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People News, April 2023

Research & Inquiry

A student on a scooter riding by a flowering white tree on campus

Published April 14, 2023

Emily Kish ’24 is the recipient of a prestigious summer research fellowship from the American Chemical Division of Organic Chemistry. Kish will be working on synthesizing multifunctional protein-polymer conjugates for drug delivery applications in Associate Professor Maren Buck’s laboratory. 

Marge Poma ’23 and Sam Tower ’23 have been selected for the summer internship program at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, U.K. They will work with scientists from around the world during the internships, which are supported by an endowment established in honor of Muriel Kohn Pokross ’34.

Zora Danticat ’25 and Carolyn McDonald ’24 won awards at the New England Auditions held recently by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Danticat was a finalist in the College Commercial Music category, and McDonald won second place in the Lower College Musical Theatre category and will go on to compete at the national level.

This year’s Faculty Teaching Award recipients, announced on Rally Day, were Patricia DiBartolo, Caroline L. Wall ’27 Professor of Psychology, and Kimberly Ward-Duong, assistant professor of astronomy. E.J. Seibert ’08, associate director of Disability Services, and Kathleen Guimond, housekeeper for Comstock House, received the Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award for their support of students.

Associate professors Patricia Cahn and Candice Price and
Professor Julianna Tymoczko are the recipients of an American Mathematical Society Award for Exemplary Program or Achievement in Mathematics in recognition of their work with Smith’s Center for Women in Mathematics post-baccalaureate program.

Carrie Baker, Sylvia Dlugasch Bauman Chair of American Studies and Professor of the Study of Women and Gender, participated in a recent Gender Jawn podcast episode, “Minerva Parker Nichols: The Search for a Forgotten Architect” about the first U.S. woman to practice architecture independently.

Nikki Beck, production manager for the Smith Theatre Department, has been appointed as vice president of CitySpace in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Beck has served on the board of the city arts organization since 2017.

Marin Buck, associate professor of chemistry, is the recipient of a $504,239 three-year grant from the National Science Foundation for “RUI: Combinatorial Synthesis of Protein-Polymer Conjugates by Post-Polymerization Modification of Side-Chain Reactive Polymers.”

Allen Curran, William R Kenan Jr. Professor Emeritus of Geology, published “Interspecies differences in food sources for the tropical callichirid shrimp genus Neocallichirus on San Salvador Island, Bahamas” in April in Marine Ecology Progress Series. 

Lesley-Ann Giddings ’05, assistant professor of chemistry, is the recipient of a prestigious $615,416 National Science Foundation CAREER grant award for “Characterization and Evolution of N-hydroxylase Biocatalysts: Solutions to Catalysis and Remediating Metal Pollution.”

Christopher Golé, professor of mathematics and statistics, has been awarded a $156,000 grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to support the 2023-2026 Beckman Scholars Program for mentored research experiences for undergraduate students in the sciences.

Yael Granot, assistant professor of psychology, has been named a 2023 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in recognition of her innovative research.

Alicia Grubb, assistant professor of computer science, has been awarded a $498,878 National Science Foundation grant for “CAREER: Requirements at Development Time.”

Sam Intrator, Elizabeth A. Woodson ’22 Professor of Education and Child Study, is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation for “Engaging a Community of Learning Through Children’s Picture Books.”

Benita Jackson, professor of psychology, co-authored “Racism as a Source of Pain” with Kristine Molina ’06. The article was published in February in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Laura Katz, Elsie Damon Simonds Professor of Biological Sciences, is the recipient of a $477,890 National Science Foundation grant for “RUI: PurSUIT: Biodiversity discovery of shell-building amoebae (Arcellinida: Amoebozoa) in low pH bogs and fens.”

Jina B. Kim, assistant professor of English language and literature and of the study of women and gender, spoke in March on “Queer of Color/Trans of Color Conversations” at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

James Lowenthal, Mary Elizabeth Moses Professor of Astronomy, is the co-author of “Aggregate effects of proliferating low Earth-orbit objects and implications for astronomical data lost in the noise” in the March 2023 issue of Nature Astronomy.

Sara Newland, assistant professor of government, was a panelist for “U.S. Cities and States in Taiwan’s Quest for International Space,” presented in January by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Sara Pruss, Esther Cloud Dunn Professor of Geosciences, is the recipient of a $234,860 grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for “A multiple proxy approach to constrain Paleozoic marine oxygenation during early metazoan extinction and radiation events.”

Thomas Roberts, assistant professor of Russian, East European and Eurasian studies, published "Seeing Soldiers Work: Ukranian Cinema and the Future of Labor" in LeftEast Journal.

Alexandra Strom, assistant professor of chemistry, and co-authors So Hyun Park ’24J, Christine Wu ’24 and Fubin Song ’22, recently published “Iron-Catalyzed Oxidative a-Amination of Ketones with Primary and Secondary Sulfonamides” in the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Badriyyah AlSabah ’17 recently published “Voting Will Not Save You: Why the American Left Needs to Re-learn How to Protest to Protect the Future of Abortion Rights” in the spring issue of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Gender Policy Journal. AlSabah majored in psychology at Smith and earned a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies and gender at Harvard University.

Walker Powell ’12 is the new Community Development Director for Orange, MA. Powell, who majored in biological sciences at Smith, is also a graduate of the Conway School of Landscape Design.

A new play by Lenelle Moise M.F.A. ’04, K-I-S-S-I-N-G , was performed in March at The Huntington Theater in Boston. Reviewers called the show, a co-production of Front Porch Arts Collective, “a highlight of the theater season.”

Joanna Schilling ’98 was named district Woman of the Year by Sharon Quirk-Silva, a state representative for California’s 67th District. Schilling, who is president of Cypress College, was an Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith and earned her bachelor’s degree in English language and literature. She represents Orange County community colleges on California’s Community Colleges CEO Board.

Cheryl Coward ’91 is the recipient of a 2023 Mel Greenberg Media Award from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for her work founding Coward, who majored in philosophy at Smith, has had a long career in journalism, and has also written a novel, short stories and plays.

Geri Mariano ’89, a consultant and disabilities activist, was a speaker in March at the third annual Westchester Women’s Summit in White Plains, N.Y., on the theme of “Give Women a Voice.” Mariano, who majored in American studies at Smith, earned a master’s degree in therapeutic studies at Lehman College.

Jacqueline Lapsley ’87 is the new president of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Lapsley, who majored in comparative literature at Smith, received a master’s degree in theology and religion from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in religion from Emory University.

Kathleen Marshall ’85 is directing “Sinatra the Musical” at Birmingham Repertory in the U.K. in a production that opens this fall. Marshall, who received the Smith Medal in 2008, is an award-winning choreographer and director.

Anne Bolanis Standish ’79 is the new Klorfine Foundation Director of Institutional Advancement for the Woodmere Art Museum in Philadelphia. Standish earned her Smith degree in art.

Photo by Shana Sureck