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News & Events for the Smith College Community
Campus Life October 9, 2014

People News, October 9, 2014

Medium shot of the Lanning Fountain

Joyce E. Everett, professor of social work and Ph.D. program faculty and research adviser, has been named an outstanding mentor by The Council of Social Work Education’s Council on the Role and Status of Women in Social Work.

The honor is given to mentors who have increased the visibility of women in the field and made outstanding contributions to social work practice and scholarship. Everett, whose professional interests include social welfare policy, foster care and kinship care, will be recognized during the council’s annual gathering October 26 in Florida.

Three Smith faculty members have received National Science Foundation grants for the purchase of new scientific equipment—the maximum number of awards an institution is allowed under the grant program in a given year. William Williams, assistant professor of physics, was awarded a $271,649 grant for acquisition of a frequency quadrupled titanium sapphire laser. Williams said the laser will be used to improve the sensitivity of an apparatus that performs trace analysis on krypton atoms. That process is used in radio-krypton dating of groundwater and other substances. The new laser will also be used by students in advanced laboratory courses in spectroscopy. Nathan Derr, assistant professor of biological sciences, and Stylianos Scordilis, professor of biological sciences, were awarded a $553,645 grant for the acquisition of a Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) microscope. The new microscope makes it possible to observe the behavior of individual molecules in real time. In addition to biology, students and faculty in engineering, physics, chemistry, biochemistry and neuroscience will also use the TIRF microscope in classes and research, Derr said.

Susan Levin, professor of philosophy and department chair, has published a new book about Plato’s views on medicine. In Plato’s Rivalry with Medicine: A Struggle and Its Dissolution, published in August by Oxford University Press, Levin explores Plato’s critique of medicine as a competing source of authority on human nature and examines the lessons Plato’s philosophy holds for contemporary bioethics.

April Birnie ’15 completed a summer chemistry internship at the Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany, one of the largest interdisciplinary research centers in Europe. Birnie investigated several computational chemistry methods that are proving useful for accurately modeling radioactive elements. Her internship was funded by a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service, a national agency that provides scholarships to students, faculty and researchers.

Amy Kurtz Lansing ’96 is curating an exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn., of works by painter Mary Rogers Williams, who directed Smith’s art department from 1866 to 1906. The first-ever retrospective of Williams’ work, “Forever Seeing New Beauties: The Art of Mary Rogers Williams,” opened October 3 and runs through January 25 at the museum.

Claire Denton-Spalding ‘10, has been named to the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago’s third annual “Double Chai in the Chi” list of 36 influential individuals under age 36. The list’s name comes from the letters of the Hebrew word “chai” which means life and also represents the number 18. Denton-Spalding, a communications and policy associate for Mujeres Latina en Acción, was recognized for her advocacy work on behalf of immigrant women and for her work with human rights groups such as Illinois Women for Compassionate Immigration Reform.

Nine alumnae received awards at the 2014 Volunteer Leadership Conference hosted by the Office of Alumnae Relations on campus last month. Honorees are Catherine Carr Lincoln ’84 and Rebecca J. Rundquist ’89, Class Volunteer Awards; Debra Shaw Chromy ’84 and Vivian Kopp Forbes ’50, Club Volunteer Awards; Ann Lindenberger Christensen’56, Katherine “Chummy” Piper ’43 Alumnae Admission Coordinator of the Year Award; Linda Fisher Smith ’60, Planned Giving Volunteer Award; Leigh Berrien Smith ’49, Smith Fund Award for Distinguished Service; Toni Grotta Wolfman ’64, Smith Fund Award for Exemplary Leadership; and Jacqueline Anthony Millan ’72, Development Award for Exemplary Leadership.