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Smith Summer Programs Advance Opportunities for Girls and Women

Like most colleges, Smith hosts summer sports camps, continuing education seminars, summer theater companies and more. But as a women's college Smith has a particular commitment to programs that forward the educational prospects and achievements of girls and women. We've highlighted eight unusual programs and events taking place at Smith this summer.

Smith Summer Science Program, July 19-30

Women outnumber men in college. Engineering-related jobs are growing exponentially. Yet women remain vastly underrepresented in the engineering work force. Infecting girls early on with the engineering "bug" is the impetus behind "Designing Intelligent Robots," the latest addition to Smith College's highly acclaimed lineup of Summer Science courses for high schoolers and one of only a handful of all-girl engineering programs nationwide. From July 19-30, teenage girls from all over the world, and from inner-city U.S. schools such as The Young Women's Leadership School in East Harlem, will spend six hours a day building and programming Lego robots, equipping them with motors and sensors and teaching them to navigate and communicate. The course will parallel closely the inaugural course in Smith's new engineering program -- the first at a women's college -- that will debut in fall '99. For more information, contact Gail Scordilis at (413) 585-3879 or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2191.

1999 Summer Institute for Educators, July 15-18

The roadblocks facing adolescent girls are daunting -- unplanned pregnancy, eating disorders, depression, stress -- and are often compounded by a chilly classroom climate that discourages them from reaching their potential. From July 15-18, 80 math and science teachers and guidance counselors from across the U.S. -- joined by 73 high school girls -- will gather at Smith to brainstorm effective strategies for helping girls, particularly underrepresented minorities, overcome issues of sexism in the classroom and negotiate the many emotional and physical challenges they face. The girls will present the first edition of an innovative resource manual they've authored, "Our Health, Our Futures: A Project By and For Adolescent Girls," a community outreach tool developed through funding from MetLife, Inc. An interactive workshop, titled "Succeeding at Fairness" and facilitated by noted educator David Sadker, co-author of "Failing at Fairness: How America's Schools Cheat Girls," will challenge teachers and counselors to brainstorm the best ways to serve girls in their communities. Michael Resnick, director of the National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Research Center at the University of Minnesota, will keynote the conference with a public lecture at 8 p.m. July 16 in Wright Hall titled "Girls and Young Women: Thriving, Not Just Surviving, Adolescence." For more information, contact Casey Clark at (413) 585-3804, Gail Scordilis at (413) 585-3879, or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

Int'l Assoc. of Physical Education and Sport for Girls and Women, July 7-10

From July 7-10, Smith will host 100 of the world's most influential women in sports and physical education, including Women's Sports Foundation Director Donna Lopiano and Olympic gold medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley. Presenters from more than 30 countries will discuss topics ranging from "Sexual Harassment in Physical Training" to "The Role of Sport and Physical Education in the Rehabilitation of War-Traumatized Women" to "Women's Football in England: The Struggle to Imagine a Community." The conference marks only the second American meeting of the International Association of Physical Education & Sport for Girls and Women, an organization founded by Smith's own physical education pioneer Dorothy Ainsworth in 1949. The organization now has members in five continents and more than 40 countries. For more information, contact Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

"Community College Connections" (CCC), June 1-July 1

Community colleges are often seen as starting points toward a four-year degree but, nationwide, few community college students manage to make that leap. In a program proven to reverse that trend, 22 women from community colleges in Massachusetts, Florida, Connecticut, New Mexico and North Dakota, ranging in age from 19 to 58, many of them members of underrepresented minority groups, will live for five weeks like Smith College students, taking two intensive courses, living in the residence halls, and learning to get along with others in a rigorous academic and social environment. More than 80 percent of past CCC participants have gone on to enroll in a four-year college or university. For more information, contact Don Reutener at (413) 585-4930 or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

Smith Alumnae Summer Session, June 21-25

Ever wish you could do college over again -- and appreciate it this time? Smith alumnae craving academic stimulation can come back to class through SASS -- the Smith Alumnae Summer Session -- a mini re-engagement with the books, ideas, debates and writing that formed the basis of their liberal arts education. Now in its sixth year, SASS will enroll 48 women ranging in age from approximately 35 to 80, among them a surgeon, a lawyer, an artist, and a mother/daughter duo, to study such topics as "The Rise of the Global Economy," "The Biology of Behavior," "Contemporary Social Psychology," and "Writing in the Smith Tradition of Excellence." SASS students attend class five hours a day, live in student housing, complete reading and writing assignments, and "graduate" on the final day. SASS has a loyal following: more than 70 percent of the students have attended during at least three previous summers. For more information, contact Barbara Reinhold, (413) 585-2570 or Laurie Fenlason (413) 585-2190.

The Maryknoll Sisters gather at Smith, June 17-20

Mary Josephine ("Mollie") Rogers (1882-1955) graduated from Smith in 1905 with a degree in zoology and went on to become one of the first female foreign missionaries of the Catholic Church. Later, as Mother Mary Joseph, she founded the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic, the first congregation of Catholic religious women in the United States devoted to foreign missionary work. Today, the Maryknoll sisters work in 31 countries throughout the world, serving refugees, providing medical services and education, and promoting ecology, global awareness and women's causes. From June 17-20, some 50 Maryknoll Sisters of the Eastern U.S. Region will gather at Smith to celebrate Rogers' legacy and discuss future priorities. For more information, consult, or contact Elizabeth Carr at (413) 585-2752 or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

"Grace Goodhue Coolidge: Northampton to the White House," July 30, 1999

Grace Anna Goodhue was teaching at Northampton's Clarke School for the Deaf when she married Calvin Coolidge, a struggling young attorney who later became Northampton's mayor and eventually the country's 30th president. While President Coolidge was often known as "Silent Cal," Grace Coolidge (1879-1957) was frequently described as gracious and generous and was held in great affection by the American public. In recognition of her contributions as a public figure, philanthropist, and teacher of the deaf, the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Clarke School for the Deaf, Forbes Library and Smith College will sponsor a one-day retrospective on Grace Coolidge on July 30. Events will include remarks by Coolidge's son, John, Clarke School President Dennis Gjerdingen, and Northampton Mayor Mary Ford, and a keynote address by biographer Carl Anthony, an expert on First Ladies. Participants will also tour homes where the Coolidges lived in Northampton. For more information, contact Mimi Baird, (802) 672-3389 or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

The Girl Scouts of the USA, August 1-7

This national event is part of the Girl Scouts' new athletics initiative -- Girlsports -- designed to promote new sports and fitness opportunities within Girl Scouting. Some 200 senior scouts from across the country, ranging in age from 14-17, will gather at Smith for a week of clinics, practices and competitions to help them develop competencies in seven priority sports: basketball, soccer, softball, volleyball, tennis, golf and swimming. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about health and fitness topics such as nutrition, conditioning exercises, sports medicine, careers and ethics. For more information contact Vera Simpkins at (212) 852-8000 or Laurie Fenlason at (413) 585-2190.

For more information on these and other summer programs at Smith, consult or call Ann Godin at (413) 585-2892.

June 3, 1999


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