Jessica F. Nicoll ’83, chief curator
of the Portland Museum of Art in Maine, has been named the
new director of the Smith College Museum of Art. Her appointment begins
An authority on American artists, Nicoll
has published many scholarly articles on the work of Winslow
Homer, and on topics as varied as architecture of federal-style mansions
and Quaker quilts. Her piece about itinerant artists is forthcoming
in the Encyclopedia of New England Culture.
“The Smith College Museum
of Art’s elegant new facility, outstanding
collection and wonderful staff make the institution a powerful educational resource
for its community and have made this an irresistible opportunity for me,” says
Nicoll. “As a graduate of Smith, I find this opportunity doubly exciting -- a
chance to do the work I love for the benefit of a community that I care about
deeply.” She succeeds Suzannah Fabing, who is retiring after 13 years,
and during whose tenure the museum underwent an extensive renovation.
One of the country’s preeminent
researchers in high-temperature materials, Linda E. Jones of Alfred University,
was recently named director of Smith College’s pioneering Picker Engineering
Program. She will begin her appointment July 1, succeeding Domenico Grasso
and interim director Joseph O’Rourke.
A faculty member at Alfred University
since 1991, Jones rose from assistant professor in ceramic engineering
and materials science to professor and chair of the Materials Science and
Engineering Program, a post she has held since 2003. Ceramic engineers
create and combine materials for new applications, such as
human joint replacements that will be accepted by a body and last a lifetime.
Since joining Alfred University in western New York state, Jones has received
32 national grants and awards totaling nearly $3 million to fund her research.
Her work examines novel forms of carbon, including
carbon oxidation and diamond oxidation, high-temperature
solid gas reactions, and the environmental effects of ceramic and glass
“The Picker Engineering Program, whose mission is
to educate the future leaders of the profession, has in Linda a leading
researcher, educator and administrator,” says
O’Rourke, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor of Computer Science
and Mathematics, who led the search committee. “Within a strong pool
of applicants, she was nothing short of remarkable.”