People News

bechtel-283Smith’s Bechtel Environmental Classroom at the MacLeish Field Station in Whately, Mass., is featured in the 2015 Sustainable Campus Index published by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The report, which highlights best practices, top performers and trends, notes that Smith’s 2,300-square-foot Bechtel classroom is the fifth building in the world to be certified a Living Building.

In a related accomplishment, Smith ranked third on the Sierra Club’s list of U.S. colleges with eco-friendly waste management practices. Smith was lauded for its use of bulk dispensers in student dining rooms to reduce packing materials and for the college’s ban on the sale of bottled water on most of the campus.

Smith juniors Sarah Reibman and Tiffany Chen, both interns this semester with Human Rights Watch, recently addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. Reibman spoke about atrocities committed by extremist groups Boko Haram and ISIS and Chen talked about human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

Other Smith students involved in internships this semester through the International Studies Program in Geneva are Sarah Sorensen ’17 (Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health); Dorie Klein ’17, Tracy Kapezi ’17 and Crystal Ong ’17 (International Organization for Migration); Bowie Kung ’17 and Margaret Liu ’17 (Hagen Resources International); Angie Dinh ’17 (Kenese International), Preeti Dasari ’17 (International Center for Sustainable Trade and Development); Nikki Peer ’17 (Centre Catholique International de Genève), and Briana Gonzalez ’16 and Siqi Zhao ’17 (International Bridges to Justice).

Hannah Schneider ’18 participated in the annual Steiner Summer Yiddish Program at the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass. The intensive seven-week program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students under the age of 26. Participants study the Yiddish language, as well as Jewish history and culture. Schneider is majoring in Jewish studies at Smith.

Patricia Gonzalez, senior lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese, has been awarded a $190,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for a project titled “Lydia Cabrera’s ‘The Sacred Language of the Abaku’ and Its West African Sources.”

Benita Jackson, associate professor of psychology, has been awarded a $16,500 grant from the Alliance to Advance Liberal Arts Colleges for a project titled “Health Psychology for the 21st Century.” The two-day meeting, to be held at Smith in June 2016, is the first to assemble health psychology scholars from American liberal arts institutions. Topics to be discussed include how to provide liberal arts training to the next generation of health researchers, practitioners and policy makers.

Kevin Quashie, professor of Africana studies, gave a public lecture last month at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., on “Breath, Silence, Quiet: Some Thoughts on Blackness Now.” Quashie’s talk was sponsored by Hamilton’s Days-Massolo Center for community inclusion.

A film by Hillary Hawkins ’02 has been selected for “African American Short Films,” a nationally syndicated television series. Hawkins, who majored in creative writing and Spanish at Smith, wrote and acted in the film, called “Stuck for a Reason.”


Kathryn Fantauzzi

Kathryn Fantauzzi ’09 has been named director of market initiatives for Pittsburgh-based Conservation Consultants, Inc. (CCI). Fantauzzi will be responsible for managing CCI’s home performance services, including home energy audits. At Smith, Fantauzzi majored in government and Italian studies.

Bethany Babyak ’94 has been promoted to chief of staff at Hershey Cause Communications, a Los Angeles-based marketing agency for nonprofits around the globe. Babyak, who had served as the agency’s vice president of operations, previously worked as vice president of development at Morgan Creek Productions. She majored in theatre at Smith.

Santa Caterina's Trinity detail. (Ken Best/UConn Photo)

Santa Caterina’s Trinity by Holly Brigham detail. (Ken Best/UConn Photo)

A show by visual artist Holly Brigham ’88 opened last month at the University of Connecticut’s Benton Museum of Art. Brigham collaborated with award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson to produce “Sacred Sisters: In Praise of Art & Poetry” on view through December 20. Nelson pairs Brigham’s paintings of eight nuns from the 12th to the 19th centuries with poems about each woman that are phrased as prayers.

Gayle Jackson ’67, president and chief executive officer of Energy Global, Inc., has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2015 list of Outstanding Directors. Jackson, who majored in government at Smith, was recognized for her leadership on the board of Ameren Corp.