News for the Smith College Community // October 22, 1998
Back when Joice Gare and Joseph Dibrindisi began working for Smith's chemistry department, the college president was Benjamin Fletcher Wright, the annual fee was $2,200 a year and the parents of some of today's undergraduates hadn't even been born.
That was 1958. Since then the college has seen four different presidents and two successive generations of students, and the annual fee has increased to $29,000. Meanwhile the chemistry department has moved from Stoddard Hall to the Burton Hall section of the Clark Science Center.
Both Gare and Dibrindisi were honored for 40 years of service to Smith on October 7 during the college's annual Employee Recognition Program in Sweeney Auditorium. Gare retired last May from her job as academic secretary in the science department. Dibrindisi, at 61, remains on the job as the center's manager of inventory and supplies.
Both staffers have seen their share of changes over the years. For example, back in the '50s students were well dressed, says Dibrindisi. "Then we hit the '60s," he adds, "and you know what happened -- fashions went down. It goes up and down. I think we're in a good place now, on an upswing."
Gare notes that "back in those days, they took attendance" during every class. She also recalls doing most her work on a typewriter and using stencil sheets and a mimeograph machine. Then the college progressed to duplicating machines, which printed multiple copies with purplish ink and are still being used in some departments. Her work became much easier in the '70s, she says, when her department began getting computers, the earliest of which used 8-inch disks.
Gare, who worked at Smith in 195455 before taking three years off to be at home with her children, says she stayed so long at Smith because "I liked what I was doing. It was an important job. It was a pleasant place to work." She admits to not having any specific plans for retirement except to "take it easy for awhile" and says it didn't really sink in that she was off the job until this past September, when for the first time in 40 years she didn't return to her academic-year position after the summer break.
Dibrindisi, for his part, has no plans to retire. "Right now I feel good, I like my job, I like the people I work with," he says. "Every day is different. The college has treated me well. I just take it as it comes."
The Employee Recognition Program also honored Katherine Day, a cook with residence and dining services, for 35 years of employment, and several other employees for their multiple years of service at Smith.
From Whence Come Racial Identities?
These are some of the questions Smith philosophy professor Elizabeth V. Spelman will take on in "'Race' and the Labor of Identity," a lecture to be presented at 4:30 p.m. Monday, October 26, in Dickinson House Living Room at Mount Holyoke College. It is part of "Works in Progress Talks," a series coordinated by the Five College Women's Studies Research Center.
The center, founded in 1991 as a site for scholarly and creative activity by and about women, supports research on all aspects of women's studies and provides facilities and a forum for work by scholars, artists and teachers at all levels of the educational system as well as by community organizers and political activists.
The program has an unusual number of Smith connections this year. As Ruth Solie, Sophia Smith Professor of Music and a member of the center's steering committee, observes, "Research associates come to us from all over the country so it's unusual to have even one with a Smith affiliation." This year three of 16 associates have Smith connections: Carole De Santi '81 from Penguin Putnam Inc., New York book publishers, whose research project is "The Novel: The Logic of Passion"; L'Tanya Robinson '88, who works with the Westover Job Corps in Chicopee and whose project title is "Planting Seeds: Values Clarification and Disadvantaged Young Women"; and Catherine Parson Smith '54 from the University of Nevada, working on "Feminism and Modernism in American Music, 1880-1950: Sources, Contexts, Alternatives."
Spelman's lecture, which is open free to the public, will be based on
an essay she wrote for the anthology Racism and Philosophy, to be published
next year by Cornell University Press.
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Mean Cuisine for Halloween
The annual Smith College Club Family Halloween Dinner Party -- with Creepy Cash Bar, Spider Cider and Perilous Popcorn, followed by the Boo-ffet -- will take place Saturday, October 24, from 5 to 8 p.m. The menu will include Worms and Eyeballs, Petrified Pizzas, Ch-ch-chicken Fingers with oozing red sauce and Gargoyle-Gonzola Bread, along with a variety of devilishly delightful desserts. Posie the Clown, complete with balloon art, will be on hand with a special Halloween show.
Reservations should be made for this extravaganza by calling extension 2341 Monday through Friday between 8 and 11 a.m. and 1 and 2:30 p.m. or after hours by voice-mail or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). The charge is $10.95 for adults and $5.95 for children 3 to 12; children under 3 are free.
Here's the recipe for Gargoyle-Gonzola Bread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blend butter, garlic, parsley and black pepper in food processor. Gently fold or blend in Gorgonzola cheese. Spread cheese mixture on sliced French bread (or bread of your choice) and bake until golden brown.
Children to be Focus of 1998 Cromwell Day
"Celebrating Children Across Cultures" is the theme of this year's Otelia Cromwell Day, the annual series of events honoring Smith College's first African-American graduate, a member of the class of 1900. In recent years the celebration has stretched beyond the limits of one day and it will do so again this year.
Although Cromwell Day is officially Tuesday, November 3, events will begin Sunday, November 1, with a morning worship service in Helen Hills Hills Chapel at 10:45 a.m. The Rev. Charles Rice will be the guest minister and music will be provided by guest conductor Kirk Hatcher and a 100-voice community choir, which members of the Smith community are invited to join. The choir will rehearse twice in the chapel, on Friday, October 30, from 7 to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, October 31, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch will be provided at the Saturday rehearsal.
On Monday, November 2, fourth- and fifth-graders from Northampton elementary schools will attend "Storytelling Around the Globe" sessions in Scott and Ainsworth gyms and Sage Hall between 10 and 11:30 a.m. The programs feature storytellers from various traditions and are open to members of the Smith community.
Monday at 7 p.m., Great Leaps, a performance group from Los Angeles made up of African American, Asian and Latino actors, will present "A Slice of Frijoles, Rice and Greens."
Among the events scheduled for November 3 are five afternoon workshops: "Children and Poverty," "Diversity and the Educational System," "Nontraditional Families," "The Media and Children" and "Gender Socialization."
Watch this space next week for further details.
Memorial Service for Mendenhall October 31
A memorial service for Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, sixth president of Smith College, will be held Saturday, October 31, at 2 p.m. in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel.
The Smith College Archives is arranging a display of Mendenhall photographs from his era at Smith -- in a crew shell or in his office, legendary for its clutter -- and a timeline of his life that will be on display in the chapel foyer at the time of the memorial service. The service will be followed by a reception at the Alumnae House.
Mendenhall died on July 18 at the age of 88. He was president of Smith from 1959 to 1975 during a period of great turmoil in the country generated in part by antiwar, civil rights and women's movements. With wisdom, tact and humor, he was able to guide the college through this period so that it emerged with a more precise awareness of student needs and an active, practical sense of social responsibility. An advocate of diversity and free speech, Mendenhall has been described as "a truly engaged intellectual."
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Staff Ponders Workplace Flexibility
This is the second in a series of articles about flexibility in the Smith workplace.
What does flexibility in the workplace mean? According to Smith staff members attending a recent pair of focus-group meetings, it includes plenty of give-and-take and cooperation among co-workers and shows a willingness to not always go by the book.
On October 6, Patty Hayes of college relations and Mary Martineau of advancement led fellow employees in discussions about four questions:
These questions will be asked and answered repeatedly as the ad hoc committee on flexibility solicits the ideas it needs to create a program that will work for Smith.
At the first Senior Administrative Management Seminar (SAMS) of this academic year, a panel including Bill Brandt, Don Baumer, Carmen Santana-Melgoza, Anita Lightburn and Herb Nickles also tackled the focus-group questions. In addition, SAMS members heard a presentation from Maureen Mahoney and Mary Philpott about a "flextime" pilot program held this summer in the Office of the Class Deans. Both deans described the pilot as very successful, thanks to the initiative of the office staff and the planning by Philpott and the staff that enabled all of the office's work to be accomplished within the flexible schedule. The project resulted in improved morale, "flex" days off for staff, increased hours of operation and more uninterrupted time for doing paperwork.
Some successful pilot programs are already operating on campus, but the committee wants further input from Smith staff. Focus groups will be run in November, and there is still time to sign up for one. "Retired" members of the staff self-study team will participate in a focus group led by Sid Dalby on November 12. Charlene Correa of human resources is recruiting staff to participate in a focus group to be held Thursday, November 19, at 11 a.m. in the second-floor conference room at 30 Belmont. Contact her at extension 2297 or email@example.com to reserve a spot in the group.
Finishing touches are being made on a new FlexFocus@Smith web site and the policy subcommittee is busy reviewing sections of the employee handbook. As the committee gathers information, staff members should make their voices heard by contacting Charlene Correa, Patty Hayes, Mary Martineau or Sid Dalby with any ideas, suggestions or comments regarding flexibility in the Smith workplace.
In Case You're Wondering...
Where is Earle Recital Hall? The former Sage Recital Hall, on the lower level of Sage Hall, is now Earle Recital Hall. Its name was changed by the Department of Music last summer because the hall was often confused with Sweeney Concert Hall on the main floor of Sage Hall. Earle Recital Hall is named after the late Eleanor Earle '26 and her husband, Osborne Earle. The couple met at Sage Hall during a concert in 1927. Eleanor Earle was a substantial donor to Smith College and Sage Hall and showed great interest in music.
Who raises the temperature in the United Way thermometer in front of Neilson Library? Frank Ellis, Mary Augusta Jordan Professor Emeritus of English, is in charge of adding the red adhesive tape that represents the mercury in the United Way thermometer. A member of the campus United Way committee, Ellis buys the tape ("very expensive," he says, at $3 per roll) downtown at Whalens and carefully applies it to the thermometer as donations inch their way toward the college's ambitious $114,000 goal. Incidentally, by October 15 (the end of its second week), the Smith College United Way Campaign had raised $95,823.06 from 347 donors. The campus seems to be well on its way toward the goal of increasing the number of both donors and dollars this year as the college moves towards its goal. (Last year Smith raised $109,288 from 525 donors.)
Why has the college been doing all that work around the front of Franklin King House? According to Bill Brandt, director of facilities and operations, the project has involved enlarging the driveway area at the front door of Franklin King so that it can accommodate trucks and relocating and replacing the old, deteriorating stairway from the driveway to the Paradise Road sidewalk below to make it more convenient for students.
Does having water in Paradise Pond mean recreational boating is available again? Unfortunately, no. Though the pond is once again full, the recreational boating season, which usually ends the first week of November, will not resume, says boathouse keeper Mickey Finn. He says the only boating on the pond will be by a canoe class (which would have been held on the Connecticut River if there were no water in the pond) and some dockside rowing instruction by crew. For Finn, who spends much of his time maintaining the college's 40 crafts, life is better with a full Paradise Pond. "It makes my day much more pleasant," he says. "It was amazing how quickly the wildlife came back."
Dragon Author Will Help Open Library Show
Award-winning writer Jane Yolen '60, author of Tea with an Old Dragon, a children's book about Sophia Smith, will be on hand at Jones Library in Amherst on Saturday, October 31, to greet visitors to an exhibition of the book's illustrations by artist Monica Vachula '73.
Tea with an Old Dragon tells the story of a day in the life of Sophia Smith as she invites to tea her Hatfield neighbor Louisa, the 6-year-old daughter of the Rev. John M. Greene.
Yolen and Vachula take the reader back to late 19th-century Hatfield, where Louisa discovers to her delight that the fabled "old dragon," as Miss Sophy was known to some townfolk, is really just a kind but fiery 71-year-old who encourages Louisa to play piano and acquire wisdom and the ability to think.
Although Tea with an Old Dragon is a work of fiction, much of its story was taken from Hatfield folklore about Sophia Smith and from her will and a journal she kept. With the fortune left to her by her family, Sophia Smith founded Smith College and Smith Academy in Hatfield.
Yolen and Vachula were commissioned by Smith College to create Tea with an Old Dragon in honor of the college's Sophia Smith bicentennial in 1996. It was published last year. The book is for sale at Smith's Grécourt Bookshop and at the Jeffery Amherst Bookshop in Amherst, which is sponsoring the reception.
Simmons Honors Her Greatest Inspiration
Ruth Simmons is the author of a chapter in True to Ourselves: A Celebration of Women Making a Difference, published recently by Jossey-Bass. The book is described on its jacket as presenting "a remarkable mix of women who have confronted tough choices, challenges, and tests of their own character with determination and conviction. From polar explorer Ann Bancroft and Smith College President Ruth J. Simmons to second lady Tipper Gore, activist Sarah Brady, and politicians Carol Moseley-Braun, Polly B. Baca, and Patsy T. Mink, the contributors describe lives enriched by family, career, and their own commitment to the larger public good." Simmons tells of "the greatest source of inspiration and learning" in her life, her mother, who died weeks before Simmons' 16th birthday. "My mother's achievement was to instill in me the means to live honorably without her," Simmons writes. "Like those of any good teacher, her methods ensured that when I no longer had access to her voice, I would be guided by a treasury of principles and wise examples for the rest of my life."
Music for Today
Ronald Perera, composer and Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor of Music, and William Wittig, flutist and professor of music, are featured on a new CD, The New American Scene, on which Wittig plays Perera's Music for Flute and Orchestra with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony under conductor Edwin London. Perera wrote the piece for Wittig in 1990. As the CD booklet says: "The music ... presents a shifting array of sharply etched melodic motives in rapidly changing meters. This edgy, jazzy music encloses a central core of calmer music ... which enlarges upon the same melodic ideas." Other composers represented on the CD are London, John Eaton and Howie Smith.
Softball Team Plays Academic Hardball
The 1997-98 Smith softball team has received the National Fastpitch Coaches
Association's Team Academic Award for having one of the 10 highest team
grade-point averages in NCAA Division III (in Smith's case, 3.340). Team
members were Alexis Cordiano '98; Shannon Bryant, Stephanie Butler, Elizabeth
Wolfe and Bronwyn Williams '99; Christine Patterson, Meredith Bertrand,
Virginia Zepeda, Meghan Tierney and Bonnie Benson '00; and Katie Winger,
Kristen Skoglund and Andrea Smith '01. Receiving special recognition were
Benson, Bryant, Cordiano and Williams, all of whom had GPAs over 3.5.
Picker Semester-In-Washington Program
The Department of Government offers a semester-in-Washington program that provides students with an opportunity to participate in political processes and to study the operation of public institutions. The program, named in honor of Jean Sovatkin Picker '42, takes place from June through December. It is intended for first-semester juniors and seniors with appropriate backgrounds in social sciences. Students study processes by which public policy is made and implemented at various levels of government. Those interested in U.S. foreign policy, international relations, and politics in other countries are also encouraged to participate; there are ample internship opportunities with organizations devoted to international politics. Fourteen hours of academic credit (the equivalent of three-and-a-half full courses) are awarded upon successful completion of the program, which provides summer stipends and arranges housing for interns. The director of the program is Gregory White, Assistant Professor of Government. Students interested in applying for the 1999 Picker Washington Internship Program should submit applications to Lea Ahlen in Wright Hall 15 no later than Friday, October 30.
State Department Internships
The U. S. Department of State offers summer internships, mostly unpaid, in this country and overseas. Application booklets, available at the CDO, must be completed and returned by November 1.
The American Society of Magazine Editors is offering summer internships to students who have completed their junior year. Interns are placed primarily in New York City and are paid $325 per week. Preference is given to those who have worked on a campus magazine, newspaper or yearbook or have had a previous summer job or internship in able at the CDO, are to be completed and returned to the CDO by December 10.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation offers fellowships to help exceptionally promising students pay for their first year of graduate school while preparing for careers in teaching and scholarship in humanistic studies. The application request deadline is December 7, 1998. Applicants must take the Graduate Records Examination by December 1. For more information, see department chairs or inquire at the CDO, the Ada Comstock office or the senior class dean's office.
The deadline for submitting résumés and cover letters for the Boston Recruiting Day program is October 27. The program offers both a career fair and interview appointments.
A list of the employers who will be present at the November 20 program is available on the Ultimate Access section of the CDO home page (www.smith.edu/cdo).
Five College Hillel is sponsoring a retreat November 6-8 at Sargent Camp in New Hampshire. The topic for the weekend will be "Alternative Views of God." The cost is $35 for the weekend. Transportation will be provided. (Hillel, ext. 2754.)
The Office of Student Affairs is sponsoring a bus trip to the Ingleside Mall on Friday, October 30, for student shoppers in search of holiday gifts or Halloween costumes. The free bus will depart from John M. Greene Hall at 6 p.m. and leave the mall for the return trip at 9:30 p.m. Sign up (first-come, first-served) in College Hall 24 by noon on October 30. Office hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The following résumé/cover letter deadlines are coming up: October 26 for Microsoft, Morgan Stanley Fixed Income and Morgan Stanley Investment Banking, and October 30 for Advest Corporate Finance, M&T Bank, Cambridge Economics Inc., Ross Crossland Weston and Salomon Smith Barney. Drop off materials on the second floor of the CDO by 4 p.m. on the designated day.
Work in New York
An information meeting about the NYC Consortium on Careers will be held October 27 at 4:30 p.m. in the CDO. The consortium, to be held January 10-13 in New York, is cosponsored by the CDO and the New York Smith Club. It offers informational site visits to organizations in a variety of career fields; panels with alumnae about their work; opportunities for networking and candid conversations with alums; and three nights' lodging in the homes of alumnae. This is your chance to explore the world of work in New York City. Past participants have raved about the program.
Faculty & Staff
The Office of Human Resources' annual benefits fair will take place Thursday, November 5, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Alumnae House. The kickoff for the college's open-enrollment season, the fair will offer opportunities to review and change benefits for next year. More than 20 vendors will be on hand with information about health and retirement plans, financial planning organizations and child-care and education benefits. A raffle, refreshments and free "chair massages" will be added attractions.
The second of three Office of Admission Fall Previews will take place October 26. The first was a great success, with most visiting seniors saying they plan to apply to Smith. The second will include a special session on Smith's visual and performing arts along with visits to classes, sessions on the career development and financial aid offices and opportunities to meet with students and faculty and visit a campus house. Enrollment is limited to 50 students and their families. The formal program ends at noon with a box lunch but guests may stay to attend classes, take a tour or watch an athletic practice. At the final preview on November 11 the special session will be a panel discussion focusing on the undecided student. Registration is required. Thanks to all on campus for your support of this program.
The annual Chamber Music for Thanksgiving concert by Philipp Naegele, professor of music, and colleagues will be held in the Smith College Museum of Art on Sunday, November 22, at 2 p.m. To be assured of seating, please pick up a free ticket in advance at the museum or send a request along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Please welcome families and friends to Family Weekend, October 23-25. Complete schedules of events will be put in each student's mailbox and will be available in the registration area in Seelye Hall first-floor foyer, the mailroom and the Office of Student Affairs (College Hall 24) as well as on the Smith home page under "What's New." They will also be distributed to department chairs, program directors and department offices. Students with or without visiting families or guests are welcome at the weekend's events. Family registration will be held October 23, noon-5 p.m., and Saturday, October 24, 8:30 a.m.-noon. Parking information, name tags, event tickets, Sunday brunch information, sign-ups, updated weekend information and refreshments will be available. All families are asked to register upon arrival.
The annual Family Weekend Silent Auction will take place Saturday, October 24, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m., in Davis ballroom. All winning bids must be paid for and picked up at 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to browse and bid on items. Proceeds will benefit the Smith Students' Aid Society (SSAS), now celebrating over 100 years of providing Smith students with assistance beyond the scope of college financial aid. The auction raised $6,950 last year for the SSAS.
Members of the college community are invited to donate to and attend the auction. Use your imagination when donating -- some of our best items have been creatively and inexpensively put together. Consider your talents and interests: donate lessons, a signed copy of a book you wrote, handcrafted items, snack baskets, gift certificates, tickets, Halloween items, a home-cooked meal, antiques, your condo or vacation home, a time-share exchange or even your home or a room in your home for a future Commencement or Family Weekend. Donations will be accepted through October 22 in College Hall 24 and at Davis ballroom on Friday, October 23, 3-7 p.m., and Saturday, October 24, 8-9 a.m. (Merry Farnum, ext. 4904.)
The Hillel-sponsored poetry reading by Yehuda Amichai scheduled for Monday, October 26, at Amherst College has been canceled due to illness.
Extra SSC Hours
The reading room of the Sophia Smith Collection and College Archives will offer extra reference-service hours from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27, and Tuesday, November 3.
Tickets for the Family Weekend Pops! concert may be purchased in advance in the mailroom foyer Thursday, October 22, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; from members of the Chamber Singers at family registration in Seelye Hall first-floor foyer on Friday, October 23, noon-5 p.m.; and at the door before the performance. Advance tickets are $3 for students and children and $5 for adults; tickets at the door are $4 and $6, respectively. The concert is a benefit for the Smith College Chamber Singers' tour of England and France in May 1999.
Sign-ups are now going on for the S.O.S.-sponsored Red Cross biannual blood drive being held in Davis Center November 4-5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (S.O.S., ext. 2756; Sloane, ext. 6074.)
Faculty/staff tennis begins November 1, with tennis play and clinics being offered throughout the winter. Courts are currently reserved Mondays for beginners and intermediate players and Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. for intermediate and advanced players. (Chris Davis, ext. 2716.)
Health Services has flu vaccine for students, employees and emeriti faculty. It costs $l0 per dose for employees and emeriti and $5 for students and must be paid for at the time of the visit. The vaccine is recommended for healthy persons 65 years or older, persons with chronic medical conditions (such as diabetes, asthma, chronic lung disease, renal dysfunction, hemoglobinopathies or immunosuppression), persons receiving long-term aspirin therapy and persons living in close community settings such as dormitory housing. Anyone wishing to receive the vaccine should call extension 2823 Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. for an appointment. The vaccine is given by appointment only and is available only while supplies last.
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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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