People News

A scene from the Spring Bulb Show. Photo by Claudia Acosta Banuelo.

Two Smith students are participating in the SEA Education Association’s ( semester program: Elsbeth Pendleton-Wheeler ’19 is studying with SEA’s Global Ocean program in New Zealand, and Amina Carbone’ 18 is sailing on the Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean program. (To read blog posts from the students visit:, and

Ayumi Akiyama ’18 submitted a statement to the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on “Sri Lanka’s slow progress in transitional justice.”  Akiyama is working with the nonprofit International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism.

Myrna Flynn, communications manager for the Smith College School for Social Work

Myrna Flynn, communications manager for the Smith College School for Social Work, has been named one of four national SimpsonScarborough Scholars by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. The program supports the professional development of promising communications and marketing practitioners in educational advancement.

Two Smith faculty members were honored with teaching awards at Rally Day ceremonies last month. Will Williams, assistant professor of physics, and Gary Felder, professor of physics, were recognized by the Student Government Association for their excellent teaching. L’Tanya Richmond, director of multicultural affairs, and Paula Pawloski, housekeeper of Talbot House, received the SGA’s Elizabeth B. Wyandt Gavel Award for their extraordinary work with students.

Carrie Baker, associate professor of the study of women and gender, is co-chair of the Ms. Magazine Committee of Scholars. Baker’s newest blog post for the magazine is “Fighting for True ‘Workplace Advancement’ in the Trump Era.”

Jordan Crouser ’08, visiting professor of statistical and data sciences and a MassMutual Faculty Fellow at Smith, has been awarded an $87,618 grant by the U.S. Department of Defense for a project titled “Composable Coordinated Visualizations for Streaming Data.”

Laura Katz, Elsie Damon Simonds Professor of Biological Sciences, has been awarded a $409,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled “Biodiversity of testate ‘shelled’ amoebae in New England bogs and fens.” Such amoebae are “not only beautiful and understudied,” Katz said, “but are bio-indicators of climate change.”

Jennifer Malkowski, assistant professor of film and media studies, is author of a new book published by Duke University Press, Dying in Full Detail: Mortality and Digital Documentary, exploring digital media’s impact on one of documentary film’s greatest taboos: the recording of death.

Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor, assistant professor of history, was a panelist last month for “Viewing the Past Through the Eyes of the Present: A Dialogue Around the Work of Kara Walker,” this year’s W.E.B. DuBois Lecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Peter Rose, professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology and senior fellow at Smith’s Kahn Liberal Arts Institute, is author of a new updated edition of Mainstream and Margins Revisited: Sixty Years of Commentary on Minorities in America, originally published in 1983 by Routledge Taylor & Francis.

Genna Williams ’12 is the new branch manager for the Vermont Foodbank’s Rutland, Vt., distribution center. Williams, who grew up in Shaftsbury, Vt., majored in government at Smith and served for two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer in southwestern Montana. She is currently pursuing an M.B.A. at Marlboro College.

Anna Walton MA ’09 was commissioned to create an 18-foot-high tower made entirely of Mardi Gras beads for an installation near the entrance of a House of Blues franchise in Anaheim, Calif. Walton—who teaches fourth grade in New Orleans—earned a bachelor’s degree in child study and liberal arts and a master of arts degree in teaching from Smith.

Hope Denese Freeman ’05 is the new director of the LGBT Center at Tufts University. Freeman, who majored in Afro American studies at Smith, is also an alumna of the Simmons College School of Management.

La Shonda Pettiford ’97 has been named the new CEO of Gravity Switch digital creative services company in Northampton, Mass. Pettiford majored in English language and literature at Smith and earned a master’s in business management and administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

MaDoe Htun ’84 has been named one of Trusted Insight’s Top 30 Women Chief Investment Officers. Htun is CIO of William Penn Foundation and previously served as CIO of the Xerox Worldwide Pension and Savings Plan assets. She majored in biochemistry and economics at Smith and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a law degree from The George Washington University.

Elizabeth O’Keefe ’72

Elizabeth O’Keefe ’72 has received the 2018 Distinguished Service Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America in recognition of her leadership in developing national and international metadata standards and of her service to the Morgan Library and Museum in New York. O’Keefe majored in classics at Smith.