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A lu m n a e Q ua rt e r ly


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Ripple Effect Fresh Teaching Attracts the Next Generation of Scientists


crew ' s lessons linger


evolution elucidated


caring in cambodia


creature feature

Winter 2008 • Volume 91 • Number 4 Managing Director of Print and Online Magazines Emily Harrison Weir

Executive Director W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83 ex officio without vote

Staff Writer Mieke H. Bomann

*Executive Committee

Class Notes Editor Erica C. Winter ’92 Designer James Baker Design Editorial Assistants Meg Massey ’08 Anindita Dasgupta ’08 Quarterly Committee: Linda Giannasi O’Connell ’69 (chair), Kara C. Baskin ’00, Maya Kukes ’95, Meg Massey ’08 (student rep.), Charlotte Overby ’87, Amy Springer ’87 (faculty rep.), Hannah Wallace ’95, Mary Graham Davis ’65, ex officio with vote; W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, ex officio without vote Alumnae Association Board of Directors *President Mary Graham Davis ’65 *Vice President Linda Maria Yu Bien ’75 *Clerk Sandra A. Mallalieu ’91 *Treasurer Linda Ing Phelps ’86 Alumnae Quarterly Linda Giannasi Matys O’Connell ’69 Alumnae Trustee Ellen Cosgrove ’84 Alumnae Relations Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Classes and Reunions Susan Swart Rice ’70 Clubs Lily Klebanoff Blake ’64 Director-at-Large Maureen McHale Hood ’87 Nominating Chair Jill M. Brethauer ’70 Young Alumnae Representative Lisa M. Utzinger ’02

The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc., 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413-538-2300; Ideas expressed in the Quarterly are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of either the Alumnae Association or the College. Published in the spring, summer, fall, and winter and copyrighted 2008 by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA 01075 and additional mailing offices. Printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington, Vermont. The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College serves a worldwide network of diverse individuals, cultivates and celebrates vibrant connections among all alumnae, fosters lifelong learning in the liberal arts tradition, and facilitates opportunities for alumnae to advance the goals and values of the College. Comments concerning the Quarterly should be sent to Alumnae Quarterly, Alumnae Association, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; tel. 413-538-2301; fax 413-538-2254; e-mail: eweir@ (413-538-3094, for class notes.) Send address changes to Alumnae Information Services (same address; 413-538-2303; ais@mtholyoke. edu). Call 413-538-2300 with general questions regarding the Alumnae Association, or visit POSTMASTER: (ISSN 0027-2493) (USPS 365-280) Please send form 3579 to Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486.

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On the cover: Real-world experiments helped turn Rebecca Jablonski-Diehl ’09 into an experimental science major. (Cover photo by Ben Barnhart)

Ripple Effect By S h o s h a n a Wa lt e r ’ 07

Fresh teaching attracts a new generation of scientists.

10 Putting Her Oar In by M a rya n n T e a l e S n e l l ’86

Julie Holley ’87 tells why her MHC crew experience is a metaphor for her postcollege life.


When What’s Biological Isn’t Logical, That’s Evolution Stan P. Rachootin, professor of biological sciences, explains it all for you.


Unshakable Activism By E l i z a b e t h E i d l i tz

Retired physician Nancy Woodward Hendrie ’54 brings hope to Cambodian children.


Nature of the Beast Professors feature their creatures.


2 Viewpoints 4 Campus Currents 27 Off the Shelf 30 Alumnae Matters 37 Class Notes and Miniprofiles 77 Bulletin Board and Travel 79 Last Look By J oa n n e V. C r e i g h to n

The president shares her thoughts on what unites women’s colleges worldwide.

English professor Corinne Demas poses with her donkeys Eleni (right) and Sophie as part of our “creature feature.� See p. 24 for more animal magnetism.

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Fall 2007

Alumnae Quarterly

=\Xi@kj\c] My Struggle with Panic Disorder


Ethical Capitalists: 8 • Fund Your Dreams: 12 • All About Globalization: 19 • Talking About Dying: 21

No More Shame I found the fall Quarterly both relevant and engaging, and especially appreciated “My Struggle with Panic Disorder,” by Kara C. Baskin ’00. I, too, lived a life crippled by panic disorder starting from a very early age. For me, the breaking point came on Christmas night 1999 when I found myself pregnant, and trapped in a too-small house with too many family members and a feeling of total and complete helplessness. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and no way to talk myself out of accepting the disease that I had spent years shrugging off. After four of the longest and most sleepless days and nights of my life— when the very effort of living seemed more than I could bear—I sought the help of a psychiatric professional. And after many, many sessions of therapy, and the blessed introduction of Zoloft, I learned to live with my anxiety. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Yes. Am I


ashamed to admit that I need a chemical to survive? Never. I would be more ashamed if I continued to let my disease affect the people I love and who love me. In fact, less than a year after I began my own therapy, I found myself bringing our then fiveyear-old son to his own behavioral therapy, something I might not have realized was so important had I not finally addressed my own issues. After three years of therapy for obsessive-compulsive/ anxiety disorder, we felt comfortable adding Zoloft to his mix of therapies. Now, at age thirteen, he is an incredibly wonderful and happy young man. It is never too late, too early, or too shameful to seek the therapy, and yes, perhaps, the medication, that you need to live a life free of fear and anxiety. Mary Nelligan Robbins ’87 Northborough, Massachusetts

Be a Government Watchdog I was encouraged to learn that incoming

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students read a book on climate change, Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. This is an important topic about which everyone should be educated. It is important to learn the science behind climate change, including its causes and effects. However, I wanted to remind [people] that it is also important to follow what the government is doing to remedy the problem. Environmental issues are largely affected by government funding, and without money to fund research (for alternate sources of energy, for example) or legislators to write laws to modify the way things are currently done, it is much less likely that we can alter the course that scientists are predicting. Please write to your senators and representatives to support climate change issues. Sharon Sigethy Coughlin ’90 Boonton Township, New Jersey

Safety of Nanomaterials We are proud that MHC women are leading the way in nanotechnology research, but we share concern with environmental health advocates that nanoparticles may pose substantial risk. Currently the commercial use of nanomaterials far outpaces research on their potential dangers. In 2006, only 4 percent of the approximately $1 billion federal budget for nanotechnology research was allocated to examine their health and environmental effects. Scientific studies show that the small size of nanoparticles permits greater access to body tissues and organs where they could cause harm. Studies in animals indicate that some inhaled nanomaterials pass easily from the nose to the brain and from lungs into the bloodstream. Alarmingly, these particles are already found in many everyday consumer products like cosmetics and food storage containers, but their safety is still in question.

Unfortunately, the U.S. government has a poor history of regulating potentially harmful technologies and allows many toxic materials—including asbestos—to be used in consumer products. This new generation of nanotechnology requires a precautionary regulatory framework instead of outdated laws that allow harm to our health. New regulations on consumer products containing silver nanoparticles, passed in 2006, are a good first step, but we should not stop there.

history of asbestos, rather than repeating it.

behavior, now would they?—Birdman”

Leise Jones ’01 Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

We are proud that MHC women are leading the way, but we will be more proud to hear that they are assessing the safety of this new technology before celebrating it. We agree that nanotechnology has exciting implications for medical and scientific advances, but believe that the risks of this new technology must be investigated.

Don’t Tell, Don’t Talk?

My own reaction: If a young woman knows her parents won’t be able to handle the news after sounding them out on similar issues, then she can either remain quiet about it (after all, she might change her orientation later, even though it doesn’t feel like that at the time) or make a big deal of it. To make a big deal of it in that case makes it almost certain her funds will be cut off. (It is possible that her parents will want to provide her with an alternative education somewhere else, where she will be less “under the influence.” Maybe it would be only fair to give them a chance. And maybe a young woman who has reached this point is asking for help by the act of telling them.)

Let the scholars and faculty at MHC take the lead on researching the safety of nanomaterials and making sure that we learn from the tragic

Margaret Byrne ’04 Northampton, Massachusetts Danielle Connor FP’06 Danvers, Massachusetts The authors are current and former staff members of Clean Water Action, an environmental organization working to protect people from harm caused by toxic chemicals.

I thought I’d share a (possibly) unanticipated reaction to the “Bulletin Board” story [fall] on the Jolene Fund for students whose lesbian orientation becomes known to their parents, who as a result cut them off. The following appeared on my husband’s Internet site “… Maybe the Jolenes would have found it cheaper to provide students with some tips on keeping their mouths shut. But then they wouldn’t want to encourage unnatural

In any case, if things end up “exploding,” she is relying on the college (or rather, its benefactors) to bail her out. She is putting the college in the position of advocating freedom of sexual expression. There are some who would say that if the college is going


We welcome letters reflecting the varying viewpoints of the Mount Holyoke community. Letters should be no more than 300 words, and we reserve the right to edit them for accuracy, clarity, and to meet space needs. Letters addressing topics discussed in the previous Quarterly are given priority. On any given topic, we will print letters that address it, and then in the next issue, letters that respond to the first letters. After that, we will move on to new topics. Send your thoughts, with your full name and class, to Mieke H. Bomann, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486. Send e-mails to

to do that they should make sure the student knows “both sides” (much like the Darwin vs. creationist controversy). Maybe there should be a kind of “family values” curriculum depicting the various (real) dilemmas we encounter out here in the world, and the difference it makes which paths we take. Lenora Castles Bryant ’64 South Pasadena, Florida Corrections In “Doing Well by Doing Good” in the fall Quarterly, Sheila Lirio Marcelo ’93 was incorrectly identified. She was entrepreneurin-residence at Matrix Partners, a venture capital firm, when she developed and from which she secured funding. Before that, she was vice president and general manager at TheLadders. com. Due to a typographical error, an incorrect date was given for the MHC tenure of Marjorie Kaufman. She was an English professor here from1954 to the 1987–88 academic year.

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campuscurrents the ancient and modern worlds. “Just as new work on Vesuvius asks us to connect with the plight of the ancient victims, the eruption” has become a paradigm for contemporary disasters like 9/11, the Indonesian tsunami, and Hurricane Katrina, says Bergmann, Helene Phillips Herzig ’49 Professor of Art History. For example, a prominent Vesuvius volcanologist shared his excavation skills at the 9/11 craters in lower Manhattan, and a call went out afterwards for classical archaeologists interested in working on the continuing recovery of the victims’ remains and personal effects in a sifting facility in Brooklyn.

Ancient Calamity Is a Model for Contemporary Disasters 4

Bettina Bergmann has long focused her academic research on ancient Roman art and archaeology, and is fascinated by many elements in the excavated

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sites around the Bay of Naples, which were buried in 79 A.D. by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. These days, her area of interest also has become part of an unexpected confluence of

In the spring, Bergmann will teach her course on art and cultural politics. When she first introduced the course nearly a decade ago, she had to search for contemporary problems analogous to ancient ones. Now, the issue of patrimony and

Ben Barnhart

Bettina Bergmann in front of a Pompeiian wall fresco from about 50 A.D.

Long interested in the interiors of Roman houses, Bergmann is at work on an essay about the restored Roman frescoes salvaged from a villa outside Pompeii that are on display at the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. (These galleries were funded, in part, by Shelby Baier White ’59 and her late husband, Leon Levy.)


provenance of objects— essentially, the ownership of history—has heated up, and with a growing schism between archaeologists and museums, “there’s not enough time” to cover all the issues, she laments. Nevertheless, she aims to set the current debate within its long history, which dates back to the Romans themselves. One of a few specialists of the Roman world trained as an art historian, Bergmann revels in the recent upswing of interest in her favored time period. “It is always interesting to me to see how we engage with the past … and now seems a particularly powerful moment.”— M.H.B.

Do You Have Plans?

Pau l S c h n a i t tac h e r

Online Career Curriculum Prods Students Into Action Getting students into the Career Development Center has always been a challenge. While students say they’re aware of all the good information that awaits them in the building adjacent to the health center, few make the best use of it, at least not before their senior years. Career counselors at Mount Holyoke hope a new electronic initiative will prod students beginning in their first year to think more systematically about life after college.

Alicia Hammond ’08, right, and Cori Ashworth, director of alumnae career services, go over YourPlan, MHC’s new online career planner.

YourPlan is a four-year career curriculum that outlines in a logical manner the steps students need to take to find a meaningful place in the world after college. Set up as a series of checklists online, it offers students at appropriate stages in their college years the strategies, structure, and professional support they will need to carry their education into a job, graduate school, or volunteer work they are suited for and find personally rewarding. “Our goal is to … enhance the academic program by answering the questions, ‘What do I want to do, and how do I take what I have learned, and apply

it,’” said Scott Brown, outgoing director of the center. “The process is not mystical—you just have to do it.” Students interested in participating—they numbered 370 by the end of November—activate accounts online that offer an increasingly complex set of tasks and options on how to complete them. For example, a first-year student is encouraged to talk to family, friends, and alumnae about career ideas, and to focus on polishing time-management skills. Second-year students are offered workshops on finding an internship. Juniors update their

résumés and cover letters for jobs. Seniors learn how to prepare for job interviews. The ability to articulate not just your skills but also your passions and values is something every employer looks for in a candidate but few students have ever been asked to express, notes Brown. Helping students figure out who they are and what matters to them is part of the college’s mission of “purposeful engagement with the world,” and the essence of MHC career development, he added. Of the tasks outlined for sophomores, Mohaimina Rahman ’10 has completed the personality

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test, started identifying career fields, and is looking at prospective employers. She chose to participate in YourPlan because “it gives me a checklist of goals I want to achieve, and a sense of how far I have progressed toward achieving my goals.” Counselors note that alumnae can offer students tremendous help by sharing the ins and outs of particular industries and fields. Select students in YourPlan attended an Alumnae Council lunch in the fall to network with potential colleagues and mentors. (Alumnae Association conferences and activities routinely include a time for students to speak with alumnae.) Alumnae especially can also provide the antidote to what ails most students: lack of perspective. “Counselors have to point out to almost every student who walks in the door that no one had it figured out at [age] twenty,” notes Brown. Alums get that. Cori Ashworth, director of alumnae career services, is also helping to pilot another new program, Career Action Teams, in which small groups of seniors support each other as they search for jobs in a particular city. One goal is to have alums as mentors in those cities. —M.H.B. Check out YourPlan basics at https://yourplan.


Dead, White, and Male, but Still Relevant The Founding Fathers, whose triumphal achievements and profound failures have been addressed in a dozen recent books, including the lecturer’s, were the subject of a September lecture for first-year students by Professor of History Joseph Ellis. It was the second in a series of talks established as part of the First-Year Seminar Program that introduces first-years to the liberal arts. “Why Dead White Males Matter” conveyed Ellis’s understanding that while “they may all be dead, and they may all be white, the men who founded America, along with [their] successes and failures, remain relevant.” About fifty students and a smattering of faculty members attended the

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event, including Sarah Brady ’11, who said that although the lecture was not required of firsties, “I thought I could learn something new. I think I will go to all of them. Why not?” The intent of the lecture series, according to James Hartley, professor of economics and director of the first-year program, is to “get a set of the best lecturers on campus to talk for an hour on a topic about which firstyear students have heard [but] know little about.” Other topics included “What’s Stashed in Your Shadow: An Introduction to C.G. Jung” with Penny Gill, professor of humanities and politics; and “Confucius: A Man of His Time or a Sage for the Ages?” with Jonathan Lipman, professor of Asian studies and history. Ellis, whose most recent book is American

Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies at the Founding of the Republic, cautioned the audience that the Founders’ extraordinary victory in the war of independence must be balanced by their extreme failure of leadership in abolishing slavery. “The notion of a golden age of leadership back then and the idea of a debased world of politics currently” is distorted, he said. Said Alie Schonbek ’11 after the talk, “I’ve studied American history for a long time but [this lecture] gave me a new perspective; the story behind the founding.” —M.H.B.

Virtual Laundry LaundryView, an online monitoring system for MHC laundry rooms, gives a virtual glimpse of students’ clothes to see if they’re done or whether machines are available.

In the Clouds Sustainable development in a community setting is a goal of a new MHC studyabroad program outside Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, beginning in 2009. I n S e ssi o n

No Easy Answers: Medical Ethics

To some students, the tricky questions posed by topics like cloning or euthanasia seem a bit “fringe” in nature, but they fully appreciate Harold’s reasoning in selecting them: to dissect an author’s reasoning, think about issues never before considered, and stimulate productive debate in class.

Harold notes that it’s easy for students to fall into old habits of thinking on more familiar topics, such as abortion and euthanasia. So he chooses issues like assigning a sex to those with ambiguous genitalia, or tries to find a less-considered aspect of a topic like abortion—such as aborting disabled fetuses—to shake up familiar ways of thinking.—M.H.B.

“What I hope … is to have [students] become more reflective,” said Harold in an interview in his booklined office in Skinner Hall. “To not accept too quickly what views seem attractive, but [to welcome] what requires serious thought. Especially when lives are at stake.”

James Harold enjoys the outdoors with his son, Tobias.

While philosophy may bring to mind images of old, Greek men waxing eloquent under an olive

Harold: Andrea Burns

It’s early Tuesday morning, and in a lecture hall in Kendall, students enrolled in Philosophy 235, Medical Ethics, are hashing out the moral rights of people in the late stages of dementia. Their assigned readings offer two different approaches to a thorny issue inherent in this life-altering condition. Is it more important to honor a patient’s directive for care in such a situation, made long before the dementia took place, or the current needs of the same individual, which may conflict with the person’s earlier wishes?

It’s tough stuff for many students, whose exposure to abstract ideas like the nature of self, standard fare in the philosopher’s world, has been limited. For James Harold, an assistant professor of philosophy who teaches the class, the goal is not memorization of a slate of correct answers to difficult medical questions but an understanding of how, logically, to get to an answer and the philosophical principles relevant to that answer.

“The point is to understand that this is a philosophy class, and that it’s really hard to put aside that knee-jerk reaction,” offers Jessica Suhowatsky ’10, a biology major from Littleton, Colorado. “I may think what I’m about to say is wrong, but you have to challenge the other arguments.”


Costa Rican wildlife

tree, in fact, the skills central to the discipline— critical thinking among them—are excellent preparation for almost every contemporary, postgraduate endeavor. Former President Bill Clinton was a philosophy major. So was Woody Allen. Philosophy majors score highest in most graduate-school exams, Harold adds.

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Student Edge

Listening for the Call When Holly K. Norwick FP’08 was called to the ministry, she faced an internal struggle that one might expect to accompany a dialogue with a God who considered women unfit to be ministers.

Out There

No More Hatred

Associate Professor of Astronomy Darby Dyar and Ronald Zissel, the longtime astronomy lab director, now retired, have had asteroids named after them. 7272 Darbydyar and 6949 Zissel orbit between Mars and Jupiter.

Gerald Caplan, a leading Canadian authority on genocide and genocide prevention, was this year’s scholar-in-residence at the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.

Daughter of a conservative Lutheran pastor whose Biblical interpretation left little room for women as church leaders, Norwick recalls that she “resisted [God’s call] quite fiercely but finally submitted, and from then on the math was clear.” Introduced to MHC through a mentor at a community college in Hawaii, Norwick applied to the Frances Perkins Program. Five minutes after receiving her MHC

acceptance letter, Norwick resigned from her job in the Honolulu police force. “Being accepted at a school that empowers women is really the aspect I needed,” says Norwick, who had served as the officer in charge of community volunteers for the Crime Stoppers program. “What I needed was the confidence that it was okay to be a pastor, and MHC has done that. Seeing so many proficient, happy women who don’t find it odd that I want to do these things” boosted her self-image as a woman of faith. In addition to working closely with Assistant Professor of Religion Michael Penn researching a book on IslamicChristian relations, she has shadowed Sherry S. Tucker MA’92, the

Global Vision Among the winners in this year’s contest for photos taken by students abroad was this shot of three barley harvesters in the village of Burr in India’s Spiti Valley. Senior Nicole Edick’s image won in the “people and culture” category of the contest, sponsored by the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives. See the other winners at


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G l o b a l Vi s i o n : Ni c o l e E d i c k ’ 0 8 • N o rw i c k : Pau l S c h n a i t tac h e r • M ac a r i : R i c h a r d O r r S p o rt s P h o t o g r a p h y

Mount Holyoke’s tennis and volleyball squads also made return trips to the NEWMAC Tournament, collecting three and five victories, respectively.

Mount Holyoke’s crew team excelled in its two events this fall. Its varsity eight boat nabbed second place at the Head of the Housatonic and tenth place at the Head of the Charles.—Mike Raposo, MHC sports information director


Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) postseason tournament for the tenth straight year. Macari tallied a team-best thirteen goals, as the Lyons finished with a record of 7–9.

Sophomore forward Lauren Orr posted eight goals to pace the Mount Holyoke soccer team, which found the win column three times. Orr was responsible for the winner in two of the Lyons triumphs. Holly K. Norwick FP’08

college’s chaplain for the Protestant community, in her ministerial duties. What has emerged is a pastor-in-training who hopes one day to embrace congregants from all walks of life and economic circumstances, acknowledging especially the legitimacy of hard work to make ends meet, no matter the character of the job. As an ex-cop working part-time as a waitress and singer in a bar to help pay her college bills, she knows what’s she’s talking about. Norwick is undecided in which denomination she will ultimately find a home. But she’s confident that just as her father has come to open his heart

to the call his daughter so thoughtfully answered, her faith will lead her in the right direction.— M.H.B.

Fa l l S p o r t s R e c a p

Highlighting the fall season was the debut of a new $5.9 million outdoor track-and-field facility, complete with a synthetic turf field, lights, and a state-of-the-art press box. The field hockey team opened the complex in September when it hosted the Seven Sisters Classic. Led by junior forward Jaimie Macari, the field hockey team advanced to the New England Women’s and Men’s

The cross-country team enjoyed an outstanding season in which it raced to the team title at the Seven Sisters Invitational for the first time since 1999. Mount Holyoke’s golf team competed in five events, including its home invitational this fall. The Lyons were at their best in their last tournament of 2007, placing fourth at the Wellesley College Invitational. The riding team opened its slate at the Preseason Tournament of Champions in Laurinburg, North Carolina. After claiming the title at that competition, the Lyons went on to capture High Point Championships at both the Becker College and Williams College intercollegiate horse shows.

Field Hockey forward Jaimie Macari ’09

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Fresh Teaching Attracts the Next Generation of Scientists


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A b o v e : Pa u l S c h n a i t ta c h e r • B e l o w : B e n B a r n h a r t

Ripple Effect

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Rebecca Jablonski-Diehl ’09 steps into the murky water of Lower Lake. In front of her is the serene reflection of trees stretched out across the water. It is a familiar sight. But the experience of treading cautiously down a slimy slope in thigh-high waders is definitely new. “The bottom was mucky. We were scared we were going to fall down and not make it out,” Jablonski-Diehl recalls, laughing. She wasn’t venturing into the muddy lake just for kicks. Jablonski-Diehl and her classmates were collecting water samples for a lab project in biology professor Martha Hoopes’s ecology course. The students gathered samples for nearly two months, comparing and contrasting water conditions at sites around campus.

Above: Professor Jill Bubier (far left) took her Environmental Science 200 students to Quabbin Reservoir to study the effects of deer overpopulation on the forests. Students periodically measure tree growth in a given area to see how many young trees are eaten by deer. Left: Real-world experiments helped turn Rebecca JablonskiDiehl ’09 into an environmental science major

It is challenging work for 100-level students, but the payoff can be big. With this kind of handson experience, students often develop a passion for scientific exploration and discovery early in their college careers. Eventually they may become science majors, or something just as important: informed and scientifically literate citizens. “I’d never actually done experiments myself,” says Jablonski-Diehl. “Going into the lake was probably the most fun thing I’d ever done in any class.” She was hooked, and became an environmental studies major.

Filling the Science ‘Pipeline’ Hoopes’s hands-on lab is just one example of the learning techniques attracting more students to science. With science, health, and environmental issues continuing to register high on the national agenda, numerous studies have called for more scientists to meet the new century’s challenges. Mount Holyoke professors have stepped up to the challenge, preparing the next generation of scientists and scienceliterate citizens. Although the college has been a science powerhouse since its founding, traditional “chalkand-talk” auditorium lectures reach only a certain segment of the student body. With the world’s scientific needs growing steadily, filling the science “pipeline” is more important than ever. And, since white men have traditionally been overrepresented in most scientific disciplines, attracting more women and people of color is crucial to providing the large number of science-savvy workers studies suggest the world demands. To do this, Mount Holyoke’s science professors have been teaching one another how to teach better. Last fall, physics professors Janice Hudgings and Ward Lopes organized a seminar for faculty about science teaching. A dozen

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a good idea of where everyone stands.” Tewari also recently set up a course Web site on which students are required to answer questions before class based on the reading assignments. Physics professor Janice Hudgings introduced this method, called “just-in-time” teaching. Like the clickers, the preclass questions help professors gauge student understanding. Hudgings counts the preclass answers, which are graded based on effort, as 10 percent of students’ grades. “It’s a really big pain in the butt because it’s a lot of work,” said Gina Leslie ’08, a physics major. “But I find it does help.”

borrowed from their colleagues.

professors attended the five sessions, during which they listened to outside presenters’ teaching techniques and shared their own methods. Many participants have since used new techniques


Physics professor Shubha Tewari shared one successful method. Tewari distributes “personal response systems,” also known as clickers or remotes, to her students during class. They click to answer multiple-choice questions posed by Tewari during lectures. Responses are sent to a computer at the front of the room, where the answers are tabulated, and so Tewari knows instantly whether or not her students are

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“getting it.” If student responses vary, Tewari splits the class into discussion groups, where students argue for the answer they feel is correct. Tewari then discusses their answers, and goes through the steps to find the correct one. Addison Kemp ’09, a biology major who took Tewari’s 216 course this past fall, calls the system “really helpful. Not everyone is going to speak up [when they’re confused]. With the clickers, [Tewari] gets

“Students come to class really prepared. They know what they want to ask me,” Hudgings says. “And I come to class much better prepared because I have a better sense of where my class is with the material. It really changes the dynamics of the classroom because we have this exchange.” Hudgings also finds that, since students have taken more time to process the material on their own, they are more comfortable in class. The philosophy behind these teaching methods

Ben Barnhart

Professor Shubha Tewari knows instantly whether her physics students understand what she’s teaching, thanks to the electronic clickers (below) students use in class.

Hudgings’s goal is to get students to think more about the readings, which present important material she often can’t cover in class. She responds to the preclass questions through e-mail, and covers the more troublesome topics in class.

is that the more students actively engage with the material through different learning outlets, perspectives, and assignments, the more likely they are to be motivated by and ultimately stay with science. Real-World Science Case studies also allow students to experience firsthand the excitement of science and its relevance to real-world issues. In professor Craig Woodard’s eukaryotic molecular genetics class, students work on two case studies throughout the semester, involving topics such as the effects and ethics of genetically modified foods and the genetics of breast cancer. In each case, Woodard presents students with a problem to research and solve.

Ben Barnhart

For example, students grapple with a real-life dilemma: a woman with a family history of breast cancer must decide whether to have a genetic test to find out if she has a gene that might predispose her to the cancer. Students research which relatives have had cancer, look at the different versions of the gene that other family members have had, research breast-cancer treatments, and answer such practical questions as who pays for treatment. “This stuff affects people and society very profoundly. In traditional science courses, we weren’t

Biologist Craig Woodard’s students tackle real-world case studies involving topics such as the effects and ethics of genetically modified foods and the genetics of breast cancer.

paying enough attention to that,” says Woodard, who uses case studies at all class levels. “I think it’s important that students understand that science is important in the big picture.” Professor Jill Bubier also helps her students discover the real-world applications of science. In her Environmental Science 200 course, Bubier takes students to Quabbin Reservoir to study the effects of deer overpopulation on forest structure and water quality. Bubier works in conjunction with Quabbin Reservoir managers, revisiting certain plots of land to build years of data. Some plots are located in the park, where hunting is banned and the deer population is high, while others are located on hunting grounds where the deer population is lower. Bubier asks students:

Will new trees survive to become adult trees, or will deer eat them first? Does a smaller deer population mean more growth of new trees? Since water quality for people as far away as Boston relies on the condition of the reservoir and surrounding forests, students’ findings have practical implications. Students also experience the complexities of solving scientific problems. For majors and nonmajors alike, research with real-life applications helps students view assignments as much more than required material—assignments become missions. Integrated Science “Scientific problems don’t come nicely packaged in the disciplines,” notes biology professor Gary

Gillis. “Those questions have multiple answers, so you need to approach them from more than one discipline.” For Gillis, that means assigning students case studies that incorporate several scientific areas. He believes that interdisciplinary work in classrooms is the “wave of the future,” and helps students begin to feel more like real scientists. Last fall, Gillis taught an integrated biology and chemistry course with chemist Sean Decatur and biologist Amy Springer ’87, who taught labs. Springer says that integration strengthens students’ abilities as scientists because they learn to view scientific problems from the perspective of multiple disciplines. “If everyone looks at a problem the same way and does the same experiments,

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In this introductory integrated biology-chemistry course run by biologist Amy Springer ’87, students are extracting colors from solutions of vegetables.

[the results are] always going to have the same shortcomings,” says Springer. “Giving students a variety of ways to approach a problem makes a solution more accessible.” Gina Leslie ’08, a physics major, finds the integration of the sciences intellectually stimulating. “With the courses here, you have to really sit down and think about things from different angles. You get a lot of information, but you have to really think about how to apply that information.”


Science-Savvy Citizens With topics such as global warming and the environment, stem-cell research, and HIV/AIDS attracting international attention, professors believe it is important to educate as many students in science as possible, regardless of the careers they decide to pursue. “Even if they don’t major in the sciences, I really want students to have some basic scientific literacy,” said Tewari. “I want students to read the newspaper and examine statistics

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Professors have been successful in reaching out to students who never intended to become science majors. Addison Kemp came to Mount Holyoke pre-law. Instead, she became a biology major and a physics minor, and is now a teaching assistant in Professor Amy Frary’s Biology 145 course. At the beginning of fall semester, Kemp accompanied Frary and her students on a tour of Upper Lake. Frary’s lessons on the flora and fauna garnered a lot of “wows” from the students, says Kemp. “Even for students who are not scienceoriented it is still a pleasant experience.” Frary’s oldfashioned enthusiasm certainly helps. “A lot of [the first-year students] are doing what I was doing, getting their lab out of the way as quickly as possible,” Kemp says. But creative teaching can motivate others, like Kemp, to develop a greater interest in science, and perhaps take more classes. Keeping Teaching Fresh Professors continually

think about how to keep their teaching innovative, and it shows. “The professors here are so passionate,” says Anna Grosslein ’08, a dance major and biology minor. “They really care about what they teach. They really care about improving their teaching methods.” After last year’s scienceteaching seminar, Hudgings and Lopes wrote a report to the administration, proposing the continuation and expansion of the seminar and similar resources. Meanwhile, many science professors learn the newest and most effective teaching methods by sitting in on one another’s classes. They like what they see. “Sharon Stranford’s got the neatest lab teaching I’ve ever seen,” says her colleague (and partner) Janice Hudgings, of the biology professor’s immunology course. The labs are derived from Stranford’s own research on what makes people immune or susceptible to the HIV virus. As a result, student lab work, which involves rigorous independent research and writing a journalquality report, is a real contribution to Stranford’s research. In fact, she was “floored” last fall when a student lab group made a professionally significant discovery. Hudgings also admires physics and mathematics professor Mark Peterson’s ability to reach out to nonmajors by integrating

Ben Barnhart

critically.” With scientific knowledge, students can become more active and informed citizens. And if professors can reel in students who are usually more humanities or social science-focused, even better. “Science is a creative field,” says Springer. “It helps science to bring in people with other perspectives.”

Chemist Sean Decatur’s students learn about spectroscopy by observing the colors produced by flaming metals.

Ben Barnhart

writing and history into his courses. In his physics class on Galileo, Peterson (an internationally renowned Galileo expert) has students re-enact and re-create Galileo’s discoveries, then discuss and write about their experiences. “It’s a neat cross between the liberal arts and sciences,” says Hudgings. And Ward Lopes is a fan of chemistry professor Sheila Browne, who advises Sistahs in Science (an organization for students of color) and who teaches students to be aware of how they learn by being mindful of each other. In Browne’s organic chemistry class, she randomly assigns students to groups that keep track of one another during the semester, pairs high-performing students

with low-performing students for tutoring, and asks students to volunteer information about their study habits during class. She gets students to think differently about how they learn by learning from one another. Their learning needs and methods are varied and diverse, just like their professors. “The faculty at Mount Holyoke have a real passion for teaching,” says Hudgings. “That’s why most of us took these jobs. We care about teaching, and we want to teach well.” Learn More Online: For statistics about MHC’s historic leadership in science, links to science department Web pages, and more, visit www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/go/science.

MHC: Still a Leader in Science • The National Science Foundation (NSF) ranks Mount Holyoke among the top colleges in the nation for the achievements of our faculty, students, and graduates. • #1- MHC’s ranking for graduating more women than any other liberal arts college who went on to get U.S. doctorates in the physical and life sciences from 1966 to 2004. This puts MHC in the top 2 percent of all colleges and universities— even major research universities with at least double the enrollment. • #1- MHC’s ranking among leading liberal arts colleges in graduating minority women, and among all schools in graduating international (non-U.S. citizen) female graduates who went on to receive U.S. doctorates in life and physical sciences from 2000 to 2004. • 26.6% - percentage of declared majors who are natural science majors • 57% - percentage of women science faculty at MHC • 22% - percentage of science faculty of color at MHC Sources: National Science Foundation, MHC registrar’s office

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Putting Her Oar In Julie Holley ’87 Says Crew’s Lessons Linger By Maryann Teale Snell ’86

Julie Holley ’87 looks pretty serious. But behind that near-scowl of concentration are a ready laugh and spirited confidence when she tells how she wound up at Mount Holyoke, and how she joined the crew team despite using a steel hook instead of a right hand. Rewind to spring 1983, awards night at a high school in Queens, New York. Holley, on the brink

of graduation, is getting several. Jean Sudrann ’39, an MHC English professor, is also being honored. She and department colleague Marjorie Kaufman are impressed with Holley and ask where she’s going to college. To SUNY–Purchase, she replies, to study music. The professors tell her, “You need to come to Mount Holyoke.” After a year at Purchase, she transferred.


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John Risley

Julie Holley was among those reliving days on the Connecticut River at an alumnae row this past fall.

In browsing MHC’s course catalogue, Holley was taken with a photo of rowers on the water. Although a star swimmer and competitor in track-and-field events (she was on the winning U.S. team at the 1984 International Games for the Disabled), she had never rowed before. But she looked at that picture hard. “I said to myself: That’s what I want to do when I get to Mount Holyoke.”

“It was a dark time,” she recalls. Holley says she didn’t even know the teammate that well, and they hadn’t spoken since graduation. “But I sensed she had the wherewithal to help. She was in my boat at the Head of the Charles in 1986; I had relied upon her before, and I knew she would help me in any way she could. It was a profound step toward affirming the trust earned through rowing.”

Coach and Olympic rower Holly Metcalf ’81 remembers about 100 students showing up for tryouts that year. At the end of the informational meeting, a small group stayed to ask questions. Among them was Holley, who stood with one arm behind her back. As Metcalf waited for her question, Holley silently held up her hook. “I felt like I was supposed to be shocked,” Metcalf says. “But my first thought was that we should have her row starboard [she did] so she could do the feathering [a motion requiring fingers] with her hand, and tie her hook onto the end of the oar handle. From that moment, she was on the team.”

For Holley, the transitions kept coming. Not long after she returned to New York, “the dot-com industry went belly up, and there went my business plan,” she says. Then came 9/11, “and my whole world view shifted. I started working for Wall Street Rising, a nonprofit founded to revitalize Lower Manhattan.”

Holley, who was born without her right hand and lower arm, has worn a prosthesis since she was five. The day we meet, she’s wearing her rowing hook. “I’m missing from about here down,” she says, pointing halfway between her elbow and the hook. The rest of her forearm is in a lightweight carbon-fiber socket. She wears a harness across her upper back. Contracting those muscles engages a cable that runs to a two-piece stainless-steel hook that opens like pincers. Holley also has a machinist’s hook, which she wears most of the time; that one is heavier and has a self-closing mechanism, so things can’t slip out. She’s never much considered the possible limitations of having no right hand. In fact, Holley suggests that the hook has given her an edge—whether fending off bullies, being unafraid to walk through rough neighborhoods, barbecuing (she’ll casually turn coals with her hook), or in her career as a journalist (during Q & A sessions, a hook garners more attention than a raised hand). Her parents instilled in her “a fierce independence,” says Holley. “Being able to do things for myself, in spite of my physical difference, was extremely important.” But being on the crew team was different; it taught her that progress sometimes requires help from others. “That may seem like an easy lesson; but for me, it took a while to sink in,” Holley says. “Rowing is a physical manifestation of the truism ‘No man is an island,’” she says. “There are times in life when you must call upon others.” And ten years ago, that’s just what she did. After graduation and journalism school, she started her own media company, Right Hook Productions, outside Boston, producing and hosting a television show about technology and commerce. But 1997 brought a trying personal transition—the end of her marriage—and Holley found herself reaching out to a woman she’d rowed with at Mount Holyoke.

Now based in Brooklyn, Holley has some projects of her own in the works, including reviving Right Hook Productions. She intends to create “an online archive of conversations with people in finance, law and government, medicine, and education about the impact of technology on those fields.” By spring she hopes to be podcasting on www. Another endeavor is to help disabled veterans, particularly those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, by “talking to them about being an amputee and dealing with that.” She hopes this will be a cooperative effort with the Department of Veterans Affairs. As with rowing, “it’s about a lot of things coming together. Sometimes you just have to settle in and do a power-twenty” (the number of strokes you row to get past a competitor). “When you get in a boat, you’ve got to trust the other people to row hard; you’re not the only one doing the work.” Holley gets back to South Hadley every couple of years, including for the alumnae row this past September. She’s enthusiastic about raising funds for a new boathouse, to be constructed on six acres along the Connecticut River, just north of the longtime launch site at Brunelle’s Marina. Holley thinks back to 1986, when she rowed in the varsityeight at the Head of the Charles, a grueling race. She doesn’t recall how her boat did that day, but she still has a picture of it on her refrigerator. “I see that photograph every day,” she says. And, she adds, it’s a reminder that “rowing has been a great metaphor for my life.” Maryann Teale Snell is a writer and editor in Saratoga Springs, New York. Learn More: For more about rowing for those with physical challenges, and about how an MHC carpenter’s ingenuity allowed Holley to wield an oar, visit alumnae.

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“Talk Amongst Yourselves”

Remember your dinner-table discussions at MHC? Revive them by sharing your thoughts with other smart alums in the new Quarterly “blogazine” (magazine + blog = blogazine). The new blog-enhanced online Quarterly lets you comment instantly on articles and learn what others have to say. You can also search back issues of the magazine and sign up to receive new Quarterly postings automatically (by RSS feed). Start the conversation at


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something only the wildest speculator would want in her portfolio. But I want to go back to Dobzhansky’s claim about how to make sense in biology. I teach evolutionary theory, how that theory came to be, and about the products of evolution (animals and the inanimate or quasianimate majority of the living world). In each course, I am struck—and students are annoyed—by how often something can sound logical, but fail to be “biological.”

When What’s Biological Isn’t Logical, That’s Evolution By Sta n P. R ac h o ot i n , p ro fesso r of b i o l o gi c a l sc i en c es

Note: This is the second in a continuing series of “What everyone should know about …” essays by MHC professors. The great evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky said that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”

It is true that any topic in biology, and many scientific questions that impinge on our lives, can be illuminated in revealing and useful ways by considering evolution. How and why does HIV change? Why did domesticated plants and animals happen? What new human diseases are

cooking themselves up, and how are they “stirred” by our domesticated animals and “seasoned” with our antibiotics? Can genes from one organism prosper in another? What happens during a mass extinction? What were consciousness, language, and prayer cobbled together from, before there was consciousness or language or religion? These are reasonable questions, some of which have pretty good (though alarming) answers. We can say with a high level of confidence that life will prosper and advance for billions of years to come. However, the one life form with consciousness, language, and religion— were it looking for a mortgage—would definitely be “subprime,”

When we visit Stony Brook below Upper Lake, for example, we find freshwater sponges and freshwater bryozoans. They are all female, and while there are many “coed” streams elsewhere, here, the creatures dispensed with sex. And they persist quite nicely, in spite of all we think we know about the point of sex. It’s evolution. On the other hand, an aphid that clones daughters will, with her brood, overwhelm your potted plant. As the plant succumbs, aphids appear with wings; some are males for the first time in generations. These aphids mate and fly off to cause mischief elsewhere. Evolution explains that, too. I use specific scientific disciplines to explain some of the stories I teach: why a sea anemone has a pharynx; why our genes work in a cascade; why our bodies and those of flies wear out while the

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bodies of halibuts and lobsters do not. I use physiology, ecology, and developmental biology to fashion these explanations. But some phenomena are explicable only by evolution. Why are there species? Why will your body reject the generous gift of my kidney, while a grasshopper will accept body parts from an unrelated hopper? Why are there millions of insect species on land and in fresh water but none in the sea? Why does the same gene lead squid, flies, and humans to develop eyes when our common ancestor had no eyes at all? In Fiddler on the Roof, all that did not make logical sense was explained as “tradition.” In biology, we call the same thing “evolution.” What gets labeled as “evolution” is that which does not fit into the more neatly bounded sciences. If something makes complete sense as ecology, immunology, biochemistry, or genetics, then the story belongs to those fields. The residue is evolution—what does not make sense otherwise. Occasionally, knotty evolutionary stories can be disentangled and distributed into the other disciplines. There is also the real possibility that much of the history of life is due to dumb luck. Even if an organism’s trajectory makes sense, it is only one of many plausible directions in which it could have developed.


And some aspects of life are just plain idiotic. (For example, the spotted hyena has a particularly long and narrow birth canal (a byproduct of some odd social and hormonal arrangements), but its young have very short

an intelligent designer (assuming that our limited understanding suffices to give a complete enough account of what intelligence ought to want to do). But, as Darwin noted, the devil’s chaplain could find just

What gets labeled as “evolution” is that which does not fit into the more neatly bounded sciences. If something makes complete sense as ecology, immunology, biochemistry, or genetics, then the story belongs to those fields. The residue is evolution—what does not make sense otherwise.

placentas. The firstborn always dies during birth, but its passing opens the way for subsequent pups to be born alive.) Cherry picking among the organelles and organs, the hormones, and the interactions of living things can certainly yield examples that look consistent with what we would expect from

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as many stupid, wasteful, and cruel examples for his cause. And biological “perfection” and “idiocy” are often organically intertwined. If it sort of works, and there is currently nothing better, it often persists. Science consists of asking sensible questions about what we do not currently understand. What we do

not understand about biology tends to end up as the central questions of evolution. Patterns in what we do not understand help make our ignorance more organized. And if we think hard about what we know we don’t know (to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld), we can actually learn a lot about what is probably going on. Evolution teaches humility, and the usefulness of historical narrative. When a problem approaches solution, evolution happily shrinks a bit, as some other area of biology engulfs the emerging answer. In an earlier Age of Discovery, our knowledge of the world was enhanced by anatomical studies of kangaroos and duckbilled platypuses. In the nineteenth century, naturalists dredged insights from life in the seas’ depths. Today, the worlds revealed by sequencing genes and genomes are just as full of mysteries. But now, scientists “fish” in the gene sequences downloaded from GenBank. The “things that don’t make sense except …” are still all around. The hardest part is learning to see them. Learn More: For Rachootin’s recommended books and Web sites on evolution, go to alumnae. evolution.

Unshakable Activism One Woman Brings Hope to Cambodian Kids By E li z abet h Eid li t z

While her mother was listening to FDR’s Fireside Chats on the radio, Nancy Woodward was ministering to baby dolls in the pretend hospital she set up in the sunroom of the family’s Hanover, New Hampshire, home. Almost sixty years later, while some retired classmates from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School were playing golf and booking cruises, Nancy Woodward Hendrie ’54, MD, was repeatedly flying 8,713 miles to build Roteang Orphanage, a cornerstone project of The Sharing Foundation (TSF). It aims to improve conditions for Cambodian children, an estimated 45,000 of whom die each year from preventable starvation and treatable diseases. Today, Roteang Orphanage, where permanent nannies (rather than rotating caregivers) are assigned to children in a 1:2 ratio, is home to seventy-one infants and children. All have been admitted without regard for medical diagnosis. Nearly half the orphans will remain in TSF’s care indefinitely. Hendrie, who practiced pediatrics in Massachusetts for thirty years and was elected the first female medical staff chief at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Massachusetts, finds running a nongovernmental organization challenging: “There’s no template. You need constantly to come up with original solutions.” But her experiences in an era when it was uncommon for women to become doctors taught her “to be feisty and to refuse to give up, even when the odds seem long. “In 1960, married with two small children, I interviewed for a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital,” she recalls. “The distinguished Dr. R. Cannon Ely told me, ‘if you were the Virgin Mary maybe we would consider you, but, obviously, you aren’t.’” Reading that the new Radcliffe Institute for Independent Study was enabling married women with PhDs and young families to go forward in their chosen fields, Hendrie wrote to Radcliffe College president Mary I. Bunting, “Have you thought about women doctors who are stalled in the same way?” Awarded Bunting Fellowships for 1961–62 and 1963–64, Hendrie became the first half-time resident at Boston Children’s Hospital, working in the outpatient clinics and emergency room three full days each week for two and a half years. Granted one full-year residency credit, she then completed the required inpatient residency year and became board certified in pediatrics in 1969.

“Intent and focused, a diagnostician and problem-solver for friends as well as patients,” according to longtime friend Carolyn Bell Eastman ’52, Hendrie is energized by challenges, whether imposed or chosen, and by a sense of outrage. In “our fabulous land of too much, where we nauseate the rest of the world as we wallow in it,” she is appalled at American sprinklers soaking lawns while 70 percent of Cambodians drink contaminated water, and by the price of Wal-Mart’s dancing Santa ($39.95), which could instead buy full immunization coverage for two Cambodian children. After closing her office in 1994, feeling that HMO regulations and inundating paperwork were increasingly taking time away from patients, Hendrie redirected her skills. Assisting American adopters by evaluating children and providing medical care in China, she recognized that thousands of children in developing countries were a more important issue than the relatively few adoptees. Desperately poor Cambodia, where she launched The Sharing Foundation in 1998, seemed much more compelling in its needs. Ten years later, sixteen TSF initiatives serve more than 1,500 children daily. Vocational training at the self-sustaining sewing school qualifies village girls for skilled jobs in Cambodia’s garment industry. A medical intervention program has reduced transmission of HIV from mother to newborn from 25 percent to about 5 percent. Farm-outreach-project workers earn homeimprovement credits, exchangeable for roofs, outhouses, and tanks to hold rainwater for drinking and cooking. Students in multiple educational programs can envision a future beyond fishing, selling noodles, or prostitution. Hendrie says her proudest moment came when ten students sponsored by TSF through high school were accepted by universities in Phnom Penh. These college students, now joined by seventeen more, are the first in their families, and the first from their rural village. “For a long time, various Cambodians, not used to having people show up who didn’t want something, asked what religion we wanted them to convert to, or who to vote for,” Hendrie explains. “But we have no political or religious agenda; we work directly with village chiefs and school principals to target their communities’ most pressing needs. Gradually, we’ve hired and mentored fifty-seven Cambodians who’ve assumed all leadership positions.” In-country director Chan Kim Leng, known as “Elephant,” grew up in the jungle and saw his five-yearold brother killed by the Khmer Rouge. Today, Elephant oversees the work of managers for the orphanage, cooperative farm, sewing school, and English, computer, and Khmer literacy schools. He personally manages Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly


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Sixteen-year-old Sina, the orphaned head of a family with ten- and twelve-yearold siblings, learns to make school uniforms during four months of paid vocational training at TSF’s selfsustaining sewing school. The foundation will donate 1,400 uniforms this year to Cambodian children so they can attend school. Sewing graduates make silk purses, tote bags, and backpacks sold in the United States.

Nancy Hendrie by Ruth Armknecht • All others by Nancy Hendrie

Workers at the TSF farm outreach project pack beans to sell in Phnom Penh. Produce is shared among the families, and participants are paid $2 a day. In Cambodia, $15 clothes a family of four, and a new home can be built for $450.


Three sessions a day at TSF’s two-room Khmer literacy school serve more than 135 children daily. Originally resistant to any education, the illiterate parents now take great pride in their schoolchildren, many of whom have been able to go from this Head Start-type initiative to the local public school.

Nancy Hendrie with Vuthea Tep, an orphaned eighth grader. Vuthea writes that Hendrie “changed my life to be good and makes me have brilliant future.”

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Owens House in Phnom Penh is funded by the family of Martha Ives Owens ’66 in memory of Martha, her husband, Bob, and two daughters who died in the Lockerbie disaster. HIVinfected pregnant women come from the countryside in the last months of pregnancy to live here and learn about HIV, child care, and clean-water preparation for bottle-feeding. Mother and newborn receive medication that radically reduces HIV transmission.

At seventy-five, Hendrie flies to Cambodia every third month—despite year-round dust, heat, and humidity—to work with Elephant, oversee the projects onsite, plan new ones, and review, line by line, the monthly expense reports submitted by every program manager. “She’s an autocrat,” says Fred Watson of New Hampshire, a TSF supporter, “but Nancy’s constant attention to detail and economy is her secret to success, especially in a country noted for corruption and waste.” Occasionally, Hendrie has brought infants with congenital anomalies for surgery in Boston and recuperation in

her Concord condo. Always, she returns from Cambodia with seventypound suitcases filled with sewing-school crafts. Daily, she consults by phone or e-mail with Elephant, and often takes her PowerPoint presentations to speak about disadvantaged Cambodian children whenever and wherever invited. What makes TSF work? A talented board of professionals in their own fields; sponsors of orphanage children, high school, and college students; individual donors (including a 105-year-old woman who sends her monthly bingo winnings); and volunteers who “come out of the woodwork with skills we need.” (A family of five constructed a playground funded by a Florida Lutheran school; a longtime Montessori teacher made three trips

Sok Neath, age four, helps “Elephant,” TSF’s in-country director, learn to use a laptop donated to Roteang Orphanage.

to help set up TSF’s preschool; two Seattle college ESL professors spent four weeks training bilingual teachers at TSF’s English school.) Since neither Hendrie nor any other American is paid, TSF keeps its overhead at 9 percent or less.

“The endowment we’re building will ensure that, unlike many nongovernmental organizations, The Sharing Foundation will not be guilty of starting projects, raising hopes, and then abandoning them.”

“With so much need in places like Cambodia, you feel your time and money are well spent,” Hendrie says. “It’s like very tarnished silverware. You can see the results of some elbow grease very quickly.

Learn More: Photos of The Sharing Foundation’s work are at alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/go/Hendrie; more information on TSF is at www.sharingfoundation. org.

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Nancy Hendrie

outreach programs such as monthly provision of rice, dried fish, oil, and soy sauce to families with handicapped children at home.


N at u r e o f t h e B e a s t

Professors Feature Their Creatures Gary Gillis, assistant professor of biological sciences Interests: biology of animal locomotion, playing tennis and Ultimate Frisbee, watching horror movies, reading good books (broadly defined) Pee-Wee the guinea pig Interests: Unlike my owner, I am completely uninterested in locomotion. Just the thought of running appalls me, and whatever you do, don’t mention the word treadmill around me. I love to eat, especially clover, hay, and dried fruit. (Banana chips are my weakness.)

Ben Barnhart

Summa the chameleon Interests: Like Pee-Wee, I too love a good meal, but have a penchant for moths and crickets.

Learn More: For more information about the professors (the animals aren’t speaking), visit


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Joanne V. Creighton, Mount Holyoke College president, professor of English Interests: reading novels; walking; traveling; and championing liberal arts, women’s education worldwide, and Mount Holyoke College Maisie, “First Dog” Interests: following my nose (rather than my owners’ whims) and eating (favorites: road kill, students’ dropped food, table scraps gained through obsequious begging)

Donald Cotter, associate professor of chemistry Interests: the intellectual and social history of chemistry, chemical technology, and chemical education; gardening; horror films, motorcycles, roller-coasters, and other thrill rides Mohave (“Moh”) Interests: I thrive on social interaction with (and the adoration of ) people and other cats. I meow in the distinctive accent of my native New Hampshire. I welcome guests and love parties, and I take a connoisseur’s interest in catnip. I also enjoy displaying myself artfully on pillows. Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly


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CJ Law, Equestrian Center program director and riding coach Interests: riding, swimming, reading, sports psychology, having fun with my family, going to the beach in Ogunquit, Maine; having fun while working at Camp Forest Acres in Fryeburg, Maine; teaching and working with the many talented riders at Mount Holyoke Mattie, English yellow Labrador retriever Interests: I like to play ball, eat, run, kiss horses on their noses, swim, play with CJ’s youngest daughter, Carol; and to use my Lab nose to smell wonderful smells. Mikey, Irish draft horse Interests: I like to eat all treats; apples are my favorite. I like to jump, and am learning about dressage. I am a very social, in-your-lap kind of horse. I consider myself to be very cute.

Corinne Demas, professor of English Interests: Short stories, children’s literature, kayaking, gardening, odonates [Get those dictionaries out!]

Ben Barnhart

Eleni and Sophie Interests: the grass on the other side of the fence, rolling in the dust, carrots, and French bread


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Words Worth a Second Look

Nonfiction I Got the Idear: My Love Affair With Maine Language By Marion Kingston Stocking ’43 (Maine Folklife Center) Marion Kingston Stocking began a love affair with the numerous Maine dialects while teaching English at the University of Maine in the 1950s. In this small book, she outlines her personal journey with the Yankee lingo, the problem of class distinction in language, and offers a collection of the peculiar spellings used by her Maine students from “the days before we all sounded the same.” After a long career as a Romantics scholar, Marion Kingston Stocking is writing memoirs. She also is an editor of the Beloit Poetry Journal. Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks: The Story of the Lake, the Land, and the People Annette Jones Lux ’47, contributor (Midwest Book Review)

Travel back to the 1870s with Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks: The Story of the Lake, the Land, and the People. This well-documented story describes the growth of the lakeside community made famous by the incident that inspired Theodore Dreiser’s An American Tragedy. The book includes black-andwhite photographs that paint a revealing picture of humble daily life across the span of a century. Annette Jones Lux spent nine years working on this book. She lives near Big Moose Lake five months each year. The Intersection of International Law, Agricultural Biotechnology, and Infectious Disease By Meredith Mariani ’98 (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Brill) Mariani examines current global and regional legal frame-

works for infectious disease and genetically modified organisms. She weighs the positive and negative effects of using biotechnology from a public-health perspective and then analyzes the related legal issues. Meredith Mariani has written articles on stemcell legislation for the University of Notre Dame Journal of Legislation and the International Center for Technology Assessment. She lives in Northern Virginia. Women, Religion, & Space: Global Perspectives on Gender and Faith Edited by Karen M. Morin and Jeanne Kay Mountain Guelke ’71 (Syracuse University Press) Women, Religion, & Space offers various perspectives on women who practice or interact with the gender norms and spaces of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. The writers include observations based on fieldwork in Jerusalem, Istanbul, Pakistan, and Los Angeles. In the sixth chapter on missionary women in early America,

Guelke references the religious focus of Mount Holyoke in its early years. Jeanne Kay Guelke recently retired as professor of geography at University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. Her articles have been published in The Professional Geographer, the Journal of Historical Geography, and Environmental Ethics. Mothers, Monsters, Whores: Women’s Violence in Global Politics By Laura Sjoberg and Caron Gentry ’99 (Zed Books) In a world where the explosive pairing of women and violence seems innately wrong, Mothers, Monsters, Whores reveals the use of gendersubordination to structure tales about violence committed by women. The authors use feminist theory to explain how women are denied agency in their actions, and propose restructuring our methods of storytelling to remedy the subordination of these violent women. Caron Gentry is assistant professor of political science

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at Abilene Christian University. She received her PhD from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, in 2003. Milton’s Paradise Lost: Moral Education By Margaret Olofson Thickstun ’77 (Palgrave Macmillan) Want a different way of analyzing Milton’s Paradise Lost? This book looks at this famous poem by narrating the education of each of its main characters. Thickstun tracks the characters’ progress into moral adulthood. Approaching the poem from the perspective of moral development may help undergraduate readers more fully appreciate Milton’s poem. Margaret Olofson Thickstun is the author of Fictions of the Feminine: Puritan Doctrine and the Representation of Women. She teaches at Hamilton College. Backroads & Byways of New Mexico: Drives, Day Trips, & Weekend Excursions By Sally Choate Moore ’58 (The Countryman Press) Sally Choate Moore invites you to get lost in “the land of enchantment” in her travel guide,


Backroads and Byways of New Mexico. The guide takes travelers through ten weekend day trips and getaways. Moore highlights something for everyone, whether you’re a native of the area or passing through for the first time. In her pursuit of travel stories, Sally Choate Moore has worked with an archaeological crew in Utah and camped on the shores of a crocodile-infested billabong in the Australian outback. She lives in Albuquerque. Paper Work Edited By Marianne Doezema (The Pennsylvania State University Press) This exhibition catalogue focuses on works on paper by Jane Hammond ’72. While Hammond established herself as a painter in the 1990s, she is also known for her work with printed material and her ability to combine techniques and different types of media. The exhibit, which opened at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in 2006, is traveling to upstate New York, San Francisco, and Detroit through 2009.

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Marianne Doezema is the Florence Finch Abbott Director at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. A Modern Patronage: de Menil Gifts to American and European Museums By Marcia Brennan ’88 (Yale University Press) Published on the twentieth anniversary of the collection’s opening, A Modern Patronage showcases fifty works of art acquired by Houston philanthropists John and Dominique de Menil. The couple began collecting art in the early 1940s and acquired diverse holdings ranging from pre-Columbian art to the work of Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. The collection opened to the public in 1987. Marcia Gagliardi Brennan is associate professor of art history at Rice University. The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution By Deborah E. Harkness ’86 (Yale University Press) Midwives, barbers, merchants, and gardeners find common ground in Deborah Harkness’s The Jewel House. The book

illuminates the somewhat hidden world of Elizabethan London’s science culture. Harkness follows the intellectual journey from medieval philosophy to the empirical, experimental culture that became the hallmark of the Scientific Revolution. Deborah E. Harkness is a professor of history at the University of Southern California and the author of John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature. Dinosaur Tracks By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld ’76 (Harper Collins)

Students and MHC alumnae don’t have to go far to see where the first dinosaur tracks were discovered—right in South Hadley in 1802. Dinosaur Tracks takes a fun look at how tracks are preserved in mud, what kinds of dinosaurs roamed the earth millions of years ago, and what the different tracks looked like. Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld has written numerous children’s books

on dinosaurs, including Dinosaur Parents, Dinosaur Young. She lives in Berkeley, California. An Explorer’s Guide: The Berkshire Hills & Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts By Christina Tree ’65 and William Davis Considered an undiscovered gem by those who know the area well, the Pioneer Valley and Berkshire hills offer numerous and varied activities in and around riverside towns and historical villages. The Berkshire Hills & Pioneer Valley gives a complete look at what Western Massachusetts has to offer (here’s a hint: lots). Christina Tree wrote The Five-College Area as an undergraduate and has coauthored guides to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Poetry At the Flower’s Lip By Polly Brody ’55 (Antrim House) Polly Brody’s newest publication consists of poems depicting the pain of divorce and the joy of late-life love. “Wow! I dare readers’ heart rates not to quicken,” said author Susan King in a review. “Brody’s work is marked by fresh, original, highly sensual imagery with a deep spiritual resonance.” Polly Laszlo Brody is an experienced field ornithologist and biologist. She lives in Southbury, Connecticut.

Fiction Forgery By Sabina Murray ’89 (Grove Press) In her fourth book, Murray tells the story of Rupert Brigg, a recently divorced man grappling with the death of his son. Set in the summer

of 1963, Murray tells Brigg’s story as he travels to Greece to collect pieces for his uncle’s art collection. In his efforts to uncover the artwork, he finds himself uncovering his own past while learning about the rebellion and murder that lurk beneath Athens’s surface.


Sabina Murray is the author of The Caprices, which won the 2003 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Time After Time By Beth Logan ’80, featuring Harvey Diamond

Laced By Carol Higgins Clark ’78 Carol Higgins Clark’s tenth book in her Regan Reilly series takes place in Ireland, where private investigator Reilly and her new husband hope to relax and get away from the crime they deal with daily. But mystery always follows Regan, and soon she is tangled in a plot studded with ghosts and gem thieves gone wild.

Beth Logan, a musical performer in many genres, focuses on jazz in Time After Time, her first CD. Combining her love of the jazz greats—including Cole Porter and Duke Ellington—with the smooth sound of the Harvey Diamond Trio, Logan has produced a disk of innovative interpretations of favorite jazz tunes. Beth Logan Balmuth Raffeld performs frequently in Boston, New York, the Berkshires, and Chicago.

Carol Higgins Clark coauthored a best-selling holiday mystery series with her mother, Mary Higgins Clark. She lives in New York City.

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alumnaematters spearheaded the effort to create a campus cultural space for Native American students. On Saturday morning, she joined Linda Yu Bien ’75, Twila Perry ’70, and Krysia L. Villón ’96 to discuss the history of women of color at the college. Alumnae from classes spanning the generations told stories about a Mount Holyoke very different than the one we see today.

Film producer Debra Martin Chase ’77 speaks with participants following her keynote address.

Moving Forward; Honoring the Past Notes from the Alumnae and Students of Color Conference If there was one thing that Mount Holyoke students took away from November’s Alumnae and Students of Color Conference, it was that our older sisters went through a great deal for us to enjoy the safe space we have today. The first-of-its-kind conference brought together a diverse group of nearly 150 alumnae


Martin Chase ’77, Emmynominated motion picture and television producer.

Perry told of arriving at Mount Holyoke as one of twenty-six African American first-years, all of whom looked up to the four African American seniors. Laughing, Perry told stories about the administration worrying about students “clumping” together, a worry she and her classmates did not share.

Events began Friday evening with a reception for Zowie Banteah ’96. As a student, she

Bien and Villón spoke about their respective experiences as Asian American and Latina

The first Black Alumnae Conference, held in March 1973

and students. Keynote speakers included Ninotchka Rosca, founder of GABRIELA, the women’s-rights organization of the Philippines; and Debra

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C h a s e : Pau l S c h n a i t tac h e r

Moderator John Grayson, professor of religion, reminded the audience that the college did not graduate a woman of color—Hortense Parker, MHC’s first AfricanAmerican student—until 1883. To the shock of many, Grayson noted that at one time Mount Holyoke had joined many other academic institutions in not permitting students of color to live in the dormitories.

Both Villón and Banteah recalled “The Coalition,” a below-the-radar organization comprised of all the MHC cultural groups operating in the ’90s. Meetings were held in dorm rooms and basements; Villón vividly remembered the smell of mold in Wilder basement mixing with the smell and taste of cilantro in the Latin-flavored food she and others helped prepare.

Fred LeBlanc

The conference ended on a forward-looking note with Sunday’s discussion about the best way to continue fostering a safe environment for women of color at Mount Holyoke. —Anindita Dasgupta ’08 Learn More: Comments and initiatives arising from the Alumnae and Students of Color Conference, and photos from the weekend, are at: alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/go/ASCC.


students. Banteah described a Mount Holyoke full of rallies and sit-ins, as students pushed to establish cultural spaces on campus. There was a need, she explained, for designated areas in which students of color could explore their heritage and search for their own identities. She recalled her classmates’ confusion when she explained she was a Zuni from New Mexico. “It never occurred to me that I would be asked about my heritage.”

Mini-Reunions: See Your Pals More Often Mini-reunions are hot. From on-campus visits to Las Vegas blowouts, classmates are gathering in ever more diverse locations and vowing to continue the tradition the following year. Organizers know that in between official reunion years, mini-reunions are a great way to stay connected with classmates who are dispersed geographically and professionally but remain united emotionally. Women from the 1940s and 1950s are most active in organizing minireunions, says Joni Haas Zubi, associate director of classes and reunions. Their generally flexible schedules allow them to meet on campus, midweek, and during the school year to drop in on classes with current students, considered a particular pleasure. Overnight stays are usually spent at Willits-Hallowell Center, and meals are scheduled to include talks by faculty or staff members. This past fall, more than forty 1950 alumnae came back to campus for their second, two-night minireunion. “The immediate contact with students was particularly meaningful to us,” said Nancy Marks Perkins, an organizer of the event. “Two students

Kelsey Andersen ’10 shares a book of Mount Holyoke history with members of the class of 1950 who returned for a mini-reunion this past fall.

came one of the evenings and talked about their work, and what they’re planning to do in the future. It was wonderful.” Younger class leaders have more of a challenge finding just the right mix of location, activity, and duration as over-scheduled lives can easily result in get-together burnout. Turning fifty together could be a great hook, thought Ginny LaytonLeal and Cynthia L. Reed, 1980 copresidents. Think ahead, they encouraged classmates in a letter on their class Web site, “Dream about the perfect event to mark your fiftieth and invite an MHC classmate or two to join you.” Also in the works are gatherings at Reed’s beach house, a trip to Las Vegas, and a ski trip. Coming back to campus,

W e ’ll H elp Y o u G et Y o ur Friends To g ether ! Anyone can organize a minireunion. For help getting started, contact Joni Haas Zubi, associate director of classes and reunions, at 413-538-2739 or jhaas@ And check out the mini-reunion planning handbook at volunteers/res/classres for ideas and planning aids.

gathering in hometowns, and traveling to touristoriented locales all have been on the mini-reunion schedule of the class of 1974. A questionnaire sent to classmates helped structure the offerings and in the last three years, alums have gathered in Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., New York City, and a spa in Mexico just outside of San Diego.

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Notices of current student activities fascinate members of the class of 1950 during their fall mini-reunion.

Members of the classes of 1946 and 1947 had another idea: last year they climbed aboard the MS Maasdam in Boston, and headed to Montreal via Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Quebec City. [See photo at alumnae.] Wrote travel agent Jean Johnson King ’47 of the thirty-two-strong group journey: “Lovely trip, lovely weather, and of course the excellent camaraderie between MHC uncommon women and their mates grows


stronger and stronger as we edge into the eighties.”—M.H.B.

YouTube: Why Students Love It, and Why You Might Too

The site includes both commercial productions, like clips from the television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and independent films and home videos. You can listen to music for free online before buying it. You can also find entire episodes of television shows on YouTube.

The art of procrastination is as old as Mount Holyoke. In the early years, students listened to the radio or chatted with their neighbors instead of starting a paper. Today we also have all the dangers of procrastination that come with the World Wide Web. Among the most lethal is YouTube.

For students, it’s a great way to keep track of what’s going on outside the Mount Holyoke academic bubble as well as an inexpensive way to access different forms of entertainment. It’s common to find a group of students clustered around a computer taking turns showing their friends their latest YouTube finds.

A popular Web site that allows users to share videos for free, YouTube engages viewers with activism, tutorials, television shows, political debates, music, and home videos. You simply type a few keywords into the search engine and wait for it to retrieve relevant videos.

YouTube has MHCspecific applications, as well. For example, if you search “Mount Holyoke College” on YouTube, you will find videos of the Laurel Parade from different years, and a clip of the trees near Lower Lake in full bloom. YouTube is also a great way to learn something

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practical, such as honing your skills in tai chi or learning to play a musical instrument. And there’s even a program that helps nonprofits spread word of their organizations’ goals and activities. As we push into this age of new media, Web sites like YouTube are becoming more relevant—and prevalent—in dayto-day life. YouTube’s popularity and use have skyrocketed since my first year at MHC. It makes me wonder what tools of procrastination will be available to the class of 2020.—Anindita Dasgupta ’08 Hope and Innovation Showcased at European Symposium Innovation in its many guises ran through the European alumnae symposium in Geneva this past fall. Organized by Christine Gora Bruno ’98, Carolyn Geisler Hornfeld ’63, Bernice Timm Dorig ’63,

Fred LeBlanc

“They’re a blast,” says Jane Homan Antin, class president. “We always have new people but also people [who’ve gone] to many mini-reunions because they’ve had such a good time.” The one rule she impresses on organizers is that events be relatively affordable— offering inexpensive housing, reasonably priced restaurants, and a weekend schedule, so people don’t have to take a day off work.

Jessica Zerges ’03, and Alix Bishko ’00, with the input of Alumnae Association President Mary Graham Davis ’65, it began with our hotel—a high-tech high-rise where glass elevators whisked us up and down to our rooms and offered a view of trains gliding noiselessly into the Geneva train station.

Above: Goodshot/Corbis • Below: Mieke H. Bomann

The official city welcome to attendees came from Monica Bonfanti, Geneva’s chief of police, whose department the next day guided a mass demonstration for Burma through the city’s streets. Meanwhile, at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Études Internationales, Andy Sundberg, who defends the rights of American citizens abroad and was the first American to run for president from overseas in 1988, introduced numerous speakers committed to innovative ideas. Roland Stultz works in Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology on “The 2000 Watt Society” program that translates cutting-edge research

into smart applications to reduce personal energy consumption. Testimony from the development field came from Johanna Grombach, who described the work of the International Red Cross during conflicts. Jane Wangiru of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees concluded that the daunting work of her organization offers “the reward … to see hope again in their eyes.” Bérangère Magarinos of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition reported on GAIN’s projects to produce enriched foods to combat mineral and vitamin deficiencies. Not to be outdone, MHC Professor of French Nicole Vaget showed a video outlining changes on the MHC campus between 1937 and 2007, including more meeting places and Adirondack chairs dotting the lawns, which illustrated Joanne Creighton’s leitmotiv: “We must have places to gather.”

Remembering how proud I was in 1943 that our college had offered refuge and faculty posts to Sorbonne professors Jean Wahl and Rachel Bespaloff, I applauded her remarks along with sixty other alumnae ranging in years from Kitty Eliopoulos Kyriacopoulos ’45 to Maria Svrckova ’05. After visits to Geneva’s Old City, the world’s largest particle physics lab, UN Geneva, and a final discussion on life “passages,” old friends and classmates separated amid goodbye hugs. Next European reunion:

Oxford in 2009.—Mavis Gaipa Guinard ’46 More information on conference presenters is available at: www., www., www.icrc. org,, and Clubs Corner Club Members Master the Arts of Fabric and Needle


The president also reiterated that the college—which already enrolls thirteen percent international students— must reach out further to Asia and Latin America to attract global students.

Needleworkers adept at or interested in learning the arts and crafts of fabric and thread are getting together in several MHC clubs in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Whether their interest is sewing a Raggedy Ann doll for their grandchildren, piecing together a quilt for their own bed, or knitting

Pat Spees FP’03 holds a quilt she made that won a viewer’s choice award at the Chesterfield (Massachusetts) Quilt Show.

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a sweater to block winter’s rage, alumnae are needleworking with a passion—and having a good time doing it together. Every month, up to fifteen members of the quilting group of the Mount Holyoke Club of Franklin County, Massachusetts, meet to plan, design, and piece together quilts, pillows, cushions, and dolls. Overseeing their work is Patricia Spees FP’03, club copresident, longtime quilter, and director of MHC’s costume shop. The women meet at a local church to savor its monthly pancake breakfast, then get to work on their projects. They also make sewing kits to give to firsties who choose for their Second Saturday volunteer option to make quilts for at-risk babies in Springfield. “It’s a great way of making connections with alums in the area,” says Spees. Karen E. Rose ’92 agrees. She organized a knitting group for people of all skill levels in October in Hartford, Connecticut. “I find that knitting is a great way to express yourself and be creative, and knitting groups are a fabulous way to meet some really cool women,” she said.—M.H.B. In Search of Board and Committee Members Are you interested in volunteering for an Alumnae Association committee? Do you know of someone who might be just right for one? The Nominating Committee is always eager to hear from and about potential volunteers. Recommendations should be sent to Jill Brethauer ’70, Nominating Committee chair, at or 724-443-6575 or to W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, association executive director, at, or 413-538-2300.


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Alumnae Association Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Year July 1, 2006–June 30, 2007 The fiscal 2007 Alumnae Association audit was completed by Lester Halpern & Company, P.C., Whitney Place, 14 Bobala Road, Holyoke, MA 01040. Its financial statements are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States and have been found to be in good order. A copy of the annual report is available in the Alumnae Association office in Mary E. Woolley Hall. A synopsis of the financial statements follows. Questions may be directed to Stephanie Gray Gonthier, director of finance, 413-538-2736; I am pleased to report another solid financial year for fiscal 2007, during which the Association delivered strong programming and progressed toward its goals as stated in the strategic plan 2005–10 while meeting its financial budget. We continue to invest in technology, improving the Association’s Web site and working in partnership with MHC on a new database system, and grow the Founder’s Fund, the association’s long-term investment vehicle. We look forward to continuing to advance the work of the association in conjunction with meeting our financial objectives.

S tatemen t o f F in an c ial P o sitio n

Assets Liabilities and Net Assets Total liabilities Net Assets Total Liabilities and Net Assets

$4,752,823 $325,798 4,427,025 $4,752,823

The Statement of Financial Position reports the association’s assets, liabilities, and net assets for the year. Total assets increased 23% ($889,793) during fiscal year 2007. The Founder’s Fund represented the largest component of our growth in assets and ended 21% higher ($699,370) with the addition of investment income, current year gifts, and unrealized gains. Liabilities were $129,191 higher related to a temporary increase in accounts payable. As a result, net assets increased 21% ($760,602).

S tatemen t o f A c tiv ities

Operating Revenues and Support Support from MHC Alumnae Association Support and Revenue Founder’s Fund and Other Donations Total Operating Revenues and Support Operating Expenses Administration Programs/Conferences Quarterly Information Services Communications Committees Depreciation Total Operating Expenses

$1,869,804 450,630 41,260 $2,361,694

$584,316 784,151 369,227 251,899 215,502 43,146 11,186 $2,259,427

Nonoperating Revenues Founder’s Fund Interest and Unrealized Gain


our online networking vehicle, increased 25% to 751. A total of 100 alumnae and students attended the Asian/AsianAmerican alumnae and student conference.


Reunions in 2007 brought 1,735 alumnae and guests back to campus, representing 20% of active class members attending. Enrollments in the popular Back-to-Class events held during reunion exceeded 800. Attendance at the annual volunteer training workshops was up 10%, with 126 class and club volunteers returning to campus over two weekends.

Total Change in Net Assets


Net Assets, 7/1/06


Net Assets, 6/30/07


The Statement of Activities presents the association’s revenues and expenses for fiscal 2007, and reports the change in net assets over the year. Total operating revenues were up $205,644, with increases in support from MHC and program fees accounting for the majority of the additional revenue. Contributions from MHC continue to be the most significant source of funding for the association at 79% of total revenue. MHC contributions consisted of funds and in-kind support received from Mount Holyoke College per the July 1, 2002, joint agreement between the Trustees of Mount Holyoke College and the Board of Directors of the Alumnae Association. Association Support and Revenue (19% of revenue) includes reunion, conference/program, and advertising fees. Total operating expenses increased $167,620 from the previous period, primarily due to increased spending on salaries and benefits (consistent with MHC practices), programming, technology, and communication. During fiscal 2007, fifty-one active alumnae clubs held 206 different events around the world, three international clubs were formed, and five dormant clubs were revived. As part of the Speaker’s Bureau, eighteen faculty and staff members presented at twenty-five club events. In collaboration with the Weissman Center, the Alumnae Association produced four Lyon Lecture events attended by 235 alumnae, guests, and prospective students around the country. Our on-campus programming effort produced twenty events. We had significant student participation in undergraduate class events (520 students, approximately 25% of the student body), pre-law events (eighty-five students), pre-health events (125 students), and the Strawberries and Champagne event (444 seniors). In addition, student registrations in LifeNet,

The number of registered users for our online community exceeded 9,700 by the end of fiscal 2007, an increase of 34% from the prior year. The Quarterly reached 33,000 alumnae, students, faculty, staff, and friends of MHC. Our career consultant served over 1,000 alumnae nationwide, and 113 alumnae and guests participated in eight educational travel programs, including our first Tuttle Alumnae-Student service trip to Central America.


Change in Net Assets, Operating

Founder’s Fund The long-term financial assets of the Alumnae Association are held in the Founder’s Fund, which consists primarily of alumnae gifts, bequests, investment income, and unrealized gains. The Founder’s Fund is invested with the MHC endowment, pursuant to the June 1990 agreement between the Association and the College. The Alumnae Association’s Investment Subcommittee, reporting to the Finance Committee, oversees the management and performance of all Alumnae Association investments. As of June 30, 2007, the Founder’s Fund had a value of $4,077,605, compared with a market value of $3,378,235 for the prior year. The bulk of the increase in the Founder’s Fund is from asset appreciation totaling $536,648 (77% of increase). We also received alumnae donations totaling $41,035 (93 contributions), down modestly from $42,880 in FY06 (128 contributions). In conjunction with our strategic objective to build the Founder’s Fund, the Association contributed $121,687 of investment income to the fund. The Founder’s Fund has grown 309% since fiscal 2000. Alumnae Scholar Program The Alumnae Scholar Program has been supported by the generous donations of clubs and individual alumnae throughout the world since 1971. Fiscal 2007 contributions were $34,772. Since inception, total program contributions are just under $2.8 million. Linda Ing Phelps ’86 Alumnae Association Treasurer

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“Nanoscopic things are wonderful catalysts.” —WEI CHEN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY

In the sciences at MHC, small things can lead to big things—such as new communication technologies ANGELA DICICCIO ’08 WORKING WITH ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY WEI CHEN

and medical breakthroughs. Nobody knows that better than our students and faculty who are doing cutting-edge nanoscience


research in the Science Center’s laboratories and classrooms. Please support Mount Holyoke students and faculty by making your Annual Fund gift today.


Be a catalyst. Accomplish great things.

Every gift to the Annual Fund is a gift to the Campaign.

bulletinboard Announcements

Take the Lead! SummerAction

Do you know an actionoriented young woman in high school? Encourage her to apply to Take the Lead! SummerAction, a two-week residential leadership program sponsored by Mount Holyoke June 29–July 12, 2008. Building on the success of the fourday Take the Lead, this expanded program gives students the opportunity to join a diverse network of eighty young women who are passionate about important issues. Students will develop leadership skills, design action projects, and become effective agents of positive change. Selection is competitive, and space is limited. Apply online at www.mtholyoke. edu/summeraction. The program fee is $2,950, with a limited number of need-based scholarships. To learn more, call 413-538-3500 or e-mail summeraction-l@

MHC Golf Academy at The Orchards Would you like to learn to play golf or improve your golf score? MHC, in partnership with the Orchards Golf Club, is

offering a golf academy for alumnae, their guests, and friends of the college, June 1–4. The program will include lessons with coach Bob Bontempo, founder of the MHC varsity golf team, and other PGA and LPGA golf professionals. All facets of the game will be presented, from the lengthy tee shot to the refinements of chipping, putting, and bunker play. The program will appeal to novice golfers as well as seasoned players. The $595 fee includes lessons, greens fees, carts, practice balls, souvenir gifts, and most meals. The academy begins Sunday afternoon after Reunion II. For more information, visit www. or contact Laurie Boucher, program director, at 413538-3517 or lboucher@

MHC Class and Club Products

Lots of MHC-related class and club products are for sale. For details and photos of many items, please visit www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/shop/alumgifts.php or phone the Alumnae Association at 413-5382300 to request a printed copy of the information.

Alumnae Expertise and Sponsorship Sought by CDC

The Career Development

Center (CDC) seeks alumnae to sponsor MHC students for summer internships. Students traditionally seek summer internships in areas such as financial institutions, management, scientific and medical research, media outlets, social-service agencies, not-for-profits, law and government agencies, museums and historical societies, and in education. For further information, please contact the CDC at 413-5382080, or register online at cdc/9556.shtml.

The SummerMath Program

Each July fifty to sixty high school women from across the country come to Mount Holyoke College for four weeks to open their minds to mathematics, computer programming, and a college environment. Do you have a daughter or friend who would like to spend a month with a diverse group of academically motivated students at Mount Holyoke? Please visit summermath to learn more, or contact the directors, Charlene and James Morrow, at 413-5382608 or summermath@ The 2008 program will be held June 29–July 26.

The SEARCH Program

MHC is recruiting students for Summer Explorations and Research Collaborations for High School Girls, a four-week program on campus. We encourage girls who have a sense of curiosity and adventure about mathematics to apply. Students will explore exciting topics outside the usual high school curriculum. Please visit search to learn more or contact the directors, Charlene and James Morrow, at 413-538-2608 or The 2008 program will be held June 29–July 26.

Considering applying to medical school?

MHC alumnae who think they may apply to medical school and other health professions programs in 2008 (for 2009 admission) are strongly urged to contact the Career Development Center by the end of February for crucial information. Help us to help you put together the best application possible! E-mail Dr. David Gardner, director for prehealth and science advising, at

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travelopportunities English Garden Treasures: Featuring the Chelsea Garden Show May 10–21, 2008 Accompanied by Eugenia Herbert, professor emeritus of history The walled gardens, splendid estates, and extraordinary plantings of Bath, Exeter, and Cornwall highlight this fabulous journey through a history of garden design. Savor the magnificent Kensington Gardens in London, and finish your horticultural extravaganza with a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show, the world’s supreme floral event.

English Garden Treasures

Danube River and Habsburg Empire May 31–June 10, 2008 Accompanied by Penny Gill, Mary Lyon Professor of Humanities and Professor of Politics Experience a unique river and rail journey through the heart of Central Europe. You will explore


The Black Sea August 3–13, 2008 Accompanied by Bettina Bergmann, Helene Phillips Herzig Professor of Art History Dotted with cities and sites spanning recorded history, this region will first engage us with Istanbul, then take us to the seldom-visited northern coast of Turkey with its Ottoman mosques. The comprehensive voyage also includes Sevastopol, crucible of the Crimean War, Odessa, and Bulgaria’s historic town of Varna. Yale and Smith alumni will travel with us.

Bath (English Garden Treasures)

the “crown jewels” of this fascinating region, including lively Budapest, imperial Vienna, majestic Prague, and medieval Krakow. Your deluxe travel arrangements mirror the glory years of the Habsburg Empire. Journey Along the Silk Road/China June 22–July 3, 2008 Accompanied by Stephen Jones, professor of Russian studies Parts of this ancient trading route between Rome and China are yours to explore during this fascinating, intercultural journey including Beijing and Xi’an, with its terra cotta warriors and Muslim quarter, Kashgar, with its colorful livestock market, serene Bishkek, Samarkand, full of antique intensity, and the living museum of Bukhara.

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Dubrovnik (Village Life Along the Dalmatian Coast)

Tees and Tours: Castles and Fairways of Scotland July 20–29, 2008 Accompanied by Laurie Priest, director of athletics Opportunities to golf on some of Scotland’s finest courses, including St. Andrews, set the stage for this trip, which begins with four nights in Edinburgh. You’ll stay at the lovely Balmoral Hotel, visit a royal residence and the National Gallery, then journey through the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands, some of the most glorious scenery in the British Isles.

Village Life Along the Dalmatian Coast October 7–15, 2008 Accompanied by Mark E. Landon, visiting assistant professor of classics Join us on a voyage of cultural and natural treasures as we sail from legendary Venice across the Adriatic and along Dalmatia’s ruggedly beautiful shoreline. Explore the Roman legacy of Split, walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo in his medieval birthplace of Korcula, and step back into the Renaissance era in Dubrovnik. INTERESTED? For more information on association-sponsored travel, please contact the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 or alumnaeassociation@

lastlook International Sisters B y P r e s i d e n t J o a n n e V. C r e i g h t o n

Over the years, alumnae have asked me about our “sister” college in Madras (Chennai), India, Women’s Christian College (WCC). The institutional connection goes back to 1921 when each of the “Seven Sisters” adopted an Asian “sister.” But we heard little from our sister in recent years until WCC’s principal, Dr. Ridling Margaret Waller, visited Mount Holyoke last spring and invited me to her campus for an international conference in August. I’m pleased to report that our Asian sister—now ninety-two years old—is a thriving, selective, well respected liberal arts women’s college of some 2,000 students that shares our dedication to intellectual rigor and purposeful engagement in the world. My husband, Tom, and I were thoroughly impressed with the engaging spirit and warm hospitality of everyone we met.

At Women’s Christian College in Madras (Chennai), India, principal Ridling Margaret Waller is flanked by MHC President Joanne V. Creighton and husband Tom. MHC’s connection with this ”sister college” is reflected in the name of the student residence shown here.

Mount Holyoke is clearly revered and bound into the fabric of the institution. A student residence is named “Holyoke Hostel,” and an annual cultural event is called “Mount Holyoke.” Their student senate, I learned from talking

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with delightful students, is structured exactly like ours—not surprising, since it was started during the tenure of its third beloved principal, Mount Holyoke alumna Eleanor Mason ’19. In fact, it was my honor to participate in the naming of a building after her. Proudly on display in WCC’s modest library are books and periodicals purchased with proceeds of the endowed fund established by Mount Holyoke alumnae, grown now to over a quarter million dollars. Women’s Christian College is just one of countless examples of the powerful influence our pioneering college has had in shaping a distinctive tradition of women’s education around the world. Everywhere I go in the world, I encounter alumnae and the palpable influence of the college. Indeed, vacationing in Cape Town, South Africa, a few years ago, I found when I checked into my hotel a note from three alumnae, saying, “We know you’re there and we want to see you!” Eager for news of the college, they impressed upon me their enduring bond with Mount Holyoke. On that same trip, I happened to meet an administrator of Kennicott College— recently absorbed into Cape Technikon—who told me of the founding of this college for Afrikaner women in the late nineteenth century by Mount Holyoke


alumnae who modeled its campus and mission on ours. Within the past few months I’ve met with alumnae in London, Athens, New Delhi, and Geneva, the last the host site of the spirited biennial European Alumnae Conference. As part of the international emphasis of the Plan for Mount Holyoke 2010, we have taken up with renewed affirmation our legacy as a formative founding “mother” of the women’s college movement. In 2004 we formed, along with Smith College, a new alliance of women’s colleges from around the world, called Women’s Education Worldwide ( wew). We now have nearly fifty institutions from five continents in this alliance. This past summer a core group of us met, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, at its gorgeous retreat site in Bellagio, Italy, to plan our organization’s future. Included in our gathering were several of the founding heads of newly emerging women’s colleges in countries where opportunities for women’s education have been limited: Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They regaled us with stories of the challenges and the triumphs of their efforts. Mary Lyon’s spirit lives! Deep affinities unite women’s colleges old and new. I have had the opportunity to

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visit a number of these new women’s colleges such as Kiriri Women’s University for Science and Technology in Nairobi, Kenya, which perhaps faces the most daunting of challenges and is the most inspirational in the dedication of its founders. Emergent women’s colleges in the Middle East—such as Royal University for Women in Bahrain, Effat College in Saudi Arabia, and Dubai Women’s College—face the challenges of a highly patriarchal, gendersegregated society. Yet their courageous, pragmatic, and entrepreneurial leaders are determined to make their colleges not just equal to but better than those of their male counterparts. They continue to look to us for models of leadership and integrity. We envision more student, faculty and staff exchanges with our sisters abroad—in fact, we will hold an international conference for student delegates from WEW member institutions at Mount Holyoke and Smith College in early June 2008. Our goal is to work together to build understanding, to share best practices, and to advocate for the education and advancement of women of the world, the great unfinished agenda of the twenty-first century. Along with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, keynote speaker at our first conference, we believe that “few subjects match

the social significance of women’s education in the contemporary world.” From its earliest days, Mount Holyoke graduates ventured all over the world, founding well over forty schools and colleges across this country and in Canada, Argentina, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Armenia, Persia, India, China, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Africa and serving as president or principal of over one hundred others. Now, women from all over the world find their way to the college. Per square mile, this little college in western Mass. is one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth! With 25 percent people of color and 30 percent foreign born, our faculty—which collectively speaks fortythree languages—is the most diverse among any of our peer colleges, coed or single sex, and with 40 percent of our student body either ALANA or international (from over seventy countries), our student body is the most diverse as well. This is deliberately so. Our goal is to build a diverse community that works amid countless examples throughout the world of communities that fail. This is not always easy. But it is always worthwhile. In short, there is no better place to learn to be a global citizen than at Mount Holyoke College.

New York Celebrates Mount Holyoke Thursday, April 10, 2008 6:15–9:00 PM American Museum of Natural History Milstein Hall of Ocean Life 79th Street at Central Park West Program Highlights Congresswoman Nita Melnikoff Lowey ’59 Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ’85 President Joanne V. Creighton Mount Holyoke V-8s

$100 Patron, $40 MHC Alumna, $25 Young Alumna (Classes 2003–2007) For more information, please call 800-642-4483 or email


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Ma ch ael


I loved rehearsing my choreographic projects in Kendall Studio Theater. In this sanctuary, time seemed to stand still, and I could delve into the creative process. I worked on my thesis here, exploring ways to get performance quality from my dancers. I would sit on the risers to watch as movements and concepts magically transformed themselves into a dance. I still love watching the seeds of an idea grow into a completed work, often thinking back to the times at MHC that brought me to where I am now.—Rain Ross ’00

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2008  
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2008  

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