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Student Profiles

Joanna, 16

Thessalonica, Greece

Summer Science and Engineering Program

Smith's Summer Science and Engineering Program was a great fit for me because I really enjoy biology and genetics. Also I loved the idea of a science and engineering program just for girls. In Greece many consider science "a boy's thing" so I thought why don't I grab the opportunity and challenge the traditional belief a bit? So I did that and a few months later I crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Northampton, Mass.

The whole experience was incredible. The campus was huge and beautiful, but what I enjoyed the most was the sense of community I felt. It wasn't just the great facilities available to all the students but also the people who work on campus were more than happy to help me and any other newcomer.

I took two course, both of them were biology related. During the first course, I got the opportunity to collect samples for an investigation from a forest nearby the campus. I had never done this before and it was such a wonderful experience. For the second course, I had to sample cells and look at my very own chromosomes.

I learned a great deal during these four weeks about biology and genetics, but I also learned how to work in a lab with others, have fun, and be confident about myself. All and all it was a life-changing experience, and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of the program.

Mackenzie, 16

Young Women's Writing Workshop

I was no stranger to the signature Smith envelope when the summer program brochure came in the mail. The moment I saw there was a writing program, I knew I had to attend. One of the things I love most about Smith is its emphasis on writing well. As an aspiring writer and English teacher, I knew Smith would be the ideal place to go for a writing program.

Smith's program helped me become a better writer and reader. Brilliant professors, small classes, and passionate students created a phenomenal learning experience. My professors taught me so much—skills I've continued to develop since leaving. Their discussion-based classes and workshops helped us writers work together and learn from each other. They also cared about us individually, giving us personal attention outside of class.

Outside of class, too, I made some of my fondest memories. In the dining room, we pushed tables together to fit our ever-expanding group of friends. It's no surprise our dining group grew—everyone there was wonderful. Making friends was easy, as the program brought together bright, talented, friendly young women from all over the world.

Outside of class, we took afternoon trips to get smoosh-in's at Herrell's ice cream and go shopping at Faces and Thornes. We watched movies, had spa nights, and sang karaoke in the evenings. We played "Pajamagrams" in the foyer of our house before bed. We smiled when we said good night because we could make the next day even better than the last. Summer at Smith was one of the best experiences of my life.

Jennie, 17

Yardley, PA

Young Women's Writing Workshop

I fell in love with Smith when I first stepped onto campus for a tour in August of 2012. I loved Northampton, I loved the campus itself, I loved every person I met, I loved it all. I got a postcard the next summer notifying me of the Smith Summer Programs, and I jumped at the chance! In complete honesty, none of the programs screamed my name, but I decided to apply to the writing workshop, honestly stating in my application that I would do any program just to be at Smith, but at least with writing I could find a new form of expression. It was the best decision I have ever made.

In my two classes, Writing Through Physicality with Troy Mercier and Poetry with Maureen Jones, my mind was exposed to new ways of observing human interaction and incorporating that into my work, studying artwork and using it as inspiration for a poem, enhancing the good instead of eliminating the bad, and finding the writer inside of me.

Outside of class, I learned how to salsa dance one night and about the publication process the next, in addition to constantly being surrounded by empowered women. My knowledge of expression has changed the way I approach my writing and my life in general. In addition to this knowledge, the friendships I made are the foundations of who I was when I left Smith and the foundations of who I am today. Whether I talked to them once during the entire program or one hundred times a day, the women I met are the most supportive, encouraging, compassionate people with whom I have ever had the fortune of encountering.

My summer at Smith, to reference my final piece from the program, awakened the lioness that has for so long been hibernating within me.

Ioanna, 15

Thessalonica, Greece

Field Studies For Sustainable Futures

I chose the field studies program because I want to know more about the environment, and how I can help make changes to help future generations.

The program was an extremely rewarding experience for me in several ways.

I do feel really changed in almost all aspects in my life. I am certainly more eager to help the people around me and I am more receptive to the needs of others. I also feel more prepared to tackle the upcoming months as balancing new year's schoolwork, and extracurricular activities.

I believe the experience at Smith and this special program helped me grow as a person and, structured a path for me to explore my thoughts and unanswered questions about sustainability, and how we can change our lives to help the planet. It also gave me the amazing opportunity of meeting new friends and work with other students in such a beautiful, warm, friendly and safe environment, in a foreign country and place for me.

Beyond simply being fun, it taught me many skills and expanded my knowledge about many current affairs and the world around us.

The program stimulated me, shocked my spirit and strengthened my personality. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else.

Overall, it was an amazingly valuable experience that I hope others will get to enjoy in the future.

Sydney, 17

Putney, VT

Field Studies for Sustainable Futures

I am a pianist, a photographer, a poet, and an outdoor enthusiast. If I could describe myself in three words I would choose cheerful, down-to-earth, and generous.

I have been prospectively thinking about applying to and attending Smith College for as long as I can remember. Two years ago, when I discovered that Smith offered precollege summer programs for high school girls I was immediately interested and because I enjoyed it so much my first summer, I came back for summer 2013! I applied to Field Studies for Sustainable Futures because it was the program that seemed right up my alley. I am environmentally conscious and I care for the sustainable future of our planet Earth.

The program promoted thinking and acting beyond "green." Smith's departments offered extensive environmental science and policy, dance and landscape studies as part of the two-week-long experience. I learned a considerable amount of information about ecological and environmentally-friendly landscape and building design, on how to support sustainable food sources, and on current national and global environmental issues, such as food security versus food insecurity.

We travelled from Smith's campus to permaculture gardens at private homes and the UMass-Amherst campus, the Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station (which is a 240-acre patchwork of forest and farmland located in West Whately, Mass.), and to Zoar Outdoor where we engaged in a thrilling three-hour zipline canopy tour complete with 11 zip lines, two sky bridges, and three rappels suspended in the trees!

I hugely appreciated the experiential learning in field studies and the opportunity to explore sustainable practices with a group of passionate and empowered young women dedicated to seeking solutions and practices to ensure a more sustainable future for the environment.