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Tanya Sheehan, the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Art, will deliver a virtual Wyeth Day lecture organized by the Farnsworth Art Museum. She will speak about the exhibition Andrew Wyeth: Life and Death, which she curated and is currently on view at the Colby Museum of Art. "Sheehan will discuss objects in the exhibition with her insights into how the exhibition evolved, exploring ideas of life, mortality, and self-portraiture in this period of work," the Farnsworth said in a release.
In celebration of Juneteenth, the Los Angeles Lakers will donate 125 copies of Biddy Mason Speaks Up, a book by Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing Arisa White, to the Crete Academy in the Crenshaw District of Los Angeles. "We are absolutely in love with [the] treatment of Biddy Mason in Biddy Mason Speaks Up," a spokesperson for the Lakers said. "The Lakers Juneteenth planning committee all agree that there is no better person to highlight this year than Biddy Mason," a former slave turned civil rights activist.

In separate news, White  will be the artist in residence at Indigo Arts Alliance in Portland, Maine, in July.
A paper by Associate Professor of French Mouhamedoul Niang was published recently in the journal Research in African Literatures, the premier journal in African literary studies. His paper, "Biocentrism as Magic Realism, Realism, and Hybrid Transculturation: Fatou Diome's Innovative Fictionalization of Biocentric Characterization through Transnational Testimonials in Kétala" examines Diome's "enriching renewal of literary creativity ... that transcends continental borders."
Assistant Professor of Biology Josh Martin coauthored a paper recently published in the journal Frontiers in Neural Circuits. The paper, "The Role of Central Complex Neurons in Prey Detection and Tracking in the Freely Moving Praying Mantis (Tenodera sinensis)," reports on the "crucial importance of the CX [central complex] to prey-capture behavior in predatory insects like the praying mantis and, hence, further emphasize[s] its role in behaviorally and ecologically relevant contexts."
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Alison Bates has been awarded a federal grant through the Northeast Sea Grant Consortium titled "Community Engagement and Stakeholder Perceptions of Floating Offshore Wind.” Their multi-year project aims to promote equitable solutions for offshore wind to co-exist with other ocean users and marine-dependent communities in Maine. This award is funded through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy and NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Bates is joined by colleague Loren McClenachan, Colby's Elizabeth and Lee Ainslie Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, and by partners at the Maine Division of Marine Resources and Marine Ocean Training & Technology LLC. On-campus work is currently supported by the Colby College Mule Works Innovation Lab, Assistant Professor of Computer Science Stacy Doore’s INSITE Lab, and students Chloe Shader ’24, Michelle Phan ’25, and Izge Bayyurt ’22.
Political Science Quarterly published a new paper led by Nick Jacobs, assistant professor of government. In the article, "State Building in Crisis Governance: Donald Trump and COVID-19," Jacobs details how, under cover of the pandemic and the powers it has bestowed, the Trump administration advanced the most controversial features of its Make America Great program. It sheds new light on how an emergent form of presidential partisanship weakened institutions that traditionally shared responsibility for emergency management, such as Congress and the states. Trump’s emergency actions will therefore leave a lasting imprint—if not redefine—politics and government in the United States.
Nazli Konya, visiting assistant professor of government, won Cornell University's Janice N. and Milton J. Esman Prize for her outstanding thesis, "The Inappropriable People of Gezi." The prize is Cornell's highest honor awarded to a graduate student.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Stacy-ann Robinson has received the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences' (AESS) Early Career Award in recognition of her commitment to global engagement and student success and of her contribution to the academic literature on climate change adaptation in small island developing states. AESS is a scholarly and professional organization that promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service for faculty and students in the 1,000-plus environmental academic programs in the United States and beyond. The award honors individuals who are early in their careers but who have made significant contributions to knowledge, community, and diversity in environmental studies and science and have a career plan and trajectory that promise to continue and bolster such contributions.
Professor of Creative Writing Debra Spark wrote an article titled "Her Many Muses" for the Barnard alumni magazine. Spark reviewed the upcoming film A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff written by Alicia Jo Rabins, a Barnard alumna and artist that Spark admires. "Not long after the Bernie Madoff scandal broke, Alicia Jo Rabins ’98 started a yearlong artist residency on an empty floor of a Wall Street high-rise. At first, Rabins — a poet, musician, and Jewish educator — wasn’t sure what she’d produce. This was a time to be creative, but her mind kept turning to the disgraced financier who defrauded thousands of people," Spark's article begins.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Alison Bates coauthored a public report and stepwise guidance document, Community Planning for Solar Toolkit, with colleagues from the UMass Clean Energy Extension and state, local, utility, and community partner organizations as well as the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Innovation Network. This six-step toolkit provides the resources needed for New England communities to plan for large-scale solar, including financing, community engagement, and resource assessment. Bates led the research and authored two guides in the toolkit that demonstrate how municipalities can incorporate community preferences to guide solar development. The solar planning toolkit is freely available to the general public.

This work was supported by Colby students Makalyah Cowan ’22 and Julia Cantor ’23. Development of this toolkit was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Solar Energy Innovation Network cohort program for Solar in Rural Communities. Support for Colby students was provided by the Colby Provost's Office, the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment, and the McVey Data Science Initiative.