Students Create “Ricochet” as a New CIE Event

Twenty students from the disciplines of dance, art, music and theater who have been creating a piece that combines their many talents and passions will present their work on April 10 and 11 as part of the Common Intellectual Experience (CIE) program. The project, titled “Ricochet,” will also be presented to the public for one performance.

Colleen Walsh

Colleen Walsh 2014

The idea for the project came from Colleen Walsh, a junior dance major, who was inspired to organize an innovative outlet for students to get together and express their creative abilities.

“I just realized that there was never an opportunity where, as a dancer, I had a chance to work with people in the music department, or people in the art department, just to have the freedom to create something,” Walsh said. “I think that’s really important, especially at a college like Ursinus, so I felt this project was a great way to fill that gap.”

With guidance from faculty mentor Jeanine McCain, Walsh shared details about this creative process over the semester, opened the project to all of campus, and actively recruited students to participate.

As the collaboration developed, it grew to include the CIE fellows and coordinators, and it was added as a CIE common event.

In the CIE, which is a required course for freshman, students contemplate three questions:

  • What does it mean to be human?
  • How should we live our lives?
  • What is the universe and how do we fit into it?
Julianna Lepore Painting

Painting by Julianna Lepore 2014

Junior Julianna Lepore, who painted a picture that reflects the first CIE question above, wanted to offer her artistic skills to the project. “I’ve never seen anything like this collaboration project done at Ursinus. I definitely think it will be an interesting and creative CIE event, and one that anyone on campus could be a part of,” Lepore said.


Walsh hopes that “Ricochet” will help demonstrate how the CIE questions are applicable in everyone’s daily lives. “I think as a freshman, it’s easy to succumb to the idea that the only reason you’re looking into those questions is that it’s for the CIE course, but I think if you look at the broader picture…the whole purpose of the CIE course is that those questions are going to be integrated into the rest of our lives.”

Walsh is also excited that the performance embodies the importance of collaboration. “Life is just a constant collaboration. In order to create to the best of our abilities, we have to work together. So I think that idea is really important, and I hope people [who] come to the show can see the beauty of working with others,” Walsh said.

“Ricochet” will open to CIE students on Wednesday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. On Thursday, April 11, the 6:30 p.m. show will be for CIE students and the 8:30 p.m. performance will be open to the public in the Blackbox Theater. Click here to reserve tickets.


By Megan Maccaroni 2014
(A version of this story first appeared in The Grizzly on March 28, 2013)