Showcasing Learning: Smith in the World Conference

The annual Smith in the World Conference offers students the opportunity to explore the relationship between academics and learning beyond the classroom by reflecting on intellectual growth that occurred during internship and study abroad experiences.

This year’s conference, to be held Friday, Nov. 10, from 3:45 to 6:10 p.m. in the Campus Center, is a showcase of diverse student endeavors—from a software engineering internship with Google, to a research project on the interaction between mainstream and immigrant culture in France.

The conference opens with a reception from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m., followed by student presentations outlining how students’ classroom experiences at Smith shaped their off-campus experiences, and in turn, how those experiences have enriched their academic work at Smith. The event is sponsored by the Dean of the College, the Lazarus Center for Career Development and the Committee on Academic Priorities.

Following is a sampling of projects from each of the two presentation sessions. A complete list of student project abstracts is available online.

Session I—4:30 to 5:10 p.m.:

Maddy Greaves ’18—My Return to Romania

During a Summer Praxis Internship, Greaves worked with the non-profit organization Romanian Children’s Relief-Fundatia Inocenti, which provides social and therapeutic services for more than 2,000 children abandoned or at risk of abandonment at institutions, clinics and schools across that country. For Greaves, the internship was also about confronting her own past, as she herself received services from Fundatia Inocenti while an infant in Bucharest.

Liz Curran-Groome ’18—Lessons from Community Organizing

Curran-Groome will explore an experience at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center in Northampton, discussing the center’s framework of non-hierarchical decision-making and its model for using education and leadership as a means for putting power back into the hands of marginalized communities.

Illaria Dana AC ’19—At Home with the Lesbian Herstory Archives

Dana spent the summer digitizing archives at the grassroots Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn, an experience that allowed her to learn more about how “insider groups” record and preserve their own histories. Her talk will focus on questions of power, legitimacy and language, as well as the importance of digitizing tapes and other archival material for future generations.


Session II—5:20 p.m. to 6:10 p.m.:

Katrina Anderson ’18—A Fishy Approach to Brain Regeneration

Anderson spent three months as a visiting researcher in a laboratory at the Centre for Regenerative Therapies in Dresden, Germany, exploring the brain regeneration abilities of zebrafish. In her presentation, Anderson will reflect on how her internship is shaping her career as a researcher and how she is using skills gained in Germany to produce an honors thesis based on research in Smith professor Michael Barresi’s zebrafish lab.

Zoe Mitrisin ’18—Reinvigorating the Landscape of New York City

Over the summer, Mitrisin interned in Manhattan at Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, a firm led by alumna Signe Nielsen ’72. Mitrisin will discuss how this opportunity influenced her view of women in the landscape architecture field, as well as her evolving thoughts on the relationship between landscape and architecture in creating sustainable models for cities.

Julia Ing ’19—My Ride-Along with an L.A. Startup

Ing worked last summer as one of five employees—and the first-ever intern—at Thousand, a California company that promotes safety, outdoor adventure and community building through “a helmet you’d actually want to wear.” At Smith in the World, Ing will explore the day-to-day experience of working with a start-up, and discuss the impact of her internship on her academic outlook and career goals.