortunate to be there.

“I remember getting an email from the English Department about it right before bed one night in February or March,” Chung said. “At that point, I was trying to decide if I should go back home to do some community work for the summer or if I would find somewhere to stay in Michigan, so I applied. It’s phenomenal because it provides me with an abundant number of opportunities to write without the pressures of paying the rent or bills, and it fuels my ability to create my art. It shows me that writing is possible as a career.”

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute fellowship students have consultants of their choosing serving them as advisers during the summer. Chung’s consultant is Assistant Professor of English Oliver Baez Bendorf, who leads poetry classes at K.

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute Nature Center Bridge
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute covers 742 acres of land, including lakes, forests and hiking trails.

“He’s been phenomenal so far with how he pushes me to write,” said Chung, who also credits Intercultural Student Life Director Natalia Carvalho-Pinto, Assistant Professor of Critical Ethnic Studies Reid Gomez and Assistant Professor of English Shanna Salinas for inspiring her at K. Bendorf “encourages me to write and not worry about creating a perfect product. He asks questions and supports me every step of the way. He’s someone I’ll check in with throughout the writing process.”

That process for Chung includes immersing herself at the nature center, both in solitude and in the company of other students, observing and sampling sounds that end up in her poetry. “Poetry for me captures a moment,” Chung said. “There’s less pressure to have an entire plot and story line with poetry. It’s a playground for language. I also like to write plays, but those are longer-term projects for me. With poetry, I can write in one day and be done with it. I don’t necessarily need anything more than time, a piece of paper and a pen.”

At K, Chung works as a Writing Center assistant director and Intercultural Center-Arcus Center liaison, and she co-founded Resist, Magic Mastermind, a zine publication uplifting the stories of queer students, trans students and students of color. As a Los Angeles native, Chung’s inspirations have traditionally been city based, which means Pierce Cedar Creek Institute expands her writing horizons.

Chung said, “In CES, we learn from Chinua Achebe—who speaks English as a non-native speaker, allowing for something new and interesting to happen with language—that stories are stories even with a non-native tongue. We learn from the book Almanac of the Dead that stories are power. Through the power of language and stories, I am constantly asking what can be done with writing.”

This fellowship gives Chung the opportunity to explore this question in new ways.

“Through this fellowship, I ask what can be translated from the sounds of nature to sounds from hip-hop, jazz, Spanglish, Vietnamese and Los Angeles. This will help me push the boundaries of my poetry and writing to new landscapes.”