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2013 Ivy Day Expression of Student Gratitude

Shuyao Kong, a member of the Class of 2013, delivered the student speech at Smith College’s Ivy Day celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

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2013 Ivy Day 25th Reunion Speaker

Sharmila “Mona” Ghosh Sinha ’88 delivered the 25th Reunion Address at Smith College’s Ivy Day celebration on Saturday, May 18, 2013.

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Three Seniors Reflect on the Value of a Smith Education

With Commencement approaching, three graduating Smith seniors – Shuyao Kong '13, Luvana Chowdhury '13 and Jane Ramsey AC '13 – take stock of their time at the college and reflect on the value of their Smith education.

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Elizabeth Pols ’75 Sees Beauty in Mystery

Artist Elizabeth Pols ’75 talks about her new exhibit, “At Water’s Edge,” which is now showing at the Alumnae House Gallery. Pols paints real and invented landscapes inspired by her native state of Maine and her formative years in Italy. Working with the techniques of classical Renaissance painting, she uses light, color and atmosphere to enhance reality with a touch of mystery. Recent sculptural pieces are housed in antique traveling desks and incorporate narrative panel paintings with found and altered objects, and, says the artist, are “part Renaissance devotional, part Joseph Cornell.” The exhibit runs through September 26, 2013.

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Collaborating on a Cure

More than 120 million people are afflicted with lymphatic filariasis, a disease that can cause a debilitating condition called elephantiasis. If a faculty-student team, led by Steve Williams, biological sciences, and Kevin Shea, chemistry, is successful in its investigation of medicinal plants that may kill the parasites that cause the disease, it could have far-reaching implications. The team will present as part of Celebrating Collaborations.

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Maple Sugaring at MacLeish Station

Every Friday, a group of students gets a taste of New England when they travel about 10 miles north to the MacLeish Field Station, a 200-acre wooded parcel in rural Whately, Mass., owned by Smith. There, they set to work, hauling buckets into the snow-covered woods and collecting sap from the maple trees, which is used by a neighboring maple syrup distillery to make one of New England's most emblematic products.

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Made at Smith - Center for Design and Fabrication

With more than 75 years of collective experience using and teaching others to use the roomful of fabricators, drills, saws, presses, welders and 3D proto-typing machines in the Center for Design and Fabrication in the basement of McConnell Hall, the trio of instructors, Eric Jensen, Greg Young and Dale Renfrow, guide students in a range of departments—mathematics, biological sciences, engineering, physics, astronomy—in creating and manufacturing all manner of tools, devices and household gadgets.

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Conversations with the Smith Medalists: Janet Clarke McKinley ’76, Philanthropist

After graduating from Smith, Janet Clarke McKinley was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Krakow. She went on to enjoy a successful career in investments at Capital Research and Management Company, where she became principal executive officer and chair of the Income Fund of America—an equity-income fund exceeding $50 billion in assets. McKinley retired in 2004 to use her business acumen to work with organizations intent on creating lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and social injustice. Since then, she has focused on international development in vulnerable communities, the advancement of women and sustainable agriculture. She has also been instrumental in the growth of Oxfam America, serving on its board for a dozen years, the last five as chair. A former trustee of Smith, McKinley recently facilitated an institutional partnership between Oxfam and Smith, which will provide internship opportunities for students. Read more about McKinley’s philanthropic work in the fall 2012 Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

In 1962, the trustees of Smith College voted to establish the Smith College Medal. It is given annually to those alumnae who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.

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Conversations with the Smith Medalists: Kay Holekamp ’73, Zoologist and Field Biologist

For more than two decades, Kay Holekamp has led groundbreaking studies of spotted hyenas in the Masai Mara, Kenya. Her research is renowned because of its cross-disciplinary approach incorporating zoology, ecology and animal behavior. Holekamp earned her doctorate in psychobiology at the University of California, Berkeley, and is a distinguished professor of zoology at Michigan State University. Her work focuses on group dynamics of the matriarchal hierarchies of hyenas, the influence of hormones on their behavior and their remarkable resistance to disease and toxins. In recognition of her research, Holekamp has received numerous awards, including the C. Hart Merriam Award for outstanding research in mammals given annually by the American Society of Mammalogists. Throughout her career, Holekamp has published widely in scientific journals. In 2001, she was elected a fellow of the Animal Behavior Society and contributes to the Science at Work blog at The New York Times.

In 1962, the trustees of Smith College voted to establish the Smith College Medal. It is given annually to those alumnae who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.

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Conversations with the Smith Medalists: Gail Kern Paster ’66, Shakespeare Scholar

Dubbed a “rock star of the world of Shakespeare,” Gail Kern Paster served in the prestigious post of director of the Folger Shakespeare Library from 2002 to 2011. As director, Paster strengthened the Folger’s educational outreach, particularly through digital initiatives. She oversaw the acquisition of rare documents of the Elizabethan era and raised more than $28 million for collections and renovation of the library’s historic building. During her tenure, the audience for public programs grew by more than 25 percent. Paster’s scholarly work has won her fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson, Andrew W. Mellon and John Simon Guggenheim Memorial foundations and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Upon her retirement from the Folger, Paster was recognized by Queen Elizabeth II with the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her distinguished service to the arts and strengthening the ties between the United States and Great Britain.

In 1962, the trustees of Smith College voted to establish the Smith College Medal. It is given annually to those alumnae who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.