“In creating my Plan in religious studies and psychology, I felt it was integral that I grow my understanding of life and the world beyond the classroom and outside of the bubble and great privilege of being a US citizen,” says junior Janelle Kesner (pictured, right). She spent the 2017–18 academic year at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, taking classes in psychology, religion, language, and cross-cultural and political relations. “My studies abroad were broadened by observing, learning, and immersing myself in the many cultures of Israel. Conversing day and night with people helped me to grow a personal understanding, rather than relying on the consensus of the media.”
Despite sticky competition from rice noodles, rice-stuffed peppers, rice paper–wrapped spring rolls, and Nigerian jollof rice as mentioned in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, COO Becky Catarelli ’04 won the first annual Rice-Aron Library Cook-Off in May. Rice-inspired dishes prepared by staff were judged based on their use of rice, connection to any book theme, and other criteria such as appearance (from “beautiful food” to “are you sure that’s food?”). Becky gained high marks from the judges for a book-shaped cake decorated to look like Memnoch the Devil, by Anne Rice, and was awarded the coveted golden-rice-encrusted trophy.
In June, sophomore and dancer/choreographer Ricarrdo Valentine performed a new work-in-progress titled Hawa (The Ride) at Abrons Arts Center in New York City, as part of his duo with his partner, Orlando Zane Hunter Jr. “Brother(hood) Dance! is an interdisciplinary duo that seeks to inform its audiences on sociopolitical and environmental injustices from a global perspective, bringing clarity to the same-gender-loving African- American experience in the 21st century.” The culmination of their AIRspace residency, Hawa (The Ride) is a contemporary myth that “takes up black masculinity and the politics of adornment as source material for a creative fashioning of the future self.”
The Art of Shooting: Us & Them, a work by Richard Reitz Smith, communication and design manager, was featured in an exhibition titled “Opulence: Not Everything That Glitters Is Gold,” from July through September at New York’s Center for Book Arts. The work (pictured, right) evolves from a 1950 primer on good sportsmanship to what is now a loaded topic on so many levels. “I believe in beauty, its power, and its poetry,” says Richard. “I see them, even if they are ugly and painful, because I know that there is a story waiting to evolve and we must see and hear that tale.”
Through Marlboro’s partnership with the College for Social Innovation, junior Sage Kampitsis spent last spring semester as a Social Innovation Fellow in Boston, working with the Steppingstone Foundation, a nonprofit organization bridging the opportunity gap in education. She tutored middle school students, and conducted a research study on the effectiveness of the program’s admission process. “My ‘Semester in the City’ not only tied into my coursework at Marlboro, but shaped it as well,” says Sage. “It was through this program that I discovered my passion for empowerment education and decided to focus my Plan work around that passion.” See Sage share her own empowerment journey.
“I see Marlboro as a place of tremendous opportunity, both for our students who want to engage in the serious pursuit of a unique education, and for our supporters who can help to make that happen,” says Rennie Washburn, director of advancement, who joined the college in January. Rennie comes to Marlboro with 17 years of experience in many different facets of development work, most recently at Northfield Mount Hermon, where she was the director of alumni and parent giving programs. She recently guided Annual Fund giving to a record $2.2 million last fiscal year, which ended June 30.
In April, MATESOL student Mark Cormier (pictured, right) gave a presentation for PD Talks, a public speaker series open to teachers and education students, hosted by the Mark Twain Library in San Jose, Costa Rica. “I talked about fake news and common cognitive biases and logical fallacies that contribute to its prevalence and impact, as well as the importance of harnessing our students’ natural curiosity as a tool for developing a more critical eye,” says Mark. He is head of training and professional development at the Centro Cultural Costarricense Norteamericano, a nonprofit English school and cultural center in San Jose promoting exchange between Costa Rica and the U.S.
Junior Karla Julia Ramos and sophomore Annalise Guidry travelled with theater professor Jean O’Hara to Scotland in August for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. They were there to represent Marlboro College and to share their original performance, 3 Women, 3 Myths, a journey of exploration into how each of us is informed by our ancestors: their music, their languages, their spiritual practices, and their stories. With roots in Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Ireland, respectively, each of the performers explored how their ancestors were brought across the ocean, and worked with the theme of water to tie in ancient myths from their families.
Marlboro was pleased to welcome Fumio Sugihara as the new director of admissions in August. Fumio comes to Marlboro from Bennington College, where he was director of admissions, but he has also worked in admissions at University of Puget Sound and Juniata College. He started his career in higher education at Bowdoin College, where he was director for multicultural recruitment and associate director of admissions. Fumio earned a bachelor’s degree at Bowdoin in women’s studies and environmental studies, and went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Minds on Main Street
Three finalists in the Beautiful Minds Challenge explore Brattleboro, part of the symposium in April that welcomed more than 20 innovative high school students from all over the US as well as Kazakhstan, Jordan, and Ecuador. Learn about this year’s contest at minds.marlboro.edu. Photo by Kelly Fletcher
Freshman Faza “Jimmy” Hikmatullah discovers a wealth of wood frog eggs in a vernal pool, part of biology professor Jaime Tanner’s Life in the Cold class. An international student from Indonesia, Jimmy embraced his first real winter with gusto. Photo by Cedar van Tassel ’21
Lucy Johnston ’21, Margaret Brooks ’21, and Brooke Evans ’19 were among a group of six students who traveled to France in May with French language and literature fellow Frédérique Marty. They hiked in the Pyrenees, met with students in Bayonne, and learned about the history of chocolate in Basque country. Photo by Charlotte Nicholson ’18
In February, Director of Experiential Learning and Career Development Kate Trzaskos (left) and others on campus welcomed representatives from Ashoka U, part of the process of becoming an Ashoka Changemaker Campus. Photo by Travis Hellstrom