Don’t Just Listen to Us...

“My experience with the STRIDE program has been wholly positive. As a rising sophomore, I still have one more year within the program, and I’m looking forward to it. Overall, my STRIDE experience has allowed me to work in settings in which I was not familiar, which gave me the opportunity to learn more about Smith and to get to know several professors and students whom I otherwise would not have met. It gives you a body of knowledge that is irreplaceable.”

Shannon Pettit, Richmond, Virginia

“I am working with Sara Pruss, assistant professor in geosci­ences, on a project involving Namibian roll-up structures present in the carbonates of the region. Work involving these carbonates and their distinct features will hopefully shed light on a time in the earth’s history called ‘Snowball Earth,’ when the earth is hypothesized to have been completely covered in ice. What is so fantastic about this project is that not only is this information completely new, but also research in past climate change is always helpful in understanding our current environment. Because of my fantastic experiences in my geosciences classes, as well as in Sara’s lab, I have declared a major in environmental geosciences. Being exposed to so many aspects of geosciences has provided me with a great look at the major.”

Katie Castagno, North Stonington, Connecticut

“My STRIDE work has definitely enhanced my academic studies at Smith. While I was fairly sure that I wanted to major in chemistry, I have always had an interest in psychology as well. My STRIDE project allowed me to explore these interests. In addition, I have enjoyed having a mentor in a department other than my major. My relationship with Professor Peter Pufall [professor emeritus of psychology] has been a positive aspect in my Smith career.”

Rachel Dorset, Stratford, Connecticut

“From my perspective, the most valuable thing about STRIDE is making a new project understandable to bright undergraduates and then benefiting from their imaginative searches for relevant material. I also value pushing to the limits the possibility of our being research associates, really sharing a project, seeing how the project might help a student in her own work.”

Elizabeth (Vicky) Spelman, Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Philosophy

“My STRIDE students help me with all phases of my research on cognitive development and language acquisition in children: finding relevant journal articles in the Five College libraries; creating testing materials for children (that includes drawing and coloring pictures, starring in and editing videos); helping to test children (usually initially as the scorer and video-camera operator in testing sessions, but later as the tester of the child); transcribing videotaped sessions; and entering data into spreadsheets. So they make a direct contribution to my research projects as research assistants.”

Peter de Villiers, Sophia and Austin Smith Professor of Psychology; faculty coordinator for STRIDE

“I have been a regular STRIDE adviser since its conception, and I have had some great relationships through the program. While working with students Rebecca Alexander and Heather Dyson several years ago, we did some really neat work on folding a square to polyhedra, made a beautiful poster, and I wrote a paper on the topic co-authored with them. The paper was accepted at a conference in Tokyo, and is now history: ‘The Convex Polyhedra Foldable From a Square,’ Japan Conference on Discrete and Computational Geometry, Tokyo.”

Joseph O’Rourke, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Mathematics and Statistics