People News

Five Smith students have been named University Innovation Fellows at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Jessica Innis ’17, Amanda Lavond ’18, Lingxuan Li ’17, Mandira Marambe ’19 and Yi Wang ’19 are the first Smith students named to the global program that trains student leaders to create new opportunities for their peers to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity and design thinking.

Emma Watson ’17 spent the summer as an editorial intern at Ms. Magazine, writing about topics including Brexit, sexual harassment and the Rio Olympics.

Following a highly competitive process, Smith School for Social Work student Binlin Xia ’17 will present her thesis at the 21st Annual Conference of the Society for Social Work and Research, to be held in New Orleans in January. Xia’s project is titled “A Quantitative Exploration of the Relationship Between Self Compassion and the Experience of Burnout, Secondary Traumatic Stress and Compassion Satisfaction Among Social Workers Specifically Working with Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Trauma.”

unnamedA film by two Smith faculty members will premiere next month at the Hawaii International Film Festival. A Small Life by Lynne Yamamoto, Jesse Wells Post Professor and Professor of Art, and Lucretia Knapp, lecturer in art, explores three sisters’ reflections on a tragic 1942 event in Hawaii. The film was developed as part of the Kahn Liberal Art Institute’s 2015-16 project “Memory: Form, Function and Fallibility.”


Participants in the New England Consortium for Latina/o Studies conference at Smith.

Ginetta E.B. Candelario, associate professor of sociology and Latin American and Latina/o Studies, organized and hosted October’s biannual meeting of the New England Consortium for Latina/o Studies, drawing faculty participants from 35 colleges and universities. Candelario, a founding member of the consortium, is founding vice president of the national Latino/a Studies Association.

Matilda Rose Cantwell, interim director of religious and spiritual life, and former Dean of Religious Life Jennifer Walters gave a presentation on “Social Justice Vigils: A Forum for Contemplative Social Change” at the 8th Annual Conference of the Association for Contemplative Mind in Higher Education. The presentation, which took place at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, described student-led social justice vigils at Smith.

Kim Yi Dionne, Five College assistant professor of government, is the recipient of an $18,370 grant from the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges for a project on “Researching and Teaching African Politics: Everyday Politics, Power and Protest in the Digital Age.”

gary-felder-620x400Gary Felder, professor of physics, was the featured speaker at an October SciTech Café event in Northampton. He talked about “Einstein Gravitational Waves: Measuring Ripples in Space from a Billion Years Ago.” Felder was also interviewed about gravitational waves on the Bill Newman Show on WHMP Radio.

Jo Ann Glading-DiLorenzo, director of Project Coach and coordinator of urban education for Smith’s Jandon Center for Community Engagement, has been appointed to the Community Benefits Advisory Group for Baystate Healthcare.

Sarah E. Harebo, Smith’s Title IX coordinator and institutional equity officer, will co-present a session on shelter services for transgender individuals and best practices for LGBTQ+ survivors of intimate partner violence at next month’s Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence 40th Anniversary Conference in Lancaster, Pa.  Gloria Steinem ’56 is the keynote speaker for the conference luncheon.

Monica Jakuc Leverett, Elsie Irwin Sweeney Professor Emerita of Music, recently performed works by Franz Peter Schubert at Wistariahurst, a house museum in Holyoke.

Professor of Religion Suleiman Mourad is among the scholars interviewed in a new documentary film, The Sultan and the Saint, about a historic meeting between Saint Francis of Assisi and Sultan Al-Kamil in the era of the Crusades. The film premieres in November in Washington, D.C.

Professor of Religion Vera Shevzov gave the 2016 Orthodoxy in America Lecture at Fordham University last month. Shevzov spoke on “Religion in America Through Orthodox Eyes: The Travelogue of a 19th-Century Russian Orthodox Thinker.”

5414220Gail Thomas, learning specialist and coordinator of tutorial services in the Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching and Learning, gave a presentation and reading on poems of displacement at the Amherst Poetry Festival and Emily Dickinson Poetry Marathon in September. The Massachusetts Center for the Book has named Thomas’ 2015 book, Waving Back, a 2016 “must read” in poetry.

A play by Lena Wilson ’16, Fraying Live Wires Tend to Give Off Sparks, is a finalist in the 2016 LezPlay Contest hosted by Pride Films and Plays in Chicago. Readings of the play were presented in October at the Center on Halsted’s Hoover-Leppen Theatre. Wilson majored in film and the study of women and gender at Smith.

Chelsea Wilkerson ’98 is the new chief executive officer of the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida. Wilkerson, who majored in Latin American studies at Smith and holds an M.B.A. from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn., has held leadership roles in the foster care and child welfare system in Miami-Dade County.

Elisabeth Kulas ’90 received an Arthur Gibb Award from the Vermont Natural Resources Council for her work advancing affordable housing in Rutland County, Vt. Kulas, who is executive director of the Housing Trust of Rutland County, majored in economics at Smith before beginning a career in housing at the Rockingham Area Community Land Trust.