Record Your History, Expand Your Research During National Library Week

National Library Week
The physical building is closed during distance learning, but National Library Week running through April 25, provides plenty reason for students to engage the Kalamazoo College library.

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.”

For example:

  • 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 reference@kzoo.edu​. 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.

Meet the Hornets Helping Bumblebees Through Citizen Science

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.

Four students researching bumblebees
Trevor Rigney (from left), Niko Nickson, Amy Cazier and Nicki Bailey comprised Biology Professor Ann Fraser’s summer research group last year.

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/.

Senior Leadership Awards Recognize Invaluable Contributions to K

Senior Leadership Awards 2020
Senior Leadership Awards recipients represent talented athletes, outstanding academic performers, members of the President’s Student Ambassadors and student-organization standouts. They include: (top row, from left) Andrew Vasquez, Matt Turton, Daniel Henry, Alyssa Heitkamp and Madison Vallan; (second row, from left) Ravi Nair, Kevin McCarty, Riya Bhuyan, Mya Gough, Joshua Gibson and Donovan Williams; (third row, from left) Karina Pantoja, Adriana Vance, Addie Dancer, Lakshya Choudhary, Li Li Huynh and Orly Rubinfeld; (fourth row, from left) Elizabeth Munoz, Madison Butler, Rosella LoChirco, Anna Majewski, Yasmin Shaker and Jilia Johnson; and (bottom row, from left) Iffat Chowdhury, Kristen Amyx-Sherer, Paige Chung, Simran Singh, Madisyn Mahoney and Melissa Gomez.

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:

Kristen Amyx-Sherer
nominated by Danielle Turner, Residential Life

“Kristen is consistently going above and beyond what is expected of her as a senior resident assistant, and has helped create a strong, loyal and supportive staff team.”

Riya Bhuyan
nominated by Sara Bamrick, Office of Student Involvement

“Riya has done extraordinary work in Student Involvement as a Monte Carlo planning committee chair, marketing coordinator and co-chair of the Student Funding Board.”

Madison Butler
nominated by Josh Moon, Information Services; Amelia Katanski and Shanna Salinas, Critical Ethnic Studies; and Sandy Dugal, Kalamazoo College Fund

“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 Garcia
nominated by Alison Geist, Teresa Denton, Moises Hernandez, Tapiwa Chikungwa and Paulette Rieger, Center for Civic Engagement; and Justin Berry, Political Science

“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.”

Joshua Gibson
nominated by Alyce Brady, Computer Science

“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.”

Mya Gough
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.”

Alyssa Heitkamp
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.”

Daniel Henry
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.”

Jilia Johnson
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.”

Rosella LoChirco
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 Mahoney
nominated by Ann Fraser, Biology

“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.”

Anna Majewski
nominated by Kelli Duimstra, Softball

“Anna is the quintessential ‘lead by example’ leader. She’s always doing the right thing at the right time.”

Kevin McCarty
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.”

Elizabeth Munoz
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.”

Ravi Nair
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.”

Karina Pantoja
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.”

Orly Rubinfeld
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.”

Yasamin Shaker
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.”

Simran Singh
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.”

Matt Turton
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.”

Madison Vallan
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.”

Adriana Vance
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.”

Andrew Vasquez
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.”

Donovan Williams
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 New PlayFest Spotlights K Talent

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.

Two actors prepare for PlayFest
Actors True Chin Parker and Ian Cummisford rehearse the play Record, written by Rebecca Chan ’22. Chan’s play was selected for this year’s Theatre Kalamazoo New PlayFest. Photo by Karly Paige Im.

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.

Theatre Festival Welcomes 12, Honors Two From K

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.

Theatre Festival Attendees
Twelve from Kalamazoo College recently attended the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival (ACTF) Region 3 in Madison, Wisconsin. They were (from left) Rebecca Chan ’22, Sedona Coleman ’23, Sophie Hill ’20, Director of Theatre Arts Lanny Potts, Aly Homminga ’20, Mars Wilson ’20, Teyia Artis ’21, Angela Mammel ’22, Milan Levy ’23, 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.

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.

Theatre Festival 2
Angela Mammel ’22 (left) participates in Design Storm, a competition that puts together a group of students from different schools to conceptualize and design a show in 24 hours.

“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.

Author’s Keynote Highlights Martin Luther King Jr. Day Events

Barbara Ransby Keynote on Martin Luther King
Historian, writer and longtime political activist Barbara Ransby will deliver the keynote address at Kalamazoo College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Convocation.

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 ncarvalh@kzoo.edu.

Anyone needing assistance or accommodations for these events should contact Director of Intercultural Student Life Natalia Carvalho-Pinto at ncarvalh@kzoo.edu 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.

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.”

Family Weekend 2019 Begins Nov. 8

Family Weekend 2019
Family Weekend 2019 activities will include the Honors Day Convocation at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8.

Each fall, Kalamazoo College is excited to invite families to visit their students and experience a taste of life at the College. Family Weekend 2019 begins Friday, Nov. 8, and includes opportunities to take in a theatre performance, learn about study abroad, catch an athletic event and more. Below you will find a list of activities along with links to the campus map in our virtual tour, providing the locations of each facility. Questions about Family Weekend 2019 may be directed to Dana Jansma, associate dean of students in the Student Development Office, at 269.337.7209 or dana.jansma@kzoo.edu.

Where to Eat with Your Family

Campus dining will be available from 7:30 to 10 a.m. (breakfast), 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (lunch) and 5:15 to 7:45 p.m. (dinner); 9:30 to 11 a.m. (continental breakfast), 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday (dinner); and from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (brunch) and 5 to 7 p.m. (dinner) on Sunday at Welles Dining Hall. Family members pay $5.60 per person for breakfast, $7.50 per person for lunch and $10.50 per person for dinner.

Hot chocolate, tea or specialty espresso along with grab-and-go foods will be available from the Book Club Café from 7:45 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Grab-and-go foods including sandwiches, salads, yogurt parfaits, fruit, snacks and beverages will be available at the Richardson Room from 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

Friday, Nov. 8

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hicks Student Center atrium
Stop by anytime to access a variety of information about the campus and the wider Kalamazoo community. Pick up schedules, information sheets, things to do in Kalamazoo, maps, a local restaurant guide, and more.

8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Attend a K class. An online list of classes will be available by Monday, Nov. 4, or find a printed list when you arrive on campus at the information table at Hicks Student Center atrium.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., lower level, Hicks Student Center
The Kalamazoo College Bookstore will feature 20 percent off all K-imprinted items.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., A.M. Todd Rare Book Room, Upjohn Library Commons
Kalamazoo College and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Early Science of Alchemists, Astronomers and Apothecaries: Visit the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room to see mysterious books about alchemists who tried to turn lesser metals into gold, astronomers who charted the constellations, and apothecaries who cataloged plants and the components of medicines and elixirs.

11 to 11:50 a.m., Stetson Chapel
Kalamazoo College observes Honors Day in the fall term of each year, recognizing those who earned special recognition during the previous academic year.

3 to 5 p.m., Intercultural Center, Hicks Student Center
Pick up flyers to learn more about the programs available through the Intercultural Center, relax, read or leave your student a note on our chalk wall.

4 to 5 p.m., Dewing Hall, First Floor
Why Critical Civic Engagement Matters: Associate Director Teresa Denton and Assistant Director Moises Hernandez talk about the Center for Civic Engagement. A student panel of civic-engagement scholars will discuss their experiences working through local community partnerships.

Evening, Hicks Student Center
Pick up a list of shopping, walking and dining suggestions at the information table and explore Kalamazoo.

7:30 p.m., Nelda K. Balch Playhouse
See Kalamazoo College students perform in The Spitfire Grill. Based on the 1996 movie of the same name, the musical follows the story of a young woman trying to fit back into society after being released from jail. Ticket reservations are available online.

9:30 p.m., Dewing Hall, Room 103
K’s weekly film series, Zoo Flicks, features Blinded by the Light. Free admission, popcorn and soda. Show up early to ensure a seat.

Saturday, Nov. 9

8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Hicks Student Center atrium
Stop by anytime to access a variety of information about the campus and the wider Kalamazoo community. Pick up schedules, information sheets, things to do in Kalamazoo, maps, a local restaurant guide, and more.

8:30 to 10 a.m., Hornets Suite, Athletics Fieldhouse
Legacy families will receive an invitation to this breakfast.

9 to 9:50 a.m., Hicks Student Center banquet room
Find out what first- and second-year students and parents need to know about study abroad.

10 to 10:50 a.m., Hicks Student Center banquet room
Learn about the College’s commitment to integrating career exploration and development throughout a student’s four years at K, including how parents and others can get involved.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., A.M. Todd Rare Book Room, Upjohn Library Commons
Kalamazoo College and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Early Science of Alchemists, Astronomers and Apothecaries: Visit the A.M. Todd Rare Book Room to see mysterious books about alchemists who tried to turn lesser metals into gold, astronomers who charted the constellations, and apothecaries who cataloged plants and the components of medicines and elixirs.

11 to 11:45 a.m., Hicks Student Center banquet room
Hear from Provost Danette Ifert Johnson and Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Sarah Westfall regarding College updates.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m., lower level, Hicks Student Center
The Kalamazoo College Bookstore will feature 20 percent off all K-imprinted items.

1 p.m., Gabel Natatorium, Western Michigan University
The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams will compete against Illinois Tech.

1 p.m., Angell Field, Athletics Complex
Take your family to see the K football team face Hope College on Senior Day.

7:30 p.m., Nelda K. Balch Playhouse
See Kalamazoo College students perform in The Spitfire Grill. Based on the 1996 movie of the same name, the musical follows the story of a young woman trying to fit back into society after being released from jail. Ticket reservations are available online.

9:30 p.m. to midnight, Hicks Student Center
Join K Baile, a student organization committed to providing an inclusive dance environment, for a night of Bachata and other dances at Zoo After Dark. Enjoy tamales and champurrado as you dance the night away. Activities such as Loteria, a game of chance similar to bingo that uses cards instead of ping-pong balls, and dominoes will also be available.

Sunday, Nov. 10

8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Hicks Student Center atrium
Stop by anytime to access a variety of information about the campus and the wider Kalamazoo community. Pick up schedules, information sheets, things to do in Kalamazoo, maps, a local restaurant guide, and more.

All day, Hicks Student Center
Pick up a list of shopping, walking and dining suggestions at the information table and explore Kalamazoo.

1 to 3 p.m., Lillian Anderson Arboretum
Meet for a two-hour guided nature hike. The arboretum features 140 acres of marsh, meadow, pine plantation and deciduous forest in Oshtemo Township. Please park at the Oshtemo Township Park, 7275 W. Main St. Your guides will meet you there to begin the hike. Please wear sturdy shoes, dress for the weather and bring water.

2 p.m., Nelda K. Balch Playhouse
See Kalamazoo College students perform in The Spitfire Grill. Based on the 1996 movie of the same name, the musical follows the story of a young woman trying to fit back into society after being released from jail. Ticket reservations are available online.

Registration is not required to attend Family Weekend 2019 activities. Come when you are able, stay as long as you can, and enjoy a fall weekend with your student.

Change Ringing Award Honors K Alumnus, Student

One Kalamazoo College alumnus and one student have ensured K’s reputation as a home for change ringing will continue by earning a national award named after a former K professor.

Change Ringing Award Recipient Ian McKnight
Ian McKnight ’19 is one of two with Kalamazoo College ties to receive the first Jeff Smith Memorial Young Ringer Award.

Ian McKnight ’19 and Sam Ratliff ’21 are among ringers from towers in Kalamazoo; Kent, Connecticut; Shreveport, Louisiana; Northampton, Massachusetts; Marietta, Georgia; and Sewanee, Tennessee, to earn the first Jeff Smith Memorial Young Ringer Award from the North American Guild of Change Ringers. The award recognizes bell-ringing achievement and a commitment to local change ringing communities.

Change Ringing Award Recipient Sam Ratliff
Sam Ratliff is studying mathematics and computer science on study abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland, this fall and rings regularly with the band at St. Machar’s Church there.

The award is named after the late Jeff Smith, a longtime and beloved professor at Kalamazoo College. In addition to teaching mathematics, Smith taught hundreds of students to ring changes and inspired the College to install change ringing bells at Stetson Chapel on campus.

Change ringing developed in England and is traditionally heard after royal weddings as well as before and after most English church services. It requires a group of ringers working in tight coordination to ring the bells in changing permutations. Because each tower bell takes more than a second to complete its full 360-degree rotation, the bells can’t ring traditional music or melodies. That constraint led to an intricate system of generating unique permutations known as change ringing.

In addition to strengthening the abilities of the Kalamazoo band of change ringers, McKnight and Ratliff have both rung quarter peals. A quarter peal contains a series of at least 1,250 permutations rung in rapid succession according to rules that ensure no permutations are repeated. A quarter peal takes about 45 minutes of concentration and cooperation among the band of ringers, creating beautiful sounds.

McKnight graduated with a degree in political science in June after earning a senior leadership award. He once wrote about his experience with change ringing in K’s student blog. He now works for State Rep. Darrin Camilleri in Detroit.

“It’s a real honor to receive an award named for Jeff Smith, without whom I would probably never have discovered ringing,” McKnight said. “I first went to the tower after hearing the bells that he brought to Kalamazoo College and was hooked after just one practice. For four years since, ringing has been a great joy and a source for friends on both sides of the Atlantic. I know that will continue to be the case for many years to come.”

Ratliff is studying mathematics and computer science on study abroad in Aberdeen, Scotland, this fall and rings regularly with the band at St. Machar’s Church there.

“I heard that ringing was a cooperative musical, physical and mental exercise, all of which interested me, so I dropped into the tower the first week of my first year at K,” Ratliff said. “The algorithmic methods that we use to make music held my attention and I’ve been ringing ever since.”

The Kalamazoo College ringers welcome visitors and would be pleased to show anyone how the bells are rung. The ringers can be contacted at kzooringers@yahoo.com.

Excitement Builds for Move-In Day

Move-in day is an exciting time at Kalamazoo College and we’re eager to welcome the Class of 2023. Orientation-related events will continue throughout the week, but here’s what students and families can expect Tuesday, Sept. 10, when they arrive.

When You Arrive

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Peer leaders will be available to check in new students from 9 a.m.—3 p.m. on move-in day, which is Tuesday, Sept. 10. Harmon, Hoben and Trowbridge residents should report to their halls. DeWaters residents should report to Trowbridge.

Student move-in day will run from 9 a.m.—3 p.m. on Sept. 10.

The morning is traditionally the busiest time for moving in, and families are encouraged to move in and pick up their orientation packets at times throughout the day to avoid crowds. Peer leaders will be available at check-in tables at Harmon, Hoben and Trowbridge halls. DeWaters residents should check in at Trowbridge Hall. Residential Life staff also will be on hand to give students their College IDs and room keys.

Students and families who expect to be delayed until after 3 p.m. should contact Student Development at housing@kzoo.edu or 269.337.7210 as soon as possible.

Residential Life requires that health verification forms be complete before students move in. Students with incomplete health information will be directed to the Health Center at Hicks Student Center. Health Center staff will be available from 9 a.m.—4 p.m.

Questions Answered

College representatives will staff an information table from 9 a.m.—5 p.m. at Hicks Student Center. Stop by for schedules, maps, directions and answers to any questions you might have. K’s bookstore will be open during the same hours in Hicks, offering 20 percent off Kalamazoo College imprinted items.

Connect to the Network

Students who have questions about connecting to K’s wireless network can meet Information Services staff from 1—4 p.m. in the main lounges at Harmon, Hoben and Trowbridge halls.

Observe Athletics Practices, Games

Eight intercollegiate fall athletics teams including football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s cross country and women’s cross country will hold practices and competitions from 3—6 p.m. Visit the Athletics website for each team’s schedule.

Enjoy Dinner

Families are welcome to have dinner between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on campus at Welles Dining Hall or go off campus to local restaurants. New students may use their student ID, which also serves as a meal card, to access the dining hall. Families may pay $10.50 per person at the dining hall entrance.

First-Year Seminars

Meet your first-year seminar group and peer leaders from 7—7:45 p.m. in the first-year seminar rooms to talk about the orientation schedule.

Feel Welcome

President Jorge G. Gonzalez, Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Sarah Westfall, Provost Danette Ifert Johnson and Associate Dean of Students Dana Jansma will greet parents and families from 3:30—4:45 p.m. at Stetson Chapel.

Later, Gonzalez, Westfall, First-Year Class Dean Jennifer Einspahr, College Chaplain Liz Candido, peer leaders and the Office of Student Involvement will conduct the Hornet Student Welcome from 8—8:45 p.m. at Stetson Chapel. Students should sit with their seminar groups. The event concludes with seminar groups connecting with their peer leaders.

Connect with Your Community

Meet Residential Life staff, your RAs and student peers at 8:45 p.m. Harmon Hall residents will meet at Dalton Theatre in the Light Fine Arts Building. Hoben Hall residents will meet in the Hoben lounge. Trowbridge Hall residents will meet at Stetson Chapel. DeWaters Hall residents will meet in the hall’s second-floor lounge. Learn about residence hall life while relaxing, enjoying snacks and getting to know neighbors.