Japanese alumna to perform benefit concert next month

Claire_ChinoOn December 6, Smith alumna Claire Chino ’88, will perform a charity concert in Tokyo to benefit BEYOND Tomorrow.

Claire was born in the Netherlands and spent her early years in London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo. She studied government and music at Smith before going on to receive a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Cornell University. She says, “my music career really blossomed at Smith, especially under [the late] William Parker.”

A semi-professional singer, Claire is also an executive officer at Itochu, where–in 2013–she became the first female executive officer of any major trading company in Japan, as well as the youngest. She has been lauded by a number of a number of organizations, having been recognized as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum, among a number of other distinctions.

The December 6 concert will also feature a pianist and a flutist.


Indian filmmaker on campus to screen documentary

matToday, Tuesday, September 30, filmmaker Pankaj Rishi Kumar will be on campus to screen his 2003 documentary The Vote, an examination of the democratic process and its challenges in India, one of the world’s largest democracies. Kumar’s visit is being sponsored by the Film Studies Program, the South Asia Concentration and the Smith College Lecture Committee.Questions and answers with the director follow the screening.

A reception preceding the screening begins at 4:30 p.m. in Seelye 207, followed by the film, which begins at 5:15 in Seelye 201. The event is free and open to the public.

The following day, Kumar will be the guest of honor at a Global Salon in Smith’s Lewis Global Studies Center. During this salon, Kumar will lead an informal discussion revolving around his experience filmmaking in India on various topics: elections and power struggles, religious injustice, land seizure, the cinema in rural communities, and more. His filmography includes: In God’s Land, Seeds of Dissent, and Kumar Talkies.

The Global Salon begins at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1. A pizza lunch will be provided.

Spend J-Term at the Central University of Tibetan Studies in India

sarnath_tibetan_templeSmith students who are interested in spending J-Term focusing on Tibetan Studies in India are invited to an information session to be held Thursday, September 25 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center 205.

No previous experience or prerequisites are required to apply to the Five College Tibetan Studies Program, but applicants must have a valid passport, and first-year students are not eligible to apply. The deadline for applications is Thursday, October 16 at 4 p.m.

For more information, visit smith.edu/philosophy/tibet.php or e-mail Constance Kassor at ckassor[at]smith.edu.

Lewis Global Studies Center seeking Student Advisory Committee applicants

IMG_1803The Lewis Global Studies Center is seeking applicants for its student advisory committee. The committee will advise and support the center on programming initiatives, student outreach and engagement, and awareness of global issues relevant to the mission of the center.

Applications are being accepted until Monday, September 29. To apply, visit smith.edu/world/announcements.php. Under “Student Advisory Committee – Apply Now”, you can click the “Apply now” link.

Paige Christie ’15 becomes sixth Smith student to successfully swim the English Channel


Twelve hours and five minutes after leaving England Sunday, Aug. 24, Paige Christie ’15 reached land in France, completing her solo swim of the English Channel. Christie is the sixth Smith student to successfully swim the English Channel.

Smithies gather in Southern China to welcome incoming students


Earlier this month, Smithies in South China gathered to welcome the incoming first-years from China and to connect with one another. Many of the Smithi alumnae in Shenzhen and Guangshou attended, and students were introduced to the strong Smith alumnae network in China. The group hopes to connect more often, following the success of this recent gathering.

Smith sends 15 Fulbright Fellows around the world this year


Noa Gutterman ’14 is one of 15 Fulbright Fellows from Smith College this year.

Recent Smith graduate Noa Gutterman ’14 is one of this year’s 15 Fulbright Fellows from Smith College. Noa will be conducting anthropology research in Ethiopia throughout the next year for a project titled “Affirming the Economic, Environmental & Socially Sustainable Rewards of the Ensete Plant.” A recent article in The Ann Arbor News details Noa’s research plans.

In addition to Noa, 14 other Smithies will be participating in the Fulbright program this year. Their names and projects are listed below.

  • Noreen Ahsan ’14, Malaysia: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Laura Botero Gomez ’14, Brazil: English Teaching Assistantship
  • “Caitleen” Erin Desetti ’14, Germany: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Zoë Gioja ’13, South Korea: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Kiara Gomez ’14, Greece: Oceanography “Reducing Seagrass Meadow Decline to Prevent Coastal Erosion and Preserve Fish Habitats”
  • Emma Kimata ’14, Malaysia: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Genesis Luviano ’14, Brazil: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Nora Nadire ’14, Germany: English Teaching Assistantship
  • “Pepper” Alexandra Neff ’14, Turkey: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Deborah Ok ’14, South Korea: English Teaching Assistantship
  • Leonora Genya Pepper ’09, Brazil: Agriculture “Boosting the Viability of Sustainable Agro-Forestry through Collective Marketing”
  • Maya Potter ’14, India: Anthropology “Documenting the Negotiated Use of Public Space by Women Street Vendors in Ahmedabad”
  • Lisa Saladin ’13, Ireland: Language and Literature “Fresh Feminine Voices: Transfiguring Irish-Language Poetry in the Postmodern Era”
  • Margot Veranes ’03, Mexico: International Relations “Reverse Migration: Challenges and Opportunities for Jalisco”


Seven Sisters alumnae gather in Thailand

Smith Alums

On July 20, Smith alumna Kristina Mejo ’98 hosted a Seven Sisters event in Bangkok, Thailand. Nine Smithies attended the event, along with attendees from Mount Holyoke and Wellesley Colleges. Here, Smithies at the event pose for a photo.
Front row (left to right): Prim Devakula ’14, Pinn Janvatanavit ’18, and Nikhila Gill ’09. Back row (left to right): Sarah Rebecca Davis ’95, Kristina Mejo ’98, Tik Srinthorn Chandraprasert ’89, Krittika Asvanund ’04, Faizaa Fatima ’13, and Chamsai Menasveta ’98.


Incoming Smithie from Japan shares the story behind her name

This year, as part of the admission process at Smith, prospective students were asked to tell the college about the best gift they’ve ever given or received. Here’s one sample, from an incoming international student, Ayumi Akiyama ’18 from Tokyo, Japan.

Love. Freedom. Beautiful.

As a weak premature baby, I was not expected to survive, but my parents still gave me a beautiful Japanese name, Ayumi. There are three parts to my name.

“A” is love. No matter what kind of emotional and economic consequences my parents faced, they gave me support and unconditional love.

“yu” is freedom. My mother dreamed that I was descending from heaven holding my great grandma’s hand. Because I was too young to die. So, my ancestors gave me freedom to live.

“mi” is beauty. God gave me the beauty of passion, the beauty of life and the beauty of love.

Because of my name, I am alive. Because of my name, the evil of death shattered. And, most importantly, because of my name, I understand the preciousness and fragility of life.

Ayumi will be joined by more than 100 other international first-years coming to Smith this fall.

Smith alumna from Germany joins Board of Trustees


Marcia MacHarg ’70 joins the Smith Board of Trustees.

On July 1, the Smith College Board of Trustees welcomed five new members, including Marcia MacHarg ’70, of Germany. The Board of Trustees is custodian of the endowment and properties of Smith College, and administers the invested fund, sets the annual budget, and determines policies for operation and control of the college.

Marcia, a partner at the international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for 26 years, now serves as Of Counsel to the firm, and has practiced in the firm’s New York, Washington, and Frankfurt offices.  She is also an Independent Director of two NYSE-listed closed end funds advised by Nomura, and a member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of Smith College Libraries.

For a full list of the incoming Trustees, please read Smith College Board of Trustees Welcomes Five New Members.