â€˘ February 2013 â€˘ Mawrginalia [mawr-juh-ney-lee-uh]: Latin, plural noun. Notes, commentary and similar material about or relating to The Bryn Mawr School.
4 | FROM THE HEADMISTRESS
27 | LOWER SCHOOL READ-A-THON
5 | REMAWRKS
27 | FACULTY/STAFF APPRECIATION
6 | THIS MONTH IN PICTURES Fourth grade Chinese New Year celebration; Middle School Dance Company; Middle School Ceramics Squad; Tinkering Day
9 | TEACHERS’ CORNER 10 | MAWRTIAN MINUTES Tower of Power; Chinyere Amanze ’13 Named National Achievement Finalist; 2012 Gladiator Award; Winter Gardening Club; Annual Fund Update
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28 | PICTURE OF THE MONTH 29 | GREAT APP-SPECTATIONS 29 | WORKPLACE CONNECTIONS 29 | UPCOMING EVENTS
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16 FEATURES 12 | WINTER SPORTS REPORT Bryn Mawr girls stay active on the courts, the ice rink, the track and more! 16 | DANCE, DINE, DONATE The Bryn Mawr community comes together on Valentine’s Day for two special events, raising money for girls on the other side of the globe as well as a food pantry in our own backyard. 20 | MOVE LIKE YOU MEAN IT Fancy a spin? The Upper School physical education curriculum gets an update. 22 | LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES Darcy Watts ‘14 takes on the first Bryn Mawr Math Department mentorship to find out what math in the real world is all about. 25 | RUN FOR JOY! The new Lower School Walking and Running Club gives girls a chance to get their bodies, and their brains, moving in the morning. 26 | MODEL CITIZENS By Julia Leff ’13 Twenty-six Bryn Mawr girls spend a weekend learning about global politics at the Harvard Model United Nations Conference.
ON THE COVER Fourth grade students learn simple Chinese phrases from Upper School student Christine ’15 during their celebration of the Chinese New Year.
FROM THE HEADMISTRESS Women’s fitness, health and wellness are topics of great interest to us at Bryn Mawr. As leaders in girls’ education, we aspire to develop our students’ intellectual, moral and physical skills. This last aspiration has taken on a greater focus for us this year, as we seek to combine our historical strength in competitive athletics with a broader definition of fitness and health. In the Upper School, our physical education program has moved beyond conventional approaches to a fitness and health model. Upper School students schedule their own classes in yoga, circuit training, strength training and more throughout their ten-day cycle of classes. The goal is to give students a grounding not only in sports but in fitness, tailored especially and purposefully for girls. Maureen E. Walsh Headmistress
“We are inspired to craft a vision for fitness, wellness and athletics at Bryn Mawr as a model for girls’ education.”
4 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
This focus on fitness, to me, blends well with our athletic program. Fitness leads to confidence; confidence enables competition. It’s no secret that I have a great love for athletics, and watching our girls compete will always be a favorite activity for me. We encourage our athletes to develop skills, to work consistently, and to test themselves in “game-like” situations. Only then do we unleash the girls to play against another team. Competence must come first, then practice, then competition. We are not afraid to declare that we want our young athletes to learn, to develop and to have a blast while playing. But we also want them to embrace the special challenges of competing. Two years ago, we were visited by a delegation of African diplomats who were eager to see a physical education and athletic program well-suited to young women. Athletic Director Wendy Kridel and I started thinking: we do this very well, but we could be even better, and we could take the lead in the critical area of combining fitness with competitive athletics. We have begun to review the latest research on health and wellness for girls, including fitness, nutrition and meditation, and to prioritize which initiatives are most important for the Bryn Mawr community. We are focused on the wellness issues of nutrition, strength training and overall fitness, and are engaged in conversations about the lives of our competitive athletes who, like our elite artists, devote a great deal of time to their athletic development outside of school through club teams and individual sport coaching. I recently watched a student athlete make a mistake early in a very competitive game, and then perform so brilliantly that it was the turning point of the match. Mortified at first, she worked relentlessly, confidently, with great focus and athletic skill, and it was an amazing performance—a culmination of teaching, learning, and, yes, competition. Such satisfaction, I thought: yes, this is what we do very well. And so, we are inspired to craft a vision for fitness, wellness and athletics at Bryn Mawr as a model for girls’ education, not only for girls’ schools but for girls across the country. We look forward to sharing our work with you in the coming months.
REMAWRKS At the beginning of the year, I asked the Middle School faculty for their help with a project. As a working mom of two young kids, squeezing in time for professional reading has become increasingly difficult for me. So, I asked the faculty to bring in two-minute summaries of what they are reading about education, and to share these summaries during chambers, our brief daily faculty meeting. I decided to call these our “HOC” moments— Honing Our Craft. I have been truly inspired by what our teachers have shared, and amazed at what two minutes of professional development a day can do to provoke growth and collaboration among colleagues. During our HOC moments we have considered the significance of ideas and topics like teaching meditation, how stories improve memory, the challenges minority children face in independent schools, why the arts are good for your brain, the skills held by introverts, the definition of ‘academic rigor’, and how risk-taking is critical for the development of independence. We have learned about gamification, organophosphates, Eid-al-Adha, and EdCamps. Our faculty can likely now tell you what research concludes are the two best antidotes to stress, as well as the biggest cause of learning problems in at-risk populations of children. (In case you’re wondering, the former are physical activity and social connection. The latter is stress.) We have pulled from the Harvard Business Review, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Edutopia, the NYTimes Room for Debate Twitter feed, and the Whole 9 blog. We have recommended books to each other like “The Lost Child,” “Behind the Hidden Forever,” “Who Owns the Learning,” and “One Child.” Paul Tough, Carol Dweck, Howard Gardner, Ken Robinson, Ira Glass, Rick Wormelli, Parker Palmer, Annemarie Roeper, Barbara Mikulski, Art Turock, and Malala Yousafzai have graced our conversations. We have quoted great educators, poets, and our own students. If you add up our daily two minutes this year, we have probably spent more than three hours engaged in meaningful sharing about the ideas, research, and educational conundrums that influence our work. We are modeling life-long learning for our students in joyful, two-minute snippets…and they think we’re just hanging out in the faculty room, sipping coffee and grading papers!
Amanda Macomber Middle School Director
“We are modeling life-long learning for our students in joyful, two-minute snippets.”
February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 5
PICTURES OF THE MONTH Fourth grade students celebrated the Chinese New Year with their annual day focused on Chinese culture. Girls dressed in colorful red and yellow clothes, with some sporting ornately patterned kimonos. The dayâ€™s activities included learning basic Chinese phrases from Upper School international student Christine â€™15, practicing tai chi, and perfecting chopstick skills!
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6 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
Top: After months of hard work, the Middle School Dance Company presented several wonderful pieces in performances for their classmates, teachers, and parents. Their repertoire featured ballet, jazz, step, contemporary and more. Click the picture for a video! Bottom: Since 2006, one of the Middle School winter squad offerings has taken place not on a court or a field, but in the art room, where students learn about ceramics. This year, students had a wonderful time learning both simple and advanced methods for creating in clay. Each week Ms. Armstead demonstrated several projects, which students then tried their hands at. Students learned different techniques for shaping the clay as well as how to properly use clay tools. Before firing their creations, students applied colorful glazes to make the artwork pop. Check out some of their beautiful creations below!
February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 7
Middle School Tinkering Day Research has shown that giving students time to make things and “tinker” is an important part of developing science and critical thinking skills. Thus, the Middle School Science Department decided to host the first-ever “Tinkering Day,” where students were given free reign to create mechanical “scribbling machines.“ The girls produced some really interesting creations, and had a great time doing it!
8 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
TEACHERS’ CORNER Each month we profile three teachers to give them a chance to share, in their own words, what brought them to Bryn Mawr, what their teaching philosophy is, and why they love working here.
Martha O’Neill Middle School French
Katherine Gilbert Fifth Grade
Years at Bryn Mawr: 1 Years Teaching: 13
Years at Bryn Mawr: 6 Years Teaching: 21
Mary Armstrong Shoemaker ‘69 Upper School English & Latin Years at Bryn Mawr: 37 Years Teaching: 37
What brought you to Bryn Mawr?
What brought you to Bryn Mawr?
What brought you to Bryn Mawr?
My husband and I were relocating from Monmouth County in New Jersey to Maryland, so I went on a job search and happily found my way to Bryn Mawr. I worked as a Middle School substitute last spring before starting full-time in the fall.
Hunter Hanley, the Lower School reading specialist, lives in my neighborhood, and knew that I had been teaching at a nearby school for several years. She encouraged me to apply for a part-time first grade position at Bryn Mawr. After teaching there for a year, there was a fifth-grade position opening, so I moved up the hill.
I knew that I wanted to teach Latin and Greek, and there weren’t that many places around that were offering both of those subjects. By chance, Bryn Mawr needed a Latin teacher, so it worked out nicely, especially since I had attended school here since I was four years old.
What is your teaching philosophy?
I always assume that girls are more capable than they think they are. I aim high, and I find that the kids always come up that level. I’m glad that we are not a school that has tracks for most subjects, because there have been so many times when I’ve had a student who didn’t think that she was good at a particular subject and then began to soar because she’s in with kids who love it.
What is your teaching philosophy? My teaching philosophy is traditional in a lot of ways, but also flexible. While I expect the girls to toe the line and do a lot of things in very straightforward ways, I also try to accommodate different personalities, learning styles and interests. Aside from learning French, I want them to gain more independence over the course of the year, and take responsibility for their own learning. What is your favorite thing about working at Bryn Mawr? The collegial support. There is a very supportive, cooperative team environment among the faculty, which makes it a fun place to work.
I want to interact with the girls as much as possible. Part of teaching them is about getting to know the whole child rather than just teaching the student. I also want to get them actively involved in learning, and keep them as interested, upbeat and positive as possible. What is your favorite thing about working at Bryn Mawr? I love the people. The students are fabulous—they’re bright and interested. The families are very committed to good education and to doing what’s right for girls. And my colleagues—they are smart, fun, interesting and talented. It’s a very lively place to teach.
What is your teaching philosophy?
What is your favorite thing about working at Bryn Mawr? Not to state the obvious, but the students. To teach in a place where girls want to do the work, where they’re excited to do the work, is a pleasure. The faculty, too, are wonderful. It’s just a wonderful community—a generous, smart, funny community. February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 9
MAWRTIAN MINUTES Noteworthy news from around the school
Tower of Power Each year, the Middle School Math and Science departments participate in the Johns Hopkins Tower of Power contest in celebration of National Engineering Week. The challenge is to construct the tallest freestanding tower possible using only uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows. Students from grades 6, 7, and 8 participated in teams. Last year’s winners were seventh graders Natasha Dada, Christine Blackshaw and Ebony Ambush, who created a tower 111 centimeters tall. The trio reprised their victory this year as eighth graders, with a tower of 155 centimeters. Overall, Bryn Mawr took second place in the area-wide contest, coming in just four centimeters behind a team from the Waldorf School of Baltimore.
Chinyere Amanze ’13 Named National Achievement Finalist Senior Chinyere Amanze has been named a finalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program. Established in 1964, the National Achievement Program provides recognition for outstanding African American high school students based on standardized test scores. Chinyere is one of only about 1300 students across the country to receive this honor.
10 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
2012 Gladiator Award
Congratulations to seniors Tate DeWeese, Lindsay DeMuth, Caroline Joy, Anabelle Bacon and Claire Edelman on earning the 2012 Gladiator by SGI Award! Given by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, this award recognizes outstanding student-athletes in field hockey. Coach Jeanette Budzik noted that the girls are not only respected field hockey players, but more importantly, are very committed to their academics. “The requirements for this award are very tough and I know it could not be accomplished without tremendous dedication,” Budzik said.
Winter Gardening Club
As a gift from the Spring Gardening Clubâ€™s proceeds earned at last yearâ€™s Bazaar plant sale, a Windowfarm unit has been purchased. This system allows for students in the Winter Gardening Club to learn about the importance of watering, nutrient cycling and the general techniques for growing plants. The Windowfarm unit is an innovative design that allows plants to be grown vertically, maximizing the crop yield for an urban gardener. The unit will continue to be used during the spring gardening activity period; meanwhile, it serves as a great teaching tool for Upper School Biology classes.
Annual Fund Update Our Annual Fund is nearing the goal of $1,375,000 thanks to the tremendous generosity of parents, alumnae, parents of alumnae, grandparents and other friends. We are just $200,000 shy of the goal and welcome all to contribute by May 31. Your contribution is critical to our students and their teachers. Click here to see all of the wonderful ways that your gift will make a difference!
Thank you, Annual Fund Volunteers!
On February 20, more than 70 Bryn Mawr alumnae and parents attended a reception honoring their incredible commitment to the school as Annual Fund volunteers. It is only with the dedication of our more than 300 volunteers that Bryn Mawr is able achieve its Annual Fund goal. We are most grateful!
February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 11
WINTER SPORTS REPORT This was the Bryn Mawr swim team’s first year in the IAAM “A” conference. After winning consecutive titles in the “B” conference, the team was excited about the challenge of joining the top division. Although competition was tough, the team enjoyed swimming against new competitors, and rounded off the season with a number of school records at championships. Junior Korby Simpson set a new record of 1 minute, 51.73 seconds in the 200-meter freestyle as well as a record of 58.27 seconds in the 100-meter backstroke. Senior Georgie Crompton set new records in the 50-meter freestyle (24.37 seconds), the 100-meter butterfly (56.94 seconds), and in the opening leg of the 4 x 100 meter relay with a 100-meter freestyle time of 53.10 seconds. Together with teammates Korby Simpson, Margaret Pollack ’14 and Catherine Pollack ’15 (pictured at right with coach Solomon Sniad), Crompton also set a new record of three minutes, 35.14 seconds in the 4 x 100 meter relay. Coaches are confident that Crompton will continue to reach new heights next year when she joins the swim team at the College of William & Mary next year.
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Swimming Coaches: Solomon Sniad and Eric Elton
Track & Field Coaches: Jim Lancaster, Neil Weijer, Joan Casey
The Upper School winter track team had an amazing season, and all of their hard work over the course of the season paid off. Two school records were broken, one by sophomore Julie Blaze in the 500-meter run and the other by senior Kyle Stewart in the 55-meter dash. Blaze was also selected to the All-IAAM team. Overall, the team finished sixth in the conference out of 15 teams, their highest finish in nearly a decade. Other individual highlights included senior Tessa Babcock’s amazing performance at championships, where she finished in sixth place with a personal best of 28 feet, 2 inches; Nya Hamlet’s development as one of the better sprinters in the conference and the continued growth of a young squad. We look forward to next season!
Ice Hockey Coaches: Maureen The Bryn Mawr ice hockey team Walsh, Delbert Adams, had a strong season, finishing Ali Jacobs, Derek Welsh with a record of 8-5. Early in January, coach Delbert Adams made the decision to move senior Ellie DeGarmo to offense. This switch paid off down the stretch as DeGarmo scored 11 goals in the final two games of the season. DeGarmo and fellow seniors Lindsay DeMuth and Caroline Joy presented a strong offense that set opponents off balance.
Coach Maureen Walsh says that overall, the leadership that the ice hockey seniors provided this year was outstanding. “They love to play, and that’s clear when they get out on the ice,” Walsh said. In addition to the front line trio, seniors Stuart Ferrell, Liz Cahn, Jenn Marshall rounded out the Class of 2013. One of the major highlights of the season came during the last game, when the team crushed opponent Academy of the Holy Cross, helped by DeGarmo and DeMuth’s goals as well as goalkeeper Ferrell’s 22 saves. “It was remarkable seeing them win such a decisive victory in their last game,” says Walsh. “Seeing them play so well, and knowing how much they have improved since they were freshman, really speaks to the quality of the team and their willingness to work as hard as they can in order to see an improvement. I’m incredibly proud of them.”
February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 13
V Basketball Coaches: Mimi Walters, Leslie Feinberg, Meredith Larsen
The varsity basketball team had a competitive season, playing a strong nonconference schedule and battling in a tough IAAM “B” conference. Highlights of the season include wins against Garrison Forest and eventual conference finalist Severn School, as well as close games with St. Mary’s, St. Johns, Indian Creek and Annapolis Area Christian School. Seniors Becca Aronson, Jordan Bayer, Maddie Crowell, Molly Danko, and Kate Snouffer led the way for the team, providing strong contributions both on and off the court. Junior Zoe Zawisa and freshman Grace Greene both suffered season ending injuries, but we look forward to having them back next season. Off the court, the team enjoyed a trip to Hollidaysburg, PA during winter break. It was a great learning and bonding experience for the team.
The JV basketball team ended the season 5-9, but nevertheless Coaches: James Brown and Andrew Davis it was a season that the girls could be proud of. From the beginning, the squad was decimated with injuries. On a team already lacking in numbers, that presented quite a challenge. The team lost the first seven games, three of them by only two or four points. “At that point we were just hoping not to end the season winless,” says Coach James Brown. However, the JV team displayed amazing resilience, going on to win five of their last seven games, including one game against “A” division team Mercy High School. Season highlights included a comeback win against Maryvale Prep, when the team overcame a six-point deficit despite being short on players, as well as sophomore Lily Fisher’s game-winning buzzer beater against Mercy High School. 14 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
The varsity squash team ended the season with a record of 5-6. With a new coach and a third of this nine-person team being composed of freshman, an important part of the season for these players was coming together as a team. The three strong senior captains lead the team with spirit and commitment, and the whole team was consistently positive and supportive of their teammates. With good attitudes and a lot of hard work, the whole team improved their skills over the course of the season. Some highlights of the season included winning handily over boys’ school Calvert Hall, with a final score of 8-0, and winning an additional game against rival Roland Park Country School in the second match-up of the season. “Squash may be an individual sport, but this year the varsity squash did an excellent job of coming together as a cohesive team,” Coach Clair Miller said. “All of the players have a lot to be proud of.” Coaches: Clair Miller and Matilde Taborda
JV Squash Coaches: Clair Miller and Matilde Taborda
The JV squash team had a very successful season, finishing with a record of 8-1-5. The busy schedule of more than one match most weeks demanded a high level of commitment from the team, and they stayed strong throughout the season. Together as a squad, the girls set high standards for themselves and their peers, making it a season goal that the lineup would change often as they took on their teammates in regular challenge matches. Each week the girls competed against one another to determine the line up, and they always exhibited good sportsmanship. Another team goal was for all of the players to improve. This was certainly something that they achieved! The team had a very impressive record, but the greatest testaments to the success of their season were their strength as a team and their collective improvement as an entire squad. February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 15
The Bryn Mawr community comes together o special events, raising money for girls on the well as a food pantry in our ow
on Valentineâ€™s Day for two e other side of the globe as wn backyard. February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 17
It’s mid-afternoon in Katherine Van Bibber Gymnasium. Weak winter sunlight streams through the lofty windows, illuminating the festivities below. The room is awash in pink in honor of the date—February 14. In the center of the basketball court, a group of Lower School girls garbed in forest green romp gleefully, swinging one another in circles, laughing as they twirl to the beat of the music. They dance with abandon, moving for the sheer joy of it. Though it may not seem so at first glance, this dancing is serious business. These girls are taking part in the fourthannual Bryn Mawr Dance Marathon, which raises money each year for a non-profit organization known as the Girl Effect. Created by the Nike Foundation in collaboration with the NoVo Foundation, United Nations Foundation and Coalition for Adolescent Girls, the Girl Effect seeks to break the cycle of poverty and pregnancy for adolescent girls growing up in developing countries. The idea is that if the foundation can impact one girl, she will have an effect on her children, who will influence their children, and so on, spreading the movement ever outward.
Top: A Lower Schooler sings and dances to “YMCA.” Below: Upper School volunteers serve soup at Empty Bowls.
Katie Liu ’13 sees the Girl Effect as a natural partnership for Bryn Mawr. “The Girl Effect advocates for girls, and works to help adolescent girls create a great life for themselves, so that they can have an effect on their own communities,” Liu says. “As an all-girls school, it makes sense for us to contribute to this movement.” Liu is the president of Community Service Learning (CSL), the club that hosts Dance Marathon each year. Together with her team of eleven, Liu was responsible for planning and executing every aspect of Dance Marathon, from decorations to t-shirts to permission slip distribution. The goal was a lofty one: to raise at least $1,000, a significant increase from the previous year’s total. To accomplish their goal, CSL members started to think about ways to reach parents, beyond a barrage of emails. They hit on a winning idea: Lower School carpool. “We opened doors at carpool, which worked really well,” Liu says. “It gave us a chance to talk to parents and advocate for the event.”
When Valentine’s Day finally rolled around, all of the hard work that Liu and her classmates put in paid off handsomely as they met their goal of raising $1,000 for the Girl Effect. With some money from t-shirt sales still left to be tallied, the final total will be even higher, making this year the most successful ever for Dance Marathon. 18 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
Aside from raising a record-breaking amount, Liu says that the best part of the event was seeing it all come together. “At first when we were setting up I was a little bit frantic, just because this is our biggest fundraiser of the year and I wanted it to go well,” Liu remembers. “Seeing all of the Lower School girls come up and have a great time was really rewarding. I’m so excited about how successful it was, and I hope that it continues to grow.”
Soup’s On Laura Hawes ’14 and Erin Moore ’14, heads of the Empty Bowls dinner, weren’t quite sure at first how well it would work to have a major fundraising event like Empty Bowls on the same day as Dance Marathon. But this turned out to be quite a happy coincidence. “It was really a full day at Bryn Mawr, because it wasn’t just Empty Bowls,” Moore says. “You could go to Dance Marathon, then get dinner at Empty Bowls, then go the Arts Council Coffee House.” Adds Hawes, “It was really good because without that I don’t think that we would have had as much Upper School attendance as we did.” Like Dance Marathon, Empty Bowls is an annual event at Bryn Mawr, held to raise money for local food pantry Our Daily Bread. For a small donation, attendees receive a simple, filling meal of bread, soup and dessert, as well as a handcrafted bowl to take home. Hawes and Moore began the planning process for the dinner several months ago. Though they had no ‘road map’ from former years, Hawes’ experience with Arts Council events, combined with Moore’s thorough knowledge of the process for producing the plethora of handmade bowls required, made them a good team. And, Hawes is quick to note, they were well-supported by Dean of Students Jeanette Budzik and Paul Holmes from the dining staff. This allowed the girls to concentrate their attentions on getting the word out to the Bryn Mawr community as well as surrounding schools. “We really focused on social media,” Hawes says. “Getting the word out was the biggest challenge, and we relied on both the Internet and word of mouth.”
Top: Claire ’13 dances with a Lower School girl. Below: First graders examine the handmade bowls at the dinner.
Despite all of their efforts, when the night of the event arrived Hawes was still nervous about whether anyone would show up or not. In fact, they had the opposite problem—there almost was not enough space for everyone! “When we started to see a line before it was even time to open the doors, it was really exciting,” says Hawes. “Seeing this huge flood of people, and knowing that they were going to contribute to Our Daily Bread, was wonderful.” Equally wonderful, says Moore, is the amount of support that they got from both their classmates and their teachers. “It was a really busy time of the school year, but no one ever brushed us off. They were always eager to get involved and help make it a success.” The event was a huge success, raising just over $1,600 for the food pantry. However, Hawes and Moore are already looking forward to next year and brainstorming ways to make it even better. “I’d love to get kids from other schools involved,” Moore says. “We might need a bigger cafeteria!” February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 19
Move Like You Mean It A
s a former college soccer player, Assistant Athletic Director Tina Steck is very familiar with what life after organized sports is like. “The majority of high schoolers do not go on to play sports in college, and for the few that do, after they graduate the options become very limited,” Steck says. It was the question raised by this reality—how can we encourage girls to prepare for a lifetime of fitness, rather than emphasizing a narrow focus on team sports—that led to the redesign of Bryn Mawr’s Upper School physical education curriculum for the 2012-2013 school year. < Dance teacher Emily Tankersley leads a Yogalates course, one of the many offerings in the new curriculum.
Bosu ball and spinning are two of the classes available to students in the new fitness curriculum.
“In the past, the focus was on team-centered sports,” Steck relates. “One of the reasons to move beyond those was that these sports weren’t anything new to the girls, and they can participate in them at Bryn Mawr or elsewhere. And, in large part, these are not sports that you end up doing for long-term fitness. So we wanted to introduce girls to new types of exercise that they are more likely to use in the future.” In the new physical education curriculum, students are able to choose their classes from a wide range of options including yogalates, bosu ball, TRX, spin, line dance and more. This “health club” model encourages students to take responsibility for their fitness by scheduling their own classes during free periods. Girls must fit in four 35-minute sessions within each 10-day cycle. An added bonus of the system, Steck says, is that it lets teachers pick the areas that they are the most passionate and knowledgeable about to teach classes in, increasing the variety and quality of the offerings. “Ultimately, we want students to feel comfortable in group exercise classes so that they can become familiar with these types of exercise and not feel out of place in a gym or fitness club.” To be sure, there have been some growing pains with the new system, especially when it comes to the aspects of scheduling and time management. “Scheduling, especially in the early part of the year,
was the biggest piece that we needed to help the students figure out,” Steck explains. “Time management is an essential skill for the way this program is structured, and that’s also part of the learning process for them—it’s not a physical skill, but it is something that’s important for them to learn.” The way that the program is structured is different from any other high school physical education program that Athletic Director Wendy Kridel has encountered. “It is revolutionary in the life of our physical education,” Kridel says. “What is remarkable about it is that we are preparing girls for how exercise works in real life—finding what they enjoy doing, making it work with their schedule, then taking that and running with it. The actual amount of physical activity that we are asking them to do is not that much, but the act of what they’re doing, and the process of how they accomplish it, is what is really important.” Overall, the feedback from students has been quite good, especially from the tenth graders who experienced the previous physical education class structure. Steck says that girls feel they are getting a better workout from the new classes, and that they seem fully engaged for the entire class. “The students have excelled and are really enjoying it,” she says. “We’re definitely looking for ways to work out any kinks and make the program even better, but I’m confident that within the next year it will be running very smoothly.”
February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 21
Darcy Watts â€˜14 takes on the firstever Bryn Mawr Math Department mentorship to find out what math in the real world is all about.
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22 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
Darcy Watts ‘14 with her mentor, Dr. Helen Pentikis.
Darcy Watts ’14 first heard about the inaugural Bryn Mawr math mentorship at a convocation in the spring of 2012. She remembers being immediately excited about the prospect of getting some handson experience using math outside of the classroom. Even better, the mentorship was in an area she was particularly enthusiastic about. “I was really interested in it when I heard that it was about pharmaceuticals and using applied mathematics to figure out drug interactions in the body,” Watts explains. After being selected for the mentorship, Watts spent four hours per week working with Dr. Helen Pentikis, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of SAJE Consulting. The experience, Watts says, was incredible. “I really enjoyed this mentorship. It was definitely a challenge, but I always had Dr. Pentikis and the math department to help out if I needed it. It was so rewarding to be presented with a task, and be able to come up with a solution using some of the things I have learned in class.” Upper School math teachers Jen Arrogancia and Vicky Miyamoto hope that Watts’ experience will be the first of many successful math mentorships. Originally, both teachers came up with the idea for the mentorship program independently, driven by the goal of showing Bryn Mawr girls how the math they study can be used outside the classroom. “It was a funny coincidence when we realized that both of us were thinking about the same type of program,” Miyamoto says. “We really want to expose the girls to women with different careers in mathematics in order to show them why we study this and how it is useful.” For the pilot mentorship, Arrogancia enlisted Pentikis, an old friend with a very relevant career. With the first mentor on board, Arrogancia and Miyamoto worked out the requirements for the mentorship, which they
envisioned as being projectbased. “There has to be a substantive project for the student to work on,” explains Arrogancia. “We don’t want to send the girls in to watch someone do the filing.”
During her mentorship, Watt’s project focused on working with data from animal studies to determine an appropriate human dose for a new prescription drug. Known as A-5281, the drug is a synthetic human growth hormone that may eventually be used to help those with physical development issues. To determine the dose, Watts used a process known as interspecies, or allometric, scaling. Her task was an important part of the drug development process, as her findings on dosage amounts will accompany the pharmaceutical company’s application to the Food and Drug Administration to begin human trials. The application for A-5281 will be submitted within a month or so, and Watts is eager to know the outcome. “It’s exciting to know that my work could help them get the approval to start human trials,” she says. During the course of her internship, Watts used a good deal of higher-level math skills, including working extensively in Microsoft Excel with the equations for linear regression and logarithms. She soon found that some of the math she needed she had not yet learned at Bryn Mawr. Fortunately, says Watts, “most of the math I didn’t know just required me to apply concepts I’d already learned to new ideas.” With the help of Dr. Pentikis and her Bryn Mawr teachers, she
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was able to get through the process with relatively few bumps. There was one aspect of the experience, though, that Watts admits was particularly onerous: keeping all of the equations straight in Excel. “There was one point towards the end when I got the wrong number, so I had to go back through all of my previous work to figure out where I had gone wrong,” Watts recalls. “It turned out to just be a typo in one of the Excel boxes, but it was really difficult to find.” Excel frustrations aside, Watts would definitely recommend the mentorship program to other Bryn Mawr girls. “I’m so glad that I decided to go for it,” she says with a smile. “It was a great experience, and Dr. Pentikis was a great mentor.” In addition, the mentorship helped to solidify Watts’ ideas about the kind of work that she hopes to pursue in the future. “I will probably focus more
on the science aspects of this type of research, but the mentorship definitely showed me that I want to pursue pharmaceuticals in general,” she says. With one successful mentorship finished and the next school year already on the horizon, Miyamoto and Arrogancia are working to find more mentors and expand the program, hopefully with participation from Bryn Mawr alumnae. “I think it would be wonderful to show the girls someone who went to Bryn Mawr and has a career in mathematics,” Miyamoto says. “It will give them an idea about all of the opportunities that are available.” The Bryn Mawr Math Department is looking for women in mathematical careers who are interested in serving as mentors. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Vicky Miyamoto at email@example.com.
Fascinating Functions On February 14, the Bryn Mawr Math Department hosted a special assembly featuring a panel discussion with three women in mathematical careers. Special thanks to Beverly Mathews, project engineer for Stanley Black and Decker; Dr. Helen Pentikis, founder and chief scientific officer for SAJE Consulting; and Cheryl Mickel, P’22, ‘25, vice president and portfolio manager for T. Rowe Price, for taking part in a fascinating discussion on different careers available in math and science! 24 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
Run for Joy! As a frequent morning supervisor in the Lower School, Mimi Walters noticed that many of her young charges were often fidgety and eager to move. “I have seen them antsy to be active and move, but not able to because of the space limitations under the portico,” Walters says. As a physical eduction teacher, Walters is well aware of the demonstrated link between exercise and increased attention in the classroom. “I realized that it would be helpful to allow them some time to move in the morning, to just let themselves go and be active,” Walters explains. The combination of these observations led Walters to propose a new morning program: the Lower School Walking and Running Club. Started in January, the Walking and Running Club meets three mornings a week—Monday, Wednesday and Thursday—for 25 minutes in the KVB Gymnasium. As the name indicates, students have the option of running or walking as many laps as they would like to. “What’s great about the program is that they can do as much or as little as they want, and still feel good about it,” Walters says. “It gives them time to be social while also getting exercise and giving their brains a boost.” The reception so far has been great. “We’ve had tremendous turnout over the first few weeks,” Walters notes happily. “We’ve had 75 or 80 girls turn up for the club each morning, which is incredible.” To give girls incentives to keep moving, Walters asks the girls to use popsicle sticks to keep track of the number of laps they complete each time they attend. When girls reach milestones like five, ten, twenty or more miles (one mile is equal to 20 laps), they receive small shoes in recognition of their achievement. The biggest benefit of the program, however, comes in the classroom. In just the first few weeks, Walters says that teachers reported to her that girls who had attended the Walking and Running Club seemed settled and ready to engage academically. “They’re more focused, which even helps the girls who didn’t come,” Walters says. “That is exactly what we were hoping for.” February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 25
by Julia Leff â€™13 At the end of January, the Bryn Mawr Model United Nations club made their annual trip to Boston to attend the Harvard Model UN conference, or HMUN. At the conference, the 26 girls from Bryn Mawr represented the countries of Albania and Croatia in committees such as the World Health Organization, the Social Humanitarian and Cultural Committee and the Disarmament and International Security Committee. Each committee was made up of a few hundred other high school students. During the committee meetings, we discussed and debated topics that pertained to the international community, such as the legality of drones, failed states and oil. After lengthy debates, groups of delegates came together to form a working paper outlining their agenda concerning the topic. These papers were revised until they formed resolutions that could be passed into international law by the committee. Through this experience, we learned valuable lessons about negotiation as we figured out how to push for our country's own agenda while also compromising with others. Additionally, speaking with a time limit in front of a few hundred people in committee meant that we had to be loud, clear and concise. 26 / Mawrginalia / February 2013
HMUN was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. On our free Friday morning, we took advantage of the chilly city of Boston by shopping on fashionable Newbury Street, taking the T to visit Harvard or just walking around the city. Additionally, on Saturday night HMUN hosted a dance for all delegates. As this was the night before the Super Bowl, many of us dressed up in Ravens gear to represent Maryland! We had a lot of fun showing off some hometown pride. Our favorite things about the conference were meeting a variety of interesting people and having the opportunity to bond with our club. On the first night, the leaders of the Bryn Mawr MUN club hosted a midnight pizza party in their room so that all of us could come together and share stories about our trip so far. On the last night, all 26 of us had dinner together at a restaurant. HMUN, in the spirit of the real United Nations, encourages cooperation and collaboration, meaning that we got the chance to make friends with people from across the United States and around the world. We all had a great experience at HMUN 2013, and we can't wait for HMUN 2014!
READ-A-THON CHAMPS! LED BY THE FOURTH GRADE CHAMPIONS FROM MS. STROUSS’ CLASS, LOWER SCHOOL GIRLS READ AN ASTONISHING 54,020 MINUTES, RAISING ALMOST $9,000! The first annual Lower School Read-A-Thon took place during the last two weeks in January and the first week in February. This new tradition was created and spearheaded by Elena Thompson, P’24 and Mary Briggs, P’23. With more than 110 students participating in the Read-A-Thon, the Lower School certainly proved it really is “wild for reading” by collectively reading more than 54,000 minutes and raising almost $9,000 during the three week period! Proceeds from the event will go to support the fifth grade Newbery Luncheon on March 1, 2013. The three teams (homerooms) who read the most minutes and earned a dress down day were the Giraffes (Ms. Strouss’ homeroom, pictured), the Alligators (Mrs. Emala’s homeroom) and the Penguins (Ms. Lacy’s homeroom). Congratulations to the winners, and a giant thank you to the Lower School families for their enthusiasm and incredible support of the Read-A-Thon.
FACULTY/STAFF APPRECIATION February is a busy month at Bryn Mawr. Many thanks to all of the parents who helped make Faculty/Staff Appreciation Month so terrific! Special thanks to Allison Williams, P’21, ‘24; Emily Fearey, P’20, ‘24; Meaghan Knaub, P’22, and their wonderful committee who put together two fantastic days of “All Things Baltimore”-themed luncheons. The decorations (samples pictured), food and favors were a wonderful tribute to our amazing city and the incredible faculty and staff at Bryn Mawr. February 2013 / Mawrginalia / 27
Alumnae Students at Bryn Mawr in the 1970s relax in the Commons Room of the Howell Center between classes.
GREAT APP-SPECTATIONS COMING SOON: THE BRYN MAWR ALUMNAE APP! STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS...
WORKPLACE CONNECTIONS We often hear from alumnae that they work with other Bryn Mawr alumnae. Do you? If so, please send us a photo of all the Bryn Mawr alumnae that work in your office! Email the photo and other relevant info (where you work) to Kathie Guben Wachs ’90 at firstname.lastname@example.org. < Suzy Feldman Rosenthal ‘72, Kathie Guben Wachs ’90 and Julie Smith Marshall ’89 work together in Bryn Mawr’s development office.
UPCOMING EVENTS Four Schools: One Happy Hour Thursday, February 28, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
For the Classes of 1970 – 1995. Join us in the Sky Bar and Pimlico Room of The Mt. Washington Tavern to mingle with alumni/ae from Bryn Mawr, Boys Latin, Roland Park Country School and Gilman. Cash bar with draft beer and wine specials. Appetizers provided. RSVP: email@example.com
Alumnae Play Date
Saturday, April 6, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Bring your kids (or grandkids) to the Bryn Mawr Little School playground and join us for a fun Saturday morning play date!
Share Your Class Notes! Want to know what your fellow alumnae are up to? They want to hear from you too! Submit and read Class Notes online: www.brynmawrschool.org/ alumnae.
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THE BRYN MAWR SCHOOL 109 W. Melrose Ave Baltimore, MD 21210 410-323-8800 www.brynmawrschool.org