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Grants at Work in 2012-13

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Awards $1 million in Support of Sciences

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has awarded Smith College a Capstone Grant, recognizing it as among the best colleges in the country when it comes to producing graduates who pursue science careers. HHMI is one of the largest private funding organizations for biological and medical research in the United States. Smith was one of only eleven small colleges and universities to be selected to receive the Capstone Grant. The $1 million award allows Smith to expand its classroom undergraduate research experiences to include three new highly interdisciplinary courses (with a new course introduced in each of the first three years of the grant). Targeted towards first- and second-year students, these introductory courses will provide hands-on research experiences, building on the premise that early research opportunities are pivotal in terms of recruiting and retaining science undergraduates.

Art Professor Dana Leibsohn Receives ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship

Dana Leibsohn, the Priscilla Van der Poel Professor of Art, was awarded a 2012 Collaborative Research Fellowship by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Leibsohn is collaborating with historian Carolyn Dean, a professor of the history of art and visual culture at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Together, the two art historians will co-author a book exploring how indigenous art, global trade networks and cosmopolitan ambitions intersected in colonial Spanish America. Their project is titled “Colonial Things, Cosmopolitan Thinking: Locating the Indigenous Art of Spanish America.”

Chemistry Professor Honored with Two Research Grants

The American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund has awarded David J. Gorin, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, a $50,000 research grant to fund his project, “Catalytic Methylation on Oxygen Nucleophiles with Safe, Stable Methylating Agents.” Gorin has also been awarded the Cottrell College Science Award by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement for his project titled, “Selectivity in Complex Contexts: Directing Chemical Reactions with DNA-Small Molecule Conjugates.”

Museum of Art Receives Grants from the Warhol Foundation and the Carpenter Foundation

The Smith College Museum of Art received $80,000 from the Warhol Foundation to support an exhibition of Mary Bauermeister’s works. The show focuses on the artist’s life in New York City during the 1960’s: a period of time when Bauermeister developed a significant body of work that has had minimal public exposure. The Smith College Museum of Art was also awarded a $50,000 grant by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation to support the conservation of two Japanese Hachiman scrolls.

Smith Students Engage in Draper Entrepreneurship Competition

Thanks to the generous support of the Draper Foundation, Smith students are able to develop their business skills while competing in the Draper Business Plan Competition. The contest is designed to introduce students to the skills they need to plan and launch a viable start-up company. The first prize winner will be awarded $10,000, as well as a full scholarship to Draper University of Heroes, an unconventional world-class boarding school in Silicon Valley for the brightest young entrepreneurs from around the world. The second and third prize winners will each receive a $5,000 award.

Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program Enters 23rd Year of Programming

The Smith Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP) is a four-week residential program for extraordinary young women with deep interests in the fields of science, medicine, or engineering. Since its inception in 1990, SSEP has served nearly 1,800 girls, affording them the opportunity to come to Smith College to do hands-on research with Smith faculty. More than half of these students have been awarded need-based financial aid, made possible by generous grants provided by the Siemens Foundation and the Motorola Solutions Foundation, among others.

U.S. Embassy in Baghdad Awards Grant to Support Iraqi Scholars at Smith College

Smith College received a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to support ten Iraqi women who attended an intensive science program at Smith in July 2012. Currently undergraduates at the College for Science and Women at the University of Baghdad, these students gained exposure to science and engineering education and equipment not readily accessible to them in Iraq. In addition to receiving rigorous instruction in science and engineering, the women attended English classes at the International Language Institute of Massachusetts and gained a valuable introduction to American culture.

Smith College/STCC Awarded $3 million Joint Award from National Science Foundation

Together with Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), Smith College has been awarded a $3 million, five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. These funds will be used to fund a joint initiative aimed at encouraging interest in engineering among middle school children, spearheaded by Smith Professors Alan Rudnitsky and Glenn Smith (as well as STCC Professor Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh). The award will facilitate the enhancement and distribution of “Talk to Me,” an interactive website developed by the institutions which promotes collaborative learning through the use of stories based on a young adult novel (featured as an e-book on the website). The NSF grant will also allow the researchers to write a second e-book, translate both e-books into Spanish, and create a comprehensive and imaginative online learning environment.