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News Release

February 9, 2005

Panel to Address Ethical Landmines College Graduates May Encounter

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—How to achieve a promotion or balance work with family may not be the most difficult challenges today’s college graduates face on the job. Graduates entering the work force may be faced with ethical quandaries on a much larger scale, such as corporate misconduct, favoritism in government, funding needle exchange programs or stem cell research.

On Friday, Feb. 25, at 4:15 p.m. in the Neilson Library Browsing Room, a panel of alumnae will discuss some of the ethical landmines—many of which have headlined media in recent years—that arise in a variety of professions. Panel members include an attorney, foundation president, psychologist, corporate executive and public official.

The ethics panel, titled "Guidance in a Troubled World: Ethics and Smith Students," is free and open to the public.  It is part of an effort by the Smith College Philosophy Department to review and expand its curriculum.

“We want to have a sense of the ethical landscape that our students will be facing when they graduate, in part so that we can better prepare them,” said John Connolly, professor of philosophy and the department chairman. “Our alumnae experts can share what they have learned in their own work experiences.”

The panel will be chaired by Phoebe Haddon, a law professor at Temple University, Smith College Class of 1972 and Duquesne University School of Law graduate. Haddon teaches constitutional law; products liability; and law, justice and morality at Temple. She practiced law for a private firm before joining the University in 1981. During one leave, she served as deputy executive director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia and president of its low-income housing development subsidiary.

Panelists include:

  • Ann Alpers, president and CEO of the S.H. Cowell Foundation, Smith College Class of 1984 and Stanford Law School graduate. During Alpers’ career, she has taught medical ethics at the college level, publishing numerous articles on physician-assisted suicide and legal and ethical issues surrounding care. She also served as general counsel to the Department of Public Health in San Francisco. As foundation president, she directs awards to small towns and neighborhoods in Northern California in the areas of affordable housing, resource centers, public education and youth development.
  • Judy Kuriansky, clinical psychologist, sex therapist, journalist, lecturer, book author and newspaper columnist, Smith College Class of 1968. Kuriansky received a master’s from Boston University and doctorate from New York University. Her books include “Generation Sex” and tomes in the “Complete Idiots Guide” series on dating, healthy relationships and tantric sex. Kuriansky has served as a representative to the U.N. for the World Council on Psychotherapy and International Association for Applied Psychology. But she is best known for being the advice host of call-in radio shows, like LovePhones, syndicated around the country.
  • Agnes Bundy Scanlan, formerly the Regulatory Relations Executive at Bank of America, Smith College Class of 1979 and Georgetown University Law Center graduate. Prior to her entrance into the banking world in 1994, Scanlan served as legal counsel to the U.S. Senate Budget Committee, analyzing and reviewing all Senate floor bills and amendments. At Bank of America, she managed the financial institution’s primary relationships with its global government regulators. She is currently chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Consumer Advisory Council.
  • Jennifer Vidis, executive director of the Cook County Department of Human Rights, Ethics and Women’s Issues, Smith College Class of 1983 and Georgetown University Law Center graduate. Vidis oversees the work of three independent commissions for the second largest county in the nation. Prior to joining county government, Vidis was an attorney in private practice for three years with a Chicago law firm. She is a veteran of numerous federal, state and local political campaigns and has served on the boards of many non-profits and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Center for Conflict Resolution.

Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. Enrolling 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country.

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Kristen Cole
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