News for the Smith College Community //February 8, 2001
Four Chaired Professors to Speak
In keeping with a Smith tradition begun four years ago, four faculty members, each of whom was named to a chaired professorship this year, will present lectures to inaugurate their new positions. They are Peter A. Bloom, Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities; Randy O. Frost, Harold Edward and Elsa Siipola Israel Professor of Psychology; Domenico Grasso, Rosemary B. Hewlett '40 Professor of Engineering; and Karl P. Donfried, Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor of Religion. All four lectures will take place at 4:30 p.m.
On Monday, February 12, Bloom, who has written several articles and edited major works on composer Hector Berlioz, will give a lecture titled "Berlioz's Politics and the Politics of Berlioz" in Seelye 201. A reception will follow in Seelye 207, the faculty lounge. Bloom has served on Smith's music department faculty since 1970 and organized last year's conference, "Berlioz: Past, Present, Future," which kicked off a worldwide celebration of the 200th anniversary of the 19th-century composer/conductor's birth. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the University of Pennsylvania, Bloom is a member of the Comité International Hector Berlioz, the Paris-based organization under whose aegis the composer's bicentenary celebrations have been coordinated.
On Monday, February 26, Frost will speak on "Ownership Gone Awry: Compulsive Hoarding and the 4th Circle of Hell" in Wright Auditorium. A reception will follow in Wright common room. Frost, who has gained national media attention in recent years for his exploration of obsessive-compulsive disorder and hoarding behavior, joined Smith's Department of Psychology in 1977. He received his undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Kansas. His work has been a subject of recent articles in Reader's Digest, McCall's and several national newspapers. A member of the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation, the Anxiety Disorders Association of America and the Association for the Advancement of Behavior Therapy, Frost was a delegate to the Behavior Therapy Project in the People's Republic of China in 1982.
Grasso, founding director of Smith's Picker Program in Engineering and Technology, will give a lecture titled "The Seductive Equation and Engineering Thought" on Thursday, March 29, in Stoddard Auditorium, with a reception following in the Alumnae House living room. He came to Smith in 1999 and was formerly the head of the University of Connecticut Environmental Engineering Program as well as an associate professor at that institution. Grasso, who attended undergraduate school at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and received a doctorate from the University of Michigan, was recently appointed to a two-year term as a member of the Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board and was elected president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, an international professional society of undergraduate and graduate faculty members.
On Monday, April 9, in Seelye 201, Donfried will close the series with a lecture titled "Shifting Paradigms: Jesus, Paul and Judaism," with a reception following in Seelye 207, the faculty lounge. Donfried, who chairs the Department of Religion and Biblical Literature at Smith, joined the faculty in 1968 after completing his doctor of theology at the University of Heidelberg. Ordained by the Lutheran Church of America in 1963, Donfried has also held visiting professorships at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the University of Hamburg, Brown University and Amherst and Mount Holyoke colleges. He has written numerous books and articles about the New Testament, Judaism and Christianity, and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and in Europe and Israel.
The four lecturers were named to the endowed chairs by action of the Board of Trustees last July. Also named to endowed chairs this year were Jane Bryden, Iva Dee Hiatt Professor; H. Allen Curran, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor; Helen Lefkowitz Horowitz, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor in American Studies; Richard J. Sherr, Caroline L. Wall '27 Professor; and Elizabeth V. Spelman, Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor in the Humanities. The remaining chaired professors will deliver inaugural lectures in 2001-02.
Smith Medalists to Address Campus Before Rally Day
Four women who graduated from Smith in the 1960s will occupy the stage of John M. Greene Hall on Wednesday, February 21, when they are presented with the Smith College Medal at this year's Rally Day. The medal has been presented each year since 1964 to people who have demonstrated "in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education."
This year's medalists are Molly Ivins '66, who will also deliver the Rally Day Address; Ann Kaplan '67; Pamela Bowes Davis '68; and Judith Tick '64.
But before they claim their medals, each honoree on Tuesday, February 20, will be featured in a series of events around campus open to students, faculty and staff. Here is a schedule of their appearances:
See next week's AcaMedia
for a comprehensive list of Rally Day 2001 events.
Leading Voice on Middle East Peace to Speak
Hanan Ashrawi, internationally recognized spokesperson for the Palestinian cause and a key player in launching the Middle East peace process, will discuss "The Second Intifada: Causes and Consequences" on Sunday, February 18. Ashrawi's presentation, with an introduction by President Ruth Simmons, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.
A member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and former Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the Palestinian Authority, Ashrawi was one of five women elected to the 88-member Palestinian governing organization in 1996. The spokesperson for the official Palestinian delegation at the Madrid peace negotiations from 1991 to 1993, she is known for her articulate, moderate and pragmatic views on the Middle East conflict and continues to be sought for comment by media in the United States and abroad.
Ashrawi has been active in political causes since her teenage years. Her extensive activism in the area of human rights and women's rights includes serving as founder and first commissioner general of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizen's Rights. She is currently the founder and secretary general of The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (MIFTAH), a Jerusalem-based organization supporting Palestinian nation-building and international reconciliation.
Ashrawi was educated at the University of Beirut and received a doctorate in medieval and comparative literature from the University of Virginia. She is the recipient of awards and honorary degrees from dozens of institutions, including Beloit, Earlham and Smith colleges, Cornell, Harvard and George Mason universities and the University of Virginia.
Her visit to Smith is sponsored by the college's Lecture and Middle East Studies committees and organized by the Middle East Peace Coalition of Western Massachusetts.
Daughter of Atomic Bomb Builders to Lecture
Mary Palevsky, an independent
scholar and writer whose parents helped develop the atomic bomb
during World War II, will visit Smith on Tuesday, February 13,
to give a lecture titled "Atomic Fragments: Conversations
With Seven Manhattan Project Participants 50 Years After the
Making of the Bomb."
After her parents' deaths, Palevsky's unanswered questions about their experience inspired her to explore the minds, memories and emotions of surviving bomb builders. Atomic Fragments is based on Palevsky's interviews with leading scholars and scientists from the Manhattan Project, a U.S. military operation begun in June 1942 that sought to produce an atomic weapon.
In her book, she interviews scientists Hans Bethe, Edward Teller, Joseph Rotblat, Herbert York, Philip Morrison and Robert Wilson, and philosopher David Hawkins, who expand on previously published statements about their roles in building the bomb.
Palevsky's lecture will focus on ways in which her interviewees have grappled with the moral issues surrounding the development and use of the atomic bomb and how they conceive of the relationship between science and society. She will also speak about her interdisciplinary research approach, which combines oral history, ethnography and autobiography.
Palevsky's talk is sponsored by the American Studies Program.
Staff Art to Go On Display
The art work of more than 12 Smith employees will be featured in this year's Staff Visions, the annual staff exhibition, which will open on Saturday, February 17, and run through Friday, March 16.
The exhibition, which will take place for the first time this year in the McConnell Hall foyer, will include works in acrylic, oil, pastel, watercolor and colored pencils, as well as beaded jewelry, collage, cross stitch and photography.
Participating staff artists include Connie Dragon, physical plant; Aisha Gabriel, ITS; Elisa Lanzi, art department; Mimi Lempart, libraries; Jan Morris, registrar's office; Mariah Peterson, School for Social Work; Mary Ann Phoenix, provost/dean of the faculty office; Sherry Poirrier, art department; Kathy San Antonio, college relations; Sue Stano, student financial services; Gergory Young, science center; and Madelaine Zadik, Botanic Garden.
A reception for the artists will take place on Monday, February 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the exhibition space.
Slave Debt Expert to Argue Case
Randall Robinson, the preeminent voice on the controversial issue of paying reparations to African-American descendents of slaves, will give a lecture on the topic on Friday, February 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.
Robinson's lecture, titled "The Debt: Making the Case for African American Reparations for Slavery," borrows its name from his national bestselling book The Debt-What America Owes to Blacks, published last year by Dutton. In the book, Robinson contends that America should pay monetary remuneration to African Americans as a way to foster fair access to the American dream and make further progress toward equal rights.
The Debt was voted one of the top ten African-American titles last year by Booklist.
Robinson, a Harvard-trained lawyer, is renowned for his advocacy of human rights around the globe. His leadership of the Free South Africa Movement resulted in a successful imposition of economic sanctions that brought an end to apartheid. He has worked to bring attention to the impacts of globalization on Africa and the Caribbean and to the implications of America's burgeoning prison population.
Robinson, who also authored Defending the Spirit-A Black Life in America, is the president of the Washington, D.C.-based TransAfrica, established to promote positive U.S. policies toward Africa and the Caribbean and to address the African diaspora.
Robinson's lecture, which takes place as part of Smith's Black History Month celebration, "Black Struggle, Black Triumph: A Celebration of Black History," is sponsored by the offices of the president, multicultural affairs and institutional diversity, the chapel, Afro-American studies department and Black Students Alliance. Also scheduled are a revival, featuring guest minister the Rev. Zina Jacque, Protestant chaplain of Bentley College, on Saturday, February 17, at 7 p.m. in the chapel; the Annual New England Conference, hosted by the Black Students Alliance, with guests KRS One and Elaine Brown, including a conference social and party, on Saturday, February 24, at 10 p.m. in Wright Auditorium; and a reading by Octavia Butler, science fiction novelist and MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" recipient, on Tuesday, February 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Auditorium.
A Link Between Students and Faculty
By Eunnie Park '01
Every academic department on campus has a few important students who serve as links between the department's faculty and the entire student body. Referred to as student liaisons, they are essential messengers of the student perspective at their department's faculty meetings. And when other students need vital information about a given department, they count on the liaisons to provide it.
But relaying information isn't the only job of student liaisons. During the school year, academic departments often sponsor activities for their students, such as picnics, panels and discussions, and it's the student liaisons who work to make these events possible. Some are social activities, such as an annual trip on Mountain Day for music department students and faculty; others are academic, like a government department forum on the Middle East.
Student liaisons have been on the job at Smith since the 1970s, says Debbie Cottrell, assistant dean of the faculty. A faculty code ratified then requires every academic department to select student liaisons. New student liaisons are chosen each year through a selection process that varies from department to department. In some departments, interested students apply for the position and are selected by former liaisons and members of the faculty. Others, such as the music department, welcome all interested students to the position.
As members of a joint committee of faculty and majors, the student liaisons are expected to participate in matters that range from the structure of a major, course offerings and instruction to departmental reviews, presentations of the major and interviewing new faculty, says Cottrell. Beyond that, liaisons' functions vary depending on their departments. Psychology department liaisons are in charge of organizing panels of graduate students and alumnae representatives each year. Music department liaisons organize recitals.
Monica Jakuc, chair of the music department, says that events organized by student liaisons are more likely to appeal to the student body. "Student-led things attract students," she says. "[The liaisons] can initiate things, and when they do, they're wonderful."
Other faculty members agree that student liaisons are important to their departments, mainly because they facilitate communication between students and faculty. Voicing student concerns, ideas and suggestions to faculty members is crucial, explains Jakuc. "It's really important for us to be in touch with the students to know how we're doing. [Liaisons] add an extra layer between faculty and studentswhich is a good thing. There's no way for faculty to know what it's like to be a student."
New Dean Helps Students to Connect
Every class has its own specific concerns, notes Margaret Bruzelius, dean of the sophomore and junior classes. "Sophomores are figuring out majors while juniors are figuring out the beginning of the end of their college career," she says. Still, she thinks all students share one fundamental concern, regardless of their years: "All students are trying to determine the relationship of intellect to their lives," she says. "That's the challenge and the agenda."
And that, Bruzelius believes, is what her work as a class dean is all about. She cites a hypothetical example of a student who is thinking of leaving Smith. "The issue for the student really is, 'What am I doing here?' In the bustle of attending class, writing papers and participating in activities, it is easy for a student to lose sight of the intellectual curiosity that brought her here in the first place. My role is to help the student think about that intellectual curiosity and how it relates to her life."
Bruzelius came to Smith from Harvard University last August to assume her new post. At Harvard, she had been a lecturer in the Program for Degrees in Literature as well as the Alston Burr Senior Tutor of Eliot House.
As dean, Bruzelius, like the first-year and senior class deans, is primarily concerned with students' academic progress toward their graduation. She focuses on academic matters that are most important to her students, which might range from credit shortages to honors and independent study. She also deals with students' course selection and registration, choosing of a major, studying abroad, summer school credit and leaves of absences.
Bruzelius knows that students often regard a summons from the class dean as a sign of trouble. And while it is her responsibility to follow up on students who are not attending class, she says those calls are rare. When they do happen, her objective is "to get students to deal with the situation before it becomes a disaster," she says.
But her preferred role is that of resource, and she believes a class dean can supplement Smith's strong advising system. "The advising system allows students to work closely with someone who personally knows them," Bruzelius explains. "It's a wonderful system. Sometimes, though, it's also useful to get advice from someone who doesn't know you. I'm here to be that neutral voice. And if I can't be the resource that a particular student needs, I'm a link to other resources on campus."
Bruzelius says that students too often think they can come to the class dean's office only when they have a specific issue to address. She welcomes visits from students who aren't even sure what the issue is, but who know they need help. She's also happy to help students practice narratives for graduate school, jobs and fellowships. "I'm not the CDO," she notes, "but I have heard many of them. I'm always willing to listen and give feedback."
Bruzelius, who completed her undergraduate degree in English at Harvard and received a doctorate in comparative literature from Yale University, describes Smith as a remarkable place. She's never worked at a school as small as Smith, she says, and she is impressed by the individual attention students receive here. It's also her first experience at a women's college, and she speaks with admiration of the opportunities that a single-sex education provides. Bruzelius knows, though, that with slightly more than one semester behind her, she still has much to learn about Smith.
"Smith has powerful traditions," she notes. "I'm still learning the basics, and I know that will take at least a year. The more I learn, the more exciting it is to be part of this college. And a large part of why I'm here is to help students reconnect with what brought them here."
Bruzelius replaced Mary Philpott.
At the Dartmouth Relays, a track and field event on January 14 in which Smith athletes participated, Jennifer Frederick '03 and Jennifer Jones '04 qualified for the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) tournament, the Open New England championship and the New England championship in the 55-meter and 200-meter events. Frederick also qualified in the long jump. Meanwhile, Sara Lewicke '04 qualified for tournament competition in the 1500-meter event. The championship tournaments will take place later this month and in March.
Sources of further information, if any, are indicated in parentheses. Notices should be submitted by mail, by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) or by fax (extension 2171).
The official source of weather emergency information at Smith is the college information line, 585-4636. At approximately 6 a.m. on bad-weather days, information about a delayed college opening or curtailed operation is posted on the info line. If weather develops during the day that warrants an early college closing, an announcement will be posted on the info line in the early afternoon. Only in the most extreme circumstances will classes be canceled. If that occurs, a message on the info line would announce the cancellation; otherwise, assume that classes will be held. Delayed openings and cancellations are also announced on WHMP radio (1400 or 1600 AM; 99.3 FM).
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Sources of further information, if any, are shown in parentheses at the end of event descriptions. An asterisk following a listing indicates that the event is open to the public. Admission charges, if any, are listed when known. Items for this section must be submitted on Event Service Request Forms.
Friday, February 9
Ernst Wallfisch Memorial Concert "Music From the Ashes," featuring Lori Wallfisch, professor emerita of music, and Adrian Sunshine, music director, London Chamber Players, will take place at 4:30 p.m. (not 8 p.m. as previously reported). Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage*
Monday, February 12
Lecture "Red Man's Burden-The Politics of Inclusion in Museum Settings." Nancy Mithlo, assistant director, The Native Eyes Project: Indian Perspectives on Knowledge and Culture, Institute of American Indian Arts, will discuss how knowledge is perceived to be owned, what types of knowledge are privileged in the museum setting and how museums as social institutions maintain authority. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 207
Lecture "American Foreground/Asian Background: Making Sense of Buddhism in America." Richard Seager, associate professor of religious studies, Hamilton College. Sponsors: departments of Religion and Biblical Literature, American Studies and East Asian Studies programs, Five College East Asian Studies, the Ada Kent Howe Fund, and Lecture Committee. 4:30 p.m., McConnell Auditorium*
Chaired Professor Lecture "Berlioz's Politics and the Politics of Berlioz." Peter A. Bloom, Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities (see story, page 1). Reception follows in Seelye 207. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 201*
Auditions for The Escape Artist by Mark Van Wye, MFA '01, directed by Ana Zappa '01. The theatre department's final production of the year tells the story of a hole-in-the-wall "expat" bar in Argentina. Callbacks will be on Thursday, February 15, 7-10 p.m. 7 p.m., theatre department, Mendenhall CPA
Film Halfouine, Boy of the Terraces. (Tunisia, 1990). Ferid Boughedir, director. Second in the third annual Africa Film Series, featuring films of North Africa. Sponsors: government and Afro-American studies departments, the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute, and the Five College African Studies Council. 8 p.m., Seelye 106*
MassPIRG kickoff meeting to find out how to get involved in MassPIRG projects and the movement for social change. 8 p.m., Dewey common room
Video and discussion with Jessica Grossman, a writer from Colombia, following the screening of Rita Goes to the Supermarket, a humorous video account of how a young woman handles life's numerous pressures. Sponsor: Spanish department. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 106
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Tuesday, February 13
Lecture "Atomic Fragments: Conversations With Seven Manhattan Project Participants." Mary Palevsky, an independent scholar and writer whose parents helped develop the atomic bomb (see story, page 4). 4:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Weight Watchers at Work All welcome. 1 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room*
Open meeting of the "Anatomy of Exile" Colloquium: "When Exiles Return: Jerusalem as Topos of the Mind and Soil." Sidra DeKoren Ezrahi, professor of comparative literature, Hebrew University, Israel. 4 p.m., Kahn colloquium room*
Information session for prospective Gold Key guides. Do you love Smith? Would you enjoy sharing your enthusiasm with prospective students and other visitors? Attend this meeting to learn how to become a Gold Key guide. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 106
SGA Senate meeting Open forum. All students welcome. 7:15 p.m., Seelye 201
Workshop L'Atelier, a theatre workshop conducted in French by Florent Masse. 7:30 p.m., T-209, Mendenhall CPA
CDO information session Peace Corps. Returning volunteer Janna Behrens, recruiting coordinator from the Boston office, will present information to future applicants. All welcome. 7:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room
Meeting Newman Association. 7 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Language lunch table German. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room B
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
CDO open hours for library research and browsing. Peer advisers available. 7-9 p.m., CDO
S.O.S. Community Service Fair with more than 30 area agencies recruiting students interested in volunteering during the spring semester. 7-8:30 p.m., Davis ballroom
Wednesday, February 14
Meeting MassPIRG. 7 p.m., Seelye 101
Buddhist service and discussion. 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Discussion with Baha'i Club about topics relating to the Baha'i faith and life. 8 p.m., Seelye 308
ECC Bible study Bring questions, frustrations and curiosities. 10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Philosophy Lunch Bag "Can't Buy Me Love: A Philosophical Investigation of the Erotic." April Dembosky '01, philosophy honors student. Light dessert and beverages provided. 12:10 p.m., Dewey philosophy lounge
Language lunch tables Spanish, Portuguese. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Rooms A & B
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Gaming night with the Smith Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, a time for gamers to gather and play rpgs, eegs and anything else of interest. Probable games include D&D, Magic, The Gathering and Lunch Money. 7:30 p.m., Seelye 208.
Thursday, February 15
Lecture "Inside Organized Racism: The Role of Women in Modern U.S. Hate Groups." Kathleen Blee, professor of women's studies and sociology, University of Pittsburgh, and author of Women of the Klan. 4:15 p.m., Seelye 201*
Lecture "West African Cinema: The Roots of Nomadism." Dudley Andrew, professor of comparative literature and cochair, film studies program, Yale University. Reception follows in Seelye 207. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 106*
Meeting Smith TV. You write it, star in it, direct it, produce it and watch it. It's not too late to join our weekly meeting. 7 p.m., Nonprint Resource Center
Intervarsity prayer meeting 7:30- 10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Language lunch tables Korean, Russian. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room (alternate weekly)
Friday, February 16
Keystone B.I.G. meeting Weekly fellowship meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ. 7 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Language lunch table Hebrew. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room C
Alumnae House tea Talbot and Park houses are invited to attend. 4 p.m., Alumnae House Living Room
Saturday, February 17
Basketball vs. Wellesley. 6 p.m., Ainsworth gym*
Sunday, February 18
Weekly meeting Baha'i Club. 4:30 p.m., Dewey common room
Meeting Amnesty International 7 p.m., Gamut
Meeting Feminists of Smith Unite. 7 p.m., Women's Resource Center, Davis
Ecumenical Christian Church morning worship with the Rev. Leon Tilson Burrows, pastor. A community brunch follows immediately in the Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 10:30 a.m., chapel
Roman Catholic Mass Fr. Stephen-Joseph Ross, OCD, celebrant, and Elizabeth Carr, Catholic chaplain. Dinner follows in Bodman Lounge. All welcome. 4:30 p.m., chapel
Intervarsity Prayer Meeting 9-10 p.m., chapel
CDO open hours for library research and browsing. Peer advisers available. 1-4 p.m., CDO
"The Refugees" Two life-sized sculptures by artist Judith Peck, depicting refugees carrying a child and worldly possessions. Through May 28. For more information, contact the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute, ext. 4292. Neilson Library, third floor*
"Biblical Women" An exhibition of story quilts by Lee Porter '60. Using textiles and appliqué and quilting techniques, Porter depicts several scenes of women from the Bible, engaged in activities such as naming children, celebrating victories and mediating disputes. Through March 30. A reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m., on Friday, February 23. Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Alumnae House Gallery*