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Coming Soon to a CD Player Near You

Gone are the days of admission slide shows or even of admission videotapes. Now colleges market themselves on CD-ROMs (as well as in their print publications and on their Web sites, of course). Smith is just completing its first admission CD-ROM, working with Gerret Warner and Mimi Gredy, principals of Warner & Company in Portsmouth, NH. In directing the project, Karen Kristof, associate director of admission and coordinator of admission marketing, says she "has learned more about Smith than I ever knew" (which is saying quite a lot; Karen graduated from Smith in 1987 and has worked in admission at the college since 1999). "This is a very different medium than we've used before," she explains. "We want to make [the picture it gives of Smith] as real and true as possible. "

Kristof reports that "everyone has been so gracious about participating; they always say ‘yes' when we ask if we can film" a class or an event. About 80 hours of film will be edited into five 2-minute student profiles and a 10-minute "feature" CD-ROM presentation. Among the high points of the filming were a visit to the laboratory of Shizuka Hsieh, assistant professor of chemistry, where she and a student wearing protective eye gear were focused on Hsieh's research in laser spectroscopy and gas phase reduction dynamics; the intense spirit and energy of opening convocation; and the good-natured sparring of Floyd Cheung of the English department and Bill Peterson of psychology, who co-teach a first-year seminar, Asian American Identities.

The Smith CD-ROM may have a preview at in the spring when accepted students are making their minds up about enrolling at Smith. After that, it will be distributed to prospective students, high school guidance offices and others, including Smith alumnae who do outreach to the college-bound.

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