News for the Smith College Community // January 21, 1999
Thanks to two of the largest gifts in Smith history, the college now has two-thirds of the $31 million estimated cost for the planned renovation and expansion of the college's Fine Arts Center, a complex that includes the Museum of Art, the art department and Hillyer Art Library.
The gifts, one for $14 million from the Brown Foundation Inc. of Houston, the other for $10 million from two anonymous New York alumnae, will help fund the most ambitious capital construction project the college has ever planned.
The $14 million from the Brown Foundation represents the generosity of Smith trustee Isabel Brown Wilson '53; her sister, Maconda Brown O'Connor, who received a master's degree from the School for Social Work in 1985 and a doctorate in 1998; and their cousin, Louisa Stude Sarofim '58. The gift is believed to be the largest ever given to any of the "Seven Sibling" colleges. Of the $14 million, $10 million will fund the arts center renovation and $4 million will support internship opportunities for students and a chaired professorship in practical learning in the School for Social Work.
All of the $10 million from the two anonymous alumnae will be designated for the Fine Arts Center renovation.
The renovation and expansion, scheduled to begin early in 2000, will be conducted by James Steward Polshek and Partners, an architectural firm based in New York that designed the Sage Hall renovations several years ago. Expected to take about two years, the project will add 52,000 square feet to the current buildings, which opened in 1972. It will provide space to display a wider selection of the museum's 24,000 art objects, expand teaching areas and provide student exhibition galleries and study areas in the library.
The expanded library and teaching areas will accommodate new computer-based technologies essential to studying and teaching art and art history. The current art slide and photographic collections will be incorporated into a master catalogue, to become the basis for a computer database of high-resolution digitized images accessible to several parts of the campus.
The gifts reflect the determination of alumnae to "put Smith at the forefront of academic programs everywhere," says art department chair Craig Felton. "With their help and our own professional commitment to an intellectually sound and creative program, we will assure that Smith students and faculty will be aided by the best instructional and technological advancements available."
Museum of Art Director Suzannah Fabing says the two record gifts and
the expansion they will help fund will further enable the museum to use
its holdings and facilities in teaching and studying art. "The renovations
and expansion will help us better serve both the campus and the community,"
she says. "With these two magnificent gifts, we are well on our way."
New Group Offers Broad Input on Campus Issues
Among the many changes inspired by the college's recent self-study has been the transformation of the Committee on Community Policy (CCP) to a temporary ad hoc Community Policy Committee (CPC).
For some 20 years the CCP was an elected group of faculty members, though it eventually came to include a few members from outside the faculty. It dealt with such matters as racism and diversity, the divestiture of the college's stock holdings in South African corporations, and recommendations for the development of smoking and chalking policies, college-wide grievance procedures, a mail-delivery system, same-sex partner benefits and a college ombudsperson's post.
During the self-study the Faculty Council proposed that CCP be replaced by a presidentially appointed committee that would include students and staff members as well as faculty members. The council argued that the many community-wide issues addressed by CCP might be better handled by a group more broadly representative of different college constituencies.
In November President Simmons appointed nine faculty members, eight staff members and nine students to the new ad hoc CPC. Chaired by Tom Riddell of the economics department, the group has met twice to begin developing its charge and forming recommendations about its membership and how its work can be structured most effectively. As it develops its bylaws, it is also empowered to consider any urgent community issues that arise.
In its former guise the committee made policies and planned programs to "encourage diversity, free intellectual inquiry and responsible attitudes toward the large issues of the day." It also dealt with such extracurricular offerings as lectures, films, symposia and colloquia and provided a forum for the discussion of the quality of life for the college as a whole. The ad hoc CPC will work alongside separate committees on lectures and motion pictures.
"Our next order of business is to consult with other parts of the college's governance structure -- the president's senior staff, the Staff Council's steering committee, the Faculty Council, some SGA representatives and the executive committee of the board of trustees -- as we develop a proposal for the permanent committee's structure and mandate," says Riddell. "Our goal is to establish a college-wide committee that is representative, effective and has real power to influence community issues. It should have a serious role and responsibility in the Smith College community, and may even want to reach beyond campus to add a liaison from the city of Northampton."
The ad hoc CPC will soon make recommendations to President Simmons concerning its title, scope and composition and the method of selecting a permanent committee on community policy.
The CPC faculty members are Giovanna Bellesia, Italian; Robert Burger, geology; Lale Burk, chemistry; Jill de Villiers, psychology/philosophy; Velma Garcia, government/class dean's office; Jonathan Gosnell, French; Karen Pfeifer, economics; and Cristina Suarez, chemistry. Staff members are Bill Ames, physical plant; Mary Lou Bouley, Neilson Library; John Eue, college relations; Ay Ling Han, counseling service; Jeff Heath, Nonprint Resource Center; Carolyn Jacobs, School for Social Work; Erika Laquer, Ada Comstock Scholars Program; Gina Smith, ombudsperson. The students serving on the committee are Cherilyn Cepriano '99, SGA president; Stacey Caulk, '99, SGA vice president; Monique King '99, head of house presidents; Ann Bradford, AC; Jackie Crucet, AC; Katrina Gamble '99; Manisha Gangopadhyay '00; Christina Hawkins '01; and Katherine Winger '01.
Questions or suggestions for CPC may be sent to any committee member or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Slow Season? Don't Bet on It
During the January interterm some campus departments and offices may have had reduced schedules and some services may have been cut back, but the college was certainly not inactive.
The basketball, squash and swimming and diving teams competed throughout interterm. Since December 10 the basketball team has posted an impressive 4-1 record, beating Mills and Regis colleges, the University of New England and Wesleyan and bringing its season record to 7-2. The swimming and diving team has a 3-1 record since December 8, having posted wins over Westfield State and Mount Holyoke colleges as well as rival Wellesley. On January 16 and 17 the ski team participated in the UMass Carnival, a league-wide invitational tournament. And the squash team competed in the Williams College Invitational tournament, January 15-17.
The Museum of Art held its third annual "Refrigerator Door" exhibition of children's art from January 4 to 22. It featured more than 400 works by children from schools throughout Hampshire County. The show was highlighted at a January 10 reception at the museum that featured performances by students from the Northampton Community Music Center. The exhibit was also featured in a WWLP-TV Channel 22 news broadcast hosted by Sy Becker. "Refrigerator Door" is coordinated by the Museum of Art, the art department and Northampton Children's Theatre.
Many students, faculty and staff who stuck around during the interterm participated in Interterm 1999, a program offered by the college of noncredit courses on everything from creative writing to "Bridge for Beginners," from Web-page design to Irish step dancing. More than 400 people enrolled in courses for this year's program, which ran from January 4 to 22. Also, the Interterm 1999 Film Series presented classics like Valley of the Dolls, Rosemary's Baby, The Color Purple and many others.
On January 19 Ruth Sheehan, a lecturer at Northeastern University, gave a lecture and video presentation titled "First Ladies: Their Little Known Stories and Achievements" in Wright Hall auditorium. Through taped interviews and speeches she offered insights into the lives of Smith alumnae Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush as well as Wellesley alumna Hillary Rodham Clinton.
This year, there was an array of courses for credit in chemistry, exercise and sport studies, French and geography. There was also an open forum for staff to comment and learn about the upcoming renovations to the Museum of Art and fine arts center; ongoing training for people who will volunteer to work at the botanic garden; visits by Museum of Art staff and student employees to museums in Hartford and Williamstown; and a ski trip for college community members to Haystack ski resort.
And of course, amid all this interterm activity, campus business continued as usual.
'Staff Visions' Visible Again
Among the hundreds of Smith staff employees lies a largely hidden abundance of artistic talent and experience. Each year some of that talent is revealed in "Staff Visions," an exhibit of original art and crafts. Beginning Monday, January 25, about 20 staff employees' works of art and crafts will be exhibited in Hillyer Gallery as the annual show opens for its sixth consecutive year. It will kick off with a reception in the gallery from 4 to 7 p.m. on January 25, and run through February 5.
"Staff Visions" includes work from artists of all levels, from experienced professionals to novices and dabblers, say exhibit organizers Patricia Czepiel Hayes '84 and Amy Holich. "We don't turn any staff members away," says Hayes. She and Holich, both of whom have exhibited their work off campus, will display at the show. They and the other participants will each exhibit between one and five pieces in media such as oil, watercolor, pastel, wood, fabric and photography.
The goal of "Staff Visions" is for artists to exhibit their work in a professional but welcoming setting and to "celebrate what we do and who we really are," says Hayes, an employee in College Relations since 1985. "'Staff Visions' brings people together to talk about creativity. Participants and visitors enjoy sharing their talents and inspirations and relating on levels not always possible in our day-to-day lives."
Hayes says that response to previous "Staff Visions" shows has been "overwhelmingly positive. In my several years on the Smith staff I've participated in communication studies, morale workshops and diversity training, all extremely valuable," she says. "Yet it's through these shows that I've seen people really connect."
"Staff Visions" is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-8 p.m. The show is sponsored by Staff Council.
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Taking on Y2K
By now we've all heard about the Y2K threat-the software and hardware bugs that may plague computers and other devices (calculators, telephone answering machines, fire-alarm systems) when their electronically coded dates reset to year "00" on January 1, 2000.
Smith has been working on its Y2K readiness for some time. Now a Y2K committee made up of faculty and staff from several areas of the college has been appointed to coordinate ongoing efforts in surveying and educating the community about the threat and helping to identify problems, set priorities and find solutions as the big day approaches.
While all college employees need to address this threat, academic chairs and department heads bear the primary responsibility, since many Y2K issues are most effectively addressed at the departmental level -- for example, those involving software programs not supported institutionally but critical to departmental operations.
"This is as much a management problem as an information technology problem," says James Hardy, purchasing manager, who chairs the Y2K committee. "Smith College comprises hundreds of people and activities. It is not possible for any one person or group to understand all the risks associated with Y2K, but I am confident that the Smith community has engaged the problem and that we are moving forward and will be successful in coping with what seems to me to be one of the most fascinating challenges ever to arise out of our technological progress. Everybody is going to have to get involved sooner or later."
In addition to assessment, setting priorities and raising community awareness in order to ensure that those with Y2K problems seek solutions, the committee will
Recently the committee distributed questionnaires to academic and administrative department heads to help evaluate trouble spots and set priorities. It will next provide information and guidance to the community by a variety of means, including news bulletins, AcaMedia stories and perhaps even a continually updated Web site and open-discussion forums. The committee also has an e-mail address (email@example.com) to which questions or concerns may be sent.
Convocation to Begin Semester
This year's All-College Meeting marking the opening of second semester will feature a talk by Provost/Dean of the Faculty John M. Connolly, musical performances, addresses from students and President Ruth Simmons and the presentation of the annual Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award. It will take place Monday, January 25, at 4:30 p.m. in John M. Greene Hall and is open to all members of the college community. Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to attend.
Connolly's address, "Smith at the Janus Moment," will explore such aspects of the college in the next millennium as the school's upcoming engineering programs. It will be the first address Connolly has made to the general student body since assuming his new role as provost last July.
Following Connolly's address the Smith Chorale, directed by Thomas Kim, will perform two South African ceremonial songs featuring soloist Moliehi Pefole.
The Gavel Award will then be presented to a staff person who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Smith student body. The name of the recipient will not be announced until the meeting.
The convocation will open with piano music for four hands by Muzio Clementi performed by Smith College organist and assistant professor Grant Moss and his Mount Holyoke College counterpart, Larry D. Schipull. Moss and Schipull will close the event with music by Bach.
And of course, the entire crowd will join in a traditional rendition of Gaudeamus Igitur.
Ada Artworks Get a Showing
The first Ada Comstock Scholars alumnae art exhibit will open with a reception on Friday, February 5, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Alumnae House gallery. The juried show, the brainchild of Olwen O'Herlihy Dowling AC '95, was organized by a group of ACS alumnae with support from the Ada Comstock Scholars Program office. It will showcase 17 works by 16 artists.
The judges for the exhibition were Susan Heideman, professor of art; Janice Carlson Oresman '55, Smith trustee and art adviser to corporate and private collectors; and Charles Parkhurst, art historian and past interim director of the Smith College Museum of Art. On exhibit will be works by Suza 2.sing.yan '88, Mary E. Arel '88, Barbara Collins '91, Gail Connor '84, Eliza Cooney '82, Mireille Damicone '86, Joan G. Kenna '82, Eleanor Magid '78' Mary Ann Phoenix '87, Sherry Poirrier '80, Kathleen Powell '95, Rosemary von Schlegell '93, Lucy Taylor '91, Mercedes Taylor '94, Linda Wallack '85, Katherine Whittaker '90 and Claudia Zimmerman '91.
"Many Ada Comstock Scholars are already accomplished artists when they enter Smith," says Eleanor Rothman, director of Ada Comstock initiatives, who worked with Dowling and the exhibition committee while still director of the ACS program. "Some pursue advanced study in the media in which they have worked, some move into new media and some major in departments other than art while continuing to do their art as they always have. The artists participating in this show represent all of those variations."
The exhibit will continue through March 26 in the alumnae house. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Kahn Childhood Project Draws Scholar/Activist
One of our era's most distinguished scholars and advocates of civil rights will soon appear on the Smith campus in the Kahn Liberal Arts Institute's first public event of the new year. Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought at the University of Pennsylvania, will present a talk titled "The Rights of Families to Child Care" on February 1 at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Hall auditorium. Berry's fullest treatment of this subject is presented in her book The Politics of Parenthhood: Child Care, Women's Rights and the Myth of the Good Mother, published in 1993. The Kahn Institute is presenting the talk as part of its inaugural, year-long "Exploring Ecologies of Childhood" project.
Berry, who teaches history and law at Penn, has for two decades been nationally prominent in the fight for civil rights. She served as assistant secretary for education in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare during the Carter administration, and in 1980 was appointed by President Carter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. After President Reagan fired her for criticizing his civil rights policies, she sued him and won reinstatement in federal district court. In 1993 President Clinton named her chairperson of the Civil Rights Commission. Berry is one of the founders of the Free South Africa Movement and was jailed several times for her part in protests at the South African embassy.
After earning bachelor's and master's degrees at Howard University, Berry went on to receive a doctorate in history from the University of Michigan and a juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She has received 27 honorary doctoral degrees and numerous awards for her public service and scholarly activities. In addition to The Politics of Parenthood Berry has written Black Resistance/White Law: A History of Constitutional Racism in America and (with John W. Blassingame) Long Memory: The Black Experience in America. Her latest book, The Pig Farmer's Daughter and Other Tales of American Justice, is scheduled for publication next month. Berry has also been a guest on many television shows, including Nightline, Crossfire, Face the Nation, Today, and Oprah.
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Earlier this month Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics, was named 1998 Village Voice Sports Journalist of the Year, thereby joining a distinguished group that includes New York Times sports columnist Robert Lipsyte (who received the award in 1991), Last Shot author Darcy Frey and Hoop Dreams producers Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Frederick Marxin (1994) and the team that turns out USA Today's sports section (1993). Zimbalist, who has written several editorials for SportsBusiness Journal, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, was chosen by Voice staff writers because he has reported responsibly on the economics of sports, an increasingly important topic, says contributing editor Allen St. John. "On a subject too often poisoned by ignorance, emotion, and just plain jealousy, Zimbalist has been a refreshingly intelligent, analytical, and, too often, lonely voice," wrote St. John in a January 6 Voice column announcing the award. "The thing that separates Zimbalist from the pack is his reporting. He follows the money better than anyone since Woodward and Bernstein."
Zimbalist last year wrote extensively on economic aspects of such topics as the NBA player lockout by the league's owners and the proposals by the state of Connecticut to move the New England Patriots football team to Hartford and by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to move Yankee Stadium to Manhattan. Zimbalist says the award is "nothing I thought I would get or ever hoped I would get, because I haven't considered myself a journalist." And, he concedes, while "it doesn't pay as much as the Nobel Prize in Economics" -- actually, it pays nothing -- "it's a nice honor." Zimbalist, author of Baseball and Billions and Sports, Jobs and Taxes, is presently writing Unpaid Professionals: Commercialism and Conflict in Big-Time College Sports, due to be published in June.
Louis Wilson, associate professor of Afro-American studies, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to support his presence as lecturer and researcher at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, during all of 1999. He is working on a project titled "A Comparative Approach to the Historiography of the United States and the Republic of South Africa."
President Ruth Simmons has also been in South Arica of late: in early January she participated in a Mellon Foundationfunded trip that focused on educational exchanges with South African universities.
The Smith College Glee Club, directed by Jonathan Hirsh, had special reason to be disappointed at the recent demise of the three-year-old American Basketball League, a professional women's league: the 60-member club was to perform The Star-Spangled Banner at a half-time show during a February 17 New England Blizzard game at the Hartford Civic Center. Both game and performance were to be televised, Hirsh was told -- but then the league went bankrupt and announced last December 22 that it would suspend operations. "It's too bad it didn't work out," says Hirsh, who last year submitted a demo tape to Blizzard officials. The officials, who received numerous requests for game performances, were enthusiastic about the tape. Hirsh may contact other professional sports teams about performing at games.
At noon, 6 p.m. and midnight on Sunday, January 10, the C-SPAN 2 television network aired a talk by Daniel Horowitz, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Professor of American Studies, on his latest book, Betty Friedan and the Making of "The Feminine Mystique." Horowitz's talk, presented last November 12 during a book-signing party in the Smith College Archives, was broadcast as part of the network's weekly Biography on Book program.
A special grant from the college and an award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council have enabled the Museum of Art to expand its Thursday hours to 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Museum of Art is offering a free, noncredit class, "Drop-in Drawing," in the museum from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on six consecutive Thursdays: January 28; February 4, 11, 18 and 25; and March 4. The course is for artists, non-artists and would-be artists of all levels and is open to the public. Feast your eyes, feed your soul and explore the artist in you. Works of art in the museum will be used as inspiration for drawing and other art-making. Come to any or all sessions. No registration required. Instructor: Liz Chalfin, artist and museum educator. (Ext. 2760.)
A regular meeting of the faculty will be held Wednesday, January 27, at 4:10 p.m. in the Alumnae House.
The Fine Arts Council (FAC) is offering a limited number of discounted student tickets to the following performances: Royal Winnipeg Ballet, UMass Concert Hall, February 4, 8 p.m. ($9); Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Calvin Theatre, February 11, 8 p.m. ($8); Shizumi, UMass Bowker Auditorium, March 6, 8 p.m. ($9); Mingus Big Band, UMass Concert Hall, March 27, 8 p.m. ($9); The King and I, UMass Concert Hall (bus provided), April 9, 8 p.m. ($7); Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, UMass Concert Hall, April 22, 8 p.m. ($9). The tickets, which have been purchased in blocks, are on sale at the SGA office, Clark Hall. Students wishing to purchase tickets for other UMass concerts may do so directly through the UMass box office (545-2551) and receive the same discount.
The Fine Arts Council is offering 10 tickets at $9 each for Smith students to attend the performance by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet at the UMass Concert Hall on Thursday, February 4, at 8 p.m. The company, known for its artistic excellence and beauty, will be backed by its own orchestra for this all-Tchaikovsky evening. Tickets are on sale at the SGA office, Clark Hall.
Public Interest Internships
The Internships in the Public Interest Program was initiated in 1993 by Smith alumnae to expose students to the not-for-profit sector. Students are placed in summer internships in Chicago, Washington, New York, Sarasota and Boston. Praxis funding is available for rising juniors and seniors. Graduating seniors may apply, but may not receive a stipend unless it is provided by the host organization. Applications are available at the CDO help desk and are due by February 1. Interviews will take place on campus in February.
Journal Seeks Submissions
The New England Intercollegiate Literary Journal accepts submissions from students at Amherst, Bowdoin, Colby, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Harvard, Middlebury, Mount Holyoke, Smith, Trinity, the University of Vermont, Vassar, Wesleyan, Williams and Yale. It is published each spring and available at college and university bookstores. Submissions for this year's issue -- short stories of 5,000 words or less and poems of no more than 100 lines -- will be accepted until February 15. Authors must be full-time students working toward an undergraduate degree. Submit materials, preferably on disk, to: Editors, NEIL Journal, Drawer 12, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753; or send work directly via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Plain text only, lines no longer than 80 characters.)
Morris House has an immediate opening for a head resident for spring semester. The job offers room and board credit and a chance to develop valuable skills and have fun. Applicants must be seniors with GPAs over 2.5; leadership experience is highly preferred. Application form are available and interview will begin immediately. (Amy Risener, ext. 2236.)
New York Recruiting Day
CDO's recruiting day in New York City on March 1 will include participating organizations such as advertising agencies, public relations firms, publishing companies, a law firm, a hospital and a public library. Résumés and cover letters are due in the CDO by noon on January 26.
Summer Study in England
David Paroissien of the UMass English department, director of the Oxford Summer Seminar, will meet with students Monday, February 1, at 4:15 p.m. in Seelye 106 to discuss the July 1-August 11 summer study program at Trinity College, Oxford. Through the program you can earn up to seven credits toward your degree, choose from courses in English, law, history and political science, and spend an unforgettable summer traveling, learning and making new friends in historic surroundings. All majors are welcome. To receive a booklet and application, write to email@example.com.
D.C. Recruiting Day
CDO is sponsoring a recruiting day in Washington, D.C., March 11-12, for which the following employers have so far signed up: Kaiser Associates; Arthur Andersen; Beauvoir Elementary School; Economic Consulting Services; ICF Kaiser International; Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering; Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge; the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy; Mathematica Policy Research Inc.; the Potomac School; Sidley & Austin; the U.S. Department of Justice; and the Brattle Group. Interviews will be held in Washington. Résumés and cover letters are due in the CDO by February 1.
The 1999 Smith Management Programs (SMP), a series of residential executive-education programs for women managers and professionals, are now accepting résumés and cover letters from students hoping to serve as program assistants between June 27 and August 27. Program assistants will have a wide range of responsibilities, including preparing mailings and handouts, setting up classrooms, assisting faculty, coordinating hotel and van services and doing front-desk work. Assistants receive a $3,375 stipend for the nine-week internships, and lunches during the four weeks the programs are in session. If you have a suitable background, a desire to work hard this summer, a valid driver's license and want to experience the rewards of helping to plan and deliver these programs, comes to the SMP office at Tilly Hall to pick up a job description. Application deadline: February 19.
Applications are available for 10 undergraduate research internships and the position of residential direction for the 1999 Smith Summer Science Program (SSSP). A residential program for high school women, SSSP is designed to enrich and support participants' achievements in the sciences. Interns will serve as research/teaching assistants to Smith science faculty and as residential counselors for the high school students. The residential director will work with the program director to train interns, arrange participant housing, and schedule various events for participants. The interns and residential director will live in a college house with the high school students. Qualified applicants for the position of residential director will have demonstrated experience in community living management and the supervision of students. The interns and residential director receive stipends plus room and board for the month of July. Dates of employment: June 21-July 31. Applications are available from Gail Scordilis (ext. 3879; firstname.lastname@example.org). Application deadline: Monday, February 22.
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AcaMedia staff: Ann Shanahan, co-editor; Cathy Brooks, layout; Mary Stanton, calendar/notices; Eric Sean Weld, co-editor
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