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Lynn Pasquerella ’80 Named Next President (p. 2)

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Discovering MHC’s Hidden Treasures

Postpartum Depression: A Silent Epidemic by I vy S h ih L eung ’86 a nd kr istin Davis ’8 8

Although it’s the number-one complication of pregnancy in America, the disorder is still little known. The authors’ personal experiences provide hope for other women struggling with the condition.


One More Thing By emily weir

Let current student athletes suggest how you can manage more activities, more productively, than you do now.


Banks Are Back! By mieke H. Bo ma nn

Merrill Wasserman Sherman ’70, president and CEO of Bank Rhode Island, reflects on the financial crisis and argues that banks are still safe places for your money and good places to have a career.


Object Lessons MHC is a treasure trove of underused collections. Photographer James Gehrt brings some of these beauties to light.


Mount Holyoke Quarterly Winter 2010 Volume 93 Number 4 Editor Emily Harrison Weir

Associate Editor Mieke H. Bomann

Class Notes Editor jill parsons stern ’84

Designers ALDRICH DESIGN Design Farm (class notes)

Editorial Assistant Marianna Nash ’11

Quarterly Committee: Marg Stark ’85 (chair), Emily Dietrich ’85, Jillian Dunham ’97, Charlotte M. Overby ’87, Hannah M. Wallace ’95, Victoria Anderson ’87 (Web consultant), Alison Bass (faculty rep.), Amanda Aultman ’10 (student rep.), Cynthia L. Reed ’80 (ex officio with vote)

Ben Barnhart

Rose Marie Flachs’s ballet II class uses one of the brandnew dance studios, part of the Kendall Hall renovation project. On the cover: One “hidden treasure” is this collection of Lioconcha castrensis (Linneaus, 1758), from the Philippines. Professor Stan Rachootin says that “more than 100 specimens of this clam are used in the laboratory for the core biology class on evolution to teach the generation of biological patterns, and the disjunction between complexity and adaptation.” Photo by James Gehrt

Campus Currents 2 MHC’s new president is alumna Lynn Pasquerella ’80; fitness center opens in Kendall; everything you always wanted to know about … ant lions? Off the Shelf 26 A teen magazine with shine; creative Renaissance cuisine Alumnae Matters 30 Europe conference builds brainpower; capturing the entrepreneurial spirit; centenarian goes up, up, and away! Class Notes and Miniprofiles 37 Helping the underserved in Tijuana; photo picks at National Geographic; it’s Not Just Tea Bulletin Board 78 Shop the Five Colleges book sale; how about a trip to Canada with the grandkids? Last Look 80 Kelly Cockburn Feinberg ’94 dreamed her daughters would someday attend MHC. Then she had a son. Now what?

Alumnae Association Board of Directors President* Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Vice President* Maureen McHale Hood ’87 Clerk* Julianne Trabucchi Puckett ’91 Treasurer* Linda Ing Phelps ’86 Alumnae Quarterly Marg Stark ’85 Alumnae Trustee Susan d’Olive Mozena ’67 Alumnae Relations Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens ’91 Classes and Reunions* Susan Swart Rice ’70 Clubs Jenna Lou Tonner ’62 Director-at-Large for Information Technology Elizabeth A. Osder ’86 Director-at-Large for Global Initiatives Sharyanne McSwain ’84 Director-at-Large Joanna M. Jones ’67 Nominating Jill M. Brethauer ’70 Young Alumnae Rep. Akua S. Soadwa ’03 Executive Director Jane E. Zachary, ex officio without vote *Executive Committee The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc., 50 College St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413-538-2300;

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 (eweir@mtholyoke. edu or Alumnae Quarterly, Alumnae Association, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486). For class notes matters, contact Jill Parsons Stern ’84 (413538-3094, Contact Alumnae Information Services with contact information updates (same address; 413-538-2303; Phone 413-538-2300 with general questions regarding the Alumnae Association, or visit www. 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. Winter 2010, volume 93, number 4, was printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington VT. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA, and additional mailing offices. Postmaster: Please send form 3579 to Alumnae Information Services, Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486.


Lynn Pasquerella ’80 chats with students on November 2, 2009, the day she was introduced to the campus community as MHC’s president-elect.

MHC’s Next President Shares Her Inspiring Story

Having experienced the stress of factory work firsthand, and aware of the limitations it presented to many of the smart, capable women on the factory floor whose options were few, Pasquerella, now president-elect of MHC, was determined to become the first in her family to attend college. “I saw that there were extremely bright women who through the circumstances


Lynn Pasquerella ’80 “represents the ideal of a MHC education.” of their lives didn’t have an opportunity to become educated, and I was determined that I was going to get an education,” she recalls. For Lynn Pasquerella, the issue of educational access was not a theoretical construct but a personal challenge, and MHC’s longstanding mission to reach out to talented students no matter their economic background proved transformational. “I [grew] up in a household without books,” Pasquerella recalls. “My father was not literate and would now probably be diagnosed with

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a learning difference. My mother didn’t have time to read.” A transfer student from Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut, she was offered and readily accepted the guidance of MHC professors “eager to play a vital role in my life.” Her acceptance by the liberal arts academy gave Pasquerella the confidence and the skills that would shape her notable twenty-five-year academic career in philosophy, where she specialized in medical ethics and the philosophy of law, and more

recently in top administrative posts at the University of Rhode Island and the University of Hartford. “We interviewed many candidates,” noted Leslie Miller ’73, chair of the board of trustees. From sitting college presidents to celebrated scientists, the search committee parsed the academic backgrounds, leadership abilities, and forthrightness of candidates who offered many of the qualities they were looking for. “We sought an individual to lead with vision, humanity, and integrity,” Miller said.

Ben Barnhart

When Lynn Pasquerella ’80 was sixteen, she took a summer job at the light switch factory that employed her mother in northeastern Connecticut. A piece worker who did not finish high school, Pasquerella’s mom was under pressure to make her quota every day or risk losing her modest paycheck.

And in the end, that person was alumna Lynn Pasquerella. “Lynn,” says Miller, “represents the ideal of a Mount Holyoke education.” Engaged throughout her career in effecting positive change, Pasquerella says her work as project leader for a research team with the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions, a social enterprise that focuses on empowering women in an AIDS-ravaged area of Kenya, is one example of the kind of outreach that she plans to incorporate into the academic and institutional life of MHC. “There needs to be a voice for women around the world,” she notes. “Equipping MHC students with the skills to effect global transformation,” from finding simple engineering solutions for clean water in Africa to accepting

the sometimes troubling cultural traditions in the growing movement to emancipate women everywhere, mirrors the mission of founder Mary Lyon.

lives of individuals at all segments of society, including the most disenfranchised … we will inevitably strengthen the pipeline and reinforce our mission.”

“Mary Lyon’s passionate quest to offer education to women from all socioeconomic backgrounds represents freedom from economic oppression that ultimately results in breaking down barriers created by gendered cultural practices related to the division of labor,” Pasquerella noted.

Should anyone question whether Pasquerella remains dedicated to the all-women’s college, she offers this. In graduate school at Brown University, she was one of only three women to start in the PhD program in philosophy. The academic one-upmanship that characterized the learning process of her male peers was “very different” from the more socially purposeful environment she experienced at MHC.

Closer to home, the college’s ongoing engagement with struggling neighborhood communities such as Holyoke fits the forward-looking purpose of a public intellectual, which meshes well with MHC’s goal of purposeful engagement in the world, Pasquerella explained. “By being a visible force in the

But the confidence in the worth of her ideas and her potential that she took away from MHC enabled her to meet that winnertake-all style at Brown with aplomb—and earn a doctorate from Ivy League Brown.

Richard Orr Sports Photography

MHC HOsts FIELD hockey national championships

“MHC provided me with the academic and leadership skills that I would not have been able to get at a coed institution,” she said. For women everywhere, the first step to personal and professional fulfillment is to tell their stories, says Pasquerella. She offers her own as an example of the power of determination and support available to everyone if only they are open to their own possibilities. “I hope that [my story] helps people understand that it really doesn’t matter what kind of background you come from. It’s about setting goals and finding mentors who will help you achieve those goals.” MHC offers that in spades.—M.H.B. For more about presidentelect Pasquerella, see

Mount Holyoke hosted the 2009 NCAA Division III Field Hockey National Championship, won by Salisbury University’s Sea Gulls on November 22. (MHC’s varsity didn’t make it to the championships, having ended its season with a 10-8 record after falling to MIT at the NEWMAC semifinals.) Extensive student involvement in organizing and volunteering during the weekend is seen as a model for future NCAA events. Field hockey has been played at MHC longer than almost anywhere else in America; we adopted the sport in 1902. Visit for photos of a 1906 MHC team and this year’s championship.

Field Hockey hall of famer Alison Hersey Risch ’59 met current player Meredith Spencer-Blaetz ’11 between games at the national championships. Risch has played field hockey every fall since 1950, has represented the sport on four continents, and still umpires at high school games.

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Just Move!

New Fitness Center Helps Students and Staff Balance Busy, Brainy Lives Life is good at Kendall.

Coaches whose offices once lined a narrow, dark hallway replete with ancient gym suits in ancient display cases and known to insiders as “the kennel” now look out onto the new workout room’s glass partition and people moving every which way, and beyond to another set of the floor-to-ceiling windows that line the outside wall. Students who once suffered crotchety elliptical running machines overlooking the indoor track and a basement weight room reminiscent of a middle-school gym now choose from an ocean of state-of-the-art cardio and muscle-strengthening equipment (with individual television monitors and USB ports) that rivals those at most health clubs. “We want to create an urban health club environment where you can drop in, take a class,” and work out without having to wait

Kendall’s new fitness center’s exercise machines get a good workout from students, faculty, and staff.

for a machine, says Laurie Priest, director of athletics. And that’s exactly what’s happening. Students, faculty, and staff members are making excellent use of new early morning, noon, and evening classes in zumba, spinning, yoga, and Pilates at the fitness center. That programming, coupled with

the thirty-five new cardiovascular machines, ten weighttraining-circuit machines, free weights, and barbells, is aimed primarily at incoming students, who look not only for a strong academic program but also for balance in their life at college.

and decent athletic facilities. “I always say that every woman, whether she works out or not, thinks she’s going to,” says Priest. And having the option of a well-lit, state-of-the art fitness facility can make all the difference in admission recruiting.

Incoming students want three things, says Priest. Nice dining halls, good dorms,

Alexandra Huebner ’11 works out four times a week in the new fitness center and says the light-filled space is so much more appealing than the corridor overlooking the indoor track where the old machines were. “It’s much better. There’s more space, more machines, and I push myself more because of the television. It distracts me.” Each of the cardiovascular machines has a monitor

We want to create an urban health club environment where you can drop in, take a class, and work out without having to wait for a machine. 4

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

The sports and dance complex celebrated the opening of its new fitness center, two new dance studios, and dance studio theatre this past fall, and most everyone is cheering.

A month after its opening, freshman Erin Galloway ’13 works out on a rowing machine. She’s in there three or four times a week, rehabilitating her right knee that’s tender from recent surgeries. Being able to use the elliptical machines, rowers, and weights all in one place is awesome, she notes. When looking for a college, she added, “I knew I needed a school with a gym.”

The fee was necessary to cover the added costs of student room monitors, opening earlier, class instructors, and maintenance of the equipment, Priest notes. And the college’s health insurance company, Blue Cross, reimburses that fee. (Alumnae may join for $200 annually, and everyone may bring along one guest for free each time.) Overall, the center’s primary audience is thrilled and not hesitant to let Priest know. “Students come up to me and say ‘Thank you, thank you,’” she says. Now, go move!— M.H.B.

Dance Renovations Complete With Studio Theatre Opening As part of Kendall’s upgrade, the dance department in November celebrated the opening of its new Studio Theatre with a performance of Mark Morris’s huge ensemble piece Gloria, complete with thirty-one musicians, singers, and dancers. The final element in the renovation of the facility, the black-box theater’s opening, followed the completion of two new dance studios and a fitness center. Originally constructed in 1950, Kendall has quadrupled in size to 115,399 square feet as a re-

sult of significant expansions in both 1984 and 2009. Members of the audience attending the gala dance performance no longer squirmed in the old metal folding chairs; the new seats are voluptuously padded and tiered in stadium-like fashion. A giant skylight offers natural lighting; a muchneeded box office and small classroom are tucked under the second-story seats. Terese Freedman, professor of dance and chair of the department that offers about twenty-five dance majors a full range of dance and theory classes, is particularly happy about the rehearsal

Students perform Mark Morris’s Gloria at the opening of the Studio Theatre.

Jim Coleman

Of course, there are always a few grumblers. Despite months of planning and surveying, some staff members are unhappy that they must now pay $150 annually

to use the center and all of Kendall’s other offerings.


equipped with cable television, a USB port to track workouts, and an iPod outlet.

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studios. They are very big and full of light, and overlook Stony Brook.

You can open them and hear the water. It’s gorgeous. We also have fresh air.”

“Studio three is wider and less long than [the old one] used to be—it works better from a teacher’s perspective,” says Freedman, who has been at the college twentyseven years. “The ceilings are higher and the windows full.

This year, ten guest artists are teaching an array of classes including tango, musical theater, Broadway show dance, and tap. “We have lots of great young students coming through,” says Freedman.— M.H.B.

Clarifications: • In the fall “By the Numbers” column, we reported statistics that, when considered together, were confusing. In fact, sixty-two percent of incoming students in the class of 2013 whose high schools report their class rankings (123 students out of a total of 200 reported) were in the top 10 percent of their class. • Also, we neglected to mention that the children featured in the photo on page 4 were part of Professor Tom Wartenberg’s class on teaching philosophy to elementary school children.


A thermal-imaging company founded by Associate Professor of Physics Janice Hudgings became MHC’s first high-tech spinoff. Read more about it at Harlequin’s Lesson in Love, a witty rejection of stereotypes written by the eighteenth-century French comic playwright Pierre Marivaux, was performed in Rooke Auditorium for Family and Friends Weekend. Students held a ‘flash mob,’ one of 5,000 actions taken in 181 countries, on Skinner green for International Day of Climate Change. The earth’s CO2 level remained the same.


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Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler of Harvard spoke eloquently about the need for singlepayer health insurance in America as part of the Weissman Center’s fall series, Rethinking Health Care. The new MHC chapter of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network held fireside chats about national policy issues and researched solutions to teenage pregnancy. Check out this energetic organization at The Alumnae Association has more than 1,750 fans on its Facebook page ( Sign up to post and read about your fellow alums. New York Times columnist Gail Collins spoke on campus about her latest book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present.

To p : Je f f D e r o s e

The Young@Heart Chorus—twenty-five singers, average age eighty, the subject of a feature film in 2008—performed a sold-out concert in Chapin Auditorium. Growing old was never so much fun!

Student Edge

A table in Karen Hollis’s office is lined with soup bowls filled with sand. There’s a cone-shaped pit in the middle of each one. Buried underneath the sand and lying in wait is a larval ant lion, anticipating its next meal.

On the Farm with Heifer International

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

This fascinating, half-inchlong insect with a spiny body and mandibles for claws takes up to two years to reach its lacewing-like adult self (it’s a member of the same order, Neuroptera). As it matures, it feasts on its unsuspecting prey, mostly ants, by popping its mandibles out of the sand and grabbing the doomed little buggers that have slipped down the pit wall. This strange maneuver, largely instinctual, can be made more efficient through learning. Biologists now understand that the ability to learn is probably universal in all animals, even an insect with a brain the size of a pinhead. Hollis, a learning psychologist, professor of psychology and education and former chair of neuroscience and behavior at MHC, has found that ant lions likely learn to identify the sound of their prey dropping into their pit with the arrival of their next meal. The result is that they eat lots of ants, grow fast, pupate, and reproduce before another smart insect makes a meal out of them. On sabbatical this year, Hollis hopes to find out more. Together with a team of MHC students and a

At first glance, Overlook Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts, looks pretty much like a regular farm—rolling pastures, grazing animals, buildings in various states of repair. But take a closer look and you realize something is not quite, well, right. The animals you’re looking at are not cows but water buffalo, and the buildings aren’t exactly barns—they’re bamboo huts.



What’s going on here?

Professor Karen Hollis examines an adult ant lion.

colleague in France (who, together with Hollis, last summer found that certain ants learn to rescue sister ants in trouble, and actually tried to bite off a nylon harness used to trap one of their colony-mates), she plans to investigate further what’s been called the predator-prey arms race. “As the predator develops more efficient systems to capture prey, the prey develops similarly better systems to avoid the predator … just like the [historic] US/Soviet weapons race.” Using ants who have demonstrated their rescue tendencies and ant lions who have honed their predatory

skills, the researchers will see if ant lions learn to sabotage ant rescues, and whether ants will then learn to trump those predator techniques. Stay tuned.—M.H.B. For pictures of Hollis’s rescue ants and further information about her ant rescue research, go to: www.alumnae.mtholy-

Overlook Farm is actually a “living classroom” where children and adults experience what it’s like to live in one of the regions where Heifer International, a sustainable development organization that runs the farm, operates. Groups often spend the night in homes like those found in rural Poland, Peru, Guatemala, and Thailand. They also experience a hint of what it’s like to be hungry. For the past two summers, Page May ’10 has worked as an intern and volunteer with the farm’s education team. As the best of MHC’s internships do, Heifer International’s program “very much affected my goals,” said May. At Heifer, she began to piece together the relationship between poverty, the environment,

She plans to investigate further what’s been called the predator-prey arms race. Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly


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and agriculture and hopes to eventually work on policy issues related to poverty and resource management. An environmental studies major originally interested in conservation, May has shifted her concentration to sustainable development. This past summer, May gave tours of the farm to students who also spent the night in the basic shelters without phones, music, television, or computers. They were given the equivalent of $1 to buy food in a simulated local marketplace. What they were able to purchase is what they cooked and ate that night. It didn’t take the kids long to realize the breadth of their privilege, May says. Sleep deprived, hungry, often itchy, and generally out of sorts, “The number one comment made by kids is ‘I’m going to appreciate what I have, now.” May felt the same way when she studied Amazon resource management in Brazil for a semester. The pedagogical focus of the program was learning from community members directly affected by policies often considered only in the abstract by politicians and academics. “Through experiential learning and hearing from community members, the human ecology really came through,” said May. —M.H.B.


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

Page May ’10 warms up to Steve, a very friendly steer (and a cross between a Belted Galloway and a Holstein) at Barstow’s Longview Farm in Hadley, just up Route 47 from Mount Holyoke.


In Session: West African Dance Moves

Michael Malyszko

You can hear the drums halfway down the hall, marking the pulsing movements of students taking a West African dance course. Inside the new dance studio is a virtual United Nations of dancers, all wearing colorful wraps made of fabric from many countries. Leading the multiracial group of thirty-two is Marilyn M. Sylla, the Five College lecturer in dance who has taught the art form here since 1995. She hopes students will learn not only dances originating in West Africa, but also the influence African dance has had on American dance forms, and the significance of dance in African culture. Ruth Asch ’12 got the message. She chose the class because “many of the dance forms I am already famil-

iar with—especially tap, hip-hop, and some modern techniques—have their roots in African dance.” Asch finds it “interactive, social, expressive, high-energy, and just fun!” In many African traditions, dance is not a solo performance event, but a community undertaking in which the drums bind each individual to the group. Sylla subtly echoes this by having the class dance in a circle, cheer one another by clapping, or cluster near the two musicians (Sekou Sylla and John Coster) beating sophisticated polyrhythms. Periodically, the dancers turn to acknowledge the drummers with a simple arm gesture of thanks. Olivia Chin ’13 says “dancing to just drumbeats, unmixed and untainted, is pure exhilaration.” While the drums pound out the beat, Sylla leads her

charges through an energetic warm-up and seamlessly into a harvest dance. No one stops for about fifteen minutes. In circles or lines advancing across the hardwood floor, the women move emphatically, forcefully. Elbows and fists fly; feet stamp, arms lift to the sky and pound thunderously on the “earth” beneath their bare feet.

Marilyn M. Sylla (farthest right, at front) with her West African dance class.

This is a dance that looks great on every body shape. Perhaps that’s because, as Sylla explains, “in African dance, movements are taken from everyday activities. It’s all natural movements. There’s a saying in Zimbabwe that if you can walk, you can dance.”

To see video of the class shot by Clarity Guerra ’09, visit africandance.

When Sylla took her first African dance class, she says she felt a connection. “I said, this is where I belong.” She later studied the dance forms in earnest in Guinea, Senegal, the Gambia, Brazil,

and Haiti, and has taught and performed throughout the United States, Europe, Brazil, Haiti, and Puerto Rico, with the company she and husband Sekou Sylla direct, the Bamidele Dancers and Drummers.—E.H.W.

Where is the Viewpoints section? None of your correspondence reached us until after our layout deadline, so we’ve put your thoughts online at w2010letters.

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Postpartum Depression: A Silent Epidemic By Ivy Shih Leung ’86 and Kristin Davis ’88

On the day Kristin Davis ’88 came home

from the hospital with her beautiful baby daughter Ripley, her world began disintegrating. She was hit with intense nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and fainting. Breastfeeding her baby was out of the question. Simply lifting her head off the pillow was a seemingly impossible task. As the days of overwhelming sickness melted into weeks and then months, Davis was in deep despair. In addition to caring for her newborn, she had a thirteen-month-old son with special needs.

To n ya E n g e l

After three months of gastrointestinal tests and a couple of week-long hospital stays, Davis had transformed from a very healthy, vibrant, and physically active thirty-year-old to a ghost of a woman unable to perform even the simplest everyday tasks. “Brushing my teeth was a major accomplishment. I was devastated,” Davis recalls. “Nothing in those ‘what to expect’ pregnancy books prepared me for the nightmare I found myself in. I was a failure of a mom, a pathetic wife, and couldn’t even get out of bed to care for my babies. I wanted to die.” During her last hospital stay, a nurse gently suggested that Davis might have postpartum depression (PPD) and recommended a book for her to read. She

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was stunned. “As I opened the book (Postpartum Survival Guide, by Ann Dunnewold and Diane G. Sanford), I saw my life in its pages. Learning about what was wrong with me ended up saving my life.” Davis had a disorder that, although the number-one complication of pregnancy, is still little known. According to Hilda Templeton, a psychiatrist who specializes in postpartum mood disorders, only about one-third of those suffering from PPD are diagnosed and only 22 percent are adequately treated.

Ivy’s Story Like Davis, Ivy Shih Leung ’86 was caught off-guard by PPD. After years of trying to conceive a baby, Shih Leung gave birth in 2004 to a healthy baby girl, following a successful in vitro fertilization cycle.

“I returned home from the hospital fully expecting to resume my old routine in addition to taking care of Sydney,” she recalls. Shih Leung ignored her mother’s and her mother-inlaw’s advice to rest as much as possible. She was doing well until her sixth week postpartum, when she suddenly could not sleep despite mind-numbing exhaustion. Shih Leung’s ob/gyn merely prescribed Ambien, completely overlooking the fact that insomnia at six weeks is a clear sign of postpartum depression. A couple of weeks later, Shih Leung developed full-blown panic attacks that scared her into thinking that she might never return to her old self again, and might not even make it through alive. “I was completely blindsided by this experience, never once thinking that I would be one of ‘those mothers’ who would ‘let’ themselves get depressed after childbirth, especially after what my husband and I went through to have a baby,” says Shih Leung. Angered by the unnecessary suffering she went through, Shih Leung decided to help spread awareness by writing a book about her PPD experience. “There is no reason for any woman to feel as alone and as scared as I felt while sick with PPD,” she says. In the early stages of working on her book, Shih Leung reached out to Marg Stark ’85, author of What No One Tells the Mom.

Marg’s Story Stark also suffered from PPD, and devoted a chapter of her book to the topic. Though Stark was aware of the natural hormonal crashes that occur with childbirth, her hormones never righted themselves. She went from being an overexuberant person to one who was prone to crying at the drop of a hat, at a song on the radio, or the mere mention of something sad. Stark also had feelings of guilt and inadequacy because she was not enthralled with her babies from the first moment she laid eyes on them and could not enjoy motherhood during the first few months after childbirth. Kristin Davis ’88 with children (left to right) Conor, Lara, and Ripley


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“There is no reason for any woman to feel as alone and as scared as I felt while sick with PPD.” “The experts I read extolled the critical importance of bonding. Well, I just felt like a failure at something everyone else seemed to come upon naturally,” says Stark. “Those first months, I thought I wasn’t cut out to be a mom. I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t wait for my boys to nap, and when they didn’t go down for naps, I would be filled with rage … which brought about untold amounts of guilt and shame.” It’s only recently, twelve years after becoming a mom, that Stark has been able to wean herself off antidepressants with a combination of high-dose omega-3 fatty acids, exercise, and supplements. “I am now one of the best mothers I know,” says Stark. “I adore Patrick and Liam and I cherish their booboos, their snuggles, and all of the teaching moments. But I don’t shy away from telling women how hard motherhood really is, and how prevalent PPD really is.”

Many studies have shown that hormonal changes are responsible for PPD by causing an imbalance in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Serotonin is one such neurotransmitter, and medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which increase serotonin availability in the brain, are usually effective in treating PPD. However, different treatments work for different people. Medication by itself is sufficient for some, while therapy alone is enough for others. Some find that medication and therapy are required to recover. A woman suffering from PPD should be informed enough about the pros and cons of treatment options to decide what is right for her.

Watch for These Warning Signs

Taking Action Davis, Shih Leung, and Stark aren’t alone by any means. According to, postpartum depression strikes approximately one in eight new mothers within a year after giving birth. Some women suffer in silence, hesitant to admit how they feel out of shame or guilt over not living up to their own expectations. But PPD can be both prevented in many cases and treated effectively when it does occur. Awareness of postpartum depression—knowing what it is, its symptoms, whether one is at high risk, and how to prevent or treat it—is critical to every woman who plans to have a baby. Awareness begins with knowing the fundamental difference between “baby blues”—a passing episode of mood instability that occurs within the first couple of weeks postpartum and disappears on its own—and PPD—an illness that usually strikes within the first year postpartum. Many PPD symptoms—being tired and anxious, for example—are experienced by most new mothers, so moms often think PPD symptoms are just part of the normal postpartum process. But other symptoms (see sidebar) may signal deeper problems.

New mothers experiencing insomnia at three weeks postpartum or later and/or three or more of the following symptoms should be evaluated for PPD: • Persistent and mostly inexplicable sadness/tearfulness and feeling empty inside • Loss of interest/pleasure in usual activities; inability to laugh • Overall impaired functioning; symptoms interfere with day-to-day functioning • Sleep difficulties (either insomnia or sleeping too much) • Weight loss (usually fairly quick) associated with a decrease in appetite • Weight gain associated with an increase in appetite • Excessive worrying (e.g., about the baby’s well-being) • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions • Feelings of guilt, inadequacy, or of being a bad mom • Onset of panic attacks • Sense of despair and/or hopelessness leading to thoughts of death/suicide

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For example, one common side effect of some antidepressants is a loss of libido. However, many women experience this simply due to normal hormonal fluctuations and the physical trauma of childbirth. When deciding on any treatment plan, it is particularly important to keep communication lines open with a medical practitioner and family members. With all perinatal (prenatal and postpartum) mood disorders, the longer a woman waits to seek help, the harder it is to recover. Prolonged and untreated depression may prevent a new mother from bonding with her baby and enjoying motherhood. It can also negatively affect her baby’s cognitive and social development, and harm the mother’s relationship with her partner. Worse yet, untreated postpartum depression can lead to such feelings of hopelessness that ending her life may seem like the only way for a new mom to escape the pain.

Word is spreading about ways to prevent PPD before it occurs, such as ensuring social and practical support for moms in the first weeks after childbirth. In the United States, postpartum doulas have become increasingly popular. Doulas can ease the transition to motherhood by educating new moms about what to expect, and by helping them get the rest they need to recover from childbirth, providing support with childcare, housework, and breastfeeding. A doula’s presence can provide a new mother both an extra set of experienced hands for baby care and the comfort of knowing she is not alone. Psychological adjustment is also key. Realizing that most MHC women are high achievers who will expect to excel at

But there is hope. In 2006, US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) sponsored the Melanie Blocker-Stokes MOTHERS Act. Although initially killed, the bill ( xpd?bill=s110-1375) has come back for a second round in the Senate. This potentially lifesaving legislation was initially inspired by PPD survivor and former New Jersey First Lady Mary Jo Codey and named after Blocker-Stokes, a new mother who threw herself from a high-rise hotel in Chicago while suffering from postpartum psychosis in 2001. The legislation is aimed at seriously boosting public awareness, awarding grants for treatment and supportive services, and increasing research and educational efforts. The ultimate goal is to eradicate PPD by ensuring that every new mother across the country has information before childbirth and access to PPD screening and resources afterwards. One important result of this pending legislation is that people are starting to talk openly about postpartum depression and reach out to new moms. Ivy Shih Leung ’86 and daughter Sydney


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being mothers too, Shih Leung cautions, “Drop any pride you may have or lofty goals of self-sufficiency. With motherhood, you learn as you go and with help from those around you. Mistakes will be made, and it isn’t possible to have control of your life when you have an infant to take care of. Having a baby for the first time involves a complete change in lifestyle very different from the independent lifestyle and mental stimulation you are used to. Your daily routines will no longer be predictable, but instead will revolve around your baby’s feeding, sleeping, and diaper-changing schedules. Avoid setting high and specific expectations of how your childbirth and motherhood experiences will be, as you would only be setting yourself up for disappointment when your expectations are not met.” Stark adds, “MHC women, typically go-getters in career and family, may be particularly susceptible to PPD because we believe we can do it all, even without ‘the village’ that the rest of the world knows it takes to raise a child and care for a mother. Part of my adjustment was learning I couldn’t just throw my boomchkin in a backpack and carry on with my busy life. Babies often have a way of making superwomen say ‘uncle.’ My training at Mount Holyoke was to never say uncle!”

Life After PPD Once their postpartum depression experiences were behind them, Shih Leung and Davis were fully able to enjoy their babies, participating with joy in their early development. Now both are reaching out to other women, raising awareness and spreading the importance of advocacy. They share their PPD experiences and provide helpful resources and information through blogs that were recently designated as two of the Nurse Practitioner School’s top fifty postpartum support blogs. (Visit and Although she suffered severe PPD after the birth of her third baby, Davis had a picture-perfect postpartum experience with her fourth. “I took several simple steps, such as hiring a postpartum doula to monitor potential symptoms and to handle my baby’s nighttime feedings until I recovered from my C-section. Immediately after my baby girl was born, I started on an antidepressant and had a psychologist lined up in case I became ill. I also had a part-time sitter helping after school with my older kids,” Davis says.

Marg Stark ’85 with sons Liam (left) and Patrick

For Davis, like many MHC women, asking for help and relying on the support of others was unknown territory. “It truly does take a village,” she says. “That’s the greatest lesson that PPD taught me. And being proactive makes all the difference in the world. You can minimize your chances of getting PPD and be the kind of glowing new mom that you read about in the pregnancy books.” web link

break the sil ence:

Join the discussion online, hosted by PPD survivor Marg Stark ’85, at

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By Mieke H. Bomann

It’s Time to Take Your Money out of the Mattress Because…

Banks Are Back! In the fall of 2008, the United States faced its most severe financial crisis since the Great Depression. Hundreds of billions of dollars in mortgage-related investments went bad; investment banks that had been the stalwarts of Wall Street crumbled; channels of credit for business and home loans constricted to the point of strangulation. The government responded by adopting a $700 billion bailout plan, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which many observers say averted financial disaster. Merrill Wasserman Sherman ’70 watched the crisis and its aftermath unfold from a box seat. Sherman is president and CEO of Bank Rhode Island, a commercial bank she helped found. While the financial markets were touch and go for a while, she says, banks overall are safe places for consumers and businesses to put their money, and even to find a satisfying career. Here’s what she told us in a recent conversation:

Quarterly: In fall 2008, we heard a lot about the imminent collapse of the banking system and the absolute necessity of the TARP program. How close was the banking system to failing? Sherman: There were some genuine systemic risks, and the Fed’s intervention, as well as the TARP program and some of the other measures that the government put into place, addressed those issues. The real problem was the commercial paper market was essentially closed down. If you were an institution of higher education that had borrowing needs, your one-week rate jumped to 12 percent. Money market fund rates were so low people were thinking about putting money in a mattress. Friends of friends were taking $40,000 and putting it in a safe deposit box. People forget just how stressed the system was last September. Quarterly: Looking back, did the government come up with the right plan, and what would you have done differently? Sherman: We are particularly ungenerous to people who had to make a number of major, complex decisions in a very short time. I think on the whole the government did a reasonable job. The fact that Ben Bernanke was a student of the Depression worked in our favor. One of the most maligned programs is the TARP program—and there are certain flaws to it. But what the government really did was stabilize the system just by making the announcement. The subtext was basically, “We stand behind our banking system; we will not let it fail,” and that calmed a lot of fears in the marketplace. Part of the reason we’re on a more even keel today is because of the measures that are now being severely criticized. Quarterly: While the big banks made most of the news last year, a number of small and medium-sized banks have failed and are projected to collapse. Should we be worried? Sherman: The troubled banks are largely not in the Northeast—so when you read about the difficulties that the small and midsized banks may be facing—and I say


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M ary Beth Meehan

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The Banking Crisis: A Glossary Does bank-speak make you slightly queasy or feel inadequate, somehow? Here’s a crib sheet with some key words translated. TARP: Troubled Asset Relief Program, a $700 million federal plan approved by Congress in October 2008 to bail out financial firms, automakers, and homeowners in distress AIG: American International

“Part of the reason we’re on a more even keel today is because of the measures that are now being severely criticized.”

Group, the largest insurance company in the US before it collapsed under the weight of risky deals. Thanks to AIG, ordinary Americans started throwing around the term “derivative.” The cost of the government bailout was estimated at $182 billion. Derivative: unregulated financial instrument created to reduce risk. Its value “derives” from its underlying assets, such as stocks, bonds, or commodities. Examples of derivatives are futures, forwards, and swaps. They are not traded on public exchanges and are hard to value. Mortgage-backed security:

derivative consisting of mortgages sold by a bank to investors. Its value is based on the value of the mortgages, which is dependent on how many are paid off. Before the crisis, half of all mortgages in the US were securitized. Credit-default swap: debtrelated derivative that is not unlike an insurance policy; its value shifts with the health of the transaction or asset it covers. Consumer financial protection agency: proposed entity that

would protect consumers from deceptive loans of all kinds Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly

Source: New York Times


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$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ may be—you probably are looking at California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. These states experienced more rapid growth, and institutions there were exposed to greater risks. Quarterly: Bank Rhode Island received TARP funds. What were the reasons and how has the bank fared? Sherman: Our institution was one of the healthy banks that elected to take TARP funds, and we’ve paid them back. When the TARP program was announced, the economic forecasts were gloomy. Our institution was well capitalized and had a low level of problem loans—we’re very much a local commercial lender and have a strong portfolio—but we wanted to be super-robustly capitalized in a difficult environment so that we could continue to be a very strong commercial lender in our marketplace. Quarterly: Do you see stricter regulation in the offing, and how would that affect Bank Rhode Island? Sherman: There are several key aspects to regulatory reform, including stricter regulation of high-risk instruments, like credit derivatives; better controls over the origination and packaging of securitized products; and examination of the range of financial activities a bank or its holding company may undertake. Some of those activities are significantly riskier than others. No one has set forth a comprehensive proposal as to how greater regulatory scrutiny can and should be accomplished. There also is talk about greater consumer protection as to fees. I believe that can be accomplished within the current regulatory framework. Any of these changes would have minimal effect on Bank Rhode Island. Quarterly: The business of small banks has traditionally been mortgages and small and consumer business loans. Are small

three Burning Questions

Relive those MHC dinnertable debates by raising these questions in your own home. 1. Should banks be more strictly regulated? 2. How do you feel about high salaries some bank executives— especially those whose companies took TARP money—are paid? 3. Is America’s economy in a permanent decline?


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banks still viable with such a relatively small range of income sources? Sherman: I think that there are some wonderful market niches available to small banks. We are a commercial bank; we do business lending. Business lending is a terrific niche for a community bank. There are no formulas and, because there are judgment calls involved, it’s ideal for a smaller institution that can be very hands on, understand their customers, and work with them to find the solution. Quarterly: For MHC seniors interested in finance, is banking a viable career? Sherman: I didn’t know that you don’t need an account anymore or some place to put your money! Banks grease the squeaky wheels of commerce. Without lending, we would be nowhere. It’s a safe place to keep your money; there’s a big future here. If you’re interested in finance there’s no reason not to look at banking and investment banking. They are growing fields. Quarterly: You started your career as an attorney. What led you into banking? Sherman: During the course of my practice, some of my clients were banks. I was asked to go in-house at Eastland Bank, a large, troubled thrift in Rhode Island. Within short order, I was made president. Subsequently, I was recruited to be the CEO of a bank in Vermont. Bank Rhode Island opened in March 1996 with twelve branches and about $465 million in total assets. As of June 2009, we’ve grown to $1.6 billion in assets and sixteen branches. Quarterly: In your role as president and CEO of Bank Rhode Island, your voice carries weight and legitimacy in the community. You were recently named New England businesswoman of the year. What public issues have you focused on in Providence? Sherman: I try to be a good corporate citizen. I chaired the board of trustees of a charter school for at-risk students, and headed the board of the state’s largest nonprofit homeless organization. I currently chair the board of the Rhode Island School of Design. At the same time, I try to do some things that are economic-development related. I’m on the Providence Foundation board and chair its Old Harbor redevelopment committee. I also serve on a committee to pick the new director of economic development for Rhode Island. Quarterly: Finally, how did MHC impact choices in your professional life, and did it give you good value for your time and money spent? Sherman: It gave my parents good value for their money spent, and I got good value for my time. It was an extraordinary place. I learned to think there, it gave me a coherent intellectual framework, and I met some of the most interesting people that you could ever hope to develop relationships with. It also taught me the value of hard work.

One More Thing Does Your Life Need More “Pockets”? Is your life overflowing with activity, but you still need to add just one more thing? If that sounds impossible, take heart— and perhaps some advice—from Mount Holyoke student-athletes. They may juggle different things than you do, but here’s how some squeeze everything into a day. All say they are most productive when they’re busiest; that’s good news for the rest of us too. Stretch Your Day: Rider Lindsay Sceats ’11 jokes that she has “a strained, long-distance relationship” with her bed. “It’s great when we are together, but the time apart is just too hard,” she quips. Sceats uses every sliver of free time, including “reading in those awkward forty-five minutes between classes or working on problem sets over a ‘grab-and go’ lunch.” Get Crazy-Organized: Squash player Laurian Lue Yen ’10 follows a color-coded iCal schedule. Lauren Orr ’10 uses a large dry-erase board that serves “as a reminder and doodle pad when my mind wants to take a break from time-managing.” Mimi Henry ’10 uses both a month-at-aglance calendar and a daily one to keep herself on track as captain of field hockey, chair of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, art history major and part-time worker.

Kat herin e San d oz ’91

Multitask in a Fun Way: Soccer, Lauren Orr says, provides “an incredible means of combining some of my favorite activities: hanging out with friends, running, spending time outside, and taking a break from focusing on due dates and reading assignments.” Take a Break: It’s counterintuitive but effective, says Lydia Bowers ’12, a varsity swimmer. “When I get most stressed, it’s important to take a moment to step back. Spending an hour or two doing something nonacademic allows me to return to my work reenergized.”

“MHC women take on a lot because we’re motivated, but you must make sure the basics—such as eating and sleeping—are there when deciding what to add to your plate,” she says. “Don’t compromise on what’s most important—and know what those things are for you.”

Embrace the Challenge: Lindsay Sceats, captain of the riding team, competes in the fall, winter, and spring. “There is never a quiet season where you can focus just on work,” she says. “Perhaps this is like life for alumnae; there are no off-seasons in adult life.” When things get really busy—spring championships and her heaviest academic workload coincide—she suggests “absolutely refraining from procrastination.” Squash player Laurian Lue Yen’s advice “is to do whatever makes you happy. I believe that your passion is what helps you accomplish the impossible.”

Be Realistic: Acknowledge that adding one more

thing—however enjoyable—takes a toll. That’s why Lauren Orr actually sleeps more as her peak athletic time approaches. Don’t expect yourself to be superwoman, she advises. “I am happy with myself when I do the best work I can in the time I have available to do it.” Mimi Henry has learned to say no.

web link

how do you do it al l?

Share your tips for keeping your life’s “pockets” filled but not overflowing by commenting at onemorething. We’d especially like to hear from former student athletes still using that training to manage current busy lives.

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MHC ’s Collection of Collections • Photographs by James Gehrt

ou’ve read some of Williston Library’s 750,000 books. You’ve viewed some of the Art Museum’s 15,000 objects. You’ve strolled among the greenhouse’s vast plant collection or lingered under one of MHC’s 250 acres of trees. But you probably didn’t think of the objects you saw as parts of a set. They are, and represent only the merest fraction of MHC’s collections. Visit the campus’s nooks and crannies and you’ll discover multicolored eggs, barometers, a lock of Mary Lyon’s hair, tiny shoes for bound feet, a hippopotamus skull, mathematical models, antique microscopes and telescopes, early Japanese photographs, dinner plates used by the MHC Seminary students, a 500-million-year-old trilobite fossil, handwritten


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manuscripts for Wendy Wasserstein’s plays, President Gettell’s World War II ration book, and early valentines. Making these scattered treasures more visible and available to faculty and students is the goal of a project headed by Art Museum Curator Wendy Watson. While encouraging use of the art collection for teaching and research, Watson says she realized “just how many other collections there were across campus, and made it a project to find them all.” Mellon-grant-funded intern Theresa Antonellis FP’10 has documented some two dozen collections, and the list is still growing. From a glass microscope slide of the world’s smallest insect to a life-size horse skeleton, from dinosaur footprints continued on page 22

Clockwise from top left: ancient scroll with the book of Esther in Hebrew from the religion department collection; window in Talcott Greenhouse; zoisite from the geology teaching collection; skulls of the American marten (Martes americana) used in courses in evolution; Mary Lyon’s spectacles, a manuscript in her handwriting, and the famous green velvet bag in which she collected coins to establish Mount Holyoke. Previous page: a staircase abalone (Haliotis scalaris) shell used in labs for Introductory Biology and Invertebrate Zoology.

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Clockwise from top left: Elie Nadelman’s Ideal Head of a Woman, one of the Art Museum’s 15,000 objects which range from ancient Egypt, China, and Peru to contemporary America; Williston Observatory’s Alvan Clark refracting telescope, which has been used at MHC since 1881, surrounded by a Ross camera and newer telescopes; specimens used in teaching GEOL 201, Rocks and Minerals (the blackboard has a summary of the physical properties for the minerals covered that week).

to newly sprouted seedlings, from early athletics apparel to fancy dress costumes, from outer-space meteorites to artifacts sacred to earthly religions, the collections vary in every possible way. Some—including the library’s archives and special collections, botanic gardens, and Art Museum collections—are well curated, documented, and preserved. Others gather dust in rooms that aren’t climate-controlled. “Yet all of these remarkable collections provide opportunities for our students to do the kind of research that most students only get a chance to do in graduate school,” says Watson. Here, students can get true hands-on experience. For a project on whales and whaling, Taylor Minton ’10 is using not only the text of Moby Dick, but also harpoons and whale-oil lamps from the Skinner Museum. Historian Mary Renda brings a gender studies class there too. “Students literally get a feel for the physical intensity of the work early nineteenth-century women did on a daily basis,” says Renda. “If you feel the heft of an nineteenth-century cooking pot, you understand something about women’s work that you didn’t understand before,” adds Watson. continued on page 25


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Clockwise from top: hats are just part of the costume collection, which includes an early 1800s Shaker dress and a monkey-fur ruff; a barometer from the collection displayed in Kendade Hall’s atrium; prepared specimens of local birds, which have been used in ornithology classes.

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Talcott Greenhouse displays a living collection of plants from around the world. It has supported faculty and student plant research and classroom work since it was built at the end of the nineteenth century. The permanent collection includes orchids, cacti and succulents, ferns, begonias, bromeliads, and aquatic plants as well as other tropical and subtropical plants.


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web link

w h at ’ s yo ur favori t e MHC obj e ct ?

Share your stories of discovery amid MHC’s collections (or collections elsewhere), read about curators’ favorite objects, and see extensive photo galleries of MHC collections, at

Clockwise from top left: the Skinner Museum’s “cabinet of curiosities” includes myriad objects both delicate (glassware and ceramics) and sturdy (arms and armor), mundane (dairying equipment) and exotic (travel souvenirs from far-flung countries); moths (in the genus Catocala and Antheraea polyphemus) collected by current students for a research project, also used in introductory biology courses; an 1820s-vintage ship’s figurehead from the Skinner Museum; this cuneiform tablet from the ancient Near East displays the world’s oldest known writing system, and has been used in ancient archaeology courses.

Using objects, Watson says, “is one way of training people to be more visually acute in an age where we are so awash in images that we stop looking closely at them.” Sohail Hashmi and Vincent Ferraro’s students in an interdisciplinary course on war surely thought differently about a nineteenth-century battle sword after it was pointed (carefully!) at one woman. “This is how close you’d have been to your enemy if you fought in the Civil War,” was the message. And such objects have become part of lesson plans for varied disciplines. For example, Art Museum paintings have been used by mathematician Mark Peterson (to discuss math and perspective); by neurobiologist Sue Barry (to study visual perception); and by environmental studies professor Timothy Farnham (to explore diverse views of an ideal landscape). Use of the less-known collections is still spotty, so Watson’s trying to “dig them out of the basements, and make them more obvious and evident on campus.” Slowly, MHC’s hidden treasures are becoming less hidden.—E.H.W.

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Words Worth a Second Look Fiction Drift: Stories By Victoria Patterson (Mariner Books) These thirteen stories explore the intertwining lives of working-class people against the backdrop of elite Newport Beach, California. There’s Rosie, a troubled, sensitive teenager; Joe/Christina, the transvestite who helps Rosie cope; and John Wayne, a brain-damaged, homeless skater, to name a few who make their lives on the outer edges of high society. Victoria Smith Patterson ’92 is an award-winning writer whose stories are based on her personal experience as a longtime waitress in Newport Beach.

The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson By Jerome Charyn (W.W. Norton & Company) Much of this “audacious” novel about one of America’s greatest writers takes place at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, where Dickinson spent a year before returning home to Amherst. Charyn imagines the inner thoughts and feelings of “Miss Dickinson,” conjuring her familiar wit and re-creating the battle of wills between her and “Mistress Lyon.” Jerome Charyn was a finalist for the PEN/ Faulkner Award for his 2005 novel, The Green Lantern.


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The Broken Teaglass By Emily Arsenault (Delacorte Press) Billy Webb and Mona Minot, employees at a dictionary publishing company (one of whom went to a women’s college), become amateur sleuths when they find clues buried in the reference texts to a long-unsolved murder. Arsenault started writing The Broken Teaglass five months into her Peace Corps service in rural South Africa. Emily Arsenault ’98 has worked as an editor at Merriam-Webster, a lexicographer, an English teacher, and a children’s librarian.

A Closer Look


Dare to Be an Entrepreneur. A Life of Service. Changing Paths, Persistent Dreams. Take a Shine to Sound like brochures for Harvard’s MBA program or maybe the US foreign service? Actually, these are a few of the features in a recent issue of Lip Gloss Teen Magazine, a lifestyle and fashion magazine focused on delivering positive messages to minority girls.

Lip Gloss magazine

Oh, great, you’re saying. Another teen magazine. Yes, but this one is different. This one recognizes that girls come in all shapes, colors, and abilities. Plenty of magazines cater to teens, but the problem, says Lip Gloss founder Dolores Brown ’00, is that most of the models are white. Those who aren’t are tucked in urban publications between degrading images or adult themes. “There is nothing like Teen Vogue or Seventeen that have positive messages with a focus on ethnic girls,” says Brown, who has worked as a plus-size model and photographer and wardrobe stylist. “Those that cater to minority girls are [filled] with misogynistic stuff.” Brown came up with the idea for Lip Gloss when she worked at an after-school program in a tough neighborhood in Queens, New York. She was frustrated with the low expectations both those kids and their parents had for themselves and thought to herself, “I can talk to these girls, and put out more positive messages.”

A l l a n a We s l e y Wh i t e

She hooked into her wide circle of friends who are artists, writers, and designers, and about a year of planning later, they launched the first issue of Lip Gloss online. Profiles of outstanding “regular” and celebrity teens; tips on bargain shopping; full-color fashion features, and makeup reviews are featured regularly. Brown is insistent that her readers “see something they can connect to” and understand that they are equipped to be just as strong and positive in their choices as the featured teens.” The language in the magazine drips slang and abbreviations popular with teens whose favorite noun is text message. “I don’t want it to feel like a magazine that a bunch of old people are doing,” says Brown. A teen advisory board lets her know if a story is too long or needs more photos—or emoticons. A popular soundtrack accompanies the text.

Dolores Brown ’00, founder and executive editor, Lip Gloss magazine

swear words. Will kids really read something this virtuous? Looks like it. About to publish its fourth issue online, Lip Gloss has jumped to 15,000 readers in nine months simply by word of mouth and the social network sites. Here’s one review: “It’s really cool,” says enthusiastic reader Amanda Rose Blackwell, age thirteen. “It’s got fun stuff about style that girls like, but serious stuff, too, like things about selfesteem and feeling good about yourself. I also like it because I’m mixed-race, and I like to see girls who look like me. I like the name of it, too.” Brown plans to launch a paper version of Lip Gloss sometime this year. She also intends to go to graduate school in media studies, eventually. But for Your right now, Lip Gloss takes up all Start ss e Busin Own her time. “I have found my T E ME passion,” she says. So have n i Jazm we. We’re busy reading Lip y e Whitl Gloss.—M.H.B. Issue






’s na G Adre Video c Musi ture n e Adv

There are three taboos in Lip Gloss: nothing too sexy, nothing and no one that degrades or disrespects women, and no

Fashion Beauty Health Spirit

Get Don’tt: ps BurCn are Ti Sun s For U


a stylist new ng MTV’s e meani ! s th work know of hard

he me T Beco en Of Que ops o The H

Find your favorite shade of lip gloss at www.lipglossmagazine. com.

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Indo-Roman Trade: From Pots to Pepper By Roberta Tomber (Duckworth ) Tomber unearths the history of relations between the East and West by examining archaeological findings from key ports throughout the Indian Ocean. By looking at the evidence of trade among the Romans, Africans, South Arabians, and Indians, Tomber reveals how these different groups interacted and how they lived. Roberta Tomber ’76 is a visiting fellow in the Department of Conservation at the British Museum who has published widely on the subject of Roman and Indian Ocean pottery.

A Kayaker’s Guide to Lake Champlain: Exploring the New York, Vermont, & Québec Shores By Catherine Frank and Margaret Holden (Black Dome Press) Frank and Holden’s thorough guide to exploring Lake Champlain celebrates the lake’s 400th anniversary and its discovery by Samuel de Champlain in 1609. The book includes fifty-four maps, ninety-three photographs, and nine original drawings, as well as essays on geology, history, and environmental issues. Margaret Dodge Holden ’60 has worked as an organizational development and career consultant, and coauthored The Women’s Job Search Handbook.

Landscape Lessons: A Practical and Inspirational Primer for the Southern Soil and Soul By Patricia Godwin Dunleavy (TerraType Press) This new gardening book provides instruction and botanical information, as well as anecdotes from a Southern upbringing and poetic observations of the landscape. From the colors of fall to the flowers of winter to the lushness of spring and summer, Dunleavy captures a year of gardening in Athens, Georgia. Patricia Godwin Dunleavy ’76 and her husband have run a plant nursery in Georgia since 1981. She also writes a garden column. The Secret Lives of Teen Girls: What Your Mother Wouldn’t Talk About but Your Daughter Needs to Know By Evelyn Resh with Beverly West (Hay House) With a frank approach and penchant for humor, Resh, a certified nurse-midwife, sets out to help teenage girls (including her own) “grow up into sexually healthy adult women, capable of enjoying a fulfilling and satisfying sexual life with the loving partner of their choice.” Evelyn Kazakos Resh FP ’90 is the director of sexual health services and programming for Canyon Ranch Health Resorts, and is a sexuality counselor.

Best Years: Going to the Movies, 1945–1946 By Charles Affron and Mirella Jona Affron (Rutgers University Press) Between 1945 and 1946, two things happened: World War II ended and Hollywood experienced a year of unprecedented success. But there is more to the story than the industry’s success. In this book, the Affrons explore the innovative films and emergent styles that captivated the American moviegoing public at this time in history. Mirella Jona Affron ’58 is a professor of cinema studies at the College of Staten Island/CUNY.


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Lie Groups: A Problem-Oriented Introduction via Matrix Groups By Harriet Pollatsek (Mathematical Association of America) The work of Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie is known for extending the ideas of symmetry. Intended to make Lie’s theory accessible to undergraduates of varied academic backgrounds, this textbook contains 200 problems and aims to help students describe and understand the physical world in terms of mathematics. Harriet Pollatsek is the Julia and Sarah Ann Adams Professor of Mathematics at MHC.

Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon By Mary Mazzio (Fifty Eggs, LLC) “In America, a kid drops out of high school every nine seconds. Imagine if they didn’t.” Ten9Eight follows a group of teenagers who discover their full potential when given the chance to compete in a national business plan competition. Not only do they learn what it takes to become entrepreneurs—they learn how to take charge of their futures. Mary Mazzio ’83 is an award-winning filmmaker. This is her second film about entrepreneurship.

Tastes and Temptations: Food and Art in Renaissance Italy By John Varriano (University of California Press) As anyone faced only with three cans of beans and a can opener knows, cooking is an art. But during the Italian Renaissance, culinary feats ranged from Andrea del Sarto’s sausage-and-cheese replica of the Florentine Baptistery to a recipe for fish molded into the shape of a goat. Varriano rediscovers these masterpieces and others in his study of creative cuisine. John Varriano is professor emeritus of art at MHC. His specialty is European art from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries. The Confessions of Edward Day By Valerie Martin (Nan A. Talese) Aspiring actor Edward Day is in love with Madeleine. Fellow thespian Guy Margate also wants her attention. The two competitors, one gifted, the other not particularly, struggle in their careers and for power over one another and over Madeleine as the love triangle reaches a violent climax. Writes fellow novelist Jane Smiley: “Highly recommended!” Valerie Martin is the author of three collections of short fiction and nine novels, including Mary Reilly, which was made into a move with Julia Roberts and John Malkovich. She is visiting professor of English at MHC.


By MHC Faculty

Young Readers Ghost Mysteries: Unraveling the World’s Most Mysterious Hauntings By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld (Aladdin) If you’ve ever ventured into the “ghost room” at MHC, peered over the ’Dells’ bridge at midnight, or investigated Clapp 501, you will likely find yourself carried away by Zoehfeld’s mysteries—and you’ll appreciate her skepticism. This children’s book of ghosts and their place in literature and culture will captivate both young readers and squeamish grown-ups. Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld ’76 is an award-winning writer of children’s books on topics in science, history, and natural history.

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alumnaematters Defining Success MHC Entrepreneurs Share Their Stories doing good, which means rethinking capitalism.” She was addressing the theme of this year’s conference, “Strength, Courage and Wisdom: Capturing the Entrepreneurial Spirit.” Alumnae who led workshops at the conference held

expertise in fields ranging from education to activism to art and beyond. “It’s amazing, the diversity of women,” said organizer Krysia Villón ’96, assistant director of clubs at the Alumnae Association. “We had one who’s a life coach who started her own business, and one who started her own dance company. It’s a broad range of what an entrepreneur can look like—and that was intentional.” In addition to for-profit business endeavors, the conference encompassed the nonprofit sector, the arts, community organizing and development. “Being an entrepreneur basically means being a business owner. It’s looking at ways in which people can get started developing their dreams, and giving them support and feedback,” she said. Featherston urged attendees to prioritize human welfare over financial gain in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Entrepreneurship, she said, should not be driven by self-interest, but by interest in the community. She pointed out that the year 2012 may represent momentous change—but not the kind of change depicted in the movie of the same name about a prophesied apocalypse.

above: Seventy-eight alumnae and students of color gathered in early

November for their second annual conference. top: Keynote speaker Jacqueline Elena Featherston advocated “doing well while doing good.”


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Instead, Featherston drew from indigenous Mayan and Hindu beliefs to make

a case for a very different type of groundswell. “The male cycle is coming to a close, and whether it’s myth or symbology, women are positioned to make change,” she said. The theme of making change was borne out across the conference, as workshops focusing on everything from storytelling to health and wellness to personal and company branding got alumnae and students alike to think critically about their career paths. Jennifer Jackson ’03, founder of the boutique tea company Not Just Tea, tried to impress on other alumnae business owners that branding is a simple process. As one of four speakers on a panel titled “Successfully Branding Your Business and Your Image,” Jackson noted that when she designed her logo, she asked herself what she wanted potential cus-

Being an entrepreneur basically means looking at ways people can get started developing their dreams, and giving them support and feedback.

Jillian MacLeod ’10

“This isn’t a conference about race or age,” said antiracist author and consultant Jacqueline Elena Featherston in her keynote address to the second annual Alumnae and Students of Color Conference. “To me, this is a conference about doing well while

tomers to feel. The answer: “Something of calmness, serenity, very clean, a bit simple.” But her goal was hardly just to sell a product. “My message is about making tea very accessible,” said Jackson. “Tea is something easy to use, that’s clean, accessible. It doesn’t matter who you are, you can still enjoy tea.” Although she was an economics major during her undergraduate years, Jackson hoped to reach people on a personal level. “Everyone knows what that feeling of serenity is like,” she said. “That’s why I talk about feelings.” The other panelists came from varied disciplines and backgrounds. Technology consultant Lydia J. Young ’75 said she enjoyed hearing alumnae speak about their products. “Everybody was motivated and persistent and extraordinarily passionate about what they wanted to do, and they’ve all figured out ways to do it,” she said.” A younger alumna who attended another workshop called “The Rewards and Challenges of Doing What We Love” found that, like other panels she had attended, it gave her a glimpse of what the future could be. “It’s just a reminder that I should stop sitting around

When she heard the balloonists’ ad that anyone over 100 would ride for free, Eleanor Whiting Hickman ’30 said, let’s go! Preparing to fly over Canandaigua Lake in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, Eleanor looks as though she hasn’t a care in the world. According to her son, Bryan Hickman, Eleanor missed her seventy-fifth MHC reunion because of her granddaughter’s graduation from Williams College, and fears that, at her eightieth, there will be no one there she knows to have a reunion with. We’ll see.

thinking about what I could do, and actually do it,” said Cate Costa ’07, an MBA candidate at Howard University. “They talk a lot about pursuing with passion,” she added, referring to the long hours and stress endured by many of the most driven entrepreneurs. “That’s all fine and good, but how do you find out what your passion is to begin with?” One of the speakers who offered help doing that was Julieta Macias ’86, who started her own life coaching and consulting firm, Macias Consulting. According to Costa, she said, “Think about your childhood, and what mo-

ments gave you joy. Then figure out how to make a job out of that.” Costa found those memories easy to recall. The hard part was thinking about the future. “I need to figure out where I’m going,” she said. “This is what [Macias] does. She’s a life coach. So I’m giving her a ride back to DC, and hopefully she’ll figure out my life for me.” On the other hand, older alumnae said they learned as much from students and young alumnae. According to Beverly Scipio ’74, who started the first Black Alumnae Conference in 1973, the best part of the weekend was “just interacting with the students,” who were most im-

pressive for their willingness to learn and ask questions. “The only way you can thrive is to be connected to young people, because that’s the environment in which we start developing new ideas, creating new energy, and taking risks to develop new models,” she said. Attendees also participated in a “fishbowl” exercise facilitated by head of multicultural affairs Tania O. Williams. As part of the exercise, two groups— alumnae and students— asked one another questions. One that seemed to resonate with alumnae was, what does it mean to be a Mount Holyoke woman, postgraduation?

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When a student asked this of Kedar Rice ’05, she said she thought of all the times she had seen her colleagues struggle to articulate their points of view. Rice, who teaches kindergarten, said the skills she learned at MHC enable her to communicate effectively with her principal. That made her answer to the student’s question simple.

a well-rounded and healthy brain, said geographer Susan J. Smith, recently appointed mistress (head) of Girton College, Cambridge. She highlighted the importance of disciplines, such as the social sciences, that involve making connections among many different fields and parts of the world. Interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding, she added, provide a basis from which to study new things and continue learning.

Valerie Smith ’71, who retired from teaching two years ago, said she enjoyed listening to the range of perspectives. “I just love it when people share their stories, because although we like to look for our commonalities, it’s our differences that make us interesting,” she said. “The stories we shared seemed to be quite generational.” Costa found this to be true, with one exception. As for what it means to be a Mount Holyoke woman, she said, “As the years go by, there are more students of color, student organizations, cultural houses, and things like that, but when we were asked to talk about our fondest memories and biggest challenges, everyone had basically the same thing to say.”—Marianna Nash ’11 A photo gallery from the weekend is at http://alum- conf09/index.php.


Exercising the Brain and the Body, Among Friends, at the European Symposium How can we build, use, and keep our brainpower? More than 100 Mount Holyoke alumnae and friends tried to answer that question when they gathered for the tenth European Alumnae Symposium, held this past September in Oxford, England. Begun in 1987 by Renee Scialom Cary ’48, these biennial symposia provide an opportunity for alumnae living in Europe—and others interested in making the trip—to connect with each other and attend sessions by distinguished speakers from a variety of fields.

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To build brainpower, many speakers emphasized the importance of learning new things outside one’s areas of specialization. MHC Dean of the Faculty Donal O’Shea told alumnae of developing an interest in history after years of studying mathematics. And Barbara A. Cassani ’82 spoke about applying her interest in solving puzzles to things as diverse as international relations, business, and horseback riding. Throughout the weekend, alumnae shared stories about learning new languages, changing careers, adapting to life in different countries, taking up new hobbies, and more. Engaging in a wide variety of mental activities creates

Building and keeping brainpower also involve being aware of other areas of the body and making smart choices about nutrition and exercise. In a lecture on dyslexia, Oxford physiologist John Stein revealed that one of the best ways to decrease the severity of dyslexia is a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Twenty percent of the brain is made up of omega3s, so regularly eating oily fish or taking omega-3 supplements is a simple and very effective way of building and maintaining brain power, he said. Stein also urged alumnae to avoid the “three Ss”: salt, sugar, and saturated fat, which have become the main items in the modern diet; and to exercise regularly both the body and mind. Stein said that the brain has huge plasticity, allowing it to grow, but that it needs proper diet and continued mental engagement to remain healthy. Discussions of the brain spurred attendees to continue their lifelong education and to connect with other alumnae in Europe. Georgia Smith

eric Giri at

“I said to her, Mount Holyoke gives you the empowerment and lets you know your voice is relevant. That resonates with you so that, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, that will help you on your way,” she said.

To p : M aya D ’C o s ta

Give It All You Have Rower Jennifer Grow ’94 wrote about the Riverfront Regatta race on her blog about motherhood. “In the sport of rowing there is a crew that consists of the rowers and, often, a coxswain, whose job it is to steer and to instruct the crew and keep them informed and motivated. And yesterday, V, while you were getting us down that race course, you said it: ‘You have more to give.’ I heard you.

To see photos and video from the symposium, visit http://alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/events/euro2009/.

Awards Presented in Oxford In other symposium news, three alumnae received awards for their loyalty to the Alumnae Association and for their professional and community achievements. Arzu Gurz Abay ’94 was presented with a Loyalty Award in 2008, but received it in person at the European conference. President since 1995 of the alumnae club of Turkey, she was honored for, among other volunteer efforts, her exceptional level


Five alums from five countries, who attended MHC at the same time, met last fall in Oxford fifty years later. Kitty Eliopoulos Kyriacopoulos ’45 (standing on the left) is from Greece; Alexandra (Sandy) Spoor Wepster ’47 (sitting on the left) is from the Netherlands; Renee Scialom Cary ’48 (sitting in the middle) is from London and Santa Barbara, California; Barbara Eddy McLanahan ’46 (standing on the right) is from America, and Claude de Renty du Granrut ‘48 (sitting on the right) is from France.

Regnault ’64, who lives in the Netherlands, said, “I came not for the theme but for the people, but in the end the theme was wonderful, and I enjoyed all of it.” For Jean Carman Farman ’78, who lives in London, the weekend in Oxford “reinforced my feeling that the European symposium is the best part of being a Mount Holyoke alum.”—Carolyn Strobel ’09

Not to get all emotional and deep, but it’s true. I do. We do. Every single one of us in that boat probably did. Physically, mentally, emotionally. At that very point in time when we were trying to hold off a boat. And in other ways. In our daily lives. And that’s where the remark hits home for me right now.” For the whole post and more from Jen, go to http://momalom. com/2009/10/you-have-more-to-give/.

Alumnae rowers placed third at the fall Riverfront Regatta on the Connecticut. From left to right: Laura Valente ’06, Ellie Denton ’08, Jenna Kabawat ’08, Ashley Didion ’08, Katie Ouellette ’09, Jennifer Grow ’94 (past novice coach), Janel Crawford ’96 (novice coach), Katie Boates ’02, and Christine DeLeo ’08. Crew Coach Jeanne Friedman leans on the boat between Boates and DeLeo. The boat is named in honor of Karen Reininga Volgenau ’80.


of service to alums in Istanbul and throughout Turkey. Elizabeth Masten Hammill ’65, founder of Seven Stories, the Centre for Children’s Books, received an Achievement Award. After years of planning, she opened the national gallery of children’s literature in 2005 in an old mill in northern England. The Mary Lyon Award was presented, in absentia, to Tahmima Anam ’97. Anam, a native of Bangladesh, is the author of the award-winning novel A Golden Age, which traces one family’s experience during that nation’s war of independence. Read the award citations at current_awards.php.

Alumnae Association Treasurer’s Report Fiscal Year July 1, 2008–June 30, 2009

The fiscal 2009 Alumnae Association audit was completed by Lester Halpern & Company, P.C., Whitney Place, 14 Bobala Road, Holyoke, MA 01040. Its financial statements contain an unqualified opinion and are in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles. A synopsis of the financial statements follows; a copy of the annual report is available through the Alumnae Association. Please contact Karen Northup-Scudder, CPA, director of finance, with questions at 413-538-2736 or

Statement of Financial Position

Assets Liabilities Net Assets

Thanks to Carrianna Field ’97 for her generous donation to the Founder’s Fund! Join Carrianna and get “Lyonized” at http://www. alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/giving/ founders.php.


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$4,396,488 $367,094 $4,029,394

The Statement of Financial Position reports the association’s assets, liabilities, and net assets for the year. Total assets decreased 13.9%, or $708,536, during fiscal year 2009, driven primarily by the market performance and related unrealized losses of the Founder’s Fund.

I am pleased to report that the association’s financial position remains sound during these challenging economic times. During fiscal 2009, the association delivered solid programming and progressed toward its strategic goals while meeting its financial budget. We continue to focus our efforts on alumnae engagement and continue to invest in and leverage our use of technology. We are also mindful of the economic pressures facing Mount Holyoke College and will continue to look for ways to support the college. We look forward to continuing to advance the work of the association while meeting our financial objectives. Statement of activities Operating Revenues and Support

Support from MHC Other Support & Revenue Founder’s Fund and Other Donations

$2,036,420 $509,801 $19,449

Total Operating Revenues and Support $2,515,670 Operating Expenses







Information Services








Total Operating Expenses Change in Net Assets–Operating

$2,314,137 $201,533

Nonoperating Revenues

Founder’s Fund Interest & Unrealized Loss


Total Change in Net Assets


Net Assets 7/01/08


Net Assets 6/30/09


The vast majority of the association’s operating revenues (79%) continues to be contributions from MHC, in accordance with the July 1, 2002, agreement between the trustees of MHC and the association. Other revenue includes reunion and conference/programs fees. Overall expenses decreased 0.9% during fiscal 2009 compared to a 3.4% increase during the prior year. The primary drivers of the decrease were professional services primarily related to the 2008 market survey, computer expenses due to the completion of the Datatel conversion project, and postage. Annual wage and benefit adjustments were 2.3% and are consistent with MHC practices. This year, forty-two active alumnae clubs held 169 domestic events around the country and nine of these clubs have ongoing programming. We produced thirty-two paper mailings

and 135 e-mail blasts on behalf of clubs. As part of the Speakers’ Bureau, we assisted with thirty-one events, at which twenty-two faculty, administrators, and staff spoke. Global initiatives and outreach included gathering insights from the Alumnae Association’s Global Task Force via an electronic survey. The feedback from the survey reaffirmed that alumnae living outside the US are very interested in news from the College, and in finding ways to stay in touch with alums in their countries. In collaboration with the Office of Admission, the association hosted two very successful events in China. These events were planned to coincide with the visit of five MHC faculty who were there to explore learning and internship opportunities. Approximately seventyfive alumnae, students, incoming students, and their families attended. On-campus programming included a mix of programs, events, and conferences that built strong and meaningful connections between alumnae and students. In addition, it provided tremendous on-campus visibility for the association with students, faculty, and staff. Participation in undergraduate class events was 903 students, or 41% of the student body. Our educational conference brought together approxi-

mately seventy alumnae and students. The reunion pilot entered into its second year with 1,660 (up 204 from 2008) alumnae and guests returning, or 20.3% of active class members. Back-to-Class enrollment totaled 794, and included alumnae from thirty-four classes. For the first time, live Webcasts were offered of several classes. Alumnae Council and Reunion Planning Workshop training programs for club and class officers were successful and were held in conjunction with the Office of Development’s Volunteer Conference. The printed Alumnae Quarterly magazine reached 33,000 alumnae, students, faculty, staff, and friends of MHC. Web extras, social media sharing opportunities, and an “add comment” function appear in a blog format to invite interactive engagement with and among readers. Information Technology and the Web team provided much of the infrastructure to support these efforts. The team increased MHConnect-registered users 4.2% and e-mails on file for active alumnae by 6.4%. Over 16,000 records were updated based upon the 2008 alumnae directory project. There is continued expansion of our social networks, which now include 1,400 Facebook friends and 1,100 members in our LinkedIn groups.

Founder’s Fund The Founder’s Fund is the association’s long-term investment vehicle and comprises alumnae gifts, bequests, investment income, and unrealized gains. It is invested with the MHC endowment, pursuant to the June 1990 agreement between the association and the college. Due to very weak market condition, the value of the Founder’s Fund declined to $3.5 million at the end of fiscal 2009, as compared to $4.4 million for the prior year.


The Statement of Activities presents revenues and expenses for fiscal 2009 and reports the change in net assets over the year. The change in net operating assets reflects a gain, exceeding our expectations largely due to staffing vacancies, including the Executive Director position, and savings related to the successful completion of the Executive Director search through the hard work of our alumnae volunteers.

Alumnae Scholar Program The Alumnae Scholar Program was established in 1971 and has been supported by generous donations from clubs and individual alumnae. Fiscal 2009 contributions were $44,499. Total program contributions were approximately $2.9 million. Linda Ing Phelps ’86 Alumnae Association Treasurer

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bulletinboard Postbaccalaureate Pre-Health Studies at MHC Mount Holyoke’s Postbaccalaureate PreHealth Program is for academically talented, highly motivated college graduates seeking to fulfill science prerequisite courses for health professions. It prepares students who have majored in a wide variety of disciplines for graduate study in medicine, veterinary medicine, dental medicine, public health, and physical therapy. The program also provides comprehensive personal advising, access to clinical internships, support with the very rigorous application process, a formal composite letter of recommendation, and practice interviews. Recent postbaccalaureate students have been accepted at Harvard Dental School, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Colorado State University’s

School of Veterinary Medicine, among others. For more information, visit acad/prehealth/postbac. html or contact David M. Gardner, dean of pre-health programs, at 413-538-3389 or dgardner@mtholyoke. edu.

Take the Lead makes students part of a diverse network of forty girls who are passionate about important issues. Students acquire leadership skills, design action projects, learn to solve problems, and become agents of positive change. They also make new friends and have lots of fun.

A Book Sale to Remember The forty-ninth annual Five Colleges Book Sale will be held April 24–25 at Lebanon (N.H.) High School. The sale generates scholarship funds for students from New Hampshire and Vermont. Last year, each college (including MHC) received $8,000. Volunteer alumnae and friends of Mount Holyoke, Smith, Vassar, Wellesley, and Simmons sort upwards of 30,000 volumes in all fields and in good shape, starting in February. Your help, through book donations, collecting and transporting books to the sorting site,

Considering Applying to Medical School? MHC alumnae who think they may apply to health professions schools in 2010 (for 2011 admission) are strongly urged to contact the Office of Pre-Health Programs by the end of March for crucial information. Help us to help you put together the best application possible. See above for contact info.


Oct. 3. After ten years, the program builds on a record of success in helping young women achieve amazing things. View the results of former action projects at

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and sorting and pricing, is welcome. Volunteers also serve as cashiers and helpers at the sale. For more information, contact Martha Smead Doolittle ’59 (603469-3359), mdoolittle@ or Judy Russell ’85 (603-7954136), judith.g.russell@ Visit www. for updates, and, just before the sale, lists of exceptional books to be sold. Also included in the sale are maps, prints, computer materials, CDs, tapes, and ephemera.

Take the Lead Do you know a promising high school sophomore who wants to make positive change in the world? Nominate her for Take the Lead, a prestigious leadership program offered at Mount Holyoke Sept. 30-

Nominated students are invited to apply to the competitive program. Adults can nominate up to three girls online at www. Students attend in the fall of their junior year and pay only a $75 registration fee. To learn more, call 413538-3500 or e-mail Yedalis Ruiz at yruiz@mtholyoke. edu.

MHC Class and Club Products Lots of MHC-related class and club products are for sale. For details and photos, visit or phone 413-538-2300 to request a printed copy of the information.

travelopportunities March 6–13, 2010 Belize: Maya Ruins, Rainforests, and Tropical Reefs

Join us on this journey to fascinating Belize. We will explore the biodiversity of the rainforest, the magnificent remains of the ancient Maya civilization, and the rich marine life on the world’s second-largest barrier reef. We begin on South Water Caye, a secluded island on the Barrier Reef. We explore the reef by boat, search for wildlife in the mangrove swamps, and visit the Smithsonian Research Center on an adjacent island. We’ll also have a chance to swim and snorkel amid an astounding array of corals and tropical fish. Then we travel inland on the Hummingbird Highway into Guatemala, to one of the greatest of all the Maya ruins, Tikal, a UNESCO world heritage


site. Staying overnight close to the ruins, we will take in the sunset and the sunrise over the massive stepped pyramids. Then we travel to the jungle-covered hills of western Belize and discover the secrets of the rainforest as we search for medicinal plants, monkeys, iguanas, and exotic birds. Price: $3,695 per person plus air. For reservations or more information, please contact Siemer & Hand Travel at 800-451-4321 (ext. 303) or maec@siemerhand. com. April 8–16, 2010 Cruising the Canary Islands: Spain, Morocco, Gibraltar

Journey along sea routes once plied by Roman galleys, Spanish explorers, and Barbary pirates to the sun-washed Canary Islands, the fabled coast of Morocco, Spain’s Moorish province of Andalusia, and the fortresslike bastion of Gibraltar. Throughout your voyage, travel aboard the MS Le Diamant, an intimate, deluxe vessel that provides

Canary Islands

a memorable small-ship experience. A program of attractively priced shore excursions will be available, including opportunities to admire exquisite Spanishcolonial architecture and the dramatic scenery on the islands of Tenerife and La Palma, and observe the contrast of ancient and modern in Morocco in cosmopolitan Casablanca and the medieval kasbahs of Rabat. Alumnae Association Executive Director Jane E. Zachary will join the travelers. Price: From approximately $2,595 plus air. For reservations or for more information, please contact Gohagan & Company Travel at 800-922-3088. June 25–July 2, 2010 The Canadian Rockies: A Family Learning Adventure With Smith College

Treat your children or grandchildren (ages seven– seventeen) to a magnificent learning adventure in the spectacular Canadian Rockies. Stay at the legendary Banff Springs Hotel and the

Canadian Rockies

lovely Chateau Lake Louise. Explore glaciers and lakes, see thundering waterfalls, and search for wildlife. Ride horseback, hike, canoe, and stand on a glacier 1,000 feet thick. Then embark on one of the most scenic train rides in North America as we travel from Jasper National Park to Vancouver. The trip includes a comprehensive young-naturalist program led by a professional children’s educator, and concludes with two days in beautiful Vancouver. Cost: $4,995 per adult (double occupancy); $3,995 per child (double occupancy); $2,995 per child (triple occupancy). For reservations or more information, please contact Siemer & Hand Travel at 800-4514321 or maec@siemerhand. com. Interested? To request a brochure for any of these trips, please call the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 or visit our Web site at www. For additional information, please call the travel company sponsoring the trip.

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lastlook From MHC to Motherhood: Lessons for My Son By Kelly Cockburn Feinberg ’94

Since the moment we floated through the Laurel Parade in our breezy summer whites, my roommate-turned-bestfriend, Christina Buchanan ’95, and I have imagined that we will one day have daughters attending Mount Holyoke. Yes, we have entertained the dream that they would be in the same class and end up roommates and best friends as well. We have imagined joining our girls for Family and Friends Weekend and catching a performance by the V-8s. Or maybe we’ll stay up all night with them in their dorm, snacking on M&Cs. Later, we will call and congratulate each other that our daughters are growing into the best women they can be. “Aren’t we so lucky our girls can experience the intellectual challenges and find the safe place to make meaningful relationships as we did at our beloved Mount Holyoke?” we’ll say with knowing smiles. Except we both have sons. How is this possible? My sister, Erin Cockburn Garcia ’92, also graduated from MHC—I have a legacy to continue! Fourteen months into motherhood, I am more determined than ever to raise my child with the Mount Holyoke mission in mind, even if my son can’t follow in his mom’s collegiate footsteps. These are the lessons I hope to pass on. Fall in love with learning. It wasn’t until I transferred to MHC that I realized I didn’t have to hide the fact that I wanted to learn. I still long for that comfy wing-backed chair in which I gladly read The Canterbury Tales late at night, surrounded by other women at ease with themselves as smart and curious. We’re off to a good start—my toddling son plucked a Wendy Wasserstein collection from a top shelf the other day and held it very close to his face, as if in reverence. Eat communally. When we sit down to eat with others, we share our backgrounds, ideas, and values in a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. I laughed a lot with friends over meals at MHC, but I also received a degree-worthy education in diverse cultures and interests while enjoying my vegetarian entrée of peanut-butter-stuffed zucchini. As much as I want to get some work done when my son is confined to a high chair, I know it is important to share mealtimes with him. I can see him learning to be present, to laugh, and to listen, just as I did in our dorm dining rooms.


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Kelly Cockburn Feinberg’s son Ari can’t follow in her footsteps to MHC. But she’s still trying to raise a child who would make Mary Lyon proud.

Go outside. There are days when my son grows restless trapped in his baby-proofed room. These are the days I remember one of my most valuable lessons from MHC: life is about balance. Sometimes you need to put books—or toys—aside and declare Mountain Day! Outside, we listen for mourning doves, stop to feel leaves and petals, and I fall in love with learning all over again. On our way out of the house, we even ring the old patina bell that serves as our doorbell. Each lesson reminds me of something else I want to pass on from my time at Mount Holyoke. I want to show my son that the best way to get to know a place is on foot and by public transportation. I want to teach him to buy local products and to support independent businesses such as the Odyssey Bookshop and Tailgate Picnic. I hope these lessons help him grow into a joyful person, a warm friend, and an open-minded and engaged citizen. My revised dream, to raise a son who would make Mary Lyon proud, may prove to be a challenge, but I’m up for it. Still, I’m secretly hoping my sister lets me tag along when she brings her daughter to Mount Holyoke for move-in day, 2027.

Come home again

Reunion 2010, May 21-23 & 28-30

Take a class. Strut in the parade. Lounge on the green. And enjoy hours of conversation and celebration with the best friends of your life: your MHC classmates. Start making plans online at Photo by Paul Schnaittacher

The world needs Mount Holyoke women.* And Mount Holyoke women need you. Your gift to the Annual Fund supports every aspect of education at Mount Holyoke, including financial aid. Please make your gift today. Thank you.

The Annual Fund

*Tell us why you think the world needs MHC women. Email

The Skinner Museum,

as beautiful as it is, is just the tip of the iceberg. Truly significant material objects live in every academic department, awaiting discovery by students and faculty. There’s real danger in thinking that age reduces relevance, or that the digital will replace the material. We need to have searchable digital archives of these collections and safe repositories and good collecting practices to protect the actual objects. My favorites are the cuneiform tablets because they have survived thousands of years and describe mundane details of commerce! —Theresa Antonellis FP’10

L a u r a We s t o n F P ’ 0 6

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2010  

Postpartum Depression: A Silent Epidemic Banks are Back! One More Thing: Does Your Life Need More "Pockets"? Object Lessons: MHC's Colle...

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2010  

Postpartum Depression: A Silent Epidemic Banks are Back! One More Thing: Does Your Life Need More "Pockets"? Object Lessons: MHC's Colle...