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2011-12 ARCHIVE

July 11, 2012

Donna Riley, associate professor of engineering, recently received the Sterling Olmsted Award, the highest award given by the Liberal Education/Engineering and Society Division of the American Society of Engineering Education. The annual award honors those who have made distinguished contributions to the development and teaching of liberal arts in engineering education. She received the award at the annual ASEE meeting in San Antonio, Texas. Riley was also chosen to be the deputy editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, the flagship journal in the engineering education field.

Carla Coffey, senior coach of track and field, is serving as the head manager for the USA Junior World Track & Field women’s team this summer. The team is composed of women athletes aged 14 to 20, “our future Olympic team athletes,” notes Coffey. Last month, Coffey traveled to Bloomington, Ind., where the team selection took place. The World Junior Championships took place July 10 through 15 in Barcelona, Spain. Coffey, who has coached Smith track and field team since 1992, coached world championship teams in 1990, 1993, 1995, 2000 and 2004.


Cornelia Hahn Oberlander ‘44, is among the 2012 medal recipients from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the highest awards presented by the society. “Oberlander has been and continues to be among the most important practitioners emphasizing sustainable design in all her built work, frequent lectures, influential publications, and numerous awards,” notes the ASLA award citation. Oberlander was one of the first women in the post-World War II era to establish her own landscape architecture practice, the citation points out, and has a portfolio of numerous noteworthy projects in Canada and the United States. Oberlander was a recipient of the prestigious Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award from the International Federation of Landscape Architects in 2011.

Three Smith students—Frankie Petronio ’14, Katy Swartz ’13 and Sydney Sadur ’14—have been chosen by the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute (HBI) as Centennial Interns, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. The three Smith interns are among eight Hadassah Centennial Interns, each of whom will complete an independent research project related to gender and Jadaism. Petronio will study Jewish women in comedy; Swartz will create a guide for religious youth who are questioning their sexuality; and Sadur will explore narratives of transgender Jews and their relationships with their faith. Each intern will also assist a faculty member with a research project related to her scholarly interests. The HBI is an international and interdisciplinary institute established at Brandeis University in 1997, for the purpose of developing fresh ways of thinking about Jews and gender worldwide by producing and promoting scholarly research, artistic projects, and public engagement.

Rick Fantasia, the Barbara Richmond 1940 Professor in the Social Sciences, spent three weeks this summer as a visiting scholar at Gothenburg University in Sweden. In addition to participating in various seminars, he presented lectures on his work to the Department of Sociology and to the Forum for Civil Society and Social Movement Research at Gothenburg University, and was one of the two speakers at the symposium, titled "Cultural Sociology: Possibilities and Challenges," at Linnaeus University in Vaxjo, Sweden.

May 31, 2012

Steve Goldstein, Sophia Smith Professor of Government, recently traveled over the pond to present a talk, “Election Results in Taiwan: What’s Next for the US-China-Taiwan Tangle?” at the Taiwan Studies Programme, Asian Studies Centre, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, U.K. Goldstein’s current research focuses on relations between mainland China and Taiwan, as well as the evolution of U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Nicholas Horton, professor of mathematics and statistics, was recently named a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the world’s largest community of statisticians. The honor is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions by individuals to the statistical profession. Horton will be presented with an award, along with other 2012 fellows, on Tuesday, July 31, during the Joint Statistical Meetings awards ceremony in San Diego, Calif.

Dana Leibsohn, the Priscilla Paine Van der Poel Professor of Art, was recently named a recipient of a 2012 Collaborative Research Fellowship with ACLS, a nonprofit federation of 71 national scholarly organizations with the mission of advancing scholarship by awarding fellowships and fostering relationships among learned societies. The fellowships are granted to groups of two to three scholars, who work closely together on a substantive project. Leibsohn will team with art historian Carolyn Dean, professor of the history of art and visual culture, University of California, Santa Cruz, on a project titled “Colonial Things, Cosmopolitan Thinking: Locating the Indigenous Art of Spanish America,” in which the fellow art historians will combine their expertise on the art of New Spain and the Andes to co-author a book exploring how indigenous art, global trade networks and cosmopolitan ambitions intersected in colonial Spanish America. They join six other teams of humanities scholars from American schools.

Renée Claire Fox ’49 was recently elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned society in the U.S. Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge,” the APS honors and engages distinguished scientists, humanists, social scientists and leaders in civic and cultural affairs; supports research through grants, fellowships and events; and serves scholars through an internationally renowned research library. Fox is the Annenberg Professor Emerita of the Social Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, and she joins four other newly elected members in the Social Science category. Read about Fox in the spring 2006 Smith Alumnae Quarterly (page 20). The ASP has 1,022 elected members. Past members include George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, James Madison, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and many other prominent leaders and thinkers in American history, including more than 240 Nobel Prize winners.

April 3, 2012

Kayvia Pemberton ‘12 was named the winner of the ninth annual Elevator Pitch Contest, sponsored by the Center for Women and Financial Independence. The contest invites students to present their business start-up ideas in 90 seconds—the duration of a typical elevator ride—to a panel of judges and an audience. Pemberton won the contest with her business idea called Smart Laundry, and was awarded $100. Pemberton's win earned her an invitation to compete in a regional competition sponsored by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation on April 25 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke, Mass., where she will present her elevator pitch to potential investors.

Kristine Molina ‘05 won the first-place “Kurt M. Landgraf Outstanding Dissertation Award” at the annual conference of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, held in Costa Mesa, Calif., March 8-12. The conference, with the theme title “Celebrating Our Similarities, Embracing Our Differences,” drew hundreds of the nation’s top Hispanic researchers, educators, policymakers and leaders. Awards were provided by Educational Testing Service (ETS) in recognition of outstanding student research. According to the awards web site, Molina’s research “is aimed at understanding the unique role that discrimination and socioeconomic status play in contributing to adverse health outcomes.”

A film, Swim Suit, by Lucretia Knapp, a lecturer in the art department, was shown in March as part of the Sport, Gender and Media conference at the University of York in England. Knapp’s film was screened part of the conference segment themed “Gendered Displays in Swimming.” Swim Suit (scene pictured) is an experimental documentary short that is part of a larger work on transgender identities.

Alex Webster ’08 was this week awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship, which includes full tuition as she pursues her doctorate in ecology at the University of California, Davis. The fellowship also includes a stipend of $30,000 for the next three years.

Carolyn Dehner, a McPherson Postdoctoral Fellow and lecturer in biochemistry, recently served as a judge of student presentations at the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS), the largest event of its kind in the nation. The event is designed to encourage underrepresented minority students to pursue advanced training in biomedical and behavioral sciences. This year’s conference registered its highest participation with more than 3,300 people in attendance.

Clockwork Design Group, Inc., a full-service graphic and web design agency based in Waltham, Mass., led by Vanessa Schaefer ’85, president and creative director, was the winner of four awards at the recent New England Legal Marketing Association’s annual “Your Honor” awards, which celebrates the “best of the best” in New England legal marketing. Clockwork Design won first-place awards for a web site for Campbell Trial Lawyers and an e-card announcement for the same company; as well as two third-place awards, for a web site for Bernkopf Goodman LLP, and a single ad for Sherin and Lodgen LLP. Clockwork Design has received numerous awards for its designs, including recognition from the Boston Business Journal as a top web and graphic design firm.

February 20, 2012

Sierra Bainbridge '99, a program director in Rwanda with MASS, an architectural design firm that builds and advocates for structures that improve health and strengthen communities around the world, was recently cited by Contract magazine, which named MASS its 2012 Designer of the Year for its positive impact on health care and design. Bainbridge heads a professional school of architecture in Rwanda, now in its third year, the first school of its kind in the African country, which is training 25 students annually and will graduate its first class in two years. The school is a partnership between MASS and the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, at which Bainbridge served as Head of the Architecture Department in 2010-11. MASS also built the Girubuntu School (pictured) in Kigali, Rwanda, which educates 300 children. Bainbridge, who joined MASS in 2009, oversaw the completion of the school.

Bill Oram, Helen Means Professor of English Language and Literature, was recently awarded the Colin Clout Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Spenser Society, an organization devoted to the study and promotion of the works of English poet Edmund Spenser. The award is occasionally given to a senior scholar “whose body of work represents a wide-ranging, long-standing and distinguished contribution to the study of Edmund Spenser" and, in general, English Renaissance poetry, according to officials at the International Spenser Society. The award citation notes Oram’s essays on Spenser, as well as poets Raleigh, Milton and Herrick; his biography of Spenser; and his service as editor of the annual journal Spenser Studies. Oram was presented with a medal representing the award in January during the annual meeting of the International Spenser Society.

A short film, titled Breakdown, by dance major In Kyung Lee ’12, was screened last week as part of the Frameworks Dance Film Series, a showcase of artworks choreographed for the camera. The festival takes place annually at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City. Lee’s film is a nearly 4-minute experimental work featuring Angelica Falcinelli ’12 and Lee, who also directed. On-camera action is interspersed with computer-animated dance sequences in the piece. View the film.


Lily Hallock, a teaching fellow in exercise and sport studies, has been named the 10th head volleyball coach at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Hallock will also serve as an instructor in the university’s Exercise Sport Science Department. Hallock, who is pursuing her master’s degree in exercise and sport studies at Smith, served as a graduate assistant volleyball coach at Smith for the past two seasons, and as interim head volleyball coach from January to June 2011.



Trish Jackson, vice president for development, is one of 10 chief advancement officers featured in a new book, Making the Case for Leadership: Profiles of Chief Advancement Officers in Higher Education, co-authored by Jon Derek Croteau and Zachary Smith. The book takes a detailed look at the role of the chief advancement officer , a relatively new position at most schools, and its importance in higher education.

January 19, 2012

Julie Casper Roth AC’07J was recently awarded a Fellowship in Visual Arts from the College Art Association (CAA), the nation’s leading arts organization for higher education. Roth, who is pursuing a masters of fine arts degree at the University at Albany-State University of New York, is among only five graduate students in the nation to receive the prestigious award, which includes a $5,000 stipend. The CAA fellowship, which is given to studio art graduate students in their final year of study, is intended to further the artistic and professional work of awardees. Roth is an award-winning video artist whose work focuses on experimental explorations of identity and perception. Her graduate thesis exhibit will consider the influence of Mormonism on gender and sexual identity.

Mary Hall, professor of social work, and Joan Lesser, adjunct associate professor of social work, both received honors from the National Association of Social Work (NASW), Massachusetts Chapter. Hall was given an award for Greatest Contribution to Social Work Education while Lesser was honored for Greatest Contribution to Social Work Practice. The social work faculty members will be feted during the association’s annual awards celebration on March 29, at the Sheraton Framingham Hotel and Conference Center, along with other award winners. The NASW is the largest organization in the world for professional social workers, with 145,000 members.

The Washington, D.C., Housing Authority, which is led by executive director Adrianne Todman ’91, was recently awarded a $300,000 Choice Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to help transform a neighborhood in need in the city. “We are very excited about this new opportunity to help revitalize another D.C. neighborhood,” said Todman. The HUD grant is one among many community improvement awards the D.C. Housing Authority has received. Todman was appointed to head the agency in 2010, the first woman to serve in the leadership post. The HUD Choice Neighborhoods grants aim to assist in linking housing projects with a wider variety of public services, including schools, transit and employment opportunities.

December 1, 2011

Sherrill Redmon, director of the Sophia Smith Collection, is the recent recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from Veteran Feminists of America (VFA), a nonprofit organization for people instrumental to and involved in the “Second Wave” feminist movement. Redmon was presented the award on October 29 by Smith alumna Gloria Steinem ’56 during a VFA celebration at Rollins College, Winter Park, Fla. Joining Redmon in receiving the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award this year were Terry O’Neill, president of NOW; and Barbara J. Love, editor of the book Feminists Who Changed America, 1963-1975. Redmon has directed the Sophia Smith Collection since 1993. The collection is an internationally renowned archive of papers and materials pertinent to the history and sociology of women in America. The VFA is dedicated to preserving the record of the second wave of feminism and to passing the torch to future generations.

Katherine Halvorsen, professor of mathematics and statistics, has been named Mosteller Statistician of the Year by the Boston Chapter of the American Statistical Association, the nation’s preeminent professional statistical society and the world’s largest community of statisticians. The Mosteller honor is presented annually by the association’s Boston Chapter to a distinguished statistician who has made exceptional contributions to the field of statistics, and has shown outstanding service to the statistical community. The award was renamed in 1997 after Fred Mosteller, the award’s first recipient, in 1990, and Halvorsen’s dissertation adviser at the Harvard School of Public Health. The ASA, which was founded in Boston in 1839, is the second oldest continuously operating professional society in the United States. Halvorsen was appointed as a Fellow of the ASA in 2008.

A film, Looking for Michael, produced by Lucretia Knapp, lecturer in film studies, was recently named a first-place winner in the Experimental Shorts category of the Columbus (Ohio) International Film + Video Festival, also known as “The Chris Awards,” one of the most prestigious film competitions in the country. Looking for Michael was screened at the 59th CIF+VF on Nov. 19. Knapp, who attended undergraduate school at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, also taught video production, still photography, computer graphics and film theory there. Looking for Michael grew out of events following the death of Michael Jackson, Knapp explains. “Looking for Michael is a reflection on collective grieving, but at the same time includes humorous touches.” The film has screened at Open Screen in Northampton.

Poet Nikky Finney, the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence in 2007-08, a frequent visitor to campus for readings of her work, and author of a poem commissioned by Smith for the annual Otelia Cromwell Day, was recently named a National Book Award winner for her most recent book of poems Head Off & Split. Finney, a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, is also the author of three other collections of poems: The World Is Round (2003), Rice (1995), and On Wings Made of Gauze (1985).

October 18, 2011

A video produced earlier this year by Kate Lee, multimedia developer in Information Technology Services, was recently announced the winner of a Telly Award. The New Woman: A New Game, a documentary video about the origin of women’s collegiate basketball at Smith College, won a Silver Telly, the highest honor given, in the History/Biography category. The annual Telly Awards, founded in 1978, honor the best in television commercials and programs, as well as video and film productions, and work created for the Web. The Telly is among the most sought-after award in the industry. According to Lee, more than 13,000 entries were submitted for the awards this year, 6 percent of which won Silver Awards, which require a ranking of a 9 or 10 out of 10 from every award judge. Drawing heavily from archives images and a voiceover narrative, Lee’s film documents Smith’s legendary basketball beginnings, from the interactions between Senda Berenson with Dr. James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, to the first college basketball game in the world, on March 22, 1893.

John Brady, the Mary Elizabeth Moses Professor of Geosciences, was recently named the first winner of the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, to be given annually by the Geoscience Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research in recognition of transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and a sustained and innovative approach to undergraduate research. Nominations for the award were solicited from among students and colleagues. Cited among the examples of Brady’s outstanding undergraduate mentoring are his inspiration in bringing about transformative experiences for his students, his advising role for more than 50 special studies and honors thesis students, and his development of a first-year seminar, “Geology in the Field,” which introduces women to science as a possible career field.

Alice Delcourt '99 accepts first prize at the 2011 Cous Cous Fest, Sicily.

Alice Delcourt ‘99, head chef at Erba Brusca, a restaurant in Milan, Italy, was the recent winner of the Fourteenth Annual International Cous Cous [sic] Fest, a highly competitive contest that took place last week in San Vito Lo Capo, Sicily. Delcourt swept the top awards, taking the over all award for best couscous, as well as the award for best presentation. Delcourt’s couscous was a recipe with dried fruit, sesame seeds and roasted almonds, topped with a slice of smoked mackerel, with a dab of Greek yogurt on the side. Her winning couscous competed against entries from Egypt, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia and other countries. "My couscous was very different from the traditional plates that were served there," says Delcourt, "very fresh, using lots of herbs and such." Couscous, a dish that originated in Northern Africa, has long been a regular dish in the Sicilian diet.

Delcourt, an Italian and government double major at Smith, spent her Junior Year Abroad in Florence, Italy, in 1997-98, and settled in Milan seven years ago. Born in France, Delcourt grew up in Chicago and Asheville, N.C.

Those visiting Milan and curious about Delcourt's winning couscous might stop by Erba Brusca, where she often serves the dish. But check ahead. "It's currently not on the menu," she adds.

Aimee Christensen ‘91, an award-winning green energy strategist and CEO of Christensen Global Strategies, a firm that works with businesses internationally in investigating and implementing clean energy solutions, received the Hillary Institute Award at last week’s Clinton Global Initiative, which took place September 20 through 22 in New York City. Christensen, whose clients have included Duke Energy, Ogilvy, the United Nations Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, serves as a member of the Homeland Security Advisory Council’s Task Force on Sustainability and Efficiency, advising Secretary Janet Napolitano. She was a national co-chair of Cleantech and Green Business for President Obama, and co-founded the Clean Economy Network, which brought more than 250 business leaders to Capitol Hill in 2010 to advocate for the passage of comprehensive climate change and energy legislation. Christensen will visit Smith on Monday, Oct. 3, for a conversation with the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability. Christensen visted Smith on October 3 to speak on "What Do We Value and What It Means for Our Economy and for Each of Us" as part of a series in Environmental Science and Policy.

August 18, 2011

Róisín O’Sullivan, associate professor of economics, was appointed this summer, by the Ireland Minister for Finance, to a five-member Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, a new governmental body. The council is being established as part of a plan to reform Ireland’s budgetary architecture, and will act as an independent group charged with compiling an assessment of the government’s progress in meeting its own stated budgetary objectives, as well as the soundness of the government’s fiscal position. O’Sullivan, who is originally from Limerick, Ireland, worked for several years as an economist with the Central Bank of Ireland. She is joined on the council by other top Irish economic experts: John McHale, head of economics at NUI Galway, who chairs the council; Alan Barrett, Economic and Social Research Institute; Sebastian Barnes, economics department, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and Donal Donovan, University of Limerick.

Nicholas Horton, professor of mathematics and statistics, who co-authored a paper last year, titled “Telling Data Stories: Essential Dialogues for Comparative Reasoning,” published in the Journal of Statistics Education, was given the first annual Best JSE Paper Award. Horton wrote the paper with Maxine Pfannkuch, Matt Regan and Chris Wild, all of the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The Best JSE Paper Award was established with a donation from William I. Notz, professor of statistics at Ohio State University. Horton and his research team will receive a $1,500 cash prize as part of the award. The article appeared in the JSE in 2010; click to read the article (pdf).

Sabina Knight, associate professor of Chinese and comparative literature, was recently selected among 20 fellows in the Public Intellectuals Program (PIP) of the National Committee on United States-China Relations. The PIP assists experts on China in further developing their knowledge and understanding of the country and its culture and history through professional workshops and conferences, as well as two 10-day study tours to China. Knight, who teaches Chinese and comparative literature at Smith, is also a research associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. She is the author of The Heart of Time: Moral Agency in Twentieth-Century Chinese Fiction (Harvard, 2006), and Chinese Literature: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2012).

Elizabeth Jamieson in the lab (on left)

An article titled “Inorganic Chemistry and IONIC: An Online Community Bringing Cutting-Edge Research into the Classroom,” co-authored by Elizabeth Jamieson, associate professor of chemistry, was among the most-read articles in Inorganic Chemistry, one of the top chemistry research journals, following its June 3 publication. The article discusses research among a group of inorganic chemists with whom Jamieson collaborates on a Web site called the Virtual Inorganic Pedagogical Electronic Resource (VIPEr)—link . Inorganic Chemistry publishes a page listing its most read articles each month. Jamieson’s article occupied the top spot for part of the summer.

July 20, 2011

An article by John Davis, associate provost, dean for academic development, and longtime member of the art faculty, is among 32 articles, by an impressive list of art scholars and historians, recently selected as the most important writings published by the Art Bulletin, the field’s flagship journal, in its 98 years of publication. Davis’ article, “Eastman Johnson’s Negro Life at the South and Urban Slavery in Washington, D.C.,” was first published in the journal in March 1998. The “greatest hits” list was created in response to a request from the College Art Association, partly in celebration of its centennial. Other renowned art historians on the list include Meyer Schapiro, Donald Posner, Leo Steinberg, Rensselaer Lee, and many others. “It is indeed humbling to be in the company of the art historians on the list,” commented Davis.

Erin Morgenstern, a 2000 Smith graduate (under the name Erin Joyce McCauley) is joining the ranks of Smith alumnae making noise in the world of literature with her debut novel The Night Circus, a book about family, rivalry and love, due for publication, by Doubleday, in September. But even before the novel has been released, it has attracted attention from Hollywood. Summit Entertainment, the production company behind the mega-hit Twilight series of movies, has acquired rights to the book and talks are circulating about turning the story into a movie, possibly for television. Morgenstern joins a long list of Smith alumnae who have made impacts in literature. Keep an eye out for The Night Circus this fall. Pre-orders of the book are available on her Web site.

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Class of 1944, is the recipient of the 2011 Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award, the highest honor bestowed by the International Federation of Landscape Architects. The award annually recognizes a living landscape architect whose lifetime contributions have made a lasting impact on society and the environment. For six decades, Oberlander has created designs that successfully incorporate her concerns for the environment and for the people who will use and live among them. One of the first females to graduate from Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Oberlander has long been a pioneer in the field of landscape architecture. The Jellicoe Award was presented during the IFLA World Congress in Zurich, Switzerland, on June 28, at which Oberlander gave a lecture as part of the ceremony. Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe was a founding member of the IFLA, in 1929, served as president of the federation from 1948 to 1954, and was knighted in 1979 for his services to landscape architecture.

Marsha Kline Pruett, the Maconda Brown O’Connor Chaired Professor in the School for Social Work, is the recent recipient of the Nurturing Fathers Alliance Award, given by the Nurturing Fathers Program. A primary focus of Pruett’s work and research include increasing father involvement with their children. The Supporting Father Involvement project, to which she contributes, aims to reduce child abuse and neglect and enhance family well-being through intervention and encouragement of father involvement. The Nurturing Fathers Program, based in Holyoke, Mass., teaches parenting and nurturing skills to men through training programs. Pruett was presented with her award during the Nurturing Fathers Program’s graduation ceremony of its ninth class of graduates, held on June 16.

May 24, 2011

Nicholas Howe, associate professor of computer science, is the recent grand prize winner of a highly technical programming contest coordinated by MathWorks, a mathematical computing software development company in Natick, Mass. MathWorks is the producer of MatLab, an interactive computer scientific system used extensively by Smith’s Clark Science Center, including the computer science department. The MathWorks MatLab Programming Contest is a semi-annual competition in which contestants submit MatLab computer code for a crossword puzzle. Howe’s puzzle project, titled “Rapid Weight Loss May Be Harmful,” came in first in a hotly contested race. Howe has participated in the annual contest since 2004. “I think I can, without hyperbole, say that I have never seen anyone so thoroughly dominate the closing minutes of a contest,” says Ned Gulley, the contest administrator.

Jaime Estrada ’12, has been accepted to participate in the Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies (SILCS). As a participant, Estrada will spend May 28 through June 26 with nine other highly motivated English majors at SILCS, based at Wheaton College, Norton, Mass. The students, selected from a very competitive national pool, will study literary and cultural theory and will learn from a number of top scholars in the field, who will serve as visiting lecturers for the institute. SILCS aims to increase diversity in the field of English studies by preparing students to apply to doctoral programs in English. The program supplements the undergraduate curriculum, introduces students to archival research, and works on writing and presentation skills. SILCS students are sponsored by faculty members at their home institutions, who pledge to guide them through the graduate school application process during their senior year. Jaime's sponsor at Smith Naomi Miller, professor of English language and literature.

Elliot Fratkin

Two Smith faculty members have been selected for the U.S. Fulbright Scholarship program. Elliot Fratkin, professor of anthropology, has been granted a Fulbright teaching and research award, with which he will teach Anthropology of Development and Human Ecology, while developing a master’s degree program at Hawassa University in Ethiopia. Patricia Mangan, a lecturer in anthropology, was granted a Fulbright teaching award, with which she will teach 19th and 18th century American history and anthropology in China. Fratkin and Mangan will participate in the scholar program from September 2011 to June 2012.

Samuel Scheer, lecturer, English language and literature, and a teacher of English at Windsor High School, Windsor, Conn., is a recipient of the second annual All American Teacher of the Year Award from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which recognizes outstanding math, science and English teachers in NMSI’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for their contributions to their students and to the teaching profession. The 23 award winners will receive an award and will be recognized at a special awards luncheon in Washingtobn, D.C. on May 26. Awards are given to one teacher each in AP math, science and English from seven states that participate in APTIP.

Priscilla Ross ’88 recently received the Paragon Award for Community Enrichment for her work founding and directing the Florence Community Band. Ross has grown the band from a handful of members to a performing ensemble of more than 50 instrumentalists from throughout Hampshire County. The band gives concerts and participates regularly in local parades and community events. The Paragon Awards have been presented annually for seven years to individuals in the Northampton area to honor their outstanding volunteers service.

Natalie Zemon Davis ’49 was recently elected as a member of the prestigious American Philosophical Society. Davis, an adjunct professor of history and professor of medieval studies at the University of Toronto, was elected in the humanities category. The APS is an honorary society that promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities. Election to the APS honors extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of mathematical and physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. The APS has a membership of 1004 worldwide.

April 19, 2011

Kim Bierwert, head coach of swimming and diving, has been appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA Division III Swimming Committee. The committee serves as the guiding committee for Division III swimming, overseeing operational aspects of conducting the league championships and reviewing and implementing new rules. "I am excited about the prospect of working with the members of the committee to help foster the growth of swimming and diving in Division III," said Bierwert. "I am hopeful that we can continue to create a championship for Division III that is competitive, exciting and well run. Bierwert becomes the sixth member of the Smith athletic department to serve or have served on a NCAA committee.

An exhibition catalog, John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women, for the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, NY, featuring an essay by Helen Horowitz, professor emerita of American studies, on the American painter, was recently awarded the W. E. Fishcelis Book Award from the Victorian Society of America. The award is given annually for an outstanding book dealing with 19th-century art and artists. Horowitz’s essay discusses “The Women of Sargent’s World.” The award will be presented at The Victorian Society’s annual meeting on May 29 in Portland, OR.

Jennifer Guglielmo, associate professor of history, recently received the Theodore Saloutos Memorial Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society for best book in United States immigration history, for her book Living the Revolution: Italian Women’s Resistance and Readicalism in New York City, 1880-1945, published last year by University of North Carolina Press.

Science Grants

Michael Barresi, assistant professor of biological sciences, is the recent recipient of a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant from the National Science Foundation.

Elizabeth Jamieson, associate professor of chemistry, has won two grants, one from the National Institutes of Health to advance her research on DNA, and the other to support a multi-campus faculty workshop on inorganic chemistry, funded by the Mellon Foundation, sponsored by AALAC.

March 10, 2011

Ellen Doré Watson, director of the Poetry Center, has been appointed to a five-year term as an elector of Poets' Corner in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The Poets’ Corner was created in 1984 as a memorial to preeminent American writers. More than 30 writers have been inducted since its inception in 1984, including, last November Smith alumna Sylvia Plath ’55. Watson joins a distinguished group of poets and writers who have participated in the ceremonies of The Poets' Corner, including current electors Rosanna Warren, Cynthia Zarin, Major Jackson, Kelly Cherry, Mark Jarman, Kimiko Hahn, Patricia Smith, Aemon Grennan, Doug Anderson, and current poet in residence at the cathedral, Marilyn Nelson. Electors’ duties include participation in: the nomination of one poet or writer each year for installation in The Poets' Corner; the annual installation of the poet or writer; the Maundy Thursday Dante reading at the cathedral.

David Newbury, Gwendolen Carter Professor of African Studies, is the editor of a new book, Defeat Is the Only Bad News: Rwanda under Musinga, 1896-1931, by Alison Liebhafsky Des Forges, due to be published next month by the University of Wisconsin Press. The book recounts the ambitions, strategies and intrigues of an African royal court under Yuhi Musinga, the Rwandan ruler from 1896 to 1931, describes a UWP press release. “These were turbulent years for Rwanda, when first Germany and then Belgium pursued an aggressive plan of colonization there. At the time of the Europeans’ arrival, Rwanda was also engaged in a succession dispute after the death of one of its most famous kings. Against this backdrop, the Rwandan court became the stage for a drama of Shakespearean proportions, filled with deceit, shrewd calculation, ruthless betrayal, and sometimes murder. Des Forges’s vividly narrated history, meticulously edited and introduced by David Newbury, provides a deep context for understanding the Rwandan civil war a century later.” Newbury is the author of Kings and Clans: A Social History of the Lake Kivu Rift Valley.

Judge Lillian Miranda, who recently retired as first justice of the Franklin-Hampshire Juvenile Court, will join Smith as a teacher of law and social work in the School for Social Work’s summer session. Miranda presided over juvenile delinquency cases as well as those involving parental abuse and custody rights. Miranda operated a private law practice before becoming a judge, and served as director of the Hampshire County bar advocate office.

January 20, 2011

Denise Silber ’74 is being honored this month by the government of France for her professional contributions to health care. Silber is among very few designated for recognition by the National Order Legion of Honor of the Republic of France, bestowed on people of foreign birth who have made professional contributions in the country for at least 20 years. Silber, an innovator of eHealth, began in 1995 creating Web resources for improving health care. She has since worked with numerous organizations around ethics on the Web, quality of information and telemedicine and has taught a course on eHealth at French graduate schools. She also runs her own business, Basil Strategies, as an eHealth consultant. Last year, Basil Strategies organized the first annual international eHealth conference in Paris. Silber joins citizens of Germany, Poland, Great Britain, Brazil, Belgium, Chad and Greece in receiving the rank of knight by decree of the president of France.

Elizabeth Hoffman ’68, a Smith College trustee, won the 2010 Carolyn Shaw Bell Award, given by the American Economic Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession (SCWEP) to an individual who has advanced the status of women in economics. Hoffman, who serves as executive vice president and provost at Iowa State University, has spent more than 40 years as a university administrator, faculty member and researcher, including serving as president of the University of Colorado system, and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is a member of several boards and advisory groups, including the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, and the Science Center of Iowa. The Bell Award was created in 1998 for the 25th anniversary of the founding of SCWEP; Bell was the first chair of the committee.

Kate Reagan ’95 was recently appointed mortgage consultant for PeoplesBank, the largest mutually chartered bank in western Massachusetts. Reagan will be responsible for residential mortgage business in Northampton, Easthampton, South Hadley and the surrounding areas. Reagan, who served most recently as a senior loan officer for Applied Mortgage in Northampton, has worked in the mortgage banking industry for 15 years. She also serves as events director for the Northampton Area Young Professionals and is a member of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce and the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley.

December 17, 2010

Robert Schumann

Madeline Zehnder ’13, a STRIDE Scholar, is the winner of this year’s Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Music Criticism Contest in the College category. The contest was held November 18 through December 4, in conjunction with the orchestra’s celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Robert Schumann (1810-1856), one of the premier music critics of his time. Zehnder wrote a creative review of Schumann’s Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, a five-movement work also known as the “Rhenish” Symphony. As one of five contest winners (other categories are elementary school, middle school, high school and other), Zehnder will receive two complimentary tickets to a BSO performance, and her name will be published in the program book of the organization’s Schumann concert series.

Bismata Sahu ’14 won the science and engineering poster competition at the 2010 United States Naval Academy Science and Engineering Conference (NASEC) held last month. Sahu reports that 25 schools were represented at the conference from throughout the U.S. The conference focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) topics, with emphases on information (cyber security), transportation (energy grid) and disaster preparedness (Katrina, Gulf spill). Keynote speakers included officials of governmental departments of energy, defense and homeland security, as well as NASA. “I learned so much,” says Sahu.

Richard Millington, professor of English language and literature, will spend a week in Santiago, Chile, in mid-January after being invited by the United States Embassy there to teach a course in American literature to university and high school teachers in the city. The course is co-sponsored by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (“La Catolica”), one of the country’s major universities. The purpose of the course—“basically a survey of American literature from the beginning to now,” Millington describes—is to encourage the teaching of American literature in Chile. The course is expected to have 50 to 70 enrollees.

Adrianne Todman ’91 was recently appointed executive director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA), becoming the first woman to serve in the post. The DCHA, which works to provide and manage housing for low- and moderate-income people and families in the nation’s capital, is one of the largest housing authorities in the nation. Todman, who has worked for 19 years in public administration, joined the DCHA after working as a special assistant to the Secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She served as interim executive director of the DCHA for more than a year. Todman is a former trustee of the Alumnae Association at Smith.

October 28, 2010

Nellie Beckett ’14 recently won first prize for editorial writing in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s annual Gold Circle Awards. The awards are among the most prestigious for student journalism. Beckett, who served as editor-in-chief for the student newspaper, Silver Chips, at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md., was given the award for her editorial article titled “Globalization’s Nightmare,” published last year.

An abstract prepared by Tenzin Dechen ’10 on “Reproductive Health Naivety and Perceived Gender Inequities Among Tibetan Refugee Adolescent Girls in India” has been accepted for poster presentation at the 2011 meeting of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in Seattle. Dechen completed the study in collaboration with Les Jaffe, college physician and director of health services. Her findings reflect survey responses of 223 girls in grades 7 through 12 at the Tibetan Children’s Village School in Bylakuppe, India. “Cultural shyness about discussing women’s reproductive health needs and the absence of adult female relatives raises the question of what is learned and from whom,” writes Dechen in the study. ”Ignorance of hygiene, sexual reproduction and sexually transmitted diseases may lead to future adverse health outcomes.” Dechen is currently working at Dartmouth University and hopes to attend medical school.

Renowned author of young-adult literature Virginia Euwer Wolff ’59 was recently named the 2011 recipient of the NSK Neustadt Prize for Children’s Literature, a juried award sponsored by the University of Oklahoma and World Literature Today. The prize is given annually to an accomplished contemporary writer or illustrator of high-quality literature for children. Woolf, author of several novels with teenaged characters, including This Full House (2009), has won the National Book Award among many other honors.


Paula Barker Duffy ’67, former director of the University of Chicago Press and publisher of the Free Press, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to a post on the National Council on the Humanities. Duffy currently serves on the boards of the Great Books Foundation and Valid Sources, Inc., and advises the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago.

September 23, 2010

Alumnae in Action

Cornelia Oberlander ’44 will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at Vancouver Cities Alive 2010, an annual event that celebrates green roofs, walls and other forms of green infrastructure. Oberlander, who has practiced as a landscape architect in Vancouver for nearly 60 years, has become renowned for her designs that emphasize sustainability, as well as her consideration of social and physical surroundings, and has won several awards for her designs. Oberlander will receive the award, along with fellow honoree, landscape architect and roof garden pioneer Theodore Osmundson, during the Awards of Excellence luncheon on Thursday, Dec. 2.

New York activist and educator Ileana Jiménez ’97 has been named one of “40 under 40” by the Feminist Press at the City University of New York. The company is honoring 40 women and men under age 40 in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) as part of its 40th anniversary celebration. The honorees were nominated by nearly 400 people for their achievements and their strong representation as the next generation of feminists. Jiménez, who was the recipient of a Distinguished Fulbright Award in Teaching this year, teaches about feminism, Latino/a literature, and LGBT literature at the Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School in New York. Jiménez is no stranger to lists of honorable mentions. She was named last year as one of the 40 Women of Stonewall by the Stonewall Foundation, and as one of 30 Women Making History by the Women’s Media Center. Jimenez and her fellow honorees will be lauded during a celebration on October 18 in Manhattan. “I don’t think I would have ever received this award without the education I received at Smith,” said Jimenez.

Smithies’ Scene

Germaine Nendah ’11 has been awarded an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the oldest and largest single biological membership organization in the world. The fellowship is given to outstanding students who plan to pursue graduate careers in microbiology. The fellowship, which includes a $4,000 stipend, supported Nendah’s full-time research at Smith last summer, working on a project, “Short-term Adaptation to Temperature Changes in Escherichia coli,” under the mentorship of Christine White-Ziegler, professor of biological sciences.

MacKenzie Clark ’11, a geosciences major with a minor in environmental science and policy, teamed with Roger Guzowski, Five Colleges recycling manager, in imparting new initiatives and concepts in recycling during her summer internship at the Springfield office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Clark, who assisted in coordinating a training program for the DEP interns statewide, including a tour of the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Springfield, thought of Guzowski when she sought speakers for the training program. “I had been to a couple of talks that Roger had given at Smith and wanted to hear him speak again,” said Clark. “My own interest in recycling and waste management was really spurred by hearing the talk Roger gave to my sustainability pre-orientation group.”

Faculty Noteables

Randy Frost, the Harold and Elsa Siipola Israel Professor of Psychology, has been named to the Speakers Bureau of the International OCD Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in Boston, of people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and related disorders committed to educating the public about OCD, supporting research, and assisting those with such disorders. Frost is among four new speakers for the organization, joining a group of 13 OCD sufferers and experts who act as leading voices for the foundation. Frost, who is internationally recognized as an expert on OCD and compulsive hoarding, is the author of Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things.

Craig Felton, professor of art history, gave the keynote lecture on September 1 at a conference in Dresden, Germany, hosted by Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. His talk, "Imaging the Temple," focused on the First (Solomon's) and Second (Herod's) Temples built on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and on the Visionary Third Temple of the Prophet Ezekiel, and how the ideas and images of these structures continued in Western Europe from the time of the Crusades into the 18th century. The conference was held in connection with an exhibition "Fragmente der Erinnerung" (Fragments of Memory).

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.

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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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