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Famous Faces: Watercolor portraits of some of the most influential American women in the past 35 years, by New York artist and feminist Linda Stein, were on display in March at the Morgan Gallery in Neilson Library in commemoration of Women's History Month. Stein, a prominent and sometimes radical activist in the women's movement and other political causes in New York since the 1970s, has published and spoken extensively about art and feminism, and many other topics. The exhibit included one of Stein's first portraits, of Virginia Woolf, as well as renderings of Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug. Stein has agreed to donate her diaries and sketchbooks to the Sophia Smith Collection's permanent holdings.

Same Places, New Names: Since it was built some 40 years ago, the Wright Hall Auditorium has been known as just that. But in a dedication ceremony on April 18 the frequently used campus venue took on a new name: Leo Weinstein Auditorium. Weinstein, who taught at Smith from 1952 until 1991, was the Esther Cloudman Dunn Professor Emeritus of Government at the time of his death in 1999. An authority on constitutional law and political theory, Weinstein received the John M. Greene Award in 1991.

The Leo Weinstein Auditorium joins a few other venues on campus that are named after influential college associates. The Campus Center has dedicated three of its rooms with new names. The large hall heretofore known as the Multipurpose Room (208) has become the Carroll Room, named after Jane Chace Carroll '53; the pre-performance space outside the Multipurpose Room is now known as the Wilson Atrium, named after Isabel Brown Wilson '53; and the cozy -- but generically named -- fireplace lounge is now called the Goldstein Lounge after Patricia Redeker Goldstein '55.

Photo by Barbara Conn

Women Business Leaders on Campus: A conference on women in business, "Women at the Top: Leading Business, Leading Change," was sponsored in late March by Smith's Women and Financial Independence in collaboration with the Committee of 200 (C200), an organization of successful women entrepreneurs and business executives from across the United States. C200 sponsors conferences annually, but this is the first time the organization has offered a program to an undergraduate college audience. In full group and small breakout sessions, eminent C200 members discussed such topics as networking, entrepreneurship and using a liberal arts degree in the business world. Among the C200 members leading the sessions were Smith alumnae Shelly Braff Lazarus '68 of Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide; Ann Kaplan '67 of Circle Financial and Goldman, Sachs and Co.; and Robin Brooks '77 of Brooks Food Group. Smith students who attended the event could apply for one of 10 summer internships, each with a $5,000 stipend, sponsored by the companies of C200 members.

New Teaching Award Honors Smith Faculty: Four faculty members were named the first winners of the Kathleen Compton Sherrerd '54 and John J. F. Sherrerd Prizes for Distinguished Teaching. The new Sherrerd Teaching Award is to be given annually to Smith faculty members in recognition of their distinguished teaching records and demonstrated enthusiasm and excellence. The winners of the first Sherrerd Teaching Awards are David Cohen, professor of mathematics; Shizuka Hsieh, assistant professor of chemistry; Mahnaz Mahdavi, associate professor of economics; and Vittoria Poletto, senior lecturer in Italian language and literature. The four faculty members were honored at a presentation of the award on April 21.

Students, Faculty Working Together: More than 100 student presentations composed "Celebrating Collaborations," a daylong event held April 17 as a showcase of student collaborations with faculty members on projects representing a variety of the academic disciplines at Smith. During four concurrent sessions in several campus locations, students presented their findings and results of working with Smith faculty members. Presentations consisted of panels, poster sessions, exhibits and performances in three categories: science and technology; performing arts; and social, cultural and literary studies. Some of the presentations, such as "Expression Analysis and Functional Domain Mapping of RimJ, an Environmental Regulator of pap Fimbrial Transcription in Escherihcia coli," by A. Lyn LeClerc '04, Jessica L. Slack '06 and two recent alumnae, reflected ambitious scientific content, while others, such as "Explaining the Determinants of Happiness: Income and Inequality," by Ashley Herzog '04, promised more universal application. "Celebrating Collaborations," an annual event, is now in its third year.

Winter-weary visitors converged on Smith's Lyman Conservatory in March to take in the colors and fragrances of the Annual Spring Bulb Show, a sensate array of some 5,000 bulbs of blooming crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips. The bulbs, which normally flower weeks apart, were forced into peak bloom in early March; many were potted by students in the horticulture class in October and then put in cold storage. In January the bulbs are transferred to the temperature-controlled greenhouses. Photo by Fish/Parham.

Rally Day 2004: Exuberant seniors, wearing their graduation gowns for the first time and inventive headgear in the place of tasseled mortarboards, flocked to John M. Greene Hall on February 18 for the annual Rally Day festivities. The annual observance has morphed from a celebration of George Washington's birthday into a time for students to celebrate their institution as well as to honor distinguished alumnae and outstanding faculty. This year's faculty teaching award, given annually by the Student Government Association to one junior and one senior faculty member, went to James Callahan, mathematics (senior), and Marc Lendler, government (junior).

Prestigious Fellowship: Thomas S. Litwin, director of the Clark Science Center, is one of 20 outstanding academic environmental scientists from across the United States and Guam who were selected to receive an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship for 2004. Litwin, who has been at Smith since 1989, is a member of the college's department of biological science and the environmental science and policy program as well as a graduate faculty member in the State Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. At Smith, he was the founding director of the environmental science program; and in 2001, Litwin was the expedition leader for the 1899 Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced. Aldo Leopold Fellowships provide scientists with intensive communication and leadership training to help them convey scientific information effectively to non-scientific audiences, especially policy-makers, the media, business leaders and the public.

Poetry Center Gets a Permanent Home: Thanks in large part to a gift from an anonymous donor, the campus space heretofore known as Wright Hall Common Room has been transformed into the permanent home of the Smith College Poetry Center. The new space includes a library with signed copies of books by all the poets who have visited Smith, as well as a welcoming reading space open to the Smith community. Exhibitions of manuscripts and books from the Rare Book Room will add artistic enrichment to the space: the opening exhibition highlights selections from the college's Sylvia Plath collection.

The Poetry Center, now in its seventh year, has operated without a permanent space but began with the goal of eventually establishing a facility on campus. The center, which is directed by Ellen Doré Watson, lecturer in the English department, has grown in prominence and popularity on campus, regularly attracting students and community members by the hundreds to its scheduled readings by prominent poets. The Poetry Center formally opened on April 27 with a reading by Poet Laureate of the United States Louise Glück in Leo Weinstein Auditorium.

 
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