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August 18, 2006

Mariel Finucane ’05 is one of two graduate students nationally to be named winners of the Cox Scholarship, an award sponsored by the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Women in Statistics since 1989 to encourage more women to enter statistically oriented professions. Finucane, who received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics, joins Sharon M. Lutz, a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, as a Cox Scholar. Both women will enter Harvard University this fall.

Stephanie J. Jones ’82 began her term this summer as Executive Director of the National Urban League’s Policy Institute, an organization located in Washington, D.C., that provides research, policy analysis and advocacy to enable African Americans to achieve self-reliance, parity and power, and civil rights. From 2002 until this summer, Jones served as chief counsel to Sen. John Edwards, a candidate for president and vice president in 2004. Jones has also served as an associate professor of law at Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law, and served on the faculty of Northwestern University School of Law. Jones received her bachelor’s degree at Smith in English literature and Afro-American studies, and her Juris Doctorate from the university of Cincinnati College of Law. As executive director, Jones is expected to lead the Policy Institute as a more active participant in forging public policy issues related to the National Urban League’s agenda.

Claudia A. McMurray ’80 is six months into her first term as Assistant Secretary for Oceans, Environment and Science with the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, an office within the U.S. Department of State. From 2003 until this year, McMurray served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Environment, and before that as Associate Deputy Administrator and Chief of Staff to the Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As Assistant Secretary for Oceans, McMurray will help oversee issues related to environmental protection and climate change, conservation of resources, health issues, and cooperation with other nations. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in government from Smith, McMurray earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University.

July 19, 2006



Smith public safety officers Irma Lopez-Reiss and Harold Rios graduated last month from the Massachusetts State Police Academy’s Campus Police Officers training, a rigorous 16-week course. In the process, Lopez-Reiss achieved distinction by breaking a long-standing record for the 1.5-mile run as part of the course, and took an award for the highest level of physical fitness at the academy, which is located in New Braintree, Mass. “I am very proud of both their accomplishments by graduating from this course,” said Paul Ominsky, director of public safety. “Irma’s awards really highlight the wonderful staff that work in the Department of Public Safety.” Rios and Lopez-Reiss are the newest officers on the public safety staff, joining 10 other officers, as well as Scott Graham, deputy chief, and Ominsky. All public safety officers are required to complete the police academy training.

Yanique Matthews ’05 is one of 77 recent college graduates to receive a Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship, which pays for graduate school expenses such as tuition, room, board, fees and books -- up to $50,000 a year -- for up to six years. Matthews has enrolled in a graduate program at the University of South Florida. Scholarship recipients were selected from among more than 1,100 applicants from 33 states and nine foreign countries. Scholarship awards are based on academic achievement, financial need, demonstrated leadership and community involvement. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation was established in 2000 to help people of exceptional promise reach their potential through education. The foundation’s graduate scholarship, now in its fifth year, is among the most generous academic awards in the country.

Michelle Fournier ’92 was recently accepted to the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program, which provides funding for teachers and administrators in the United States to teach abroad for one year while a counterpart from a foreign country teaches in the U.S. Fournier, a teacher of French studies at Westbrook High School in Westbrook, Maine, will teach English in Bayeux, France, while her exchange counterpart will take over her courses in Westbrook. The Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program is intended to promote mutual understanding between people in the United States and other countries. As a Fulbright participant, Fournier joins 17 Fulbright Fellows recently graduated from Smith, as well as five French Government Teaching Assistant Fellows.

June 1, 2006

Sonya Naar ’91, a partner in the Chicago law firm DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US LLP, was recently named Young Lawyer of the Year for 2006 by the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA). The award is given annually to attorneys for all-around excellence in private practice, contributions to the bar and pro bono work. Naar is extensively involved in pro bono work, focusing primarily on children and education in the Chicago area. Among her many volunteer activities, she serves on the directors boards for the Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, and represents children through the Juvenile Justice Project. Naar last year won the Abraham Marovitz Making-a-Difference Award. She concentrates her practice in commerical litigation. Naar will receive the award in June during the ISBA annual conference in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Caroline Kuan ’99, who made news last year when she was hired as the first female (assistant) conductor for the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh, has again made history, this time as the first woman to be appointed assistant conductor for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Kuan, who attended the Peabody Conservatory of Music after graduating from Smith, studied conducting with Kurt Masur, Martin Alsop and Leonard Slatkin. She will leave her post in North Carolina for the two-year appointment with the Seattle Symphony, an orchestra regarded among some of the best in the country. Kuan, a native of Taiwan, has served as guest conductor for numerous ensembles. She made her debut with the Seattle Symphony as guest conductor one year ago.

Emily Jacobs ’04 is the recent recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, an annual award that promotes science and engineering by supporting outstanding students pursuing graduate degrees in those and related disciplines. The award stipend is $27,500 for 12-month tenure plus an additional $10,500 allowance per tenure year. Jacobs is studying psychology and cognitive neuroscience at the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley.

Jane Yolen ’60, a beloved fantasy and young adult author and a resident of Hatfield, Mass., recently received the 2006 Roots in Writing Award from Science Fiction and Fantasy Female Writers (SF-FFW) association. The award honors women of great accomplishment in the literature of science fiction and fantasy. In winning the award, Yolen joins previous winners such as Madeleine L’Engle ’41, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey and Andre Norton. Yolen, who has written more than 275 children’s books and science fiction and fantasy novels, served as an editor for Knopf Publishing, and published several renowned authors under her own young adult fantasy and science fiction imprint for Harcourt Brace publishing company. Yolen, who completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, taught a course at Smith for several years on fantasy and the literature of childhood. She also served on the editorial board of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly. The SF-FFW is a worldwide association of professional women writers.

Catherine Christian ’01 was named a winner of the Peach Award, a prestigious honor given annually to a graduate student at the University of Virginia who demonstrates enthusiasm for research and collaboration in science and medicine. The award was named after the late Michael J. Peach, a professor of pharmacology and the associate dean for research at the University of West Virginia Medical School. Christian, who is enrolled in the University of Virginia’s Neuroscience Graduate Program, was presented with the award -- a stipend, certificate and engraved goblet -- during a ceremony in April.

Maureen Rutecki ’84 earned her Accredited Senior Appraiser designation from the American Society of Appraisers. Rutecki is a senior valuation analyst with EFP Group, a CPA and business consulting firm in Rochester, N.Y. Rutecki, a resident of Pittsford, N.Y., is vice president of the Western New York Chapter of the American Society of Appraisers and a member of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts, as well as other accounting organizations. After graduating from Smith, Rutecki earned an MBA from the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. She joined EFP Group in 1998.

May 9, 2006

Eric Reeves, professor of English language and literature, will receive an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College during its 169th commencement exercises on Sunday, May 28. Reeves, who has become an internationally prominent expert on the genocidal atrocities perpetrated by the government of Sudan in the country’s Darfur region, has published numerous editorial essays on the subject in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and other newspapers, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on human rights. Reeves, who joined the Smith faculty in 1979 after attending Williams College and the University of Pennsylvania, will also receive the Bicentennial Medal from Williams at the college’s convocation in the fall, in recognition of his Sudan research and advocacy. The medal is the college’s highest alumnae award.

Six Smith sophomores were recently named Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows. They are Amanda M. Boone, Malaika Brooks-Smith-Lowe, Lizmarie Lopez, Elan C. McCollum, Ebonie Chene Tillman, and Jocelyn J. Thomas. 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 four juniors who received the fellowship last year: Astride Charles, Candace Gibson, Teresa Gonzales and Maria Lazaro.

Susan Vincent AC’00, who teaches science at the Young Women’s Leadership School in the Harlem section of New York City, was awarded a 2006 Toyota TAPESTRY Grant to fund her project titled “Is it Possible for a Biological Healthy Estuarine System to be Sustained on Long Time Scales in the Midst of a High Populated Industrial Area?” which will investigate a system for understanding how New York’s Hudson River estuary responds to natural events and human impacts. TAPESTRY Grants, which are sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., are administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Vincent, who won in the category of Environmental Science Education, is among 50 recipients who have received between $2,500 and $10,000. Vincent was honored last month by the NSTA at its annual conference in Anaheim, California.

Carolyn Kinder Carr ’61, deputy directory and chief curator at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., has spent the past few years coordinating traveling exhibitions for the gallery, helping circulate and display its collection as its permanent space in the Patent Office Building undergoes extensive renovations. Carr, who has written numerous books on art and portraiture, including Alice Neel’s Women and Americans, most recently curated “Retratos: 200 Years of Latin American Portraiture,” an overview of more than 100 portraits from more than 15 countries, from the Pre-Columbian through the modern eras. After showings in New York, California, Florida, and at the Smithsonian Institution, “Retratos” recently completed its run at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Shanna Burke ’05J was inducted last month into the Phi Alpha Honor Society at Springfield College School of Social Work. Phi Alpha is a national honor society for social work students with grade point averages of at least 3.9 and a credit load of at least 16.

April 11, 2006

Evelyn Bailey ’93 was recently honored by the Vermont General Assembly as the first executive director of the board for the state’s enhanced 911 system, an expanded emergency response network now accessible to all citizens in the state. Bailey also served as executive board secretary and president-treasurer of the National Association of State 911 Administrators and chaired the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Steering Council for Wireless Enhanced 911. “Evelyn Bailey has been a leader among enhanced 911 officials,” cites an assembly commendation of Bailey. “The Federal Communications Commission, the Congressional E911 Caucus, other governmental entities, and the media have all consulted Evelyn Bailey for her expertise and experience in developing and operating a modern E911 system. The General Assembly congratulates Evelyn Bailey on her outstanding accomplishments as executive director of the enhanced 911 board.”

Rosetta Cohen, professor of education and child study, teamed with Kelly Swindlehurst ’07 to compile research for an exhibition, “The Round Hill School: 1823-1834—Education Reform in Early America,” on display at the Historic Northampton museum through January 1, 2007. The exhibit outlines the history of the brief experimentation in education at Northampton's Round Hill School, the first truly progressive high school in the nation and the first to reject curricula of traditional Latin Grammar schools. Intended to educate boys from elite families for intellectual leadership, the school’s innovations have endured far beyond its short-lived existence. Historic Northampton is located at 46 Bridge Street.

Diane E. Kaneb ’60, who lives in Weston, Mass., was recently elected chair of the Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), an international center for treatment and research and a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. Kaneb, among numerous volunteer activities, has served as an MEEI trustee since 1986 and was elected to the board in 1989. After earning a degree in economics from Smith, Kaneb graduated from Babson College’s Management for Women Program.

Karl P. Donfried, the Elizabeth A. Woodson 1922 Professor Emeritus of Religion, is currently in Rome serving on the faculty of the Pontifical Biblical Institute as the 2006 Joseph Gregory McCarthy Professor. Earlier this month, Donfried spoke at the institute on “Rethinking Paul: On the Way Toward a Revised Paradigm,” in which he suggested that an analysis of the Apostle Paul, in light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, will enable a more comprehensive understanding of Pauline theology. Donfried, the first American Lutheran pastor to hold the McCarthy Chair, is one of the world’s preeminent authorities on the New Testament letters of the Apostle Paul, with particular interest in how the Dead Sea Scrolls illuminate Paul’s writings. He retired from Smith last June.

March 13, 2006

Ariel Gonzalez-Cohen, MFA student in dance, has been nominated for the Dance Magazine Outstanding Choreographer Award. Last fall at Smith, Gonzalez-Cohen auditioned a solo piece, titled “Waiting to Get In,” and was chosen by college faculty members to perform the piece at the 2006 New England Regional Dance Conference of the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA), held at Boston University. The conference was attended by hundreds of dance students and faculty from colleges throughout the Northeast. From among the 45 dance works judged at the conference, Cohen’s solo was selected for a repeat performance in the closing Gala Concert. She was also chosen to go on to the ACDFA Twelfth National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where her choreography will be reviewed again for national recognition. Gonzalez-Cohen will perform “Waiting to Get In” at this year’s Spring Dance Concert, held April 6 through 8.

Elizabeth E. Carr, Catholic chaplain to the college and lecturer in religion and biblical literature, was recently elected vice president for 2006-07 of the National Association of College and University Chaplains (NACUC) upon returning from the group’s annual meeting last month. The NACUC is a multifaith professional community, founded in 1948, concerned with religious life in the nation’s college and university communities. Following NACUC tradition, Carr will automatically rise to association president in 2007-08.

Doreen Woo Ho ’68, president of Wells Fargo Consumer Credit Group, was recently named to the National Board of Directors for the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF). Wells Fargo donated $100,000 to APIASF, which will go to college-bound students from underrepresented APIA communities interested in pursuing careers in banking and financial services. The donation represents the largest contribution received from a financial services institution. “Our support for APIASF, both financially and through our corporate involvement, addresses a critical need in the lives of these young Americans by giving them access to higher education,” said Ho. Wells Fargo corporate leaders will also work with APIASF to create internship and mentorship opportunities for APIASF scholars. “When students are mentored they have an opportunity to explore their skills, ask questions and add to their knowledge base,” said Ho. Wells Fargo & Co. is a diversified financial services company with $420 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers internationally.

February 1, 2006

Justina Roberts ’06, who during her Junior Year Abroad in Geneva worked as a research assistant for the Global Competitiveness Programme at the World Economic Forum, was invited last month to work with the Global Agenda team at the organization's 2006 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The meeting, which has taken place in Davos each January since 1971, when it was called the Davos Symposium, focused on finding solutions to global challenges. More than 2,000 people take part each year in an intensive five-day program of workshops and interview-style panel discussions that focus on crucial global, regional and industry issues. The keynote speaker was Angela Merkel, Germany's Federal Chancellor, who focused on the need for a creative approach to global challenges.

Erika Laquer, Dean of the Ada Comstock Scholars Class, traveled to the Dominican Republic for a week in early January to volunteer on the labor and delivery floor of the San Vincente de Paul Hospital in San Francisco de Macoris. Laquer, who teaches a first-year seminar, Of Women Delivered: Midwifery in Historical and Cross-Cultural Perspective, worked alongside the unit’s director and a nurse midwife, supervising four University of Massachusetts students. “I sat with many women during their labors,” she reports. “I even accompanied a 14-year-old throughout her Caesarean section. It was a very important experience for me and for the students who participated.” Laquer worked at the hospital through an Amherst organization, Proyecto Adames, which aims to decrease infant mortality in vulnerable populations.

Suzanne King Nusbaum ’69, a retired Massachusetts Industrial Accident Reviewing Board judge, has been invited this month to preside at the Chinese National Rounds of the 2006 Jessup Competition, an international law student moot court, to be held at Remnin University in Beijing. She recently received a master of laws degree (LL. M.) in intellectual property law from Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, Calif. She is currently a principal in IMPARTIA, a Silicon Valley alternative dispute resolution firm, resolving intellectual property, medical and financial disputes. She is an arbitrator and mediator for the World Property Organization (WIPO), the National Arbitration Forum, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), Kaiser Permanente and the Santa Clara County California Superior Court.

The Irish Cultural Center at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass., will present an exhibition this month of landscape paintings by Olwen O’Herlihy Dowling ’95 at its Borgia Gallery in the Mary Dooley Campus Center. The paintings in the exhibition are depictions of landscapes in Ireland’s counties Kerry and Connemara, which Dowling produced as an artist-in-residence at The Tyrone Guthrie Centre in County Monaghan, Ireland. “The Connemara/Kerry landscape has always been a beautiful memory for me,” says Dowling, who was born and lived in Dublin until age 9, and off and on since. “I first visited these parts of Ireland in the early 1980s. I found the isolation and the wild countryside strangely familiar though I had never seen anything before quite like the ever-changing light and clouds. For me, the west of Ireland is the most beautiful place in the world and more dramatic, alluring, and lonely than I ever imagined.” Her works will be on display from Monday, February 6, through Sunday, February 19.

January 5, 2006

Michaela LeBlanc ’07 has registered a campaign committee with the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance, an indication that she will run for office in the State Senate representing Franklin and Hampshire counties. LeBlanc, who serves as president of the junior class at Smith, will run as a Republican candidate attempting to unseat the popular Democrat incumbent from the region, Stanley C. Rosenberg.

A recent book, National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer, by Andrew Zimbalist, the Robert A. Woods Professor of Economics, has been chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2005 by Choice magazine, the review journal of the American Library Association. Choice selects a small number of books each year for the distinction “for their excellence in scholarship and presentation, the significance of their contribution to the field, and their value as important—often the first—treatment of their subject.” Zimbalist is the author of several books on the business of sports, including May the Best Team Win: Baseball Economics and Public Policy. He co-authored National Pastime with Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at the Tanaka Business School, Imperial College, London. A list of the winning titles was announced in the January 2006 issue of Choice.

Sheila M. Petigny ’91 recently became the director of the Youth Leaders in Action program, which offers after-school guidance and activities at the Gandara Center in Springfield’s Lower Liberty Heights neighborhood. The center is a multicultural, nonprofit organization that serves the behavioral health needs of children and adults in the area. Petigny, who majored in theater at Smith, will run the program for 15 children between ages 11 and 16. “My plan for the youth is to use performance pieces to empower them to use their voice and speak out,” she said in a January 4 Daily Hampshire Gazette article. “Youth programming is vital because kids in tough neighborhoods, every day, see that dealing drugs is a choice, and they see the paths that are harmful. When they see ways to go that are positive, that makes a big difference.”

December 9, 2005

Sidnie Davis ’08 will travel to Israel in January with a fellowship recently awarded to her by the Current and Future Leaders Study Mission of the Anti-Defamation League. She will travel through the country for one week with 11 other student fellows, as well as two U.S. Congressmen, to meet with Israeli politicians and Palestinian officials, and visit landmarks and religious sites. Davis, a government major with a focus on international relations, is excited about her upcoming trip. “It’s been my dream to go to Israel since I was about 15,” she says, “but I didn’t ever think I’d be able to go on an all-expense paid trip, or that I’d be leaving so soon. The chance to go on a trip to the Middle East with a political focus is a dream come true. It’s just another amazing opportunity that Smith has given me.” Davis will leave for Israel on January 3.

Catherine Hunt ’77, leader of technology partnerships at Rohm and Hass, an electronic materials manufacturing company with a research facility in Spring House, Pennsylvania, was recently elected President-Elect for 2006 of the American Chemical Society (ACS), a nationwide organization founded in 1876, consisting of 158,000 members at all levels and fields of chemistry. She will assume the society’s presidency in 2007 and serve as a member of the board of directors from 2006 to 2008. In her candidate’s statement, Hunt said “it’s time for America to reignite its commitment to science and technology -- and ACS can lead the way.” Hunt received 72 percent of the vote in winning the election this year.

Eileen Harrington ’96 recently returned to Boston, her hometown, after serving two years in Namibia as a volunteer AIDS coordinator and educator with the Peace Corps. Harrington trained primary and secondary school teachers about the effects of the fatal disease, which has infected a large part of the population in Namibia and its neighboring countries along Africa’s southwestern coast, Angola and Botswana. Her training focused on methods of prevention and how to best convey the important information to students. After graduating from Smith, Harrington earned her master’s of public administration degree from Suffolk University. She now plans to pursue a job in international development for a U.S.-based non-governmental organization.

Jessica Bossé ’07, who is studying at Smith this year through a Killam Fellowship Award, will return to Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, next year to complete her studies in biology. The prestigious Killam Fellowship, administered through the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States, is given to exceptional students from both countries to attend an institution in the other partner country for one semester or an academic year with the goal of increasing understanding between the neighboring countries. Bossé has also won the Millennium Excellence Award, one of Canada’s top honors.

November 2, 2005

Laura Katz, associate professor of biological sciences, is part of a newly formed task force of scientists and educators looking into the growing concern that a major loss of a significant fraction of the Earth's biodiversity may occur in the near future. Assembled by the Smithsonian Institution, the Biodiversity Science and Education Initiative (BSEI) aims to identify critical knowledge gaps and conceptual approaches that must be addressed for a better scientific understanding of biodiversity. The Biodiversity Science and Education Initiative met for the first time last month. Throughout the next several years, it aims to prioritize a science agenda to fill the gaps in the knowledge about biodiversity and make a stronger, more conceptually driven case for increased funding for biodiversity science. The work of the BSEI task force is supported by a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Judy Strong, head coach of Smith's field hockey team for 19 years, has been selected to the NCAA Division I 25th Anniversary Field Hockey Team. In 1980-81, the National Collegiate Athletic Association began its first tournament competition in field hockey for its Divisions I and III (Smith competes in Division III). Strong was a member of the top-ranked University of Massachusetts (Division I) field hockey team that competed against eventual champion the University of Connecticut in the inaugural championship tournament. “It was a great feeling to be playing for that championship,” said Strong in a recent article announcing the anniversary team in NCAA News Online. “As you look back, you can say you felt like a pioneer and breaking through, but I don’t remember feeling that way then.” The athletic conference will celebrate its quarter-century anniversary throughout the 2005-06 season, beginning with the 2005 championship tournament this month.

Catherine MacKinnon ’69, a renowned lawyer, teacher, writer and activist, was recently named one of 196 new fellows elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a society of 4,000 professionals who have demonstrated leadership and exceptional achievement in science, scholarship, business, public affairs and the arts. MacKinnon, the author of several groundbreaking articles and books on sexual harassment and women’s rights, joins journalist Tom Brokaw, playwright Tony Kushner, cartoonist Art Spiegelman, actor Sidney Poitier, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, and the late Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist in this year’s class of academy inductees. The new fellows, who were elected by current academy members, were inducted in October during an annual ceremony in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

T. Christine Stevens ’70, professor of math and computer science at Saint Louis University, was recently named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest society of science professionals. Stevens was selected for her contributions to the development of mathematics professors. She joins 376 members of the society in receiving the honor this year. Stevens is the director of New Experiences in Teaching (NExT), a project she created to assist the development of new or recent doctoral professionals in mathematics. In 2004, Stevens received the Yueh-Gin Gung and Dr. Charles Y. Hu Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics, the most prestigious award given by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA).

October 25, 2005

Kenneth Hellman, professor emeritus of chemistry, died on Sunday, October 23, while in Portland, Oregon, visiting his son. A memorial service has not yet been scheduled.

October 21, 2005

Gloria Steinem ’56 is one of 75 Jewish women featured in an informative, well-organized online exhibition titled “Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution.” The exhibition, produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive in Boston, documents the “Second Wave” of feminism from the 1960s through the end of the 20th century, with a multi-layered compendium of publications, photographs, comments and events in which Jewish women were instrumental, such as the launch of Ms. Magazine, which Steinem co-founded with Letty Cottin Pogrebin in 1972, as well as the formation of the Women’s Action Alliance and the National Women’s Political Caucus, in which Steinem also played vital roles. “As activists, professionals, artists, and intellectuals, Jewish feminists have shaped every aspect of American life,” says the exhibition introduction. “Drawing on the insights of feminism, they have also transformed the Jewish community.”

Steinem, one of the most visible and prominent feminists of the Second Wave, was the founding president of the Ms. Foundation for Women, and created the foundation’s Take Our Daughters to Work Day. She’s the author of several books, including Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem and Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions. Steinem served as a Smith College Trustee from 1997 to 2002. Her papers are part of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Others featured in “Jewish Women and the Feminist Revolution” include Susan Brownmiller, author of the groundbreaking book Against Our Will (1975); artist Judy Chicago, creator of the Birth Project series, and Smith’s 2000 Commencement speaker; playwright Eve Ensler, award-winning author of The Vagina Monologues; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rita Wilkins, former director of Service Organizations of Smith (S.O.S.), died on August 28 at the age of 89, in her home in Florence, Mass. Since her retirement from Smith in 1981, Wilkins remained heavily involved in the college and S.O.S., working with hundreds of students throughout the next two decades and coordinating fundraising initiatives. Wilkins' family has requested that memorial gifts be made to Smith (for the benefit of S.O.S.), the Cooley Dickinson VNA/Hospice, or the American Red Cross in support of hurricane victims in the Gulf Coast. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October 15, at 1 p.m. in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel.

October 6, 2005

Helen Russell, dean of students emerita and professor emerita of physical education, died on Wednesday, October 5. The College Hall flag will be lowered to half staff on Friday, October 7, in remembrance of Russell. A memorial service will be held Tuesday, October 11, at 2 p.m. at First Churches, 129 Main St. (corner of Center Street), Northampton.

September 20, 2005

Emmy Award-winning actress Elaine Bromka ’72 (MAT’73) is starring locally this week in a one-woman show, Tea for Three: Lady Bird, Pat & Betty, a play by Eric H. Weinberger about three First Ladies, the wives of U.S. presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. The play, which consists of three separate monologues respectively portraying the First Ladies, depicts critical points in each of their lives. Tea for Three, a production of the Miniature Theatre of Chester directed by Byam Stevens, will open at Springfield’s CityStage in downtown Springfield on Thursday, September 22, and run through Sunday, September 25. Bromka has appeared in numerous films, and television, Broadway and off-Broadway productions in her 30-year career. After portraying eight First Ladies in a PBS production opposite impersonator Rich Little, she collaborated with Weinberger on the script of Tea for Three. For more information, consult

Artist Jane E. Goldman ’73 will open a new art showcase, MindSpring Gallery, in Brattleboro, Vermont, with a grand gala on Friday, October 7. Goldman, a painter and printmaker, owns the gallery in partnership with studio artist Catherine Kernan, a visiting professor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Goldman and Kernan, who have collaborated for 25 years, also co-own and operate Mixit Print Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. Goldman has designed three installations for the Massachusetts Port Authority at Boston’s Logan International Airport, which together occupy more than 70,000 square feet. She is currently creating a ceramic tile mosaic floor for the Community Open Air Contemporary Art Museum in Islita, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. MindSpring Gallery will open at 10 Canal Street.

As part of Hartford Stage’s “Brand:NEW” play-reading festival, Patricia Wettig MFA’01 presented her new work My Andy on Saturday, September 17, on the company’s MainStage in downtown Hartford. My Andy, directed by Leigh Silverman, is an imaginary telling of Andy Warhol’s life with his mother, Julia Warhola, an immigrant from Poland with whom he lived for much of his adult life. Wettig is best know for her role as Nancy Weston on television’s thirtysomething (1987-91) and Dr. Judy Barnett in Alias. After her television success, she completed her master's degree in playwriting in Smith's theatre department. The “Brand:NEW” festival is a high-profile series featuring readings by today’s cutting-edge playwrights on icons of history. The series continues through September 25. For more information, consult

August 29, 2005

Shirley Braha ’04 is making noise on New York City’s cable access channel 25 with her weekly show “New York Noise.” The show, which Braha started in 2002 as a Smith sophomore, invites some of the city’s hottest rock bands to talk intimately about their music, sometimes resulting in emotional or quirky moments (Tommy Ramone talking about The Ramones over tea?) that you would never find on network television. Braha, a native of Brooklyn, was involved with Smith’s radio station WOZQ while in college. As a teenager, she began her own record lable, Little Shirley Beans. According to an article about Braha in the August 16 edition of New York’s Daily News, people in the city are beginning to take notice of her work and tuning into her show, which airs every Tuesday at 10 p.m., with encore showings on Fridays at 9 p.m. and Sundays at 10 p.m., NYC TV 25.

Alisha Ellis MSW’06, a second-year student in the School for Social Work, recently received the Verne LaMarr Lyons Memorial MSW Scholarship from the National Association of Social Workers Foundation (NASWF), which is awarded to MSW candidates who plan to work with the African-American community through health practice. Ellis, who grew up in Harlem, has been an advocate for underserved African-American populations stricken with Alzheimer’s disease, mental illness and HIV/AIDS. She has worked as a court-appointed special advocate for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect, and as a sexual assault violence intervention advocate. Following completion of her MSW, Ellis plans to start a community-based nonprofit organization that will help provide families with health care.

Roberta Desnomie ’06J spent her summer working with the United States Congress in Washington, D.C. as a winner of the Morris K. Udall Foundation award last spring. The award is given annually to Native American students to support congressional internships. Desnomie was one of 12 students-from eight tribes and 10 universities-to win in 2005. Desnomie and the other Udall interns completed a 10-week program working in congressional offices or federal agencies in Washington. Since the Udall award was established in 1996, 114 Native American/Alaska Native students from 78 tribes have participated. Desnomie is a member of the Peepeekisis Cree Nation of Canada. At Smith, she studies sociology, anthropology and international relations.

August 12, 2005

Six Smith students traveled to Belize in July to teach coral reef ecology to children in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, as part of Coral Reef Ed-Ventures, an annual summer program sponsored by Smith and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in Belize. Katie Marlowe MA’05, Elizabeth Thomas ’05, Nora Beem ’05, Emily Tyner ’06, Ashley Barton ’07 and Maria Lazaro ’07 represent the sixth Smith team to participate in the program, which offers free classes to local children, featuring a variety of games, stories, arts and crafts projects, field trips and scientific experiments.

Artist Nava Grunfeld, who received a master’s in art education from Smith in 1981, is featured in the August issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Grunfeld’s painting, “Black Bowl,” a colorful depiction of pears in a bowl on a table, adorns the magazine cover. Also, Grunfeld’s article, “C is for Commitment,” about changing work habits to increase productivity, appears in the August issue.

A sign of the times: Carroll Rodrigo-Kelley ’07 recently made news in the Stafford County Sun (Virginia) for her unusual resistance to procure a credit card. As the majority of her student contemporaries at Smith and other schools sign up for hundreds of dollars worth of up-front money to be paid back later with interest, Rodrigo refuses to use one. “I’ve learned that credit cards can get you into a big mess, so I avoid them,” she comments in a July 18 article.

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