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A Culture of Care >> Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.

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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Campus Life May 27, 2021

Here Come the Smithies!

Get ready, world. From empowering youth to fighting climate change, these new grads are ready to make a difference.

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Jane Casey-Fleener ’21

Major: Sociology 
Hometown: Lexington, Massachusetts

What initially drew you to Smith?
I was originally recruited to play softball, but on my overnight visit, I fell in love with the beautiful campus and sense of community. People take so much pride in being a Smithie. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?
I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Along with the pandemic, I was dealing with some family matters, and there were times when I felt incredibly defeated and exhausted. Having people in my corner to support me is something I will never take for granted.

Where did you find inspiration in the past year?
During the pandemic I spent a lot of my time at home with my mom. She is by far the most empathetic and selfless person I know. I hope to be half the woman and mother she has been to me.

What’s next for you?
I will be attending Smith’s master of arts in teaching program. After graduate school, I hope to get a job teaching elementary school.

How has Smith prepared you to bring about change in the world?
Bringing more attention to the acts of hate and racism faced by the AAPI community is something I am extremely passionate about. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Smithies, it’s that they are not afraid to lead fearlessly. In that spirit, Smith has prepared me to be my own fearless leader and to find my own voice.

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Wasila Yussif ’21

Major: Engineering science
Hometown: Kumasi, Ghana

What do you love most about Smith?
Smith brought out the best in me. I love the small class sizes. The professors are excellent and care deeply about their students. I will miss the friends I made here, especially my track and field family. And I’ll always cherish the Smith campus because it is so breathtaking.

What did you learn about yourself during the pandemic?
The pandemic has taught me to be more grateful and humble. I am thankful that I still have my friends and family with me. I have also learned to become more resilient, supportive and considerate of people.

Where did you find inspiration in the past year?
With the pandemic ravaging lives, my inspiration and motivation was to stay alive for my family, since they solely depend on me as the breadwinner for them.

How has Smith prepared you to bring about change in the world?
I am very passionate about finding ways to empower youths from underprivileged communities in my country of Ghana. Before attending Smith, I had little to no knowledge about computers and technology. I was taken aback when I learned my first programming language. This awakened my mission to empower the youths in my community with programming skills so that they can develop careers for themselves. I feel it is my responsibility to extend a helping hand to those who need it.

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Etty Singer AC ’21

Major: Sociology; history minor
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

What initially drew you to Smith?
I was very drawn to the Ada Comstock Program, which provides an academic community and financial support for nontraditional students. And, of course, after coming to visit for the first time, I fell in love with Smith’s beautiful campus.

What do you love most about Smith?
Smith has provided me with a rich liberal arts education that has allowed me to explore a sociology major with a minor in history while giving me a broad perspective on national and global issues.

Where did you find inspiration in the past year?
Adjusting to pandemic life has been challenging, but I found inspiration by taking mental breaks and doing things that I enjoy—hiking, reading and needlepoint.

What’s next for you?
I will be starting law school in Boston this fall. My dream is to pursue a career in public interest law and provide legal assistance for vulnerable populations.