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Mount Holyoke w int er 2016

Alumnae Quarterly

Change in Time Mount Holyoke’s transgender admission policy. The most inclusive of its Seven Sisters peers.


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President’s Pen I WRITE TO ANNOUNCE that I will be assuming a new leadership role as president of the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U), beginning on July 1, 2016. It has been an extraordinary honor and privilege for me to serve as Mount Holyoke College’s eighteenth president, and I will be forever grateful for the many ways in which the members of this community have shaped both my life and my career. It is painful to leave a place so close to my heart, but I prepare to do so knowing that the College will welcome its next leader from a position of historic strength. During the six years of my presidency, we have worked together to complete a $305-million comprehensive campaign, accompanied by an increase in the endowment from $520 million to $717 million. Externally, our visibility in the admission marketplace has been tangibly enhanced through a successful branding and marketing campaign and the establishment of an Office for Professional and Graduate Education. Internally, the stability of our long-term future has been addressed by instituting robust processes for strategic, budget, and master planning as well as by establishing an Office of Planning and Programming. We have enhanced the quality of contemporary campus life through mounting Presidential Commissions on Work-Life-Family as well as Diversity and Inclusion, the creation of staff excellence awards to parallel faculty excellence awards, and the founding of a campus-wide Sustainability Week. Finally, we have sought to connect Mount Holyoke’s mission with concerns of the larger world, partnering with the US Department of State in the development of the Women in Public Service Project, integrating the liberal arts and sciences to careers through the Lynk initiative, and giving the College a public intellectual presence through contributions to local and national current affairs programming. I arrived at Mount Holyoke in 2010 with a platform of championing the centrality of liberal education, aligning liberal learning with twenty-first-century skills, promoting access to excellence for students from all socioeconomic backgrounds, and encouraging the notion of colleges and universities as civic missions. Because of Mount Holyoke’s position as a leader in higher education, I have had the honor of speaking to these values at the national level through leadership on many regional and national boards, demonstrating the importance of bringing women’s voices and decision making to the table. Indeed, it is through this engagement with educational policy debates as the president of Mount Holyoke that I have come to understand the urgent need to respond to challenges facing higher education in general, and liberal education in particular. I fervently believe that the value of a liberal education is reflected in the illumination of consciousness through literature, philosophy, science, languages, music, and the arts, and that this illumination allows us to flourish fully as human beings. In this spirit, Mount Holyoke’s mission is enfolded within that of AAC&U, which strives to make liberal education and inclusive excellence the foundation for educational purpose and institutional practice. Yet, the values at the center of both missions are being called into question by a prevailing national discourse that privileges earning power as the most legitimate reason for pursuing a college degree. Such thinking contravenes the notion that all students are entitled to the full promise of American higher education and damages the perception of higher education by turning the pursuit of a college degree into a private commodity rather than a public good. In the process, our nation’s historic mission of educating for democracy is undermined. Thus, in departing from Mount Holyoke, I take up the broader challenge facing liberal education in all its manifestations, one that remains at the very core of what it is we do here and will continue to do with concerted, collaborative effort. While I may be physically separated from our extraordinary campus, I can never leave behind the community that inspired this call to conscience—the remarkable students, unparalleled faculty, talented staff, dedicated board members, and accomplished alumnae. Most crucially, as an alumna of the College I promise, throughout my life, to be a zealous advocate for Mount Holyoke’s mission of directing liberal learning toward purposeful engagement in the world while fostering the next generation of women leaders.


Lynn Pasquerella ’80

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WI NTE R 2016


VO LU M E 10 0



Contents 22



Support for Mariya Karimjee ’10, remembering the Bloch sisters, making connections

MHC: Atwater Studios; Counting the Days by Heidi Neubauer-Winterburn; essay illustration detail: Julia Breckenreid; front cover: Zara Picken; back cover: Pat Piasecki


Change in leadership, alumnae events worldwide, Mountain Day alumnae reunions, hall of fame inductees, alumna-curated art exhibit 9 Ten Minutes With Kidney donor Susie Kreiner Hochenberg ’68 10 Insider’s View Betty Shabazz Cultural House


16 Change in Time

Mount Holyoke leads the way with the most inclusive policy on transgender admission among its Seven Sisters peers

22 On Point

President of the Association of American Colleges and Universities Carol Geary Schneider ’67 champions liberal education

28 The Gold Standard for

Global Education

The College is recognized with a prestigious award for its success internationalizing the student experience

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80 12 Go Figure Find Your People 13 The Maven Drew Silver Joseph ’06 on babywearing 14 The Female Gaze Mixed-media artist Heidi NeubauerWinterburn ’03; oil painter Erin McGee Ferrell ’94; authors Diane Giombetti Clue ’88, Heather Baukney Hansen ’94, and Allison McCracken ’90


Sledding down the hills of campus 35 On Display Barometers 36 Then and Now Outing Club cabin


Alumnae-hosted Thanksgiving, travel opportunities, alumnae bed & breakfast program, Reunion 2016 call to register 38 A Place of Our Own Safford in the snow


Diana Bilbao ’10 on “Words. Power. Life.”

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Lyons Share brought back many memories, as

I have been reading the Quarterly  for almost forty-seven years. Along the way I have read more than the class notes but not really much more most of the time. This year’s spring and summer issues are the best ever. I travel often and save them for what I call my “plane reads”—mostly periodicals that I at least want to scan for items of interest. The two most recent issues had me reading almost cover to cover. They are interesting and informative. —Linda Renasco Cadigan ’68 via email

Gerda was a classmate. She had told us about some of her war experiences from time to time, helping us to piece together the unbelievable,


The article about Gerda and Doris Bloch (“A College Excellent and Nice,” fall 2015, p. 22) was lovely and Outside Chapin #mountholyoke #juno

traumatic events they had lived through. Mr. and Mrs. Rox were the “mainstays” of the girls at college. —Ruth Zager ’49 via Association website It is rare to have a Holocaust-era narrative that celebrates ordinary people such as the Fabers. I am someone who has a Jewish heritage, and any article celebrating heroism during the Holocaust honors that heritage and my Creator. Thanks. —Emily Taussig ’93 via email Thank you. This is a lovely article, and it is inspiring to learn about how these brave women started a new life at the gates of Mount Holyoke. —Ann Fry ’85 via Association website ON AUTISM

I was surprised to read your interview with Shelley Hendrix ’91, national director of grassroots advocacy for Autism Speaks (“Advocating for Change,” fall 2015, p. 9). It is not my intention to personally attack her, but I am disappointed with the Alumnae Quarterly for engaging with her work on a simplistic level and seemingly failing to do much research. It seems to me that the Alumnae Quarterly does not necessarily aim to represent the full spectrum of alum lives and outcomes, only those that we can all agree make us proud to be Mount Holyoke women. I do not think MHC, a school that purportedly values


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diversity and social justice, should be proud of any connections to Autism Speaks. Yes, please, teach us about autism advocacy, but next time do your research.    —Raisa Slutsky-Moore ’11  via email So wonderful to read of your accomplishments, Shelley, with Unlocking Autism and Autism Speaks. You are doing such important work and advocacy! I’m glad to see your efforts and contributions recognized by Mount Holyoke. I was lucky to have you as my “Big Sister” during my MHC years! —Liana Piehler ’93 via Association website ON FGM

Many thanks for publishing Mariya Karimjee’s ’10 article about female genital mutilation (“Forgive/Can’t Forget,” fall 2015, p. 28). Most of us have been aware of such practices, even in our own country. Few of us have imagined the lifelong psychological and physical suffering, not to mention the sordid details of the “operation” itself. I am mostly impressed because women of my generation are completely ignorant about this custom, except maybe as some exotic, primitive custom in deepest darkest Africa. I have always thought myself to be well “informed” on sexual subjects. It is now clear to me I had no idea what was happening in the families I might even have known in Karachi, where I lived for four years in the sixties. Congratulations to Mariya for having the courage to speak out. —Charlotte Huston Reischer Clark ’51 via email

Anne Pinkerton


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Reminded today that @mtholyoke has a Lunar Howling Society. Of course. Because. :) R ACH E L HAPPE ’93 @R HAPPE

Thank you for publishing Mariya Karimjee’s ’10 courageous account of her struggle with female genital mutilation. I read it and wept. I cried for her suffering and that of her mother and grandmother. I cried for the rampant violence against women that still dominates the lives of millions across the globe. The United States is no exception; here young women are now encouraged to go under the knife to enhance breasts or shorten labia in order to be more acceptable. I grieve for all of this, but I am so heartened that there are brilliant souls like Mariya, who can speak the truth through her pain and who know deep within themselves that they deserve to enjoy the beautiful bodies that nature gave them. —Mary Jean Hayden ’70 via email “Damage” (Karimjee’s essay in its original form) was a disturbing read, and the author’s story is very traumatic and tragic. It was also unsettling that the author seemed to define empowered authentic womanhood as being available for men to inflict sexual violence on. —Sulekha Gangopadhyay ’10 via email


I thank the Quarterly for printing Mariya Karimjee’s ’10 beautifully written piece. And, with both grief and gratitude, I thank Karimjee for her courage, strength, and willingness to share her painful personal story as a victim of FGM. Its impact brings empathy to other victims, educates readers about this horrific human rights violation, and hopefully motivates readers to action in the struggle to end FGM. I also wish to acknowledge significant ongoing efforts addressing FGM at MHC. Professor Gabriele Wittig Davis has arranged several events that have included visits from FGM activist and writer Tobe Levin; founder of UnCut/Voices Press Dr. Pierre Foldes; and Hubert Prolongeau, author of Undoing FGM—Pierre Foldes, the Surgeon Who Restores the Clitoris. These bold fighters, like Karimjee,


Did anyone else catch this parody on the Late Show with Steven Colbert last night?

have explained well the complicated factors that have contributed to the continuation of FGM. This violence against women  must cease. —Deborah Campbell ’73 via email

Join the Conversation


We were in good company. —Karen Muller ’70 Pretty excited to get my PhD from Mount Holysmokes to go along with my BA from MHC. Miss the Latin though. —Kristin Borden Kraus ’92 So funny! And my husband went to Notre Dame, so we had a great laugh. —Kim Forsyth Sienkiewicz ’88

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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Taylor Scott Senior Director of Marketing & Communications Jennifer Grow ’94 Editor Millie Rossman Creative Director Anne Pinkerton Assistant Director of Digital Communications Jess Ayer Marketing & Communications Assistant CO N T RIBUTORS


Olivia Collins ’18 Alicia Doyon Maryellen Ryan Elizabeth Solet Nicole Villacres ’18 Linda Valencia Xu ’16 QUARTERLY COMMITTEE

Beth Mulligan Dunn ’93, chair Amy L. Cavanaugh ’06 Lauren D. Klein ’03 Katharine L. Ramsden ’80 The Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly is published quarterly in the spring, summer, fall, and winter by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc.


Chicago club attends reading

President Marcia Brumit Kropf ’67

with Gloria Steinem

Vice President Julianne Trabucchi Puckett ’91 Treasurer and Chair, Finance Committee Tara Mia Paone ’81

and Roxane Gay. @aamhc See our hero worship afterglow?

Clerk Ashanta Evans-Blackwell ’95 Alumnae Trustee Catherine Burke ’78 Young Alumnae Representative Elaine C. Cheung ’09 Chair, Nominating Committee Radley Emes ’00 Chair, Classes and Reunion Committee Danielle M. Germain ’93


Chair, Communications Committee Shannon Dalton Giordano ’91 Chair, Volunteer Stewardship Committee Ellen L. Leggett ’75 Chair, Clubs Committee Elizabeth Redmond VanWinkle ’82 Directors-at-Large Katherine S. Hunter ’75 Amanda S. Leinberger ’07 Nancy Bellows Perez ’76

mhc2010 Sunday To-Do List: 1. Pick up the Fall 2015 Alumnae Quarterly. 2. Open to page 28. 3. Read Mariya Karimjee’s powerful essay “Forgive, Can’t Forget.” Originally titled “Damage.” #sundayreads #mhc2010 @m_karimjee @mhcalums

Executive Director Jane E. Zachary ex officio without vote

Winter 2016, volume 100, number 1, was printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington, VT. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA, and additional mailing offices. Ideas expressed in the Alumnae Quarterly do not necessarily reflect the views of Mount Holyoke College or the Alumnae Association of

The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc. 50 College St. South Hadley, MA 01075-1486 413-538-2300

Mount Holyoke College.

The Alumnae Quarterly welcomes

letters. Letters should run not more than 200 words in length, refer to material published in the magazine, and include the writer’s full name. Letters may be edited for clarity and space. To update your information, contact Alumnae Information


(ISSN 0027-2493; USPS 365-280) Please send form 3579 to Alumnae Information Services Mount Holyoke Alumnae Association 50 College St. South Hadley, MA 01075-1486

Services at or 413-538-2303.


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Uncommon Ground

MHC Office of Communications

Board of Trustees Announces Transition in College Leadership After six years of leading the transformative growth of one of the foremost women’s liberal arts colleges in the nation, Mount Holyoke College President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 informed the Board of Trustees in December of her intention to step down, effective June 30, 2016. Pasquerella has been named the next president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. She will succeed Carol Geary Schneider ’67, who was also the College’s 2015 Commencement speaker. Since joining the College as president in July 2010, Pasquerella has brought to Mount Holyoke a deep commitment to creating a vibrant campus community; the launch of the Lynk, which provides a paid internship for each student and connects curriculum to career; a focus on positioning the College for long-term financial sustainability; and global engagement with the Mount Holyoke alumnae community. Pasquerella also was instrumental in leading the College’s successful $305-million campaign, which concluded in June 2013. The College’s Board of Trustees announced that Sonya Stephens, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty, will become acting president of the College for a period of three years, effective July 1, 2016. Stephens, who joined the College in 2013, is a tenured professor of French. She received advanced degrees from the University of Cambridge and previously served as vice provost for undergraduate education at Indiana University, Bloomington.

“There is no greater honor than this invitation to continue to serve Mount Holyoke College as acting president,” Stephens said. “Together we must now build on the many accomplishments of President Pasquerella’s tenure to ensure that Mount Holyoke continues to excel among the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges and to lead in educating and advocating for women worldwide.” Pasquerella enthusiastically supported the trustees’ unanimous appointment of Stephens, calling her “an extraordinary leader who is uniquely qualified to serve Mount Holyoke College in this critical role.” To learn more, visit leadershipchange.

President Lynn Pasquerella ’80, left, and VP for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Sonya Stephens.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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1/4/16 3:26 PM

experiences on panels focused on careers, media, wellness, social justice, leadership, and the future.

were joined by a wide range of experts on European and transatlantic issues who are active in the academic, political, diplomatic, and economic arenas. Alumnae-led workshops generated insightful and animated discussions. Attendees also had opportunities to explore the historical and culinary traditions of Belgium, walking through Brussels guided by local alumnae, learning about the beer-brewing process, participating in a chocolate-making workshop, or climbing to the top of the Leuven University Library.

European Alumnae Symposium

Alumnae & Student Career Networking Fair

During the weekend of October 2–4, 148 alumnae and guests from twenty-four coun-

The annual Alumnae & Student Career Networking Fair was held September 20 in Kendade Hall. Current Mount Holyoke students were able to network with and learn from alumnae in different life stages and a variety of careers. The event brought more than fifty students from the classes

Last fall the Alumnae Association was pleased to support dynamic events, with each providing unique opportunities for networking, education, and inspiration. All together more than four hundred alumnae gathered, reconnecting and making powerful new acquaintances.

Black Alumnae Conference The 2015 Black Alumnae Conference took place November 13–15, bringing together 168 accomplished alumnae, faculty and staff, guests, and current students who spent the weekend networking, celebrating their achievements in life and at work, and discussing ways to empower each other and plan for the future of black women. The weekend included an evening with actor Michelle Hurst ’74 from Orange is the

To view a slideshow from the European Alumnae Symposium, visit alumnae. To view a slideshow from the Black Alumnae Conference, visit alumnae.

New Black; a lunchtime keynote address by Dr. Lisa Milner Masterson ’87 from the TV show The Doctors; and an oral memoir presented by entertainer Brandy and moderated by filmmaker Debra Martin Chase ’77, an event that brought more than four hundred attendees to Chapin Auditorium on Saturday night. Other alumnae shared their


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tries gathered in Leuven, Belgium, for the thirteenth European Alumnae Symposium. The setting was particularly inspiring and symbolic: the Leuven University Library was completely destroyed during WWI and reconstructed with contributions from a number of American academic institutions, including Mount Holyoke College. Several high-profile speakers contributed to interesting and stimulating discussions. Mount Holyoke faculty and alumnae

To view a slideshow from the Alumnae & Student Career Networking Fair, visit

of 2016 and 2017 along with thirty alumnae panelists and three workshop presenters who discussed topics including global business, nonprofit management, journalism, media, and communications.

BAC: Lynne Graves; ES top: Universiteitsbibliotheek KU Leuven; ES bottom: Marijke for MHC Leuven; A&SCF: Lynne Graves

Alumnae Association Fall Events: Bringing Graduates Together

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Women Leading in Public Service Summit: Taking a Seat at the Table

2015 Treasurer’s Report Online

The Alumnae Association’s treasurer’s report for the fiscal year July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015, is now online at alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/treasurersreport. The Association’s assets, liabilities, and net assets for the year are included in the Statement of Financial Position. To request a paper copy, contact Karen Northup-Scudder at 413-538-2300.

WLPS: MHC Office of Communications

BAC: Lynne Graves; ES top: Universiteitsbibliotheek KU Leuven; ES bottom: Marijke for MHC Leuven; A&SCF: Lynne Graves

Panelists Simrit Chhabra ’13 (left) and Charlene van Dijk ’07 discussed “Who’s Making Public Policy? A 50-Year Evolution.”

The Women Leading in Public Service Summit took place on campus November 5–7. Inspired by alumnae who benefited from participating in the Mount Holyoke Washington Internship Program— founded in 1949 by Political Science Professor Victoria Schuck—the weekend celebrated the College’s history of providing first-of-their-kind opportunities to women who launched influential careers in politics, law, education, advocacy, and corporate leadership. “I want MHC’s current faculty and students to know the impact that Vicky Schuck interns have had in public service and that it is upon this foundation that Mount Holyoke’s leadership in public service is built,” said Sally Donner ’63, a key player in bringing Mount Holyoke’s political powerhouses back to campus for the summit. More than 120 alumnae, spanning the classes of 1948 to 2015, gathered to share stories and resources and to inspire new generations of leaders. Nearly 130 current students also attended the summit, gaining valuable knowledge from alumnae in

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prominent public-service jobs. Congresswoman Nita Melnikoff Lowey ’59, who credits Schuck with launching her into the field of politics, gave the keynote address. “Professor Schuck taught us more than history and facts about politics, government, and civics. She taught us to exercise courage, giving us the skills and encouragement to pioneer a new sector for service for women of my generation—government,” said Lowey. “This tradition continues as Mount Holyoke teaches, encourages, and empowers young women today who will undoubtedly be the leaders of tomorrow across every professional sector.” “We want to lead the way in advancing parity for women in public service,” said the College’s Director of Philanthropic Engagement Diane Freedland, project director of the summit. “At Mount Holyoke we have a long history of preparing women for these challenging fields. We want to continue to foster and build on that legacy.” To learn more about the event, visit

Alumnae Celebrate Mountain Day Together On October 6, the bells tolled on campus and the Alumnae Association notified alumnae near and far through email and social media that Mountain Day

Alumnae gathered in Denver for a scoop.

had arrived at last. As planned, 157 groups leapt into action and gathered in cities and towns as far-ranging as Nairobi, Warsaw, Seoul, and Auckland to eat ice cream, share stories, and celebrate their unique Mount Holyoke connections. View more photos at alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/mountainday. Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




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Second Class of Athletes Inducted into Athletics Hall of Fame On October 24, the second class of athletics standouts were inducted into the Mount Holyoke Athletics Hall of Fame during a gala event held at the Willits-Hallowell Conference Center. The class of 2015 includes Barbara Cassani ’82, Michele Drolet ’76, Krista Lindquist ’03, Olga M. Sacasa-Cruz ’84, Cheryl Daley Williams ’94, and the late Ruth Elvedt ’55 and Robert and Maril O’Malley.

Alumna Curates Spring Exhibit at the Art Museum

FRO M LE FT: Lori Hendricks ’92, Michele Drolet ’76, Barbara Cassani ’82, Krista Lindquist ’03, Cheryl Daley Williams ’94, Mollie Hibbard ’55 (representing Ruth Elvedt ’55), and Olga M. Sacasa-Cruz ’84.

“I am thrilled to welcome this second class into our Athletics Hall of Fame,” said Director of Athletics Lori Hendricks ’92. “These accomplished individuals imagined possibility and reset expectations for girls and women in sport. Where challenges existed, these inductees saw opportunities. Their stories celebrate the human spirit and affirm the belief that one person can make a difference.” Read more about the achievements of each inductee—and nominate a possible future honoree—at athletics2015.


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This spring the Weissman and Garonzik galleries of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum will be home to Dancers of the Nightway: Ceremonial Imagery in Navajo Weaving, an exhibit curated by Rebecca Loose Valette ’59 and her husband, JeanPaul Valette, who are both members of the Director’s Circle of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Dancers of the Nightway highlights a selection of pieces from the Valettes’ personal collection, obtained over the past thirty years, that tells the story of the Yeibichai dance, a ceremony that ends a nine-day healing rite called “the Nightway.” By creating weavings that depict the imitation of the dance, weavers were able to protect their private traditions while still creating pieces of work that symbolize Native American spirituality. The idea for the exhibition began after Valette gave a talk on Navajo weavings at her forty-fifth class reunion in 2004. More than a decade later she returned to campus to install her collection.
“It will be great to see some of the pieces publicly displayed,” said Valette. “We are eager to share our findings with the public as well as with collectors and colleagues.” To learn more about this and other exhibitions, visit the museum’s website at

Students Stand Together in Solidarity On November 18, students participated in a national walkout, gathering outside the library and walking together to Kendade Hall. More than two hundred students filled all three floors of the Science Center, showing support for students at the University of Missouri and other campuses coming together against racist threats.

Athletics Hall of Fame: Deirdre Haber Malfatto; Artwork: Christopher Soldt; Kendade: MHC Office of Communications

Yeibichai Dancers, ca. 1925. Handspun wool and commercial yarn, 51 in x 37 in.

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ten minutes with


A Literal Life Saver SUSIE KREINER HOCHENBERG ’68 dedicated twenty-eight

Meredith Heuer

years to teaching students in New York City public high schools. When she retired, she turned her attention to volunteering at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). Two years ago Hochenberg embraced the opportunity to make a difference in a significant new way—by donating one of her kidneys. It didn’t just save a life; it saved the life of her very own husband. On how she became a kidney donor: In 2012 William, my husband of more than thirty years, became very ill. He was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease and immediately went on dialysis for nineteen months until he was healthy enough to receive a new kidney. Thanks to caregivers at Mount Sinai Hospital, William regained his strength. As luck would have it, I was a match to my husband and quickly realized what a gift it would be to donate my kidney to him. In August 2013 we were in adjoining operating rooms. The rest is history.   On giving back: It is estimated that there are 110,000 Americans awaiting a new kidney. Nineteen die each day. I am very glad to tell people how relatively easy it is to donate a kidney and save a life. A healthy person needs only one kidney to live a perfectly normal life. I don’t take any medicines or have any food restrictions. This year I decided the least I could do would be to become a volunteer at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute. The RMTI reaches out to the public letting people know how important it is to consider being a donor, whether it is a kidney, liver (which grows back in the body), or a colon.   On life after kidney donation: A day does not go by that I don’t thank my lucky stars for the care my husband and I received at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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William is back at work practicing family law, and I returned to volunteering, including at the American Museum of Natural History. Tens of thousands of public school students from the tri-state area come to the museum each year, studying everything from dinosaurs to live butterflies and space exploration. There are endless learning activities, and I have made lifelong friends who work and volunteer at the AMNH.

I am living a great life with my one kidney. My husband got his life back with my

other kidney.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




12/16/15 11:30 AM

Betty Shabazz Cultural House Known affectionately by students as “the Betty,” the Betty Shabazz Cultural House serves as a meeting place for student organizations, including the Association of Pan-African Unity (APAU), the Mount Holyoke African and Caribbean Student Association (MHACASA), and Students Against Mass Incarceration (SAMI). The Betty has its roots in Woodbridge Hall, an old student housing building that was once located across Route 116 from Rockefeller Hall. Woodbridge was given by the College to the student-run Afro-American Association (now APAU) in 1968 as a meeting place. When the hall burned down less than a year later, the students moved to an unused building owned by the College behind the health center. The house was initially named the Martha Rolston Perkins Cultural Center in 1973, honoring the oldest living African American alumna—class of 1898—at the time. In 1980 it was renamed when Betty Shabazz, wife of Malcolm X, spoke at Mount Holyoke during a weeklong event celebrating black culture. Today, the Betty is prized as a place where students can gather to discuss cultural issues, talk about heritage and identity, and even mourn events such as recent incidents in Ferguson, Missouri. The Betty is also host to a number of classes, networking programs, and social events throughout the school year. —BY OLIVIA COLLINS ’ 18


Read about Betty Shabazz at


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12/29/15 12:49 PM

Lynne Graves

a place ofview our own insider’s

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Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




12/16/15 11:36 AM

go figure

go figure

Supporting a Powerful Network of Powerful Women The Alumnae Association’s Find Your People campaign resulted in alumnae using the Mount Holyoke Alumnae Directory in record numbers between July and November of 2015


Total number of information updates made in the directory


Class with the largest number of alumnae registered in the directory



Class with the largest percentage of alumnae registered in the directory

Percentage of alumnae with a valid email address in the directory

Number of alumnae with current employment information in the directory


Number of alumnae who registered for the directory for the first time


Percent increase of alumnae who updated their information in the directory compared to the same time period in 2014

Visit to update your information today.

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12/21/15 3:26 PM

the maven


How to Wear a Baby D R E W S I L V E R J O S E P H ’ 0 6 is an advanced babywearing educator.

After struggling to conceive her son, Joseph was eager to promote bonding with her infant through the practice of holding him in a baby carrier. She sought out a group that offered peer support to caregivers. Now Joseph offers the same support as a babywearing educator and in 2014 established her local group in Madison, Wisconsin, as a chapter of Babywearing International Inc. ( In addition to working within her community to provide hands-on support, Joseph serves on the education and research committees with the national organization.

Babywearing is an age-old method of caretaking, allowing a caregiver to be hands-free while meeting the needs of the child. Wearing babies is also proven to alleviate perinatal mood and anxiety disorders through improved bonding and caregiver confidence, reduced infant crying, and shared human interaction. Cultural groups around the world have worn babies for generations. In some modern cultures, babywearing practices have been lost from parenting norms, necessitating the support of babywearing groups to teach about kinds of carriers and babywearing safety. Local babywearing groups host meetings where all caregivers can come to try on carriers and receive support on how to use them.

1. Keep your baby safe Maintaining baby’s safety is the number-one priority while babywearing. Protect a baby’s airway by keeping her face uncovered and her chin off the chest, and be sure she is close enough to kiss. Check her body positioning in the carrier to be sure that she is well supported and not slumping.

Kim Hubball, NorthernSunArtPrints

2. Choose the best baby carrier Just a few years ago finding a carrier to fit your needs meant searching out specialty stores online, without the opportunity to try one on first. Now there are a multitude of options, which can also be overwhelming. Here are the main carrier

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types and why you might want to choose one carrier over another:

• Ring slings are one-shouldered carriers constructed of a single layer of fabric with safety tested rings, perfect for young infants and toddlers who want to get up and down quickly.


Pitch us your area of expertise at quarterly@

able to carry them in your arms or on your back, you can also use a carrier. Wearing a pet is also becoming more common. And, of course, as a child grows older, he may want a carrier of his own to carry dolls or stuffed animals. — BY D R E W S I LV E R J O S E P H ’ 0 6

• Woven and stretchy wraps are sturdy, long pieces of fabric that can be tied in a multitude of ways for maximum comfort for the wearer but have a steeper learning curve for new users. • Buckle carriers, or softstructured carriers, are relatively easy to use, but they are also the least adjustable. These are a good choice for older infants and toddlers, but an infant insert is recommended for newborns and young infants. • Mei Tais have structured bodies and straps like buckle carriers but offer more flexibility and a more customizable fit, allowing multiple caregivers to use the same carrier for children of all ages.

3. Remember, everyone can wear Babywearing is not only for parents. Wearing a child is a great way for grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends, and even older siblings to bond. Older children also like to be worn; if you are

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




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the female gaze



Political Artistry

A Broad Abroad: Surviving (and Loving) Your Junior Year on Foreign Soil Diane Giombetti Clue B ROAD H O RI ZO NS PU B LISH I NG

A Broad Abroad fills the void in travel literature specifically about junior year abroad by detailing Giombetti Clue’s year as a student at the University of Kent in Canterbury. Clue discusses preparing for culture shock, combating homesickness, immersing herself in a foreign culture, traveling on a budget, and confronting repatriation anxiety upon her return. DIANE GIOMBETTI CLUE ’88 has been a public speaker and a

“Attention is such a valuable thing these days. We’re constantly distracted,” says Heidi Neubauer-Winterburn ’03. “I want to help people see things that are important . . . and pause. Pausing is important.” The Denver artist seeks to command the attention of her audiences by utilizing a wide variety of artistic media, including found objects, video, and photography. Neubauer-Winterburn grew up in a family that encouraged creativity, enjoying many art forms, from photography to poetry. But the idea of a career in the arts, she says, “seemed rather naive, unattainable.” At Mount Holyoke Neubauer-Winterburn studied philosophy and law in her early college years. “I actually spent most of my time at MHC avoiding being an artist,” she says. It wasn’t until a trip to India during J-term that the possibility of being an artist arose. During her time abroad, NeubauerWinterburn took black-and-white photos of the skinning and gutting of cattle, a series that made her rethink her active avoidance of pursuing the arts. Once photography opened the gate to artistic expression, Neubauer-Winterburn was unstoppable. Eventually ending up at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she began exploring unconventional materials. Her 2015 show and series, Do Your Teeth Miss the Taste of the Sky?, collected found


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bones and varied materials, including yarn, to create a sculptural anthology that is at once bright and tranquil. Past projects include The Cloud (2011-2015), an inflatable tent of sorts made for a regional Burning Man outdoor festival, and an installation called How to Party Like It’s 2003 in Abu Ghraib (2008), which includes handcuffs, pills, glow sticks, and a video loop. Neubauer-Winterburn says the latter project partially came out of her sense of responsibility as an artist and a citizen. “I think artists have a duty to be political, to speak out about the things they see happening,” she says. She has also examined Guantanamo Bay and other internment facilities across the world, creating video and digital collages that explore the “troubling practices” she observes. Her Internet collage Invented Archives (2008) explores CIA “Black Sites,” internment camps that have come under scrutiny from human rights organizations. Neubauer-Winterburn aims in her own way to call attention to these human rights violations. Neubauer-Winterburn’s video work has been shown across the United States and in Europe. Her most recent solo show was at SPARK Gallery in Denver and was featured in the January 2015 issue of the LandEscape Art Review journal after being selected from nearly 4,000 international submissions. Learn more at —BY OLIVIA COLLINS ’ 18

freelance writer, editor, and proofreader since 1994. Her journeys have taken her to many countries and several continents. A cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College, Clue lives in Upton, Massachusetts, with her husband, Kevin, and their son, Domenic. This is her first book.

Prophets and Moguls, Rangers and Rogues, Bison and Bears: 100 Years of The National Park Service Heather Hansen M OU NTAI N E E RS BOO KS

The year 2016 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service (NPS). This volume celebrates the dedicated men and women of the NPS who have safeguarded the nation’s legacy for a century, telling a history that connects past to present. The book features 125 images, including many archival photos. HEATHER BAUKNEY HANSEN ’94  is an independent reporter based in

Boulder, Colorado. She has written for US and international newspapers, and her work has appeared in many national publications. Her awardwinning, co-authored book, Disappearing Destinations (Vintage, 2008), is a guide to the world’s endangered places. For Prophets and

Mixed media: Heidi Neubauer-Winterburn; Petri dish: Erin McGee Ferrell

TO P : Petals. 2014-15. Bone, plastic petals, 2 in x 13 in x 4 in; BOT TO M : Zip Ties for #blacklivesmatter. 2014-15. Bones, zipties, gold paint, 2 in x 17 in x 4 in.

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Email your submission to quarterly@


Public Art

Moguls she logged roughly 20,000 miles, saw 150 park units, and loved nearly  every minute of it. 

Real Men Don’t Sing: Crooning in American Culture Allison McCracken D U KE U N IVE RSIT Y PRESS

The author explores the history of crooning from its origins in the minstrelsy through its development as the sound most associated with white recording artists, band singers, and radio stars. Charting the rise and fall of early crooners and contrasting Rudy Vallee with Bing Crosby, McCracken demonstrates how attempts to contain crooners created and dictated standards of white masculinity for male singers. ALLISON MCCRACKEN ’90 is associate professor of American studies

at DePaul University. She has written numerous essays and articles and is currently doing work on femininegendered fan communities at conventions and on Tumblr. This is her first book.

Erin McGee Ferrell ’94 isn’t afraid to think outside the studio when painting. You can find her on sidewalks, roadsides, and even in parking garages—primarily in Philadelphia and Portland, Maine—crafting plein air oil paintings of her urban surroundings, playing with perspective, and using bold strokes to paint her world. Her live-painting approach, she says, “is always infused with high energy and stories from the experience at that location. Often the work is created all from intuition without much thought involved.” Though she has caught the attention of tourists and locals alike, Ferrell also paints on commission, and sometimes the two initiatives overlap. In 2014, in collaboration with Whole Foods Market in Portland, Maine, Ferrell created a series of eight paintings, all painted on location at an urban community garden in a city housing project for low-income individuals situated across the street from Whole Foods. The project helped to connect the

two communities. Since 2002 Ferrell’s work has also been installed at hospitals in New Jersey and Massachusetts; she was invited to present some of this work at the 2014 National Society for Arts and Health Care in Houston, Texas. Ferrell’s current work includes the series Petri Dish, in which large creations evoke bacteria and exploration in biology and which will debut at the Swanson Reed Contemporary Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky, her hometown. She also is preparing for a May 2016 solo show at Jasper Arts Center in Jasper, Indiana. At Mount Holyoke Ferrell studied fine art and African studies, spending half of her junior year in Nigeria. “So much needs to be learned for an art career that doesn’t happen in a studio,” she says. And now Ferrell brings her own learning into the open for others to learn from her. For more information on Ferrell’s work and exhibits, visit —BY OLIVIA COLLINS ’ 18

Petri dish series II: 2. 2015. Mixed media on wood, 36 in x 36 in.


See more recent alumnae books at winter2016books.

100 years of the


Park service

ProPhets Moguls, rangers rogues, Bison Bears and



Heather Hansen Foreword by JonatHan Jarvis,

Director, national Park service

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By Rachel Sturtz With additional reporting by Jennifer Grow ’94

Illustration by Zara Picken


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Change in Time Mount Holyoke leads the way with the most inclusive policy on transgender admission among its Seven Sisters peers


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The admission policy—officially in place as the class of e typically think of women as the 2019 submitted their applications to the College—defines minority, but when it flips—when membership in a women’s college expansively, to be as a trans student has that role—all inclusive as it can with respect to gender identity, while sorts of weird stuff happens,” says Cade Friedenbach ’13. still fulfilling Mount Holyoke’s historic mission as a liberal Friedenbach was born female, but the summer before he arts college for women dedicated to academic excellence. enrolled at Mount Holyoke, he began to understand that The announcement came at a time when women’s he no longer identified with his assigned gender. At a loss colleges were being called upon to articfor what that meant, he identified as genderulate their policies with respect to the less and began going by the name Cade while admission of transgender students. About still using female pronouns. By the end of his a month earlier Mills College became the first year, Friedenbach came out as a trans“I’D ALWAYS first women’s college to announce a policy. man and switched to male pronouns. KNOWN MYSELF Mount Holyoke set itself apart by being “I’d always known myself well. I just WELL. I JUST the first of the original Seven Sisters needed the words,” he says. NEEDED to formalize a policy, one that was also At that time, in the spring of 2010, THE WORDS.” the most inclusive at the time, offering Friedenbach knew of only one or two other —CADE admission to “any qualified student who is people on campus using male pronouns, FRIEDENBACH ’13 female or identifies as a woman.” Among which made each of them “infamous,” he the policies since put in place at womsays. But, for Friedenbach, even more difen’s colleges including Smith, Barnard, ficult than explaining the language around Wellesley, and Bryn Mawr, only Simmons his identity was transitioning to make his College, led by President Helen Gannon body match his gender. Drinan ’69, has put in place a policy “As a transgender person on the Mount equally inclusive as Mount Holyoke’s. Holyoke campus, I had to go through a Jen Jack Gieseking ’99 is an urban cultural geogsecond puberty in college,” he says. “I had to learn how rapher whose research focuses on “co-productions to shave in a women’s restroom. And when I walked of space and identity . . . with a focus on sexual and around at night, people made phone calls because I was gender identities.” Gieseking’s first book, The People, the suspicious man on campus.” Place, and Space Reader, was published in 2014 and is a But still, Freidenbach chose to remain at Mount collection of writings brought together “to make sense Holyoke and complete his education at a women’s of the ways we shape and inhabit our world,” he says. college. In his own community—in the dorms and “The best thing about going to Mount Holyoke,” he classrooms and the student groups that he was active says, “is that even if class isn’t focused on gender, you’ll be with—he found the support and safety that are central looking at gender all the time. Patriarchy is introduced.” to the Mount Holyoke experience. As a student Gieseking identified as lesbian. He first came out as trans to the Mount Holyoke community in a class note in the winter 2013 Alumnae Quarterly. “I’m transgender, non-op, and nonuring her 2014 convocation address to the SEX hormone,” he wrote. College community, President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 The classification of people “I go by Jen or Jack and announced that Mount Holyoke had formally as male, female, or intersex. use either pronoun that established a policy around the admission of transSex is assigned at birth based makes grammatical gender students. on reproductive organs. sense—after all, once an “We recognize that what it means to be a woman It does not indicate gender. MHC student, always an is not static,” an emotional Pasquerella said at the MHC alum in matters of ceremony before an amphitheater full of students and GENDER grammar and gender.” community members, many of whom cheered loudly at the announcement. “Just as early feminists argued One’s inner sense of that reducing women to their biological functions was being male, female, or outside a foundation of women’s oppression, we acknowledge culturally defined norms that gender identity is not reducible to the body,” said Pasquerella. “And we are mindful that exclusion from the category of ‘woman’ based on contingent properties of birth is nothing new.”


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Still, the civil rights of the GENDER BINARY trans community are not proThe culturally defined idea that tected in thirty-eight states. As there are only two genders— the Quarterly was going to press, male and female—and that a trans rights were making news person must be one or the other, in several states nationwide. In with nothing in between December, in the case of a trans student athlete in Illinois who CISGENDER had filed a complaint after being Individuals who are gender-typical denied full access to high school or non-transgender locker rooms, the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights GENDER DYSPHORIA mandated that the school district provide access to the locker rooms, bout seven years before the Mount Holyoke The medical diagnosis of a person including private changing statrans policy was put in place, the visibility of trans whose gender at birth is contrary tions. In November, in Houston, men on campus caused a stir among some alumnae. to the one they identify with Texas, voters defeated a proposed The Boston Globe magazine published an article, referendum on the city’s anti“When She Graduates as He,” in April 2007 about discrimination ordinance that Kevin Murphy ’08, a Mount Holyoke student who would have banned discrimination took testosterone and underwent gender reassignment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. surgery while attending the College. An April 2015 survey by the Human The discovery didn’t sit well with some. Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest Alumnae wrote in to the Alumnae lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil Quarterly, and while it’s not the “I LOVE MHC rights organization, revealed that the numcurrent policy of the magazine to SO MUCH ber of likely American voters who say they accept letters that don’t pertain to BECAUSE I personally know or work with a transgender content published in the magazine, DON’T KNOW person is 22 percent, up from 19 percent in the “Viewpoints” section became a IF I WOULD 2014. Still, transgender people are frequently forum of discussion of the issue. HAVE FELT victims of violence, and the statistics tell Alumnae weighed in on both sides. SO SAFE AND a grim tale. The year 2015 was the most In the years since that Boston Globe LOVED AND violent on record, according to the National article the transgender community BEAUTIFUL Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, which has become more visible beyond ANYWHERE reported in November that there were twenacademia and gender studies. While ELSE.” ty-two homicides of trans people in 2015, the term transgender began to be more compared with twelve in 2014 and thirteen widely used after the 1996 publication —JEN JACK GIESEKING ’99 in 2013. And according to a survey conducted of Transgender Warrior by the late by the National Center for Transgender writer and activist Leslie Feinberg— Equality and the National Lesbian Gay whose work also has been credited for Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) Task establishing a serious discipline of Force, 41 percent of transgender people have gender studies—it took decades more attempted suicide. for the trans community to gain larger Alumnae who read Gieseking’s update reached out. They emailed. They asked about pronouns. Connections with new friends opened up. And in 2014, Gieseking attended his class’s fifteenth reunion, returning to campus for the first time since publicly identifying as trans. “Classmates and alums were really out-of-the-way supportive,” Gieseking says. “I love MHC so much because I don’t know if I would have felt so safe and loved and beautiful anywhere else.”

visibility. In June 2014 Time magazine featured on its cover the transgender actor Laverne Cox. President Obama included the transgender community in his January 2015 State of the Union speech. And in September 2015 the television program Transparent, about an adult male transitioning to female, won five Emmy awards in its first season. More recently the public transition of Caitlyn Jenner—former Olympic gold medalist and reality TV star Bruce Jenner—has brought even more focus to the transgender community. Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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n October 2014, the New York Times Magazine cover story was “Men of Wellesley: Can women’s colleges survive the transgender movement?” Quoted in the article, President Pasquerella spoke of the reasoning behind Mount Holyoke’s far-reaching policy in terms of civil rights. It’s the same message she shared during convocation: “We need a formal policy . . . that articulates our core values of individual freedom, social justice, and diversity and inclusion.” The impetus for the policy was a legal case brought against George Fox University, a top-ranked Christian college in Oregon. In 2013 a transgender student was denied a change in housing, which had always been single-sex in accordance with the institution’s religious ethos. The case started a national conversation around the civil rights of transgender students. Part of that

Mount Holyoke’s Policy on Admission of Transgender Students Mount Holyoke College welcomes applications for our undergraduate program from any qualified student who is female or identifies as a woman. As a pioneer in higher education, Mount Holyoke remains committed to its historic mission of providing access to excellence for academically talented women regardless of socioeconomic background. The College values each student’s development, both academically and personally, and recognizes that self-identity may change over time.


Read more about the College’s transgender admission policy, including ten frequently asked questions, at


conversation happened at Mount Holyoke, and within a year, after months of detailed meetings with staff, board members, and students, President Pasquerella addressed the community. The College’s policy guarantees that transgender students are given the same rights as every other student. Their applications are handled no differently, housing assignments only consider sleep and study habits for pairing roommates, and the College offers the same opportunity to compete in athletics in compliance with NCAA policies. Trans students, like all Mount Holyoke undergraduates, also have access to peer health educators and referrals to community health care providers, who understand the nuances of hormonal and surgical transition. And if a trans student legally changes his or her name, Mount Holyoke will make those changes to diplomas and other college records. Since the policy was introduced, many students and alumnae have voiced their opinions and asked important questions about what it means for Mount Holyoke. During the two reunion weekends last May, the Alumnae Association hosted a panel titled “The Transgender Conversation Continuum” to give alumnae a forum for learning about the policy and the opportunity to ask any questions they may have. Before one panel began, a mother expressed her concerns to President Pasquerella about her daughter being in the same bathroom as men and trans women. “She said, ‘It’s not about your daughter or other [cisgender] students—this is about protecting the minority students, not the majority,’” says Friedenbach, who was on the panel. “That set the tone for everyone else.” The questions raised during each panel were thoughtful, and sometimes provocative. “How do you propose we create a safe space for trans men at institutions that have historically ‘empowered’ women for centuries?” “If we are gender inclusive, aren’t we becoming co-ed?” “What sort of structural inclusive changes are you offering to current and future gender non-conforming students, (i.e., living learning centers, dedicated staff advocates, etc.)?” “What is the classroom experience?” several people wanted to know. “How does a person who was born a biological female and transitioned to a male end up at a women’s college?” says KC Haydon ’00, assistant professor of psychology and education and one of the panelists at the reunion sessions.

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“My students have talked about that one quite a bit. They’ll talk about the false dichotomy that we perceive in our species that isn’t there. Biology is not straightforward, and then you layer on the complexity of human identity and psychology. Just because a student identifies as a male when they’re twenty years old, they still had twenty years of being socialized as a woman. That’s why the policy is so consistent with our identity as a women’s college,” Haydon says. Her best insight came from one of her students who is a transman: “He asked me ‘What better place for me than a women’s college? People understand gender dysphoria, they work for change, they’re ready to have conversations, and I want to be a part of that.’” “Issues of identity and inequality are important aspects of belonging, and in order to create an inclusive learning community, it is critical that all members of the community feel safe and secure,” says Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall, who also was a panelist during Reunion and one of the officers involved in the discussions that led to the development of the College’s policy. “Acknowledging and affirming people’s identities is certainly one key aspect of this. In more than fifteen years working in higher education, I have been aware of students identifying their pronouns and choosing nonbinary pronouns to describe their gender identities. As people of all ages feel more comfortable to identify outside of the gender binary, this is likely to continue.”

n the nearly three years since Friedenbach graduated, the transgender movement has grown—at Mount Holyoke, on other campuses nationwide, and beyond the higher education landscape. “This is the next movement,” says Gieseking. “[Identifying as trans] doesn’t mean you’re going to get surgery or change your name. There is not a script. It’s about accepting all people.” And while there is a policy that now formally recognizes them, transgender students have in fact been an active and accepted part of the Mount Holyoke student body for years. According to a recent student survey by the College, about 0.5 percent of Mount Holyoke’s student body, or ten students at any given time, identify as transgender, a statistic that is slightly higher than the 0.3 percent estimated number of trans people in the US, according to a 2011 study by UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.

TRANSGENDER: Mount Holyoke is also a community that fosters inclusiveA broad term for people whose gender ness. The College is already a safe identities don’t match assigned sex at birth place for the queer community, with several student groups for TRANSMAN: LGBTQ students. In November A person assigned female sex at birth who the Mount Holyoke News reported identifies with a male gender and/or body that the College was ranked one of the country’s “12 Best Colleges for TRANSWOMAN: Queer Women” by SheWired, an online magazine for women “gay, A person assigned male sex at birth who straight, and in-between.” identifies with a female gender and/or body “I feel very proud about my experience in my role as SOURCES: MHC Coalition for Gender Awareness, a woman in this world,” says American Psychiatric Association Elliot Ruggles ’06, a transman who now runs the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center at the State University of New York in Oneonta. “What’s nice about MHC is that being in a segregated space, you get to see how many types of women there are. It doesn’t espouse the idealized version of femininity— there’s freedom in defining who you are.” “We know how complicating it is to be a woman,” says Gieseking. “How much change needs to happen. I wouldn’t have the strength or capacity to fight for change if I hadn’t become such a feminist.” Most students at the height of their college careers are striving to do the work that undergraduates have always done—meet deadlines, make grades, solidify a next step beyond their bachelor’s degree. For Mount Holyoke students—all Mount Holyoke students— that work is grounded in their education at a women’s institution, an education that demands that they be aware of needed change. And, like so many remarkable Mount Holyoke students and alums before them, that they be at the forefront of making that change.

Rachel Sturtz is a freelance writer living in Denver. She writes for many publications, including Outside, Marie Claire, and Popular Mechanics.

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On Point

Championing liberal education By Abe Loomis

On a very warm spring day last May, hundreds of graduating seniors, their families, and guests gathered in Gettell Amphitheater for the College’s 178th Commencement exercises. Perched on the edges of their seats and on the brink of embarking on the next important steps in pursuing their careers, they received one final boost of confidence that they were well prepared, no matter their chosen path. “Mount Holyoke is breaking new ground in twentyfirst-century education,” commencement speaker Carol Geary Schneider ’67 enthusiastically said. “A liberal education teaches you to look critically at the evidence before you leap to judgment, and it also challenges you to consider your options and your ethical responsibilities from other people’s points of view and not just from your own.” Photo by Atwater Studios Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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Schneider is longtime president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities and an expert on American higher education. She says Mount Holyoke is setting a standard of forward-looking excellence not simply as a women’s college, but as a paragon of liberal education. Schneider makes a distinction between a “liberal education” and a “liberal-arts education.” Studying the liberal arts is just one way to pursue a liberal education, which is intended to equip citizen leaders with a wide knowledge of the world, with the intellectual capacities to make rigorous and reasoned judgments, and with an ethical compass and sense of responsibility for contributing to the world and helping to solve important problems. Schneider believes this mission is expanding, and Mount Holyoke is leading the way. “In the twenty-first century there is a fourth dimension to liberal education,” Schneider says. “It is the notion that students ought to be able to integrate and apply their learning. By integrate, I mean that they can connect the broad knowledge, the intellectual skills, and the sense of responsibility and then actually apply those, whether it is in research, in a project, or in something within the wider community, but something where they

actually rehearse a thoughtful, responsible use of their knowledge. With the Lynk program, Mount Holyoke has really stepped out ahead of most other liberal-arts colleges in saying, ‘We’re going to insist that all of our students do this.’” Introduced in 2013, the Lynk program connects students’ academic work with practical applications of the liberal arts and sciences. In doing so, Schneider says, the program prepares learners for the professional world while sustaining the best traditions of liberal education—traditions that, in many different forms, have enriched the lives of countless Mount Holyoke alumnae. Lina Rivero Cashin ’88 is a retired United States Air Force colonel and a senior policy and strategy analyst at Aerospace Corp. Her work involves writing and presenting recommendations to the Air Force and Department of Defense on how the US can better collaborate with international partners to build and deploy satellite constellations and other systems used in space. During her years at Mount Holyoke, she says, the diversity of experience and interests she saw in her peers opened her eyes to worlds she had not yet encountered. “My freshman year,” she says “my roommate was a ballet dancer, and I was a physics major.

Tim Llewellyn

In May 2015 Carol Geary Schneider ’67, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, addressed graduating seniors during commencement.


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Where does that happen? And what does it do for you? Well, what it does for you is you end up going to all the ballet and theater productions because you want to support your roommate, but then you also learn from it, and you learn that people think differently, and do different things, and are accomplished at different things.” Eventually a double major in math and physics, Cashin, who attended Mount Holyoke on an ROTC scholarship, joined the Air Force immediately after graduation. In her first job with the Air Force, working as an analyst in an operations complex deep within the granite walls of Colorado’s Cheyenne Mountain, she used the math and physics skills she had learned in college to track space debris, helping protect satellites and other US space systems from orbital collisions. Soon the broader training she had received at Mount Holyoke—what Schneider has called the “powers of the mind”—came into play. “As you mature in your career field,” Cashin says, “instead of being the technical operator, running the system, running the computer, making contact with the satellites or actually launching rockets, you end up using skills that are a little more diverse—to advocate, or to request funding, or to run briefings, or to teach other people.” The practical integration of such skills with tangible, real-world projects is precisely what Schneider sees as so valuable—and prescient— about Mount Holyoke’s move toward linking academic studies with applied work. “The notion of hands-on experience has been very much a part of the professional fields for a long time,” Schneider says. “Business students frequently develop some kind of a business strategy, often for an actual firm; education students get out there and have a supervised teaching experience; nursing students have a clinical experience and so on. And I think that it has taken a while for the humanities and social sciences in particular to figure out what applied learning looks like for them. This is where Mount Holyoke is ahead of the curve in creating an integrated program, and it’s a very exciting model for the College and for the disciplines of the arts and sciences.”

Mount Holyoke is developing a powerful and exciting model for twenty-first-century liberal education—a model that deliberately and actively prepares college women to connect your learning with the world’s most important questions. —CAROL GEARY SCHNEIDER ’67 from her 2015 commencement address

According to Schneider, the integration of applied learning in the curriculum is by no means a substitute for—but rather is in addition to—the enduring goals of a liberal education. And, as generations of Mount Holyoke students have learned, the particular details contained in a broad knowledge of the world can resonate in unexpected ways. Seema Nanda’s FP’12 journey to Mount Holyoke was decidedly nontraditional. Born into a family that revered education—her mother and grandmother are both teachers, and many in her immediate family have advanced degrees—she herself started college later than many. She has struggled with depression, and after high school she worked various jobs near her home in Houston and occasionally took classes at a local community college. She arrived in South Hadley as a Frances Perkins scholar at the age of thirty-one and studied philosophy. She had earned some college credits after high school graduation, but she had never before felt the depth of support as a learner that she felt at Mount Holyoke. She also enjoyed what felt like greater freedom in her classes, away from the distraction—and sometimes condescension—of male peers. Nanda felt comfortable expressing herself in Mount Holyoke classrooms. She felt empowered by her classmates and her professors, and that confidence informed her life after graduation. Though she had felt pressure to finish college before striking out on her own path, when she graduated in 2012 she thought: “Now I can do whatever I want!”

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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Her calling turned out to be art, and she has dedicated herself to it ever since. Nanda works in mixed media, and she has shown her creations in galleries in Houston, where she takes art classes and works part time at Girls Inc., instructing children on relational aggression and other social and behavioral topics, as she builds a career in art. She plans to apply to MFA programs in 2016. “This whole exploration of art—and really of myself—has been very healing,” she says. “Not on its own, of course. But being recognized for my work, getting positive feedback, having people enjoy it— it’s been amazing, really. It’s something that’s very difficult to express fully. [Art] becomes something you have to do, something you’re not choosing to do. And you don’t want to stop anyway, so that’s fine!” Nanda credits her experience at Mount Holyoke with giving her the confidence to try to make a living as an artist, and she also recalls an anthropology class that changed her life in an unexpected way. “We read a book—Ecstasy and Healing in Nepal, I think it was called—and they talked about depression,” she says. “But in the book they called it something else. They called it ‘soul-loss.’ And I thought: That’s really accurate. That’s how it feels. And it described healing practices that I hadn’t known about before.” She read more about Shamanism and found a healer who she says was able to help her in important and lasting ways. “That’s one very significant way that Mount Holyoke influenced my life,” she says. “If I had never read that book I would never have considered it—if I hadn’t had that exposure. I’m just glad I took that class. It’s been paying me back for a while.”


See more benefits of a liberal education at


There’s no question that the education Mount Holyoke offers literally is transformative, filling the amazing women who study here with an infectious sense of purpose and passion you will carry with you in everything you do. —CAROL GEARY SCHNEIDER ’67 from her 2015 commencement address

If a liberal education can change lives so directly, it can also ripple out in other ways—shifting perspectives, changing opinions, and raising awareness about the effects of individual and institutional choices. “The notion that we have commitments beyond ourselves, responsibilities to something higher than ourselves, is an enduring theme in a liberal-arts education,” Schneider says. “We’re trying to prepare people to take ethical and societal responsibility for the use of knowledge. It’s not just that you can think things through and have a wealth of knowledge, but that you concern yourself with the ethical and social consequences of what you are doing.” Susana Morris ’02 is a professor of English at Auburn University in Alabama. She specializes in contemporary African American and African Caribbean literature, writes about women’s stories and experiences for About News, and is a cofounder of the Crunk Feminist Collective, a blog whose contributors also include writer and activist Eesha Pandit ’03. Like many professors, Morris often sits on doctoral committees outside of her own discipline, and it was on one of those, she says, that she was reminded again of the critical importance of both cultivating a moral imagination and developing the habit of rigorously exploring the implications of policies or innovations.

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Several years ago, she says, she was on a committee in computer science for a PhD candidate who was working on voice-recognition software designed to identify a speaker’s race. The software was intended for insurance companies and medical-care providers who could use it to guide callers to specific treatments or approaches based on statistical connections between race and illness. “As you might imagine,” Morris says, “I thought this was particularly problematic. First of all, we’re not really sure why people get particular diseases. And also, how do you recognize a voice that’s racialized? I mean we all have stereotypes about what people sound like, but I’ve had cases of mistaken identity many times, where I’ve shown up and people have said, ‘You’re black? Looking at your name and hearing your voice I did not think you were black.’ Whatever that means. And no one thought this might be a problem?” Morris believes the perspective she gained at Mount Holyoke from thinking and reading widely and discussing critical questions with a diverse collection of peers prepared her well for moments like these. “This is where the liberal arts come in,” she says. “If you’re not intuitively asking these questions—if the discipline doesn’t have room for it—then where do you cultivate the sensibility that not only gives you the ability to create something like this software but also teaches you to think about the implications? Twenty million novels will tell you this is a bad idea. Go read Frankenstein. This is English 101!” Bringing English 101 into the computer lab—and finding other creative ways to apply broad learning, diverse viewpoints, and a social conscience to the practical problems confronted in the real world— are what Schneider and many others believe are the keys to educational success in the twenty-first century. And it is in just this approach that Mount Holyoke has chosen to invest. As Schneider put it in her commencement address to the class of 2015:

“Mount Holyoke is connecting this new focus on action learning with its long-standing strength as one of the nation’s premier research colleges. Students at Mount Holyoke aren’t asked to choose between research and real-world experience. Mount Holyoke provides the best of both.”

Abe Loomis is a freelance writer based in western Massachusetts.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As the Alumnae Quarterly was about to go to press,

we learned that Carol Geary Schneider ’67 will step down as president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She will be succeeded by Lynn Pasquerella ’80, who will continue to serve as Mount Holyoke’s president through June and assume her new role on July 1, 2016. To learn more, visit

MountHolyoke HolyokeAlumnae Alumnae Quarterly Quarterly Mount

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||| SWUIMNMT E R 2 0 1 65 |||


1/4/16 3:23 PM

Internationalizing the Student Experience By Elizabeth Lund


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During the week of November 16, the Mount Holyoke campus was awash with banners and signs celebrating the sixteenth anniversary of International Education Week. Indeed, Mount Holyoke had a lot to celebrate. On November 17, President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 attended a celebration and ceremony in Washington, DC, where she participated in a panel discussion on internationalization in higher education with the leaders of other top institutions. Later that evening Pasquerella accepted the Senator Paul Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization, presented to Mount Holyoke College by NAFSA: Association of International Educators. The College was among five institutions selected to receive the prestigious award, which annually recognizes a small number of colleges and universities that are using innovative, creative approaches to make significant, well-documented progress toward comprehensive internationalization. “It is a great honor to receive this award,” says Eva Paus, Carol Hoffmann Collins Director of the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives, who also attended the ceremony in DC and was first notified of Deirdre Haber Malfatto

the honor last February. “It recognizes the College’s achievements in international education over the last ten years and highlights that we are at the forefront in an area that is a top priority for all institutions of higher education in the country.” Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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A World of Opportunities

“You may choose among many courses with an international focus, learn another language, or participate in a team-taught global challenges course where you will meet with renowned scholar-practitioners in culminating conferences,” Paus wrote. Students may also complete an international internship or study abroad

Paus and McCulloch Center: James Gehrt; Award photos (2): NAFSA

Last spring, newly admitted students received a welcome letter from Paus highlighting some of the many programs and resources available at the College that can help prepare them for successful careers and citizenship in today’s rapidly changing global world.


Clockwise, from top left: Eva Paus, director of the College’s McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives; a banner at the Simon Award ceremony in November; the McCulloch Center entryway in Dwight Hall; President Pasquerella receives the Senator Paul Simon Award from NAFSA members in DC in November.


in one of MHC’s many programs and exchanges, or in one of more than 150 other programs and universities. Currently, MHC students are studying in thirty countries across six continents.

Global, Even Before She Was Born While every student’s story is different, Shahd Al-Jawhari ’17 epitomizes the effectiveness of the Mount Holyoke approach. Al-Jawhari grew up in Jordan the daughter of a Filipino mother and a Jordanian father, in a household that emphasized the importance of understanding other cultures and empowering women—even though the larger culture did not. She chose to attend Mount Holyoke because she wanted to transform herself from a self-described introvert into a quietly effective leader. “I used to be afraid of speaking up in class, and it took courage to voice my opinion,” she says. A first-year seminar on gender and cyberculture—issues that affect women around the world—gave Al-Jawhari the chance to participate in discussions and to see how her ideas impacted other people’s thinking. “I learned to have more of an open mind about people who have different perspectives and different backgrounds,” she says. A few months later, she began attending weekly Student Senate meetings, where she listened as roughly 150 student leaders met to discuss issues and concerns on campus. “I didn’t think I had much to contribute,” she says. But her peers in the Arab Student Association thought otherwise, and they elected her to represent them in her sophomore year. That experience taught her the importance of discussing problems, listening to diverse opinions, and looking for solution-based actions. “Living outside of your culture gives you a different perception of how things are and how society works,” she says.

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The McCulloch Center Stories like Al-Jawhari’s delight the staff of the McCulloch Center, which was founded in 2004 to implement strategic internationalization within the entire community of faculty, students, staff, and alumnae. Its mission reflects a history of international outreach that dates back to 1839—two years after the College’s founding—when its first international student enrolled. In 1928 the first MHC students studied abroad, at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since then MHC has developed internationally focused curricular and cocurricular offerings. Based on such a rich context, international education became a strategic priority in 2003. From the beginning, the McCulloch Center’s work has been innovative, integrative, and collaborative. Study abroad, international student services, and immigration services were incorporated into the newly created entity. The Center also created the position of director of international experiential learning— held by Kirk Lange—to promote and support internships and research abroad. Shortly thereafter, Paus and her staff began reaching out to College faculty—25 percent of whom are foreign born—to develop and implement international education initiatives. Faculty members from all three academic divisions participated in the new crossdepartmental initiatives. Among them: incorporating scholars-in-residence into classes; using information technology to bring global perspectives into the classroom; facilitating and mentoring student internships and research abroad; team-teaching global challenges courses;

and integrating learning-abroad advising into advising in students’ majors. In the spring eight faculty members from the computer science, economics, international relations, philosophy, physics, and politic science departments will team-teach a two-credit course to explore with 160 students how globalization and robotization affect the future of jobs. The course will culminate in a conference hosted by the Center on February 19–20, during which authorities from around the world will analyze these challenges from different perspectives and draw lessons for action.

The Power of International Diversity in the Classroom International learning happens in traditional classroom settings as well, as it always has at Mount Holyoke, with students across disciplines teaching each other by bringing their cultures into the classroom. Holly Hanson, chair of the history department, vividly recalls a moment when she was teaching a course on African culture. Several African American students asked if they could analyze how people use hairstyle to claim elite status. After giving a well-argued, well-evidenced presentation, the group said to their peers, “You have no idea how much harder it is to take care of our hair.” That led to a long, frank discussion. “The students with [straight] hair like mine asked the questions they had always wanted to ask but never had an opportunity to,” Hanson says. The result was greater understanding and respect all around. “I loved it. And that is so Mount Holyoke,” says Hanson. Jon Western, Carol Hoffmann Collins ’63 Professor of International Relations and Five College Professor of International Relations, teaches US foreign policy, international security, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. In all of his classes, Western spends a great deal of time discussing the com-

plexity of the world’s challenges, which can be a bit overwhelming, he says, given the constant drumbeat of the news. Yet because his students bring so many perspectives to the classroom, he says, they “can identify and discuss an extensive set of examples in which people can and do create significant change.” For instance, he says, “In countries with cultures that emphasize respect for elders, families concerned about environmental pollution reach out to the parents and grandparents of the managers of factories that are dumping toxins into water streams.” This would be unheard of in the US but is highly effective in other countries.

Chris Connell, NAFSA

“You also gain a different perspective on yourself.” Al-Jawhari began serving as Chair of Halls this year. Her leadership roles inform her other work on campus, including her work in the Alumnae Association, where she assists in helping alumnae of all ages to navigate a constantly evolving campus.


From left, Immigration Specialist and Senior Administrative Assistant Jennifer Medina, Dean of International Students Donna van Handle ’74, Dean of International Studies Joanne Such Picard MA ’86, Director of International Experiential Learning Kirk Lange, Carol Hoffman Collins Director Eva Paus, and Administrative Assistant Fatoumata Gadjigo.

Free Polar Graph Paper from Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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Global Lynk: Learning Abroad

The Power of Global Education at Mount Holyoke: Alumnae Voices Caledonia Moore ’14 grew up in rural Maine and completed an emergency medical training course at the College during her sophomore year. That summer she interned in a medical clinic in Lima, Peru, and was stunned to learn that community members who served as first responders had very little first-aid training. “Can I teach them?” she asked her supervisor. The answer was a resounding “yes.” Moore taught a six-week emergency course for nearly thirty people. When she returned to campus, she applied for and received a Davis Projects for Peace grant, which allowed her and a fellow student to provide equipment and emergency training to sixty more women in the towns outside of Lima the following year. Those experiences convinced Moore that global health is local health, and the health care challenges facing communities on the outskirts of Lima are not that different than those facing communities in rural New England. Today, she is studying medicine at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine. “As a physician in training, I constantly see myself advocating for those who are excluded on the basis of difference,” she says. Kate Gordon Murphy ’08, a US citizen, has pursued a career in strategy consulting in the biotech/pharma field and recently developed and deployed a global patient support program to support the launch of a new drug. “My interest and understanding of working with people of different cultures has been tremendously helpful,” she says. “Currently, I’m creating a collaboration among all major research clinics to standardize and aggregate data on orphan diseases. I am certain the success of this initiative is primarily due to my ability to bring together people of diverse backgrounds toward a shared common goal—a skill I learned from my experience at Mount Holyoke.” Qimti Paienjton ’08 is a Pakistani citizen now working as a social policy analyst for UNICEF in Zambia. “The fact that I had friends from all over the world at Mount Holyoke has probably helped me to move so seamlessly from one part of the world to another,” she says. “No food is too strange, no language too hard to learn a little bit of, and no people too different to befriend meaningfully.”


The opportunity to study or intern abroad is crucial to the Center’s mission, says Paus. She and her colleague Joanne Such Picard MA ’86, dean of international studies, met with faculty early on in the Center’s history to discuss how they could support this goal for all students, regardless of their major course of study. One result of their work was that the share of science majors in the study-abroad population increased from 9 percent in 2006–07 to 16 percent in 2013–14. Another success: the percentage of African American students studying abroad rose from 26 percent in 2003–04, below the MHC average, to 44 percent in 2013–14. To increase the number of internships available, the Center has leveraged a program founded by Professor Ruth Lawson in 1950: the MHC International Internship Program (MHC-IIP). Under the leadership of Lange this global network of partner organizations now stretches across twenty countries around the world and offers internships in fields ranging from publishing to policy analysis and from second-language acquisition to social entrepreneurship. Mount Holyoke alumnae have been instrumental in the success of MHC-IIP, brokering the majority of placements. Vijaya Pastala ’89, for example, has created two internships in her award-winning social enterprise Under the Mango Tree, which addresses declining crop production and unstable incomes for rural farmers in India. Pastala serves as mentor to her interns, helping them connect their studies at MHC to her work reintroducing honey bees that pollinate crops and produce honey that farmers can sell. Pastala has worked with MHC students from Vietnam, India, and the US. “I continue to be dazzled by their determination to make a difference and their ability to balance their sensitivities with the insight necessary to understand

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Communicating Across Difference As news spread about the import of the Senator Paul Simon Award, people all across campus celebrated the honor by considering once again what it means to be an effective leader and responsible global citizen. For Donna Van Handle ’74, senior lecturer in German Studies and dean of international students, the short answer involves speaking another person’s language, both literally and figuratively. As she often tells international students— who comprise more than a quarter of the student body—“Employers value not only the ability [of workers] to speak multiple languages—but to know, learn, and understand the cultural meaning and cultural context expressed by using a particular language.” As a German major whose Irish grandmother had worked at MHC, Van Handle understood the concept of globalization early in life. “International students have that understanding before they arrive on campus,” she says, which is why their interaction with domestic students and the local community “enriches not only their lives but the lives of those with whom they interact or have contact.” A poignant example of this happens each November, when the international student dean in concert with the Alumnae Association runs a Thanksgiving program that allows international students to enjoy the holiday meal with a local family or spend a few days with an alumna nearby.

The interaction helps both students and alumnae expand their understanding of another culture and of the enduring bonds MHC fosters. “Many students and alums stay in touch for the entire time the student is at MHC and beyond,” Van Handle says. “One international student remarked that it was the best experience she’d ever had.”

A Mini United Nations Every day on campus Mount Holyoke students from across the United States and from seventy countries around the world come together to learn how to be leaders in an increasingly complex, interconnected world. They come to develop communication skills and to learn how to promote collaboration, create consensus, and build community to achieve their goals. They come to listen, discuss, and understand other perspectives before using that understanding to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems: hunger, environmental destruction, social injustice, and war. As a matter of course, these students all across campus demonstrate how internationalization can enrich one’s daily life. For some, that means discussing cultural or racial differences with a roommate from another nation; for others it means attending a campus event sponsored by one of twenty-nine international student organizations. Still others reflect on comments they heard from an international expert who addressed one of their classes via teleconferencing. For Al-Jawhari, internationalization is profound, just like the multi-faith lunch she attends every Wednesday at Eliot House. There, students share their day-to-day struggles and support one another in myriad ways. “Sometimes the group listens to a personal story or talks about a project someone is working on,” she says. “MHC is a home away from home for anyone, because the students make it what it is.” The group’s unwavering support of one another informs Al-Jawhari’s dreams

for the future, which include starting a nonprofit to empower young women in her native Jordan. What she has learned here, on MHC’s 800 acres, applies to the global stage as well. “We are all here together. We are the ones who create the community,” she says.

Elizabeth Lund is a writer and reviewer based near Boston.

James Gehrt

poverty and to build on their intellectual understanding of global standards so they can enhance their internship experience,” she says. “International internships enable students to see theory in practice, to learn a foreign language through new professional usages and vocabulary, and to better understand who they are in the world. And this could not happen without our alumnae,” says Lange.


Chair of Halls Shahd Al-Jawhari ’17, a member of the College’s Student Government Association’s Executive Board who also serves as chair of the Arab Student Association, speaks at a Student Senate meeting in November.


Learn more about the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at

Free Polar Graph Paper from Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly

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MoHome Memories Making the Most of a Snowy Day Sledding down the hills of campus

We used the cafeteria trays on the hill above the Mandelles. —Paula Yurkanis Bruice ’63 We used to use cafeteria trays on the hill across from Ham and MacGregor until they told us not to use them any more. —Suzanne Willis ’72 We only ever used trays on the hill above the Mandelles. Wonderful memory. (And I’ll take the cold over the heat any day.) —Betsy Lawyer Allinson ’73 I never did it. Too terrified, but lots of others did. Looked like such fun. —Virginia M. Lincoln ’82

SINCE ITS E A R LIEST DAYS, Mount Holyoke’s students have had to

endure the winters of South Hadley, Massachusetts. While generations of undergraduates have come and gone, one snowy activity has remained a campus favorite over the decades: sledding. Every winter, students can rent sleds from the Mount Holyoke Outing Club, bundle up in their


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warmest clothes, and head to a hill on campus to take a break from their studies. For the bravest and most adventurous of them, the shortage of proper sleds has never been a deterrent. Cafeteria trays and garbage bags were (and still are) perfectly acceptable— and perhaps even more popular— substitutes for the traditional sled. — BY L I N D A VA L E N C I A X U ’ 1 6

Having worked in the kitchen in the Mandelles, I MAY have been a supplier of trays to my friends. Of course we always returned what we borrowed. I remember grabbing a pile of trays one night and going out back to the hill. I wish I could remember all our partners in crime, but rest assured Mugzie was there. Cold and dark with just enough light to keep things interesting. Definitely one of the many benefits of living in the Mandelles! —Trish Palmiere ’93

MHC Archives and Special Collections

Students from Maine tobogganing on Prospect Hill in 1961. Pictured, from left, are Constance Bogh DiCesare ’63, Martha Sturgis ’62, Janet McLean Hunt ’61, Martha Hurd Guerchef ’62, and Stephanie Smith ’63.

We’d borrow some trays from the kitchen and go “traying” down the hill when it snowed. It was great fun but we definitely hit some bumps on the way down. I’d be finding black and blue marks for the next couple of days! —Margaret (Mugzie) Flitsch ’93

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on display


Barometers Mercury reigns

L I N I NG T H E WA L L S of the first floor of Kendade Hall are eleven stick barometers, dating from 1790 to 1860. Each standing several feet tall and constructed from wood, glass, and metal, the mercury barometers were once used to measure atmospheric pressure in order to predict the weather and to determine altitude. The collection was donated in 2003 by Marion (Junie) Craig Potter ’49, who also gifted the College a $5.5 million grant for the Kendade project and for whom the building’s sitting area was named Potter Atrium. A retired gynecologist and obstetrician in Rochester, New York, Potter has not only amassed a personal collection of barometers but also one of wishbones, ranging in species from hummingbirds to emus. —BY OLIVIA COLLINS ’ 18


James Gehrt

To see the complete collection of barometers visit alumnae.mtholyoke. edu/barometers.

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Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




12/29/15 1:05 PM

then and now

Outing Club Cabin In 1928 student members of the Mount Holyoke Outing Club (MHOC) embarked on an effort to raise money for construction of a new cabin on Skinner Mountain. Led by senior Marion Emerson Dekkers ’29, the campaign was quickly successful, and

The cabin held a maximum of twelve people, but because the club encouraged visitors to get to know each other, they permitted only three people per group and on most weekends arranged for four separate groups to stay at the cabin together. Spending

In 1958 a fire destroyed the MHOC cabin exactly “29 years minus a day after the dedication,” according to a letter to alumnae written by Sharon Fairley Francis ’59. With the help of alumnae the Outing Club raised an estimated $15,000 to rebuild



fee of thirty-five dollars. There are two chair positions on the MHOC board whose sole responsibility is to schedule and manage cabin rentals and repairs. The cabin is available on most weekends, and reservations are taken up to a week before. In addition to overseeing the cabin, the club rents sleeping bags, tents, snowshoes, and sleds, among other equipment. Of course, one of the club’s most popular and accessible events is its

Members of the 2015-16 Outing Club gather on a fall day.

President Mary Woolley (left) attended the open house of the newly built cabin.


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1929 a weekend from Saturday morning to Sunday afternoon cost $1.35 per person. History Professor Nellie Neilson founded the Outing Club in 1921 in order to “promote student involvement in outdoor sports.” Until 1934, the club was a part of the athletic department, and so students went on the trips as part of their physical education requirements. Activities ranged from horseback riding, skiing, tobogganing, skating, snowshoeing, hiking, and canoeing.

the cabin. By December 1960 the cabin was completed and once again open to the public. Today the Outing Club is still a student-run group and still rents out the fifty-fiveyear-old cabin. There are bunks for six people, though additional guests may sleep on the floor. The cabin is available for rental by Mount Holyoke students and staff for twentyfive dollars per night. Those not affiliated with the College may also rent the cabin for a

yearly Mountain Day hike— a six-mile round trip from the base of Mt. Holyoke to its peak and back again. —BY NICOLE VILLACRES ’ 18


Watch a 1939 video of an Outing Club canoe race on Upper Lake at alumnae.

1929: MHC Archives and Special Collections; 2016: James Gehrt

on January 19, 1929, the club invited the MHC community to a housewarming party to inaugurate their newly finished cabin. According to records in the College’s archives, members of the Outing Club encouraged all those wishing to use the cabin to bring furnishings and amenities such as chairs and pillows as well as books, cards, and food in order to “produce a true cabin atmosphere.” Doughnuts and coffee were served as guests roamed throughout the cabin with occasional “exclamations of delight . . . as people kept finding more things that add to the cabin,” according to a newspaper clipping about the event.

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Class and club contacts are available online at or

Anne Ensworth Whitney (2); Wikimedia commons








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REUN I ON 2 016

T H 5 0T R E U N I O N S T A R T S M A Y 1 5







international students themselves,” said Anne Luders Campbell ’80, alumna coordinator of the program. For the second year in a row Anne Ensworth Whitney ’58 hosted Ngoc Vu and Ziyan Zhou, both class of 2017, at her home in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, for Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family. “There were four generations present, which gave the girls a real feel for the family nature of the celebration,” said Whitney. “We try to give them American experiences, which they do not get at home.” During the visit, Whitney shared with Vu and Zhou some American traditions, such as picking out a Christmas tree and decorating wreaths. In return, the students— Vu from Vietnam, and Zhou from China—shared their own traditions, TO P (FRO M LE FT): Kathy Boyce Morse ’66, cooking an Asian dinner for Whitney Anne Ensworth Whitney ’58, Ziyan Zhou ’17, and and another alumna, her college Ngoc Vu ’17 enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner together; roommate’s sister, Kathy Boyce BOT TO M : Vu and Zhou help choose a Christmas tree. Morse ’66, who lives nearby. The Alumnae Thanksgiving Host Over Thanksgiving break Mount Holyoke alumProgram was established in 2001 by former nae from across New England and New York Alumnae Association President Cynthia Reed welcomed students into their homes to share ’80 in response to the events of September 11 their Thanksgiving traditions as part of the as a way to provide respite to international Mount Holyoke College Alumnae Thanksgiving students who had just arrived on campus. Host Program for International Students. Now in its fourteenth year, the program has This year thirty-one students—from expanded as the number of international China, Vietnam, South Korea, India, Pakistan, students on campus has grown. Former Paraguay, France, and Germany—spent coordinator and current dean of international Thanksgiving with alumnae hosts in New York, students, Donna Van Handle ’74, serves as Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, an advisor to the program and helps to match and Maine. “Some of this year’s participating hosts and students. — B Y J E S S AY E R alums are repeat hosts, and some of them were




Alumnae Share Thanksgiving Traditions with International Students




For more information visit

Travel Abroad with Sister Alumnae We invite you to join one or more of the Alumnae Association’s travel opportunities this year. Visit Burgundy, Provence, and Normandy, June 8–19, 2016.

B&B Program Alumnae, faculty, staff, and students and their immediate families are invited to stay at a variety of bed and breakfast establishments as part of the Association’s Bed and Breakfast program. Visit bedandbreakfasts. Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




12/21/15 3:01 PM

It was my sophomore year. . . . We had a blizzard, but classes were not canceled. I remember heading off to Clapp from Buckland, and I couldn’t see ten feet in front of me.

— N ATA L I E K U G U E N KO O S T I N ’ 8 4


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12/29/15 1:24 PM

JIm Gipe

a place of our own

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Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly




12/29/15 1:25 PM

my voice


Words. Power. Life.


Pitch your topic at quarterly@


I FIRST BE CAME AWARE of the term “pro-life” in 2004 when my mother and I walked in the March for Women’s Lives, a demonstration in Washington, DC, held to protest George W. Bush’s assaults on reproductive rights. At age fifteen I didn’t fully comprehend the scope and fervor of the anti-abortion movement, but with every protest comes a counter-protest, and on our route we were confronted with blown-up images of dead and mangled babies. After listening to rousing speeches by Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, Power structures and others, I was baffled by this negativity and are literally built lack of understanding, into our language. and I wondered who these people were who called themselves pro-life. Now I tend to cringe every time I hear someone

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use the term. Who in their right moral mind would say they are “anti-life”? Not those who campaign and protest to maintain the right to legal abortion, the reproductive rights advocates who would argue that they are protecting the lives of mothers. To be fair, pro-choice is also a term constructed with a specific agenda and purpose: to cast the opposing side in a negative light. It is a vague and abstract word, articulating a rhetorical viewpoint rather than a reality. If we were to be literal, the two sides in this debate should be called pro-legal-abortion and anti-legal-abortion. But looking at terms only through a literal lens belies the abstract issues at play. In a recent interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Gloria Steinem stated, “The definition of patriarchy is being able to control reproduction.” The pro-life movement has proven itself to be interested purely in that: control. Words like pro-life are mobilized for political action and used to maintain the existing hierarchy. They must be questioned and challenged if we are to fight control over our reproductive rights and dismantle the patriarchal structure that entraps us. We live in a society that is built on words. In these days of hashtags, blogs, and social media, words can spread faster and farther than ever before, their influence growing exponentially with each share. We cannot let them just wash over us without scrutinizing their implications. Highly politicized terms like prolife and pro-choice are so widely accepted that even feminists use them every day without considering their effects. Power structures are literally built into our language. As I have grown up, I have become more infuriated when I hear opponents of legal abortion refer to themselves as pro-life, as if to imply that those who disagree with them are against life itself. In its basic construction, the term implies that all those who disagree with it are morally repellent. When we examine what a word is both saying and not saying, it becomes clear what its role is in the structures of oppression. To me, “pro-life” is inextricably entwined with those angry, shouting people, using manipulative images of the most devastating cases to skew the argument in their favor. I myself would rename it, if we were sticking with the rhetorical model, as “pro-control.”

Julia Breckenreid


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Short month. Long legacy.

It’s FebruMary! Mary Lyon’s passion for women’s education had, and continues to have, a global reach. She inspired hundreds of early grads to establish schools—in New York, Minnesota, Alabama, Hawaii, Turkey, Afghanistan, South Africa, and Japan (to name a few). This FebruMary, we celebrate Mount Holyoke students and alumnae who take their passions out into the world: teachers, athletes, activists, researchers, dancers, musicians, scientists, artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, _________ (insert your passion here). Make Mary’s (birth)day: Send a photo of yourself—wherever you are, whatever you are doing—with Mary. And visit to see where else her legacy lives! #FebruMary #MaryGoesGlobal

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The Mount Holyoke Fund

12/16/15 10:13 AM

50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075

Jodie Pope Morrison ’97, CEO of Tokai Pharmaceuticals. Mary-Ellen Taplin ’82, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute clinician and researcher. Connected in 2009 at an advisory board meeting. The only two women in the room. Globally advancing the precision medicine movement for prostate cancer patients. Discover what the power of the network can do for you. Update your information and start connecting.

Jodie Pope Morrison ’97

Mary-Ellen Taplin ’82 Read more about this Mount Holyoke connection at

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12/21/15 1:30 PM

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2016  

Change in Time: Mount Holyoke’s transgender admission policy. The most inclusive of its Seven Sisters peers.

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2016  

Change in Time: Mount Holyoke’s transgender admission policy. The most inclusive of its Seven Sisters peers.