Smith College Grécourt Gate
Smith College Grécourt Gate

'Use Your Voice': When Merrill Garbus '01 Sings, She Seizes a Chance to Change the World

Whenever alumna Merrill Garbus '01 of the Tune-Yards sings, she thinks about "the power of song and where that power is directed."  In this essay she wrote for the latest Smith Alumnae Quarterly—which is dedicated to the college's "Spirit of Song"—Garbus shares her ideas about how songwriters contribute to the world of music and the world at large.

Philanthropy 'By Women, For Women': $10 Million Gift Endows Scholarships, Sparks Matching Gifts

A $10 million gift from an anonymous donor from the Class of 1986—among the largest ever to a women's college—will be used to support endowed scholarships and "shape the lives of generations of Smith women to come," says President Kathleen McCartney.

Acclaimed Designer Maya Lin and National Design Firm Shepley Bulfinch Chosen to Redesign Neilson Library

Maya Lin—whose balance between art and architecture is evident in her very first project, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and throughout her three-decade career—and the national design firm Shepley Bulfinch have been selected to partner on the re-imagining and redesign of Smith College’s Neilson Library.

'Breaking Down Walls': Ada Monologues Portray Varied Paths to Becoming Smithies

A four-year Smith tradition, the Ada Monologues performances, offer campus community members a glimpse of the "varied and colorful lives" of Ada Comstock Scholars. This year's event is at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 in Graham Hall.

'Where Poetry Flourishes': Book Launch Celebrates Smith Poetry Interviews

Northampton writer Christian McEwen will be at the Poetry Center on Thursday, April 16, from 4:30 to 6 p.m to launch her new book Sparks from the Anvil, a collection of interviews she did with visiting poets at Smith.

Capitalism, Calamity and Cultural Undergrounds: A Look at Kevin Rozario's Scholarship

Associate Professor of American Studies Kevin Rozario's scholarship is driven by an interest in the history of "the logic of capitalism." His first book was on calamity. His second—described in a story in the latest Insight—explores cultural and political undergrounds, from the Stone Age cave paintings of southern France to contemporary digital hackers.

Smith to Join Amherst, UMass in Hosting His Holiness the Dalai Lama

In collaboration with the Hadley-based Mind & Life Institute, Smith will join Amherst College and the University of Massachusetts in hosting a three-day visit by Tenzin Gyatso, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

The 'Happiness Craze': Lecture Explores Dialogue Between Buddhism and Western Science

In his recent chaired lecture on campus, religion professor Jamie Hubbard examined the "happiness craze" he says has been sweeping the west. The ongoing dialogue between Buddhism and western science has led to some positive practices, Hubbard told the audience, but has yet to produce enlightenment.

'A Life in Two Genders': Jennifer Finney Boylan Offers Presidential Colloquium April 30

The Working Group on Campus Discourse is hosting a talk by author, professor and activist Jennifer Finney Boylan on Thursday, April 30 at 4:30 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall. Janet Maslin of The New York Times called Boylan's memoir, She’s Not There, “the Running with Scissors of sex-change stories.”

Closing the Gender G(app): Students Host Smith's First Hackathon March 28-29

Julia Edwards '15 and fellow members of Smithies in Computer Science are hosting the college's first hackathon from 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 29 in Davis Ballroom. The creative marathon aims to draw first-time programmers and shine a light on the existing gender gap in computer and information sciences.

'Shark Tank' Event Offers Dress Rehearsal for April 10 Draper Competition

The annual Shark Tank pitching contest is a crucial dress rehearsal for the Draper Undergraduate Women Entrepreneur's Competition to be held on campus in April. Claire Bowman ’16, an intern for Smith's Center for Women and Financial Independence, which sponsors Shark Tank, reports on what she saw and heard.

Turning Trash to Treasure: Jacquelyn Ottman ’77 Shares Ideas for Reducing Waste

Jacquelyn Ottman ’77 has a mantra for reducing waste and overconsumption— "Reuse, reuse, reuse." Ottman, founder of a consulting firm that helps businesses with sustainability practices, will be part of a Smith Women in the Environment alumnae panel on Monday, March 30, at 4:30 p.m. in Neilson Browsing Room.

People News

A Student of Vision nomination for achievement in high-tech, election to the National Latina/o Studies Association and a Woodrow Wilson fellowship for junior faculty are among the recent accomplishments of campus community members. Read more about them in the latest People News column.

Transgender Rights Activist Janet Mock Will Speak on Campus

Author and activist Janet Mock first told her story of growing up as a trans girl in 2011 in Marie Claire, a magazine where she now serves as a contributing editor. In an event sponsored by the Class of 2015, Mock will speak on campus at 7 p.m. Monday, April 6, in John M. Greene Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Teaching 101: Smith Science Fellows Give Hands-On Lessons in Local K-12 Classrooms

For the past five years, Smith's grant-funded Science Teaching Fellows Program has been training science majors for stints in local K-12 classrooms. Nancy Cai '17, likened the experience to "being in boot camp"—albeit an enjoyable one.

Pioneering Educator Juliet V. García Will Deliver College Commencement Address

Dr. Juliet V. García—the first Hispanic woman to lead a U.S. college or university, and the woman whose decades of leadership at the University of Texas at Brownsville expanded educational opportunities for Hispanic and first-generation students—will deliver the Commencement Address at  Smith's graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 17. Honorary degrees will be awarded to Garcia and six other remarkable leaders.

A New Look at Ancient Wisdom: Prof. Susan Levin's Book Links Plato and Bioethics

What can Plato teach us about current bioethics? Plenty, says professor of philosophy Susan Levin. Plato’s views of human nature and political community are valuable right now, as bioethicists aim to move forward on such issues as medical error, transparency, accountability and physician incentives. A story in the latest Insight reveals more about Levin's work linking Plato and modern bioethics.

'A French Impression': Spring Bulb Show Evokes Monet's Garden

This year's spring bulb show, which opens Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m. at Lyman Conservatory, evokes the vivid colors of impressionist painter Claude Monet's famous garden in Giverny, France. The show's opening lecture on Friday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Campus Center, will explore a different form of garden art: African American gardens.

What Library Are You Dreaming? Provost Katherine Rowe Talks About the Future of Neilson

In the coming months, the college will launch an important new phase of planning for the future of Smith's 106-year-old Neilson Library. Led by Provost Katherine Rowe, the process will engage students, faculty and staff in "reimagining" the library as a 21st-century resource for the college. Here's what Rowe had to say about the project.

Sing Out: Spring Alumnae Quarterly Celebrates Campus Culture of Song

It's hard to imagine a stronger tradition at Smith than that of women's voices raised in song. Examples abound, from The Glee Club to rowdy renditions of Gaudeamus Igitur at Convocation to operatic voices emanating from Sage Hall practice rooms. Check out the newest Smith Alumnae Quarterly for a multi-genre collection of alumnae music makers who've put song at the center of their lives.

Smart Choices: Alumnae Leadership Conference Explores How to Take the Right Risks

Luma Mufleh '97, founder of the Fugees Family nonprofit for child survivors of war, is one of four keynote speakers at a Smith Women's Leadership Conference to be held on campus Friday, March 27 through Saturday, March 28. "Taking the Right Risks," hosted by the Alumnae Relations Office, will offer participants guidance on how to take smart, calculated risks in their professional and personal lives. Find out more about the speakers and the schedule of workshops and panels.

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty and Illness: Engel Lecture Focuses on Neglected Tropical Diseases

Steven Williams, Gates Professor of Biological Sciences at Smith, believes that many neglected tropical diseases—a category of illness that affects one in five people on the globe—can be eliminated in the next decade. Williams will explore the subject in the annual Engel Lecture Tuesday, March 24, at 5 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium.

Science Guides: Student Assistants Support 'Active Learning' in Physics Classes

A three-year-old learning assistant program in the physics department, which trains students to help out in introductory courses, is a model for making science more accessible, faculty members say. Students, who are paid for their time in the classroom and also earn special-studies credits for training sessions with faculty, say the experience has helped sharpen their skills.

Collaborations in Sound and Space: Artist Mary Bauermeister Headlines ArtsFest at Smith

German artist Mary Bauermeister helped inspire many of her former husband Karlheinz Stockhausen's pioneering 1960s electronic music compositions. Bauermeister, whose inventive sculptures, drawings and assemblages are on exhibition at the Smith College Museum of Art, will be on campus next week for a residency and a series of musical events celebrating her collaborations with Stockausen, who died in 2007.

Asking Big Questions: March 30 Roundtable Event Will Focus on Free Speech

In the second in a series of forums organized by the Working Group on Campus Discourse, Smith community members are invited to take up the issue of free speech on college campuses. The event, to be held Monday, March 30, at 4:30 p.m. in Weinstein Auditorium, features a panel discussion followed by small-group conversations over dinner.

'The Age of Sustainable Development': Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs Offers Presidential Colloquium

What are the connections between nature and the economy? How can we encourage both economic growth and environmental sustainability? What shared goals could we develop to reduce poverty and hunger? Jeffrey Sachs—director of the Earth Institute and one of the world’s leading thinkers on sustainable development—will address these and related questions in a Presidential Colloquium on Wednesday, April 8.

New Scholarship Program Opens Smith's Doors to More Community College Students

A new scholarship program unveiled last month will open Smith's doors to more promising students from area community colleges. “These are women who will give 100 percent,” says Patricia Woods ’00, who came to Smith from Holyoke Community College and is now assistant director in the Lazarus Center for Career Development.

'A Campus Magnet': College Celebrates New Schacht Health and Wellness Center

The design of the new Nancy and Henry Schacht Center for Wellness makes it feel more like an ultramodern classsroom building than a campus health center. A dedication ceremony for the  center—which brings medical, wellness and counseling services under one roof—will be held on Thursday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m. in the center's upper lobby.

Record High: College Logs More than 5,000 Applications for Class of 2019

New recruitment strategies, ongoing support from alumnae and the ability to highlight "exciting things going on at Smith" are among the reasons the college has received a record-high number of applications for the fall, says Vice President for Enrollment Audrey Smith. (UPDATED Thursday, March 5).

Young, Gifted and Black: BSA Conference Features Keynote by Scholar, Activist Angela Davis

When the Black Students Alliance started looking for a conference speaker who could inspire young people interested in social justice work, they called on Angela Davis—a scholar and feminist with a 50-year history of activism. Davis will deliver the keynote for the BSA's 10th annual conference on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6:45 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall.

Messages for Success: Smith Professor Shares Strategies for Boosting Diversity in STEM

Hands-on classroom activities, peer mentoring and added research opportunities are among the successful strategies Smith has used to draw more students to STEM fields, noted Patricia DiBartolo, professor of psychology and faculty director of the sciences, at a recent Pioneer Valley STEM Network gathering.

Admission Policy Review: A Conversation with Study Group Co-Chairs

Since its formation last fall amid national discussion of transgender students at women's colleges, the Admission Policy Study Group has heard from more than 1,500 members of the Smith community on the issue. Here is an update on the committee's plans.

Peer Learning: Campus School Teachers Host Roundtables for Fellow K-12 Educators

For the past decade, teachers at the Smith College Campus School have been hosting regular roundtables for fellow K-12 teachers in the region. Participants say the sessions allow teachers to share ideas and gain inspiration from their peers.

'A High-Touch Experience': Smith Executive Education Offers Its First Online Course

Marketing expert Dorie Clark '97 is teaching the first online offering from Smith College Executive Education for Women—a six-week self-directed leadership course that focuses on best practices for using digital media to create an online brand.

‘No Two Days Alike’: Catherine Aguilar ’16 Talks About Her Internship at the White House

Catherine Aguilar '16 is one of about 150 young people selected to be White House interns this spring. An environmental science and policy major, Aguilar is working in the Office of Scheduling and Advance, which involves planning events and keeping on top of President Barack Obama’s schedule.

Making Sense of Big Data: Five Things to Know About DataFest

Focus, flexibility and Snapple are among the strategies Smith students will employ during this weekend's American Statistical Association Five College DataFest event. Smith is sending three teams to the contest, where students compete to see who can best analyze real-world data sets.

In Demand: Smith Earns Grant from MassMutual for New Data Science Program

Starting this fall, Smith students interested in the emerging new field of data science will have an opportunity to study the discipline through a new Women in Data Science collaboration with Mount Holyoke College and MassMutual.