News for the Smith College Community //April 26, 2001
Picnic Offers Fun Plus Chance to Do Good
With spring finally in the air, plans have shifted into high gear for the 2001 annual Faculty-Staff Picnic. A collective college effort organized by a picnic planning committee, the Staff Council Activities Committee, RADS and Physical Plant, this year's picnic will be held on Tuesday, June 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Once again, the event will take place on the upper athletic field on the lawn inside the running track (if it rains, the picnic will be held at the Indoor Track and Tennis facility).
Along with an array of just-grilled foods, the picnic once again will feature action equipment, including a mini-bounce house, a Fenway fastball speed pitch radar gun and a 39-foot giant slide.
As the college community knows by now, the annual picnic is an evening of good food and fun. But what many may not realize is that for five years, the picnic has also raised funds for a variety of charities.
The charity designated for the 2001 picnic is Cancer Connection, a Florence-based nonprofit organization that offers individual and peer support and stress-reduction programs to cancer survivors and their families. Cancer Connection's programs, which are offered at no cost, aim to complement traditional medical treatment.
As in the past, a donation table will be set up on the field, where passersby can contribute to a collection jar for Cancer Connection. Literature on the organization will also be available there. Or, if preferred, donations can be made before the picnic by enclosing them with the R.S.V.P. card to the Office of College Relations.
Contributors will be eligible for a door prize, such as a pair of Six Flags New England day passes, as an added incentive. According to Cynthia Rucci, MARC Cataloguer for Neilson Library and Activities Committee member, picnic donations average between $100 and $200 total. "We really wish more people would visit the table," she says. "The tally could grow substantially if more people knew about the donation table and made the effort to stop by."
The first charity to benefit from the Faculty-Staff Picnic was the American Cancer Society. As Rucci explains, that was an obvious choice. "So many people have been affected by some form of cancer or known someone diagnosed with cancer. Marie L'Heureux, who worked in the Office of Graduate Study, was a member of the Staff Council Activities Committee. Though Marie ultimately succumbed to breast cancer in April 1999, she was at that time a cancer survivor and an active fundraiser for the American Cancer Society."
Like that organization, Cancer Connection is a natural choice for the Smith picnic. For one thing, it was cofounded by a former Smith employee, Deb Orgera. For another, Cancer Connection has a fund in honor of Marie L'Heureux. The ultimate goal of the L'Heureux Fund is to dedicate a room in Marie's name in a house owned by Cancer Connection. More information about the agency can be found at www.cancer-connection.org.
Other charitable organizations that have benefited from the Faculty-Staff Picnic are Hospice and last year's choice, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Massachusetts. "I lobbied for Make-A-Wish because I'd witnessed its good works," says Rucci. "When my nephew was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago, Make-A-Wish sent him, his parents and his younger sister to Walt Disney World."
So this June 19, keep in mind, as you're speeding down the giant slide or munching barbecued chicken, that the annual Faculty-Staff Picnic is not only an opportunity to have a good time; it's also a chance to do good for a local charitable organization.
"It would be great if people could
bring some cash or a checkbook to the picnic," concludes
Rucci. "Large or small, every donation makes a difference."
Bales of hay, Texas flags and cowboy boots are standing by. Grills are warming up for smoked brisket, ribs and chicken. Garry and the Moodswingers are tuning up their instruments.
That means everything is about set for the Texas Barbecue at Smith, on Thursday, May 3, that will honor President Ruth Simmons. The barbecue will take place in the Indoor Track and Tennis (ITT) facility.
Guests should take note of a few last minute arrangements designed to help manage the crowds:
Five of the six Commencement honorees -- honorary degree recipients Wendy Kopp, Diana Natalicio, Vera Rubin and Donna Shalala, and speaker Toni Morrison -- will participate in a panel discussion on Saturday, May 19, from 3 to 4 p.m. in Wright Hall Auditorium. The remaining honorary degree recipient, Cornel West, professor of Afro-American Studies and of philosophy of religion at Harvard University, is unable to come to campus until later in the day on May 19.
Panel members are expected to speak about individual and common themes in their lives and careers. Kopp is founder and president of Teach for America, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit to two years of teaching in urban and rural public schools. Natalicio is president of the University of Texas at El Paso. Rubin is senior astronomer at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institute. Shalala, the secretary of health and human services in the Clinton administration, is now the president of the University of Miami.
Classical Hits to Benefit the Homeless
On Saturday, May 5, Monica Jakuc, professor of music, will perform works by some of classical music's legendary composers on an instrument similar to those they might have played.
For a benefit concert that will raise funds for the Hampshire County Interfaith Cot Shelter, a facility for homeless people, Jakuc will perform on a fortepiano, a smaller predecessor of the modern piano.
The concert, titled "Greatest Hits From the Classic Period," will take place at 8 p.m. at Edwards Church, 297 Main St. in Northampton. Jakuc will be assisted by Karen Smith Emerson, soprano and professor of music; and Jack Tozzi, baritone.
The fortepiano, which became popular in Europe in the 18th century, replacing the harpsichord as the preferred instrument, gradually evolved into the modern piano in the early 19th century. The fortepiano has a lighter, less sustained tone than its modern successor and was favored by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Joseph Haydn, as well as other classical giants.
Jakuc, who often performs on fortepiano, will solo on Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata and Für Elise, two of the composer's most well-known pieces, as well as on Mozart's Turkish Rondo. "This music sounds refreshingly different when played on an early piano," says Jakuc, who presented a solo concert last year to benefit the Interfaith Cot Shelter. "To my ear, the early piano is better." Emerson will join Jakuc in performing a group of Mozart's famous arias.
Tickets for the concert are available in advance at Beyond Words Bookshop on Main Street in Northampton for $12; $10 for seniors. Tickets at the door will be $14.
Smith Runners Hit the Road in Boston
Smith College was well represented in the 105th Boston Marathon, which was run this year on April 16, Patriot's Day. The historic annual race, which follows a 26.5-mile route from suburban Hopkinton to downtown Boston, counted three Smith employees among its participants.
Experienced marathoner Karin George, vice president for advancement, finished the race in 3 hours, 33 minutes. Out of the nine marathons she has run (this was her first Boston Marathon), this was her third fastest time, she says. The highlight for George was at mile 14 when her 4-year-old son, Will, handed her a PowerGel and yelled, "Go mama, you can win!"
Borjana Mikic, associate professor of engineering, who trained through the long, sloppy winter months along with George, turned in a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes. That time placed her finish at 1,896th among women racers. It was also Mikic's ninth marathon and her first run in Boston.
Mikic and George say the Boston Marathon is distinct for the consistency of its cheering crowds along the roadway. At one stretch of the route, through the Wellesley College area at mile 13, the cheers swell to inspiring decibel levels, say the runners. George, who proudly wore a Smith baseball cap for the race, says that that section, "known as the 'Wellesley screech tunnel,'" was among her fastest.
"There's an incredible wealth of support in the Boston Marathon," says Mikic, who grew up in Cambridge watching the event. "It was a wonderful experience."
For Burt Prokop, a supervisor in the Physical Plant's carpentry section, this year's marathon ended, amazingly, a streak of 30 straight that he had run in under 3 hours. Prokop, who had entered the race with an injury to his left foot, dropped out half way through. He knew it was going to be a tough race at about mile six, when his injury flared. Despite the pain, he continued running at his typically fast pace for more than six more miles.
Prokop, who had finished eight straight Boston Marathons, has been competing in marathons since 1992, when he first began running at age 32.
This year's race had a total of 13,752 participants, with 4,949 women among them. Of all the runners, 97.4 percent finished the race. All 35 wheelchair racers also completed the course.
The 105th Boston Marathon was won by South Korean Lee Bong Ju in 2 hours, 9 minutes and 43 seconds. The women's winner was Catherine Ndereba of Kenya with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes and 53 seconds.
As for the Smith contingent of marathoners, they will be back next year, they say. "I am already thinking of Boston 2002," says George. But for now, she has to nurse her sore quads and sunburned shoulders.
Even though, Mikic says, "I grew up thinking these people were crazy," she'll be back too. And her childhood opinion on marathoners hasn't changed a bit: "Now I know they are."
When Is a Fence No Longer a Fence?
Starting this fall, the construction fence that stretches around the Museum of Art and Fine Arts Center renovation project is slated, fittingly, to become an art gallery.
Well, not exactly an art gallery. But it will certainly be an art exhibition space, titled "On the Fence: Public Art in Public Space," and it will "open" in early fall.
Proposals are currently being accepted for exhibitions by artists of any age from Smith and the greater Northampton community. Exhibitors may be individuals or groups, including Smith students, staff or faculty, local artists, school groups, and community organizations. Exhibitions, which can stay in place from a day to two weeks, will be mounted between September 2001 and August 2002.
The project is the result of suggestions by museum staff and Frances Halsband, consulting architect to the Smith College Board of Trustees, that the construction fence, which will be in place for an extended period, could benefit from embellishments that would make it look less like what it is.
Fence exhibits may be in any medium that will withstand harsh weather and can be installed on a chain-link fence. "Since the site is outdoors and unsupervised, the college cannot be responsible for damage or loss that occurs because of weather conditions, accidents or vandalism," emphasizes Nancy Rich, the museum's curator of education, who is heading the project. Her suggestions for weather-proof media include ribbons, natural materials, ice, laminated drawings, magnets and acrylic-on-plywood panels. "Imagination will be a key ingredient of any installation."
Exhibitions may vary in size to cover small sections of the fence to longer portions and may be installed on either the Elm Street side or the Smith campus side. Proposals, which may be submitted to the Fence Committee at the Smith College Museum of Art, are being accepted on a rolling basis. After reviewing the proposals, the committee will then meet with the group or individual proposing the exhibit. Proposals should indicate preferred season, length of exhibition time and fence location (Elm Street or campus-side segment).
Exhibitors will be responsible for the cost of materials and for installing their work and removing it at the end of the exhibition period.
Those wishing to apply should send a letter stating name, address, phone number and e-mail address (if applicable), along with a description of the nature and materials of their artwork. Reproductions (slides, photocopies or rough sketches) are optional but may also be submitted. For further information, contact Nancy Rich, 585-2773, or email@example.com.
Author Werth to Read About Smith's Past
Barry Werth, author of the recently published The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin, A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal, has several upcoming appearances that may be of interest to the Smith community.
Arvin was a renowned and respected literary critic who taught at Smith from 1922 until 1960 when he was arrested for possession of pornography. A social radical and an unproclaimed homosexual, Arvin moved in a circle of friends that included Edmund Wilson, Lillian Hellman and Truman Capote; his biography of Herman Melville won the National Book Award in 1951; and several generations of Smith students remember the insights and rigor of his courses, which focused on such authors as Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry James. But his contributions as a scholar, teacher and critic were overshadowed by his arrest and its aftermath during a period when political and moralistic fanaticism shadowed America's social landscape.
On Sunday, April 29, at 3 p.m., Werth will read from his book at a program in the Smith College Archives. The reading is cosponsored by College Archives, the American Studies Program, American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Williamsburg's Meekins Library. The event will honor Williamsburg resident Helen Bacon, a longtime advocate for civil liberties and member of the Smith faculty from 1953 until 1962, when she left to join the Barnard College faculty.
On Tuesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m., Werth will read from his book at Broadside Bookshop on Main Street in downtown Northampton. And on Wednesday, May 23, at 7:30 p.m., he will give a talk, "The 1960 Smith College Homosexual Scandal: Lessons from a Crucial Episode in the History of American Repression," at the Unitarian Society at 220 Main Street, Northampton. The event is sponsored by the Northampton Human Rights Commission, which was established in 1998 to advocate for the human and civil rights of all people who live, work and visit Northampton, and to educate the public on these issues.
Werth, who lives in Northampton and maintains a writing studio in the apartment in which Arvin lived during much of his Smith career, has written for The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, GQ and Outside.
Grant to Fund East Asian Studies
The Five College Center for East Asian Studies (FCCEAS) will share in a three-year grant of $6.4 million that has been awarded by the Freeman Foundation to a consortium of five national institutions. Along with the Smith-based FCCEAS, the other four coordinating sites of the consortium are the East Asian Institute at Columbia University; the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University; the Program for Teaching East Asia, University of Colorado; and the East Asia Resource Center, University of Washington. Together, the five sites are collaborating in a new multiyear initiative called the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA).
NCTA was launched to encourage high schools and middle schools to teach more about Asia in the regular curriculum, in courses in world history, geography, social studies and literature. During the past two years, more than one thousand high school and middle school teachers in 21 states have completed an intensive course of instruction through NCTA. The Freeman grant will be used to extend "best practices" of teaching about Asia into a total of 32 states by 2003.
"Asia is of increasing importance to this country's well-being," says Kathleen Woods Masalski, director of FCCEAS. "We need to learn more about Asia, and NCTA aims to help teachers and students do so by guaranteeing a place for Asia in the curriculum."
Each of the five coordinating sites has an established track record for working successfully with schools by offering workshops and institutes, and by lending resources to improve the way schools teach about East Asia. The NCTA model differs from previous efforts, according to Masalski and her colleagues, in its scale and level of coordination as well as in the sustained relationships it creates between colleges and schools.
Teachers who take part in an NCTA program complete a 30-hour seminar on East Asian history, geography, literature and culture with colleagues and Asian specialists. They are then assisted in developing a plan to incorporate what they've learned into courses on East Asia at their own schools and to share materials and concepts with colleagues. During the year following the seminar, the teachers will take part in local and regional meetings to share their classroom experiences with each other. In addition to earning course credit or recertification credits, those who complete the course of study will receive a professional stipend of $300 and an additional stipend for follow-up meetings. They are also encouraged to take part in study tours to China, Japan and Korea, sponsored by each of the coordinating sites.
During the past two years, FCCEAS has established school sites throughout New England. Funds from this new grant will enable the center to expand its level of influence to new schools and to offer additional opportunities for teachers.
For more information on the FCCEAS, visit www.smith.edu/fcceas/home.html.
Take a Letter to Yourself
By Eunnie Park '01
As seniors look ahead to their final few days at Smith, many may find themselves looking back as well, to their early days here, when they moved away from home for the first time and entered the college as ambitious first-year students. One of their last experiences at Smith -- a yearly ritual that allows them to read a letter that they wrote to themselves during their first-year orientation-will help them remember who they were four years ago, as new Smithies, fresh out of high school.
The letter ritual, called "State of the Heart," is a tradition organized by the Office of Student Affairs, in which every new student writes a letter to herself during her orientation. For nearly four years, the letters are then stored in the student affairs office, until graduation weekend, when they are returned to their owners.
State of the Heart, which has been part of first-year orientation and final-year Commencement for many years, allows graduating students to "reflect on ideas and perceptions they had when entering Smith," says Rae-Anne Butera, assistant dean of student affairs, who oversees the program. "State of the Heart is intended to provide a benchmark to see how you've grown, what goals were accomplished, how you've changed. It is a tool to be able to look back on it and see change and growth in yourself."
While reflecting on when they wrote the letter (so long ago that many will have forgotten), seniors are reminded of the anxiety that they'd felt as entering students and the expectations they'd held for themselves. "At the time I was writing it, I was scared and feeling overwhelmed," recalls Ona Lee '01. "I didn't know what my fate would be in four years, so I encouraged myself, gave myself a pep talk in anticipation of a hard time with jobs and graduation. I told myself that I was one lucky gal and that my future self has seen people and been places."
"I think I was just encouraging myself to not give up when things get hard-reminding myself to believe in myself and to continue to grow," adds Senait Kassahun '01. "I just hoped that I'd be graduating with a lot of confidence in myself."
Kassahun, who had forgotten about the letter until now, says that when she reads it, she will "probably be emotional and nostalgic for the beginning of the college experience."
Like other seniors, once they remember
they'd written the letter, Kassahun now can't wait to read what
she wrote as an incoming student to her future self. "I'm
really looking forward to getting it back," she says.
Track and field
Molly Curren '01 and Jennifer Mack '01 were named Humanity in Action (HIA) Fellows for the organization's 2001 summer program. Curren and Mack, who will be among 40 Dutch, Danish and American students participating in the program, were chosen on the basis of their leadership potential, academic achievement, and interest in human rights. The program emphasizes commitment to democratic values and knowledge of resistance to human rights violations past and present. Every summer, HIA conducts two programs that run simultaneously. Mack will attend the program in Denmark; Curren in the Netherlands.
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).
Landscaping on Burton Lawn
Athletic Facility Hours
Six Flags Discount Tickets for Sale
Want to Play Softball?
Ride Your Bike to Work
Examination Workers Needed
Senior Opinions Needed
Study in Scotland
CSIP Internships Available
Still Seeking Master Tutors
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, April 30
Lecture "The Campus as a Teaching Landscape." John Burk, biology. Thirteenth and final in the series "Issues in Landscape Studies" (LSS 100). Sponsors: departments of art, comparative literature, English, environmental sciences and policy, landscape studies, and biology; and the Botanic Garden. 2:40-4 p.m., Wright Auditorium*
President's open hours First come, first served. 4-5 p.m., College Hall 20
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Tuesday, May 1
Film Sponsored by Rec
SGA Senate meeting Open forum. All students welcome. 7:15 p.m., Seelye 201
Meeting Newman Association.
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. Final open hours for the academic year. 7-9 p.m., CDO
Wednesday, May 2
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.
Yoga class Noncredit, for students. All levels. 4:45-6 p.m., Davis Ballroom
Thursday, May 3
Recital Hannah Freed-Thall '02J, violin; and Rebecca Green '01, cello, will perform works by Chopin Liszt, Dvorák, Beethoven and Bach. 8 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage*
Film Sponsored by Rec
Meeting Smith TV. 7 p.m., Media Resources Center
Intervarsity prayer meeting 7-10 p.m., Bodman Lounge, chapel
Language lunch tables Korean, Russian. 12:15 p.m., Duckett Special Dining Room (alternate weekly)
Texas Barbecue hosted by the Board of Trustees in honor of President Simmons. (See box, page 1.) 5:30 p.m., ITT
Friday, May 4
Last day of classes
Spring Festival of One-Acts See 5/3 listing. 8 p.m., Hallie Flanagan Theatre, Mendenhall CPA*
Senior recital "Dueling Sopranos," featuring Megan Browning '01 and Jill Hourihan '01 performing works by Mozart, Copland, Beethoven and others. Reception follows. 8 p.m., Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage*
Saturday, May 5
Pre-examination study period
Concert Allanah Gustavson '02, soprano, will perform songs in English and German from a variety of composers, accompanied by Clifton J. Noble, Jr., piano. Rachel Santamaria-Schwartz '03, cello, will perform Ernest Bloch's Schelomo, also with Clifton J. Noble, Jr., piano. 4 p.m., Earle Recital Hall, Sage*
Benefit Concert "Greatest Hits From the Classic Period." Monica Jakuc and Karen Smith Emerson, both of the music department, will perform works by Mozart and Beethoven to raise money for the Hampshire County Interfaith Shelter for homeless people. (See story, page 1.) Tickets (available in advance at Beyond Words Bookshop): $12, general; $10, seniors; $14 at the door. 8 p.m., Edwards Church, 297 Main St., Northampton*
Sunday, May 6
Pre-examination study period
Discussion with 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
Christian Prayer Meeting Smith Christian Fellowship. 6 p.m., Wright common room
Intervarsity Prayer Meeting 9-10 p.m., chapel
Monday, May 7
Pre-examination study period
Tuesday, May 8
Final examinations begin
Wednesday, May 9
No events scheduled
Thursday, May 10
No events scheduled
Friday, May 11
Examination period ends
Saturday, May 12
Houses close for all students except '01 graduates, Commencement workers and those with Five College finals after 5/11.
paisajes humanos y naturales" [Human and Natural Landscapes],
an exhibition of photographs by Alice Fisk MacKenzie '01. Through
Monday, May 28. Third Floor Gallery, Neilson Library*
"The Strongest of Bonds: William Allan Neilson, Internationalism and Exiles at Smith College." Books, photographs and other refugee rescue and resettlement materials. In connection with "The Anatomy of Exile." Through June 30. Kahn Institute, Neilson Library, third floor*
"Decorative Design: Publishers' Cloth Bindings in the Finison Collection at Smith College," a display of 19th- and early 20th-century American decorated bookbindings that illustrate the stylistic developments of book design for that period. For more information, call ext. 2906. Through May 29. Mortimer Rare Book Room, Neilson Library*
Caribbean Crosscurrent: A Photo Exhibit of Latina Cultural and Religious Celebrations" by Puerto Rican artist Pablo Delano. Through May 30. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; weekends, 1-4 p.m., chapel*
Artwork by the Class of 1961. As part of the class's 40th reunion, several members have assembled their art for a public exhibit. Works range from watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings to pottery and sculpture. Through May 28. Alumnae House Gallery (hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30-4:30 p.m.)*
"A Personal View of Paris," a display of photographs submitted by Smith students and alumnae who studied abroad on the Paris JYA program between 1929 and 2001. Photographs consist of favorite locations, people or moments during students' studies in Paris. Through May 27. Seelye, first floor.
"With a Little Help From Our Friends: Gifts and Purchases of the Year." Through May 29. Mortimer Rare Book Room, Neilson Library*