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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Campus Life December 8, 2020

People News December 2020


Smith’s Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center received the 2020 Outstanding Emerging Center award from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers. The awards showcase the very best of college and university entrepreneurship programs.

Andrea Auerbach headshotSmith trustee Andrea Auerbach ’91 has been named a 2020 Knowledge Broker All-Star by Chief Investment Officer for her work in the investment field. Auerbach— who majored in economics at Smith and earned an M.B.A. at Harvard University—is partner and head of Cambridge Associates LLC in Menlo Park, California.

Marcela Rodrigues-Sherley ’19 published an article in Supermajority News about issues important to first-time voters of color. The article featured interviews with Smith students Amanda Maia ’23, Lexi Luckett ’23J, Jackie Centeno ’22, Sevval Ercin ’21 and Rohanna Antoine ’21.

Biochemistry major Ahlenne Abreu ’22 has been awarded a Diversification of Our Research Scientists scholarship by the Promega Corporation. The scholarships are designed to recognize and empower undergraduate students from underrepresented backgrounds who are studying life sciences.

Research by Amrita Acharya ’23J on WiFi sensing won the Best COVID-19 Response Research Poster award at the ACM SenSys 2020 conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems. The project she worked on, “WiFiMon: A Mobility Analytics Platform for Building Occupancy Monitoring and Contact Tracing Using WiFi Sensing,” was a collaboration with faculty at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Jane Brinkley ’24 won a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge and will have a chance to develop an original song she co-wrote, “Just Another Night,” with veteran Broadway songwriters.

Twin sisters Olivia Sabine-Leite ’21 and Giovanna Sabine-Leite ’21 published “The Afro-Brazilian Origin of Brazilian Cultural Icons” in the spring 2020 issue of Portales, a peer-reviewed undergraduate journal published by Columbia University’s Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.

Kerry Walker ’21 is co-author of “Study abroad in Japan under COVID-19: Emerging parallels with a course on environmental pollution,” published in November in The Asia-Pacific Journal. Walker is majoring in East Asian languages and culture.

School for Social Work lecturer Elizabeth Anable D.S.W. ’18 has been awarded a fellowship by the American Association of University Women to support her research in psychophysiology and resilience.

Research by assistant professor of engineering Kris L. Dorsey, “Ultra-sensitive and resilient compliant strain gauges for soft machines,” was published in the Nov. 11 issue of Nature. A video explains how the sensors for “smart textiles” work.


Professor of Psychology Benita Jackson received the Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The award recognizes excellence in teaching and mentoring at colleges and universities that do not have doctoral programs in social or personality psychology. 

Joel Kaminsky, Morningstar Professor of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religion, is featured in a scholarly debate in the November 2020 issue of the Harvard Theological Review on how certain readings of Paul raise concerns for Jewish-Christian relations. The scholarly exchange is available online at the Cambridge Core blog through December 31, along with an earlier essay Kaminsky co-authored, “The Meaning and Telos of Israel’s Election: Interfaith Responses.”

Ellen Kaplan, professor of theatre, has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Jeanann Gray Dunlop Foundation for supply kits for remote learning that will support students’ work on the department’s full production season, as well as classes, special studies and workshops that engage students in producing, designing and building digital theater environments.

Andrea Moore, assistant professor of music, recently gave the opening presentation in the Pioneer Valley Symphony’s New Discovery speaker and discussion series. Moore’s talk on “100 Years of the 19th Amendment,” focused on women’s impact as music patrons and composers.

Bozena Welborne, assistant professor of government, recently published “On Their Own? Women Running as Independent Candidates in the Middle East” in Middle East Law and Governance. Her research was also discussed in a journal podcast.

Rebecca Worsham, assistant professor in classical languages and literatures, was featured in a recent episode of the Peopling the Past Podcast discussing houses in the Greek Bronze Age. 

""Dani Lilienkamp ’20 is the winner of the 2020 Smith Botanic Garden’s student-bred hybrid mum competition. The hybrid grown by Lilienkamp, who majored in chemistry at Smith, was voted the best of more than 100 hybrids in this year’s virtual competition. 

Maya Wei-Haas ’09 is the recipient of the 2020 David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union for her work as a writer for National Geographic. Wei-Haas, who majored in geology at Smith, earned a doctorate in mathematics and physical sciences at Ohio State University.

Rachel Bara Sturges ’02 published “The Lessons We Might Learn from Mosses,” about finding solace in a backyard forest in a time of quarantine and remote learning, in the November issue of Earth Island Journal. Sturges, who majored in English language and literature at Smith, received a master of fine arts degree from Pennsylvania State University.

Meredith Stewart ’99, a principal in the Boston law office of Jackson Lewis, was honored by Kids in Need of Defense recently for her volunteer work providing vital legal services to refugee and immigrant children. Stewart, who majored in government and Italian language and literature at Smith, earned a law degree from the University of Miami Coral Gables.

Mazella Fuller M.S.W. ’95 is co-editor of “Treating Black Women with Eating Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide.” Fuller is a staff social worker at Duke University’s Counseling and Psychological Services department.

“Fighting Words,” a young adult book by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley ’89, was a finalist for a 2020 Kirkus Prize. Bradley, who majored in chemistry at Smith, is the author of several books, including the Newberry Award-winning “The War That Saved My Life.”

Leslie Godridge ’78 was named to the board of directors of M&T Bank Corporation. Godridge, who recently retired as vice chair and co-head of corporate and commercial banking for US Bancorp, majored in history at Smith and earned a master’s degree in business administration at New York University.

Joyce Berger Cowin ’51 was named a 2020 Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy for her contributions to the city as a patron of the arts and education. Cowin—who majored in psychology at Smith and earned a master of arts degree in elementary education from Columbia University—was one of nine Living Landmarks honored in a virtual ceremony in October.