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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Campus Life November 19, 2014

People News, November 2014

Student studying on a lawn

The college has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations to expand Smith’s Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering and Sciences (AEMES) programs.

The grant will allow AEMES research fellowships to be offered to Smith juniors as well as seniors. The programs, which also offer peer mentoring support, are aimed at promoting student success in science, technology, engineering and math, particularly among students from groups historically underrepresented in those fields.

Kim Yi Dionne, Five College assistant professor of government, has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for research on tracking and explaining Americans’ response to the Ebola outbreak. The grant will support an online survey experiment testing public opinions about the government response to Ebola, immigration policy and charitable giving. Dionne will publish the results in the coming weeks on Monkey Cage, her blog for The Washington Post.

Martha Ackelsberg, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Government and professor of the study of women and gender, and Christine Shelton, professor and director of exercise and sport studies, met in October with officials from the University of Córdoba, Spain to discuss the impact of the Programa de Estudios Hispánicos en Córdoba, a cooperative venture in place for more than 30 years. The program allows students from Smith, Oberlin and Wellesley to study at the University of Cordoba.

Rick Fantasia, Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor in the Social Sciences, spoke at a national conference, The Liberal Arts in an Unequal Society, on November 14, 15 at Sarah Lawrence College. The conference drew scholars, policymakers and activists to explore how liberal arts institutions are responding to growing inequality in the United States.

Three students who received 2013-14 Janet Mitchell Blumberg Traveling Awards gave presentations this month about faculty-mentored research projects they participated in while studying abroad. Aneesha Wagh ’15 (Geneva) described a project on the wage productivity gap, Saikun Shi 16 (Hamburg) offered a comparison of German and Polish war memorials, and Isabelle Ross ’15 (Paris) talked about her research on stand-up comedy in Paris and Berlin. The awards were established by professor Phillip Blumberg and his children in 1976 in honor of his late wife, Janet Mitchell Blumberg ’39, who spent her junior year at Smith in Florence, Italy.

A dozen Smith seniors have been elected as Junior Phi Beta Kappa members by the Zeta Massachusetts Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society—the country’s oldest honor society for the liberal arts and sciences. They are Thalia Elizabeth BerardEmily Augusta BiffisAileen Elizabeth BrothertonBethany Marie DusRiley Anne GageAndrea Gina LahlumGavriella Chava Levy HaskellYuXin LiNaomi Gitanjali SinnathambySara Ann StoudtNora Kathleen Marsha Wallace and Lauren Anne Weston.

Jessica Bacal, director of the Wurtele Center for Work and Life, led a panel on “Turning Your Dreams Into Reality” at the 15th annual Texas Conference for Women held November 13 in Austin. Bacal’s panel explored the experiences of successful women entrepreneurs

Smith medalist Dr. Annie De Groot ’78 has been named one of the 50 most influential people in the vaccine industry by VaccineNation, a national industry organization.
In addition, an organization that De Groot co-founded, GAIA Vaccine Foundation, has received a $100,000 innovation award from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its cervical cancer prevention work in West Africa. The Providence, R.I.-based GAIA foundation (Global Alliance to Immunize Against AIDS) launched a campaign using a traditional story-telling cloth—colorful printed fabric that serves as a medium of communication—to educate women in west Africa about cervical cancer. De Groot says the grant will be used to expand distribution of the cloth throughout the region. “Producing it locally will create jobs,” she said. “And the fashion buzz about the cloth will successfully transmit this message to women at risk of cervical cancer.”

Stephanie Jones ’82, deputy chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Transportation, has been named acting director of the department’s Office of Civil Rights. Jones, who holds a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, has worked on diversity issues and public engagement as a small business owner, as former director of the National Urban League Policy Institute and as a regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education for the Clinton Administration.

Katie Joyce M.A.T. ’12, spoke at a Peace Corps Alumni Volunteers Panel held earlier this month on campus. Joyce, who teaches fourth grade in Williamsburg, Mass., talked about her stint in the Peace Corps from 2008 to 2010, when she lived in a small coastal community of cacao farmers in Ecuador promoting sustainable agriculture.

Karen Wong ’00 has been named vice president of consumer products for Marlo Marketing/Communications (mm/c) in Boston. Marlo Fogelman, principal of mm/c, praised Wong’s role in developing “enormously successful campaigns across the consumer lifestyle” spectrum. Wong’s experience includes 14 years at advertising and public relations agencies in New York.

Kathleen Fulton ’67 spoke about her new book, Time for Learning: Top 10 Reasons Why Flipping the Classroom Can Change Education at an American Educational Research Association policy luncheon in Washington, D.C. last month. Fulton’s book, published this past summer by Corwin Press, explores how teachers can apply the concept of “flipped learning”—using class time for hands-on projects and assigning lectures as homework—to boost student achievement.