News for the Smith College Community // February 4, 1999
In what she called "a completely thrilling moment," Maureen Mahoney, dean of the college and chair of the new Campus Center Programming Committee, last Friday called the committee to order at its first meeting. She said she was gratified that the effort to build the center had "rocketed forward" in the last two years after long preliminary deliberation.
Mahoney emphasized that because the campus center will be important to the entire community, during its planning the committee will want to hear from as many people as possible "exploit all the creativity on campus."
To this end an open meeting for students, faculty and staff will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. in McConnell auditorium on Wednesday, February 10, to explore the functions, spaces and activities the new building might house and to enable community members to meet members of the programming committee and representatives of Weiss/Manfredi, the architectural firm chosen for the project. Mentioning her particular concern that the center meet student needs, Mahoney announced a students-only open meeting from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Seelye 201, also on February 10.
The campus center became a fast-track project in the spring of 1996, when the Campus Center Task Force convened by President Ruth Simmons formally endorsed the concept and construction of such a center. Subsequently, the firm of Sasaki Associates was engaged to do a feasibility study. A site adjacent to John M. Greene Hall was approved by the trustees last year.
Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi -- who attended last Friday's meeting, along with Tae Young Yoon, who will be the principal architect for the project -- agreed that the site chosen for the building is "excellent." A campus center must be in a central location, Weiss said, a "hot spot" conducive to activities that foster both formal and casual interaction, a place where the surroundings encourage "hanging out" and the atmosphere is comfortable and enticing. Manfredi and Weiss noted that the building must work with its surroundings and be convenient to heavily traveled foot-traffic routes.
Stressing that they are anxious to understand and meet the expectations and requirements of the Smith community, Weiss said "we want to design a campus center unique to Smith, not one from central casting."
Mahoney believes the current committee, which will meet weekly for the next several months, will complete its work by the end of April so the project can move along to two other groups that will sign off on planning and design -- the Campus Planning Committee and the board of trustees' Building and Grounds Committee.
Meanwhile, members of the Smith community may express their ideas at the February 10 meeting and to individual members of the programming committee. In addition, a campus-center Web site will soon be established to which ideas and comments may be sent by e-mail.
In addition to Mahoney, the members of the Campus Center Programming
Committee are Randy Bartlett, economics; Catherine Christian '01; Michelle
Demory '00; Sue Freeman, education and child study; Kendra Grimes '01; Mentha
Hynes, institutional diversity and multicultural affairs; Amy Jo Riesner,
area coordinator, student affairs; Hrayr Tamzarian, student affairs; Narelle
Bouthillier AC; Ruth Constantine, chief financial officer; Arthur Dunn,
physical plant; Sarah Galbraith '99; Gary Hartwell, physical plant; Tom
Riddell, economics; Ann Shanahan, college relations; and Kathy Zieja, residence
and dining services.
Who Are You?
Name: Miranda Hooker.
Hometown: Wales, Massachusetts.
Other majors you've had: History.
Why did you choose your major?
I wanted to go to law school.
What do you plan to do after Smith? Spend two to four years working on campaigns, trying to decide what to do next.
Favorite thing about Smith: Celebration of Sisterhood.
Free-time activities: Free time?
What you'd be doing now if not working: Sitting in my friend Rebecca's room.
Favorite places to hang out: Java Net, bed.
Favorite foods: Lobster, Jello (not Smith's).
One thing you'd change if you could: The fact that I have to be a real adult in six months.
Three words to describe yourself: Hate those questions.
What would you prefer others see in you? Intelligence, humor.
Three books you'd bring if exiled to the island in Paradise Pond: Plato's Republic (just kidding). I don't think I could choose only three, but the list would include something on the Kennedys and an Agatha Christie.
Pet peeve: People who are always late.
What makes you cry? Sad movies.
Haven-Wesley 'Angel' Honored
One March morning back in 1996, Suzy McDonald '99 was distraught. Hoping to drive to Toronto to visit a dear friend just diagnosed with terminal cancer, she couldn't get her car to turn over. "I was panicked and crying and very upset," she says.
To the rescue came Haven-Wesley cook Katherine Anne Bates.
"Katherine was very calm, saying, 'No problem,'" McDonald recalls. Bates pulled her car beside McDonald's and jump-started it. Then she packed a lunch for McDonald to take on the trip and gave her telephone numbers to call in case of emergency.
"This is just one among many stories of Kathy's kindness," says McDonald. "Kathy does this kind of thing on a regular basis."
For those kindnesses and for many acts of friendship that have gone beyond her job description, Bates was nominated by McDonald and her housemate Stacey Woolston '99 for the 1999 Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award. The annual awards honor staff members for outstanding service to students.
"I was stunned, to say the least," says Bates, who received the award January 25 during the All-College Meeting. "I was flabbergasted. After working here for 21 years, you feel you're just doing your job. To have someone acknowledge it is wonderful."
Bates, a mother of four grown children, says she considers it part of her job to look after the students in Haven-Wesley as though they were her own. "If I were sending my kids off to college, I'd want someone there to look out for them," she says.
That attitude has endeared Bates to McDonald's mother, for one. "My mother loves her," says McDonald. "She says that Kathy is my guardian angel.'"
Bates comes by that role honestly. "I think we staff members all see ourselves as being there for the students," she says. "They're a great bunch. You can't help but love 'em."
McDonald says that she is one of several seniors in the house who have become close to Bates, leaning on her when they need a friend. "I'll definitely miss her after I graduate," she says.
Bates, who has hung the award plaque on the wall in the Haven-Wesley kitchen, says it will be hard to say good-bye to her current charges. "Suzy and I have been through a lot together in the past four years, and this group has been particularly great," she says of the Haven-Wesley residents. "This is the best house on campus."
Concert to Air Music by Profs
Contemporary works by composers from Five College music departments will be featured in this year's Five College New Music Concert, to be presented February 12 at 8 p.m. in Buckley Recital Hall, Amherst College.
Among the six composers on the program will be two from Smith: Ronald Perera, Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music, and Donald F. Wheelock, Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of Music.
The concert will conclude with a performance of an excerpt from Perera's critically acclaimed 1989 opera The Yellow Wallpaper. The excerpt, a duet in which two friends converse in song about their lives as women, will be sung by Smith professors Jane Bryden and Karen Smith Emerson, both of whom are sopranos, accompanied by pianist Clifton J. Noble, Jr. The Yellow Wallpaper is based on a novella of the same title by Charlotte Perkins Gilman has been performed in New York and Boston. It "is ingeniously organized, from the point of view of color, variety, thematic interrelationship, and development," according to Boston Globe critic Richard Dyer. The New York Daily News has said that the opera's music "captures the odd drama of the story, and makes some very beautiful sounds along the way."
Bryden will also perform Wheelock's 1997 Lieder über Lieder, with piano accompaniment by music professor Monica Jakuc. The piece is a musical setting of poems by Dehmel, Heine and Rilke.
The program will also include Grammy Awardwinning UMass professor Yusef Lateef's Sonata for Alto Sax and Piano, performed by pianist Nadine Shank and saxophonist Wayne Tice; UMass professor emeritus Charles Bestor's For Ann, in Autumn, sung by tenor Jon Humphrey with piano accompaniment by Estela Olevsky; Mount Holyoke professor David Sanford's 22, performed by cellist David Gibson and pianist Larry Schipull; and UMass professor Emanuel Rubin's Nursery Rhymes, performed by the university's Vocal Jazz and African American Music Ensemble under the direction of Horace Boyer.
The annual Five College New Music Concerts rotate among the campuses and feature recent works by faculty members. They are free and open to the public.
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Poet to Join in Lecture Series
On February 10, Elizabeth Alexander, Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith, will speak on the modern status of African-American writing and publishing. Her talk, to be presented at 5 p.m. in Seelye 207, will be part of the lecture series "The Business of Writing: Contemporary African-American Literary Cultures."
Alexander, director of the col-lege's Poetry Center, has written three collections of poetry and is currently working on a prose collection on black masculinity to be published by Oxford University Press.
The lecture series, which began last fall, features speakers who have "had a crucial role in the evolution of African-American literary culture in the late twentieth century," according to Anika M. Penn '99, who assisted in organizing the series. "The direction of African-American literature has been the source of heated public debate in recent years," she says.
Emily Bernard, associate professor of Afro-American studies, says she initiated the "Business of Writing" series to help define the parameters of African-American literature today. "We wanted to examine whether or not it's any different from other literatures -- whether it should carry any political connotations. The hurdles African-American writers have to face are even more intense than those of writers in other types of literature."
Bernard says she invited Alexander to speak in the series because she is a poet of national prominence who as both practitioner and critic can address the state of African-American literature.
The series will continue on March 25 with a talk by Paul Beatty, author of The White-Boy Shuffle and two works of poetry, and on April 29 with a lecture by Lisa Moore, founder of Redbone Press and editor of Does Your Mama Know? Alexander's lecture is free and open to the public.
Grants Fund FC Projects
The Five College Foreign Language Resource Center on the UMass campus has received a $244,492 grant from the National Security Agency to support the development of Web-based archive of instructional videos on 15 languages deemed "critical" by the U.S. Department of Defense: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Swahili, Thai and Turkish.
To be produced over the next two years, the archive will be a pioneering effort using new technologies to make language-learning accessible to people in all walks of life. Few teaching tools now on the Web employ both audio and video to create a cultural context for language learning, says Elizabeth Mazzocco, the center's director. "Video is ideal for providing learners with this critical kind of merged linguistic and cultural knowledge, precisely because it includes a visual context that personalizes a foreign culture and language in a way usually not available until the learner arrives in the target country," Mazzocco says. The archive will include options for all-English interfaces and simulated total-immersion experiences.
The center has already produced a laser-disc language series featuring area international students and some videotapes they have created on visits home. The series shows native speakers riding subways, marketing and engaging in other real-life experiences. Similar techniques will be used to produce the new archive.
The Five College Women's Studies Research Center at Mount Holyoke College is also using computer networking in its Electronic Communities Project, a virtual community linking regional human-service agencies serving women and girls with Five College faculty, staff and students. The project extends two earlier programs -- the Community Associates Program, which provides residencies for women carrying out research projects in women's studies, and the Women's Research Roundtable, which brought Five College faculty members together with women working with women and girls at community agencies.
The Electronic Communities Project "is an important next step in expanding community access to campus resources," says Michelle Murrain, the center's acting director. Agencies will receive technical help in getting connected and will benefit from new interaction with on-line resources and shared expertise. Faculty will profit from closer collaboration with agencies whose work relates to their research interests.
The project is supported by grants from the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, Citicorp, the Eugene A. Dexter and Lockridge-Watkins charitable funds and the MESCA Fund.
Re: Y Zero K
Here's a translation from a Latin scroll dated 2 B.C. that "had been floating around the Internet," says James Hardy who chairs the Smith Y2K Committee.
Are you still working on the Y Zero K problem? This change from B.C. to A.D. is giving us a lot of headaches, and we haven't much time left. I don't know how people will cope with working the wrong way around. Having been working happily downwards forever, now we have to start thinking upwards. You'd think someone would've thought of it earlier and not left it to us to sort it all out at this last minute.
I spoke to Caesar the other evening. He was livid that Julius hadn't done something about it when he was sorting out the calendar. He said he could see why Brutus turned nasty. We called in Consultus, but he simply said that continuing downwards using minus B.C. won't work, and as usual charged a fortune for doing nothing useful. Can it be that we'll have to throw out all our hardware and start again?
Macrohardus will make yet another fortune out of this, I suppose. The money lenders are paranoid, of course! They've been told that all interest rates will invert and that they'll have to pay their clients to take out loans.
It's an ill wind .
As for myself, I just can't see the sand in an hourglass flowing upwards. We've heard that three wise men in the East have been working on the problem, but unfortunately they won't arrive until it's all over.
I've heard that there are plans to stable all horses at midnight at the turn of the year as there are fears that they'll stop and try to run backwards, causing immense damage to chariots and possible loss of life.
Some say the world will cease to exist at the moment of transition -- but we still keep working on this blasted problem.
I'll "faxus" a parchment to you if anything further develops. If you have any ideas please let me know.
Make a Note
The Smith Infoline carries up-to-date information about delays and closings
of college offices caused by inclement weather. Call the Infoline from off-campus,
585-4636. On-campus, extension 4636.
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Smith College figured prominently in the pages of a recent issue of MetLife's corporate newsletter. A photograph showed Bob Benmosche, MetLife chairman, president and CEO, presenting the National Urban League's 1998 Achievement Award to President Ruth Simmons. Simmons, who was recognized for service and personal commitment to education, is a member of the MetLife board of directors. A story in the same issue, "Preparing for Tomorrow's Challenges," featured five MetLife women who last August attended the Smith Management Program consortium, a strategic educational partnership among nine Fortune 500 companies, also including Lucent Technologies, Eastman Kodak, AT&T and Chase Manhattan. The consortium was designed to help member organizations develop professional women's management and leadership abilities. The MetLife participants expressed enthusiasm for their Smith experience, which emphasized strategic thinking and planning and included sessions on global issues, negotiation strategies, finance, marketing, diversity in the workplace and corporate strategies.
On February 15 Kim Tripp, botanic garden director and lecturer in biological sciences, will assume her new post as vice president for horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. One of the nation's premier botanical gardens, it includes many important specialty gardens and collections as well as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, the largest Victorian greenhouse in the U.S. "This is an exceptional opportunity in my field," Tripp says, one in which she will develop and manage the gardens, grounds and conservatory collections of the garden's historic 250-acre campus. Tripp made further recent news when she delivered a talk, "Plant Hunting in China," during a reception in New York City for Charlotte M. Frieze '74, the new garden editor of House & Garden.
Hibiki Kawamata '99 of Berkeley, California, held an Energy Research Undergraduate Laboratory Fellowship at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center during the summer of 1998. She spent 10 weeks at the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratory gaining hands-on experience as one of 550 students holding fellowships in one of 11 different laboratories around the U.S.
PostMay 8 Housing
The Alumnae Association is responsible for housing all students after the conclusion of room-and-board contracts on May 8 at 10 a.m. Because so many alumnae return for Reunion/ Commencement Weekend, very little housing is then available for students who are not graduating seniors. The Alumnae Association will determine in advance which non-senior students who request it will be granted housing during this period. All department heads and student-organization leaders who had non-senior students approved to stay last year have been sent a new request form; others who would like one should call extension 2040. Completed forms are due Monday, March 1. Please note that these forms are requests, not reservations, and that space will be granted on the basis of availability. Graduating seniors are automatically assured housing and need not request it.
Tonight, Thursday, February 4 at 7 p.m. in Seelye 201, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson will give a lecture entitled "Between God and Culture: How Religion Influences Black Culture." Dyson is a well known author, scholar, ordained Baptist minister and visiting professor at Columbia University Cosponsored by the Black Students Alliance and Minority Affairs.
The Fine Arts Council has purchased a block of 20 tickets for students who wish to attend the performance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo at the newly renovated Calvin Theatre on Thursday, February 11, at 8 p.m. The council will subsidize each ticket by $10, so that each student will pay only $8 of the total $18 group sale price -- a bargain to see world music at its best. Tickets are on sale in the SGA Office, Clark Hall.
The student affairs office is sponsoring a skiing and snowboarding trip to Stratton Mountain in southern Vermont on Sunday, February 21, for students, other Smith community members and their friends -- whatever their abilities on the slopes. Bus transportation will be provided. The group rate is based on a minimum of 20 participants (non-student rates are shown in parentheses). Group-rate package options include: lift only, $30 ($34); lift and ski or snowboard lesson, $50 ($54); lift and ski rental, $57 ($61); lift and snowboard rental, $61 ($65); lift, ski rental and lesson, $77 ($81); lift, snowboard rental and lesson, $81 ($85); learn-to-ski package, $55; learn-to-board package, $65. Children's rates available upon request. Sign up (first-come, first-served) and pay in full in the student affairs office, College Hall 24, before Thursday, February 18.
The first of this semester's two mall crawls will take place Saturday, February 13, at the Ingleside Mall in Holyoke. The bus will leave JMG at 1 p.m. and head back to Smith at 4:30 p.m. Sign up (first-come, first served) 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. in the student affairs office, College Hall 24. Sign-up deadline: noon, Friday, February 12.
Seniors are reminded that alumnae scholarship applications for full-time, first-year graduate study in the U.S. or abroad are available in the Office of the Class Deans, College Hall 23. Application deadline: March 15.
SGA spring elections have been postponed until April 14-15 to accommodate any changes to the SGA constitution voted in during the week of February 23. Some cabinet positions are expected to change, so sign-ups will not be held until the new constitution has been ratified.
To prepare for its upcoming renovation, the Smith College Museum of Art is hosting two open dinner forums to enable students to take part in planning the project. The renovation offers a chance to rethink the museum's space, mission, programs and goals, and to specifically consider how the museum can become more welcoming and accessible, incorporate new technology, make the permanent collection more useful to the Smith community, use programs and exhibitions to promote institutional diversity at the college, attract more visitors and better accommodate Smith classes. The first dinner will be on Monday, February 8, at 6 p.m. in Wright common room; no sign-ups are necessary for it. The second will be on Wednesday, February 24, in Duckett House Special Dining Room; due to the room's limited seating capacity, students must register in the mailroom or by calling the museum at extension 2760. Students should also be on the lookout for flyers and on-line news reports telling how to join an on-line discussion group the museum is forming. (Nancy Rich, ext. 2273.)
Résumés and cover letters are due at CDO on February 5 from students wishing to have on-campus interviews during February with the following organizations: Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Independent Educational Services, The May Institute, Panoptic Technology Services, PC World Communications and Sanford C. Bernstein & Co (résumé only).
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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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