Sufjan Stevens and Resurrecting Small Town America

I discovered Sufjan Stevens' Illinois during a period in my life when my hometown was too small, an ill-fitting sweater. It was also a period in which I felt compelled to pin down the meaning of everything, so I spent a lot of time on songmeanings.com. I learned a lot about the album, like how Sufjan scoured historical records while also compiling personal anecdotes from friends and Internet chat room users during the album's songwriting phase. A lot of the allusions are to pretty famous events or figures—like the Sears Tower or Carl Sandburg, but I found myself drawn to reading about the localities mentioned in "Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause For Your Stepmother!"

Life Saving Relationships

It’s become a routine activity, but donating blood is a powerful reminder of humanity’s interdependent nature. The word “blood” even serves as shorthand for close relationships. Blood donors, of course, are vital to the crucial exchange, but so are the behind-the-scenes people who drive individuals to give. As a relations intern for the Blood Donor Program at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), sociology major Talia Hardy ’20 of Litchfield, N.H., established connections with community partners to encourage blood donation. In doing so, Hardy learned that relationships are at the heart of hospitals.

Dynamic Duo

Last February, Kevin Richardson ’18 presented to the Board of Trustees as president of the Student Government Association (SGA). The student report is a standard feature of the trustees’ meetings, but what happened next was anything but ordinary. Trustee Tony Librot ’94, CFO of the real estate investment and management company AAM 15 Management in Burlington, Mass., had just accepted an analyst’s resignation. Librot, with his business acumen, sensed an opportunity and asked Richardson to send him a resume. Richardson was hired 10 days later.

Building Relationships

Six months after graduating with her degree in sociology, Kavyaa Rizal ’17 returned home to Nepal to contribute to the country’s social development. She landed a job as a program officer for Women Development Advocacy Center (WDAC), a nonprofit dedicated to helping young women secure sustainable livelihoods. The job means she now spends her time putting the sociology theory she learned at Colby-Sawyer into practice. Her most recent accomplishment? Raising nearly $6,000 in one month to support education in an impoverished area of Nepal.

New Frontiers

This summer, exercise science major Katherine Nguyen ’19 interned at the American Medical Center Shanghai (AMC). The AMC was the first Western surgery center to specialize in sports medicine and orthopedics in China. Nguyen, from Lowell, Mass., is on Colby-Sawyer’s pre-physical therapy track and wanted to learn more about the industry by observing China’s integration of Western medicine into its health care practices. After learning through a DNA test that she was not 100 percent Vietnamese as she believed but in fact had Chinese ancestors, Nguyen also wanted to experience the country’s culture. Her internship showed her both where she came from and where she’s heading for a career.

On the Other Side of the Bench

When biology major Marina Good ’19 started working in a biosafety cabinet during her summer internship with biotech company Adimab Lab in Lebanon, N.H., she became acutely aware of how she moved. Cell culture requires sterile conditions, so Good put on gloves, had her hands sprayed down with ethanol and donned a lab coat before getting to the task at hand. She felt like a giant trying to maneuver around her surroundings the first time, but now it feels natural.
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