What Does Cortina Look Like?

Part 1: Community

Cortina couldn’t exist without a diverse, yet strong community of members and leadership. Our current Cortinians come from different backgrounds and have a vast variety of perspectives and experiences. One of the most important aspects of Cortina is the respectful sharing of ideas, beliefs, and experiences between its members. This process of sharing and storytelling is an integral part of our Cortina classes, our weekly Formation Time meetings, and our weekly newsletters. Take a minute to learn more about what our community looks like.

Formation Time Community Building Experiences:

FT bonding 1
Forming strong relationships within the community is a priority, as this makes it easier to have vulnerable and honest conversations with each other. 
FT bonding 2
Several of our weekly meetings focus on community building and include sharing fun experiences.
Pictured are bonding outings to Coneflower creamery, Spielbound board game café, and gardening at Dr. Kurtyka’s house!


Learning in Community: Cortina Classes

comp class
Freshmen in the Cortina Composition class taught by Dr. Kurtyka, are encouraged to build their community while learning about other communities around them. The pictured trip to Aromas coffee shop in Benson was part of a project analyzing the use of language and space by various communities.
Each Cortina class has a class chair that lends support to the students while providing opportunities to expand learning and apply class knowledge to current events in the community at large. The Sophomore Philosophy class chair, Anu Kovilam developed a series of “News Hours” in which members get together to discuss current events in the context of the material studied in the philosophy class.


Sharing Perspectives Virtually: Excerpts from our Newsletters

Our weekly newsletters include space for members to share their individual ideas, viewpoints, and experiences with the community. Take a look at some of what this year’s Cortinians have shared.

Sophomore Cortina Intern, John Santner with on lessons learned in his freshman year: “You always get what you give—to any experience. Give yourself some grace. Always assume the best, not the worst.
Junior Service Co-chair Andrew Bodlak on the importance of communicating with others with different viewpoints: “I think it is fundamentally false to ever close yourself off from dialogues with a person, just because of what that person believes.”
cara and sonya
Freshman Cara O’Brien and Sophomore Sanya Tuncan on sharing experiences with others: “We are kind, strong, smart, and beautiful human beings who have the power to make changes in this world. Let’s walk together in solidarity.”
Cortina Community Director, Lucy Hancock on gratitude: “When reflecting upon gratitude, I think it’s vital to know your roots and pay homage to those deserving.”
Junior Service Co-chair Emily Schaefer on the Cortina Community: “If you let it, this community will change you. It has challenged me in so many ways, and it has provided a space for me to grow as a person.”




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