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Student Memories of Summer 2005

By Sarah Gauché ’08

It’s fall now and classes are well under way at Smith. But during the summer, before 2,800 students moved to campus en masse, they were out in the world, working, playing and living in 2,800 different ways. Here’s how a few students spent their summer months.

Eleanor Klimas ’06
Major: Government and Economics
Hometown: Miami, Florida

Eleanor Klimas’ summer experience had her sifting, quite literally, through the legal history of the United States as she worked with former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, the first woman to serve in that post. Reno is preparing to write a book of her colorful experiences. With Reno, Klimas sorted through primary sources of court cases and proceedings, creating a computerized database of information for Reno to access and reference in the writing of her upcoming book. Klimas also had the chance to offer her input as a young woman who might read and be inspired by a story such as Reno’s. Klimas came away from the internship with an appreciation that she had worked alongside a person of integrity, she says. “Janet Reno is, flat out, the most honorable person I have met. She has triumphantly contributed to society, yet remained true to herself.”

Kaitlin Northey ’06
Majors: Education and Art History
Hometown: Hamilton, New Jersey

“I’ve always loved art, and I’ve always loved kids,” says Kaitlin Northey. “Through my Praxis-funded internship, I was able to put the two together, and the experience changed me.” Interning at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Northey worked as a program coordinator with the exhibition Retratos: 2000 Years of Latin American Portraits. Her job involved planning and executing a six-week training program for 15-year-old inner-city kids to become gallery docents. A poignant part of the experience for Northey was the opportunity to be a valued member of the gallery’s team. “The museum respected me as an intern and as a person, and gave me their support in my pursuit of private projects,” she says. “My time at the gallery changed me and gave me direction. Smith brought me full circle through this internship.” With her majors in education and art history, and her newfound direction, Northey has her sights set on working as a gallery educator for the National Portrait Gallery upon graduation.

Michele Jackson ’08
Major: Undecided
Hometown: Marshfield, Massachusetts

Michelle Jackson spent her summer babysitting -- for piping plovers, that is. The piping plover, an endangered species, is a diminutive bird -- adults grow to the size of a toothpick -- that nests on the beaches of North America. Working for the Harbor Master, Jackson passed her days at Duxbury Beach on Massachusetts’ south shore, guarding the piping plovers’ nests there from other animals and from beach traffic, and recording their movements and growth over time. Jackson and others worked alongside the Harbor Master guarding the birds, which are protected by small fences until the young are able to fly, at 28 days old. After spending so many hours with her charges -- the piping plovers are watched from dawn to dusk -- Jackson has a heightened awareness of the impact humans and their behaviors have on the natural world. “Because they are such small birds and their nests are small, too, it doesn’t take much more than an unleashed dog or a few reckless steps to destroy a whole nest,” Jackson says. She appreciated the opportunity to try something new, and learn a lot in the process. Babysitting, for Jackson, will never be the same.

Joanna Bayer ’06
Major: History
Hometown: Arlington, Massachusetts

This summer, Joanna Bayer was in on the action, both on the field and off, through her internship with the Bay State Warriors, a women's professional football team based in Medford, Massachusetts. The Warriors are one of 31 teams across North America that compete in the 5-year-old Independent Women’s Football League. Bayer’s skills were utilized on the field through her role as a game-day coordinator, in which she traveled ahead of the team to prepare the game site, field problems, and act as a liaison between the home and opposing teams. Off the field, she worked closely with the team’s general manager, who guided her through some of the administrative hurdles of running a professional team. Bayer was impressed with the women she worked with, for their enthusiasm for playing football and the genuine love they felt for the full-contact game. “It is just like men’s football,” she explains. “They are intense, dedicated, and aggressive.” There were no wimps in her summer job, quips Bayer. She hopes to see more of the action as she pursues a career in sports management.

Aneca Crews ’06
Major: Engineering
Hometown: Philadelphia

Senior Aneca Crews spent most of her summer with her eyes toward the sky. Through her Praxis-funded internship, Crews worked at the Howard University Atmospheric Sciences Cooperative Science Center, which was established to conduct research on critical environmental conditions occurring nationally and globally. Crews' team designed a mechanical arm used for graphing points on a telescope Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) system. The tool is part of a larger project that enables scientists to clabrate the LIDAR system more effectively and efficiently when predicting weather patterns. The LIDAR system reads particles in the ari on clear days, and Crews was able to see the system improve in accuracy through her contribution to the design of the mechanical arm. After all the time looking up, Crews says she will never see the sky in the same way.

Eva Gratta ’06
Major: Art History
Hometown: Old Greenwich, Connecticut

Eva Gratta entered her senior year with confidence after spending a summer in the city as a Praxis intern at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. After living through a collision of the real world and the Smith world, she says, "I gained a fresh perspective on the future, and on how my education will play a role in my life's work." Gratta worked in the museum’s Photography and Permission Department, cataloguing and digitizing the collection and exhibitions. One project involved chronicling the Guggenheim’s physical space -- a Frank Lloyd Wright building -- through photos. Also, she organized the digital collections as a resource for curators and outside institutions. Beyond the hands-on aspects of the internship, the museum presented a culture seminar for student workers each week that included a mock auction at Sotheby’s, and a meeting with Christo, artist of last year’s monumental work, The Gates. Gratta’s Guggenheim internship afforded valuable work experience in a museum setting that will complement her education, she says, and serve as an invaluable stepping-stone in her pursuit of a career in art history.



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