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Smiffenpoofs Celebrate 75 Years

Smith's Smiffenpoofs, the oldest collegiate women's a cappella group in the country, held celebration concert with alumnae on Saturday, Nov. 5, in which they performed selections from their vast repertoire, compiled since 1936. Don't miss the special message from crapappella at the end of the video.

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Minding the Achievement Gap

Sam Intrator, Professor of Education and Child Study
It’s widely accepted that higher education leads to better life outcomes, yet college remains an unfulfilled hope for many young Americans. At the same time, the U.S. is falling behind much of the developed world in measures of academic achievement. Sam Intrator considers the merits of three different approaches to narrowing the achievement gap to the benefit of individuals and society.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

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Poetry Reading by Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield’s work has been called “passionate and radiant” by The New York Times. Her poetry is an extension of a life both lived and examined, and her carefully crafted poems range from elegiac to joyful, reflective to restive.

The reading took place on October 4, 2011, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. With an introduction by Poetry Center Director Ellen Watson.

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Speaking Out On Quiet

Kevin Quashie, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies
Kevin Quashie takes a closer look at the iconic image from the 1960s of American sprinters Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos raising their fists in protest on the medal podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Their display, Quashie argues, was more than an angry act of defiance; it was a quiet moment of personal revolution.
Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

 

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Environmental Refugees

Greg White, Professor of Government and Faculty Director of the Global Studies Center
Among the concerns about human-caused climate change is the specter of tens of millions of so-called environmental refugees spreading north into Western Europe and North America. Greg White argues that the estimates of potential environmental refugees are both greatly exaggerated and politically motivated.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

Learn more about the intellectual life of Smith College

Insight
An online journal of ideas and creative thinking from Smith College
www.smith.edu/insight/

The Centers for Engagement, Learning and Leadership
Smith's four interdisciplinary centers integrate student and scholarly interests within a real-world context
www.smith.edu/acad_centers.php

The Smith Design for Learning
Smith's plan to re-imagine a liberal arts education for today's complex world
www.smith.edu/giving/design.php

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Reconstructing the Mugamma

Donna Divine, Morningstar Family Professor in the field of Jewish Studies and Professor of Government
One man’s protest quickly became a movement that toppled governments in Tunisia and Egypt, led to revolution in Libya, and incited uprisings against regimes throughout the Middle East. From Tahrir Square to Tripoli, the Arab Spring has gripped the attention of the world. Will these events lead to real democratic reforms in the region, or will the familiar cycle of oppression and unrest continue? Donna Divine considers the possibilities.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

Learn more about the intellectual life of Smith College

Insight
An online journal of ideas and creative thinking from Smith College
www.smith.edu/insight/

The Centers for Engagement, Learning and Leadership
Smith's four interdisciplinary centers integrate student and scholarly interests within a real-world context
www.smith.edu/acad_centers.php

The Smith Design for Learning
Smith's plan to re-imagine a liberal arts education for today's complex world
www.smith.edu/giving/design.php

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What really sold me on Smith was the Museum of Art, which is one of the best at an American liberal arts college. Many of my classes are held there and use the collection. The museums concentration is  unique in that it offers both academic and practical museum experience. And I am lucky enough to have the director and chief curator of the museum, Jessica Nicoll, as my museums concentration adviser, so what could be better?  

As part of the concentration, I work as a museum educator, giving tours to students from elementary to high school age. We are trained to use a style of questioning that helps students to interact with the museum’s pieces and build a narrative around a piece based upon their own observations. Since many schools have cut arts programs, I think it’s especially important for museums to have programs that help to develop visual literacy in children.

Next year I will be interning under the curator of painting and sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. I will also complete a seminar that explores the history, functions and meanings of museums in society today as well as an independent research project of my choosing. 

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I’m a first-generation college student, so I didn’t really know how to go about choosing a college. My parents and I were thinking about a women’s college, and my guidance counselor suggested the engineering program at Smith since I really like math and science. Smith invited me to Discovery Weekend, which turned out to be the perfect opportunity for me to explore the campus and try some classes. I thought, I could definitely see myself here!

I was awarded an AEMES (Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences) scholarship when I was accepted.  With my adviser, Professor Nalini Easwar from the physics department, I do research on granular materials and complex fluids. I perform demos that illustrate the unusual flow properties of granular materials and complex fluids. I’m learning research skills that I will use throughout my career. 

Of course Smith has rigorous academics, but it’s nothing I can’t handle if I keep my time organized. I can’t wait to know all that there is to know here.

 

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I visited Smith on a stormy, rainy day and loved it. I thought if I love this place today, then I know it’s going to be awesome. 

The music department is a very inclusive and close-knit community. The professors treat us as colleagues. Knowing my violin talents as well as my personal quirks, they give me pieces that are tailored to me both as a person and as a musician. I am part of a clarinet quintet and vice president of the Smith College Orchestra. This year I helped organize the first annual Smith ArtsFest. Whatever the performers needed, I had to find it. I had to be practical, resourceful and keep a cool head. I drew from the skills I learned over the summer as an intern—through Smith’s Praxis internship program—at a classical music club, le poisson rouge, in Greenwich Village. I was a jack-of-all- trades. This summer, I’m going a totally different route with an internship at J.P. Morgan in New York City.

With the skills I acquired at Smith, I have the ability to explore many different career options. It’s an exciting place to be, and I feel invincible.