Meet Smith Pioneers, the new spirit mark unveiled to the Smith community during Midnight Madness in December. The new visual identity for Smith's sports teams marks the culmination of a yearlong project to promote visibility and enthusiasm for Smith's intercollegiate and club teams—and to generate school spirit broadly. It will be used for athletics uniforms, casual apparel and promotional items for clubs and organizations.
For more information, go to www.smith.edu/spirit.
With 21 alumnae now serving as volunteers in the Peace Corps, Smith College has risen to third place nationally (tied with Middlebury College and the University of Puget Sound) in the small college category on the Peace Corps' list of top recruiting colleges and universities for 2009. Since the organization began in 1961 at the behest of President John F. Kennedy, more than 300 Smith graduates have served as volunteers with the program.
Debra Carney, a writing counselor in the Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching and Learning, has been awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant to the National Institute of Education (NIE), in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the country's graduate training center for teachers. Carney, who is the first American to hold a Fulbright Award to the NIE, traveled to Phnom Penh in January to conduct workshops and consultations on teaching methods and materials for teacher trainers and trainees at the institute. Though it will be Carney's first project at NIE, it will be her fifth January spent in Cambodia, having previously provided faculty and staff development at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and Social Services of Cambodia from 2004 through 2007.
Smith College's trailblazing Picker Engineering Program, the nation's first and only accredited engineering program just for women, recently received $1 million for the purchase of state–of–the–art technology and equipment. The gift arrived through the Branta Foundation. "The timing of this gift could not be more significant or have a greater impact on the program," said Linda Jones, director of the Picker Engineering Program and the Rosemary Bradford Hewlett '40 Professor of Engineering. "We will now have the tools to make full use of our new facility, Ford Hall, when we move there next fall." Eight years ago, Smith began the program with a $7 million gift from philanthropist Harvey Picker, who died last year, in honor of his late wife Jean Sovatkin Picker, a Smith alumna and former United Nations official. Importantly, the gift improves the program's ability to educate Smith students using technology that they will later be exposed to in industry and graduate school laboratories. "Such use would have greatly pleased Harvey," said Christine Beshar, director of the Branta Foundation and Smith alumna, class of 1953.
Recent graduate Shanti Freitas '08, an accomplished athlete with the Smith diving team, was a finalist for the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which recognizes talented female student athletes who have shown leadership in sports, academics and community service. Although she did not win the top award, she was among only nine young women nationwide who were named as finalists. A 2008 graduate of Smith, Freitas majored in sociology with a minor in education and child study. She was a three–time academic All–American, NEWMAC (New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference) Academic All–Conference selection in 2006 and 2008, on the Dean's List 2005–06 and received the Seven Sisters Scholar–Athlete Award in her senior year.
Smith College President Carol T. Christ has announced the appointment of Marilyn R. Schuster, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a professor in the college's Program for the Study of Women and Gender, as the next provost and dean of the faculty. Schuster succeeds Susan Bourque, Esther Booth Wiley Professor of Government, who has served in the post since 2001. Schuster will begin a four–year term on July 1, 2009. "Marilyn Schuster has a record of distinguished scholarly achievement and curricular innovation," Christ said in an announcement to the Smith faculty. Noting that Schuster has served on virtually every committee of the college, most recently as the chair of Faculty Council, Christ said that Schuster has been deeply involved in the development of the college's strategic plan, "The Smith Design for Learning."