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News Release

March 10, 2005

Smith Board Approves Faculty Promotions

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—At its February meeting, the Smith College Board of Trustees promoted 14 members of the faculty and conferred tenure status on two others, effective July 1, 2005.

Promoted to full professor from associate professor were Giovanna Bellesia, Italian language and literature; Mahnaz Mahdavi, economics; Christine Shelton, exercise and sport studies; Kathryn Basham, School for Social Work; and Mary Hall, School for Social Work.

Promoted to associate professor with tenure from assistant professor were Lauren Duncan, psychology; Judy Franklin, computer science; Ambreen Hai, English language and literature; Samuel Intrator, education and child study; Deirdre Sabina Knight, East Asian languages and literature; Marc Lendler, government; James Lowenthal, astronomy; Kevin Quashie, Afro-American studies; and Hélène Visentin, French studies.

Granted tenure were associate professors L. David Smith, biological studies, and Dennis Miehls, School for Social Work.

The following is additional information on the promoted faculty members, listed in alphabetical order:

  • Kathryn Basham’s expertise includes working with couples on such issues as non-custodial parenting and divorce. Basham received a bachelor’s from George Washington University, master’s in social work from the University of California at Berkeley and doctorate from the Smith College School for Social Work.
  • Giovanna Bellesia studies modern Italian women writers and translates into English the works of Italian women writers, philosophers and theorists. Bellesia received a Laurea (the Italian degree comparable to a doctorate) in English and French languages and literatures as well as a degree as a simultaneous interpreter and translator for French and English, in Milan. She earned a doctorate in romance languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Lauren Duncan researches the personal motivation of adults and adolescents who want to change society or become active in political and social issues. She also investigates what feminist identities mean to women of different generations. Duncan earned a bachelor’s in economics from the University of Southern California, a doctorate in personality psychology and a graduate certificate in women’s studies from the University of Michigan.
  • Judy Franklin investigates machine learning and improvisation, and systems based on recurrent neural networks that can learn to improvise jazz. Franklin received a bachelor’s in mathematics from Clarion University and a master’s and doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
  • Ambreen Hai studies postcolonial literature in English from Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean; writings of the British Empire; 19th-20th century British literature; and contemporary literary theory. She earned a bachelor’s in English, philosophy and economics from Wellesley College and a doctorate in English language and literature from Yale University.
  • Mary Hall researches race and substance abuse and develops curriculum for alcohol and substance abuse treatment. She received a bachelor’s from Otterbein College, master’s degrees from the Smith College School for Social Work and from Boston University and a doctorate from Simmons College School of Social Work.
  • Samuel Intrator studies the interaction between adolescents and the institutions that serve them, such as schools, sports teams and youth programs. He also studies teaching in American schools, school reform and secondary education. Intrator received a bachelor’s in literature and rhetoric at the State University of New York at Binghamton, master’s in literature and writing from the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College and a master’s and doctorate from Stanford University.
  • Deirdre Sabina Knight researches arts and culture in contemporary China and the history of the social work of stories. She received a bachelor’s in Chinese from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, master’s degrees in comparative literature from both the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a doctorate in Chinese Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
  • Marc Lendler researches American politics, in particular the changing power of the executive branch, presidential selection, campaigns, congressional elections, electoral behavior and public opinion. He received a bachelor’s in political science from Antioch College and a doctorate in political science from Yale University.
  • James Lowenthal investigates the evolution and physics of galaxies, among them primeval galaxies, starburst and high redshift galaxies. He earned a bachelor’s from Yale College and doctorate from the University of Arizona.
  • Mahnaz Mahdavi analyzes the behavior of the stock returns in the U.S. and emerging markets. Mahdavi received a bachelor’s in accounting and finance from National Iranian Oil Company College of Accounting, master’s in econometrics from Eastern Michigan University and doctorate in Economics from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.
  • Dennis Miehls specializes in the integration of theory in couples’ therapy, publishing articles on couples and narcissism, psychosomatic illness and trauma survivors. Miehls received a bachelor’s from the University of Western Ontario, master’s in social work from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, and doctorate from the Smith College School for Social Work.
  • Kevin Quashie researches U.S. black culture and theory and black identity and queer studies. He received a bachelor’s in English from Florida International University, master’s in college student personnel from Bowling Green State University and a master’s and doctorate in English from Arizona State University.
  • Christine Shelton specializes in women and sport, pedagogy and international women’s sport and coordinates the coaching practicum. Shelton received her bachelor’s in physical education from Madison College and master’s from James Madison University.
  • L. David Smith investigates marine biological invasions, identifying shipping and non-shipping mechanisms that transfer non-native marine species and developing an understanding as to how they operate. Smith received his bachelor’s from the University of Virginia, master’s from the University of South Carolina and doctorate from the University of Maryland.
  • Hélène Visentin specializes in 17th-century literature, particularly theater history and the “arts du spectacle” (machine theater, ballet, operas, pageants) in urban and courtly life. She earned a bachelor’s and master’s at the Université de Montréal. She holds the title Docteur de l'Université de Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV).

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

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