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May 24, 2007

Floyd Cheung (pictured, with his students), associate professor of English language and literature, traveled with nine students in late April to attend the 38th annual pilgrimage to the Manzanar Internment camp site located near Independence, Calif. The camp, a national historic site, is the most well-preserved of the ten Japanese American internment camps established during World War II. More than 500 people attended the pilgrimage. Cheung accompanied his students as part of his Narratives of Internment course. “It’s eerie,” he told the publication Rafu Shimpo Online, a Japanese periodical in Los Angeles. “It’s really something to see a location which I’ve studied so much and read so much about. It all comes together in a new way.”

Fadzai Chinyengetere ’07 recently won the Anna J. Harrison Award at the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Connecticut Valley Section Undergraduate Research Symposium for her talk “Thermodynamic Studies of Spiroiminodihydantoin and 8-Oxodeoxyguanosine DNA Lesions.” The prize, named after the first female president of the ACS (and an emerita member of the Mt. Holyoke College chemistry department faculty), is given annually for the best talk given by a woman student.

Award-winning environmental journalist Simran Sethi ’92 is the new host of The Sundance Channel’s The Green, a weekly show dedicated to the environment. Presented by Robert Redford, The Green airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Sethi shares hosting with Majora Carter, a community advocate and MacArthur Fellow. “The Green reflects the current tipping point in public awareness about ecological issues and the trend towards environmentally sustainable approaches to modern living,” according to the Sundance Channel Web site. Sethi, who also anchors news for, began her career at MTV News. She was recently featured in Vanity Fair and Domino magazine. 

A film, Tango Passion, in which Nancy Vining Van Ness ’67 plays the female lead, will be screened at the Boston International Film Festival on June 8. Van Ness, who is the founder and director of American Creative Dance in Brooklyn, N.Y., plays Claudia, who has a late middle-aged love affair with Philip. The romantic comedy is set in a tango salon. Van Ness, who also performs with her dance company, was a member of the Barbara Mettler (Smith College ’28) Dance Company. She is currently writing a book about being a modern dancer who has taken up tango.

Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel, owners of Leers Weinzapfel Associates, the Boston architectural firm that designed Smith’s Olin Fitness Center, recently became the first woman-owned firm ever to win the American Institute of Architects Firm Award. The institute’s highest honor, the award annually recognizes practices that have consistently produced distinguished architecture for at least 10 years. The award was recently announced in Architectural Record with photos of the team’s projects, including the Olin Center.


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