On May 9, Smith trustee S. Mona Sinha ’88 will receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The medals are awarded annually “to a group of distinguished American citizens who exemplify a life dedicated to community service.”
The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations has been presenting the Ellis Island Medal of Honor since 1986. This year, Mona will be in good company, as she is among nearly 100 medalists being honored as “individuals who preserve and celebrate the history, traditions and values of their ancestry while exemplifying the values of the American way of life, and who are dedicated to creating a better world for us all.”
Among this year’s honorees are members of the U.S. military, media, athletes, politicians, award-winning musicians, engineers, and the like. Past medalists include six U.S. Presidents, one foreign President, Nobel Prize winners, along with everyday Americans who have made freedom, liberty and compassion a part of their life’s work.
The Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) in Rome, affectionately known as the “Centro,” was founded in 1965 by Professor Brooks Otis of Stanford University, a distinguished scholar of Latin literature. Over 3000 students have attended the Centro since its inception, many of them Smithies.
This summer, ICCS will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a gala weekend, featuring tours, banquets, and parties. Some Smith alumnae will be attending the festivities.
If you are interested in learning more about the anniversary programming, please visit the ICCS’s 50th anniversary page.
The college is embarking on its largest capital project of the decade: refurbishing and redesigning Neilson Library.
Last week, Smith College announced that Maya Lin, noted Chinese-American architectural designer and artist, will work with national design firm Shepley Bulfinch to redesign Neilson. Lin is best known as the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Lin’s connections to Smith are strong. Last year, Lin visited campus to deliver the 11th annual Miller Lecture in Art and Art History. Lin was also awarded an honorary doctorate in fine arts by Smith in 1993, and her mother, Julia Chang Lin, graduated from Smith in 1951.
Smith trustee Marcia MacHarg ’70 of Germany recently made a $1 million gift in support of Smith’s Center for the Environment, Ecological Design, and Sustainability (CEEDS). The center’s purpose is “to graduate women who excel at integrating knowledge across disciplines in support of environmental decisions and action.” The center, which is located on the garden level of Wright Hall, is a great place to learn about green initiatives taking place on campus. It also houses the Office of Sustainability, faculty from the Engineering and Landscape Studies departments, staff knowledgeable about the Environmental Science and Policy Program, and the people behind both the Ada and Archibald MacLeish Field Station and Smith’s environmental monitoring initiatives.
The center’s foyer will soon feature a plaque acknowledging Marcia’s transformational gift to CEEDS.
Drew Guswa, director of CEEDS, and alumna Marcia MacHarg ’70 pose for a photo in March 2015.
In the 2014-2015 competition year, Smith College had a record 42 candidates, of which 31 have been named finalists for the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship.
The finalists, who hope to impact 23 countries, have the support of 250 Smith faculty and staff members in the form of 45 Faculty Fulbright Mentors, 101 recommenders, 78 consultants, and 21 foreign language evaluators, as well as staff members from a number of departments on campus that pitched in with key support. Support from the faculty and staff help keep Smith the strongest Fulbright program in the nation with the highest success ratio of winners to applicants among all top-producing institutions.
Among the finalists are 18 seeking Research/Study Fellowships, while another 13 aim for English Teaching Assistantships. Final word should arrive by spring 2015.
For a full list of finalists and other program news, visit smith.edu/fulbright/news.php.
At the end of the month, the Smith College Club of Great Britain will host its annual winter dinner. This year, the club’s featured guest speaker is Professor Christophe Golé.
Golé teaches mathematics and statistics and is the director for JYA Paris. He was born in France and raised partly in Northern Africa. He earned his Ph.D. from Boston University and has held positions at the University of Minnesota, ETH (Zurich), SUNY Stony Brook, and University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dinner guests will hear Golé’s presentation, “Do Plants Know Math?”. Golé explains that the phenomenon of spirals in plants coming in pairs of consecutive Fibonacci numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 …) has fascinated scientists of many disciplines for centuries. There is a certain mystic attached to the subject that pervades the internet – and The Da Vinci Code. Do we have to be mystical about it? Golé will try to show that some simple geometry may be enough to explain this phenomenon.
The dinner will be held January 31 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at London’s Sloane Club. Any club members interested in attending the evening of networking and lively discussion can register here.
On 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.
Today, 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.
Smith 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.
The 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.