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Rally Day 2005 Honors Five Distinguished Alumnae

For their extraordinary professional achievements and outstanding service to their communities, five Smith College alumnae will receive the Smith College Medal, an award presented each February on Rally Day.

The event, which honors distinguished alumnae and gathers students in a celebratory, festive rally, will take place at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 23, in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall (see related story).

The Smith College Medal was established in 1962 to recognize and honor alumnae “who, in the judgment of the trustees, exemplify in their lives and work the true purpose of a liberal arts education.” This year, an exemplary group of accomplished professionals and public servants has been selected to receive the award. They are Candace McKee Ashmun, Judith Levenson Clapp, Susan Low Bloch, Anne E. Kazak, and L. Stoner Winslett.

At this year’s Rally Day convocation, the five medalists will participate in a panel discussion, responding to questions submitted by students and moderated by President Carol T. Christ.

Candace McKee Ashmun ’46, environmentalist
Candace Ashmun has had a significant impact on the protection of New Jersey’s environment and natural resources. She was a water-quality researcher for the Raritan Watershed Association before serving as the executive director of the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission. Since 1982, she has been a private consultant to nonprofit organizations on both environmental issues and office automation. An early user of personal computers, she has also designed a number of useful programs. She is the longest serving member of the Pinelands Commission, having been appointed to that body by New Jersey Governor Byrne when it was created in 1979 and reappointed by four successive New Jersey governors.

Judith Levenson Clapp ’51, software engineer
Judith Clapp, Senior Principal Software Systems Engineer at The MITRE Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts, is considered a pioneer in establishing software engineering as a discipline. After receiving her masters of science degree from Radcliffe University in 1952, she became the only woman on a small team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which designed a proof-of-concept prototype for an air defense system using Whirlwind, one of the earliest digital computers. When the Air Force funded the development of a comprehensive air defense system, she became co-director of the software for the combat centers that needed air defense operations. She developed automated aids for the programmers, virtually inventing the discipline of software engineering. In 1959, the project moved to the MITRE Corporation where Judith Clapp remains employed.

Susan Low Bloch ’66, Constitutional law professor
Susan Bloch, professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., is one of the most prominent women legal scholars in the nation, with a career spanning both public interest issues and classical legal education. She co-authored the first book on the Supreme Court that examined the Court from an interdisciplinary point of view, and she is often sought out by the press to comment on Supreme Court issues. She wrote the amicus brief in the Paula Jones case and took the lead in organizing 400 legal and constitutional scholars and historians on the law of impeachment. This group offered the opinion that President Clinton’s offenses did not rise to the level of impeachment. She has also commented on and been quoted widely in the media on the University of Michigan Affirmative Action Admissions cases and since the 2003 decision by the Supreme Court, has published on the future of affirmative action. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, she completed judicial clerkships with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit Judge Spottswood Robinson.

Anne E. Kazak ’77, pediatric psychologist
A professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, Anne Kazak’s primary appointment is in the Department of Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and she has a secondary appointment with the Department of Psychiatry. Voted 2003 Family Psychologist of the Year by the American Psychological Association, she is currently the editor of the Journal of Family Psychology and a former editor of the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. For her groundbreaking work on the inclusion of family in the psychological world of the child, she received the Logan Wright Award for Distinguished Research in 2002.


L. Stoner Winslett ’80, ballet company artistic director
After her graduation from Smith in 1980, Stoner Winslett became the artistic director and choreographer of the Richmond Ballet, which she built from a small student company with a budget of $160,000 to one of the nation’s leading regional professional dance companies with a $3 million budget in 2000. When knee injuries in college made it impossible for her to concentrate on dancing, she focused her energies on the other aspects of the dance world. Today she is highly regarded for her multi-faceted leadership—artistic director, choreographer, fundraiser, financial manager, overseer of design and construction of a new facility, and creator of significant education and outreach. She is one of very few female artistic directors and is the only one who also produces her own choreography. Her innovative Minds in Motion program reaches several hundred fourth graders, largely inner-city minorities, in 10 schools each year, teaching them discipline, dedication and self-awareness through dance. The School of the Richmond Ballet enrolls 500 students, age 4 to adults, and their Lecture Demonstration series sends professional dancers into schools throughout the region.



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