Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
Smith eDigest
Submit an Idea
Five College Calendar
News Publications
Planning an Event
Contact Us
News & Events


Last week, when Marietta Douglas ’81 played, people in Stamford, Connecticut, listened. They had little choice. Douglas plays the carillon, an instrument in which the performer depresses levers that cause large suspended bells to ring through the air. During a July 7 concert at Stamford’s First Presbyterian Church, when Douglas played Joseph Mouret’s Fanfare (Rondeau), the bells rang through the city’s downtown area. Douglas, the church’s resident carillonneur, began playing the rare instrument as a first-year Smith student. Only 200 carillons exist in the United States. Smith’s carillon, located in the College Hall bell tower, is featured each summer in a series of concerts.

If Valerie Johnson ’06 is successful in her work this summer as a research assistant at Maine’s Acadia National Park, native spiders there will survive the aggression of a species of spider that migrated from Europe. Johnson, a biology major, is assisting Jeremy Houser, a doctoral student at UMass, in his study of linyphia triangularis, a spider that has invaded the habitat of native spiders in the park’s Schoodic Point area. The aggressive spiders most likely arrived by boat from Europe in the 1990s, Houser explained in a July 6 article in the Ellsworth American.

Karen Drake ’99 was recently appointed the new principal of the Berkshire Arts and Technology Charter Public School in Adams, Massachusetts. Drake’s hiring follows a three-month search for the school’s third principal. Drake, who began her new job on July 11, was formerly a resource specialist at New York City’s Public School 31, a magnet school for the arts and humanities. After graduating from Smith with a degree in sociology, Drake earned her master’s degree in elementary education from St. John’s University in 2003.

The North Carolina Symphony, a 65-member professional orchestra in Raleigh, North Carolina, recently made Carolyn Kuan ’99 its first hired female conductor. Kuan, who currently serves as an artist-in–residence at the New York City Ballet, was named the North Carolina Symphony’s assistant conductor and will start at the beginning of the orchestra’s season in the fall. Kuan, a native of Taiwan, has served as guest conductor for numerous ensembles in the United States and other countries. After Smith, where Kuan participated in the Glee Club, she attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music, from which she received a performance diploma. As assistant conductor, Kuan will direct children’s concerts as well as classical, pops and outdoor concerts during the symphony’s 175-performance season. She will assist new music director Grant Llewellyn and resident conductor William Henry Curry.

Martha Southgate ’82, who has garnered awards for her first two novels, will publish her third novel, Third Girl From the Left, in September. Her latest book, which will be released by publisher Houghton Mifflin, portrays the lives of three African-American women—Tamara, the daughter of Angela, and granddaughter of Mildred—whose lives have each been touched and differently inspired by movies. Southgate is the also the author of The Fall of Rome, which won the 2003 Alex Award from the American Library Association. Her first novel, Another Way to Dance, won the Coretta Scott King Genesis Award for Best First Novel. Southgate lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Mary Patterson McPherson ’57, chair of the Board of Trustees at Smith, received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Sunday, May 22, from Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, during the college’s commencement ceremony. McPherson is vice president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and was the president of Bryn Mawr College from 1978 to 1997. After receiving her bachelor of arts degree at Smith with a major in philosophy, McPherson earned a master’s degree from the University of Delaware and a doctorate in philosophy from Bryn Mawr. McPherson was elected to Smith’s Board of Trustees in 1998 and has been re-elected to serve through 2008. She became chair in July 2003. Among the other honorary degree recipients at Middlebury will be actor Donald Sutherland and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who will deliver the commencement address.

Susan Goldin-Meadow ’71 was recently elected to the 225th class of American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows, a group of leaders in scholarship, business, the arts and public affairs. Goldin-Meadow, who is the Irving B. Harris Professor in Psychology at the University of Chicago, is of five faculty members from that institution to be named to this year’s list of AAAS fellows. Her area of focus is language-learning and cognitive development. Goldin-Meadow, who joined the University of Chicago faculty in 1976 following graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, has published widely on gesture and cognitive development. She is the author of Hearing Gesture: Our Hands Help us Talk and Think.

Kevin Shea, assistant professor of chemistry, recently received a grant from the American Chemical Society's Petroleum Research Fund to support research with undergraduates into new ways to make organic molecules. Although the molecules created in Shea's lab are not designed for biological use, the way they are developed and tested is similar to pharmaceutical companies' development of new drugs to treat diseases. Initially awarded a two-year $35,000 grant for the research, Shea received a supplement this year to support the work of Smith undergraduates on the project. This summer, Mary Banks ’07 will collaborate with Shea to investigate “New Applications of Cobalt-Alkyne Complexes in Organic Synthesis.” Former students in Shea's lab, Miriam Quintal and Kristi Closser, recently published an article in the American Chemical Society journal Organic Letters describing their results in this area.

Krystal Banzon ’07 was recently selected as one of only 20 undergraduates from the U.S. and Canada to be honored as a Goldman Sachs Global Leader. Banzon joins 100 new Global Leaders worldwide honored for academic excellence and leadership achievements by The Goldman Sachs Foundation and its partner organization, the Institute of International Education. She will receive a $3,000 grant for educational expenses.

Four faculty members were presented with Charis Medals at the final faculty meeting on May 12. The medal is given annually to Smith faculty members with 25 years of service. This year’s recipients are Suzan Edwards, professor of astronomy; Martine Gantrel-Ford, professor of French studies; Jefferson Hunter, professor of English language and literature; and Tom Riddell, dean of the first-year class.

Holly Iglesias, coordinator of tutorial services in the Jacobson Center for Writing, Teaching and Learning, recently won the St. Louis Poetry Center’s 45th annual Best Poem Contest with a reading of her poem Perishables. Iglesias wrote the poem after hearing a news feature on National Public Radio about a Vietnam War veteran who, while serving in the war, received a cake meant for another soldier who had been killed. “I have read the poem several times in public and each time it has evoked a very strong, sometimes tearful, response,” says Iglesias. “That man’s story and his voice delivered this poem to me very directly. All I had to do was listen.” Iglesias was awarded $2,000 with the award and her winning poem will be published in the fall edition of MARGIE: The American Journal of Poetry. Iglesias, who is originally from St. Louis, has had her work published in many literary journals, she says, but is honored to have taken an award from the St. Louis Poetry Center. “It feels validating to me as a poet,” she said. “It feels like a powerful way to show the pity of war; and it feels like a testament to the power of the human voice.”

James Hicks, director of the American studies diploma program, is one of 25 educators nationally to be selected to participate in "Rethinking America in Global Perspective," a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute. The four-week program will be held at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., in June and July. It is one of 32 NEH-supported institutes scheduled this summer to give educators an opportunity to collaborate with experts in the humanities. “Rethinking America” will focus on the geographical and chronological boundaries within the study of American history, and connecting the country to other world regions. Using the Library of Congress collections, educators will conduct research and design curricular materials to encourage students to develop an awareness of the multitude of global challenges and opportunities. Neal Salisbury, professor of history, is among the guest faculty scheduled to present research at the institute.

Lynne Yamamoto, assistant professor of art, recently received a $50,000 commission from the City of Seattle, Washington, Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs to create a piece of art for the city’s new Central Library. Yamamoto’s artwork will be permanently installed on a large wall near the Seattle Collection of city papers near the library’s card catalogues. Though the library uses a computerized filing system, its card catalogues are still in use and Yamamoto’s art work is intended to offset the repetition of catalogue drawers. The library was designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koohaas/Office of Metropolitan Architecture. It opened in May 2004. Also, Yamamoto was recently granted a six-week summer residency in 2006 at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a workplace in the Umbria region of Italy for gifted artists from different countries and disciplines.

Marina Galazidis, a Smith graduate student in education, recently won the Outstanding Educator Award from the New England Association of Educator Employment (NEAEE). The annual award, which is intended to provide financial support and acknowledge the professional aspirations of young educators who will soon join the workforce, includes an $800 stipend. Galazidis received the award as an honored guest at the association’s annual conference in March. The NEAEE works in conjunction with Springfield College to establish professional standards while assisting members in their careers.

Four students were recently chosen as recipients of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowships. They are Astride Charles ’07, Candace Gibson ’07, Teresa Gonzales AC, and Maria Lazaro ’07. The Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, which is funded by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, is designed to increase the number of under-represented minorities entering doctoral programs, in order to ultimately broaden the pool of faculty members at the nation’s educational institutions. Each fellow works with a faculty mentor on a research project of her design. The newest Smith Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows join five juniors who received the fellowship last year: Toccarra Thomas, Sarauna Moore, Hassani Turner, Isabel Porras, and Ayoka Stewart.

Sara Green ’06 was recently named a winner of an Undergraduate Research Award by the AVS Science and Technology Society, a division of the American Institute of Physics. Green, an engineering major, won the award for research she is conducting with Kate Queeney, assistant professor of chemistry, on the wet chemical oxidation of silicon. Only five such awards were given nationally to support research by undergraduates in areas of interest to the society, which spans research in chemistry, physics and engineering. The award will provide $1,000 to support Greens’ research for one year and to support her attendance at the AVS International Symposium next fall, at which she will present her work.

Anne Boutelle, senior lecturer in English language and literature, recently won the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize for her book Nest of Thistles. The book, according to Boutelle, “reveals my Scottish childhood, through landscape, language, song. Some threads woven into the nest are translations from Rilke and poems about women artists.” The Morse Poetry Prize is awarded annually by Northeastern University Press for a first or second book of poems by an American poet. It includes a $1,000 stipend. Nest of Thistles is slated for publication this year in October.

Mary Banks ’07 has been awarded a Supplement for Underrepresented Minority Research from the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The supplement is designated to support an undergraduate who is studying science and who is a member of a minority group underrepresented in science. Banks will use the grant to support her research this summer in the chemistry lab of Kevin Shea, assistant professor of chemistry.

This spring, 13 new faculty members join the Smith ranks. They are Catherine Adams and Evelyn Harris in Afro-American studies; Ladan Akbarnia, art; Jeffrey Blankenship, landscape studies; Benjamin Braude, Jewish studies; Jacob Bridge, philosophy; Marta Carlson and Richard Wallace, anthropology; Jennifer Davidtz, psychology; Moataz Emim and Robert McGuigan, mathematics; Ismail Orabi, engineering; and Kimberly Sims, government.

John Davis, the Alice Pratt Brown Professor of Art, recently received a $75,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, along with Sarah Burns, professor of art history at Indiana University, to compile a comprehensive volume of sources and documents on American art before 1900. While the study of early American art has expanded during the past 40 years to include themes of race, class and gender, the texts have not. With the grant, Davis seeks to change that. In more than 450 pages, Davis and Burns plan to fill a gap in the scholarship on American art caused by an earlier lack of critical analysis of the period. Their volume, to be titled Sources and Documents in American Art, is slated for publication in 2008 by the University of California Press.

Since New Year’s Eve, Aliyah Shanti ’08 and her father, David Albert, have been assisting with the distribution of food to some 70,000 people in coastal southern India, many of whom were affected by the December 26 tsunamis in the Indian Ocean. Shanti and her father, who live in Olympia, Washington, had planned the trip before the tsunamis in order to assist their friends there in distributing food to those in need. Since arriving, Shanti and Albert have encountered a staggering amount of devastation. “Entire streets are a tangle of electric wires, chests of drawers, cast-off clothing and water packets,” wrote Albert in a January 3 Weblog of their experience. “The smell is a mix of rotting seafood and rotting bodies.” Shanti and Albert plan to return from India on January 19. To read their ongoing Weblog, consult

Aaron Fischer, a Web and systems specialist in admission, will join his teammates on the Mass Twisters, a professional indoor soccer team in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on Saturday, January 29, for a benefit soccer game for the Molly Bish Foundation. Molly Bish, a Warren, Massachusetts teenager, disappeared on June 27, 2000, from Comins Pond in Warren, where she worked as a lifeguard. Bish was an avid soccer player and had hoped to continue playing in college before her disappearance. Her family has established the Molly Bish Foundation to promote child safety and help provide child identification kits for families. The Mass Twisters team belongs to the American Indoor Soccer League. The team will take on their inter-league competitor the New Mexico Storm. Fischer, who is from Storrs, Connecticut, has competed with the Twisters for five years. The Twisters’ Molly Bish benefit game will take place at the coliseum at the Big E in West Springfield. It will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are available online at or by calling 413-569-1920, or at the door.

A recent book, Anxieties of Affluence, by Daniel Horowitz, the Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies, has been chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2004 by Choice magazine, the publication of the American Library Association. Also, Choice recently delivered high praise for Literary Amazonia, a collection published this year and edited by Nicomedes Suarez, a senior lecturer in Spanish and Portuguese, of works by 20th-century Amazonian writers. “This could be one of the most important collections of literature in translation to appear this year,” said the magazine. “It is essential for all collections.”

Dana Leibsohn, associate professor of art, has received a prize for Best Article in Latin American History in 2004 from the Conference of Latin American History, for her article, “Hybridity and Its Discontents: Considering Visual Culture in Colonial Spanish America.”

Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Smith’s interdisciplinary journal of scholarly and creative works by and about women of color, was recently named a recipient of the Phoenix Award for Significant Editorial Achievement, given annually by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals to publications that have made significant improvements during the past few years. The creation of Meridians, which was first published in fall 2000, was spearheaded by former Smith President Ruth Simmons, who set out in 1996 to found a journal dedicated to women of color. The biannual periodical, which is coordinated by managing editor Elizabeth Hanssen, and supervised by senior editor Paula Giddings, professor of Afro-American studies, improved its appearance with the addition of color and art in the spring 2003 issue. For more information on Meridians, consult

Madeleine L'Engle ’41 was a receipient in November of the National Humanities Medal, given annually in honor of individuals and organizations “whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand America’s access to important humanities resources,” according to the award citation from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which identifies the award winners. L’Engle, author of the beloved young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time, was cited “for her talent as a writer on spirituality and art and for her wonderful novels for young people. Her works inspire the imagination and reflect the creative spirit of America.”

Kevin Quashie, assistant professor of Afro-American studies, was recently invited to deliver the James Baldwin Lecture, a prestigious annual lecture given at Adelphi University. Past James Baldwin lecturers include Henry Louis Gates, writer and political scientist Andrew Hacker, and renowned poet/essayist Nikki Giovanni. Quashie will give the lecture in March 2005.

Elisa Lanzi, director of the art department’s Imaging Center, and Dana Leibsohn, associate professor of art, were quoted in an article, “Learning Visually: How Digital Images Are Changing the Liberal Arts,” by Dana Triplett Barrow for the December issue of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education newsletter. Along with other experts on digital imaging and visual literacy, Lanzi and Leibsohn were asked “What does visual literacy mean to you?” “There are hundreds of definitions and interpretations of what ‘visual literacy’ means,” says Lanzi in the article. “Our department of art approaches this by stating that our purpose is to ‘promote the meaningful integration of the visual world into the intellectual and creative life of Smith students.” To see the article, consult

This year, Smith College ranks among the nation's top producers of students who earned Fulbright Awards. In its issue dated October 22, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed Smith second highest among all baccalaureate colleges for the number of student winners — nine in all. They are Megan Jamieson ’03, and ’04 graduates Marjorie Housley, Silvia Newell, Erica Nichols, Miriam Quintal, Rosemarie Rauer, Ellen Smith, Julia Unger and Maryalice Walker. The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational program sponsored by the United States government, is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal, the Fulbright Program has awarded more than 250,000 scholarships since 1946 to students chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. During the past three years, Smith applicants have received 22 of those Fulbrights.

Jennifer Daly ’08 was recently awarded a $1,000 Presidential Freedom Scholarship from the Corporation for National and Community Services and the Tri-Town Rotary in acknowledgement of her outstanding commitment to public service. The Presidential Freedom Scholarship is a national award that promotes leadership in community service among young people. The Corporation for National and Community Services provides opportunities to Americans to serve their communities or country through partnerships with Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America.

Karl P. Donfried, the Elizabeth A. Woodson Professor of Religion and Biblical Literature, was recently elected president of The Colloquium Oecumenicum Paulinum, an ecumenical and international society of biblical scholars specializing in the writings of Apostle Paul. Donfried, an ordained Lutheran pastor and Canon in the Episcopal Church, is a Pauline specialist and longtime member of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue. He will serve as the society’s 19th president.
This year, Smith College ranks among the nation's top producers of students who earned Fulbright Awards. In its issue dated October 22, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed Smith second highest among all baccalaureate colleges for the number of student winners — nine in all. They are Megan Jamieson ’03, and ’04 graduates Marjorie Housley, Silvia Newell, Erica Nichols, Miriam Quintal, Rosemarie Rauer, Ellen Smith, Julia Unger and Maryalice Walker. The Fulbright Program, the flagship international educational program sponsored by the United States Government, is designed to “increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.” With this goal, the Fulbright Program has awarded more than 250,000 scholarships since 1946 to students chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential. During the past three years, Smith applicants have received 22 of those Fulbrights.

Mary Fagan
, a graduate student in Exercise and Sports Studies, loves to run. She recently proved that by running 62.1 miles in 8 hours and 39 minutes to finish 93rd out of more than 200 racers in the 2004 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) 100-Kilometer World Cup, held last month in Winschoten, Netherlands. "I just find a beautiful place and travel there to race," says Fagan, who also serves as a graduate assistant coach for Smith's cross country team. Fagan was part of the USA Track and Field team of six men and six women, which has competed in the annual race for more than a decade. In ultraracing, men and women compete together. Though it was her first World Cup competition, Fagan brought plenty of long-distance experience to the race. She placed first in the National 50K Trail Championships in 2002 and 2003, and won third place in this year's 50-mile National Championship. Fagan, a Middletown, Connecticut, native, has competed in eight ultraraces, winning five.

Justin D. Cammy, assistant professor of Jewish studies and comparative literature, received the Harry and Cecile Starr Prize, awarded annually by the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University for outstanding doctoral dissertation in a subject touching on Jewish or Hebrew Studies. Cammy's dissertation was a cultural and literary history of "Yung-Vilne" (Young Vilna), the last of the major Yiddish literary and artistic groups in Poland prior to the Holocaust.

FORTUNE magazine named two Smith College alumnae on its list of the 50 most powerful women in business for 2004. Shelly Lazarus ’68, chair and chief executive of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, and Marilyn Carlson Nelson ’61, chair and chief executive officer of Carlson Holdings Inc., were both named among the distinguished list of women in the October 18 issue. "If there is one thing that connects the women on FORTUNE's power list, it's that they don't just run things--they build them," lauds the magazine.

Maureen Horkan ’95 has an inspiring story of overcoming obstacles and achieving success. Her story is documented in a new book, Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women, by late-blooming writer Prill Boyle. Horkan’s story of inspiration began with her acceptance to Smith at age 33 as an Ada Comstock Scholar. “Fulfilling my dream of going to Smith taught me so much about my ability to make things happen in my life,” she says in the book. “It was an unfathomable goal, considering my skills and my lack of money and resources. The desire to go just grew like a root inside my soul and became stronger and stronger. It was an absolute, clear unmistakable intention. I felt unstoppable and I was. Nothing deterred me. What a lesson! What a thing to learn, that you can will yourself into thereality of your choice. I left Smith with my full self and I’ve been able to keep that through everything I’ve done.” Horkan is one of 13 women profiled in the book.

Three Smith professors will present research next month at the 116th annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. Allen H. Curran, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Geology, will present research on the coral reef system in the Caribbean Sea during the last 11,000 years of earth’s history. Meanwhile, John B. Brady, Mary Elizabeth Moses Professor of Geology, and Robert H. Burger, Achilles Professor of Geology, will discuss various methods of teaching undergraduates, such as incorporating writing-intensive field work and the use of computers in teaching structural geology. The Smith geologists will join some 6,200 geoscientists at the conference, which will take place November 7 through 10 in Denver.

Emily Downs ’06 was recently awarded a Studio Art Centers International (SACI) scholarship of $1,000 to attend SACI, an international, nonprofit art program in Florence, Italy, this fall. SACI scholarships are awarded on the basis of outstanding academic and artistic abilities. SACI is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.

Belonging: Los Alamos to Vietnam, a monograph of photographs and installations by Meridel Rubenstein, the Harnish Visiting Artist in the art department, will be published in October by St. Ann’s Press. In addition to more than 140 photographic images and plates compiled by Rubenstein over a quarter-century of photographic and multimedia artistry, the book includes written contributions by several renowned authors and critics, such as Terry Tempest Williams and James Crump. “Sociopolitical and environmental concerns and the issue of belonging—where and to whom one belongs—have occupied Rubenstein for the past 25 years,” according to the publisher’s press release. “Mixing mediums and metaphors, her complex narrative works are derived from a sense of place, personal and collective history, as well as myth.” Rubenstein, who was born in Detroit and now lives in Vermont and New Mexico, explains of her book, “I’ve been trying to bridge the continental divide since I was born. Mother/Father, Detroit/Vermont, Vermont/New Mexico, U.S./Vietnam, East/West. Place and the land on which it rests have meant everything to me.” Rubenstein is in the second year of her two-year appointment.

Michelle Mann ’07 was recently selected to receive a Ralph Waldo Emerson prize for her research paper The Demise of the Knights Templar. Mann’s winning paper was published in the Concord Review and was selected as one of the five best papers published by the review in 2003. Mann, a history major, will be honored at an awards ceremony hosted by the history department at Governor Dummer Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, at which she will receive a $3,000 prize along with her four fellow 2004 Emerson Laureates. Award winners will also receive a copy of David McCullough’s Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Truman, as well as a formal letter of award. Mann, lives in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.

Donald Wheelock, Irwin and Pauline alper Glass Professor of Music, recently received an ASCAP Award, granted each year by the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers based on “the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalog of original compositions,” according to an ASCAP press release.

Carla Coffey, head coach of cross-country and track, who was named this year’s NEWMAC Coach of the Year, spent part of this summer as head coach of the Team USA for the 10th International Association of Athletic Federation’s World Junior Track and Field Championships, held in Grosseto, Italy, in mid-July. Team USA took 19 medals (13 gold, three silver and three bronze) at the event, the most of any competing team and the second-best performance by Team USA. Russia was second in medal standing. Coffey’s team success was headlined by performances in the 4x100 meter and 4400 meter relay races, which shattered the event records. It was the first time Team USA swept the relays at the IAAF World Junior Championships.

DirectoryCalendarCampus MapContact UsSite A-Z