Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Summer 2013

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

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Summer 2013

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contents Unusually Grounded

These unusual houses are grounded in natural assets.

12 Class Action

Alums help students connect curriculum to career.

18 Sisters in Song

A cappella groups sing in solidarity and harmony.


Liv Cavallaro ’08 loves living in a yurt, even during winters in New Hampshire.

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M o u n t H o lyo k e a lum n a e Q ua rt e r ly


D epart ments

2 Viewpoints Your thoughts on art, being “uncommon women,” and top social-media posts 4 President’s Pen Thoughts from Lynn Pasquerella ’80

Quarterly Committee: Susan Bushey Manning ’96 (chair) Amy Cavanaugh ’06 Shawn Hartley Hancock ’80 Lauren D. Klein ’03 Olivia Lammel ’14 (student rep.) Shoshana Walter ’07



F rom top : B E N B A R N H A R T ; G ale zucker ; J ulia Z a V E , b E N B A R N H A R T

5 Campus Currents MHC timeline: 1981 to the present, the 176th annual commencement, and more campus news 28 Alumnae Matters Reunion 2013, Frances Perkins Scholars hold “FP Monologues,” and more alumnae news 36 Off the Shelf The history of the foot, managing depression, a classic coming-of-age tale, and more books 38 Class Notes News of your classmates, and reunion photos 78 Bulletin Board Announcements, and trips to Burma, the Panama Canal, and other dream destinations 80 “My Voice” Stephanie Willen Brown ’85 on why those skeptical of Twitter should reconsider



The V8s—going strong since 1942—have lots of friendly competition from other MHC a cappella groups. P H o t o g r aph B y

Julia Zave

O P P O S I T E PA G E :

Ben Barnhart

Summer 2013 Volume 97 Number 2 Editorial and Design Team Carly Kite, senior director of marketing and communications Emily Harrison Weir, Quarterly editor Millie Rossman, creative director Taylor Scott, assistant director of digital communications Kris Halpin, class notes editor

Alumnae Association Board of Directors President* Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Vice President, Engagement* Julianne Trabucchi Puckett ’91 Treasurer* Lynda Dean Alexander ’80 Clerk* Hilary M. Salmon ’03 Classes and Reunion Director Danielle M. Germain ’93 Alumnae Trustee Catherine C. Burke ’78 Nominating Director V. Radley Emes ’00 Director-at-Large, Human Resources* Joanna MacWilliams Jones ’67 Director-at-Large, Global Initiatives Emily E. Renard ’02 Communications Director Sandy Mallalieu ’91 Young Alumnae Representative Tamara J. Dews ’06 Clubs Director Elizabeth (Beth) Redmond VanWinkle ’82 Volunteer Stewardship Director Ellen L. Leggett ’75 Executive Director* Jane E. Zachary, ex officio without vote *Executive Committee

The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc. 50 College Street South Hadley, MA 01075-1486 tel: 413-538-2300 fax: 413-538-2254

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. 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. General comments concerning the Quarterly should be sent to Emily Weir or Alumnae Quarterly, Alumnae Association, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486. Contact the class notes editor at 413-538-2300 or classnotes@ To update your information, contact Alumnae Information Services (same address; 413-538-2303; Phone 413-538-2300 with general questions regarding the Alumnae Association, or visit The Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly (USPS 365-280) is published quarterly in the spring, summer, fall, and winter by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc., 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486. Summer 2013, volume 97, number 2, was printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington, VT. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA and additional mailing offices. Copyright Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College.


(ISSN 0027-2493; USPS 365-280)

Please send form 3579 to Alumnae Information Services Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association, 50 College Street S. Hadley, MA 01075-1486.


V8 singertk P H o t o g r aph B y

Julia Zave

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viewpoints 20 art breaks out of its frame

Responses to MHC Timeline

26 hard work, no paycheck

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Spring 2013

Magical Memory Tour

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Letters Policy We welcome comments on the Quarterly’s content and will select for publication letters that reflect the diverse viewpoints of the Mount Holyoke community. Letters should be no more than 300 words, and we reserve the right to edit them for length, accuracy, and clarity. Send kudos or complaints, rants or raves, but please, no personal attacks. Send comments to: (or use postal address on page 1).

I was amused by a big omission: the abandonment of required church and chapel attendance in 1956. As a student returning from my junior year in France, I found it absurd to have these requirements, particularly as I had a number of friends just checking off their names as attending and then going back to bed. I had experienced, in that year abroad, how to take responsibility for my actions and for what I held to be important. Upon my return to campus, I solved my own dilemma by reporting myself to the Judicial Board, saying that I would no longer attend these functions. That led me to President Roswell Ham, whom I felt would have been happier if I had stayed silent. We took steps that made the requirement less onerous, and one year after I graduated, the requirement was overturned.—Helen Jacobs Altman ’55 Cl arification: One item in the timeline implied that there were no lesbian organizations on campus before the Lesbian Alliance’s formation in 1980. Donna Albino ’83 let us know that a lesbian support group met at MHC as early as 1975.

Response to “Breaking Out of the Frame” The article brought back a memory of a writing assignment for Professor Jean Sudrann’s “Baby English” class in 1961. We were sent to the Art Museum to write a descriptive essay on a work of art of our choice. I chose Hetch Hetchy Canyon by Albert Bierstadt. The close examination of that painting made me well acquainted with that impressive landscape, its majestic scale, and the characteristic lighting on the rock cliffs. I was so enamored of this artist’s style that, years later, I sought out the museum in Stockton, California, dedicated to Bierstadt’s paintings. I still have the essay that I typed, and I keep a postcard image of the painting. —Sallie Wright Abbas ’65

Send us a photo of you holding the Quarterly; we’ll share the best ones on Facebook and/or in print.


Responses to “Fighting for Reproductive Freedom” [A letter in the spring issue by] Mary McPhillips Menendez ’89 discusses only two options of birth control: the pill and the “rhythm method.” However, there are numerous others. The Planned Parenthood website lists the many different options of birth control and their percentage of efficacy…Please talk with your physician, become informed about the benefits and disadvantages of all methods of birth control, and then select the best method for you.—Thea Sewell ’89 There is a bit of a logical miss on Mary McPhillips Menendez’s part about religious freedom. If a “Catholic” organization would be exempt from laws about providing services under HHS mandate, it should 1) not receive any funding from governmental sources and 2) not contract to provide wholesale services to anyone who is not Catholic. I do not want my tax dollars to support churches that use their pulpits to thwart the civil rights of large numbers of Americans, including mine.…I take exception to healthcare providers mixing religion and politics with medicine…part of my religious freedom means not having to provide information about my religious beliefs to receive medical services. These are solely my opinions; they do not reflect my employer’s positions.—Dominic V. Luppino ’76 (name at MHC: Nicki Nicolo)

Responses to “Must I Be Uncommon?” Thanks to Olivia Lammel for her essay (spring), which brings up an important issue that the MHC community really needs to talk about more. We go on about being “uncommon women” and tell each other to “accomplish great things.” It’s meant to be inspiring, but a little of that stuff goes a long way. I’d like to propose a moratorium on well-intentioned, high-pressure, “inspirational” language. It’s sixteen years since I graduated, and I have yet to cure cancer, make millions, or win a Pulitzer. My big achievement so far this year is learning to crochet. Most of the time I am pretty happy with myself and my life. But the mail I get from Mount Holyoke comes with an invisible layer of guilt. I’m not uncommon enough. Not yet. I have three problems with this.

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I am rounding the corner toward my fiftieth reunion, and…I have thought a lot about what it means to be “uncommon,” and talked about it with many an alum. Here’s some good news for you: Although most of us will not win a Pulitzer, my wager is that each of us alums holds within many seeds of the uncommon— and yours will sprout in your lifetime…Mount Holyoke has settled into your bones, Olivia. Your uncommonness already shows, and it will surprise you many times along the way. No worries, dear. Follow your dreams. —Michaelanne Magrane Rosenzweig ’67


Read full versions of these letters— and more comments on being uncommon, knitting, birth control, and MHC history—at

Most Liked Instagram Photo

Top Facebook Post

Mount Holyoke alumnae weddings album: Whether you were married at MHC or elsewhere, send us your photo and we’ll add it to the album! TAY L O R S C O T T

Happy Earth Day! The trees are almost in full bloom on the MHC campus. #mhcalums Most Visited Page on Our Website

Surprise! Our reunion registration page, which received more than 6,000 visitors. Reunion 2013 drew 1,129 alumnae. Most Retweeted

“You’ll laugh when trying to explain MHC traditions to friends who wonder what kind of bizarre intellectual cult you fell into.” #mhcreunion President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 speaking at commencement

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I remember feeling the same way during my last year at Mount Holyoke. Professor Christopher Pyle gave me some valuable advice that I’ve turned to many times—“Don’t think too far into the future. Consider where you might like to be in three to five years and strive toward that.” He also told me that your paid job doesn’t have to define your contribution to the world. So, even if you take a “common” job, you can still be uncommon on the side. Both pieces of advice have served me pretty well in striving to be uncommon!—Lara Sheikh ’92

Well “Liked”

E mily D elamater

1. It’s pointless for MHC women to feel “not good enough.” We are mostly pretty ambitious already. We don’t need to be flogged into greatness. Greatness is in us already, and will come out in its own time. 2. It disconnects alumnae from the College, emotionally. No one likes to feel “not good enough.” I don’t send money [and] I don’t come to reunions while I’m feeling bad about my non-world-changing career. 3. I am not sure that “accomplish great things” is really the point. I suspect that the point may be to figure out who you are, and be that person to the best of your ability. It’s shockingly hard. But I am starting to think that it is the only game in town. Being uncommon and doing great things are just side effects.—J’aime Wells ’97


Summer 2013

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Mountain Day 2012

president’s pen




he College’s celebration of 175 years of women of influence culminated with a spectacular all-alumnae lineup of honorary degree recipients for Mount Holyoke’s 176th commencement. Joanne Lupton ’66, Mary Mazzio ’83, Mona Sutphen ’89, and Kavita Ramdas ’85 inspired and challenged our graduates to carry out our mission of using liberal learning for purposeful engagement in the world. In her commencement address, Ramdas offered an articulate and compelling case for why “a Mount Holyoke education—a women’s college education, a liberal arts education—matters.” At the heart of her argument was the conviction that “we need uncommon women” for the “uncommon problems” of today’s world—“women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.” Throughout commencement weekend and during the following week’s Reunion II activities, I had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of such women and to hear the stories of how Mount Holyoke has shaped their lives and careers. Each of these alumnae was eager to serve as a mentor and role model for current students and recent graduates who are destined to be the next generation of women leaders. In talking to them, it occurred to me that Mount Holyoke women indeed both look forward and give back! As we marched in the Laurel Parade and gathered at Mary Lyon’s grave and in Chapin Auditorium, we were reminded of all that binds us together across generations and of all that we can do together to make a difference in the world. Standing at the grave site, I recounted the meaning behind the tradition of singing “Bread and Roses,” begun on campus in 1978, of paying tribute to and showing solidarity with the women textile workers who championed the 1912 Lawrence mill strike. In doing so, I could not help but think of the more than 1,100 garment workers who were crushed to death in last April’s factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. There is still so much work to be done to meet the demands of economic, social, and environmental justice for women worldwide, and Mount Holyoke students and alumnae are poised to lead the way. Mount Holyoke was founded on the idea that change was necessary— that women deserved access to academic excellence equivalent to what men were receiving in the Ivy League, and that access should not be predicated on affluence. Mount Holyoke’s groundbreaking, fierce tradition of scholarly excellence is matched by our historic commitment to being the catalyst for lasting, meaningful change. Our graduates have been at the forefront of discoveries and innovations in science, medicine, law, politics, literature, the social sciences, and the arts. Now, in a time of unprecedented change, the rigorous liberal arts education we provide students is more critical than ever. Graduates who can respond to a rapidly changing world with adaptability and flexibility; who can write, speak, and think with precision, coherence, and clarity; who can propose, construct, and evaluate arguments while being responsive to the views of others; who can work effectively in teams; and who can demonstrate scientific and quantitative literacy, along with cultural competence in a globally interdependent world; will thrive. Today’s Mount Holyoke graduates are prepared to meet the future head-on, knowing that the education they have received places them at an advantage. They also know that alumnae around the world will be there to support them and cheer them on!

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campuscurrents Commencement Speakers Praise MHC for Fostering Strength—and Weirdness


ore THAN 600 students filed into Gettell Amphitheater on May 19 already feeling a sense of nostalgia for the place they’ve called home. Despite brisk and cloudy weather, family and friends watched excitedly, many loaded down with flowers and balloons. Of the 616 students graduating, forty-three were Frances Perkins Scholars, five were master’s students, two received certificates for postbaccalaureate study, and another seventeen got international student certificates. For the first time in history, the College conferred its annual honorary degrees to an all-alumnae lineup, featuring commencement speaker and acclaimed social-justice advocate Kavita N. Ramdas ’85, nutrition expert Joanne R. Lupton ’66, awardwinning filmmaker and Olympian Mary C. Mazzio ’83, and former White House deputy chief of staff Mona K. Sutphen ’89. Along with President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 and Jenna Ruddock ’13, the four honored alumnae gave speeches that ranged in topic from the “weirdness” of Mount Holyoke to the patience it takes to find one’s passion.


Kavita N. Ramdas ’85

“You will find yourself rushing to meet friends at a local ice-cream parlor after work on a fall day when you get that email proclaiming that it is Mountain Day, crying unexpectedly whenever you hear ‘Bread and Roses,’ and laughing when you attempt to explain the significance of the revelry around Dis-O, elfing, and Pangy Day to a friend who wasn’t fortunate enough to come to Mount Holyoke and who wonders what kind of bizarre intellectual cult you fell into during your college years.”

Mona K. Sutphen ’89

Mary C. Mazzio ’83

—President Lynn Pasquerella ’80

“Today I don’t need to remind you that you’re great because today, you know. Instead, I’d rather take a moment to remind you about weirdness. We’re about to graduate from a school where students can, and did, form a Lunar Howling Society. Where we’ve taken classes on Sherlock Holmes and forgery and still get to graduate. Where no one is surprised if someone whips out knitting needles in class.”

Joanne R. Lupton ’66

—Jenna Ruddock ’13

“We need women who are so strong that they can be gentle, so educated that they can be humble, so fierce that they can be compassionate, so passionate that they can be rational, and so disciplined that they can be free. We need uncommon women. And here you are. And how deeply reassuring to me it is to know that wherever we go, there you will be. Congratulations to the class of 2013! Rise! Dance! Be!”

“If anyone had told me then that I’d be a scientist, and receive an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke, I would have told them they were crazy—unless my mother told them first. A scientist? I was a philosophy major; I wrote the music for Junior Show. But here I am today, eager to share a few things I’ve learned along the way.” —Joanne R. Lupton ’66

“Don’t be a jerk. There are jerks everywhere, just like mosquitoes in summer. But life is short and the world is small, so why waste time tearing other people down?”

“This, my friends, is where everything starts and ends for me. I came here in the fall of 1979, armed with blue eye shadow and a curling iron. And not much else. It was Mount Holyoke that taught me to have a voice. And to use it. Loudly.”

—Mona K. Sutphen ’89

—Mary C. Mazzio ’83

—Kavita N. Ramdas ’85

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From Laurie to Lori TAY L O R S C O T T

Athletics Loses a Beloved Director but Gains a Spirited New Leader

G ale Z ucker

The outgoing director of athletics was everywhere—in person and on cutout effigies—on “Laurie Priest Day.”

Laurie Priest to Lori Hendricks ’92 (left): You’re next!


Game time. Dark clouds loom overhead as the Mount Holyoke lacrosse team battles it out with Bridgewater State University. MHC leads by three points at the half. Rain begins to lightly fall on the packed bleachers, but the crowd remains exuberant. Suddenly from the loudspeakers comes a lilting voice and a melodious tune. Is that Carly Simon? “Nobody does it better/ Makes me feel sad for the rest/ Nobody does it half as good as you/ Baby, you’re the best,” sings Simon as a large group walks onto the track that surrounds the field. The star of this procession is Laurie Priest, the adored director of athletics for the past twenty-four years, whose tenure came to an end this past spring. Former student athlete Annemarie Farrell ’01, Massachusetts State Representative John Scibak, new director of athletics Lori Hendricks ’92, and, of course, Paws—the Lyons’ mascot—stand by Priest’s side as the crowd holds up large and small cutouts of her smiling face, creating a sea of Laurie Priests. Speeches are given, tears are shed, and Scibak officially declares April 10 “Laurie Priest Day.” A tireless advocate for equity in sport, Priest is recognized nationally for her work to promote and support Title IX, and has given the majority of her time to committees that involve women. Under her direction, Sports Illustrated for Women named Mount Holyoke the nation’s top women’s college athletics program in 2000. What really sets Priest apart, though, is her impact on the students she teaches and mentors. As Farrell put it, “Laurie has this amazing ability to see your potential before you even recognize it in yourself.” You may be asking yourself, “What on earth will MHC do without Laurie Priest?” Luckily, there is a rainbow behind the cloud of Priest’s departure. Her replacement, Lori Hendricks ’92, former associate director of athletics,

is equally esteemed and loved by the community. Professor Alan Werner, who chaired the hiring committee for the new director, said the group conducted a nationwide search, during which “colleagues from across the country reached out to us to voice their enthusiasm for Lori’s ability as a current and future leader in athletics administration.” In her new role as director, Hendricks hopes to engage not only the student body, but also the greater Mount Holyoke community, including alumnae. She sees alumnae around the world becoming a local fan base for current and prospective students, urging them to “be a part of the pride.” —Tay lor Scott

“Not everyone like me got to major in student activities and minor in Laurie Priest.” Annemarie Farrell ’01

Priest was given the rare status of honorary alumna.

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L A U R I E P R I E S T : B en barnhart ; L E E : D oug K eller ; A R C H I V E S P H O T O : T A Y L O R S C O T T

Rider Named Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Having never ridden competitively, So Jin Lee ’13 joined the riding team her sophomore year. Despite being a true beginner, she quickly moved up the ranks to become one of the team’s most valued members. “So Jin realized that she could be an asset even at a lower level of the sport,” says coach CJ Law, “and she grabbed that opportunity.” Law enthusiastically speaks about what a pleasure Lee was to teach: “Whatever mood we were in at the beginning of a lesson, we were always on the plus side of that by the end. She just lights up a room.” In May, the Alumnae Association honored Lee for her contributions as an athlete and student by presenting her with the Laurie Priest Alumnae Scholar Athlete Award. The annual honor, formerly known as the Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete Award, was renamed to honor the retiring athletics director. This award is conferred when a student demonstrates qualities that make her an outstanding athlete, an exceptional scholar, and a leader within the community. A true embodiment of this award, Lee maintained top grades while serving as the president of the SGA since 2011. She was also chosen to travel to Washington, DC, for the launch of the Women in Public Service Project with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She was selected as one of five students representing MHC at the 2012 Women in the World summit in New York City, and also received the College’s Student Leadership and Service Award. Lee plans to attend the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University this fall to earn her master’s degree in Asian studies with a focus in political security.

Cole Roman ’14 examines a photograph in the study room of Archives and Special Collections.

In Se ssion

Pie Circles, Asylum Design, and Other Tales of Early Mount Holyoke Long ago, a group of young seminarians would awake at 5 a.m. to vigorously roll dough, ladle fillings, and slide fat pies into brick ovens. Known as the “pie circle,” women on this rotating work shift were expected to produce 656 pies per week. This tidbit, among many others, was dumbfounding to the students in Professor Robert Schwartz’s course The History of Mount Holyoke, evoking in them a deep curiosity about the early days of the institution. Yet this isn’t the only little-known fact that the class can spout concerning the College’s formative years. For instance, did you know that the original seminary building was modeled after an asylum to help support Mary Lyon’s strict daily regimen? Or that every four weeks students switched quarters to prevent close friendships with roommates, as Lyon believed the most important relationship should be between a pupil and her professors? Students in the course, which is structured around lectures and a final research project, offer countless examples of Mount Holyoke’s remarkable past. “It’s been amazing to get to know and understand where I’ve been these past four years,” says American studies major Kelton Artuso ’13, who profiled students from different eras, including her grandmother, Mary Wallace Roberts ’51. Research topics vary greatly—from the evolution of fashion to the history of freshman handbooks (which were made by the junior class) to Mount Holyoke during the Civil War. Professor Schwartz, whose two daughters also attended MHC, says the goal of the course is to preserve the rich historical assets of the College through student research. The students themselves give many reasons for wanting to take the course—everything from “it’s required for my major” to “wanting more reasons to brag.” “When you’re at Mount Holyoke, it’s like you’re in this wonderful bubble,” says Cole Roman ’14. “I love this bubble, and I wanted to know what it took to create it.” —Tay lor Scott

Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly

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T idbits

News and Notes From Around Campus D eirdre H aber M alfatto

Welcome to the Club, Class of 2013!

It’s a tradition that seniors look forward to with excitement each year. On April 29, the last day of classes, the Alumnae Association applauded the accomplishments of the class of 2013 and welcomed them into the worldwide alumnae community with a celebratory toast at Strawberries and Champagne.

Holly Hanson

Alan Werner

Thomas Wartenberg

Senior Symposium Each spring, seniors who pursued independent study showcase their projects and research at the Senior Symposium. Students presented on an array of topics from the arts, humanities, languages, social sciences, and natural sciences. Above is a “cloud” of words that were included in the 156 project titles from the symposium, giving you a sense of the vastly different yet fascinating subjects studied by the class of 2013.

Susan Barry

Best of the Best: Faculty Awards Highlight Exceptional Professors In case you needed a reminder that Mount Holyoke has stellar professors, check out this year’s winners of the Faculty Awards. Holly Hanson, honored for her teaching, has been challenging students for the past sixteen years to reconsider any preconceived notions they may have about


Africa. Alan Werner, also a winner for teaching, takes students straight to the source, leading expeditions to glaciers in Alaska or the High Norwegian Arctic to research pressing environmental issues such as climate change. Honored for his scholarship, Thomas Wartenberg conducts

research that creatively addresses issues of race, class, and gender through the varying lenses of romance in films or philosophy through children’s literature. Also given an award for her scholarship, Susan Barry is listed among the 300 best professors in the country by the Princeton Review. Known

as “Stereo Sue” in a piece that Oliver Sacks wrote about her for the New Yorker, Barry was unable to see in 3-D until her forties. She is the author of the book Fixing My Gaze: A Scientist’s Journey into Seeing in Three Dimensions, and many acclaimed articles.

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Alumnae Help Students Get All-Important Internships

Campus Welcomes New Dean of Faculty

Students interning with alumnae this summer include: Yaba A. Haffar ’09 is supervising Saran Sidime ’14 at Vital Voices in Washington, DC, as a development intern. Vital Voices is an NGO that empowers emerging women leaders. Charu T. Tuladhar ’12 is supervising Eman Malik ’14 and Rnad J. Salaita ’14 in their work with the Dare Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Shannon LaDeau ’97 is supervising Emily A. Baker ’15 as a research assistant at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. Evguenia A. Sokolova ’01 is supervising three MHC student interns working on social entrepreneurship finance at Embark Energy in New York City and Tanzania. Barbara Moakler Byrne ’76, an MHC trustee, funds several internships through the Nexus Program each summer to support students pursuing unpaid or partially paid summer internship, research, or professional opportunities. To start networking with students and other grads—as these women did at our alumnae/student networking fair—join our LinkedIn group at TAY L O R S C O T T

Not surprisingly, Mount Holyoke’s newly appointed dean of faculty, Sonya Stephens, has had a long, impressive, academically rigorous career. Both her bachelor of arts in modern and medieval languages from a women’s college at Cambridge University, and her fifteen-year tenure as a faculty member at the women’s college at the University of London (Royal Holloway), suggest that she will fit in quite nicely on campus. Formerly acting as vice provost for undergraduate education at Indiana University at Bloomington, Stephens played a key role in supporting students and faculty, focusing on providing students with chances to participate in faculty research, as well as community-based leadership and learning. In her announcement speech, President Lynn Pasquerella highlighted the new dean’s understanding of and commitment to liberal arts education, stating, “Above all, her success in recruiting, developing, and retaining an outstanding faculty will be crucial to Mount Holyoke’s continued strength in the years to come.”

Each year, dozens of alumnae from around the world work with the College not only to mentor Mount Holyoke students, but also to find and place them in summer internships. As Kirk Lange, director of international experiential learning at the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, says, “It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of the mentorship role of alumnae—guiding professional learning, ensuring its integration with an academic curriculum, helping the intern make professional connections, and being a link to the MHC community in a new place (often halfway around the world).”

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R emembrance of T hings Past:

Mount Holyoke Timeline The conclusion of the Mount Holyoke timeline reveals just how quickly our world can change in a mere thirty years. From the end of the Cold War to the advent of the Internet to September 11 to the economic recession, Mount Holyoke students not only watched the world transform, but took an active part in it, advocating for inclusion, engaging in community service, and communicating and learning in ways never imagined before. Visit to view more photos and videos from the 1980s to the present. M ount H olyoke F rom 1 9 8 1 to the present



Women’s studies interdisciplinary program added to curriculum

UMMA organization for Muslim students founded as Islamic Cultural Alliance

Writing Center (later Speaking, Arguing, and Writing Center) established to help students hone their writing, reading, and speaking skills

Equestrian Center opens, housing fully equipped areas for instruction and observation, as well as classroom facilities

First Mount Holyoke computer network established for email and other functions

Dean of faculty and history professor William McFeely wins Pulitzer Prize for biography of Ulysses S. Grant

1985 Board of Trustees votes to divest Mount Holyoke’s endowment portfolio of stock in companies doing business in South Africa because of its system of apartheid

1983 Civil-rights activist, former congresswoman, and one-time US presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm joins faculty as professor of politics and women’s studies Wa-Shin-An Japanese meditation garden and teahouse dedicated


Fire destroys Odyssey Bookshop, College Inn, and four other businesses in South Hadley center; Mount Holyoke purchases this property

1987 Sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary celebration events include symposia on women and education, alumnae regional conferences, and the issuance of a Mary Lyon US postage stamp

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2003 Center for Global Initiatives established to support Mount Holyoke’s commitment “to educate all students for careers and citizenship in a global world”

1988 First students from Soviet Union enroll


Blanchard Hall transformed into campus center with a cafeteria, offices for student organizations, and a renovated campus post office and bookstore

1997 New Community-Based Learning Program links students with local communities through courses, independent studies, and internships


Students occupy Newhall Center calling for continuation of need-blind admission policies, creation of more cultural houses, and other measures

Members of entering class now referred to as “first-year” students instead of “freshmen” Village Commons opens, featuring shops, restaurants, services, and rental housing

Internet, telephone, email, and cable TV access available in every dorm room

1998 Center for Environmental Literacy established to help community members better understand their connections to the environment


Meal options consolidated; dining halls in seven dorms closed

2005 Mount Holyoke admits seven students from colleges in New Orleans that were forced to close after Hurricane Katrina

2008 Athletics director Laurie Priest named one of “The 100 Most Influential Sports Educators in America” by Institute for International Sport

2009 First annual Hortense Parker Day celebration honors first known African American graduate (in 1883) of MHC

2010 Lynn Pasquerella ’80 named president

A ll images : M H C A rchives and S pecial C ollections

Interfaith sanctuary created in part of Abbey Memorial Chapel Jeannette Marks House opens as community center for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, and allied students

1991 History and Russian professor Joseph Brodsky is appointed US poet laureate; he had won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1987. Buffet service replaces waitressed meals in dorms

1992 Williston Memorial Library renovated to increase space for resources, consolidate science collections, and provide facilities for state-of-the-art interactive multimedia teaching tools Smoking prohibited in all nonresidential buildings

1995 Eliana Ortega Cultural Center opens for students who identify as Latina or whose heritage is Latina Native Spirit (later Zowie Banteah) cultural center opens for students who identify as Native American or have Native American ancestry

1996 Joanne V. Creighton inaugurated as president

New Asian Center for Empowerment provides students of Asian descent with space for meetings, lectures, and social events

2000 Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) eliminated as requirement for admission President Creighton cancels classes for “Millennium Day,” celebrating the new century



Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ’85 wins Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Mount Holyoke commemorates 175 years with yearlong celebrations

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Unusually Grounded These alumnae dwellings showcase their natural assets By E m i ly H a rri so n We i r

Since the dawn of time, people have built homes to shelter themselves from the ravages of nature. And many in the developed world still choose to live in houses that insulate them from the natural world—super-airtight dwellings with central heating, air conditioning, and lots of interior space are the norm.

In Alstead, New Hampshire, Liv Cavallaro ’08 lives not within four walls, but in a circular yurt fifteen feet in diameter. Like those more typically found in the steppes of Central Asia, Cavallaro’s yurt is portable, with a wooden frame covered with fabric (in her case, canvas). She added a floor, skylight, and supporting cable, along with a woodstove, so it—and she—could cope with New England winters. “It’s really drafty, so I have to keep a fire going to be warm, but I like the air flow.” “It’s really close to living outside,” she enthuses. “I can hear everything—the wind, the rain, the animals…the frogs started chirping two days ago.” A rooster periodically adds his crow to the animal chorus. This is a rustic existence, with an outhouse instead of plumbing, and water is hauled from a neighbor’s well. (She showers at friends’ homes.) The yurt’s interior is nearly nine feet high at the center, tapering to four-and-one-half-foot outside walls. The inside space is divided by shelves into a cozy sitting area/library; a dining table that doubles as an art studio; a kitchen with propane stove, counter, and pantry; and bunk beds with storage beneath. Cavallaro works at a preschool with a nature-inspired curriculum, grows some of her own food, and sells her artwork in nearby Brattleboro, Vermont. The former community-house-dweller says, “Living in a yurt is an exercise in understanding my need for solitude and private space. I didn’t think I needed those things, but this is awesome!” —Photos by BEN BARNHART

But these alumnae have purposely selected homes that buck these trends. They’re compact—much smaller than the average American house size of 2,550 square feet—and each brings its residents into closer contact with nature.

“Living in a yurt is an exercise in understanding my need for solitude.” —Liv Cavallaro ’08

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“Coming from a congested area, having the opportunity to live in quiet is wonderful.” —Di Howland McIntyre ’65 In 1976, Diane “Di” Howland McIntyre ’65 and husband Steve bought twenty acres to escape from their urban work lives in Silicon Valley. The property is dotted with redwoods, and boasts spectacular sunsets and views over the Santa Cruz Mountains. They first built a yurt for their getaway, but after Steve retired and retirement neared for Di, the duo turned part of a metal RV “barn” into a comfortable second home. The McIntyres took pleasure in figuring out how to build an apartment from the inside out. It took four years, but now they have a fourteen-by-twenty-eight-foot space with a soaring ceiling. Di’s brainstorm was to use the upright girders as the framework for a Mondrian-inspired color scheme of black, white, yellow, red, and blue that “gives it a spark,” she says. The interior has a sleeping loft, kitchen, and living room, with a bathroom out back. They used many recycled materials— the fridge came from an RV dump—though they “classed it up” with Ikea cabinets. Solar panels and kerosene lamps provide light, and the woodstove is stoked with logs from fallen trees. The couple now lives primarily in Prescott, Arizona, but returns to their California retreat to enjoy the cooler climate and their many friends. “Coming from a congested area, having the opportunity to live in quiet is wonderful,” says Di. “It’s a counterbalance for the rest of our life.” —Photos by Paul schr aube

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There’s No Place Like These Homes Our unusual alumnae home showcase continues at and includes a rehabbed Victorian, an accessible house designed for “aging in place,” an early-American home on the national register of historic places, a log cabin filled with vintage canoes, and a medieval “jewel house” in Italy.

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“I’ve spent many seasons living out of a backpack. I wanted to reproduce that simplicity in my house.” —Mary C. Murphy ’05 Few people would consider a seventy-two-foot-square dwelling spacious, but Mary C. Murphy ’05 does. That’s because she spent years sleeping in a one-person tent. “I’ve been a total nomad, moving every six months if not more often, working as a wilderness guide, trail worker, wilderness therapy instructor, whatever I found that looked interesting,” she says. “I’ve admired the ‘tiny house’ concept for a long time, but I used to feel my life wouldn’t accommodate even a small house,” she says. But Murphy recently started a wilderness-trip business (, and a more permanent home now seems appropriate. “It’s a way of tricking myself into becoming more rooted,” she says. “I’ve spent many seasons living on the trail out of a backpack; life is so simple that way. I wanted to reproduce that simplicity in my house.”

and the help of a few female friends. There’s not room for much, but that’s fine with her. “I feel weighed down when I have lots of things around me,” she says. “I love simplicity.” The structure cost less than $4,000. “That’s about what I had in savings, so I didn’t have to wait for my dream,” Murphy recalls. “When I wake up in this place I built, I feel really empowered.” — P h otos by Su sa n t e a r e

Murphy’s central Vermont home functions completely off the grid. Half is a bedroom/living room and the other half is a kitchenette with a woodstove designed for a yacht, composting toilet, and solar panels to run her lights and laptop. Murphy designed and taught herself to build the five-and-onehalf-by-thirteen-square-foot structure, using salvaged materials

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Home for the Rev. Sarah M. Sarasvati Cutler ’03 is a “straw-bale sanctuary” just outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. The timber-framed casita has a packed-earth floor and three-foot-thick walls made of straw bales covered in mud plaster. They insulate Cutler from the heat or the cold, depending on the season. A steeply angled tin roof provides full sun and passive solar heat in winter (a woodstove offers backup heating), and keeps the interior cool but dimmer in summer. The snug cabin contains a small kitchen, sleeping loft, common area, and bathroom. She’s also made space for a bodywork studio (Cutler does craniosacral therapy and is studying massage) and shelves full of dried herbs for a nascent tea enterprise (see Outside is a curved retaining wall that shelters a garden—the heart of her sanctuary. Cutler moved here two years ago from a typical suburban house, but it was time spent living in a tent at the Lama Community north of Taos that anchored her desire to live in a “natural” house. “Because it’s connected to the earth, the house provides a calmness and simplicity that really speaks to me,” she says. Q

© G u r u d a r s h a n K h a l s a w w w. G u r u d a r s h a n K h a l s a . c o m

— photos by G u ru da r s h a n Kha lsa

“Because it’s connected to the earth, the house provides a calmness and simplicity that really speaks to me.”—Sarah M. Sarasvati Cutler ’03 Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly

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Alums Help Students Connect Curriculum to Career

By Christina Ba rbe r-Ju st



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s an expert on mentoring, psychology and education professor Becky Wai-Ling Packard understands the importance of reaching out to alumnae in her teaching. “Alums can be the most relevant and compelling role models for students, because students can imagine themselves taking those next steps,” she says. “Alums share some similar values—they chose the same institution, had a similar core experience, and understand students in a way that another professional might not. People think you have to be super famous or super accomplished, but it can be reassuring to students to see many different models and alums from different career stages. Students tune in to alums in a very powerful way.” For her Leadership and Public Service course this spring, Packard asked alumnae with relevant careers to submit profiles that her students read as part of their first assignment. About eight alumnae participated. One profile in particular resonated with a number of students in the racially diverse class. It was by Jennifer M. Gomez ’05, a first-generation college student who overcame significant obstacles—growing up in a low-income neighborhood in New York City; learning English as a second language— to attend Mount Holyoke and, later, Berkeley Law. She’s

now a member of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s prestigious Empire State Fellows Program. Packard invited Gomez to campus. She had dinner with students who had admired her profile, then met with the whole class to give what Packard calls an “inspirational and informative talk.” The experience gave Gomez a taste of what it’s like to be a mentor. “It was interesting because I’m constantly seeking mentors,” she says. “To be on the other side, and to think that I had something to offer, was rewarding and validating.” Gomez is part of a growing number of alumnae who are making meaningful connections with current students

Jennifer Gomez '05 (above, right, with sociology professor Eleanor Townsley) spent time with students in a Leadership and Public Service class.

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through several pilot projects that reflect the College’s commitment—spelled out in its strategic plan—to linking a liberal-arts curriculum and a career. So far, these projects have been small in scale and have targeted specific alumnae whose careers relate directly to coursework. But the College and the Alumnae Association share the goal of tapping many more alumnae who are motivated to give back in this way. After all, who better than alumnae to guide undergraduates down the path from the classroom to the work world?

Alums Go Back to Class In the politics department, associate professor Elizabeth Markovits this spring experimented with harnessing MHC’s powerful alumnae network to enhance student learning. Using funds from a Mellon Foundation grant supporting MHC’s Nexus curriculum-to-career program, she revamped Politics 361 to include the five-week involvement of four alumnae with political careers: Karen S. Middleton ’88, Cara Millard Cromwell ’92, Elaine Barber Pluta FP ’96, and Priti N. Rao ’08. Cromwell and Ashley O’Connor ’95 also participated as guest speakers and by giving students one-toone career advice. The course featured an extended campaign simulation— Chris Christie versus Cory Booker for governor of New Jersey. Students split up into teams representing each candidate and a press corps and created campaign websites, TV ads, speeches, and other materials. The alumnae acted as expert evaluators, viewing the students’ work, providing feedback via weekly online surveys, and coming to campus for a debriefing session and panel discussion. Intensive as it was, the alumnae relished being part of the course. “This has been a more meaningful experience as an alumna than any I have had in many years,” says Middleton, president of Emerge America. “It was a great way to bring my experience into the classroom and to encourage our students to consider political careers.”

Rao, executive director of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, appreciated the opportunity to donate her time and energy to Mount Holyoke. “I feel that it is very important to give back to my alma mater in a way that keeps a face-to-face relationship,” she says. Markovits and her students were moved by the alumnae enthusiasm. “The alums were eager and excited to give feedback and answer questions. They were so invested in us,” Vanessa V. Keverenge ’14 says. “Having alums involved in this class strengthened my attachment to Mount Holyoke. Through my interaction with alums, I have more tangible evidence of how the MHC spirit and sisterhood live on once one leaves this place.” So Jin Lee ’13 says, “Having alums come back and share their insights and expertise related to our course material has been extremely helpful. It is great to know that we have many alums who care about the institution and current students enough to dedicate themselves to making our classroom experience successful.”

Long-Distance Mentors The 2012–13 academic year also marked the kickoff of the VP-50 initiative, a videoconferencing project that aims to bring outside speakers to fifty classrooms in a variety of departments. Economics professor Eva Paus used videoconferencing to involve two alumnae in a senior-level seminar, Economic Development in the Age of Globalization, this spring. Using Adobe Connect, she brought in Evguenia A. Sokolova ’01 from Moscow and Kate Gordon Murphy ’08 from Virginia. “Both were former students with whom I had kept in touch, so I knew their career paths,” Paus explained. “I wanted the seminar students to have a better idea of future careers in economic development. It was great for them to hear how the alumnae had gotten from MHC to where they are now and to have the opportunity to ask specific questions.” Speaking with current students gave Jennifer Gomez '05 a taste of what it’s like being a mentor. “To think that I had something to offer was rewarding and validating,” she says.


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“People think you have to be super famous or super accomplished, but it can be reassuring to students to see many different models and alums from different career stages. Students tune in to alums in a very powerful way.” —Professor Becky Wai-Ling Packard

Alums at the head of the class Over the course of several weeks, alumnae with political careers met virtually and in person with students in Elizabeth Markovitz’s Politics 361 course. One of them, Karen S. Middleton ’88, talks about connecting classroom training to political careers at alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/middleton.

How You Can Get Involved Paus acknowledges that virtual visits are less personal— not to mention prone to technical glitches—but says videoconferencing technology enables alumnae-student interactions that might not otherwise take place. History professor Holly Hanson agrees. Including alumnae in her courses “has gotten a lot easier with Skype,” she says. “Last semester I had Mary C. Hansen ’10 in Malawi and Amy Koler ’02 in Baghdad talking to the curriculum-tocareer class—at the same time. It was MHC in the twentyfirst century.” Hanson counts herself lucky to teach in a field—African development—in which many alumnae work. “So when we’re thinking about the challenges of African governments, I can turn to alums in the diplomatic corps who are interacting with African leaders; when we’re studying HIV/AIDS, I can think of alums who are working in public health, and their on-the-ground experience makes what we’re studying in class much more real,” she says. “And that’s really exciting.” Q

Keep your contact and career information up to date in the alumnae directory at so we can match you with the right opportunity when it becomes available. Join our LinkedIn group (, where career-related conversations among alumnae and students happen all the time.

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A Cappella Groups Sing in Solidarity and Harmony

By Le a nna Ja m e s B l ac k well P h otos by J u li a Zav e

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Members of Diversions (shown here) and other a cappella groups rehearse at least eight hours weekly to find just the right blend of voices.

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n a cool Sunday evening in September, Cassidy Bommer ’13 sat at a desk in her dorm room, checking email and trying to ignore her escalating heartbeat. They had told her to wait for a visit. They wouldn’t call or email unless the answer was “try again next time.” So far, no visit. 9:15 came, then 9:25. Still nothing. Giving up hope, she accepted her friend’s invitation to chat in the common room downstairs. As they sat together on an old couch, Bommer heard the sound of fingers snapping and voices singing down the hall. Someone else must have been chosen. But why was her companion smiling like that? A few seconds later, ten women rounded the corner and burst into the room, belting out “Up the Ladder to the Roof.” They finished with a flourish, and then one of the group stepped forward holding two ceremonial objects: a glass of milk in one hand and in the other, a plate piled improbably high with cookies. Bommer, pinned with shock to the couch, tried not to cry. She was in: the newest member of Mount Holyoke’s second-oldest a cappella group, the M&Cs. (And the cookies were oatmeal raisin, her favorite. They had remembered.) Every fall and spring, four of the College’s five established a cappella groups hold open auditions. (Sacred Symphonies, in the welcoming spirit of a small church choir, opens itself to any spiritually minded student who loves to sing.) For the V8s, M&Cs, Diversions, and Nice Shoes, students try out during all-day Saturday auditions. “It’s grueling, but totally worth it,” says Molly Cox ’13 of Diversions. “You don’t always get in the first time, but anyone who keeps coming back will get into the best group for her. I did!” After callbacks and hours of spirited discussion among group members to reach unanimity, acceptances are finalized and the fun begins. New members of each group are informed according to a tradition begun more than seventy years ago: a rowdy welcoming song in the dorms and gifts ranging from a can of V8 juice to a rose to a candy Ring Pop. Once a singer is in, a cappella membership often becomes the second most important part of her college life (assuming, of course, that the first is academics). The experience is “the most fun you’ll ever have,” says Bommer, now a musical codirector of the M&Cs, “but also a major investment of time.” Codirector Michaela Schwartz ’13 nods in passionate agreement. “We all sign a contract,” she says. “It is one serious commitment!” A minimum of eight hours’ rehearsal per week is required, more if the October “Fam Jam” or the January “Ice Cappella” concert is coming up. Groups want to be ready to impress the entire campus during these signature events, when they all sing together in Chapin. The auditorium is packed not only with cheering students, staff, and faculty but also with clapping, dancing guests from other campuses, who call out encouragement and whoop their approval after songs like the V8s’ sexy “Put the Gun Down” or the M&Cs’ snappy “Trouble.” Choreography is minimal; a little swaying, a little stepping and changing positions, but nothing like the smooth, Michael Jackson-style moves and slick steps featured in the


Rather than showcasing just a few soloists, the M&Cs encourage all members to develop vocally.

recent Hollywood comedy Pitch Perfect. Thanks to film and TV—Glee, anyone?—vocal groups are in fashion again, and so is the spectacle of fierce musical competition and gaudy showmanship. Not so with Mount Holyoke a cappella. There are no American Idol moments, no brassy, Broadway-here-Icome throw-downs. According to Cox, a “look at me, listen to me” attitude cuts no ice, even if you’ve got the pipes of Jennifer Hudson. What one finds instead is a refreshingly anti-diva, pro-sisterhood ethos shared by all the groups, regardless of style, history, repertoire, or musical “chops.”

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Nothing But Voice

Traditional a cappella is nothing but voice, and singers believe that’s the magic of it. Attending a performance, one is struck by the purity of music created solely by female voices. Costumes, fancy dancing, and rock concert lighting are simply not needed. The fun is in discovering what the human voice can do. It can become a drum, a bell, a river of sound. Listen to the V8s back Dylan Young ’13 in “Love Me Like a River Does,” and you’ll hear it. There is delight in this unlike any other. There is also delight in the stylistic differences among the groups. The V8s deeply respect their long tradition and take their musicianship seriously. Founded in 1942 and the oldest continuing all-female collegiate a cappella group in the country, the V8s took their name from the wartime slogan “V for Victory” and the number of women in the original lineup. The high-minded, talented V8s sang for servicemen at Westover Air Force Base and made it all the way to New York’s Stage Door Canteen, but reportedly refused to sing advertisements. “The V8s,” reads a 1954 Mount Holyoke News item, “do not wish to be confused with tomato juice or Ford engines.” Their current style, which has evolved since the days of the Andrews Sisters, is described by members Audrey Hildebrandt ’16 and Chrislyn Laurore ’16 as “cool and smooth, but also edgy. We sound great singing jazz.” A good example is their version of Doris Day’s lustrous “Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps.” Another is—yes—the “Mount Holyoke Drinking Song,” still in the repertoire and still sounding

LISTEN Closely Enjoy video and audio of MHC’s a cappella groups in action, and learn about our groups’ history, at

smooth and tart as, well, a perfect martini. The M&Cs also take their music seriously, and place a premium on opportunities for vocal development. Schwartz explains that the group “used to have a few soloists who did most of the showstoppers, but now we try to distribute them evenly. To learn to perform, you need to have a chance.” The M&Cs—whose name came about because founding members wanted to imply that food was available at performances— have no signature sound. When the group rehearses songs such as “Walking in Memphis,” by coffeehouse favorite Marc Cohn, or hip-hop icon Lauryn Hill’s version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” they demonstrate a playful versatility. Nice Shoes works a little differently. The group formed in

Diversions’ character is lighthearted, irreverent, and casual. And—oh yes—they really like plaid.

Caption tk

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Members sing in Sacred Symphonies to celebrate their Christian faith and support their spiritual practice.

1992 as “a reaction against the formalism of other a cappella groups,” according to members Sophie Beal ’13 and Zeeshan Margoob ’14. The most important question asked of potential members is not “What is your vocal training?” but “Why are you a feminist?” The ideal Shoe is a social-justice advocate who loves music that celebrates empowerment. Such as? “Talkin’ ’Bout a Revolution,” by Tracy Chapman, and “Not Ready to Make Nice,” by the Dixie Chicks, are good places to begin— and the Shoes’ renditions will take the top off your head. That, anyway, is the opinion shared by festive crowds of Nice Shoes alumnae who join the group to sing in Provincetown every fall for a week of “a cappella on the streets.” The musical style of Diversions offers yet another take on the a cappella form. Irreverent, lighthearted, and casual, the “Ds” prize camaraderie and fun. Performing a mix of popular, classic, and indie music from the Fleet Foxes to Amy Winehouse, the group’s members include classically trained singers and those with no special vocal training. Musical codirector Molly Cox describes their sound as “offbeat” and their vibe as unpretentious and open. They wear plaid for performances (at a recent show, plaid showed up in shirts, hair ties, skirts, even tights) and perform periodically in Vermont, where Cox lives, for people in retirement homes. Kimbra’s “Settle Down” or Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” to entertain retirees? Why not? It’s pure fun, for the singers and their audiences. “Pure” describes the sound of Sacred Symphonies, the only Christian-oriented a cappella group on campus. Formed in 2005 by Priscilla Yohuno ’09, its members come from a variety of Christian traditions, and several came to Mount Holyoke from countries around the world. “It’s all about the joy of our faith,” says cochair Amanda Morton ’14. Sacred Symphonies sings South African spirituals, African American gospel, and praise songs from Ghana and Nigeria. Their purpose is to support one another in their spiritual practice, stand together as a faith community on campus, and celebrate their Christian belief in song. They work with both a music director and a prayer director, coming


together in spiritual harmony at the start of rehearsals before embarking on musical harmony. Then there is the newly formed RAAG, which aims to integrate Western and South Asian music into a cappella performances. The fledgling group shows every sign of becoming a sixth distinct sound on campus. Different approaches, different musical styles. Does this ever mean disagreement? Controversy? Campus culture encourages outspokenness and strong opinions; a cappella is no exception. Take the idea of “blend.” Lindsay S. Pope ’07, a V8s alumna currently on MHC’s music faculty, believes that “overreliance on blend can sometimes result in singers muting the strength of their voices to disappear into the group.” Some groups would strenuously argue this point; others believe that bringing each voice forward lets a group avoid what one singer called a girly as opposed to womanly sound.

More Than Music

While no one agrees on just what a “womanly” sound is, everyone agrees that a cappella develops both the voice and the person. It is an article of faith that many hours a week of vocal warm-ups, exercises, and ensemble singing are the best ways to strengthen your voice, in every sense of the word. Get used to being heard as a singer, and you get used to being heard as a human being. Singers also feel that their “fellow members matter as much as family,” according to Morton. When they comfort you during your midterm breakdown, counsel you through choosing a major or an internship or the right topic for your honor thesis, and stand by you (literally) during your first nerve-wracking performances, they become your family away from home. “The Shoes are my community, my support system, my best friends,” says Zeeshan Margoob. “When I think of what Mount Holyoke means to me, I think of them first.” If “family” means people who love and accept you as you are, as many singers say, it also means people who demand the best of you, especially when it’s your turn to lead. Michaela Schwartz believes that “peer leadership is more difficult than

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The V8s, founded in 1942, is the oldest continuing all-female college a cappella group in the country.

any other kind.” As a boss, a professor, a coach, one has automatic authority. Peer leaders need to earn respect. They need to communicate well, cultivate active participation, keep members on track during rehearsals, and learn to achieve consensus among up to fifteen highly opinionated, creative, and assertive personalities. “If you can do that,” says Schwartz, “you can do anything!” Finally, there is the exceptionally strong a cappella alumnae network. V8s open doors for other V8s, M&Cs sing at alumnae weddings and parties. But perhaps the most dramatic example occurs when alumnae return to campus for a cappella reunions and join current members on stage. When the V8s held their gala fiftieth reunion on campus, the concert filled Blanchard to standing room only. “Seventy alumnae from multiple decades gathered on stage,” says Tacy Byham ’90, who cochaired the event. “We were graced with six of the original V8s, who remembered their parts perfectly after fifty years.” Those who attended the concert vividly recall the storm of applause—and the tears not only of those in the audience, but also of the performers on stage

as they brought down the house with “Sunday, Monday, or Always.” Many also returned in 2012 for the V8s’ spring jam and seventieth anniversary, and some V8s are dreaming even now of a 100th anniversary in 2042. A cappella alumnae also consistently remember, decades later, the thrill of that first welcome ritual, having good news delivered by a dozen singing women. “I cherish that memory,” says Nice Shoes alumna Clarisse Hart ’03. “If only the job and grad school acceptances I’ve received since then could’ve started with a song!” Imagine a world in which news of a job promotion, unexpected tax refund, or a seat on the city council is heralded by Mount Holyoke women materializing in your living room and belting out “Rugged But Right.” And if that gives you an idea, there are several a cappella groups just a mouse click away, ready and waiting to hear from you. Q The most important question asked of potential Nice Shoes members is “Why are you a feminist?”

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alumnaematters Reunion by the Numbers

For two weekends every year, women from generations spanning nearly a century are drawn to campus by a common cause—their love of Mount Holyoke. From the shared stories about code-breaking during WWII to the donations collected in a hat for “a new dorm called 1988” to the yellow cotton candy consumed to “tight and bright” clothing to a late-night dance party, Reunion’s beauty rests in its ability to bring together alumnae for a period of excitement, nostalgia, silliness, and joy. “It’s funny,” said Linda Perez ’93, “I can think of every little thing that’s changed. But despite the changes, it still feels like home. You come on campus and you just fall in love all over again.”


Total number of reunion attendees

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Reunion 2013

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WEB EXTRA View a short film highlighting Reunion 2013 at


Number of alumnae who arrived Thursday, to attend the welcome ceremony for new alumnae


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585 feet

Class with largest number of attendees




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Length of laurel chain used in the Reunion I parade

“Despite the changes, it still feels like home. You come on campus and you just fall in love all over again.” —Linda Perez ’93

August 8, 1916 Birthday of the oldest alumna in attendance, Elizabeth Love Rothe ’38

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Reunion by the Numbers



Number of meals served during both reunion weekends


Number of alums who brought their MHC admission letter to Reunion (Halley Suitt Tucker ’78)

“Tomorrow we’ll have our class photo, dinner, social hour, and then hopefully we can go to bed. We will survive.” —Faith Wilson LaVelle ’43 addressing the

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class of 1943 luncheon


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Sets of sheets used to outfit beds in the dorms


Number of tweets with the hashtag #mhcreunion

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Number of golf carts available for those with special needs


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Number of golf carts taken for a joy ride in the middle of the night



Approximate number of yellow cotton candy cones handed out to welcome the class of 2011

“We did the hustle and ate milk and cookies as we danced disco to Saturday Night Fever in our Lanz nighties.” —Maureen Kuhn ’78 reading her class’s history at the alumnae meeting Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly

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Congratulations Reunion 2013 Awardees

Medal of Honor Awarded for long-term service and leadership in promoting the effectiveness of multiple areas of the Alumnae Association and/or College

Sally Sears Donner ’63 Donner has led her class as president, vice president, and chair of the reunion committee, and has spearheaded fundraising efforts through a variety of roles.

Susan Clark Iverson ’68 Iverson has cochaired her forty-fifth reunion, hosted mini-reunions at her Washington, DC-area home, and served her class as head class agent and reunion gift chair.

Elizabeth T. Kennan Award Awarded for outstanding achievement in the field of education, given in honor of the service of former president Elizabeth Topham Kennan ’60 Elinor Miller Greenberg ’53

Rita Rothenberg Calvo ’63

Martha Cowen Cutts ’68

For designing programs that respond to the needs of nontraditional adult learners

For cofounding the Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers, which informs high-school teachers about new methods of teaching

For acting as an educational leader and innovator, guiding the Washington Latin Public Charter School, among others

Alumnae Achievement Award Awarded for outstanding achievements that exemplify the ideals of a liberal-arts education through salaried or volunteer fields of endeavor Cynthia Rapp Curry-Nilson ’63

Muriel T. Davisson-Fahey ’63

Marjorie A. Muecke ’63

For being a nationally recognized leader in pediatric genetics

For developing a path-breaking way to model Down syndrome in mice

For work that realizes the importance of culture in implementing effective healthcare programs

Susan E. Edwards ’68

Nancy Bermeo ’73

Heide L. Gardner ’78

For work in the financial sector, and for volunteer work helping girls and women reach their potential

For work focusing on governmental responses to economic challenges and regime changes

For work toward increasing ethnic diversity in the advertising industry

Elizabeth Love Rothe ’38

Lynne Jones Osborn ’58

Frances M. Lussier ’73

Bernarda Smith Erwin ’43

Sonya Peterson Reutelhuber ’58

Marjorie Clifton Marcotte ’73 Robin Wilcox Brooksbank ’78

Judith Moulton Kerr ’43

Karen Kayser Benson ’63

Elizabeth Collyer Hayes ’48

Tracy Philbrick Truman ’63

Donna J. Albino ’83

Constance Mitchell Madara ’53

Judith McNall MacKnight ’68

Jerrienne M. Barrett ’83

Nancy Crosier McKersie ’53

Karen M. Wilbur ’68

Abbie Holcomb Deneen ’83

Virginia Gommi Vieira ’53

Nancy J. Dietz ’73

Danetta Lyn Beaushaw ’88

Gail Thompson Hesse ’58

Kimberly A. Fletcher ’73

Désirée Gordon Bruggeman ’88

Young Alumna Volunteer Leadership Award Awarded to young alumnae for strong leadership and active involvement in the Association or College Carrie A. Kortegast ’98

Hilary M. Salmon ’03

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Loyalty Award Awarded for consistent and active involvement in one area of service over an extended period of time

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Creative Reunion Parade Costuming Kelly Bahmer-Browse ’86 created this comic illustration to accompany the 1988 class email urging attendees to order their costumes with “extra bling!”

alumnaematters First Alumnae Club in Africa Established In the fall of 2012, Nana Yaa Boakyewaa Amoah ’09, an international corporate communications consultant, sent an email to approximately sixty alumnae either living in Ghana or with Ghanaian citizenship, to gauge their interest in starting the first Mount Holyoke alumnae club on the continent of Africa. The feedback was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, and so this past spring Amoah announced the official formation of the Mount Holyoke Club of Ghana. Amoah was inspired to start the club when she had dinner with alumnae from the MHC European Council in Leuven, Belgium, and learned of the organization’s activities. “I thought, what better way to bring us all together through events and discussions, and support the current students and attract incoming ones?” Along with copresident Otema Adu ’09, Amoah has big plans for the club, including communityservice projects, activities with sister colleges, alumnae excursions, and educational talks. In addition, she says, “I would like to see the club host admission events to raise the visibility of the College.” Interested in beginning a club where you live? Contact Maya D’Costa, director of international and domestic clubs, at

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Monologue Event Sparks Dialogue between FPs and Trads Perhaps it was the start of a new Mount Holyoke tradition. Lee Guilbault FP’14 stood at the podium in Blanchard’s Great Room to welcome a crowd of 100 to the first performance of FP Monologues. “If you ever ask an FP [Frances Perkins Scholar] how she got here,” Guilbault said, “you will find the most amazing stories you’ve ever heard.” Throughout the evening, eighteen Frances Perkins students and alumnae described life before Mount Holyoke, and what it was like to be an FP. Most read from the podium, though Jacqueline Quinn FP’12 submitted a prerecorded video, and Katherine Silvius FP’11 had a friend read in her place while she sat at her desk at UMass, busily finishing her


master’s thesis. One alumna brought her fussing baby granddaughter to the stage as she joked, “This is what FPs do.” A few threads stitched together their unique stories. At first, many didn’t feel smart enough to attend an elite institution such as Mount Holyoke. Others echoed insecurities about starting school again. Several speakers were first-generation college graduates. They came from subsidized housing or community colleges. They had tackled entire careers and lived other lives before coming to Mount Holyoke. They had worked in retail and in the Navy. Many were mothers. The event, organized by Guilbault, stemmed from the FP Family Housing and Inclusiveness Committee. Through this SGA committee, Guilbault and others have been advocating for an oncampus housing option for students with children and spouses. Many FPs voiced their support but told her she was skipping a crucial step—before convincing the school to include a housing option for FP families, the committee needed to prove the value of having nontraditionalage students on campus.

Often, traditional-age students mistakenly think FPs are part-time students or “just too lazy to go to college right out of high school,” Guilbault explained. Many don’t know “how much further we’ve had to go to get here.” Their advice for traditional-age students, or “trads,” was to cherish every minute at Mount Holyoke. Most monologues offered some version of a life lesson. The night was filled with their wisdom and stories of strength as the FP symbol, a purple phoenix, hung behind the stage. Under it were the words “Our voices are powerful, our stories are amazing, they need to be heard.” — Ol i v i a L ammel ’ 1 4

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Tahmima Anam ’97 honored again, alongside some of Britain’s most elite authors.

O P P O S I TE P A G E : J ul I A Z a vE ; ANA M : P a ul S c h n a i t t a c h e r

Tahmima Anam ’97 Makes Granta’s “Best of Young British Novelists” List Author Tahmima Anam ’97 was recently awarded a spot on Granta magazine’s prestigious once-a-decade list of Britain’s best young writers. Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie, Pat Barker, and Jeanette Winterson (to name just a few) have been included on past lists. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Anam has lived in Paris, New York, Bangkok, and London, traveling the world for her father’s job at UNICEF. After graduating from Mount Holyoke, Anam earned a PhD in anthropology from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London. Anam’s debut novel, A Golden Age (2007), was hailed by the New Yorker as “striking” and won the Best First Book of 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. While completing research for the novel, Anam spent two years in Bangladesh interviewing veterans of the Indo-Pakistani war, which left three million civilians dead. It’s estimated that sexual violence affected at least 400,000 women. A Golden Age follows the life of a young widow and mother of two in East Pakistan in 1971, the year the war tore apart what is present-day Bangladesh. In 2011 Anam published The Good Muslim, a sequel to A Golden Age, which was nominated for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize. Visit to learn more.

Nine out of ten Wikipedia editors are men, a gender gap that the College tried to close on March 6, when Archives and Special Collections staged a Wikipedia editathon. A considerable number of students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and community members gathered in the library’s Stimson Room, which was filled with reference resources for participants to use when improving the entries about Mount Holyoke women. Participants focused their efforts on a handful of alumnae, including Mary Lyon, Hortense Parker, and Esther Howland, among others. “I’m learning a lot of cool things,” said Madeleine H. Marshall ’16. “Like that the first woman governor was from Mount Holyoke. I’ve gotten used to being pleasantly surprised by how many women are just awesome who came from here. And I hope I’m awesome too later.” The head of Archives and Special Collections, Leslie Fields, said, “We are definitely going to do more of these during the next academic year, and hope to involve alums virtually and in person. In fact, we want to make these editathons a monthly program.”

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Putting Mount Holyoke Alumnae Back on the (Virtual) Books

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Words Worth a Second Look Nonfiction Managing Your Depression

Paris to the Pyrenees



(Johns Hopkins University Press) Susan Noonan has created a practical guide for exactly what those with depression can do to feel better. A physician and a sufferer of depression, the author takes a clinical approach with an empathetic voice. Designed to be read easily by those suffering from the debilitating symptoms of a mood disorder, such as inability to focus, the book nevertheless has depth and breadth. Susan J. Noonan ’75 is a boardcertified physician currently working as a consultant to Massachusetts General Hospital and CliGnosis.


(Pegasus Books) Each year, more than 200,000 pilgrims take the 1,100-year-old network of trails and Roman roads through Spain to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. Yet few of these pilgrims ever cross through France. David Downie and his wife, photographer Alison Harris ’79, made the bold decision to begin in Paris and trekked 750 miles to the Pyrenees on a journey of selfdiscovery and physical regeneration. Harris documented the journey with thirty-two pages of beautiful color photographs.

More Books

For descriptions of these books, go to Baking Bree BY SARAH M. WESTENDORF ’10 (Amazon Digital Services Inc.)

Elegy for Paula BY MARY ANNE DENNISON FP’92 (Trap Dock Press)

Hoppy’s Leap of Faith BY MARIANNE diPALMA JACOBS ’54 (Xlibris)

Photographic BY KRISTEN LOVGREN GOODWIN ’91 (Grey Kestrel Press)

Pulling Taffy: A Year with Dementia and Other Adventures BY TINKY WEISBLAT ’76 (Merry Lion Press) That’s So You! Create a Look You Love with Beauty, Style and Grace BY GINGER BURR ’78

(Balboa Press)

Photographs by Alison Harris ’79 have been featured in exhibits and museums around the world, and in additional travel books on which she and her husband, David Downie, have collaborated. Find more of her work at

a teaching credential from San Jose State University. Holding True is her first novel.


One Came Home

Holding True



In the small town of Placid, Wisconsin, in 1871, Georgie Burkhardt is known for being plainspoken and having dead aim with her rifle. When Georgie lets a big secret slip and her older sister Agatha must flee town, taking off with a pack of “pigeoners,” Georgie is set on a path fraught with unimaginable obstacles. Taking her rifle and little else, young Georgie embarks toward the western frontier to find her sibling, who most believe to be dead. The book, highly praised in the world of young-adult literature, combines accurate historical fiction and a classic coming-of-age tale. Amy Richardson Timberlake ’89 has published two other acclaimed books for young readers, That Girl Lucy Moon and The Dirty Cowboy.

(Booktrope Editions) Martina Vanbeck is a unique protagonist in quite a few ways. Conceived out of wedlock by two civil-rights activists in the tense city of Detroit in the 1960s, Martina was raised in accordance with her mother’s dying wish: that she, a white child, grow up on the black side of town. After trying and failing to make friends, Martie founds Copper Hill Commune and houses it in her ancestral home. Events escalate when Martie’s childhood friend Davey attempts to rescue her from the commune, which he believes is holding her against her will. Emily A. Dietrich ’85 holds a master of arts in English from the University of Michigan and

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A Closer Look

In Leonardo’s Foot: How 10 Toes, 52 Bones, and 66 Muscles Shaped the Human World, Carol Ann Rinzler ’59 delves into history, literature, anthropology, and science to examine what Leonardo da Vinci called “a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”—the human foot. Rinzler, a health writer and the author of more than twenty-four books, including the bestselling Nutrition for Dummies, is also a former columnist for the New York Daily News and has contributed to numerous publications, including the New York Times. —Taylo r Scott

Perry Luntz

Was there a moment of epiphany when you thought “Feet!” as the subject of your next book, or was it more of a gradual process? Books happen. You read something or a friend says something or you’re walking down the street and you see something and you say to yourself, “That’s interesting.” Then everywhere you look you see something about the something, and sooner or later the something turns into an idea and the idea turns into a proposal and then, if you’re lucky, into a book. One August morning in 2011, as I was lacing up my sneakers, I looked down at my underwhelming and completely indispensable human feet, and thought, “That’s interesting.”

Let’s talk shoes. What was the most interesting tidbit about shoes that you learned? I’m not a shoe person; I think the women in Sex and the City were masochists, but the most fascinating thing I came across was that Marie Antoinette wore high heels to her execution. Now there was a woman with a mind of her own. How did your MHC education influence you in both your profession and your life? When I went to college, girls—women—were not supposed to be good in

science. That wasn’t true at Mount Holyoke, and I was reminded of that when I was invited back to a reunion weekend around 1996 to talk about my then-current book, Estrogen and Breast Cancer: A Warning to Women. When I spoke to other audiences about the book, I had to stop and explain basic concepts. In the auditorium at South Hadley, everyone in the room already seemed to know what I was talking about. It was a genuine pleasure, and I keep those women in mind when I write to remind me to be clear but not patronizing toward my audience.


Carol Ann Rinzler ’59 Reveals the Magic of Our Own Two Feet

Little-known Foot Facts Albert Einstein, Stephen King, Tom Brokaw, and Newt Gingrich were turned down by the American armed forces due to flat feet. (The prohibition has since been dropped.) The Bible uses the phrase “uncovering the feet” as a euphemism for sexual intercourse and “covering the feet” for urination. Egyptian art depicts ordinary people with two left feet; only the royals and their equals were drawn with both a right and a left foot. After a funeral, the coffin is carried out feet first so its ghost will not be tempted to return. Virtually every culture on earth has its own version of the Cinderella story and its perfect, small, slim female foot.

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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 products or phone the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 to request a printed copy of the information.

M H C A r t M u se u m


Untitled, from the Hope Chest series by Zwelethu Mthethwa. The painting was a gift of Susan Abert Noonan ’82.

Art Exhibit Since apartheid’s fall in 1994, South African photography has exploded from the grip of censorship onto the world stage. A key figure in this movement is Zwelethu Mthethwa, whose stunning portraits powerfully frame black South Africans as dignified and defiant, even under the duress of social and economic hardship. Working in urban and rural industrial landscapes, Mthethwa documents a range of aspects in South Africa—from domestic life and the environment to landscape and labor issues. His work challenges the conventions of both Western documentary work and African commercial studio photography, marking a transition away from the visually exotic and diseased—or “Afro-pessimism”—and employs a fresh approach using color and collaboration.


Don’t miss the next Quarterly. Send name and address changes—as well as new job information, telephone numbers, your preferred email address, and other biographical updates—to Alumnae Information Services, Alumnae Association of MHC, 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 010751486; 413-538-2303;

MHC Insurance Discount The Association sponsors an insurance program that gives alumnae significant discounts on health, life, and auto insurance, and more. Visit for details.

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travelopportunities Burma trip

September 14–26, 2014 A Classical Music Cruise on the Blue Danube This luxury, thirteen-day river cruise offers the most comprehensive itinerary to historic Central Europe available, covering six countries and seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. With a theme of showcasing the musical heritage of the European masters, travelers can enjoy concerts both ashore and on board. Spend three nights in Prague at a five-star hotel to experience the legacy of Mozart through tours and concerts. Then spend three nights in a first-class hotel in Kraków, Poland, with an exclusive farewell recital of Chopin. Prices start at approximately $3,995 plus airfare.

October 3–11, 2014 Trade Routes of Coastal Iberia Affinity Travel’s five-star small ship, the MV Tere Moana, will chart a path from Lisbon, Portugal, down around the coast of Spain and up through the Mediterranean to end in Barcelona, Spain. Along the way, this all-inclusive, seven-day cruise will stop every day in ports of call such as Seville, Granada, and Ibiza, to visit lavish palaces and extraordinary cathedrals, several of which are UNESCO World Heritage sites. When you aren’t out on the half- and full-day trips to explore, you can enjoy an incredible, guaranteed view of the Mediterranean from your stateroom or attend a lecture about the

Danube trip

W ikimedia C ommons

January 20–February 1, 2014 Burma: The Golden Land This specially designed, one-of-a-kind itinerary explores the exotic and beautiful country of Burma (also known as Myanmar). Be among the first travelers to visit the newly opened country and enjoy deluxe hotel accommodations that are convenient to historical sites and adorned in the elegant Burmese style. Cruise along the mysterious, untouched, pagoda-lined Irrawaddy River. Visit Yangon’s magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, as well as Bagan’s remarkable temples and unforgettable sunsets. Prices start at $5,535 plus airfare. June 13–21, 2014 In the Wake of the Vikings Follow in the wake of the Vikings aboard the five-star MS Le Boréal. The eight-day cruise begins in Glasgow, Scotland, stops at the isolated Orkney and Inner Hebridean Islands, crosses the North Sea to Norway, and continues to Copenhagen, Denmark. Experience the glory of Norway’s fjords from your balcony or ocean-view stateroom. Some of the sites are accessible only by ship, just as in the days of the Vikings. Prices start at approximately $3,995 plus airfare.

Vikings trip

Iberia trip

history of the coast of Iberia. Prices start at approximately $4,995 plus airfare. Interested? To request a brochure for any of these trips, call the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 or visit For additional information, or to make reservations for a trip, call Gohagan & Company at 800-922-3088.

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myvoice Twitter for the Skeptical Professional By Stephanie Willen Brown ’85 I f yo u haven ’ t used Twitter, the idea may seem a bit silly; you’ve probably heard that people write about what they had for lunch. I thought that at first, but I have come to find it a very useful professional tool. As a librarian, I often share social media tips with students and colleagues. In that spirit, I want to share some of my favorite Twitter tips and how you can use them, even if you don’t know a tweet from a twit. While posts of 140 characters or fewer may seem too short for meaningful communication, I hope to convince you that this microblogging platform has professional and social value. I have two Twitter accounts. In the first, @ CogSciLibrarian, I share interesting articles about cognitive science and often about science more generally. I recently tweeted about the book Spillover (“just finished @DavidQuammen’s Spillover and it was TERRIFIC—great investigation, great writing, scary topic”). Several of my buddies tweeted their agreement with my review, and the author even chimed in with a thank-you tweet and a book recommendation of his own. Twitter is helpful for my day job as well. As @JoMCParkLib, I post library resources for students at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. More than 200 students follow me on Twitter, and I promote upcoming events (such as our successful therapy-dog visits) and new library books.

To promote our therapy-dog visits, I wrote “Come by Park Library today between 11-4 to play with the therapy dogs #JOMCdogs.” Whoa! What is #JOMCdogs? It’s a hashtag, which is # followed by a word, phrase, or acronym describing an event or topic. For the therapy dog visits, this breaks down into the hash itself (#) and the tag—the acronym for my school ( JOMC) and the word “dogs.” This creates a unique phrase that’s easily searchable. My students used the hashtag to mark tweets about the therapy-dog visits, so I watched that tag on Twitter to see how my students were responding to the dogs. You can see all the tweets at I especially enjoy using Twitter to communicate with my distanceeducation students. Twitter is the equivalent of waving “hello” in the hallway, and this casual interaction is very helpful in dealing with students whom I rarely see in person. In advance of their visit to campus for their comp exams, I tweeted an invitation to stop by during the day: “Monday will be tough for y’all … but I hope you’ll come into the Park Library for some R&R!” I received positive replies from three different students. The best way to get started on Twitter is to “lurk”: create an account, find some people to follow based on your interests, and read their Twitter feed for a week or so. Look for people you know socially or professionally, or think about your leisure interests. You might want to follow “Mt Holyoke Alums” @aamhc, @nytimes, or @MargaretAtwood. And now that you know what a hashtag is, you might want to check these out: #mtholyoke, #labelGMOs, #CitizenScience, or #WNBA. Good luck in your new endeavors, and feel free to tweet me hello.

To submit your own essay for consideration, please email a draft of no more than 500 words to


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You are amazing. Thanks to you, The Campaign for Mount Holyoke has topped our record-setting $300 million goal. With your support, the College is poised to boldly launch the next 175 years. Change is here.

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Your Virtual MoHome. Find an Alumna

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