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Alumnae Initiatives

Smith College alumnae are creating change and doing innovative work around the world. They are shaping national policy, raising global standards, influencing citizens' behaviors and educating the world on reproductive rights, climate change, environmental justice, water rights, international trade and wetlands restoration. The list goes on...

Ann Boocock Coburn '58

Ann Coburn has held numerous offices in Lincoln, Massachusetts and Sewickley, Pennsylvania. She is perhaps most recognized for her conservation work with the Garden Club of America and the current position on the statewide board of directors of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Environmental Council. Her special interests are plant conservation and environmental legislation. Among the projects undertaken by the Council are the development of greenways along the Delaware Riverfront in Philadelphia and along the Susquehanna River, as well as plans for conservation along rivers throughout Pennsylvania.

Amy Bunting '59

Amy Bunting designed her home on Camino Chico in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to run completely on solar energy, She uses the sun to heat her water, run her refrigerator, spark her natural gas oven and switch on her lights. Everything in her 1,777-square-foot home is powered by the sun.

For many years, Amy has been active in environmental activities and educational programs in Santa Fe. Her house, which took two years to plan, is a model of conservation. Her vigas were made from recycled wood, a drainage system gathers rainwater from her carport to use in her organic garden and a green rocking chair in her foyer was made from 100 recycled plastic milk cartons. The 16-inch thick walls offer significant insulation capacity and are made of pumice-crete, an organic material taken from the hills near Espanola. Bunting researched the origin of all of the building materials to ensure that she bought products of the highest quality with the lowest environmental impact.

Susan Maxman '60

Susan Maxman is a nationally-recognized expert in sustainable design and historic preservation and principal of Susan Maxman & Partners, Architects (SMP) of Philadelphia. The firm has received numerous awards for its work from professional and nonprofit organizations throughout the country, including the Committee on the Environment of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). In 1993, Ms. Maxman became the first woman president of the AIA in its 136 years. For her advocacy of sustainable design in both new designs and restoration of historic structures, she has received honorary doctorates at Ball State University and the University of Detroit-Mercy. Her work has been cited in professional journals, newspapers and magazines including Architecture, Energy Focus, Historic Preservation and Progressive Architecture. The scope of the firm's work can be seen at www.maxmanpartners.com.

Sherley Young '61

After more than 20 years working for women's reproductive rights and health care, Sherley Young took a fateful trip to Kenya. While she saw the tremendous need for AIDS prevention, she also learned the impact and value of providing houses for people. She now focuses on building houses for Global Village, the international arm of Habitat for Humanity. The houses are very simple: two or three rooms with no electricity or running water. They can be built quickly, which is fortunate, as Sherley also plans to help build in Tanzania, Australia, Botswana, Chile (with Smith Travel), Ethiopia, Mongolia and Egypt.

Hope Babcock '63

Professor Babcock received her LL.B. from Yale and is currently professor of law at Georgetown University. She served as General Counsel to the National Audubon Society from 1987-91 and as Deputy General Counsel and Director of Audubon's Public Lands and Water Program from 1981-87. Previously, she was a partner with Blum, Nash & Railsback, where she focused on energy and environmental issues, and an associate at LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, where she represented utilities in the nuclear licensing process. From 1977-79, she served as a deputy assistant secretary of Energy and Minerals in the U.S. Department of the Interior. She was a member of the Standing Committee on Environmental Law of the American Bar Association, chair of the Natural Resources Law Section of the AALS (2004), and served on the Clinton-Gore Transition Team.

Paula Young Smith '64

Paula Young Smith and her husband are involved in environmental causes and are also working on a recovery plan for an endangered plant, the Texas snowbell that grows on their ranch in the Texas Hill Country. Paula is a life member of The Nature Conservancy, and her husband is the Ernest E Smith, Rex G. Baker Centennial Chair in Natural Resources Law at the University of Texas, Austin.

Chellis Glendinning '69

Chellis Glendinning, author of the award-winning Off the Map: An Expedition Deep into Empire and the Global Economy, lives in Chimayó. A sprawling village, home to about 3,000 people, Chimayó is the spiritual centre of the Río Grande in the upland desert of northern New Mexico; to the despair of its townspeople, it has also been one of the most drug-ridden towns in the U.S. The fight to regain the town led her to write Chiva: A Village Takes on the Global Heroin Trade. Glendinning has a history of activism stemming from childhood and running through all the major political movements from the 60s on. Her writing reflects her awareness of the impact of technologies, power and separation from the land. Waking Up in the Nuclear Age (1987) focused on the psychological effects of the nuclear arms race. When Technology Wounds (1990) looks at people made sick from exposure to dangerous technologies. My Name is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization (1994) traces modern society from the domestication process and how addiction is embedded in a nature/human split. She is currently working with other residents of Chimayó in their battle against wireless towers and in favor of the preservation of a land-based Chicano culture in northern New Mexico.

Mary Zinn Raynard '70

Mary Zinn Raynard and husband Richard share their home in Santa Fe with five cats and two dogs. Mary is human resources director for the Cadmus Group, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts. She has volunteered on the board of directors of their water district in an area where water rights are of critical importance. Mary notes that, "Our little community felt so strongly that our water system should be a public, not a private, system that we intervened in a pending sale of the system and prevailed through many years of litigation. [The community] now owns and operates the system for the good of the ratepayers. In every element of the system's operation we see the difference between public and private ownership writ large. Good stewardship and long-term thinking are far more likely in the public sector."

C. Suzanne Reed '70

C. Suzanne Reed is a senior policy analyst in California for the Center for Clean Air Policy, an environmental think tank based in Washington, D.C., and has over 35 years experience in environmental public policy. She first served as a professional staff member on the U.S. Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee (now Energy and Natural Resources) then chaired by Senator Henry M. (Scoop) Jackson. She relocated to California where she became senior energy advisor in the Governor's Office of Planning and Research and was then appointed by the Governor to The California Energy Commission. There she oversaw energy conservation and alternative energy programs and presided over development of the commission's first-in-the-nation residential energy conservation standards. Suzanne majored in biology and environmental sciences at Smith. She holds a master's degree from Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Susan Soloyanis '72

Susan Soloyanis worked for many years with Noblis (formerly Mitretek Systems), a nonprofit science, technology and strategy organization that deals with complex systems, process and infrastructure problems for clients in various business industries, including criminal justice, environment and energy, health care, homeland security, public safety and transportation. She has recently started Sologeo LLC, her own environmental consulting company, where she will provide the same type of technical oversight for federal environmental cleanups of sites as varied as contaminated fractured rock aquifers and military base closures.

Virginia Kay Tippie '72

Virginia Kay Tippie is director of Coastal America, a large partnership that involves more than a dozen governmental agencies and numerous major corporations in an effort to "protect, preserve, and restore America's coastal heritage." Projects are in progress on ocean coasts, as well as the Great Lakes region and other areas where major river systems connect to the sea. Among Coastal America's programs are the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (CWRP) and International Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (ICWRP), the network of Coastal Ecosystem Learning Centers (CELCs) and the Coastal America Partnership Awards Program. Ms. Tippie was honored as a Smith Medalist in 1999.

Patricia Bliss-Guest '73

Patricia Bliss-Guest is deputy CEO of The Global Environment Facility (GEF). GEF, established in 1991, helps developing countries fund projects and programs that protect the global environment. GEF grants support projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants.

Since its inception, GEF has committed $6.2 billion in grants to more than 1,800 projects in more than 160 developing countries and transitional economies. Between 2006 and 2010, GEF expects to commit another $3.13 billion. The GEF staff is based in Washington, D.C., and administers funded programs on behalf of the Council, an independent board of directors that represents 16 developing countries, 14 developed countries and two countries with transitional economies.

Alison Quoyeser '73

For more than 15 years, Alison Quoyeser has been teaching elementary school children how to care for their communities in her classes at Ross School in California. She and her partner received a Golden Bell award for their fourth-grade environmental studies program. Some of Alison's students' work may be seen at here.

Ellen Ameling Watts '75, AIA

Ellen Watts is a principal in her own Boston architectural firm, Architerra, which she founded in 2004. With a grant from the Boston Foundation for Architecture, her firm surveyed 11 private colleges in Boston (all members of the Boston consortium) to learn what motivated colleges to adopt environmentally-sound practices. Ms. Watts presented findings from the State of Sustainability in Higher Education at the July 2005 meeting of the Society for College and University Planning.

Alma Boylan Garnett '78

Alma Boylan Garnett lives in Portland, Maine and founded Hunter Panels, a manufacturer of polyisocyanurate roofing insulation panels. These are considered the most energy-efficient form of roofing insulation available, with the highest R-factor per-inch of thickness and have become the product of choice for buildings that are seeking LEED certification as "green" buildings. In just 10 years, Hunter has become known for both its products and levels of customer service.

Erica Frank '82, M.D. M.P.H.

Erica Frank, MD, MPH, is a tenured associate professor and vice chair for Academic Affairs of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Following a transitional internship at the Cleveland Clinic, she was in residency at Yale and a fellowship at Stanford and is trained and board-certified in preventive medicine. While primarily a researcher, she directs Emory^'s Preventive Medicine Residency Program and has an indigent clinical practice in cholesterol management.

Dr. Frank was co-editor in chief of the journal Preventive Medicine (1994-99), and served on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. She has written for Vogue magazine, was the health reporter for the central Georgia ABC affiliate, a medical editor for Lifetime Medical Television, and a health reporter for Medical News Network.

She serves on the national boards of the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) and Physicians for Social Responsibility. She is also involved in the environmental movement, and lives in an eco-sensitive co-housing home during the week and a totally energy independent wilderness home on the weekends. On behalf of Physicians for Social Responsibility, she has testified about the dangers of mercury from coal-fired plants in Georgia and the dangers of methyl mercury to fish and humans who consume them, particularly pregnant women. High doses of methyl mercury can result in low birth weight, small head circumference, severe mental retardation, cerebral palsy, deafness, blindness and seizures. Severely-affected children may be born to mothers who exhibited no symptoms of methyl mercury exposure during pregnancy.

Miranda Magagnini '82

Miranda Magagnini founded IceStone, a terrazzo-like, environmentally-friendly countertop material produced solely from recycled glass and concrete. IceStone has caught the attention of major corporations like Starbucks, Whole Foods and Liberty Mutual, who are among IceStone's clients. The material is extremely durable and can be used outdoors, where it does not fade. Miranda and her business partner raised over $4 million to launch the product, built out the factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, increase the capacity, and brand the material. Some of the investment money came from social pioneers like the founders of Ben & Jerry'ss and Odwalla. Her product is certified Cradle-to-Cradle for sustainability and has been featured in numerous business and home decor publications. The product may be seen at www.icestone.biz/new.

Simran Preeti Sethi '92

Simran Sethi is director of the video and audio divisions of Treehugger.com, one of the top environmental multimedia Web sites. She is an award-winning journalist who produced and anchored the news for MTV Asia, co-created the MTV India news division, and developed programming for the BBC and Doordarshan through her independent production company SHE TV. Ms. Sethi is the host and writer of Ethical Markets, a weekly half-hour TV series and the first national program reporting on corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices. The news, features, interviews, roundtables and expert commentary are aimed at creating new definitions of wealth and success for investors, especially Baby Boomers concerned with social and environmental issues. Ms. Sethi is also a contributing author to the book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy. She holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio School of Management and a B.A. in sociology and women's studies from Smith. She serves on the board of directors for the National Radio Project and on the advisory board for New York's NPR affiliate, WNYC.

Siobhan Doherty '02

Siobhan Doherty is the Green-e representative for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. Green-e is the nation's leading independent certification and verification program for renewable energy and companies that use renewable energy. It is a program of The Center for Resource Solutions, a national nonprofit "working to build a robust renewable energy market by increasing demand and supply of renewable resources through a networking approach that relies on collaborative efforts and partnerships with stakeholders from businesses to government agencies and NGOs." Green'e publishes The Green-e News, an extensive collection of information for the renewable energy community.