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Student focus groups to be held on social media use BY MICHALA HEAD In an email sent out to the Student’s List on Mar. 7, 2019 with the subject “An opportunity for conversation,” Dean of Student Affairs Robin Williamson invited students to participate in focus groups tasked with discussing how the campus uses social media and technology to build community. According to the email, the focus groups are one of several tactics President Donal O’Shea has unveiled to address issues on campus. Williamson identified potential issues for the groups to discuss in an email interview. “I hear a lot of students say they don’t know what is happening on campus or there is nothing going on,” Williamson said. “From where I sit, I see at least one event happening every day. I also know that students would like to find ways to easily swap, buy or sell items, find rides to the airport, etc.” Williamson said that a potential solution for this would be NovoSwap, which the Office of Communications and Marketing has put on the

eNewsletter, but that she first wants to because I’ve seen the smallest of issues hear what students say. be made into horrific ordeals and bigStudents may not feel the lack of ger issues be torn apart in ways that are connection that Williamson has identi- totally useless,” Borden said in an email fied, since the Forum is known among interview. “[That does] nothing but constudents as the place to go for rides, job fuse the issues until nothing is clear and opportunities, roommates, events and everyone gets hurt.” general information on campus. It is also A Mar. 2019 Catalyst article titled known for its “Forum wars,” “Retention rates on camwhich denotes extensive pus” reported that in a poll conflicts between students “We’ll ask of 82 current students, 74.4 over email. According to the students.” percent had considered O’Shea, the school surveyed leaving at some point. Most students who left New Colof the respondents said this lege before graduating to get a sense of was because of the social environment. what prompted their decision to leave. “There [were] bad quotes from stu“There [are some who] decided [the dents and there was one student who academics weren’t] for them, but they said, ‘I got called out here and then I said, well over half of them, it wasn’t so got cancelled,’” O’Shea said on what he much the academics,” O’Shea said. “They learned from talking to students who left. had a hard time socially and well over “By cancelled I guess she meant that she half mentioned the Forum,” O’Shea said. wasn’t welcome at walls or something— Thesis student Connor Borden has and it sounded awful.” opted to avoid the Forum since first conConflicts that break out on the Fosidering the option to join in his first year. rum and over social media often do not “I have not been on the Forum ever exist in a vacuum. Sometimes people are

‘called out’ as a result of insensitive behavior towards fellow students. The Forum could be a valuable tool for students to hear perspectives from peers that they may not come across on campus. “Call-out culture can be harmful,” thesis student Bianca Persechino said in an email interview. “However, this does not mean it can’t be improved somehow and [that it is] not still beneficial. Many alums on campus look back on that stuff in a positive way, expressing how it made them grow.” Potential solutions for social issues, especially those online, remain unclear. “I’m not sure that there is stuff we can do about it,” O’Shea said. “But if anybody knows it’s the students—so we’ll ask the students.” Anyone interested in participating in the focus groups can email Dean Williamson at rwilliamson@ncf.edu and will be sent an invitation to participate in the week following spring break.

Five students will present at the ACS conference a lot of interesting research is presented (often before it finds its way into papers), There are plenty of conference op- and so there are a lot of good opportuniportunities for undergraduates—but one ties to learn about what other people are anticipated by the chemistry community thinking and working on.” like no other is the American Chemical Several of Shipman’s students will Society (ACS) National Meeting. ACS present at the ACS National Meeting will host their Spring National Meeting this year, including four thesis students & Expo in Orlando, Florida from Mar. and a third-year doing independent re31 through Apr. 4, 2019. search. New College chemistry “For my students “ACS National students and professors who are presenting, I hope will join chemists from Meetings are that the feedback they get around the world to see some of the will help them to strengthnew research presented, en their thesis work, mayparticipate in professional biggest be help them to solve development opportuni- meetings of any some problems with their ties and present research projects that have been being done in the Heiser professional making it harder than we Natural Sciences Build- society in the would want to do the work ing to the larger chemistry and also help them to see U.S.” community. how their work is more Professor of Physical broadly connected to other Chemistry Steve Shipman is one of the topics in chemistry as a whole,” Shipman professors who will present at the meet- said. ing. Thesis student Erika Johnson is “ACS National Meetings are some among the thesis students presenting of the biggest meetings of any profes- from Shipman’s lab. Johnson’s research is sional society in the U.S.,” Shipman said on the rotational spectrum of 1,2-epoxin an email interview. “They are where ybutane. https://doc-0k-18-docs. googleusercontent.com/ docs/securesc/s7jurnmk912se8sp3mgg3hd8llrh0uos/obdpo7fpcdn719co01n4qb7

BY KATRINA CARLIN

photo courtesy of Ronald Lankone

The Spring 2018 meeting was held in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

“Because this is part of my thesis data set, it’s beneficial to be able to have practice presenting part of my thesis data set before I do my baccalaureate exam,” Johnson said in an email interview. “I’m so happy we are given the opportunity to see different research happening in chemistry right now, as well as be a part of it. This is also my first time doing a poster presentation, so it’s cool knowing I’ll be able to develop those skills as an undergraduate.”

Professor of Chemistry Rebecca Black will also be attending the ACS National Meeting. “National ACS conferences are incredible because there are hundreds of different talks going on at any given time during the day,” Black said in an email interview. “There are five different talks at every 20-minute time slot that I’d love

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briefs by Izaya Garrett Miles

AAPIA history week preview all photos courtesy of Shelby Meyers

Five students will present at ACS conference CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

APISA at USF’s Journey to the East. For the week of Mar. 30 through Apr. 6, the Asian American Pacific Islander Student Association (AAPIA) will be holding a number of events to recognize different celebrations from across Asia. Food, movies and more are featured across the events, presenting a wide variety of fun and education. Throughout the week, the events will offer students opportunities to learn more about some of the cultures of Asia. “Our main focus is going to

be different celebrations in Asia,” second-year and AAPIA President Shelby Meyers said. “We are going to focus a lot on food; we are a big food club, actually.” On Mar. 30, there will be a display of dances of various cultures, including small presentations on different Asian countries, followed by an open mic for anyone who wants to add further. There will also be a wide variety of food to try. On Apr. 1, there will be a ‘Faux New Year’ celebration incorporating the

traditions from different Asian cultures. On Apr. 3, AAPIA will stream the box-office success Crazy Rich Asians and on Apr. 4, AAPIA will stream various holiday-themed episodes of the sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. To conclude the week on Apr. 5, the club will host a karaoke party, with pizza provided. There will also be events on Mar. 31 and Apr. 2, though those have yet to be determined; likely, one of those days will include an origami event.

In an effort to open another channel of communication with the student body, the Office of Communications and Marketing (OCM) announced plans via email on Mar. 11 to install a number of screens, each about 48 to 55 inches wide, around campus. The screens will feature content like events, announcements and campus updates. The project will be rolled out with an initial pilot phase of four screens. The OCM held a poll, from

Mar. 11 to Mar. 15, on where the screens will be put up, with the results yet to be released. The program for these screens is based on what other campuses are doing with a similar set of screens; some campuses, like the University of Central Florida (UCF), include student-made content but there are no announced plans to do so at New College. The main purpose of the screens is to provide students with another way to

stay informed about events on campus, in addition to the current infrastructure of email lists, NovoConnect, the Forum and printed fliers. Furthermore, the content of the screens will vary depending on the interests of the faculty, students and staff.

Electronic announcement screens are being put up across campus

The date on which the screens will go up is not known at this time.

to go to on Monday morning of the conference.” Shipman stressed the other benefits that stem from attending these large professional conferences. “For students in particular, it can be really eye-opening to see all the different kinds of projects that people are working on and it’s also a way for them to meet people at other schools, like if there are people presenting from a place where they are interested in applying to graduate school,” Shipman said. Black believes that interacting with other chemists can be one of the most important parts of attending the ACS National Meetings. “These conferences aren’t just about going to hear about cool chemistry in a vacuum,” Black said. “They are meant to be a starting point for new collaborations and to freely exchange ideas.” With all the posters, presentations and symposiums that will be presented in Orlando, New College students and professors will have myriad opportunities to discover exciting new ideas that they can bring back to their research and the New College community.

SAuCE holds a student talent show

NCF’s Got Talent will be held on Saturday, Mar. 30, at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Harry Sudakoff Conference Center.

New College has talent—or so the Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SA[u]CE) office claims. On Mar. 30, SA[u]CE will hold the latest production of NCF’s Got Talent, an exhibition of the myriad flairs and fortes of the student body. The overall event is operating under the theme of ‘Spring Fling,’ which will be reflected in the decor and the refreshments provided. The show, taking place across two talent-packed hours, will feature 11 student acts. These acts span the gamut of styles and genres; everything from danc-

ing, singing and comedy performances are included. However, there are also more unconventional acts participating in the presentation, which not even the event’s organizers will have seen until rehearsal. The show will be led by student emcee and third-year Maya Holtezza, a first-time talent show worker. Students are encouraged to attend the event, whether to support friends who are following their passions or to discover the talents of their peers. The acts will not just be performed for the audience’s pleasure—a few members of

Alexandra Conte/Catalyst

Some of NCF’s talented students at last year’s Dance Collective showcase. the college faculty will be acting as judg-

© 2019 the Catalyst. All rights reserved. “Try to say ‘brisk night, brisk walk,’ five times fast.” The Catalyst is available online at www.ncfcatalyst.com, facebook.com/NCFcatalyst instagram.com/NCFcatalyst twitter.com/ncfcatalyst The Catalyst is an academic tutorial sponsored by Professor Maria D. Vesperi. It is developed in the New College Publications Lab using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign and printed at Sun Coast Press with funds provided by the New College Student Alliance.

Editor in Chief Audrey Warne Managing Editor Jacob Wentz Copy Editor Cassie Manz Assistant Copy Editor Eileen Calub Online Editor Bailey Tietsworth Advertising Manager Michala Head Social Media Editor Katrina Carlin Staff Writers Noah Baslaw, Haley Bryan, Emiliano Espinosa & Izaya Garrett Miles Harrison Angsten & Layout + Design Team Cait Matthews

es for the performances. Direct submissions, letters, announcements and inquiries to: The Catalyst 5800 Bay Shore Road Sarasota, Florida 34243 ncfcatalyst@gmail.com The Catalyst reserves the right to edit all submissions for grammar, space and style. No anonymous submissions will be accepted. Submissions must be received by 12:00 p.m. Friday for consideration in the next issue.


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Professor of Physics Mariana Sendova’s contributions to science and students photo courtesy of Mariana Sendova

BY HALEY BRYAN After coming across a small black and white physics textbook during her youth in Bulgaria, New College Professor of Physics Mariana Sendova’s curiosity about the world was anchored in physical phenomena. Today, Sendova is internationally recognized for her contributions in applied physics and material science. On campus, Sendova’s research and lab provides students with unique opportunities to collaborate on novel and meaningful projects. With current investigations into the properties of surfaces and light in her self-established lab, students are engaging with research and using state of the art equipment such as X-Ray diffractometers and Raman spectroscopies. The primary goals of Sendova’s lab, entitled the Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Lab, are to discover new materials and ways to measure the material’s emergent properties. One method for creating new materials in Sendova’s lab involves the extraction of single molecules using Raman spectroscopy, a tool that is also capable of determining the chemical composition

Sendova working with a New College student in the early stages of the lab’s setup. of materials. For example, in one project Sendova and her students extracted a single water molecule from the inorganic compound iron hydroxide, thereby transforming it into the mineral, hematite. Sendova used pulses from lasers of the Raman spectroscopy to convert the material to hematite, leaving with it a red circle marking the contact of the laser beam. She noticed the size of the spot

changes with temperature. Temperature is dependent on the power of the laser, and thus Sendova began a new project to study how the size of the laser’s red spot changes with heat and power. Third-year transfer student Colton Fitzjerrald, vice president of New College’s chapter of the Society of Physics Students and a natural sciences student representative, has worked with Sendova

on the project of variable spot size. Fitzjerrald analyzed the areas produced by the laser after the material was exposed to different temperatures and laser power. “The most interesting part is that, coming into it I didn’t understand absolutely anything,” Fitzjerrald said. “So it was a big learning curve to try and approach [the problem] and not understand how things work and slowly start to piece things together.” Other research in the lab using the Raman spectroscopy builds off of work with the laser’s red dot, such as explorations of the dot’s surface area. The surface area of the red dot is the amount of transformed material (i.e., the hematite) after the removal of a single molecule, and the surface area in turn can be used to estimate the activation energy of this reaction. Activation energy is the energy that provides the necessary ‘boost’ any reaction needs to occur. In this project, the activation energy is the energy that is needed to extract the water molecule and instantiate the material’s transition

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10 questions with Professor of French Amy Reid BY JACOB WENTZ

Professor of French and Gender Studies Amy Reid has been teaching at New College since 1995. During this time, she has helped develop the college’s Gender Studies Program (GSP), taught numerous French language and literature courses and published various papers and translations. In 2010, Reid’s translation of Véronique Tadjo’s Queen Pokou was chosen as National Public Radio (NPR) journalist Ofeibea Quist-Arcton’s book of the year. Her translations have also been mentioned in Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine and in Vanity Fair. Catalyst reporter Jacob Wentz sat down with Reid to have a conversation about her work and how she has gotten to where she is today. 1. Where are you from? Niagara Falls, New York—pretty much due north of here and right on the Canadian border. The neighborhood I lived in was along the river, so I spent a lot of time walking on the cliffs up, down and around the falls. Growing up on the border, and in a tourist town, certainly encouraged me to study French— it made the usefulness of knowing other languages so apparent. My parents also encouraged that by opening their home to visitors—both exchange students and tourists—from around the world. 2. How did you start working at New College? It was a bit of good luck really. The job market for academics is really competitive. I wanted to teach at a liberal arts college and I applied here because I had good friends in grad school who were alums. I lived in a co-op at Yale and at one point there were four Novo Collegians in the house. I feel fortunate to teach here because I have the freedom to teach a wide range of topics (a freedom born

of necessity, really) and New College students are, frankly, a joy to teach. The intellectual curiosity and engagement of the students is what keeps me going. 3. How does your work in Gender Studies fit with your work in French? I guess I’d say that Gender Studies—an academic field that grew, in large part, out of the feminist movement in the 60s and 70s—reflects my politics; how I see the world. In that sense, it fits well with what I do both in French and in my day to day. I have identified as a feminist as long as I can remember (it’s a consequence of growing up with a feminist mother and a whole lot of older sisters), but I didn’t realize it was something you could study until after I got to college. I wandered into my first Women’s Studies course by mistake during my first year in college (when I was capped out of another course). It was the best mistake of my college career. Between courses I took as an undergraduate and in grad school and reading I did on my own and with friends, feminism and its focus on intersectional analysis became the tool set I use to understand what I see, and so how I approach French literature. Being part of the Gender Studies program is, again, one of the pluses of teaching here. Professor of English and Gender Studies Miriam Wallace and I arrived at New College just when the program was first established. Professor of English Andrea Dimino and Professor of Biology and Marine Science Sandra Gilchrist had led the move to formalize the program as a joint-disciplinary area of concentration. It’s great to see the program thriving so now. Professor of Gender Studies Nick Clarkson is a great addition to the faculty, and there are so many speakers and events throughout the year. I’ll give a plug for an upcoming event organized by Professor of Sociology

and Gender Studies Emily Fairchild: on Friday, Apr. 19, documentary filmmaker Bing Liu will be on campus to screen his Oscar-nominated film Minding the Gap! 4. What did you write your graduate thesis on? I wrote on the Naturalist novel, late 19th-century realist fiction. The Naturalists were a group of men—a group of friends—and I wanted to look at what they said about women’s relationships. I was thinking through the consequences of the Naturalist paradigm where writing is based on ‘scientific’ observation. So, how did they represent the space that they couldn’t see, which is the space of women’s relationships? 5. How did you get started in translation? In part it’s because of how we teach French literature here: some students read in the original and others in translation. That drove home to me the need for good translations of the works I want to teach. A colleague who was putting together an anthology of short stories by African writers sent me pieces by Patrice Nganang and Véronique Tadjo. That project led to long-term collaborations with each author. I’ve been able to have both Nganang and Tadjo speak on campus; I think students got a lot out of the opportunity to speak with such politically engaged writers. I am now working on the third volume of a trilogy of political novels by Patrice Nganang; the trilogy traces the origins of Cameroonian nationalism from the end of the 19th century through the civil war that erupted in the 1950-60s, when Cameroon and other colonized countries regained independence. The first volume, Mount Pleasant, was published in 2016; the second, When the Plums Are Ripe, will come out this spring. I hope to have the third out by 2021; it’s

photo courtesy of Amy Reid

Reid’s translation of When the Plums are Ripe is coming out this spring. called Empreintes de crabe, but I haven’t yet settled on a title for the translation. The painful irony of working on that novel, which focuses on the government’s violent response to political dissidence, is that Cameroon is again going through a similar moment. For the past two years the government has been violently seeking to squelch dissent—and calls for the independence of the country’s western provinces. We don’t hear much about this in the U.S. press, but in Dec. 2017, Nganang was himself arrested and held for almost a month because of articles he had written drawing attention to the situation. 6. Do you have any other projects you are working on besides the translation? A new project I started fairly re-

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all photos Eileen Calub/Catalyst

The Novo Collegian’s guide to spring break in Miami BY EILEEN CALUB

Drawing over 15 million tourists in 2017, Miami boasts record numbers of annual visitors flocking to experience the “hype” of South Florida’s commercial and entertainment hub. Approximately a three and a half hour drive from Sarasota, following Interstate 75, Miami is perfect for students seeking a fun-filled spring break or weekend getaway. The long trek south proves worthwhile with Miami’s natural beauty, cultural attractions and bustling nightlife. New College students and faculty recommended must-visit spots in the “Magic City.” Wynwood Visitors shouldn’t miss a walk through Wynwood, a lively neighborhood and Miami’s preeminent art district. Located north of Downtown Miami, Wynwood is known for its large, colorful murals, art galleries and trendy eateries. The Wynwood Walls, a free outdoor museum, feature works by famous street artists like Shepard Fairey and FAILE. First-year Fabianna Salermo stated that the area is “great for photo-ops.” Wynwood is also home to local favorites like Panther Coffee, a specialty coffeehouse sourcing directly from producers and freshly roasting fine coffee from around the world. Just a few blocks away, The Salty Donut, an artisanal donut shop, serves up year-round flavors such as “maple + bacon” and “white chocolate tres leches,” as well as seasonal flavors like “butterscotch + caramel popcorn” and “cara cara orange creamsicle.” “I recommend the guava and cheese!” Director of Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SA[u]CE) Tara Centeno said. For a late-night meal, stop by The Taco Stand, a California-based taco restaurant. The menu includes affordable options, like $3 tacos. “They have ‘Al Pastor Taco’ that’s really good with pineapple salsa if you eat pork, and a grilled cactus taco if you don’t eat meat,” AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer Coordinator Jada McNeill said. With murals, galleries, restaurants and hip hangouts to discover on each block, visitors will need to make more than one trip to get the most out of Wynwood. Ocean Drive and South Beach Stroll along Ocean Drive, an iconic street lined with hotels and restaurants in the Art Deco style, popularized in the 1920s and 30s. The historic buildings are characterized by pastel colors, Cub-

ism-inspired geometric forms and signs in iconic Art Deco typefaces. Notable landmarks include the Colony Hotel, known for its blue neon lights and Hollywood cameos, and The Carlyle, used as a drag club exterior for the 1996 film The Birdcage. While the Art Deco establishments of Ocean Drive are now regarded as Miami treasures, the buildings were neglected for decades and nearly demolished in the 1970s. Activist Barbara Baer Capitman fought to preserve the Art Deco buildings by founding the Miami Design Preservation League and facilitating protests until the Art Deco District was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Flanked to the east by Lummus Park, Ocean Drive stretches for 1.3 miles along South Beach, also known as “SoBe,” from South Pointe to 15th Street. Just a short walk from the park, tourists can enjoy soft, white sand and the vast Atlantic Ocean. Beach-goers can sunbathe, take walks along the shore or brave the waves and take a dip in the warm, salty water. Often, one can observe parasailing in the distance or planes dragging advertisements across the clear blue sky. The backdrop of towering skyscrapers and city streets adjacent to sandcastles and tiki bars gives vacationers an experience like no other. First-year Samuel Lozano-Briceno recommended South Beach for those

who like “activity” and “nightlife,” but for a more relaxing experience away from the crowds, he suggests Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. Little Havana and Calle Ocho No trip to Miami would be complete without engaging with Cuban culture in Little Havana, or Pequeña Habana, a neighborhood home to many Cubans who sought political asylum after Fidel Castro’s revolution in 1959. Throughout Little Havana, one can find authentic Cuban eateries with live music and factories offering myriad sizes and flavors of cigars. The Calle Ocho Walk of Fame honors Cuban and Latin American artists, like singers Celia Cruz and Gloria Estefan, with stars embedded in the sidewalks. The neighborhood is also famous for hosting the Calle Ocho Music Festival, a free oneday fiesta celebrating Latin American culture. In Maximo Gomez Park, also known as Domino Park, curious tourists observe seasoned players and senior citizens playing intense games of domino. With the sounds of mixed Spanish and English everywhere, from the chatter of passerby to the shout of the busy waiter, one feels enveloped by the intercultural harmony fostered by the Cuban-American community in Little Havana. To satisfy one’s sweet tooth, firstyear Daria Paulis recommends a visit to Azucar Ice Cream Company. The shop

offers over 24 flavors, such as their signature Miami flavors “Abuela Maria,” “Café con Leche” (Cuban Coffee & Oreo) and “El Mani Loco” (Crazy Peanut), as well as seasonal flavors like “Guarapiña” (Sugarcane and Pineapple) and “Noche Buena” (Spiced Sugar Plum). Next door, the bar and lounge Ball & Chain, originally opened in 1935 as a saloon, serves as a pleasant place to relax and listen to live music. The venue also hosts special events, like Salsero Sundays and Mambo Mondays. While enjoying the performances, customers can grab a bite to eat—Ball & Chain offers Cuban cuisine, tapas and cocktails. Curiously, as one walks through the spirited neighborhood, colorful avian friends greet tourists on street corners. “Down Calle Ocho, there are a lot of rooster statues,” third-year Sandra Domenech said, “kind of like how downtown Sarasota has bike sculptures.” ¿Qué más? From escape rooms and arcades to piers and markets, there’s much more to explore in Miami. Start a conversation with a Novo Collegian from Miami to get insider tips for your next vacation. C

Information for this article was gathered from www.nytimes.com and www.miamiherald.com.

South Pointe Park Pier, found at the southern edge of South Beach.


The Breakwater, an Art Deco boutique hotel on Ocean Drive.

Graffiti by Miami street artist Rage Johnson.

Mural by street artist Shepard Fairey, featuring Wynwood developer Tony Goldman.

Ball & Chain, hosting live music and serving up Cuban cuisine.

Panther Coffee in Wynwood, offering freshly roasted coffee from around the world.

Beach-goers lay out in the sun and walk along the shore.


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The Borgen Project SUBMITTED BY CASSANDRA PARVAZ

The Activist Newsletter Throughout this week (3/27 – 4/3), activists have the opportunity to participate in public meetings, fundraisers, film screenings and demonstrations. Read on if you want to get involved in the community regarding environmental protection, education reform and food accessibility.

BY EILEEN CALUB Wed., Mar. 27, Sarasota Climate Change Meetup @ 6 – 7:30 p.m. Selby Public Library - 1331 1st St., Sarasota. Join community members for a viewing of The Green New Deal, a short film, followed by a discussion to candidly share thoughts and reactions. The Green New Deal is a non-binding resolution introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Confusion about it is rampant, goaded on by the plan’s opponents, but also abetted by its supporters. Important questions and considerations include: Does the Green New Deal mean the end of air travel and cheeseburgers? Does the Green New Deal go too far, or not far enough? Is Florida ready for it? Are you ready for it? This event is free and open to the public. Sat., Mar. 30, Love Is Love Fundraiser @ 5:30 p.m. Purple Rhino Lodge - 2920 Beneva Rd., Sarasota. Join the Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County (SDCSC) for the second annual Love Is Love fundraiser. This is the premier fundraiser for the caucus and helps fund numerous election-related activities, which is much needed as SDCSC gears up for the 2020 cycle. SDCSC hopes to go into this election season with a healthy war chest to support pro-equality candidates and campaigns in Sarasota County. A silent auction will be held and live entertainment will be provided throughout the evening. The cost is $35 per person or $60 per couple. Cash or check will be accepted the day of the event. Payment is also accepted ahead of time by mailing the check to: Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Sarasota County, 7358 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34231. Sun., Mar. 31, Walk To End Summer Hunger - Campaign Kickoff @ 8 – 11 a.m. JD Hamel Park - 199 Bayfront Dr., Sarasota. Join All Faiths Food Bank to kick off the 2019 Campaign Against Summer Hunger with a walk across

the Ringling Bridge. The walk will mark the start of a six-week long campaign to raise funds to feed children at risk of hunger over the summer. Get your friends, family and businesses together to help raise awareness and end summer hunger for children in the community! Registration is required online at www.allfaithsfoodbank.org. Mon., Apr. 1, Jill Wine-Banks Presentation Luncheon @ 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Harbourside Ballroom - 3000 Harbourside Dr., Longboat Key. The Longboat Key Democratic Club is featuring Jill Wine-Banks, former assistant Watergate prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, at a special presentation luncheon. Wine-Banks has a unique perspective to speak on “Where are We and Where are We Going With the Trumpgate Russia Investigations.” At 11 a.m., attendees will hear Wine-Bank’s observations about the U.S. Justice Department’s Mueller report. Food will be served at noon and will be followed by a question and answer session. The luncheon costs $75 per person. Registration can be completed at www.lbkdems.com. Tues., Apr. 2, School Board Meeting @ 6:30 p.m. School Board Chambers - 1980 Landings Blvd., Sarasota. Join the Sarasota County School Board to discuss issues affecting students, teachers and members of the community. All meetings are open to the public and held on the first Tuesday and third Tuesday of every month. Tues., Apr. 2, Film Screening: Norma Rae @ 6:30 p.m. Fogartyville Community Media and Arts Center - 525 Kumquat Ct., Sarasota. Watch a screening of Norma Rae, a 1979 American drama about a factory worker from a small town in North Carolina who becomes involved in the labor union activities at the textile factory where she works after the health of her and her co-workers is compromised. This event is open to the public. A $5 donation is requested.

Last summer, I was looking for an internship program. I was aiming for something that would allow me to help people by writing. One of the internships that New College of Florida recommended was the Borgen Project’s internship program. The Borgen Project is a non-profit organization that spreads awareness about worldwide extreme poverty and tries to convince the United States government to make it a top priority in the country’s foreign policy. The Borgen Project was looking for intern writers to help with their mission, so I applied. The Borgen Project’s remote writer internship program lasts 12 weeks. There are three basic requirements to meet by the end of the period: write and submit an article once a week, call and e-mail your congressional representatives once a week to get them to focus on a particular issue related to extreme poverty and raise at least $500 in donations throughout the internship period. In addition, there are smaller tasks to complete during most of the weeks, such as reposting existing Borgen Project articles on social media and writing a letter to the president of the United States. (Unfortunately, your feelings about the current president are invalid for the sake of this requirement). The rules for submitting an article are a little complicated, but not so bad once you get used to it. In the document

that contains the internship guidelines, there is a link to a spreadsheet where everyone submits their article ideas. To submit your idea, find the part of the spreadsheet that corresponds to the current month and write down your name, your working title and a summary of what the article is about and why. Your article should fall into one of seven categories: Global Health, The Good News, Business & New Markets, Technology & Solutions, Spotted/Celebs, Politics and World in Focus. For example, two of the topics that I wrote about were “Myabetic Allows Diabetics in Uganda to Afford Supplies” and “Bill Shore Works to End World Hunger.” The first one falls under World Health, the second under Spotted/Celebs and they both fall under the domain of The Good News. I wrote a lot of articles involving celebrities and those got approved the most and published the fastest. After a few days, the spreadsheet will update telling you whether or not the article got approved. If it was, you are free to get to work. If it wasn’t, you can always keep trying new ideas or just write about a topic under the Topics Needing Covered tab. Either way, your next task is to research and write a 500 to 900 word article about your topic. Once

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A submission from NCF’s Chief Diversity Officer SUBMITTED BY BILL WOODSON Hello Novos! My name is Bill Woodson. I use the pronouns he, him, himself. The culture of pronouns is relatively new for me. Imagine that—the school’s new Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) is new to preferred pronouns. Maybe instead of new, I should say it feels like a recently emerging development, given that I’ve been an active diversity and inclusion advocate for 20 years. In fact, when I founded a management consulting practice more than a decade ago, diversity and inclusion was a primary practice area. I fully embrace the notion that lifelong learning is a thing, even for, and perhaps, especially for, socalled experts. Most people seem to want to fit in, and at the same time be seen as unique. It’s fair to say that I can appear to be a collection of contradictions as well. So what might you want to know about me, other than my job title, my new-employee status and my interest in inclusion? Well, I’m not a youngster. My qualifications for the role include 20 years of Fortune 500 experience, and a couple of Ivy League degrees. Then again, I’m also a recent graduate—December 2018, to be exact. That recent experience on the other side of the classroom reinforced my natural affinity for the student’s perspective. The highs and lows of registering

Bill Woodson, CDO and Dean of Outreach and Engagement, will be holding office hours Thursdays at 3 p.m. in the following locations: Mar. 28 - Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SA[u]CE) Office, HCL 4 Apr. 11 - CEO Apr. 25 - Hamilton “Ham” Center May 2 - CEO May 7 - SA[u]CE Office, HCL 4 for the next semester’s classes, staying up late to finish a reflection paper minutes before the deadline and negotiating the shape of my thesis with my advisor—it all feels like it was only yesterday!

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CATALYST Sendova CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 from iron hydroxide to hematite. Sendova, accompanied by the help of a few students, thus set out to establish a method for accurately measuring the red dot’s surface area. Sendova’s research investigating the activation energy needed to extract a water molecule and transform iron hydroxide into hematite is relevant to discussions of whether there is water on Mars, where iron hydroxide is a main component of the planet’s composition. Additionally, accurately measuring the surface area of the laser’s spot, which is on the scale of nanoparticles, has the potential to replace traditional, erroneous methods. To investigate the relationship between surface area and activation energy, third-year Matt Mancini worked with Sendova to determine the surface area of the laser’s dot. The method Sendova and Mancini developed involves a

Reid CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3 cently is on the Vietnamese-born Québec writer Kim Thúy. I’m looking specifically at how she represents Vietnamese foodways in her writing. It’s an interesting project—this summer I’m hoping to focus more on Thúy as a chef and cookbook writer (before she started writing fiction, she had a restaurant in Montréal). It’s a good excuse for me to try out some new recipes. 7. Right now, in your office, we are completely surrounded by books. Was reading an important part of your upbringing? You can joke about the name

Borgen CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 you are satisfied with the article, simply e-mail it to the Borgen Project’s editors along with the search engine optimization keyword that you picked out ahead of time and used as the title, the initials of the person who approved the article (if

CDO CONTINUED FROM PAGE 6 While this is my first time living in Sarasota full-time, I’m also a Sarasota native, that is to say I was born here, although I spent most of my childhood in Washington, D.C. And just last month I made the permanent move to Sarasota, from Minneapolis. While I‘ve been immersed in the academic world for over a decade now, and really love it, I‘ve never been all that crazy about being a student…which may sound strange, coming from a guy with three graduate degrees. Don’t tell anyone, but, between you and me, I see Higher Ed as the place to go

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unique approach to image analysis that calculates the boundaries of an object by identifying differences in contrast across the pixels that make up an image. Their approach more accurately calculates the size of an object by precisely identifying the unique contrast range of the object and differs from the traditional, more inaccurate, method for measuring surface area on various scales that relies foremost on edge detection. “It’s not about doing rigorous physics, which is nice in the theoretical context, but it’s about solving real-world problems in an interesting way,” Mancini said. “It’s nice to pull your head out of those books for a second and look at what’s actually happening in the real world and describe some sort of phenomenon.” Currently, Mancini is working with the X-ray diffractometry in Sendova’s lab, a measuring instrument used to determine a material’s crystal structure. Mancini’s objective with this project is to identify the amount of material left over from a separate project undertaken in Sendova’s lab that extracts a single

carbon dioxide molecule from magnesium carbonate to make magnesium oxide. Mancini is also planning to work as Sendova’s summer research assistant to investigate the thermal, or heat-related, properties of different glasses. “[Collaborating on these projects] is awesome, it’s wonderful—it’s the best thing you can have,” Mancini said. “[Working on these projects] exponentially increases your knowledge of physics by working on it with your hands.” Sendova has been published in various journals including the Journal of Applied Physics and the Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, and has had research sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of the Army. The U.S. Department of the Army awarded Sendova with a $1.7 million grant, one of the largest in New College’s history, to work with laser-assisted technologies in nanoscience in May of 2009. Sendova and her students have also collaborated with the Ringling Museum to explore how UV light changes the pigments of a paint-

ing and which pigments are present on a painting—relevant topics for art conservationists and historians. Many of the projects Sendova has published feature New College students as co-authors. “Every paper I see as a baby,” Sendova said. “It’s a materialization of your ideas, and this is one way [I can contribute] to the society, and [teaching students] is the other way.” With projects branching off of projects, the constant questions surfacing in Sendova’s lab ensure students have continuous opportunities to engage in novel research and potentially establish themselves as undergraduate co-authors. “[My] favorite thing [working with students is] to see them grow and mature, and I enjoy very much when I am able to publish something with them,” Sendova commented. “[Working with students at New College] is completely different from doing research in graduate school. In graduate schools the professors do have helpers that are students who go there already, trained in how to do something, but here first I have to train the students, which is natural and I enjoy it.”

‘Reid’—it’s what we did—though that’s not etymologically where the name comes from. My mother was trained as an elementary school teacher and she started the Head Start program in our town, so reading was really important. We had lots of bookshelves in every room in the house. 8. Do you have a favorite author? When I have some free time (time when I can ‘read without a pen’), I like to read short stories by Alice Munro. Her stories are puzzles—you have to think through the details of how she depicts characters and their actions. They are more often sad and sometimes creepy tales—good for late night reading. I’m also interested in Amitav Ghosh’s fiction; his Ibis trilogy really caught my attention for how he works along the lines of friction between lan-

guages. Just before break a student mentioned that Professor of English Jessica Young is teaching one of his novels this term. 9. What do you do for fun? Cooking has long been a hobby (or obsession) of mine. I like to try new recipes, but I also have a lot of ‘comfort recipes’—things I make frequently, from matzo ball soup to shortbread cookies, or Brazilian rice and beans. There are a lot of good cooks on the faculty. It’s been fun sharing meals with colleagues over the years. Besides that, I try to exercise— running, walking or rowing when I can. It’s hard to find time to schedule exercise, but I did manage to complete two half-marathons last year (very slowly). With Benderson Park, I’m trying to get back into rowing, which is what I did a

lot during grad school. 10. What will you be teaching next year? In the fall I’ll be teaching Intermediate French (which I do every year) and also a seminar on French and Francophone theater, “On Stage in Paris and Montréal.” I taught the class for the first time four years ago and I’m looking forward to reprising it—with some changes. I am hoping to bring a colleague, Charles Batson, to campus to speak as part of that seminar. He works on the circus and queer performance in Montréal, so that will open up another avenue for discussion in the class. It’ll be a chance to connect with people at the Ringling Museum, notably alum Jen Lemmer Posey, and it also fits in with some other initiatives faculty have in the works for next year.

they provided them, which they usually do) and whether or not it was in the Topics Needing Covered tab. The articles usually take a while to get published after that, but they do get published eventually. Raising the required amount of money by the end of the internship period was a little harder. There are two ways to raise money: sending form letters to your loved ones asking them to donate and setting up a webpage on the Borgen

Project’s website where people can donate. Both are required for the internship and both ask your loved ones to donate in your name. The trick here is to cast the net as wide as possible. During my internship, I sent letters to everyone from my doctor to my mom’s ex-boyfriend. You never know where your donation money will come from. Overall, interning with the Borgen Project is an interesting experience. If you like the idea of making an impact

with your writing skills, there are few places where you can do so more effectively. And, best of all, if you do well enough, the Borgen Project will offer you several permanent positions at the end of your internship period. I chose to be a contributing writer and continue to write for the Borgen Project whenever I have ample free time. My position is unpaid, but still. If you are interested, apply to the Borgen Project now to get a June 1 start date for your internship.

when I need credentials in order to do the work that interests and excites me the most. And I am really excited about joining the New College community. But what does a Chief Diversity Officer do, you might ask? Well, it’s a relatively recent emerging job title. Having benchmarked what other CDOs do…the short answer is…, “it varies.” One thing that virtually all CDO’s have as an area of focus is organizational culture. So when the lead article in last week’s Catalyst cited President Donal O’Shea’s perception of the New College social climate as “unwelcoming” and “challenging,” you can believe that caught my attention. I’m eager to learn from you, our New College students, about your experience of New College’s culture. What’s exciting about being the

first in this role here at New College is that I will have a lot to say about what the job will be. And you, the New College community, will have a lot to say about that as well. Which I hope excites you too. In addition to the CDO job title, I also will be serving as New College’s first Dean of Outreach and Engagement. That title might not be familiar to you but the work is quite familiar for me, as I’ve served in that capacity, under a variety of job titles, for much of the past 20 years, in both colleges and Fortune 500 companies (think “New Business Development”). As a part of that outreach function, the Center for Career Engagement and Opportunity (CEO) will be reporting to me. Here’s how I see the role of outreach and engagement. It’s

building connections between the incredible talents of New College faculty and students, and the exciting research, service and experiential learning opportunities that exist in the Sarasota-Manatee community that we are a part of. It’s also connecting New College students to the career and advanced degree opportunities that await you—throughout the state, across the country and around the world. That may sound rather broad—but I hope it’s enough to make you want to learn more, because I’m looking forward to meeting you! To make it easier I’ll be holding office hours around the campus on Thursdays, whenever I’m in town. Stop by so we can say “Hi” face-to-face, and let’s talk about how I can best serve you as we build community together.


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car talk: finding new wheels BY MICHALA HEAD

In the dead of the Florida winter, I lost my closet, filing cabinet, library and storage for empty water bottles. By this, I of course mean my 2005 Dodge Neon, lovingly known as “Baby Car,” since my mother’s Toyota Sequoia towered over it in the garage when it was first parked there in 2013. Chronicled below is the journey to find Baby Car’s successor at a Honda dealership in Venice, Florida. Many who have been car shopping before will liken the transaction to pulling teeth; Julie Mycroft is one of those people. Mycroft is a Senior Loan Processor, any dealership’s nightmare and my mother. She was in contact with her loan processor and insurance agents before she even stepped foot into the lot full of potential cars. The moment it became clear that Baby Car was not going to make it up to my college graduation, she set out to work. In the days prior, she had gotten herself and me pre-approved for a co-signed loan with her credit union of choice, Achieva. I was told this was to help me with establishing credit. My parents bought Baby Car from a person who fixes up and sells cars. Now I would be making car payments. Pre-approval for the $15,000 loan would last 30 days. Both Student Loan Hero and Road Loans, advise students to, if possible, find someone to cosign a car loan because students tend to have lower credit scores or little to no established credit. Without a cosigner, Road Loans suggests tight budgeting and Student Loan Hero suggests looking for a cheap car to buy without a loan or researching costs of regularly using ride services. Mycroft’s next phone call was to

the family insurance agent to inform him that we had sold the Dodge Neon and would be getting another car. The agent opted to label it as a “swap out,” although my mother explained that this was technically not the case. “Swapping out” means trading your car in at the dealership for credit towards another car. She sold Baby Car on Craigslist a week prior. Mycroft’s car shopping mentality was absolutely fascinating. “Keep your conversation to a minimum—they are not your friends, they want your money,” Mycroft said of the salespeople on the drive over. “Don’t talk about your dog or the picture on their desk, that is probably a stock photo printed out.” Thomas “Tommy” McNeill Jr., the dealer for this sale who had been in touch with Mycroft in the days leading up to this visit, had his work cut out for him. Mycroft did business with his father, McNeill Sr., the previous year, on behalf of her son. The search for my new used car began on the dealership lot. Mycroft instructed me to start wandering among the cars with her. “No need to find someone, trust me they will find you,” she said. Sure enough, we were approached by a dealer moments later and able to ask for McNeill. Mycroft and I each picked a car that caught our eye. Their reports were printed out and the test driving began, but not before I learned the difference between a lease and a fleet vehicle. Mycroft had her eye on a black 2017 Honda Accord, but picked up on its “fleet” classification while flipping through its report. The car was beautiful and I did not see any issue, but apparently one needs to be careful with “fleet” ve-

hicles because this means they were previously company cars and were therefore likely driven a lot by multiple drivers. Nevertheless, the three of us set off in the Accord, and McNeill’s life may have flashed before his eyes when Mycroft decided to let go of the wheel, though he did not admit that. “I have had way scarier rides with some of our elderly customers,” McNeill said. Mycroft, as much as she hates car shopping, was not trying to crash a fleet car off the lot. Rather she wanted to see if it “pulled,” which often indicates issues with the steering wheel’s alignment. With each release of its wheel, the car would veer slightly to the right, ruling it out as a potential purchase for Mycroft. Next we looked at my pick. A goofy looking maroon 2016 Honda Civic with stripes down the middle of its seat. I started it up, but it never left the lot. “What is that, a four cylinder?” Mycroft asked, and McNeill affirmed this was the case. “Oh, absolutely not, you will drive this thing into the ground. It sounds like a hamster is running for its life under the hood.” My mother knows me well. At this point, Mycroft and I had still not stepped foot inside the dealership. Neither of us were expecting to leave with a car that day, until McNeill emerged with two water bottles and a lead. It hovered above our initial price range, but was a 2017 lease with a little over 7,000 miles on it. From the back of the lot, a silver Honda Accord emerged as a possibility. This Accord did not veer wildly when test driven by Mycroft, and her main concern was the light gray interior because I am not known for keeping my all photos Michala Head/Catalyst

car clean. The next step toward the purchase involved Mycroft calling her loan officer at Achieva to ensure that she could ask for more than anticipated in the initial loan agreement, since the car was a bit over her initial budget. Once the new amount was approved, Achieva wired money to the dealership. Mycroft and I returned to pick up the car first thing the following morning. Finally, we were lured into the dealership with the promise that the transaction would be quick and painless. In the business office, Mycroft and I were prompted to take turns signing and initialing a plethora of paperwork. I was finally handed one single key to the Honda Accord. The lack of a spare key irked Mycroft, who claimed she may not have bought the car had she known this. McNeill offered to get a locksmith that works with the dealership to the family residence to get a chipped copy made. Being chipped means a key can start a car as well as unlock it, and can cost $200 or more, according to a 2013 Consumer Reports article. Mycroft declined this offer with the intention to get it done at a hardware store; it has been about a month since I drove the car off the lot and still no spare key. McNeill took the time to show me the car’s technological navigation features and connect my phone to the car’s bluetooth as I listened, still in quiet shock that the car was now mine. C

Information for this article was gathered from studentloanhero.com, roadloans.com and consumerreports.org. \

Mom’s Tips: Pick out two or three cars you are interested in from the dealership’s website beforehand. Get a loan through your credit union, not the dealership, and do this in advance. Give the credit union information on specific cars you’re considering for expedited loan approval. No fleet vehicles. The Wilde Honda dealership has a picturesque blue entrance.

Salespeople are not your friends. Silly as it may seem, let go of the wheel for a moment on test drives to see if the wheel alignment is off. Make sure up front that there is a spare key to save yourself the extra hassle of having to get a copy made after purchasing. At least skim paperwork before signing.

A fleet of Honda vehicles eagerly wait on the lot to be test driven.

Michala Head’s 2017 silver Honda Accord.

Get the car tinted if you can.

Profile for ncfcatalyst

Spring 2019 - Issue 6  

Spring 2019 - Issue 6  

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