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Bon Appétit

The memory of Julia Child '34, renowned chef, cookbook author and television personality, was celebrated on campus in November with a potpourri of events, including a sampling of her recipes at the Campus Center Café; a panel discussion on the celebration of food, pleasure, culture, balance and leisure; and the dedication of a plaque in recognition of her generosity to Smith. Her gift of $2.35 million from the sale of her home in Cambridge, Mass., supported the construction of the Smith Campus Center.

In Search Of...

Committees at Smith are closing in on the final candidates for two high-profile positions: director of the Picker Engineering Program and director and chief curator of the Smith College Museum of Art.

Interim engineering director Joseph O'Rourke, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor of Computer Science, professor of mathematics and chair of computer science, reports considerable interest in the Picker position, which was formerly held by the program's founding director, Domenico Grasso. Grasso has been appointed dean of the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematics. As chair of the 10-person search committee, O'Rourke expects to bring a short list of finalists to campus in February and aims to have a new director in place by July 1. "Smith's bold experiment in liberal engineering education is a definite attraction," O'Rourke observes. "Leaders in engineering education recognize that Smith is at the forefront of a critical national movement to forge a union between engineering and the liberal arts."

The opportunity to direct one of the most important college art collections in America is drawing a similarly impressive pool of candidates. The new director will succeed Suzannah Fabing, who is retiring in June after 13 years at the college, a tenure that included a dramatic renovation and expansion of the museum as part of the $35 million Brown Fine Arts Center. The museum's collection, renowned for its strength in 19th- and 20th-century European and American art, "is an immeasurable draw for candidates," says Christopher Loring, director of libraries and chair of the 12-person search committee. With finalists scheduled to visit campus in February, Loring expects that a new director will be appointed in early spring.

Community College Scholars: Smith College is launching a program in fall 2005 that will offer at least 60 women from community colleges across the country the opportunity to earn their bachelor's degrees throughout the next decade. Made possible by a $500,000 gift from Janet McKinley '76, a trustee, the Smith Community Scholars program will fund the tuition for three junior students and, during each subsequent academic year, the tuition for three junior and three senior students who transfer with associate's degrees.

Education Grant: Thirty Smith undergraduate and graduate students will act as the research and development team on a two-year, $200,000 project, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education, to create innovative approaches to elementary school literacy. Under the direction of Susan M. Etheredge, associate professor of education and child study, the education students will develop technology-enhanced curricula and instructional units based on picture books.

Energy Sharing: A two-year pilot effort through Five Colleges, Incorporated, has led to a newly shared position among Smith, Mount Holyoke and Amherst colleges. Todd Holland was recently appointed as energy manager for the three colleges and will assist them in administering the purchase of utilities and in developing and implementing a self-sustaining energy conservation program. Holland served previously as senior mechanical engineer with an engineering consulting firm in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Meridians wins: Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, a peer-reviewed feminist, interdisciplinary journal, received in December the Council of Editors of Learned Journal's 2004 Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement. Meridians provides a forum for the finest scholarship and creative work by and about women of color in U.S. and international contexts. Paula Giddings, Smith professor of Afro-American studies, is senior editor, and Elizabeth Hanssen is managing editor of Meridians, which is a collaborative venture of Smith College and Wesleyan University.

 
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