A Rollins Year in Photos

From environmental field studies in Costa Rica and hands-on Immersions in our own backyard to epic internships at NASA and the fun and frolic of Fox Day, this past year was one for the books.

Before we start what is sure to be another exciting and productive year here at Rollins, let’s look back at some of our favorite moments from 2017–18. 

First-year students participated in SPARC Day, Rollins’ annual day of service during orientation. In the 12 years since the annual day of service was established, more than 8,000 Tars have contributed more than 32,000 hours of service to an average of 24 community organizations each year.

Before even setting foot on campus, 12 first-year students got the chance to join environmental studies professor Barry Allen on a 10-day field study to Costa Rica to learn about conservation and sustainability.

For the 23rd consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rollins College among the top two regional universities in the South in its annual rankings of “Best Colleges.”

Presidential historian and award-winning biographer Jon Meacham kicked off the 2017-18 Winter Park Institute season with “The Art of Leadership: Lessons from an American Presidency.”

Computer science major Michael Gutensohn ’18 interned at NASA’s Augmented Virtual Reality Lab at Kennedy Space Center. Examining the world’s most powerful deep-space propulsion system was just another day at the office.

The Cornell Fine Arts Museum installed the newest addition to the Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Tomás Saraceno’s Cloud Cities - Nebulous Thresholds, under the glass dome of the conservatory at The Alfond Inn.

Students in business professor Josephine Balzac’s Strategies for Changemakers class turned a local lawn into an urban farm, digging deep into how to become the change they want to see in the world.

English professors Emily Russell and Jana Mathews joined forces with Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co. to give first-year students in their Rollins College Conference (RCC) classes an opportunity to create professional blog content.

Theater students took to the stage of the Annie Russell Theatre with a refreshing spin on the beloved Jane Austen novel, Sense and Sensibility.

Students in computer science professor Dan Myers’ Creating the Digital Future course partnered with the Hannibal Square Heritage Center to develop a new walking-tour app for Hannibal Square, a historic African-American neighborhood located a mile from campus.

Rollins and neighboring Full Sail University banded together to get everyone in the holiday spirit with Songs of the Season, a free concert on the lawn at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

As part of the Winter Park Institute’s 2017-18 season, artist and urban designer Candy Chang discussed the inspiration for her public art installation Before I Die and why it’s important to engage with each other.

On a winter field study to France led by business professor Tim Pett, 14 business management students set out to learn the ins and outs of doing business in Europe. They learned how horse racing in the city of Pau, for instance, is a classic example of culture informing business.

During Intersession over winter break, students in art history professor MacKenzie Moon Ryan’s Art in Orlando class visited seminal art institutions around the city, soaking up everything from sculptures and painting to installations and public arts spaces.

Political science professor Dan Chong and his students took advantage of Florida’s fine fall weather at the outdoor classroom outside Orlando Hall.

Just before the start of the spring semester, a group of Alfond Scholars and Bonner Leaders visited the Farmworker Association of Florida, where they were tasked with examining the economic and political implications of immigration as well as the environmental and biological consequences of farming practices. The Immersion experience was one of more than two dozen courses taught during Intersession.

Hillary Jordan, award-winning author of Mudbound, kicked off 2018’s Winter With the Writers. Rollins’ annual literary festival directly engages undergrads and professional authors in discussions about the students’ original works through round-table-style master classes.

A new partnership between the Rollins music department and Full Sail University—with its state-of-the-art Audio Templeis paying dividends for students from the neighboring institutions.

Students in physics professor Whitney Coyle’s Physics for Future Presidents course jumped at the chance to learn the science behind the headlines. The aim of this Rollins College Conference (RCC) course is to equip first-year students with the knowledge to interpret and question what they read and hear in the news every day.

Rebecca Charbonneau ’16 was one of just 35 U.S. students to earn a 2018 Gates Cambridge Scholarship, one of the most prestigious postgraduate scholarships in the world. She will pursue a PhD in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Cambridge beginning in October.

The new Hume House—home of the Department of Psychology’s Child Development & Research Center (CDC)—is a living, breathing realization of a shared vision: a space where preschool and college studies interact.

Photo: Bill Doster

Marine biology major Caroline Rosendahl ’19 spent the spring semester interning at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, where she tended to injured eagles, owls, and hawks in hopes of rehabilitating them to return to the wild.

Physics professor Chris Fuse knew he wanted to be a scientist after falling in love with Back to the Future as a kid. Now he uses his passion for the fantastical to inspire his students.

Environmental studies majors Courtney Banker ’16 and Andrew Lesmes ’15 headed abroad in March to see how cultures in Southeast Asia approach development in their cities.

Richard Spencer ’76, the 76th secretary of the Navy, returned to campus to receive the College’s Distinguished Alumni Award during Alumni Weekend 2018. We sat down with the former student-body president to explore a lifetime of leadership and the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Rollins soccer player Julian Grundler ’18 was one of just 58 fall-sports athletes across all NCAA divisions to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a prestigious award given to student-athletes who excel in both academics and athletics. While at Rollins, the chemistry major from Singen, Germany, partnered with professor Ellane Park on cutting-edge cancer research that took the pair to MIT for a 10-week summer research program. Grundler will use the $7,500 scholarship to pursue his PhD at Yale University beginning this fall.

Photo: Zach Stovall

The Rollins Great Debate team once again took home the trophy. Whitney Elliott ’21 and Sunny Toreihi ’20 competed against two other all-female teams from Jamaica and China, debating the resolution, This House Would Respond to the #MeToo Movement.

In Raja Singaram’s community-engagement course Systems & Design Thinking for Social Change, social entrepreneurship students gained real-world experience with ethical fashion retailer Deux Mains, founded and owned by Julie Colombino ’18MBA.

From her first day at Rollins, environmental studies major Morgan Laner ’18 set out not only to lessen Rollins’ carbon footprint, but to revolutionize how it was done.

Photo: Courtesy Orlando City Soccer Club

William Reis ’19—a business management major in the Hamilton Holt School—interned with Orlando City Soccer, assisting the communications department in all aspects of game-day media operations.

Admitted students of diverse backgrounds came to campus in April to explore #RollinsLife during Preview Weekend.

Fox Day was once again the best day of the year.

Four Rollins social entrepreneurship students—Nikki Hall-Elser ’18, Matias Meirelles Van Vliet ’19, Dayra Diaz-Marquez ’18, and Kinsley Gerks ’20—won the regional competition of the Hult Prize, the world’s most prestigious collegiate competition for social innovation startups. The foursome is competing in London right now as part of the intensive eight-week accelerator that will determine if they continue to the finals, where the top six startups will compete for $1 million in seed money.

Rachel Simmons ’97’s printmaking studio in the Cornell Fine Arts Center feels like the physical manifestation of her collaborative approach to art and teaching.

Isaac James ’19 made his way from refugee in the South Sudan to public policy and political economy major at Rollins. Now he’s the College’s first-ever recipient of a competitive fellowship at the Junior Summer Institute in Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) at the University of Michigan.

Communications major Emma Webb ’18 worked as a social media intern for the Orlando Ballet, attending all the performances, shooting original photo and video content, interviewing performers, and working behind the scenes on daily promotions.

Double major in math and computer science Arden Baxter ’18 always liked solving equations, but it wasn’t until coming to Rollins that she really understood the power in numbers.

Rollins ranked among the top 10 master’s-granting institutions in the nation for the percentage of undergraduate students who study abroad, according to a new report from the Institute of International Education.

As part of the Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program, Mary Vickers ’20 and anthropology professor Nolan Kline listen intently to stories of struggle from immigrants at the Hope CommUnity Center, just 40 minutes from campus.

Students in Rollins’ College of Liberal Arts, Crummer Graduate School of Business, and Hamilton Holt School graduated in a trio of commencement ceremonies.

Rollins College of Liberal Arts’ Valedictorian Becca Wilson ’18 reflects on what drove her to excel—in the classroom and on the court.

Want to see more? Schedule a visit and come see Rollins for yourself.