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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Research & Inquiry July 11, 2019

People News

students on campus in summer
Engineering awards, historical research and career promotions are among the recent accomplishments of Smith students, faculty, staff and alums.

Smith’s Picker Engineering Program received a 2019 Engineering Education Award from the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying for the college’s success at encouraging collaboration between students and professional engineers. 

Fifteen students in lecturer Mike Kinsinger's Engineering Mechanics class partnered last semester with Witwer Children's Therapy Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa to design and fabricate devices to help children with physical limitations accomplish everyday tasks. Students who worked on the project were: Keerthana Akella ’21, Eman Babar ’21, Auden Balouch ’21, Yolanda Chigiji ’21, Julia Clark ’21, Barbara Garrison ’21, Claire Gillespie ’21, Lucy Jensen ’21, Claire Jordan ’21, Charlotte Mead ’21J, Somto Okonkow ’21, Ruth Penberthy ’21, Claire Picken ’21, Cailey Seo ’21 and Wasila Yussif ’21.

Students with the assistive devices they created

Students with the assistive devices they designed in Prof. Mike Kinsinger’s Engineering Mechanics class.

L. David Smith, professor of biological sciences, was among the participants in a workshop held in June in honor of the 10th year of Smith’s Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Summer Program. The event in San Pedro Town, Belize, drew educators, past program mentors and staff of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, where the program is located.

Patricia DiBartolo ’89, associate dean of the faculty and Caroline L. Wall ’27 Professor of Psychology; Kevin Shea, faculty director of the sciences and professor of chemistry; and Minh Ly, associate director for assessment, attended Georgetown University’s inaugural Summer Institute on Equity in the Academic Experience. Leaders from 18 colleges and universities convened in July to discuss ways to increase successful outcomes for low-income, first generation and underrepresented students.

An article on reproductive justice by Joyce Follet, director of Smith’s Reproductive Justice History in Action Project, appears in the newest issue of Meridians. Access to Follet’s article, “Making Democracy Real: African American Women, Birth Control, and Social Justice, 1919-1960,” is free through the end of September.

Cara Stepp ’04 has been awarded a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for her National Science Foundation supported research at Boston University. Stepp, who majored in engineering at Smith, earned a Ph.D. in bioengineering/biomedical engineering from MIT.

Dina Senecal SSW ’00 has been awarded the Connecticut Association of Schools’ William Cieslukowski First Year Principal Award for her leadership of Somers Elementary School.  Senecal began teaching fifth grade at Somers Elementary in 2013 and served as assistant principal before being appointed principal.

Bari Klein’88 is the new executive director of Healthy Hartord/Healthy Cecil, Inc., a nonprofit partnership dedicated to health and wellness in the northern Cheseapeake community. Klein, who holds a master’s degree in public administration from Southern Illinois University, was formerly public health program manager and grants administrator for University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health.

Dr. June Almenoff ’78 has been appointed chief scientific officer of RedHill Biopharma Ltd. Almenoff, who majored in biochemistry at Smith and earned a medical degree at Mount Sinai Medical School, has more than 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, including as president and chief medical officer of Furiex Pharmaceuticals.

Historian Nancy Reynolds Bartlit ’58 gave the keynote speech in June at a three-day symposium on preserving military heritage hosted by the National Center for Preservation and Training and the National Museum of the Pacific War. Bartlit’s talk at the event, held in Fredericksburg, Texas, described her research and interviews of World War II participants. Barlit majored in history at Smith and earned a master’s degree in international communications from the University of New Mexico.