News Menu

Jack Kent Cooke Scholars Announced for 2009

May, 2009
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation ( has announced its 2009 scholarship recipients. JKCF’s scholarship programs include:

College Scholarships – the recipients of the College Scholarships are drawn from the Foundation’s Young Scholars Program, and comprise high-achieving high-school seniors who have overcome economic adversity and other challenges to pursue their academic goals. The students will receive scholarships of up to $30,000 per year for four years. Awards are intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees – necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Awards vary by individual, based on the cost of tuition as well as other grants or scholarships he or she may receive.

Iraqi Kurdistan: Observing the Struggle of Traditional Progress

^ Chelsea Jaccard '03 in northern Iraq

May 2009

Chelsea Jaccard '03 double majored in politics and art at Converse. She was a three-year award-winning member of the Converse Model Arab League program and during her undergraduate years studied Arabic at the Arabic Language Institute of Fez in Morocco and through independent correspondence study at Converse. She continued her Arabic study during her masters degree program in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a Middle East emphasis at American University in Washington, DC.

This Mom Didn't Have to Die

BO, Sierra Leone
On this trip through West Africa with my “win-a-trip” contest winner, I was reminded of one of the grimmest risks to human life here. Despite threats from warlords and exotic disease, it’s something even deadlier: motherhood.

A Sisterhood That Endures for Decades

By Abigail Trafford
May 12, 2009

This is the inevitable truth about the end of life for women. If we live a very long time like my stepmother, we will probably be single and dependent on other women at the finish line.

Facebook Takes Narcissism to New Level

Sunday, May 10, 2009
My boss texts me that I’m 45 minutes late, my grandfather floods my inbox with chain mail featuring jokes you have to be at least 40 to appreciate, and my mother calls to correct the spelling of my Facebook status. My life is an intricate Web and a mess of wires. This technology that keeps me connected is used by a wide age range, including Generation X, Generation Y and the one to which I personally subscribe and call fondly Generation I.

Holding College Chiefs to Their Words

May 6, 2009
Reed College President Colin Diver suffered writer's block. Debora Spar, president of Barnard College, wrote quickly but then toiled for hours to cut an essay that was twice as long as it was supposed to be. The assignment loomed over Wesleyan University President Michael Roth's family vacation to Disney World.

On Daily Routines

May 6, 2009

College Presidents Pen Admissions Essays:
Please describe a daily routine or tradition of yours that may seem ordinary to others but holds special meaning for you. Why is this practice significant to you?

Routines are good. Routines are comforting. Routines bring order and efficiency to the messiness of life. I do so wish I had some.

Two Iraqi Women to Study Here

By FRED CONTRADA, May 5, 2009
NORTHAMPTON - Smith College will host two women Iraqi educators next year as part of a national program to promote engineering among women in Iraq.

Iman Haider Mohammed, an assistant lecturer of engineering at Nahrain University, and Nafal Jamil A-Bawary, an assistant lecturer of engineering at the University of Duhok, will attend classes, collaborate on research with Smith engineering faculty and work with senior Design Clinic teams on their projects as they get a feel for how engineering is taught at Smith.

Ginsburg: Court Needs Another Woman

By Joan Biskupic, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — Three years after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor left the Supreme Court, the impact of having only one woman on the nation's highest bench has become particularly clear to that woman — Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Her status as the court's lone woman was especially poignant during a recent case involving a 13-year-old girl who had been strip-searched by Arizona school officials looking for drugs. During oral arguments, some other justices minimized the girl's lasting humiliation, but Ginsburg stood out in her concern for the teenager.

Changing the Face of Engineering

Linda Ellen Jones, Ph.D.
Rosemary Bradford Hewlett '40 Professor and
Director of the Picker Engineering Program

In 1999, responding to a national need for women engineers and a commitment to providing significant new opportunities for its graduates, the Smith College Board of Trustees voted to establish the nation's first engineering program at a women's college. From its inception, the Picker Engineering Program was designed to implement and refine newer methods of teaching engineering that address the needs of the 21st century.

All of us in the Picker Engineering Program have a common goal: educating engineers who address human needs through invention, resources and technology. We offer the degree in engineering science because, in the best Smith tradition, we believe that women engineers should think deeply and broadly about the effect their professional knowledge will have on the well-being of those whose trust they hold. Smith engineers hold the following core values:

We Must Teach Students to Fail Well

^ click to enlarge

May 1, 2009

A poster titled "Freshman Counseling" hangs on the wall in the least conspicuous corner of my office. I inherited it from my predecessor as she gleefully departed. The image, in dungeon-and-dragon style, is daunting.

A Moveable Feast

^ click to enlarge

By Michaele Weissman,
April 30, 2009
Liz Neumark, head of the catering business, Great Performances, shares her recipe for mixing business and philanthropy
LizBeth Neumark is sitting at a makeshift table in a temporary staging kitchen at the landmark New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. Neumark, who prefers to be called Liz, takes a sip of red wine and nibbles smidgens of dinner. A morsel of gravlax. A bite of arctic char. A taste of New York-raised lamb. Slender with refined good looks, she exudes none of the frantic energy or inflated ego typically associated with high-end catering.

Builders & Titans: Robin Chase

By Craig Newmark*

The culture of the internet, at its best, involves people working together to make life better. Sometimes called cooperative capitalism or social entrepreneurship, it is practiced every day by millions of individuals and a small but growing number of for-profit companies. For years, Robin Chase, a co-founder of Zipcar, has run such a business, in which people share a community-based pool of vehicles. Customers use Zipcar, which rents cars by the day or hour (when public transportation won't quite do the job) and makes smart use of technology like GPS to connect people with autos and trucks that are parked near them.

Trinity Graduate Kathleen Sebelius '70 Confirmed as Secretary of HHS

Trinity Washington University Class of 1970

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trinity graduate and former governor of Kansas Kathleen Gilligan Sebelius '70 was confirmed today by the full U.S. Senate to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Just hours later, she was sworn into office by President Barack Obama in an Oval Office ceremony at the White House, and officially joined his Cabinet on the eve of his 100th day in office. Secretary Sebelius was nominated to the position on March 2; her confirmation hearing was held by the Senate Finance Committee on April 2.

Pine Manor's BioScholars Program Targets Underrepresented Students

April 20, 2009
During the next four years, 20 promising students of biology at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., will garner support from a $574,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant that is funding a BioScholars program, the first of its kind at the college. The financial support will benefit primarily Latinas and African-Americans, a group largely under-represented in the sciences.

Census Bureau Releases Data Showing Relationship Between Education and Earnings

by Tom Edwards
April 27, 2009
The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that workers with a bachelor’s degree earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma, according to new figures that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels.

Come on, Take a Free Ride

By Christa Desrets
April 13, 2009

On most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between classes at Sweet Briar College, sophomore Sam Britell searches the bike racks for bubble-gum pink. It’s one of the school’s colors. And also the shade of 20 bicycles the college introduced this semester as part of a commitment to environmentally sustainable practices.

Meet the 2008 Class of 20 in their 20s

April 4, 2009

Now in its third year, our 20s program highlights young professionals making their marks in the region. Crain's had nearly 300 nominees and spent the past several months evaluating them to come up with the final list.

Of the seven women in Crain’s Detroit Business 20 in their 20s, two are graduates of women’s colleges: Kate Baker is a graduate of Smith College and Kelli Coleman is a graduate of Spelman College.

The Thomas J. Watson Foundation Announces Watson Fellowship Awardees

Three Women’s College Students Among Fellows

March, 2009
The Thomas J. Watson Foundation has announced its 2009-2010 Watson Fellowship awardees. The mission of the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program is to offer college graduates of unusual promise a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel outside of the United States in order to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community.

2009 Truman Scholars Announced

Three Women’s College Students Among Scholars
March 26, 2009
Madeleine K. Albright, president of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation, announced that 60 students from 55 US colleges and universities have been selected as 2009 Truman Scholars. They were elected by seventeen independent selection panels on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.”

Women Who Rock: Julia Child

By Amy Brantley
March 23, 2009

March is National Women’s History Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing a lady we admire each weekday.

A Clear Lens on Distorted Values

A photographer's unsettling look at girls' culture
By Mark Feeney, Globe Staff | March 22, 2009
NORTHAMPTON - There were 1,600 people in my college freshman class, so it took a lot to stand out. One woman did. Among all those well-fed young faces, she looked as though she could have been her own grandmother: face drawn, skin wizened, fingers as bony as claws. Her appearance seemed strange, of course; but being your basic 18-year-old guy - meaning, a dolt - I thought nothing further of it. When she returned next fall, moon-faced and pudgy, even I understood. She had been anorexic.

Educate a Woman, Create a Nation

By Dina Habib Powell
Special to CNN

NEW YORK (CNN) -- As we mark International Women's Month in March, it is encouraging to see that the movement to recognize the vital role that women play in families, nations and economies has been building for more than a decade and that developments in the past few years have shown that real progress has begun to take hold.

Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace Announced

Students at Seven Women’s Colleges Receive Funding

March 16, 2009
Kathryn Wasserman Davis Projects for Peace has announced the grassroots projects it will fund and that college students will implement during the summer of 2009.

Where to Now?

2008 was a spectacular year for women in politics. But the sober reality is that the race has just begun.
By Vanessa Gezari » March 15, 2009
Barack Obama's election is a dramatic reminder that a nation can transcend its past, and perhaps even its expectations for the present. But for women, the highest executive offices -- president and vice president -- still lie out of reach.