People News

Five Smith students and alumnae have been awarded prestigious National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships in this year’s annual competition: Isabella Casini ’17 (engineering), Holly Mandel ’16 (mathematics), Isabel Lipartito ’15 (astronomy and physics), Noemi Linares-Ramirez ’15 (sociology) and Sarah Tucker ’13 (biological sciences). In addition, five Smithies received honorable mentions: Katie Blackford ’17 (chemistry), Kelsey Reed Moore ’15 (geosciences), Paula Burgi ’14 (geosciences and astronomy), Sara Sirois ’11 (biological sciences) and Emma Schlatter ’10 (mathematics).

Three Smith students have been accepted to the Valley Venture Mentors Summer Collegiate Accelerator Program for two months of training and feedback on entrepreneurial projects: Isabelle Hodge ’20 (Shesabelle Chandeliears, jewelry options for people with metal allergies or newly pierced ears); Jessica Innis ’17 (redflowers, a company that promotes, empowers and engages black identities and black women); and Sunny Lee ’17 (Schwa Translator, an app that aims to be the Uber of translators, bilinguals and language learners).

Amelia Wagner ’18 J has been awarded a 2017 Council of American Ambassadors Fellowship. A member of the Smith Rugby Football Club and a Lewis Leadership Program participant at Smith, Wagner will receive mentoring from the Hon. Thomas L. Siebert, a former U.S. ambassador to Sweden, and will serve as an intern this summer at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asia and Pacific Affairs.

Marie Wilken ’18 is among the winners of this year’s Student Research Competition hosted by the Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. Wilken won for her paper “Make America 41st Again: Factors that Slowed America’s Relative Growth in Women’s Representation,” which she will present April 13 at the Wilson Center.

Annaliese Beery, associate professor of psychology, has been awarded a $361,259 grant from the National Institutes of Health for “Reward Mechanisms Supporting Affiliation Between Peers,” a study of social voles that could ultimately help treatment of disorders affecting human social behavior through findings on the role of dopamine pathways and reward in peer relationships.

Associate Dean of the College Margaret Bruzelius

Associate Dean of the College Margaret Bruzelius gave a talk earlier this month at Historic Northampton, “The Final Flourish, the Rhetoric of the Hat,” exploring patterns of meaning in hats shown in films beginning with screwball comedies of the 1930s.

Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Professor Emerita of Jewish Study and Professor Emerita of Government, spoke last month at the University of Sydney on “The Balfour Declaration and the Transformation of Mandate Palestine into a Jewish National Home.”

Illustrator Barry Moser, Smith’s Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of Art, is the recipient of a 2017 Arts & Humanities Award from New England Public Radio. The award brings public awareness to the contributions and critical role played by visual, literary and performing artists in western New England.

Maria Helena Rueda, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, gave the keynote address, “Gabriel García Márquez and One Hundred Years of Solitude,” at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island last month. The event was part of a series commemorating the 50th anniversary of Marquez’ book.

Vera Shevzov, professor of religion, was a panelist at the opening symposium for “Pondering Mary: Her Story Through Icons,” a new exhibition at the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton, Mass.

Steven Williams, Gates Professor of Biological Sciences at Smith, has been awarded a $108,970 grant from the Medical Research Council of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine for a project titled “Vector Excreta Surveillance to Support the Rapid Detection of Vector-Borne Diseases.”

Smith Professor Lynne Yamamoto’s “Borrowed Time” references the plantation experience in Hawaii.

Lynne Yamamoto, Jessie Wells Post Professor of Art, has been invited to participate in the Honolulu Biennial visual arts festival celebrating the diversity of art, ideas and culture of the Pacific Region. Yamamoto will exhibit her piece “Borrowed Time” at the festival, which runs through May 8.


The Smith College Campus School 
is the recipient of two recent grant awards: a $30,000 grant from the Robbins de Beaumont Foundation for a literacy project with teachers and student teachers and a $4,300 grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residency Program for a classroom project “Circle of the Sun: Sustaining a Tradition of Joyful Movement.”

Ilana Alazzeh ’11, photo by Dooner.

Ilana Alazzeh ’11 is the new communications director for the Art Directors Guild Local 800 in Los Angeles, which represents 25,000 members in the United States and Canada. Alazzeh, who majored in government at Smith, is a visual and performance artist and a former communications campaign specialist for the Service Employees International Union.

Julie Elena Payne ’99 is the new executive director of Montpelier-based Community Justice Network of Vermont, which promotes a restorative approach to crime and conflict. Payne majored in anthropology at Smith and earned a master’s degree in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School.

Siri Kaur ’98, M.A. ’01 opened “Crow’s Field,” an exhibition of photographic works, at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles. Kaur, who is associate professor at Otis College of Art and Design, earned a bachelor of arts degree in comparative literature and a master of arts in Italian language and literature from Smith.

Mikel Durham ’85 is the new chief executive officer of American Seafoods Group in Seattle, Wash. Durham majored in economics at Smith and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard University.

The Hon. Carol Ball ’73

Retired Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Carol Ball ’73 spoke last month at the Nichols House Museum in Boston on “Roaring Through the Ages: The Emancipation of Women in the Law, 1976-2016.” Ball majored in sociology at Smith and earned a law degree from Northeastern University.