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2007-08 ARCHIVE

August 29, 2008

Elizabeth Crews AC’09, who attended the Oxford Summer Seminar, a joint program between the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Oxford University, was recently awarded the seminar’s Ernest H. Hofer Book Prize in the non-literary essay category. Crews’ prize essay, “Irresistible Force Meets Unmovable Object: Policy, Principle, and the Anglo-American Crisis,” was written in response to a quote by 18th-century statesman and philosopher Edmund Burke, who said, “Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle,” said Crews. “I linked the Kent State University shootings of May 1970 to the Boston Massacre of March 1770 to illustrate that both England and the colonists in America shared three essential problems that led to the American revolution: the principle of authority, the principle of liberty, and the principle of identity,” she explained. The Hofer Book Prize is given annually for the two best essays written during the summer seminar, and is judged by Oxford faculty. Ernest Hofer, who died on July 15, founded the Oxford Summer Seminar more than 40 years ago to give students an opportunity to study with Oxford faculty. Hofer had been a longtime English department faculty member at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and retired in 1986. "The value of a Smith education is incomparable," said Crews. "I was able to apply everything I have learned at Smith thus far to my studies this summer."

Janine Olthuis ’08 was recently named a recipient of an Honorary Undergraduate Scholars Award from the New England Psychological Association (NEPA). Olthuis, who last spring received a postgraduate scholarship from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is one of only five students from New England colleges to receive the NEPA award this year. Nominated by Byron Zamboanga, assistant professor of psychology, Olthuis was selected based on her achievements in and contributions to psychology as an undergraduate, including co-authoring several articles and conference presentations with Zamboanga. Olthuis will begin a doctoral program in clinical psychology this fall at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The NEPA Scholars will be honored during the association's annual meeting at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., on October 25.

Moscow’s Sex and the City, a documentary film produced this year by Victoria Gamburg ’93 for the PBS program FRONTLINE/World, was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy Award in a new category for work presented on the Internet. The story, which borrows its title from the popular HBO television series and Hollywood hit, depicts the experiences of young, single women in today’s Russia. Gamburg, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but grew up in the United States, compares fictional characters in Russia’s popular TV series Balzac Age with the lives of real women in Moscow. Gamburg has produced several documentaries from her cross-cultural perspective. Emmy Award winners will be announced during a ceremony at the Lincoln Center in New York city on September 22.

August 1, 2008

Lynn Oberbillig, director of athletics, was recently named chair of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III Management Council, a prestigious post that guides the group responsible for decisions on college sports nationwide. Oberbillig, who is currently serving as the council’s vice chair, will take over the chair next year from Del Malloy, commissioner of the New England Collegiate Conference. Oberbillig, who has served as Smith’s director of athletics since 1993, currently chairs the NCAA’s Softball Rules Committee. She also has served on the association’s Women’s Rowing Committee and was the first chair of the Division III Women’s Rowing Committee. “I’m honored to be appointed to this position,” Oberbillig said. “It’s humbling to think that I will be at the top of the NCAA food chain trying to represent Smith in a fashion that we can all be proud of.”  Earlier this year, Oberbillig won the Heights Award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributiosn to the development and advancement of women’s sports.

Jennifer Barnes ’82 was recently appointed the new president of Murray Edwards College, an institution in Cambridge, England. Formerly named New Hall, the women’s college was founded in 1954. Barnes, who will assume the college presidency on October 1, will be the fourth president of the school, which was founded in 1954. Barnes, a longtime music educator in the United Kingdom, is the author of several publications, including The Fall of Opera Commissioned for Television. After completing her undergraduate studies in English literature at Smith, Barnes studied at the Royal College of Music, in London, and received her doctorate from the University of London. Barnes served on the faculty of the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music.

Joel Westerdale, assistant professor of German, was recently awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship. The prestigious award is given annually by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to postdoctoral researchers from abroad, to further pursue their  scholarship in Germany. Westerdale will conduct research for his project titled “Evil in Modern German Literature and Film,” which will explore the pivotal role of evil in modern literary and film culture with emphases on issues of identity and emerging media technology. He will carry out his research at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin, from July 2009 to 2010.

July 8, 2008

Kelly Forbush ’09 recently received an undergraduate fellowship from the Fund for Theological Education (FTE), which recognizes students who have demonstrate leadership and who are considering ministry as a vocation. Forbush will receive $2,000 toward tuition, as well as other educational support. As a FTE fellow, Forbush attended the fund’s Conference on Excellence in Ministry last month at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. The FTE Undergraduate Fellowship is a highly competitive award for students from schools throughout the United States and Canada. The Fund for Theological Education is a leading ecumenical advocate for excellence and diversity in Christian ministry and theological scholarship. Since 1954, FTE has awarded nearly 6,000 fellowships.

Sherry Wang ’06 was recently awarded a Minority Fellowship from the American Psychological Association (APA). The fellowship supports the training of practitioners and researdhers in mental health and substance abuse services and prevention. Wang is currently pursuing a doctorate in counseling psychology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The APA fellowship is supported by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to increase the knowledge of and research related to ethnic minority mental health, and to improve the quality of mental health and substance abuse services to ethnic minority populations. As a fellow, Wang will receive financial support, including assistance with tuition, some dissertation expenses and travel to the APA convention, and training opportunities.

Award-winning filmmaker Julie Casper Roth AC’07, whose work has steadily gained national exposure since her graduation from Smith, was recently named an Artist Fellow in Video with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). The foundation’s fellowships program, which began in 1984, annually awards grants to artists in the state. Roth, whose films have been shown at the MadCat International Women’s Film Festival, the Athens International Film and Video Festival and several other venues, is currently working on her first feature-length documentary film, titled The Main, an exploration of changing social and consumer dynamics in queer communities. Roth is one among 144 NYFA Fellows named this year in 16 disciplines.

May 28, 2008

Katherine T. Halvorsen, professor of mathematics and statistics, was recently appointed as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA), the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society. Halvorsen is among 53 fellows recently elected in recognition of their outstanding professional contributions to and leadership in the field of statistical science, according to a press release from the ASA. Fellows are nominated by other ASA members and must have an established reputation for outstanding contributions in statistics. The ASA, which was founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. Halvorsen joins new fellows from 23 states, Canada and Israel. The fellows will be presented at a ceremony at the ASA’s 168th annual Joint Statistical Meetings in Denver on August 5.

Alexandra Gorin ’08 is the recent recipient of a Sustainable Energy Fellowship from the Global Institute of Sustainability. As one of 40 fellows from 20 schools, Gorin is visiting Duke University this month to begin her fellowship with a weeklong workshop on new technologies, policies and economics of sustainable energy. The highly competitive fellowship gives students and recent graduates opportunities to study and conduct research into energy production, conversion, storage and environmentally responsible sources, such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal. Fellows’ expenses are underwritten by Shell and Ford Motor companies.

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander ’44 is the recipient of two honorary degrees during this commencement season. On May 21, she received the Doctor of Laws from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And on May 28, she received the Doctor of Science from McGill University in Montréal. The degrees are given for pioneering work in shaping understanding of landscape architecture, as well as in recognition of Oberlander’s work over six decades, including at Smith, according to a press release from McGill University.

Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy ’02 will receive the Woman of Distinction Award for Communications from the YWCA Toronto during a presentation dinner on June 3. Obaid-Chinoy visited Smith last month for a screening of her most recent film The Lost Generation, a documentary about middle-class Iraqis who have been driven from their homes by war and sectarian bloodshed. The Woman of Distinction Award honors contributions women make to the life of the city of Toronto, in particular their commitment to women and girls. Obaid-Chinoy, a native of Pakistan, began her career in documentary filmmaking after reporting on Afghani refugee children in Pakistan, which resulted in the film Terror’s Children, winner of the Overseas Press Club Award and other honors. Obaid-Chinoy, who lives in Toronto, Paris and London, is one of eight women to receive the award this year.

April 30, 2008

Margaret Mongare ’10 is one of 16 second-year undergraduates from top American schools to be selected as a 2008 Goldman Sachs Global Leader. Mongare joined students from Harvard, Stanford, Brown, Yale, New York, Duke, Cornell and Northwestern universities, and the universities of Pennsylvania, Miami, California-Berkeley, Texas-Austin, and Michigan, in receiving the highly competitive award. They were selected on the basis of their outstanding academic abilities and leadership achievements. The Goldman Sachs Foundation, along with its partner organization, the Institute of International Education, created the Global Leaders Program to identify and reward the academic excellence and leadership potential of accomplished second-year students.  Each Global Leader receives a $3,000 award. Mongare and the other Global Leaders were honored during a luncheon at Goldman Sachs in New York City in early April.

Kate Queeney, associate professor of chemistry, is a recent recipient of a $38,000 Special Grant in the Chemical Sciences from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in New York City dedicated to advancing the science of chemistry. The foundation’s chemical sciences grant program supports proposed projects that aim to advance the chemical sciences in a variety of ways.  Queeney’s award will support her project AEMES: Focus on Chemistry. Queeney is one of 26 Special Grant recipients in 2008.

Ginetta Candelario, associate professor of sociology and Latin American and Latina/o studies, was recently honored as the Community-based Learning Faculty member of the Year by Five Colleges, Inc. Candelario is teaching a Practicum in Community Based Research this semester in which her students have examined the effects on Holyoke neighborhoods of a proposed new waste transfer station. Candelario was heralded during a reception on April 23 at Mount Holyoke College, alongside Isolde Bustamante-Ortega and Engaging Latino Communities for Education, the Five Colleges Community Partner of the Year.

Eric Reeves, professor of English language and literature, will be presented on May 9 with the 16th annual Salem Award for Human rights and Social Justice for his work on behalf of victims of violence and genocide in Sudan. The award is given each year to keep alive the lessons of the Salem witch trials of 1692 and to recognize people whose commitment to social justice has alleviated discrimination and promoted tolerance. Reeves is a recent recipient of an honorary degree from Smith for his advocacy on behalf of people in Sudan. Reeves will join Susannah Sirkin, deputy director, International Policy and Advocacy, for Physicians for Human Rights, and the Rev. Gloria White-Hammond, co-pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, on a panel at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.

Natalie Sullivan ’07 is among 59 scholars chosen as 2008 Humanity in Action (HIA) Fellows. Sullivan will join fellows from 35 other American schools, including Amherst and Vassar colleges, in summer programs in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland and the United States. The fellows will work together in five-week sessions studying the conditions of minorities in these countries, and seeking solutions to meet their needs. Fellows are selected on the basis of leadership ability, demonstrated commitment to human rights and minority issues, and high academic achievement. “This year, our applicant pool was more talented than ever, and so Natalie's selection is a testament to her keen intellect and strong commitment to human rights issues,” said Nick Farrell, HIA American Program director. Founded in 1997, HIA guides student leaders in the study and work of human rights.

March 5, 2008

Paula J. Giddings, E.A. Woodson 1922 Professor of Afro-American Studies, will begin a national book tour on March 10, at the Jane Addams Hull House in Chicago, to promote her new book Ida: A Sword Among Lions: Ida B. Wells and the Campaign Against Lynching. As part of her tour, Giddings will read from her book at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley on Thursday, March 13, at 7 p.m. Ida is a “sweeping narrative about a country and a crusader,” according to an Odyssey Bookshop press release, “embroiled in the struggle against lynching: a practice that not only imperiled the lives of black men and women, but also a nation based on law and driven by race.”

Christine Shelton, professor of exercise and sport studies, is among the presenters at this year’s Commission on the Status of Women, which is taking place from February 25 through March 7 at the United Nations in New York City. As part of the commission, Shelton helped present the new United Nations publication Women, Gender Equality and Sport, which she helped produce. “Leading advocates of women’s sport are celebrating new recognition by the United Nations that participation in sport is not just about better health—it is a catalyst for women’s empowerment and development around the world,” says a United Nations press release about the new publication. Shelton was part of a panel on February 28 that introduced the publication, along with representatives from the International Working Group on Women and Sport. The Women, Gender Equality and Sport will be published in multiple languages and distributed widely. Attendees at the international commission included representatives from several governments and sporting organizations, as well as athletes, managers and trainers, and sports media professionals. Click here for more information on Women, Gender Equality and Sport.

Christine Davis, senior coach of tennis, was cited recently in TennisPro magazine for her longtime involvement in the Babe Zaharias Golf and Tennis Tournament, in which she has participated every year since it began in 1982. The tournament is the largest sports fundraiser in the nation for the American Cancer Society, and has raised more than $6 million. Each August, Davis travels to Ohio to volunteer in the organization of the event. Last August 8, the Babe Zaharias Tennis and Golf Classic, which is chaired by Barbara Nicklaus, wife of golfing great Jack Nicklaus, took place at the New Albany Country Club in New Albany, Ohio, whose golf course was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The event raised more than $300,000.

Ann Shanahan ’59, who retired from Smith in 2004 as Chief Public Affairs officer, was recently presented with the Keen Hahn Award for Community Service in the Arts. The award is given annually by the Northampton Arts Council to individuals who have made notable efforts on behalf of the arts locally. Shanahan was a member of the founding board of the Center for the Arts and returned to the board in 2003, serving as chair from 2004 to 2007. During her tenure, the center increased it programming and established an online arts calendar ( as part of a campaign to encourage collaboration among local arts organizations. The late Keen Hahn, for whom the award is named, spent many years working at the Center for the Arts.

February 25, 2008

It's finally official: after spending months in contention for the highest honor bestowed on movie makers, Cynthia Wade ’89 took the walk up the stairs on Sunday, Feb. 24, as millions watched, to accept an Academy Award for her film Freeheld. The film, which won the Oscar in the category Best Short Documentary Subject, chronicles the story of the late Laurel Hester, a detective lieutenant in Ocean County, New Jersey. During the final year of Hester’s life, after she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, she engaged in a struggle with elected county officials to transfer her pension—earned after 25 years of fighting crime—to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree, an option for heterosexual couples living together.

Andree and Wade attended the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood together. The category nominees and winner were introduced by United States soldiers. Freeheld took the award over other documentaries La Corona, Salim Baba and Sari's Mother.

Read Wade's acceptance speech.

The Oscar is chief among several awards taken by Freeheld, including the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Boston Independent Film Festival.

December 20, 2007

A new book, Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead, edited by Sam Intrator, associate professor of education and child study, is a semifinalist for the first annual 2007 Best Business Book awards chosen by 800-CEO-READ, an online publication that reviews business books. Intrator’s book was selected from nearly 300 titles submitted to the publication’s editorial staff and represents top titles of the year. Winners in 15 categories will be announced on Jan. 15, 2008. The book is a collection of 93 poems and commentaries from leaders about the impact the poems have had on their lives and careers.

A new book, Making Mathematics with Needlework: Ten Papers and Ten Projects, by sarah-marie belcastro, visiting assistant professor of mathematics and statistics and associate director of the Center for Women in Mathematics, and Carolyn Yackel, assistant professor of mathematics at Mercer University, was recently reviewed in SIAM News, a journal of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. The book is a collection of needlework patterns and essays regarding the commonalities of math and the popular pastime. “For the myriad math-and-needlework enthusiasts out there, this book will no doubt earn a place of honor on the shelf,” writes reviewer Michelle Sipics. “Readers with a broad interest in mathematics will appreciate the range of topics discussed as well as the effort on the part of the authors to illustrate those topics and concepts in creative ways, incorporating so many different crafts.”  

November 28, 2007

A permanent installation by Lynne Yamamoto, associate professor of art, commissioned by the City of Seattle, Washington, for the city’s new Central Library, was recently completed and occupies a large wall near the Seattle Collection of city papers. The installation is a 6-inch deep relief of the face of index card files, cast in semi-opaque white resin, Yamamoto explains. The casts are of a set of card files saved from the Temporary Central Library.

“The card files are an article of furniture that has been rendered obsolete by computerized cataloging,” says Yamamoto. “However, some of the information recorded on these cards has never entered the online catalog. Thus, much of this information would be lost without the original cards. As a result, squirreled away in several parts of the new Central Library are the beloved card files. They continue to be useful to librarians and users. The handwritten notes on these cards are personal traces of librarians past and present.”

Yamamoto’s card catalog relief suggests the spectral trace of the card files in the library, she describes.

Yamamoto was commissioned to create the work by the city’s Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Central Library, which was designed by renowned Dutch architect Rem Koohaas/Office of Metropolitan Architecture, opened in May 2004.

November 7, 2007

Erin Park Cohn ’00 was recently named as a winner of the Gene Wise Warren Susman Prize for best graduate student paper delivered at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association. Cohn, who is working toward her doctorate in American history at the University of Pennsylvania, presented her paper “Imprinting Race: The Philadelphia Fine Print Workshop of the WPA Federal Art Project and the Visual Politics of Race.” The paper is part of a larger dissertation project that explores intersections of race politics and visual culture in the United States from the 1930s through the 1960s.  

Seymour W. Itzkoff, professor emeritus of education and child study, is the new book series editor for the Edwin Mellen Press of Lewiston, N.Y. and Wales, U.K. ( The book series is entitled World Energy Crisis, and will consist of contributions from various points of view, all being of scholarly, technical, and scientific character.

September 11, 2007

Rosetta Marantz Cohen, professor of education and child study, is one of several prominent authors featured in risk, courage, and women: contemporary voices in prose and poetry, a book recently published by the University of North Texas Press. Cohen, who is the author of four books on topics in education, as well as a poetry collection, is currently working on a book-length poem on high school life. Other authors featured in the book include Maya Angelou, Rosemary Catacalos, Pat Mora, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Joan E. Shalikashvili.

Gabrielle Thal-Pruzan ’08 spent the past summer as a Goldman Fellow at the American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights in New York. The fellowship is designed to develop future leaders in the areas of international and domestic politics, diplomacy, public relations and management. Last month, during her fellowship, Thal-Pruzan wrote an op-ed piece titled “Israel must take steps to improve its treatment of Sudanese refugees” on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency Web site. Thal-Pruzan argued that the Israeli government can take steps that “will help ensure the dignity and rights of those seeking asylum in Israel.

Peter I. Rose, professor emeritus of sociology and anthropology, was recently appointed a Fulbright Senior Specialist at the Roosevelt Academy of Utrecht University for spring 2008. This will be Rose’s sixth Fulbright professorship. The Roosevelt Academy is a new English-language international honors college, and is the second Netherlands institution to be modeled after Smith College. Like its predecessor, the University College Utrecht (UCU), the Roosevelt Academy bases its academic structure and curriculum on those at Smith, Rose notes. The decision to emulate of Smith were spearheaded by Hans Adriaansens, a Dutch sociologist who had spent a year at Smith in 1980, and subsequently became Dean of Social Sciences at UCU, as well as a member of the National Science Council. Rose has also served in Fulbright professorships at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, Kyoto and Doshisha universities in Japan, and Flinders University in Australia.

Maria Honeycutt ’95 has been named the GSA-U.S. Geological Survey Congressional Science Fellow for 2007-08. In her new position, Honeycutt will work on policy initiatives for a broad range of earth and ocean science-related issues. Most recently, Honeycutt has worked as a principal geologist with URS Corporation in Maryland. There, she led efforts to develop advisory coastal flood recovery maps for the Gulf Coast in the wake of hurricanes Ivan, Katrina and Rita. She is currently leading an analysis of storm-induced erosion, modeling of waves and mapping floodplains for the Mississippi coast as part of a follow-up study. Honeycutt also serves as co-chair of the Coast Issues Policy Committee for the Association of State Floodplain Managers and is professionally registered as a certified floodplain manager.

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About People News

People News is a column for publicizing the achievements, distinctions and notable activities of people in the Smith community, PeopleNews welcomes your submissions. If you -- or someone you know in the Smith community -- have recently received an award, participated in an interesting event, or are involved in an important endeavor, please let us know.


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