News for the Smith College Community //February 22, 2001
'Big Brother' Earns Award, Students' Love
A few weeks ago, at this year's All-College Meeting on January 29 at John M. Greene Hall, a dining room assistant in Lamont House climbed the stage stairs with his wife and baby daughter to claim an award bestowed on him by the students.
Brian E. Subocz, a former dining room assistant in Ziskind House, accepted the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award, given annually to a Smith staff member "who has given extraordinarily of themselves to the Smith College community as a whole," as his family looked on.
Established in 1984, the Wyandt Gavel Award is administered by the Student Government Association, which solicits nominations from students.
It was Subocz's warmth and kindness as a dining room assistant -- until this year in Ziskind -- that inspired students to nominate him for the award, say those who were residents of the house while he worked there.
Julie Baber '02, who wrote Subocz's award nomination letter and worked with him in the Ziskind dining room for two years, says that over the years, Subocz had made her feel at home in her residence. "Brian makes Ziskind home," she wrote, "and to someone who has no permanent home, that is of unimaginable importance." While she worked with Subocz, Baber says she was able to rely on him to provide answers to difficult questions and problems in her life. "He has really been the only person who has been selfless, generous," she says, "who has gone out of his way to help others, regardless of how they treat him. You don't really meet people like that. He's like that to everyone, and that's why everyone loves him."
Subocz, who has worked at Smith for almost three years, says he tries to go beyond his job description in helping to make the time enjoyable for students here. "I get along well with the students," he says. "I don't necessarily treat them as students, I treat them as friends. I went away to college, and I know it's tough being away from home." Of his award, Subocz says "It's definitely an honor. I'm happy that people appreciate what I do."
When Baber found out that Subocz was
the recipient of the Wyandt Gavel Award, she says she ran screaming
into her house and down the halls in excitement. Many of her
Ziskind housemates joined in her enthusiasm, "like we had
all won something," she says. "It's like your big brother
winning some big award. He's just like a big part of a family."
After more than 15 years of helping Smith students navigate the labyrinthian financial aid process, Myra Smith, director of Student Financial Services (SFS), will bid adieu to the college on Wednesday, February 28. Soon after, she will assume her new post at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, as university director of financial aid.
Meanwhile at Smith, Sue Stano, senior associate director of SFS, will serve as interim director after Smith's departure. A search will begin in April for a permanent director, who the college hopes will begin at Smith by September.
Smith came to Northampton in 1985 from William Woods College, a small women's college in Fulton, Missouri, where she was director of financial aid. "February 5, 1985," she specifies. "I know the exact day I started here."
In her many years in the business, Smith has learned that financial aid is a labor-intensive process for both students and staff. "It's especially tough because government regulations change from year to year," she explains. "I've always tried to advocate for the fair distribution and allocation of financial aid. I'm most proud of my efforts to streamline the financial aid processes as much as possible."
The culmination of that effort has been the creation of the Office of Student Financial Services last year. SFS, which opened in July, merged the mandates of the offices of financial aid and the bursar. Smith, who oversaw the merger, says her overriding goal in the endeavor was to offer students and their parents a higher level of service. She believes SFS is succeeding. She's also proud of the SFS Web site, noting that it allows the office to deliver services in a more efficient way.
Then there's her staff. Smith feels lucky, she says, to have been part of a group that works as a team and shares a common commitment to students. "Leaving them will be the hardest part," she says. "I suspect I'll never have a staff like this again." She speaks affectionately about the good friends and colleagues she has had at Smith.
Maureen Mahoney, dean of the college, for one, appreciates the work Smith has done: "Myra Smith's directorship of SFS has led to a smooth-running, student-centered operation that has served students and parents very well. Her good humor and planning acuity have impressed faculty and staff over the years she has been at Smith. She has made an enormous contribution to the institution."
Smith says she will miss Mahoney, whom she describes as a great mentor. "I've learned a lot from her," she says. "The way I've seen her run her section will help me at Yale."
As university director of financial aid at Yale, Smith will oversee undergraduate and graduate financial aid services. "I'm excited about the challenges of this position," she says. "But after being involved with women's education for more than 20 years, I'm very aware that I am stepping into a new environment. It will be different."
Still, she expects the job-challenges and all-to be fun, she says. And she's comforted by the fact that SFS staffers have periodic get-togethers with former department employees. "I don't plan to lose these people as friends, though I certainly will miss them as colleagues," she says.
Smith, who lives in Springfield, says that she'll initially commute to New Haven, hopeful that no more nor'easters blow through the region. As much as she looks forward to her new venture, she knows that February 28 will be a difficult day. "Smith to me is all about the people," she explains. "That's the hardest thing to leave."
Spring Near With Opening of Bulb Show
After four long months of cold, colorless winter, the Lyman Conservatory will usher in the season of renewal when it opens its annual Spring Bulb Show on Saturday, March 3. The show, which will run through March 18, will offer a colorful array of forced bulbs, which ordinarily bloom at different times of the year, including displays of crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips, all flowering simultaneously.
The Spring Bulb Show, which has run annually for more than 75 years in the Lyman Conservatory, has become one of Smith's most popular events, attracting an estimated 15,000 people to the conservatory each year, says Madelaine Zadik, interim assistant director of the Botanic Garden.
Every fall, Smith's horticulture students pot more than 5,000 bulbs in preparation for the show. The bulbs are put in cold storage until January, when they are brought into the greenhouses. Using careful timing and temperature control methods, the horticulturists coax the bulbs to bloom at the same time.
In celebration of a two-year renovation of the Lyman Conservatory scheduled to begin in April, this year's Bulb Show will unofficially open on Friday, March 2, with a presentation, "The Architecture of the Lyman Conservatory: Past, Present and Future," by Bryan Irwin, an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island School of Design and an associate with Perry Dean Rogers and Partners, the Boston architectural firm that designed the renovation. In his talk, which will be at 7 p.m. in Wright Auditorium, Irwin will discuss trends in glasshouse design and issues concerning the Lyman Conservatory renovation, while tracing the development of the Smith College greenhouses.
Following Irwin's presentation, there will be a special preview of the Bulb Show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory.
The $5 million Lyman Conservatory renovation, which is expected to be completed in late 2002, will restore the facility's 12 greenhouses while expanding its exhibition space and upgrading its technology for maintaining a collection of plants from habitats around the world. It will also provide complete access for persons with disabilities.
During the renovation, all Botanic Garden offices will remain open, as will some of the Lyman Conservatory's exhibition space. However, the conservatory's shows -- such as the fall Chrysanthemum Show and the spring Bulb Show -- will not be held until the renovation is completed.
This year's show, therefore, will be the last opportunity for a while to witness the splendor of colors and species that compose the Bulb Show, which will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Fridays, March 9 and 16, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Special members-only hours are available for Friends of the Botanic Garden.
Groups wishing to visit the show must schedule in advance.
Several Smith women were featured in the January 8, 2001, edition of Newsweek, in a segment titled "Watch Out: Women of the 21st Century." The article called Thelma Golden '87 "one of the nation's most-watched museum curators." Golden gained her fame as the curator at the Whitney Museum during the controversial 1994 exhibition "Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary Art." Carolyn Kaelin '83, a leading doctor in the treatment of breast cancer and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, is said in the article to be so dedicated that "she attended a residency-award dinner when she was pregnant and in labor. The contractions were 10 minutes apart when she received an award for being the best chief resident that year. 'The speech,' says Kaelin, 'was short.'" And Shirley Sagawa '83, a deputy assistant to former President Clinton and deputy chief of staff to Hillary Clinton, was referred to as "a key player in national child-care policy, community service and philanthropy."
Smith College was named in The Chronicle of Higher Education as a participant in Project 2001, a partnership of 62 liberal-arts colleges developing usages of technology to enhance the teaching of languages. The partnership is funded in part by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Other participating colleges include Amherst, Bennington, Bryn Mawr, Vassar, Bowdoin, Mount Holyoke, Wellesley and Williams.
The Christian Science Monitor reported in its November 14, 2000, issue that from 1920 to 1990, Smith ranked fifth in the nation among private four-year undergraduate colleges in producing recipients of doctoral degrees. Reed College ranked first, followed by Oberlin, Wesleyan and Swarthmore colleges. Rounding out the top 10 were Barnard, Carleton, Wellesley, Pomona and Amherst colleges.
According to sources at USNews, an
on-line chat in November on "Mastering the Job Search,"
featuring Barbara Reinhold, director of the Career Development
Office at Smith, was one of the Web site's "best-attended
events." The chat can be reviewed at www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/
Samantha Pleasant, associate director
of reunion and classes in the Alumnae Association, was quoted
in the February 9 edition of the Springfield Union-News in an
article with the headline "The Women of the House"
about women aged 30 to 50 who meet to play soccer. After the
women recently defeated a girls' varsity soccer team from a local
high school, the article reports, Pleasant said, "'They
were mad, their parents were mad and their boyfriends were mad.'"
The article goes on to mention that Pleasant, at age 30, is "described
by some as the 'baby' of the group."
Will return next week.
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).
S.O.S. Blood Drive
ITS Joins Info Line
The Literacy Project
Summer Employment at Smith
Faculty & Staff
Have a Heart Food Drive
Drop Course Deadline
S.O.S. Fund Drive
Nina Rothschild Fund
New Name Needed
Check out Chilipeppers
Free Tutoring Available
Paid Internship in D.C.
Peer Writing Assistance
Alumnae Scholarship 2001-02
Denis Johnston Prize
Counseling Service Workshops
Summer Study in Korea
Study Skills Workshops
Health Service Pap Tests
Spielberg Fellowships in Prague
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.
Monday, Februar y 26
Holy Women Kiss Lepers: Gendered Implications for a Medieval
Motif of Charity." Catherine Peyroux, assistant professor
of history, Duke University. Sponsors: the departments and programs
of classical languages and literatures, history, religion and
biblical literature, wo-men's studies, comparative literature,
medieval studies and the chapel.
Lecture "The Future of Feminist Scholarship-A Glimpse at the Third World. Work in Progress." Kum-Kum Bhavnani, senior editor of Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, and visiting professor, women's studies. Sponsor: Project on Women and Social Change. 4:15 p.m., Seelye 207*
Chaired Professor Lecture "Ownership Gone Awry: Compulsive Hoarding and the 4th Circle of Hell." Randy O. Frost, Harold Edward and Elsa Siipola Israel Professor of Psychology. Reception follows in Wright common room. 4:30 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Film Bab el-Oued City
(Algeria, 1994). Merzak Allouache, director. Fourth in the Third
Annual Africa Film Series, featuring films of North Africa. Sponsors:
government and Afro-American studies departments, Kahn Liberal
Arts Institute, Five College African Studies Council.
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Tuesday, February 27
Lecture "From Woe to Wonder." Renowned science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler will deliver the final lecture of the series "Race, Science, Fiction." 7:30 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Special open meeting
of the Anatomy of Exile Colloquium with works-in-progress presentations.
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., Mendenhall CPA, T-209
Meeting Newman Association.
Language lunch table German. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room B
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:456 p.m., Davis Ballroom
CDO Open Hours for library research and browsing. Peer advisers available. 79 p.m., CDO
Wednesday, February 28
Lecture "High Modernist Utopias and Nightmares: 'Seeing Like a State.'" James Scott, professor of political science and anthropology, and director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University. Sponsor: government department. 8 p.m., Seelye 106*
Faculty meeting Preceded by tea at 3:45 p.m. 4:10 p.m., Alumnae House
Meeting MassPIRG. 7 p.m., Seelye 101
Workshop Basic Web authoring for students. Sponsor: the Web and Graphics Center. Register at www.wag.smith.edu/workshop.html. 7 p.m., Seelye B2
Buddhist service and discussion. 7:15 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
ECC Bible study Bring questions, frustrations and curiosities. 10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Language lunch tables Spanish, Portuguese. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Rooms A & B.
Classics lunch table 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room C
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, March 1
Lecture "You Mixed? Racial Identity Without Racial Biology." Sally Haslanger, professor of linguistics and philosophy, MIT. Sponsors: departments of philosophy and Afro-American studies. 4:15 p.m., Seelye 207*
Lecture "The Idea of Black Culture." Hortense J. Spillers, Frederic J. Whiton Professor of English, Cornell University. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 201*
Lecture "What is Happening to the Coral Reefs of the Caribbean?" Richard B. Aronson, senior marine scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Albert F. Blakeslee Annual Lecture. Reception follows. 4:30 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Poetry Reading Tracie Morris, hip-hop poet, will perform her work. Booksigning follows. Presented in collaboration with the New World Theater of UMass. 7:30 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Theater Two plays:
Giving up the Ghost and Antigona Furiosa. See
Meeting Head of Organizations.
Meeting Ceramics Club. Discuss the purchase of supplies for the club; bring questions, comments or suggestions. All members and interested students are welcome. The ceramics studio is located behind Capen, next to the Davis center, in the same building as the LBTA. 6:45 p.m., ceramics studio
Intervarsity prayer meeting 7-10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
S.O.S. Blood Drive See 2/28 listing. 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Language lunch tables Korean, Russian. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room (alternate weekly)
Friday, March 2
Lecture "Conserving Biodiversity in the Real World: A Short Course in Effective Approaches to Environmental Policy Problems." Timothy Clark, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and Andrew Willard, Yale Law School. 1:30 p.m., Neilson Browsing Room
Lecture "The Architecture of the Lyman Conservatory: Past, Present, and Future." Bryan Irwin, associate at Perry Dean Rogers and Partners, the architectural firm working on the Lyman Conservatory renovation (see story, page 1). Followed by a reception and preview of the Bulb Show in the illuminated Lyman Conservatory. 7 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
Concert The renowned piano trio Triple Helix will perform Haydn's Trio in C Major, Arlene Zallman's Triquetra, and Brahms' Trio in B Major. Part of the Sage Hall Concert Series. Tickets: $7. For reservations, call 585-ARTS. 8 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage*
Meeting College Council on Community Policy. Agenda will include discussion of the Smith smoking policy, diversity and the college's mission statement. 3:30 p.m., Mary Maples Dunn conference room, Pierce
Meeting Smith Science Fiction and Fantasy Society. 4:30 p.m., Seelye 208
Language lunch table Hebrew. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room C
Alumnae House tea Lamont and Jordan houses are cordially invited to attend. 4 p.m., Alumnae House Living Room
Saturday, March 3
Tennis vs. Skidmore. 11 a.m., Tennis courts*
Sunday, March 4
Student Recital Lori Robinson, bassoon. 8 p.m., Earle Recital Hall, Sage*
Meeting Feminists of
Quaker (Friends) meeting for worship. Preceded by informal discussion at 9:30 a.m. Childcare available. 11 a.m., Bass 203, 204*
Discussion Baha'i Club. Deepening of the Baha'i writings. 4 p.m., Dewey common room
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
Annual Spring Bulb Show A spectacular array of more than 5,000 bulbs, including crocuses, hyancinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips, all flowering simultaneously. Opens March 2 with a lecture on the architecture of the Lyman Conservatory. (See story, page 1). Open daily, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through March 18. Special evening hours, 6-9 p.m., on Fridays, March 9 and 16. Groups of 10 or more must schedule in advance by calling ext. 2742. Parking is available on College Lane during the show. Lyman Conservatory*
"Fragments: A Quilt Exhibit" Through March 28. For more information, call ext. 2907. Mortimer Rare Book Room, Third Floor, Neilson Library
"Ornamented Type," an exhibit of 23 alphabets from the foundry of Louis John Pouchee. Through March 28. For more information, call ext. 2907. Third Floor, Neilson Library
"Staff Visions," an exhibit of original arts and crafts by Smith College staff. Through March 16. McConnell foyer*
"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*