News for the Smith College Community // March 18, 1999
Throughout the 1999-2000 academic year the Louise B. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute will present a richly varied series of events inspired by the world, work and legacy of Galileo Galilei. The events will include symposia, guest lectures, stargazing sessions, a concert of period music and an exhibition of Galileo-related books and other artifacts, as well as performances of a new music-theater work on Galileo and his contemporaries Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe. All evidence suggests that these events will be as memorable as they are ambitious, and more may be offered, including some in Florence, Italy, in conjunction with Smith's Junior Year Abroad Program there.
The series, the Kahn Institute's second project, is collectively titled Star Messenger: Galileo at the Millennium. According to Marjorie Senechal, Louise Wolff Kahn Professor of Mathematics and the institute's director, the project is being designed to advance all of the institute's key objectives: "to forge innovative links among departments, programs and divisions; encourage intensive collaborative research among junior faculty, senior faculty, students, visitors and alumnae; and enhance the intellectual life of the college and the larger community through symposia, performances, exhibitions and workshops."
Star Messenger will far transcend the limits (and limited appeal) of the purely scientific, says one of its two chief organizers.
"Our goal is twofold," says Richard White, professor of astronomy. "We want to examine Galileo and his time and to explore our own time using Galileo's experience as a lens. There are many dimensions to both examinations, only some of them scientific. In any case," he adds, "you don't have to be a scientist to appreciate the difference between a universe in which God created Earth to place humankind in the center, and one in which our world is merely one planet circling one star in a potentially infinite universe with, at best, a distant connection to a Creator."
Framing the year's events will be two symposia. The first, "Galileo in Historical Perspective," will be presented September 24 and 25 and feature three visiting fellows. Mario Biagioli, professor of history of science at Harvard University, will speak on Galileo and his times. George Saliba, professor of Arabic and Islamic science at Columbia University, will trace the Arabic sources of Renaissance astronomy. Albert Van Helden, professor of history at Rice University, will assess Galileo's scientific work.
The second gathering, scheduled for late April, will be a colloquium in which all of the project's fellows -- faculty, students and visitors -- will report on their findings. It will also include speculation on future scientific discoveries and their potential effects on society.
In addition, the Kahn Institute will cosponsor Galileo-related events from departments and programs across the campus. It thereby hopes to foster a broader range of perspectives on the general subject than could be expected from a few speakers in a symposium.
The most innovative of the Star Messenger offerings may be provided by the project's other chief organizer, theatre professor Paul Zimet. He is writing the text and Ellen Maddow, a visiting fellow and Zimet's longtime collaborator, is composing the music for the yet-to-be-titled music-theater piece. "It won't be an opera in the traditional sense," he explains, "but a theater work in which singing and/or instrumental music is an essential element."
Zimet and Maddow plan to write a complete draft and much of the music during the coming summer. In the fall they'll draw on the work and insights of the project fellows in refining, revising and perhaps expanding the text, and oversee the casting of student and professional actors and the early phases of choreography and design. Rehearsals will start early in the spring semester. Zimet and Maddow expect the piece to evolve right up until its public performances late in the semester, and hope to see student fellows both on stage and handling many of the important backstage functions.
The faculty fellows for Star Messenger are Bill Oram, English; Michael Dettelbach, history; Alfonso Procaccini, Italian; Nat Fortune and Doreen Weinberger, physics; and Ellen Kaplan, theatre. The project's "other involved faculty" include Senechal and the director of the Florence JYA program, Anna Botta of the Italian department.
Hopkins A & B to Be Razed
Hopkins A and B will be torn down at the end of this academic year because of structural deficiencies. The house known as "Little Hop" will remain. According to Bill Brandt, director of campus operations and facilities, the beds lost in the two larger houses have been replaced elsewhere on campus during the period since the Smith College Board of Trustess approved the demolition project several years ago. Nineteen beds have been added on the third floor of Capen House and 31 in 18 other houses -- actually exceeding by 2 the 48 beds in Hopkins A and B.
Little Hop was built in 1861 by Jonathan Huntington Lyman and purchased in 1898 by Miss Elizabeth Maltby, who ran it as an inn for Smith students at a time when many students lived in what were known as "off-campus houses." Eventually, she added the two buildings now called Hopkins A and B, which allowed her to more than double the number of her student boarders. Maltby's inn was popular with students because "her ready sympathy and understanding endeared her to all who were in perplexity or distress," said the Hampshire Gazette in a tribute at the time of her death. In 1920 the college purchased the three houses and named them for Elizabeth Jarvis Hopkins, who as head of house or house mother had presided over Smith's first residence, Dewey House, from 1875 to 1890.
Oceanographer to Present Here
Renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and record-breaking deep-sea diver Sylvia A. Earle will give a lecture, video and slide presentation about her many years of ocean exploration on Tuesday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright auditorium.
Earle, who has logged more than 6,000 hours undersea and holds the record for deepest solo dive -- 1,000 meters-is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER), a consulting and marine engineering firm. Sometimes referred to as "Her Deepness" for obvious reasons, Earle is the author of more than 100 publications pertaining to marine science and technology, including her 1995 book Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans.
Educated at Florida State and Duke universities, Earle has served as research associate at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard and was a Radcliffe Institute scholar. From 1980 to 1984 she served on President Reagan's Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere and was the National Geographic Society's 1998 Explorer in Residence. Recently listed as one of Time magazine's "Heroes for the Planet," Earle has been profiled in Life, The New Yorker and The New York Times Magazine and has appeared on television's 2020, the Charlie Rose Show and CBS Sunday Morning.
Earle's lecture is part of the Smith Life and Learning Program, which
offers dinner symposia, off-campus activities and cultural events for first-year
students. Other events in this year's program include a panel discussion,
"Peace Corps: The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love," with former
Peace Corps volunteers who are now on Smith's faculty, on March 24; a workshop,
"Writing Winter: Essays, Poetry and Stories," led by Christian
McEwan on March 26; and "Financial Planning," a workshop led by
Victoria Loew of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, on April 12.
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Slides to Relate Sexism, Meat
Using 380 slides and ongoing commentary, feminist writer Carol J. Adams will attempt to answer the question "How does someone become a piece of meat?" during her presentation "The Sexual Politics of Meat." It will take place Wednesday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Hall auditorium.
Adams will explore through the slides ways in which women, particularly women of color, are often portrayed as animals or with animal-like characteristics. Conversely, she will analyze how animals, especially animals raised for human consumption -- those fated to become meat -- are depicted with female characteristics, sometimes as sex objects. The show will demonstrate how objectification, fragmentation and consumption combine to shape society's view of women and animals.
"The fact that we eat animals is part of the way a patriarchy constructs our world," Adams told Pussycat magazine in defining her phrase "politics of meat." "The whole process of objectification, which we know is what happens with women and why we have the sex trade and pornography, also goes on with animals."
Adams, author of Neither Man nor Beast: Feminism and the Defense of Animals, has for more than 20 years worked to eradicate violence against women and children and to promote vegetarianism and animal rights. Her presentation at Smith will be derived from her book The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory and will be sponsored by Smith Animal Rights.
Black Author to Speak Here
Carolivia Herron, the dynamic, controversial, entertaining author of the children's book Nappy Hair, will speak Thursday, March 25, at 4:30 p.m. in the green room of the Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts.
Herron's book became the center of a controversy last fall when a Brooklyn elementary school teacher, Ruth Sherman, shared it with her class. Sherman, who is white, taught Nappy Hair to her predominantly African-American and Hispanic third-graders. Members of the community felt she was being racially insensitive in using a book that used the term "nappy," when in fact Nappy Hair is autobiographical and intended as a joyful celebration of African-American hair and an affirmation for black women.
Herron's other works include Thereafter Johnny. She also writes extensively in the area of Jewish Africana. She has taught at Mount Holyoke College, Hebrew College, Brandeis University and Harvard University and its divinity school and graduate school of education. She has been a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Mexico, Marien N'Guabi University (Brazzaville, Kongo) and at the universities of Kinshasa and Lubumbashi (Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire).
Herron will also give a presentation at 3 p.m. in the Afro-American studies 326b seminar "The Sociocultural Development of the Afro-American Woman." The Black Students Alliance is sponsoring Herron's visit as part of the annual Black Arts Festival.
Y to K, Literally
Here is another entry in the Y2k humor sweepstakes along with a more serious, Smith-related Y2k item.
Dear Senior Management:
Our staff has completed the 18 months of work on time and on budget. We have gone through everk line of code in everk program in everk skstem. We have analkzed all databases, all data files, including backup and historic archives, and modified all data to reflect the change. We are proud to report that we have now completed the 'Y-to-K' mission.
We have worked continuallk throughout the past kear, starting last Jaunark. Owing to the urgenck of the problem, we have even worked Saturdaks and Sundaks. I trust that this is satisfactork because, to be honest, none of this 'Y-to-K' problem has made ank sense to mk staff or to me. But, as we understand this to be a global problem, our team has been glad to help.
Now, while we are on the topic of global changes, there is another concern I think worth mentioning. What do kou think we ought to do next kear when the two-digit kear rolls over from 99 to 00? We await kour direction.
Meanwhile in the real world, the Smith Y2k Web site is up and running. It features an explanation of the Y2k problem, how it might affect our lives, links to related Web sites and updates on planning and upgrading under way in such important areas as Physical Plant and ITS. Its most important feature is a compliance tool kit, which offers step-by-step directions that members of the Smith community can follow to ensure that their date-sensitive belongings-computers, software, etc.-will roll over to the year 2000 (rather than the year 1900) when midnight strikes on December 31, 1999.
Kahn Speaker to Evaluate the Psychosocial
A. Wade Boykin, professor of psychology at Howard University and director of the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk, will present a talk titled "Psychosocial Experiences of Humans: How Do We Know Culture Matters?" on March 25 at 4:30 p.m. in Seelye 201. The Louise B. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute is sponsoring the event as part of its year-long Exploring Ecologies of Childhood project.
Boykin has done extensive work in research methodology, black child development, academic achievement in the American social context, and the interface of culture, motivation and cognition. The author of many journal articles and book chapters relevant to his interests, he is now completing The Psychology of African Americans' Experiences: An Integrity-Based Perspective, a book to be published by Allyn and Bacon.
Among other honors, Boykin has been named a Spencer Fellow of the National Academy of Education and received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Educational Research Association Committee on Minorities. He is listed in Who's Who Among Black Americans. Boykin received his Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, after completing undergraduate work in psychology at Hampton University.
Music, Gender and the Body
Five College Musicologist-in-Residence Susan McClary sparked some controversy in 1991 with her book Feminine Endings: Music, Gender and Sexuality, which explores cultural representations of sexuality and the body in music from early 17th-century opera to Madonna. She has since become known for her distinctive views on both the European musical traditions and contemporary popular genres.
McClary will give a lecture, "Soprano Masculinities," on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Wright Hall auditorium. Her talk will take place as part of Women's Studies 110b, "Issues in Queer Studies," taught by Marilyn Schuster.
McClary, a member of the music department at the University of California, Los Angeles, has garnered attention and acclaim for her interpretations of music as a social practice rather than something ineffable and transcendent. Her recent writings and lectures address ways in which subjectivities such as cultural notions of selfhood or how emotions "feel" have been construed in music from the Renaissance to the present. Among her many published works is Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception, which she co-edited.
McClary has also taught at the University of Minnesota and McGill University and lectured at the University of California, Berkeley, Cornell University and the Manuel de Falla Festival in Grenada.
As Five College musicologist, McClary will also speak on Monday, March 22, at 4:30 p.m. in Mount Holyoke College's Dickinson House and will visit a joint meeting of the "Contemplating Opera" and "Music and Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective" classes on Wednesday, March 24, in Sage Hall.
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Crystal Griffith, a Five College assistant professor of film studies who teaches courses at Smith and UMass, has received a $350,000 equipment grant from Panavision/Kodak that provided her students with a top-of-the-line Panaflex motion picture camera, lenses and accessories to produce a 10-minute film, Dancers of the Night Country. The film, which stars Smith senior Jane Valentine, UMass graduate Thang Vo and his mother, is an award-winning entry from last year's Five College WORD! competition written by Mt. Holyoke student Penny Trieu. It tells the story of Trin, a Vietnamese-American student whose lack of understanding of her cultural heritage strains her visit with her mother. The film is being produced by students in Griffith's UMass course, Film II, under the supervision of her and her teaching assistant, Marta Carlson, a UMass graduate student who has worked in the television and film industry. Students shot most the footage in mid-February using the new camera and equipment. Griffith, whose credits include Eyes on the Prize II, Juice and A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde, received the grant during a ceremony in early February.
Pam Davis '98 and Belinda Darcey '00, both Ada Comstock Scholars, are making names for themselves as Web designers. Davis and Darcey recently completed the botanic garden's Web site (www.smith.edu/gardens). Ironically, neither chose to major in computer science or art: Davis was an anthropology major and Darcey is majoring in women's studies. They credit Smith's computer-design classes and facilities as well as its liberal arts focus with "giving us the tools to express ourselves effectively, question the content of what we create and understand the cultural and political implications of the new medium." Davis and Darcey's Northampton-based firm has also designed sites for the Sophia Smith Collection (www.smith.edu/libraries/ssc), Smith's women's studies program (www.smith.edu/wst) and Meridians, a new Smith-based feminist interdisciplinary journal by and about women of color (www.smith.edu.meridians).
President Ruth J. Simmons was a featured speaker at a Millennium Evening at the White House on March 15. The event was broadcast live on C-SPAN, the Internet, and at town meeting events around the world. In addition to Simmons, historians Nancy Cott and Alice Kessler-Harris spoke, addressing the theme "Women as Citizens: Vital Voices Through the Century." The format of the 90-minute program, which coincided with National Women's History Month, was an interactive discussion that included President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, the presenters, the invited audience, and questions from the Internet. The speakers' remarks -- on women as volunteers and reformers, women's struggle for rights and women in public life -- were interspersed with video clips. This was the sixth Millennium Evening. Other featured guests have included physicist Stephen Hawking; poets laureate Rita Dove, Robert Hass and Robert Pinsky; musicians Wynton Marsalis and Marian McPartland; and professors Bernard Bailyn, Natalie Davis and Martin Marty.
Simmons has also recently been named to the Women's Progress Commemoration Commission by President Clinton. The commission was established in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first national congregation on the conditions and rights of women in the United States. The commission will be responsible for advising the secretary of interior on ensuring the historic preservation of sites prominent in American women's history.
Katie Mayo '01 placed fourth in the Cape Cod Times Marathon, a five-mile race held in Hyannis on February 28.
Ramón Eduardo Ruiz, a member of the Smith College faculty from 1958 to 1970, last fall was one of 20 recipients of the National Humanities Medal during a White House ceremony. Ruiz, now retired from teaching at the University of California at San Diego, was described in the citation accompanying the medal as "one of America's premier and pioneering scholars of Latin American history." He was recognized for a lifetime of studying, teaching and writing about the unfolding saga of the people of Mexico. Ruiz's massive history of Mexico, Triumphs and Tragedy, is used as a textbook at many colleges and universities. Others honored at the ceremony included Diana L. Eck '67, professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University Divinity School; actor Gregory Peck; dancer Gwen Verdon; and historians Stephen Ambrose and Arthur Schlesinger.
Tennis-team standout Kanta Murali '99, who finished last season among the top eight tennis players in the nation, is now garnering awards in a new sport: squash. During the Howe Cup squash tournament February 19-21 at Yale, in which Smith placed 16th out of 24 teams, Murali was presented the Anne Wetzel Trophy given annually to a student who has taken up squash during college and shown dramatic improvement. A native of India, Murali began playing squash during her sophomore year and has racked up a 10-10 record this season. She says that while there are few similarities between tennis and squash -- different racket, ball, court, rules -- "at least you pick up basic racket skills from playing tennis." Wetzel was a long-time squash coach at the University of Pennsylvania.
Every Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Kelly Brown '99 teaches children how to dance the jig, the reel, the slip jig and other Irish step dances, including the reel that was filmed for the Irish party scene in Titanic. Brown, a dance major, teaches "Beginning-level Irish Step Dancing" at the People's Institute on Gothic Street. She is an advanced student at Westfield's McDermott Academy of Irish Dance, from which she expects to receive a teaching certificate this summer. Brown taught "Irish Step Dancing: An Introduction" at Smith for the Interterm '99 noncredit course program. For information regarding her class, call extension 7301.
John Davis, Priscilla Van der Poel Associate Professor of Art, has received
a Fellowship in American Civilization, which supports research in three
New York City historical archives, from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of
American History. The newly established fellowships provide up to $2,500
a month for up to three months for scholars interested in doing research
at the Gilder Lehrman Collection at the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Columbia
University Rare Book and Manuscript Collection or the Library of the New-York
Historical Society. Davis' topic is "Urban Landscape in New York City
at the Turn of the Century."
Gift Report Available
Copies of the Smith College Report of Gifts 1997-98 are available from the Office of Advancement. To get one, call Stephanie Schoen (ext. 2680; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Summer Employment at Smith
Smith College will have job openings this summer in building services, residence and dining services, the botanic garden and the grounds and rental-properties departments. All positions are full-time, Monday through Friday, with various shifts available.
To be eligible, applicants must be Smith students or dependents of Smith faculty or staff members. All applicants must be at least 16 years old by June 14, be returning to school full time in the fall and be available to work through August 27 (though some work is available after that date). Get applications through March 26 at 30 Belmont, the Neilson circulation desk, the college club and the front desk at physical plant. Completed applications must be submitted at 30 Belmont by 4:30 p.m. on March 26.
Hiring priority will be given to returning workers from last summer, then to college-age dependents and Smith students, and finally to high schoolage dependents. A waiting list will be started for applicants who are not placed initially. (Mark Carmien, ext. 2288; email@example.com.)
In response to requests, the Chapel presently has weekly "Silence for the Soul" hours every Monday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. All Smith community members are invited to visit for as long as they like to enjoy quietude with meditative music. In addition, space has been set aside upstairs next to the Hindu prayer space for anyone seeking quiet for prayer, meditation or reflection; it is open to all, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. A book has been placed in the foyer in which people can write about spiritual concerns, and the chaplains are available to all during times of joy and times of struggle.
A Squash Round Robin for Smith women -- faculty, staff and students in beginning through advanced categories -- will be held Wednesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. at Ainsworth Gymnasium from March 24 through the last week in April. Racquets, balls and eyeguards will be supplied. Questions (after March 22): Tim Bacon, ext. 2715.
Women's Health Fair
Health Services is presenting a women's health fair from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31, in Scott Gymnasium. Students, staff and faculty are invited to learn more about enhancing their health throughout their lives. Choose from a variety of health screenings, exhibits and information booths; have a 10-minute mini-massage; sample a "playshop" with games, learn to prepare a quick, healthful meal during a demonstration by Lynne Paterson of Valley Natural Foods and Cooking School (12:10 to 12:50 p.m.); and register for door prizes donated by local businesses.
The Department of Exercise and Sport Studies is hosting AFAA certification workshops in personal training and aerobics instruction April 9, 10 and 11 in Ainsworth Gymnasium. Fees are discounted 25 percent for Smith students, faculty and staff. With the discount, the three-day personal trainer workshop fee is $299.95; the fee for the one-day (April 10) aerobics workshop is $186. Registration forms are available in the ESS office in Ainsworth.
Faculty & Staff
Kyoto Faculty Fellowships
Information is now available for the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) Faculty Fellowship competition for the academic year 200001. Smith is one of 15 member colleges of the AKP consortium, a study-in-Japan program headquartered at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Faculty fellows teach, in either fall or spring semester, one course in English to undergraduate students from the participating U.S. colleges. Course content may focus exclusively on Japan or may involve Japan in a comparative context appropriate to the fellow's preferences and academic training. Fellows are also expected to pursue in Kyoto a program of research or study designed to enhance their professional development. Applicants may be Japan specialists or nonspecialists who wish to increase the quality and extent of the Japan component in courses they teach at their home institution. Fellows are provided with a $17,000 semester stipend and a housing subsidy to cover rent and part of utility costs. Application deadline: June 1. (Thomas Rohlich, ext. 3441; firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Completed performance appraisals are due in the Office of Human Resources by Wednesday, March 31. If special circumstances require an extension, please contact Addie Cain, extension 2287, or Gaynelle Weiss, extension 2286. Appraisal forms are also available on disk from Erika Subocz, extension 2267.
Education Course Registration
Preregistration for EDC 345/346 will take place on Tuesday, March 30, at 5 p.m. in Gill Hall library. Students planning to practice-teach at the elementary or secondary level and those who wish to learn more about teacher certification should attend.
Mentoring/ Networking Seminar
Nationally known mentoring professional Dr. Janet Gray and two young alumnae from Tuck Business School will offer seniors a one-time presentation on mentoring and networking on Tuesday, March 30, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Seelye 311. Whether you're focused or clueless, finding and using mentors is your next step.
Beginning May 9 summer housing in Capen House will be available for Smith students working on campus. The cost is $100 per week and includes room and meals Monday through Friday. Contracts are available for a minimum of one week. Applications will be available in the Office of Student Affairs, College Hall 24, as of March 26. Application deadline: April 29.
The Career Development Office will collect cover letters and résumés on March 24 for the following internships: American Express, Boston; Berkshire Talking Chronicle, Dalton, Massachusetts; Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, California; Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Washington, D.C.; Edith Wharton Restoration, Lenox, Massachusetts; Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
If you are a rising junior or rising senior, now is a great time to apply for Praxis stipends for summer internships. Plenty of funding remains available. Watch the CDO Web page for updates on funding availability.
From March 22 to April 2, including Sunday, March 28, CDO staff will hold scheduled drop-in hours from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to review Praxis funding applications. You'll be able to get a CDO approval on the spot or learn what changes you'll need to make in order to have your application approved. The day before or on the day you plan to drop-in, sign up for a 15-minute slot. Praxis funding applications also require the approval of your major adviser. Another information meeting will be held Tuesday, March 23, in Wright common room at 7 p.m. for students who wish to learn about the benefits of the Praxis funding program and how to apply. (Lucy Greenburg, ext. 2575 or email@example.com; Liz Lee, ext. 2581 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Summer Head Resident/Residence Coordinator
Applications for the position of summer head resident/residence coordinator at Capen House will be available as of March 26 in the Office of Student Affairs, College Hall 24. Compensation includes room and board and a small weekly stipend. Preference will be given to applicants with HR/RC experience. Application deadline: April 16. (Randy Shannon, housing coordinator, ext. 4940.)
The Fine Arts Council is offering 10 tickets at $9 each for Smith students wishing to attend the Mingus Big Band concert at the UMass Concert Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday, March 27. The 14-piece ensemble celebrates the music of the late, great composer and bassist Charles Mingus and tours extensively in Europe and the U.S. under the direction of Sue Mingus. Tickets are on sale at the SGA Office, Clark Hall, and are subsidized by the Smith College Fine Arts Council.
Reminder to all students asked to participate in the Cycles survey: Please complete your survey. It's one of your best chances to make your opinions heard. Instructions were included on your survey form, but if you have questions or need another form, please call the Office of Institutional Research, extension 3021.
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