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At the Lyman Conservatory in March, the world seemed awash in an array of blossoming crocuses, hyacinths, narcissi, irises, lilies and tulips -- even while snowstorms swirled outside. The event was the annual spring bulb show, a long-standing tradition of Smith College’s Botanic Garden, dating back almost 100 years. Photo by Jim Gipe.

Two Smith Professors Receive Awards on Rally Day

Given annually by students to one junior and one senior faculty member to honor their dedication to excellent teaching, the Faculty Teaching Award was established 20 years ago as a way for students to thank educators for their support, encouragement and inspiration. This year’s recipients are Patricia Skarda, professor of English language and literature (tenured faculty award); and Lucy Mule, assistant professor of education and child study (nontenured faculty award). To view a photo gallery of Rally Day ceremonies, go to

Supporting Science Scholars

Twenty first- and second-year students from traditionally underrepresented groups are participating in a new program aimed at increasing diversity in the sciences. The idea for Achieving Excellence in Mathematics, Engineering, and Sciences (AEMES) grew out of a meeting at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which raised the issue of diversifying those disciplines. Smith recently applied to HHMI for four years of funding support for the program. AEMES scholars remain in the program for the first two years of their college experience. During those years, the scholars are matched with both a faculty member and an upper-level peer to answer questions about coursework and otherwise mentor them about their academic decisions. Laura Katz, professor of biological sciences, is leading the program with Katherine Queeney, associate professor of chemistry. For more, visit

New Facilities Director Assumes Post

John J. Shenette, a facilities manager who has led building projects at five other colleges and universities, is the new executive director for Smith College facilities. He replaced Robert Lesko, who served as interim director of facilities since William Brandt, former director of campus operations and facilities, retired in 2007. Before coming to Smith, Shenette had served for seven years as executive director of facilities management at Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. After earning his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Central New England College, Shenette began his career as a civil engineer for the city of Worcester.

Save the Date: Fall Fit 5K and Fun Run/Walk

The Smith College athletics department will hold a Fall Fit 5K and 1.5-mile Fun Run/Walk at 1 p.m. on Sunday, September 21. The proceeds will go to the Northampton Public Schools and Smith Athletics.

Interested participants may stop by Ainsworth Gym to pick up registration materials after May 1 and register as an individual or as a team with a minimum of seven members. A free pedometer and weekly training tips will be given to anyone who registers before July 1.

The 5k will begin and end on the Smith campus with a loop through some of the neighboring Northampton city streets; the 1.5 mile Fun Run/Walk will be located entirely on the Smith campus. At the conclusion of the race, a health fair open to the public will be in the Indoor Track and Tennis Facility.

The athletics department has chosen the promotion of fitness and wellness in the Smith and Northampton communities as the focus of their annual community service project. For more information, please visit

Tuition Announced

The Smith College Board of Trustees has approved a comprehensive fee of $48,108 for 2008–09, reflecting an overall increase of 5.5 percent over the 2007–08 comprehensive fee. That fee incorporates tuition ($35,810), room and board ($12,050) and a student activities fee ($248).

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