A nonpartisan and nonprofit initiative is saluting Kalamazoo College today as one of 394 U.S. institutions doing the most in higher education to encourage student voting.
K is being recognized as a 2022 All-In Most-Engaged Campuses honoree, meaning that the College:
Reported its 2020 student voting data to the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), which is run through the Institute of Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University.
Shared that data with the All-In Campus Democracy Challenge, an effort that strives to improve and increase democratic-engagement activities on college campuses.
Developed and submitted to the All-In challenge a 2022 voter-engagement action plan.
Signed on to a national list of institutional presidents committing their colleges to efforts that increase student turnout at the polls.
K Votes, the Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Center for Civic Engagement’s (CCE) nonpartisan coalition to inform the College’s students, faculty and staff members about voting and civic engagement, is the primary driver of K’s efforts in increasing voter participation. In 2020, K eclipsed national averages for voter turnout as 83.7 percent of the student body cast ballots in the presidential election. That rate was the highest among all campuses in Michigan and put K in the top 4 percent of colleges and universities nationally that reported their data to the IDHE.
K Votes representatives work in partnership with their student peers, the local League of Women Voters and the national Rock the Vote organization—which is led by Executive Director Caroline DeWitt ’04, a K alumna—to register new voters, mail absentee ballots, provide rides to the polls, and distribute candidate information with maps to local polling places.
Those endeavors are the hallmarks of a robust get-out-the-vote effort, currently led by CCE Program Associate Riley Gabriel ’20 and K Votes Civic Engagement Scholar Thomas Lichtenberg ’23, along with students, faculty, emeriti faculty and staff.
“In addition to CCE staff, we could not have done any of this without the rest of the K staff and faculty who were eager to help with driving, helping register voters, and just getting the word out,” Lichtenberg said. “We appreciated the contributions of students Eleanor Carr, Lyrica Gee and Abby Stump, who worked closely with the CCE’s Students for Reproductive Freedom, and we collaborated with the NAACP and League of Women Voters of the Kalamazoo Area, registering voters at the Women’s March and assisting with their candidate forums, led by the LWVKA’s MerriKay Oleen-Burkey and Denise Hartsough.”
“Young people are shaping our future in myriad ways, and their informed engagement in elections is vital,” CCE Director Alison Geist said. “The CCE is grateful to our student leaders and all of the people in our community, both on and off campus, who energetically encouraged and enabled students to vote, many for the first time. Voting isn’t a panacea for social change, but it helps.”
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
Growing up in various countries overseas, Peter Fitzgerald ’23 considered northern Michigan to be home base. Now a series of political internships have helped the Kalamazoo College senior connect more with his adopted home and envision a possible future.
With a dad who was a Foreign Services officer, Fitzgerald was born in Australia, and his parents now live in the Washington, D.C., area. In between, they lived in Denmark, Ukraine, Morocco and Belgium.
Every summer, however, he would spend with his grandparents in northern Michigan. His mom and cousins would stay there, too.
“We moved around so much,” Fitzgerald said. “That was a place to call home. In relation to other Foreign Service kids, it was unusual to have that kind of stability. I was always grateful to have that place that didn’t change.”
That sense of Michigan as home, combined with both a cousin and a Foreign Services acquaintance attending K and a K representative visiting Fitzgerald’s Belgium high school, made K the only school Fitzgerald even considered attending. After taking a gap year in Belgium, he started at K in fall 2019.
“I knew that I loved political science,” Fitzgerald said. “I didn’t really plan on doing another major besides that, and then I took a history course with Dr. Boyer Lewis and I just loved it.”
He plays classical guitar and has sung in the choir, filled a leadership role in the College Democrats, and has played tennis all four years at K.
“I feel that having those interests and having a lot of leeway in what courses you take connects you to a lot more of the school than you otherwise would have the opportunity to experience,” Fitzgerald said.
At the beginning of winter term his first year, Fitzgerald was on Handshake looking for opportunities outside campus when he came across internships in Democrat Jon Hoadley’s 2020 U.S. House campaign for Michigan’s 6th congressional district, which includes Kalamazoo.
“I was curious if there was something I could do, along with my academics, to get to know the Kalamazoo area better,” Fitzgerald said.
He worked on Hoadley’s campaign, primarily making phone calls and canvassing, for about two months before the COVID-19 shutdown sent him to his parents in D.C.
“It was rewarding getting a start in the political world,” Fitzgerald said.
It was rewarding enough that when summer 2021 rolled around, Fitzgerald sought out another political internship, this time with Darrin Camilleri ’14, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing District 23, south of Detroit.
Come summer 2022, Fitzgerald applied via Handshake for an internship with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office. He took advantage of K connections, reaching out to Christopher Yates ’83, who also played tennis at K and was recently appointed a Court of Appeals judge by Whitmer, to ask if Yates had any connections within the campaign. Within a couple days, Fitzgerald was contacted for an interview, and soon after that, he was in Detroit working for the governor’s office for three months.
This internship involved a lot of planning, coordinating and logistics for small business stops, community events and constituency groups, such as Native Americans for Whitmer.
“I would reach out to the small business owner, or whoever, make a plan, promote it and get people to attend,” Fitzgerald said. “We would drive to these events, two and a half, three hours, for a 15-minute visit with the governor. It wasn’t glamorous a lot of the time, but it felt really important, meaningful and worthwhile. It felt like we were making a difference.”
The internships have affirmed Fitzgerald’s interest in political work, perhaps with the State Department, and helped him envision some of the possibilities that lie along that path.
“I learned a lot,” Fitzgerald said. “I met a lot of people who could probably make more money doing other jobs, but they’re working for something that they believe in fundamentally. I felt like I had a relationship with Michigan, from spending my summers here growing up, but this job opened my eyes to people’s lives that I wouldn’t normally have interacted with. I still think I’m on a path where I’d like to work for the federal government, but also, I can see that people’s issues are really localized. People care about what’s in front of them.”
Working for the governor’s office was both humbling and uplifting for Fitzgerald.
“People have come up to me and asked me about issues in Michigan thinking that I had power over policy issues,” he said. “Even though I couldn’t do anything, just to be able to listen to people and share with someone who had that power felt really meaningful.”
The internships also helped Fitzgerald draw connections between coursework and real life.
“It makes an experience a lot more meaningful when you are able to make connections,” Fitzgerald said. “Whether it was from my American history course or my political science course, there were pertinent things I could draw from in relation to the issues we were talking about this summer. I am also bringing things I’ve done on this campaign back to K.”
Connections to people have also been key to Fitzgerald’s K experience. Networking and professional contact with alumni such as Camilleri and Yates, personal interest from President Jorge G. Gonzalez, academic inspiration from Professor of History and Director of the American Studies and the Women, Gender and Sexuality programs Charlene Boyer Lewis ’87, and guidance from men’s tennis Head Coach Mark Riley all combine to make K feel like a new home base for Fitzgerald.
“I think initially, I had some dissonance between knowing that I’m from here but never having lived really in the U.S.,” Fitzgerald said. “I felt out of my element for a time, but the people, my mentors and the friends that I have now, made it possible for me to feel like even though I did come with a different background, even though I felt maybe a little discombobulated at first, that there were people that I could rely on and who would support me.”
Congratulations to the following Kalamazoo College students, who achieved a grade point average of 3.5 or better for a full-time course load of at least three units, without failing or withdrawing from any course, during the Spring 2022 academic term. Students who elect to take a letter-graded course on a credit/no credit basis (CR/NC) are not eligible for Dean’s List consideration during that term. Nor are students who receive an F, NC or W grade for that particular term. Students with incomplete (I) or in-progress (IP) grades will be considered for the Dean’s List upon receipt of their final grades. Dean’s List recognition is posted on students’ transcripts. Kudos to the entire group for Spring 2022.
Shannon Abbott Morgan Acord Khalil Adams Isaac Agranoff Kelley Akerley Shahriar Akhavan Tafti Rachel Alarcio Adnan Alousi Lana Alvey Farida Amini Darsalam Amir Olivia Anderson Paige Anderson Mia Andrews Ava Apolo Alexandra Armin Lora Armstrong
Tolkien Bagchi Annalise Bailey Lindsey Baker Chloe Baker McKenzi Baker Elizabeth Ballinger Madison Barch Samuel Barczy Abigail Barnum Kristy Barrett Aleksandra Bartolik Hunter Bates Mitchell Baty Jenna Beach Blake Bean Cameron Beauregard Annabel Bee Curtis Bell Carolyn Bennett Maci Bennett Thomas Bentley Anthony Berkimer Jonah Beurkens Anna Binkley Katherine Black Nora Blanchard Rose Bogard Zachary Borden Sam Boritzki Daphne Bos Mairin Boshoven Holly Bowling Haylee Bowsher Emily Braunohler Austin Bresnahan Lauren Bretzius Penelope Brewer Eamon Bronson Jonathan Brunette Anna Buck Anna Budnick Marilu Bueno Thomas Buffin Elizabeth Burton Lauren Bussell
Jacob Callaghan Grace Cancro Vanessa Cardenas John Carlson Chloe Carlson Isabella Caza Alexandra Chafetz Jessica Chaidez Iris Chalk Connor Charamella Josetta Checkett Emily Cheng Benjamin Chosid Kennedy Christl An-Ting Chu Maile Church Madeleine Coffman Sedona Coleman Quinn Collins Rowan Cook Kyle Cooper Indigo Corvidae Haley Crabbs Violet Crampton Abigail Crocker Lilian Crowder Smith Emma Curcuru
Nicholas Dailey Shayla Dailey Beatrix Damashek Kylah Davis Emma Davis-Rodak Claire de Vries Tali Deaner Kiernan Dean-Hall Sophie Decker Julia Del Olmo Parrado Ethan DeNeen Catherine Dennis Sarah Densham Olivia Depauli Vincent DeSanto Laura DeVilbiss Liam Diaz Sofia Diaz Melissa Diaz Cabrera Brooke Dolhay Marissa Dolorfino Adam Dorstewitz Rorie Dougherty Sydney Dowdell Ryan Drew Imalia Drummond Patrick Dunfee Katia Duoibes Hannah Durant Gina Dvorin
Eli Edlefson Jairo Eguia Alden Ehrhardt Carter Eisenbach Sara Elfring Rebecca Elias Adaora Emenyonu Sara English Justin Essing Gabrielle Evans Sam Ewald
Olivia Fairbank Ella Faris Colton Farley Madalyn Farrey Andreas Fathalla Emma Fergusson Janet Fernandez Anna Fetter Samuel File Morgan Fischer Peter Fitzgerald Julia Fitzgerald Parker Foster Caroline Francis Grace Frazier Caelan Frazier Emma Frederiksen Hana Frisch Tristan Fuller William Fulton
Ethan Galler Kaitlin Gandy Ana Garcia Aliza Garcia Brynna Garden Grace Garver Trish Gatsi Johanna Ghazal Farah Ghazal Julia Ghazal Griffin Gheen Georgios Gkolois Max Gordon Lillian Grelak Elizabeth Grooten Natalie Gross Matthew Gu Zoe Gurney
Sophia Haas Aiden Habboub Yoichi Haga Emma Hahn Emily Haigh Grace Hancock Vien Hang Garrett Hanson Madeline Harding Eleanor Harris Lucy Hart Isabelle Hawkes Tanner Hawkins Beatrice Hawkins Wallis Hechler Hannah Heeren Megan Herbst Maya Hester Ella Heystek Sierra Hieshetter Sam Hoag Garrick Hohm Thomas Hole Julia Holt Benjamin Homminga Cole Horman Joseph Horsfield Molly Horton Charles Horvath Tyler Houle Gavin Houtkooper Sharon Huang Jakob Hubert Samuel Hughes Audrey Huizenga Lukas Hultberg Trevor Hunsanger Madelaine Hurley Benjamin Hyndman
Juan Ibarra Jalen Iereneo
Angela Jacobo Colton Jacobs Ashani Jewell Ryan Johnson Ellie Jones Maxwell Joos
Amalia Kaerezi Kiana Kanegawa Judah Karesh Timothy Karubas Maria Kasperek Ava Keller Meaghan Kelly Ella Kelly Blake Kelsey Samuel Kendrick David Kent Roze Kerr Mahum Khan Hunter Kiesling Jackson Kiino-Terburg Meghan Killmaster Vivian Kim Joshua Kim Si Yun Kimball Lily Kindle Mikayla Kindler Isabella Kirchgessner Alaina Kirschman Alexander Kish Joergen Klakulak Sofia Klein Lena Klemm Allison Klinger Steven Kloosterman Ella Knight Marie Kohrman Anexy Koizumi Cole Koryto Daniel Koselka Marissa Kovac Katherine Kraemer Christian Kraft Brandon Kramer Rachel Kramer Nikolas Krupka Kieya Kubert-Davis Koshiro Kuroda
Onora Lancaster Jordon Larco Kathryn Larick Annmarie Lawrence Madeleine Lawson Lam Phuong Le Grace Leahey Dillon Lee Margaret Lekan Alejandra Lemus Sydney Lenzini Ellie Lepley Ginamarie Lester Kelsey Letchworth Milan Levy Sage Lewis Thomas Lichtenberg Connor Lignell Cassandra Linnertz Sichun Liu Luis Lizardo-Rodriguez Ava Loncharte Alvaro Lopez Gutierrez Ellie Lotterman Madeline Lovins Teresa Lucas Nicholas Lucking Isabella Luke
Selina Ma Deven Mahanti Samantha Major Natalie Maki Andrew Mallon Angela Mammel Arjun Manyam Lesly Mares-Castro Victoria Marquez Gomez Isabel Martin Molly Martinez Stephanie Martinez Gracen Martini-Zeller Harshpreet Matharu Kanase Matsuzaki Lillian Mattern Nicholas Matuszak Claire McCall Lauren McColley Dylan McGorisk Leo McGreevy Ashlynne McKee Grace McKnight Abbey McMillian Amy McNutt Zaydee Menchaca Crystal Mendoza Sophia Merchant Eva Metro-Roland Luke Middlebrook Cooper Mills Jade Milton Jazmine Minchaca Andrejs Minka Ameera Mirza Lauren Mitchell Caleb Mitchell-Ward Lina Moghrabi Raven Montagna Brooklyn Moore Mackenzie Moore Aiden Morgan Ryan Morgan Isabel Morillo Martin Morison Samantha Moss Arein Motan Phumuzile Moyo Elliot Mrak Matthew Mueller Miles Muirhead Jasmin Murillo Anna Murphy Madison Murphy Ryan Muschler Rishaan Muthanna
Alex Nam Blagoja Naskovski Matthew Nelson Nicholas Nerhood Alexis Nesbitt Elizabeth Nestle Nguyen Nguyen Char Nieberding Alexandra Noel Malin Nordmoe Caroline Norton Rohan Nuthalapati
Ella Palacios Joshua Pamintuan Jenna Paterob Isabella Pellegrom Kaitlin Peot Anthony Peraza Ilene Perea-Sanchez Alexander Perry Addison Peter Devon Peters Scott Peters Michael Peterson Eve Petrie Sydney Pickell Benjamin Pickrel Megan Ploucha Elaine Pollard Evan Pollens-Voigt Noah Prentice Lucas Priemer Elena Pulliam Mason Purdy Noah Pyle
Luma Qashou Aarzoo Qureshi
Elle Ragan Savera Rajendra-Nicolucci Julia Rambo Jessie Ramirez Ali Randel Dominic Rascon-Powell Clarice Ray Sara Reathaford Laura Reinaux Silva Oliveira Kelli Rexroad Zoe Reyes Keegan Reynolds Maxwell Rhames Sheldon Riley Ashley Rill Katherine Rock Jocelyn Rodriguez Reyna Rodriguez Lily Rogowski Joshua Roman Luke Rop Alec Rosenbaum Panayiotis Rotsios Mia Roukema Matia Rourke Tabitha Rowland Oliver Rubin Marcus Rucker Charlotte Ruiter Angel Ruiz
Tyler Sakalys-Moore Richard Sakurai-Kearns Sydney Salgado Ethan Sandusky Leslie Santos Isabel Schantz Leo Schinker Vivian Schmidt Zoe Celeste Schneberger D.J. Schneider Eden Schnurstein Lia Schroeder Madeline Schroeder Beth Schulman Audrey Schulz Hannah Schurman Aleksander Scott Nilah Seals Ruby Seiwerath Delores Shackelford Usaid Bin Shafqat Isabella Shapiro William Shaw Steven Shelton Cassidy Short Joseph Shumunov Josie Shuster Emma Sidor Petra Sierra Samantha Silverman Kiersten Sjogren Colby Skinner Meganne Skoug Pieter Slager Austin Smith Olivia Smith Ping Smith Owen Smith Grace Snyder Jack Soderberg Asante Solomon Allison Sokacz Hanis Sommerville Erin Somsel Larissa Soto Jonah Spates Maxwell Spitler Camran Stack David Stechow Joseph Stein Eleanor Stevenson Meredith Steward Emma Stickley Hayden Strobel Eller Studinger Hannah Summerfield Matthew Swarthout Kaleb Sydloski Ella Szczublewski
Chau Ta Samuel Tagget Madison Talarico Claire Tallio Nicole Taylor Claire Taylor Suja Thakali Kaia Thomas Levi Thomas Kaytlyn Tidey Sophia Timm-Blow Simon Topf Danielle Treyger Frances Trimble Mary Trimble Nghia Trinh Maria Tripodis May Tun Aija Turner Oliver Tye
Christopher Van Alstine Megan Vandyke Emma Van Houten Samantha Vande Pol Hannah Vander Lugt Cameron VanGalder Josseline Vazquez America Vilchis Nathan Vogel Lucille Voss Jessalyn Vrieland Thanh Vu
Joseph Wade Ava Wagle Megan Walczak Elle Waldron Andre Walker Lucinda Wallis Madison Walther Elizabeth Wang McKenna Wasmer Riley Weber Margaret Wedge Elias Wennen Emerson Wesselhoff Samantha White Tanner White Dylan Wickey Katelyn Williams Skai Williams Carson Williams Riley Wilson Jordyn Wilson Joshua Wilson Laurel Wolfe Zachary Worthing Lydia Wright Kevin Wu
Elyse Yost Mikayla Youngman Hillary Yousif
Maddie Zang Camryn Zdziarski-West Jacob Zeller Margaret Zorn
Current events are providing an additional reason to engage with Kalamazoo College’s library during National Library Week, April 19-25.
Thanks to College Archivist Lisa Murphy and her colleagues, members of the K community have an opportunity to document this unique time in our history by recording their COVID-19 pandemic-related stories and experiences in the College’s collections. Students, faculty, staff and alumni are eligible to participate.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will forever define the year 2020,” College Archivist Lisa Murphy said. “Fifty years from now Kalamazoo College students and other researchers will want to know what it was like to be a student during this time. How did they cope with the sudden switch to online learning? Was social distancing difficult? Were they scared? What did they do for fun if they were confined indoors? This pandemic has already changed lives and capturing these stories now will help to document how not just the college, but the world, has transformed.”
When their submissions are made, participants will have the option to remain anonymous or to make their work available for research or publication after a certain time period has elapsed. Read the Archives website for information about how to participate.
In regards to other services, students, faculty and staff are commending the library and its staffers for continuing to connect them with reference materials and resources through the term in distance learning.
“We curate online resources for our students, faculty and staff so they don’t have to rely on an overwhelming amount of information,” Library Director Stacy Nowicki said. “The easiest thing is to Google the information you need. But we can help you determine what the best resources are that aren’t going to show up in Google. “And sometimes the resources we pay for aren’t as intuitive, but they are more authoritative. We can teach people how to use the technology and add depth to their experience when they do research or prepare for class.”
If you’re not sure where to begin with your projects or assignments, the online Research Guides can help you get started. Check out the A to Z List of Databases if you know what specific resource you want to use.
Reference librarians can help students and faculty find the ideal resources they need for their daily assignments and research. They’re available for individual consultations through email, web calls and virtual chats in teams. Sign up for an appointment with them at email@example.com. If you have a specific question, submit through the ask a librarian online form.
If you’re looking for a specific book or journal, easy online resources are at your fingertips. Find journals online through the BrowZineYou can also access online journals and thousands of ebooks through Library OneSearch.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) supplements the library’s resources by providing materials not available on campus. Through ILL, students, faculty and staff may obtain materials such as books, chapters, and journal articles that are not available in the library collection. To request materials through Interlibrary Loan, complete and submit a request form in the Interlibrary Loan system.
For further summaries of available library services, check out the guide for faculty and the guide for students online. The guides will be updated as more services and resources become available.
What’s black, yellow and fuzzy all over? Bumblebees. And Biology Professor Ann Fraser wants to know what it takes to preserve them in Michigan.
To that end, Fraser and her Kalamazoo College lab students are launching the Southwest Michigan Bee Watch. The program will track bumblebee diversity, measure local restoration efforts and discover whether any species might be declining or recuperating in the area.
“Bumblebees are important pollinators, particularly of our spring plants,” Fraser said, noting they’re vital to common Michigan crops, and more important to pollination than honeybees. “They’ll go out in cold weather, even when it’s rainy. They’re particularly good pollinators of fruit crops such as blueberries, apples and cherries.”
In the bee watch, citizen scientists in nine counties will volunteer as photographers nearly anywhere outdoors—including natural areas, walking trails, backyards and roadsides—and submit their photos to an online portal. Fraser, students and other scientists then will look at the photos, noting the black-and-yellow patterns on the bumblebees’ backs. Those patterns will identify each species and help determine which might be maintaining their numbers, which might be declining and which might be making a comeback.
“This year, my hope is to build a strong volunteer base so that we can start building a thorough database of bumblebee species in the area,” said Niko Nickson ’21, the student most dedicated to the effort as it will develop into his senior individualized project (SIP). “I’m also planning to analyze our data for relationships between species abundance and landscape differences. In the future, I would love to see the program continue to build, maybe inspiring more community science efforts across the state.”
Fraser said she had been hoping to start a project like the Southwest Michigan Bee Watch for a few years, but never found the right student to lead it. Then, she met Nickson.
“Community science is fascinating because I see it as an opportunity to connect academia and its surrounding community,” Nickson said. “In this way, it makes science approachable to all, regardless of educational level.”
His love of the outdoors also benefits the project.
“I think being outside is a great way to relieve stress and spend time in general,” Nickson said. “I see this program as an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our regional environment while also encouraging more community members to spend time outdoors. In this sense, community science gives volunteers an excuse to be outside, and who doesn’t love a reason to get some sunlight?”
March 3 is World Wildlife Day. Its theme this year is “Sustaining all life on Earth,” as it recognizes all wild animal and plant species as being key components of the world’s biodiversity. Yet within the biosphere, bumblebees are struggling. In fact, according to NationalGeographic.com, we are nearly 50 percent less likely to see a bumblebee in any given area of North America than we were before 1974.
“Insects in general are in decline,” Fraser said. “That’s alarmingly well documented. Bumblebees are following this trend. At least half a dozen species of the 20 in Michigan are in decline. One of which, the rusty-patched bumblebee, was on the federal endangered species list as of 2017.”
A project like the Southwest Michigan Bee Watch could play a role in reversing those trends. Those interested in volunteering can sign up for the project’s mailing list and request more information at swmbees.kzoo.edu/.
Thirty students known for their invaluable contributions to the Kalamazoo College community were honored Friday at the 16th annual Senior Leadership Recognition Awards.
The recipients represent talented athletes, outstanding academic performers, members of the President’s Student Ambassadors and student-organization standouts. Here are the honorees along with brief statements from their nominators:
“Madie is a department student adviser for Critical Ethnic Studies who has demonstrated vision, accountability to community and organization.”
Lakshya Choudhary nominated by Hillary Berry, Upjohn Library Commons
“As Lakshya’s supervisor, I’ve been impressed by her initiative, organization and dedication. She is a valued member of our team and a strong leader who trains new students.”
Iffat Chowdhury nominated by Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund, and Erika Perry, Residential Life
“Iffat has demonstrated dedicated and compassionate leadership in many areas at K. She has been a senior resident assistant, a member of the President’s Student Ambassadors, a Posse scholar, a teaching assistant and president of the Minority Association of Pre-Med Students.”
Paige Chung nominated by Kierna Brown, Residential Life
“Paige is a valuable asset across campus. She leads with positivity, grace and drive to improve experiences for all.”
Addie Dancer nominated by Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Addie is a writing consultant, a department student adviser for American Studies, and a president’s student ambassador. She is a gifted writer who thrives on working with peers to help them create stronger skills.”
“Leslie is an exceptional student in the energy and dedication she brings to the classroom and her commitment to social justice. As a civic engagement scholar, she has had strong involvement with the county ID program since its inception.”
“Josh has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in the classroom and within the community for computer science students. He is creative and supportive with the willingness and skill in helping others in a completely collaborative way.”
Melissa Gomez nominated by Erika Perry, Residential Life
“As a second-time senior resident assistant, I am constantly impressed by Mel’s inherent ability to go above and beyond. She is extremely reliable and has a people-centered, solution-oriented style, paired with incredible compassion and care.”
nominated by Katie Miller, Women’s Basketball; and Brian Dietz, Student Development
“Mya is a four-year varsity record-setting basketball player who has proven to be a force on our team. … As a vice president of the Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives, she is a confident and steady guide.”
nominated by Kelli Duimstra, Softball
“Alyssa is a two-year captain of the softball team. She exudes leadership qualities and characteristics. I trust her completely to handle anything. She is an active member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee and Sisters in Science.”
nominated by Mark Riley, Men’s Tennis; and Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Daniel is a co-captain of the men’s tennis team, and a three-time MIAA First Team and MIAA All-Academic Team member. He brings his leadership skills to everything he does on and off the court.”
Li Li Huynh
nominated by Lydia Vollavanh, Student Development
“Li Li is smart, kind, diligent and confident. She is an enthusiastic Student Development office assistant and natural born mentor as a peer leader.”
nominated by Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Jilia is a three-time peer leader and a president’s student ambassador. She serves as an elementary school classroom assistant and the YWCA’s Restorative Justice public policy intern. She’s an extraordinarily caring and compassionate leader.”
nominated by Bryan Goyings, Women’s Soccer
“Rosella is a model student who has received departmental recognition. She is very active in student government. She is driven and motivated as a soccer player, but also selfless.”
“Madisyn helped start the Dow Council to foster a more inclusive and supportive environment for students who feel marginalized or discouraged in the sciences. She is a compassionate, attentive listener.”
nominated by Kelli Duimstra, Softball
“Anna is the quintessential ‘lead by example’ leader. She’s always doing the right thing at the right time.”
nominated by Laura Furge, Chemistry; and Alison Geist, Teresa Denton, Moises Hernandez, Tapiwa Chikungwa and Paulette Rieger, Center for Civic Engagement
“Kevin is a gifted scientist and fast learner. He is capable, independent, curious, effective, kind and dedicated with a heart to serve others.”
nominated by Bryan Goyings, Women’s Soccer; and Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Elizabeth is one of the finest student-athletes I have had the opportunity to work with. She was named the inaugural MIAA Sportswoman of the Year. She’s a president’s student ambassador and serves the Kalamazoo County ID initiative.”
nominated by Sara Bamrick, Office of Student Involvement
“Ravi is a leader who sees a need and finds the best possible solution for everyone involved.”
nominated by Brian Dietz, Student Development
“Karina is the president of the Kalamazoo College Council of Student Representatives and works with great poise to hear all perspectives.”
nominated by E. Binney Girdler, Biology; Amy Newday, Writing Center; and Alison Geist, Center for Civic Engagement
“Orly is one of the most highly motivated students we’ve ever worked with. She has a passion for social and environmental justice and has inspired students, faculty and staff, creating lasting opportunities for future generations at K.”
nominated by Elizabeth Candido, Religious and Spiritual Life; E. Binney Girdler, Biology; Amy Newday, Writing Center; and Alison Geist, Center for Civic Engagement
“Yasi revitalized the Just Food Collective and helps infuse activism and advocacy with deep, thoughtful exploration of identities, communities and sovereignty. In Religious and Spiritual Life, she is a group builder and positive presence.”
nominated by Jon Collier, Office of Student Involvement
“Simran does everything in her capacity to help her peers be successful. She is creative and thorough with a strong work ethic.”
nominated by David Wilson, Physics
“Matt has shown exemplary leadership on campus as a member of the soccer team, an academic mentor and a senior member of my research group. He is a fantastic student who embraces the liberal arts and encourages all those around him to succeed.”
nominated by Bryan Goyings, Women’s Soccer
“Madison is a resilient, team-first figure on the soccer team and a tremendous leader across campus. There is never a task that is too small for her to complete to benefit the team.”
nominated by Justin Berry, Political Science
“Adriana is an exceptional student and a great leader in collaborative projects. She is a Political Science department student adviser and teaching assistant. She revived the Pre-Law Society, taking the lead to coordinate valuable experiences and information for her peers.”
nominated by Denise Negra, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Andrew is a 2020 senior class agent. With his infectious positivity and energy, he takes the lead to keep peers connected through strong communication and a feeling of purpose.”
nominated by Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund
“Donovan is a positive, charismatic leader who has made his mark in a wide variety of areas. He is involved in the President’s Student Ambassadors, a cappella, Young Men of Color, Peer Leaders and Theatre.”
Theatre Kalamazoo’s 10th annual New PlayFest will highlight Kalamazoo College talent thanks to playwrights Rebecca Chan ’22 and Emma Fergusson ’22, and Director Trevor Loduem-Jackson ’21.
Their plays, Record,Harold and Taco, and Old Friends respectively, will premier during the event, along with five other plays written by local playwrights and performed by local actors and directors.
The festival focuses on playwrights and play writing, rather than the production of plays, making it different from most festivals. Playwrights attend all the rehearsals and watch the directors work with actors to bring their scripts to life. Playwrights are encouraged by the festival producers to continue to edit their scripts all the way through technical rehearsals. That means actors are told not to memorize their lines because the lines might change. The public presentations are staged readings, meaning scripts must stay in the actors’ hands, even during the performance. The New PlayFest was established by K Professor Emeritus Ed Menta in collaboration with Steve Feffer of Western Michigan University in 2010.
Each of the plays is about 10 minutes long, and — in their own ways — examine human relationships and reconciling the past. Chan’s Record, for example, is about two strangers who meet on a bench in Central Park. Ally compulsively writes in a journal and Gale desires new connections in the big city.
Through small talk and journal entries, they contemplate which of their memories are worthwhile, how much people should let their past affect their present, and whether anyone has any control over their past or their present.
“I wrote this play because reconciling the past is a struggle we all face,” Chan said. “Sometimes, under the burden of regret, we forget that the shame and embarrassment in our personal histories can provide us with the motivation to change for the better. Record is not an optimistic play, but I think it provides some avenues for self-reflection, allowing audiences to think more critically about how they deal with their own memories.”
Chan also had an additional motive for writing Record.
“I also wanted to provide opportunities for individuals often marginalized in theatre,” she said. “Throughout the play, Ally stims, which could be interpreted as a sign of autism or anxiety, and Gale is scripted using gender-neutral pronouns. I wanted to provide actors from marginalized communities with the opportunity to play characters like them and present these characters without their marginalization defining them.”
Chan added she is thrilled to have her play premier at Theatre Kalamazoo’s New PlayFest after acting for the event last year.
“The ability to work with actors and a director to refine my script has been a true joy, and I’ve learned a lot about my own writing and progress,” Chan said.
Fergusson’s Harold and Taco is a play she wrote in a K play writing class led by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts C Heaps.
“Over the course of the class, I was able to develop the play and present it in the form of a staged reading,” Fergusson said. “It was also through this class that I learned about Theatre Kalamazoo’s New PlayFest.”
Harold and Taco are hamsters. Their existence and disappearance are the reasons why the two main characters, Michael and Nadine, must face each other and address their relationship problems.
“It’s real and painful, but also very comedic in a lot of ways,” Fergusson said. “Kalamazoo has such a strong, wonderful theatre community and I’m really glad to be a part of it. To have the opportunity not only to present my work to the public, but to collaborate with local artists and bring the script to life is one of the greatest experiences I could hope for as a writer.”
Loduem-Jackson is directing Old Friends, written by Shelby Alexander, a Kalamazoo high school student. In the play, Natasha struggles to handle the pressures of being a modern American teenager. That leads to her humidifier, Mrs. Peanuts, coming to life and giving advice.
“It has been such a learning process and I am so grateful for the cast and the playwright for trusting the process,” Loduem-Jackson said. “As the director, I am learning what it means to build meaningful relationships between the characters. It is hard to find those connections, especially in a 10-minute show. The cast has been great at finding those connections.”
“Truly, there is nothing better than seeing the precious words you crafted form into a beautiful work of performing art,” Alexander added.
New PlayFest begins Friday, Feb. 14, with Romance Guaranteed, a romantic comedy by Art Nemitz, at the Civic Theatre. More information is available at the theatre’s website.
All plays will premier Saturday, Feb. 15, with two presentations each: Old Friends and Record at 2 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.; Harold and Taco at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. All are at the Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre inside the Epic Center in downtown Kalamazoo. All Feb. 15 and 16 New PlayFest events are free and no reservations are required. More information about New PlayFest is available at Theatre Kalamazoo’s website and its Facebook page.
Two Kalamazoo College students were honored last week with new recognitions given at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) Region 3 in Madison, Wisconsin. The festival is a chance for college students in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin to share their skills and learn from others through workshops; collaborate as actors, directors, designers, dramaturgs and playwrights; and celebrate a mutual interest in theatre and its importance in society.
Milan Levy ’23 earned the Golden Collaborator Award for her excellence in organization and collaboration through the festival’s devised theatre project. Devised theatre, for the sake of the festival, involved methods of theatre-making in which a script originates from collaborative and improvisatory work by attendees.
“The process was challenging, requiring a high level of patience and compromise and I am honored to be recognized for my creativity, hard work and collaboration skills,” Levy said.
Aly Homminga ’20 — a co-captain of K’s improv group, Monkapult — earned the Collaboration and Devised Theatre scholarship for her work in theatre festival improvisation. The program, which will take her to the California State University Summer Arts program in Fresno for two weeks, focuses on collaborative and devised theatre, helping students develop talents in acting, directing, designing and writing.
“I am excited about this scholarship because I’m going to be part of an intensive that is about creating theatre in every sense,” Homminga said. “In devised theatre, all people in the ensemble get to be actor, director, playwright and designer. I will be growing and sharpening my skills in all areas. It was such an honor to be awarded this scholarship and I am thrilled to be able to immerse myself in theatre.”
This recognition is significant for both students because more than 1,000 students attended the festival, including several from much larger schools such as the University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin and Ball State University.
Six other K students attended the festival with Levy and Homminga: Rebecca Chan ’22, Sedona Coleman ’23, Sophie Hill ’20, Mars Wilson ’20, Teyia Artis ’21 and Angela Mammel ’22. K faculty and staff who attended included Director of Theatre Arts Lanny Potts; Professor of Costume Design and Stage Makeup Lori Sands; Visiting Professor of Theatre History, Directing and Playwriting “C” Heaps; and Festival Playhouse Company Manager Laura Livingstone-McNelis ’89.
Kate Kreiss ’19, who works as a marketing coordinator for the Grand Theatre in Wausau, Wis., and Livingstone-McNelis, led a workshop on theatre arts administration and marketing.
“We’re very proud of our program here at K, and we welcome you all to attend our next production, Silent Sky, a real story about women astronomers, during Week 8 in the Festival Playhouse,” McNelis said.
A historian, writer and longtime political activist will headline the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Convocation with a keynote speech at 11 a.m. Monday in Dalton Theater. The event is open to the public.
Barbara Ransby has published dozens of articles and essays in popular and scholarly venues, and is most notably the author of the award-winning books Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision, and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson. Her newest book, Making All Black Lives Matter: Reimagining Freedom in the Twenty-First Century will be available for purchase during the event, and a book-signing will take place immediately after the program.
Ransby is a distinguished professor in the departments of African American studies, gender and women’s studies, and history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she directs the campus-wide Social Justice Initiative, a project that promotes connections between academics and community organizers doing work on social justice.
Richard Brown ’21 will provide an opening address and introduction at the event.
The public is also invited Monday to a wreath-laying ceremony at MLK Park, 507 N. Rose St., at 4:45 p.m. A community celebration from 5 to 6:30 p.m. will follow at the Kalamazoo State Theatre, 404 S. Burdick St. The program at the State will feature local speakers and performers such as Rootead and Kandace “DC” Lavender. Artwork from the top 15 finalists of the Social Justice Art Competition will also be on display. Transportation from campus is available to those who RSVP by Jan. 16 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone needing assistance or accommodations for these events should contact Director of Intercultural Student Life Natalia Carvalho-Pinto at email@example.com by Jan. 16.
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Reflection
The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Reflection is an opportunity for faculty, staff, students and the public to speak from their own experiences on this year’s theme, “Injustice for one is injustice for all.”
The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Stetson Chapel and will be presented by the College’s Greer-Sanford Student-Scholars.