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2009-10 ARCHIVE

July 29, 2010

Georgia Yuan, who served as Smith College general counsel from 2003 until this year, was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). The award recognizes individuals who have given extraordinary service both to NACUA and to institutions of higher learning. Yuan, who joined NACUA in 1991, served on its Board of Directors from 1998 to 2000, and again from 2003 to 2009, and as association president in 2006-07, the first Asian-American to hold that office. Before coming to Smith, Yuan served as general counsel at the University of Idaho. Yuan recently relocated to Washington, D.C., where she joined the U.S. Department of Education as Deputy General Counsel for Post-Secondary Education and Regulatory Service.

Katlyn R. Lewicke ’11 (pictured at left) and Helen Hua ’10 were among the contestants in the Miss Massachusetts pageant earlier this month, a lead-up event to the high-profile Miss America pageant. The students qualified for the state competition by taking regional crowns, Lewicke for Miss Western Massachusetts 2010, Hua for Miss Southcoast 2010. Neither Lewicke nor Hua cracked the top 10 in the state pageant, blunting their hopes for national contention. For Lewicke, who appeared in a Fourth of July parade, it’s only the beginning. “It was my first year competing,” she said. “I am in love with the system and plan to keep competing." It was Hua's second time in the state pageant.

Victoria Davey ’77 was appointed in June to the position of Chief Officer of Public Health and Environmental Hazards, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Davey has served in the office since 1999, and has been Acting Chief Officer since September 2009, and Deputy Chief Officer since 2006. Davey is a national expert on planning and preparedness for pandemic influenza and other public health/biodefense-related initiatives and has been princpal for VHA’s response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. The Office of Public Health and Environmental Hazards leads public health programs for the VA.

Among her duties as Google’s manager of space initiatives, Tiffany Montague ’96 oversees the possibilities of sending robots to the moon and observing Mars. Montague, who was featured in a recent piece by New York Times “Bits” column writer Ashlee Vance, developed a sense for space, first as an Air Force officer flying high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft, then as an employee for the National Reconnaissance Office, a government intelligence agency specializing in spy satellites. After graduating from Smith, Montague had her sites set on becoming a NASA astronaut, but eventually realized the odds were slight that she would fly in space. Perhaps her current job offers the next best thing: working with NASA in gathering astronomical data and looking long and closely at space.

June 10, 2010

Steven Goldstein, Sophia Smith Professor of Government, was recently named among the first class of research associates of the National Asia Research Program (NARP), an initiative of the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center. NARP chose 39 outstanding scholars of Asia—27 research associates and 12 research fellows—for the program, which will fund their research during a two-year term and bring it to the attention of policymakers. The NARP scholars were chosen from educational institutions throughout the country based on their research into issues of importance to U.S. interests in Asia. “Our goal in this new program is to highlight and reward scholars who have successfully bridged the gap between the academy and policy,” said NARP co-director Richard Ellings. “America’s future security, prosperity, and well-being will be deeply linked with Asia’s future, and thus America needs some of its best and brightest to understand our interests in Asia.”

Craig Davis, professor of English language and literature, has been selected as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar to participate in a seminar held in Rome, titled “The ‘Falls’ of Rome: The Transformations of Rome in Late Antiquity,” from June 28 to July 30. Davis will contribute a project titled The Ethnogenisis of the Goths in Rome. The National Endowment for the Humanities is a federal agency that each summer supports seminars and institutes so that college teachers can work in collaboration with experts in humanities disciplines.

Virginia Woolf

Karen Kukil, associate curator of special collections, recently represented Smith on a panel of librarians and biographers at the first conference of the Biographers International Organization [link], held at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. As a member of a panel on “Working with Primary Documents,” Kukil presented “Objects are Documents,” a talk about teaching with manuscripts, drawing from examples of recent exhibitions at Smith on Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group. Kukil joined Kathryn Jacob, curator of manuscripts at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard, and biographers Susan Quinn and Nancy Milford on the panel, which was moderated by archivist Phyllis Steele.


Janine Olthuis ’08 was recently awarded the Vanier Canada Graduate Fellowship, considered the most prestigious doctoral fellowship in Canada. Olthuis is a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Vanier Fellowship is awarded to some of the most talented doctoral students from around the world who study at Canadian schools. Recipients are chosen for their demonstrated leadership skills and high academic achievement. Olthuis will receive $50,000 annually for up to three years.

A work by Donald Wheelock, Irwin and Pauline Alper Glass Professor of Music, titled Music for Seven Players, will be performed on Saturday, June 19, at 8 p.m. as part of the 2010 Institute and Festival for Contemporary Performance (IFCP) at Mannes Concert Hall in New York City. Wheelock’s piece, scored for flute, clarinet, piano, percussion, violin, viola and cello, is part of a program with works by composers Elliott Carter and Linda Dusman. The IFCP seeks to provide young musicians with opportunities to become experienced and comfortable performing new works, said Todd Tarantino, coordinator of the festival. “What makes Wheelock’s piece so strong and useful for these young players is how well it is written for their instruments.”

May 10, 2010

Adam Hall and Christine White-Zeigler, both associate professors in biological sciences, are recent recipients of $300,000 AREA (Academic Research Enhancement Award) grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grants are given in support of research projects in biomedical and behavioral sciences that incorporate student collaboration at undergraduate and masters degree levels. Hall’s grant will help fund his project, “The Role of Metallothioneins in Isoflurane-Preconditioning of Neurons in Vitro.” White-Ziegler will use the grant for her project “Short-term Responses to Temperature Changes in E-coli.” Both faculty members will employ several students, through special studies and the STRIDE program, who fund their travel expenses to present their research at microbiology and anesthesiology events. Also, Hall plans to purchase new equipment—a tissue culture incubator, anesthetic vaporizer and anesthetic exposure chamber—for his lab. “These research experiences give students an opportunity to develop a project that is their own,” said White-Zeigler, “a place for them to make novel observations and contribute to their field of research.”

Several recent alumnae and one current student have received awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Three alumnae received NSF graduate fellowships for study in geosciences: Kristin Mayer ’05, at Stanford University; Maya Li Wei-Haas ’09, studying environmental geochemistry at The Ohio State University; and Kelsey Winsor ’07, studying paleoclimatology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Engineering major Katelyn Gerecht ’10 will head to Pennsylvania State University with an NSF Fellowship to study hydrologic sciences. Also receiving NSF awards this year are Kristina Yoshida ’02, who is studying environmental sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, and Caitlin Daniel ’06, studying sociology at Harvard University.

Lauren Ann Metskas ’08 (M.S. ’10) was invited to give an oral presentation last month of the paper “Gender Dimorphism in the Exercise-Naïve Murine Skeletal Muscle Proteme”—co-authored by Mohini Kulp, laboratory instructor in chemistry, and Stylianos Scordilis, professor of biological sciences—at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society in Anaheim, Calif. The paper is the first documentation that the assemblage of proteins in mouse biceps muscle differs between males and females, according to Scordilis. The research, conducted with the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation in Smith’s Center for Proteomics, is important to the understanding of gender differences during exercise, Scordilis said. Metskas, who completed a self-designed major in exercise science before completing her master’s degree in biology, will enter Yale University’s postgraduate Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry program in the fall.

Ellen Doré Watson, director of the Smith College Poetry Center, was recently awarded a full fellowship to the MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire), as well as a Zoland Poetry Award full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. The MacDowell Colony (New Hampshire) supports highly talented artists by providing an inspiring environment for them to work. The Vermont Studio Center, located in Johnson, Vt., hosts artists’ and writers’ participation in studio residencies. Watson’s fifth book collection of poems is due for release this summer.

April 26, 2010

Recent Books by Smith faculty:

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy Frost and Gail Steketee. An analysis of compulsive hoarding behaviors using case studies. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. Read an April 23, 2010, New York Times review by psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer.
Parties, Polarization, and Democracy in the United States, by Donald Baumer and Howard Gold, professors of government, published in December 2009 by Paradigm Publishers. Read the publisher's description.
American Art to 1900: A Documentary History, by John Davis and Sarah Burns. Published in 1009 by University of California Press. Read the publisher's description.
With Few Reservations: Travels at Home and Abroad, by Peter I. Rose, professor emeritus of sociology. Forty-eight commentaries on people and places from Cape Cod to Cape Horn. Read a description.

April 1, 2010

Cynthia Wade ’89, the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, for her film Freeheld, took an Honorable Mention in Short Filmmaking at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival for her latest film Born Sweet, a 28-minute documentary that tells the story of a 15-year-old Cambodian boy dying of arsenic poisoning while dreaming of karaoke stardom. Wade, who discovered filmmaking as an undergraduate at Smith, first learned of arsenic-laced well water from a National Public Radio story last year. “I was looking to challenge myself by directing a film outside of my comfort zone,” Wade explains. “I had never been to Cambodia, and never directed a film in a language that I can’t speak. Making a film in a language and land that is so different from my own allowed me to think in pictures, and allowed me to push the visual style of the film. The film is a coming-of-age story of a teenage boy who has arsenic poisoning. His longing for love and human connection is universal.” Wade and her team traveled to Cambodia three times in 2009, bringing water, cots, mosquito nets and generators over a small wooden ferry to the tiny village of Prek Russei. View a trailer and read more information about Born Sweet.

Thelma Golden ’87, a prominent and longtime force in American art, was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House. The committee, which was created in 1964, advises the President, First Lady, and director of the National Park Service on preserving the museum quality of the public space of the White House. “One of our priorities has been to open the doors of the White House, invite more visitors in and truly make it the ‘People’s House,’” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “When people come here for public tours and events, we want them to have a truly educational and enjoyable experience. As a partner in this effort, the Committee for the Preservation of the White House will advise us on what modifications and acquisitions need to be made so that the White House remains an historically accurate, open, living museum.” Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, an institution devoted to artists of African descent.

Danielle Pite ’12 recently had her work published in the journal Acta Botanica Croatica, a publication of articles pertaining to terrestrial and aquatic botany. Pite worked as a team during her senior year at Boulder (Colo.) High School on the article “Historical abundance and morphology of Didymosphenia species in Naknek Lake, Alaska,” which was published in the journal’s February edition. Her co-authors are Kelly Lane, Anna Hermann, now a student at Tulane University; Sarah Spaulding, U.S. Geological Survey; and Bruce Finney, Idaho State University.

David Burton, associate professor in the School for Social Work, was awarded the Apple Award from the National Adolescent Perpetration Network (NAPN) at the group’s 25th annual conference in Denver, Colo., last month. The NAPN is a cooperative of professionals working with adolescents in sexually abusive circumstances. The award was presented by Gail Ryan, founder of NAPN, for Burton’s efforts to educate professionals and students in the field of juvenile sexual abuse prevention and treatment. “Dr. Burton has been teaching professionals and students in the field for over 20 years,” said Ryan in presenting the award. “He is a highly valued mentor and exceptional teacher, respected both nationwide and internationally.”

Linda Hartke ’80 recently began her new position as president and chief executive officer of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). Based in Baltimore, the LIRS is one of the nation's leading agencies serving refugees and immigrants. Hartke, a Lutheran, brings extensive experience to her new role, most recently having served as executive director of the Geneva-based Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, and before that with Church World Service, serving first as country director in Cambodia until she assumed the role of director of programs and operations. At Smith, Hartke studied religion and biblical literature with a second major in government. “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service," said Hartke. “I look forward to working together with the LIRS board, staff, partners and friends across the country to make the United States a more welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”

January 11, 2010

Carla Coffey, head coach of cross country and track, has been named a 2009 inductee into the Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association (KTCCCA) Hall of Fame. Coffey, who has served as Smith’s coach of cross country and track and field since 1992, coached track at Western Kentucky University and completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees at Murray State University in Murray, Ky. Coffey has also held coaching positions at The University of California, Davis, the University of Kansas and Dartmouth College. Coffey is the 89th inductee to the hall of fame, which was established in 1988 to honor Kentucky natives who have had a notable impact on running sports. Before coming to Smith, Coffey competed in the Pan American and Olympic trials in 1972, and coached the 1990 World Junior Championship team in Bulgaria. While at Smith, she has coached at the World Indoors Championships in Toronto (1993), Barcelona (1995), Chile (2000), and Italy (2004). She is also in the Murray State University and Western Kentucky University halls of fame. Coffey was presented with the honor during a banquet in Lexington, Ky., on January 9.

Emily Curry ’12 recently took second place in the Under-23 women’s category of the National Cyclocross Championships. The annual races, which took place in December in Bend, Ore., pit competitors in races through difficult cross-country courses on modified, high-performance bicycles. Curry competed in the Under-23 category simultaneously with the higher-profile Elite Women category. She placed 64th in the Elite category in a field of 105 racers. Despite having suffered the H1N1 virus in November, missing three weeks of school and crucial cycling training time, Curry fought for her near-top finish. “I had a last-row start (meaning I was 100th going into the first turn),” she explains, “and had to pick my way through every person to end up in my final position.”

Christine Davis, senior coach of tennis, was recently named the national winner of the United States Tennis Association (USTA)/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Campus Recreation Award. The award honors an ITA coach for outstanding work in implementing recreational tennis programs on campus in an effort to grow participation in the sport. Davis was presented with the award in December during the ITA Coaches Convention in Naples, Fla., along with Kim Gidley, head women’s tennis coach at the U.S. Air Force Academy, who received the associations’ Community Outreach Award. Davis, who has coached tennis at Smith for 31 years, has been cited by the USTA/ITA with several past awards for her efforts to promote tennis in the college and local communities. Her programs include several clinics for children and adults in the Smith community, such as “Twilight Tennis,” “Bootcamp Tennis,” and “No Commitment Tennis.”

December 4, 2009

Kate Queeney, associate professor of chemistry, was recently selected as a 2009 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar. The award provides an unrestricted research grant of $60,000 to accomplished researchers and committed educators. The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation is a leading nonprofit organization devoted to the advancement of the chemical sciences. Queeney is one of seven faculty members in the chemical sciences to receive the 2009 award. Other recipients are on the faculties of California State University–Northridge, Oberlin College, College of the Holy Cross, University of Richmond, and Bucknell and Trinity universities.

Daphne Lamothe, associate professor of Afro-American studies, and Dawn Fulton, associate professor of French studies, were lauded by the Modern Language Association (MLA) for their recent publications. Lamothe received an Honorable Mention in the association’s William Sanders Scarborough Prize for an Outstanding Scholarly Study of Black American Literature or Culture for her book Inventing the New Negro: Narrative, Culture, and Ethnography. Fulton received an Honorable Mention in the Scaglione Prize for French and Francophone Studies for her book Signs of Dissent: Maryse Condé and Postcolonial Criticism. The MLA, the largest and one of the oldest American learned societies in the humanities, promotes the advancement of literary and linguistic studies. The 30,000 members of the association come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as from Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Twelve Smith seniors were recently elected as members of the Zeta of Massachusetts chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest undergraduate honors society. They are: Sarah Bashiruddin, a neuroscience major from Westfield, Mass.; Alexandra Breus, a geology major from Blue Hill, Maine; Ingrid Davalos Lopez, an anthropology major from Asuncion, Paraguay; Alyssa Greene, a German studies major from Irvine, Calif.; Molly Hamer, an English major from Indianapolis, Ind.; Dongyoung Kim, a double major in the study of women and gender and anthropology from Pusan, Republic of South Korea; Lillian Lamboy, a government major from West Medford, Mass.; Elyse Macksoud, a neuroscience major from Lincoln, R.I.; Sarah Maxner, a psychology major from Haydenville, Mass.; Kathryne Van Tyne, a psychology major from Golden, Colo.; Jennifer Wise, a double major in mathematics and classics from Houston, Texas; and Christine Woodbury, a music major from Madison, N.J.

Larry Meinert, professor-in-residence in geosciences, recently scored a trifecta of achievements. Meinert was awarded the Silver Medal from the Society of Economic Geologists, an international organization of representatives from industry, academia and government. He was also recognized for his extra-academic pursuits: winemaking and running. Meinert was awarded in October with a Best in Show medal in the North American amateur wine competition for his 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. He also won a double gold and two silver medals for other Cabernets and Merlots. To top off his accomplishments, he competed in his first marathon on October 3, finishing in less than four hours in the St. George, Utah, marathon.

Author and screenwriter Maureen Foley ’76 recently published her novel The Book of Illumination: A Novel from the Ghost Files, the first in a three-book series. The novel, co-written with Mary Ann Winkowski, who is a consultant and inspiration for the CBS series The Ghost Whisperer, was published in October by Three Rivers Press, a subdivision of Random House. The Book of Illumination illustrates the story of Anza O’Malley, a single mom and freelance bookbinder, who happens to be able to see and speak with ghosts, and enlists the assistance of three ghosts—a charming butler and two medieval monks—in uncovering a trail of deceit and danger among the cobbled streets of Boston. Foley is the writer and producer of the independent films Home Before Dark and American Wake.

October 23, 2009

Emily Nagoski (standing, second from left) serenades her school charges in The King and I.

Emily Nagoski, director of wellness education, starred recently as Mrs. Anna Leonowens, the school teacher, in the Arena Civic Theatre’s (ACT) production of The King and I, a classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical based on the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon. The ACT is a nonprofit community theatre company based in Greenfield, Mass. Performances took place at the Shea Theater in downtown Turners Falls, Mass. Nagoski in her character was surrounded by a cast of 50 performers, including two dozen local children playing her students, and actors from several nearby communities, including Jerry Marcanio or Royalston, Mass., playing the King of Siam.

Gloria Heath ’43, who served as a member of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, was named in July as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal for her service with the pilots group. The Congressional Gold Medal is among the highest honors bestowed by the United States Congress to express national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Past recipients include George Washington, Zachary Taylor, Thomas Edison, and numerous other notable figures in American history.

Laura Putnam ’10 was recently named the winner of the 2009 Lisa MacFarlane Prize, given annually by the New England American Studies Association. The prize is awarded in honor of the best paper or project written and developed by an undergraduate on an American studies subject. Putnam’s paper, written under the supervision of Daniel Horowitz, the Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of American Studies, is titled “Kings of the Wild Frontier: Folk Revival in 1950s American Popular Culture.” Putnam was awarded $100.

Louka Katseli ’72 was recently named Minister of Economy, Competitiveness and Shipping in Greece. Before her appointment, Katseli served most recently as a professor of economics at the University of Athens and as Director of the Development Centre for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in Paris. Katseli has published widely on development finance, international migration, foreign investment and exchange rate policy. In related news, Georgios Papandreou (Amherst College ’75) has been named Prime Minister and Ministor of Foreign Affairs in Greece.

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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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