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


Summer 2011


Always in Style

Reverse Culture Shock Rita Banerji ’90 (right) writes about returning home to India after female-centric MHC and wondering: “Where are all the women?”

18 Don’t Wait to be Asked, Run, Run! Mary Hughes ’74 headlines a national, nonpartisan effort to persuade more women to run for elected office.




Mount Holyoke alumnae Quarterly Summer 2011 Volume 95 Number 2 Editor Emily Harrison Weir

Associate Editor Mieke H. Bomann

Class Notes Editor Kris halpin

Designers ALDRICH DESIGN Design Farm (class notes)

On the cover:

Jo-Dee Grant Gentile ’74 and her daughter Emily Priscilla Gentile FP’11 prepare for the laurel parade at reunion/ commencement weekend. Photo by Ben Barnhart

Betsy Scheibel

DA for the Downtrodden Betsy Scheibel ’77, Massachusetts’ first female district attorney, built a reputation as a victims’ advocate over her thirty-year career.


2 Viewpoints Fat ain’t fit; WASP “minority”; Arabic speakers 5 Campus Currents Commencement ideals; task force agenda; classroom secrets; philosophy at work 25 Alumnae Matters Lights! Cameras! Reunion!; alumnae mentor MHC juniors; ideology and healthcare 31 Off the Shelf Radical reform; dinosaur anatomy; discovering witches 35 Class Notes News of your classmates, and reunion photos 78 Bulletin Board Documentary photography; luxury travel to Mediterranean; service trip to Nicaragua

Quarterly Committee: Avice Meehan ’77 (chair), Cindy L. Carpenter ’83, Jillian K. Dunham ’97, Catherine Manegold (faculty rep.), Sabine Scherer ’12 (student rep.), Shoshana Walter ’07, Hannah Clay Wareham ’09 Alumnae Association Board of Directors President* Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Vice President (Engagement)* Jennifer A. Durst ’95 Treasurer* Lynda Dean Alexander ’80 Clerk* Hilary M. Salmon ’03 Classes and Reunion Director Erin Ennis ’92 Alumnae Trustee Director Ellen Hyde Pace ’81 Nominating Director Antoria D. Howard-Marrow ’81 Director-at-Large, Human Resources* Joanna MacWilliams Jones ’67 Director-at-Large (Global Initiatives) Sharyanne J. McSwain ’84 Communications Director Sandy Mallalieu ’91 Young Alumnae Representative Tamara J. Dews ’06 Quarterly Director Avice Meehan ’77 Clubs Director Jenna L. Tonner ’62 Executive Director* Jane E. Zachary, ex officio without vote *Executive Committee The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, Inc., 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486; 413-538-2300; fax: 413-538-2254

The Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College serves a worldwide network of diverse individuals, cultivates and celebrates vibrant connections among all alumnae, fosters lifelong learning in the liberal arts tradition, and facilitates opportunities for alumnae to advance the goals and values of the College. Ideas expressed in the Quarterly are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of either the Alumnae Association or the College. General comments concerning the Quarterly should be sent to Emily Weir (eweir@mtholyoke. edu or Alumnae Quarterly, Alumnae Association, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 010751486). For class notes matters, contact Kris Halpin (413-538-2300, classnotes@mtholyoke. edu). Contact Alumnae Information Services with contact information updates (same address; 413-538-2303; Phone 413-538-2300 with general questions regarding the Alumnae Association, or visit www. The Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly (USPS 365-280) is published quarterly in the spring, summer, fall, and winter by the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College Inc., 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 010751486. Summer 2011, volume 95, number 2, was printed in the USA by Lane Press, Burlington, VT. Periodicals postage paid at South Hadley, MA, and additional mailing offices.

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

viewpoints Editor’s note: Spring’s cover story, “Letting Go of the Body Myth,” polarized readers to an unusual degree. Our reader survey results revealed that it drew both the second-highest “disliked or hated it” score and the third-highest “liked or loved it” score of any cover story in the past four years.

Obesity is Not Healthy I’m writing in response to Melinda Blau’s article “Letting Go of the Body Myth” (spring). I’m happy to see that Gabi Gregg has found success with her blog, and I think her mission to make a difference in women’s lives is noble. That said, I felt the article was misleading from a health standpoint. I am a family nurse practitioner, and as a healthcare professional, I found some of the points of the article to be distorted, if not outright wrong. One of the most glaring examples is the quotation from the head athletic trainer, Ellen Perrella, who said, “The consequences of obesity have been greatly exaggerated … Yes, sedentary people— who often are overweight as well—are plagued by health problems. But correlation isn’t causation. It’s fitness that matters, not weight.” This is simply a false statement. I’m troubled that an athletic trainer would say this. The number of studies that show the dangers of


obesity is overwhelming. It is a fact that the greater the amount of fat tissue one has, the greater the insulin resistance, which is one of the key problems in type 2 diabetes. Statements like Perrella’s are not only incorrect, but they reinforce unhealthy attitudes. In my practice, I treat a number of overweight patients, many of whom suffer from type 2 diabetes and the complications that go along with the disease. It is a constant struggle to get them to change their eating and exercise habits. Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are increasing rapidly in this country, and the two go hand-in-hand. While the popular image of the ultrathin supermodel representing the feminine ideal has a negative impact on young women’s body image, saying that it is OK to be overweight is equally dangerous. Elizabeth A. Meade ’02  Redlands, California

Ellen Perrella responds:

It is understandable that the “health at every size” philosophy is hard to accept when we are bombarded by the messages that “obesity kills” and “obesity is a disease” every time we turn around. There are many who benefit from this perspective, after all: the diet industry is a $60 billion-per-year business. But fat is not pathological, and obesity in no way meets the criteria of a disease. This

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national “war on obesity” has only led to further discrimination, shaming, and humiliation of people who are large. There is a significant body of research supporting the concept that the real issues regarding health are a healthy diet and [sufficient] exercise. An examination of studies that looked at body mass index (BMI) and mortality show that men and women with a BMI of 25–30, which is considered overweight, have the lowest mortality rate. The research done at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research concluded in part that being heavy did not increase the risk of premature death, and that given equal fitness levels, being overweight is better than being underweight. The bottom line is, small, medium, and large people who have poor dietary habits and sedentary lifestyles are at increased risk for health problems. Obesity is associated with diabetes and has thus been

assumed to cause diabetes. The “thrifty gene hypothesis” suggests the causal relationship is backward; instead, insulin resistance causes weight gain and, consequently, obesity. The implication is that obesity and type 2 diabetes are two consequences of the same underlying defects: hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance. Diabetes improves with changes in diet and exercise, independent of weight changes. We need to stop focusing on weight and concentrate on the things that really matter and that we can control: diet and exercise. The fact is, we do not have a safe and effective way to lose weight. The recidivism rate for regaining the weight lost in dieting is approximately 95 percent. The health consequences, not to mention the psychological cost, of weight cycling are severe. As the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine put it, “the cure for obesity may be worse than the condition.”

Ideal BMI My word! The spring issue of the alumnae Quarterly has left me disappointed and concerned. I have always appreciated my opportunity to attend one of the more intellectual women’s colleges, but your latest issue is disappointing in that the “Body Myth” article is not smart. By promoting being overweight as being OK, you think you are being kind, but the effect is quite the opposite. Your article fails to let readers understand the dangers of obesity, where fatty cholesterol accumulates in arteries in proportion to excess body weight, causing strokes, heart disease, and hypertension. It is all very well to encourage a balanced self-esteem rather than obsessive fixation on a fashionably lean self-image. However, it is just not right to encourage the acceptance of being overweight, because that is at least as dangerous as anorexia or bulimia. MHC athletic trainer Ellen Perrella strikes the correct note: a lifetime near the ideal body/ mass ratio is what MHC should be promoting. And I can attest to that! I was in the class of 1945, which gained some notoriety when, upon arriving at college, we were sent to the gym, instructed to disrobe, and had ourwas pictures taken Pasquerella greeted within a the nude, facing the camera standing ovation. and in profile. Then we were interviewed about our family or ethnic background. There was a lot of fun made of that

event, but for me, it turned out to be one of the most important and memorable parts of my college education. Several months later there appeared in my post office box a slip of paper on which was printed: “Your weight is 118 pounds. Your optimum weight is 111 pounds.” Well worth the cost of tuition. Why do I say that? Because through all these sixty-six years, aside from three pregnancies, my weight has kept close to 111 pounds, and my cholesterol has been nominal—or, as our family doctor puts it, “fantastic.” Jean Horton Davis ’45

Weems, Virginia

Gaining Perspective The spring issue of the Quarterly is fantastic, the cover story so important.

I have never been especially thin, and even before college, I sometimes felt pressure to lose weight. When I was at MHC, I knew a lot of women who struggled with body-image issues and eating disorders. I wound up living with a number of women who were constantly dieting and obsessing about their weight, and knew several who struggled with anorexia and bulimia. It seems to me that body-image issues are contagious: suddenly I wasn’t sure if my short, athletic body was thin enough anymore.

I spent my sophomore through senior years trying to make myself a size 4, but mostly just making myself (and probably some of my friends) miserable. It wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I stumbled across books on mindful and intuitive eating and the evils of the diet industry. When I was growing up, I always considered dieting the inevitable fate of adult women. Now I realize that I don’t have to buy into the diet culture or the media’s image of the ideal female body; but knowing that doesn’t always make body acceptance easier. Reminders like the story in the Quarterly help a lot. (And doesn’t the story on the condition of Afghan women put the American woman’s obsession with her weight in perspective?) Diane Vanaskie Mulligan ’01

Worcester, Massachusetts

Love Your Bodies What a relief to know that somewhere in the United States, young women are taking action and making their voices heard about the epidemic of the obsession with skinny. I myself have struggled with body image and feel that educating women about health and helping them learn to love their own bodies is critical. Crissey Hewitt ’06

Falls Village, Connecticut

WASPs Need Validation, Too Something has been brewing in me for a while now, and the latest Quarterly just brought it into focus. Maybe I’m just getting old and grumpy, but Mount Holyoke, as reflected in the Quarterly, is almost unrecognizable to me. I’ve been back to many reunions, so it isn’t just that I’ve not been back. There is so much focus on traditional minorities, on international things, on LGBT, on the various crusades mentioned in the latest Quarterly. All these are wonderful, especially the eye-opening article about Afghan women. I was also eager to read the article on loving our bodies but was disappointed that it did not mention aging bodies, which is what a great many alumnae are experiencing. At the risk of being politically incorrect, I admit that I begin to feel like a minority. I’m a WASP, also a Yankee (most of my ancestors came to New England in the 1600s), and come from a Mount Holyoke family: my grandmother’s cousin was Florence Sargent 1899, and my mother was Ruth James English ’29, so I grew up with a Quarterly on the coffee table. Does anyone at Mount Holyoke consider this group? Where we have come from, who we are now, where we are going? At Mount Holyoke, all of the

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Jane English ’64 Calais, Vermont

Plenty of Arabic Speakers As a retired foreign service officer and Arabic speaker, I was shocked and appalled to see the following quote in the interview with Mohammed Jiyad, “Strengthening the Arab Voice” (spring). Jiyad stated that “When America invaded Iraq, three people in the government spoke Arabic.” I beg to differ. I was part of a sizable cadre of Arabic speakers serving both in Washington and the Middle East, who were trained in Arabic by the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. The bureau provides two years of language training—in Washington, DC, in Beirut from the 1950s until 1975, and since then in Tunisia. I retired from active duty in 2001—all my overseas tours were in the Middle East—and I worked on Iraq in the Department of State from 2002 until 2008. Hence, I know very well that a considerable number of my Arabic-speaking colleagues


served in Baghdad and in provincial reconstruction teams all over Iraq, several for more than one tour of duty. It has become fashionable to attack and ridicule the US government and its dedicated people in several agencies who work hard, often with great personal sacrifice, to carry out the government’s policies, even if they personally disagree with those policies. It is upsetting to find this insulting and uninformed view published in the Quarterly. Dr. Jiyad owes an apology for his deplorable comment to all the dedicated US government employees who learn difficult languages and serve in dangerous places. Andrea Morel Farsakh ’60

Arlington, Virginia

Mohammed Jiyad responds:

My fault! I should have been more specific. I know for a fact that there are many native speakers of Arabic who work for the US government, including the Defense Language Institute in California, the Air Force Academy in Colorado, the Army Intelligence Service in Baltimore, and the War College. Some of them are my friends and/ or former classmates. Of course, many more work for the FBI, CIA, and the State Department. In the weeks and months after September 11, I was watching the Arabic media closely: television, radio, and newspapers. During that

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period, only three officials talked to the Arab audience frequently. They were functionally proficient to the degree that they were able to speak Arabic fluently during interviews, were able to comment on events, and to explain the American policy. Those were the individuals I was referring to.

We got more letters than would fit into even this expanded “viewpoints” section; your voices continue online at alumnae.

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

more recent viewpoints stand supported by an institution created by the group of which I am a part. I’m not asking anyone to thank us or our ancestors, just to recognize us as one element of this multicultural mix that is now Mount Holyoke, no better and no worse than any other group.

campuscurrents The Liberal Arts Are Essential to Democratic Ideals Commencement speaker says current focus on profit making no substitute for “richer network of human connections” Narrative imagination, global understanding, and critical examination of self and of tradition are the three essential human capacities required for the survival of democracy, philosopher Martha Nussbaum told graduating seniors at commencement. Nussbaum, a widely published author on topics ranging from ethics to emotions to liberal education to Greek philosophy, is the Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago and delivered the college’s 174th commencement address. The recipient of an honorary doctor of humane letters degree noted that these capabilities are well cultivated in the arts and humanities curricula of MHC and its liberal-arts peers, but they are increasingly under attack elsewhere. “Seen as useless frills, at a time when nations must cut away all useless things in order to stay competitive in the global market, they are rapidly losing their place in curricula and in the minds and heart of parents and young adults,” Nussbaum said.

Keeping colleges like MHC strong, advocating that local school boards and state governments pay attention to the arts and humanities, and pursuing the goals of liberalarts education throughout life can help keep imagination, creativity, and critical thought alive, Nussbaum told the 591 graduates and their friends and family gathered at Gettell Amphitheater. Student speaker Zehra Nabi ’11 leavened the philosopher’s concerns that critical imagination and global acuity were at death’s doorstep in a quirky talk laced with references to “Googled” Latin phrases and the swine flu epidemic of 2010. She noted that at Mount Holyoke, “you are more likely to find students from Romania and China than from Ohio,” and that 2011 Mohos, while not the antiauthoritarians of the 1960s, still take pride in having stood up to the college when their multicolored OneCards were threatened with the banality of a single hue. Receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree was Margaret Marshall, the recently retired chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. A native

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Martha Nussbaum

Task Forces Tackle Tough Topics

The foci of the groups are curriculum-to-career, new markets, the core academic program, and admission and retention. The priorities relate to the planning committee’s three broad goals: that the college demonstrate a deep and abiding commitment to a liberal education; that it develop and begin to implement a financial model that is sustainable; and that it ensure that its policies, practices, and campus culture support the mission and values of the college. of South Africa and early anti-apartheid student leader, Marshall more recently made significant changes in the state’s lawyer disciplinary program and sought to improve judicial access to citizens of modest means, limited English proficiency, and those with disabilities.

Also receiving honorary degrees were educator Nancy Ahlberg Mellor ’59, who for the last twenty-five years has worked to enroll the gifted children of California’s Latino farm workers in advanced high-school classes and to prepare them for college; and Gordon Hisashi Sato, a biologist who in retirement has focused on developing low-tech, sustainable agricultural projects in Eritrea. “May you live joyful and productive lives in our complicated world,” Nussbaum wished MHC’s latest additions to its alumnae sisterhood, “taking your education with you and fighting to keep it alive.”—M.H.B. For links to all of the commencement speeches, as well as photos and videos, go to


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The task forces have been asked to make recommendations for “bold yet realistic change” by October, when they will be reviewed and potentially approved for implementation beginning in 2012–13. Curriculum-to-career is not a new concept, administrators note—the Nexus program, Community-Based Learning, and internships are approaches to it—but they say the college needs a more robust program, aggressively marketed, if it wants to attract the students its seeks. New markets include graduate programs and the possibility of opening the undergraduate degree program to men. The core academic program—anchored in the lib-

eral arts—remains at MHC’s center but needs attention to its scope and structure, the college notes. Key topics for that task force include college learning goals, the shape and size of the faculty, and modes of delivery of the curriculum. Admission and retention are shorthand for marketing and financial aid, tuition pricing, and programs in the first two years that foster students’ connections with MHC. See how the task forces and the planning committee goals intersect at mtholyoke.

edu/iplanning/presidential_ task_forces.html.

Preliminary Strategic Plan Released: In related news, the Strategic Planning Committee has posted online a preliminary five-year strategic plan and report on its work over the past year. Read it, and submit your comments, at alumnae.

Here Comes the Class of 2015 With a record 3,401 applications, the MHC class of 2015 numbers 625 students, 157 or 25 percent of whom were admitted early decision. According to Diane Anci, dean of admission and interim vice president for enrollment and college relations, the number who arrive in September will be closer to the college’s target of 585 students after the summer “melt”— that period when

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

Presidential task forces have begun work in four areas labeled high priorities by the Strategic Planning Committee.

The Great MHC

©John B r a mley/D isney Ent erprises Inc.; below : Thomas Jacob/M H C Archives

Domestic students of color represent 16 percent of the class, or 107 students, and international citizens comprise 23 percent or 141 students. Twenty-six students are from China, ten are from India, and eight are from Vietnam. This year, too, the class includes ten more Posse Scholars from Miami, joining the college’s first Posse group from last year, as well as thirty-seven 21st-Century Scholars. Posse students help promote cross-cultural communication on campus and 21st Century Scholars are outstanding students who receive merit-based scholarships. “The efforts of MHC alumnae volunteers were, as always, invaluable in helping us reach such a record and such a class,” said Anci. “Our new Sphinxes are a diverse, talented, and enthusiastic group, and we are all looking forward to their arrival in the fall.”

Congratulations! You completed the first pop quiz in the spring Q with fly-

ing colors. Now, see if you can do the same with part two by matching the clue to the right movie, play, or TV show. (This one may be a little harder—we’re crafty.) Post your own MHC pop culture finds at popculture. 6. In what 1979 comedy does Alan Arkin’s character diss the family his daughter’s about to join with this slam (after seeing the squalid office of Peter Falk, the father of the groom): “Four years at Mount Holyoke so she could marry into this?” 7. In what 1987 film does Theresa Russell play an MHC alumna who just might be a sultry serial killer? 8. In what 2004 crime drama is it said of a woman accused of three murders: “How could she do that? She went to Holyoke, for God’s sake!” 9. In what 1978 film do the men of “Faber College” (based on Dartmouth) take a road trip to look for dates at “Emily Dickinson College” (modeled after Mount Holyoke)? 10. What famous Triple-Crown winner was named in honor of Elizabeth Ham ’28, who worked for more than thirty years for businessman Christopher Chenery? The 2010 film starred Diane Lane.

Margo Martindale (above) played Elizabeth Ham ’28 (below right) on film. In what movie was a champion named in honor of Ham? A. Bob Rafelson’s thriller Black Widow B. The In-Laws C. Secretariat D. in the Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode “Consumed.” E. National Lampoon’s Animal House

Answers: 6-B, 7-A, 8-D, 9-E, 10-C

The class, said Anci, “is very good and solid,” comparable on all levels to last year’s. The number of students coming from the New England and Mid-Atlantic states is up from 216 last year to 302 this year, with students coming from the South (156) and West (129) similar to last year’s count.

Culture Quiz: Part 2


some students who have said yes defer their admission or change their plans.

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Teachers, Scholars, Friends Four notable professors share classroom secrets

Four MHC faculty members received awards for teaching and scholarship last winter at an annual celebration of their professional accomplishments. Nieves RomeroDiaz, professor of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American studies; and John Grayson, Professor of Religion on the Alumnae Foundation, both received the MHC Faculty Award for Teaching. Romero-Diaz’s current research focuses on the intersections between gender and politics during the reign of Philip IV. Grayson is working on a biography about the women who shaped Frederick Douglass’s life. Gary Gillis, associate professor of biological sciences, and Gail Hornstein, professor of psychology and education, received the Meribeth E. Cameron Faculty Award for Scholarship.

and the experiences of those who suffer from mental illness. To gain some insight into how these professors deliver encouragement and expectations to MHC learners and still have time to do their own research, we asked this year’s honorees to share a few of their secrets. [Note: John Grayson was out of the country and did not respond in time for publication.]— M.H.B. AQ: A good teacher is often described as doing certain things, like challenging, listening, risking, and offering. What are some of the things you do? NR-D: I like to challenge my students. Learning a foreign language is hard; but learning about the culture of early modern Spain, my area of expertise, is even harder. I challenge my students to immerse themselves in that period, with its problems and conflicts, and then to relate them to their own problems and conflicts, by questioning what they know and by thinking critically from a historical and theoretical perspective. It is important to make connections.

GH: I show students that they can understand psychology at a very high level, succeed at challenging assignments, and apply what they’ve learned. I keep myself challenged by constantly revising my courses and offering new ones. AQ: A good teacher is certain things—such as humble, honest, agile, funny. What are you? GG: I like to think I’m funny. I’m also unbelievably agile, but physical agility is tough to demonstrate in most classes. If I taught ping pong it would be a different story.

NR-D: Instead of answering this myself, I will use a few adjectives that my students often use in their evaluations. They say that I am passionate about what I teach … and that my enthusiasm is contagious. In the end, I believe that a good teacher should be a good human being, one who is a role model for future generations. GH: I am rigorous yet informal, fair, and always, I hope, clear. I appreciate the freedom to improvise that is one reward of thirty years of teaching. Keeping the pace moving, involving a diverse range of students in the discussion, and offering as many opportunities for relaxed laughter as the content will allow—these are some of my goals. AQ: It’s got to be tough to teach at MHC and at the same time conduct demanding, worthy research in your field. What’s your secret to doing both? GG: I don’t think it’s a secret; managing this balancing act just requires hard work (and lots of it). My strategy is to devote most of my time to teaching during the school

Below, left to right: John Grayson, Professor of Religion on the Alumnae Foundation; Nieves RomeroDiaz, professor of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American studies; Gary Gillis, associate professor of biological sciences; Gail Hornstein, professor of psychology and education

Gillis specializes in vertebrate musculoskeletal systems and recently won an award from the National Science Foundation for research into the biomechanics of toads’ hopping. Hornstein specializes in the history of twentieth-century psychology and psychiatry


GG: Although I find myself with less and less time to do it, working one-on-one with students in my laboratory is probably the most enjoyable, effective, and meaningful teaching that I do. For students to understand the questions I’m asking, and to see over and over again how I approach and answer those questions, is a form of intellectual apprenticeship that translates well into their moving beyond Mount Holyoke, and asking and answering their own questions.

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

The importance of good teaching makes the news almost every day, and it is essential to the MHC educational experience. Coupled with the scholarly work demanded of college professors, exceptional teaching is not an easy feat given its demands of organization, knowledge, personality, and experience, along with that indefinable something that the best teachers seem to hold in spades.


N ews and N otes from A round the Campus

Ban ks : Hobart & Willi a m Smit h Colleges, Clin ton: US D epartmen t of Stat e , sign: Gett y Im ages

year, and most of my time to research in the summer, J-term, and sabbaticals. I’ve found it very difficult to balance teaching and research on a day-to-day or even week-to-week basis. NR-D: My first secret is organization, organization, and organization. I plan everything I do by hours, days, weeks, months, and even years. My second secret is loving what I do.… I love teaching and researching—teaching what I uncover in my research and researching what I discover from my teaching. GH: Getting up early. And knowing when to take a break and what specific kind of break will actually be restorative. I don’t feel the need to work at every moment (despite the increasing cultural pressures to do so), and cherish the diversions that I’ve found to be crucial to my mental health: gardening, cooking, living in London, fishing, lying on a beach by an ocean. Taking real breaks is what keeps me productive.

To read the professors’ complete responses, go to alumnae. To read the citations presented them at the awards ceremony, go to stories/5682714.

New Dean Cerri Banks, former dean of William Smith College and an education professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is MHC’s new dean of the college. Banks was dean of William Smith, a women’s college that partners with Hobart College, since July 2008, and was an assistant professor since 2005 in the education department at Hobart and William Smith. She also taught at Syracuse University as an adjunct professor and graduate instructor from 2001 through 2007. Common Read The “common read” for students entering in fall 2011 and spring 2012 will be Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. In a review of the book, Kavita Ramdas, a 1985 alumna and college trustee, noted, “It is critical that the message we take away from

Japan Relief The MHC soccer team kicked in $3,000 to help victims of the multiple disasters that occurred in Japan in March. The squad played a charity match with a Japanese travel team and sold $5 “We Pray for Japan” bracelets, designed by Lady Gaga to benefit the Japanese Red Cross. “The charity game is a way for Mount Holyoke soccer to stand up for our friends who were affected by the earthquake and tsunami,” said head coach Kanae Haneishi, who is originally from Japan. That ’s Good Value! Mount Holyoke is once again among the nation’s fifty “best value” private colleges and universities, according to the Princeton Review. Said the Review editors, “From its outstanding academic program and facilities to its accomplished students to the formidable faculty who love teaching as much as research, Mount Holyoke provides a first-rate experience.” Still Studying Abroad Junior year abroad is still hot, and in 2009–10, 38 percent of the class got out of Dodge to explore the world. That number jumps when you include students who studied overseas during the summer or during January, and those who did research or were interns abroad. Most go to the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, but itineraries included forty-five countries.

Lessons From an Improbable Life, to a large crowd in Chapin Auditorium in spring. A private reception beforehand benefitted the Picknelly Adult and Family Education Center in Holyoke.


this book is not simply horror at the epidemic of global gender violence and injustice. Half the Sky reminds us that women also hold solutions to our world’s greatest challenges.”

Partners in Public Service Work is under way at MHC to prepare for a women’s leadership conference at Bryn Mawr College in fall, the first step in a collaboration of Seven Sister colleges and the US State Department. The Women in Public Service Initiative was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “to promote the next generation of women who will invest in their countries and communities.” New Art Museum Director Appointed John R. Stomberg is the new director of the Mount Holyoke Art Museum. Currently deputy director and chief curator of the Williams College Museum of Art, Stomberg offers two decades of experience in art and museum education and started at Mount Holyoke on August 1.

Governor in the House Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick reads from his new memoir, A Reason to Believe:

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Philosophy Goes to Work in the “Real World” If you think philosophy is only for the ultra-theoretically inclined, think again. This still-heady discipline in recent years has engaged with the general public in a growing number of settings as practitioners sit on medical ethics boards, teach in elementary schools, tackle contemporary moral issues such as abortion and racism, and counsel corporations to do the right thing. MHC philosopher Susan Hawthorne is likewise engaged. A former executive

editor of The Physician and Sportsmedicine at McGrawHill Companies, Hawthorne, now a visiting assistant professor at MHC, focuses on the philosophy of biomedical science in general and the controversies surrounding attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, in particular. The debate Hawthorne addresses is whether ADHD, now characterized in part by children who fidget, squirm, interrupt in class, and slack off on their homework,

Susan Hawthorne on the playground at Gorse Children’s Center at Stonybrook


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Nearly 10 percent of children and 5 percent of adults are diagnosed with ADHD, says Susan Hawthorne. should be approached only with a “medical diagnoseand-treat model,” Hawthorne says, or by also considering “changing attitudes and social structures, with a goal of increased tolerance of difference.” She came to her philosophic inquiries and research midcareer, and a bit by hap-

penstance. “I was working at McGraw Hill … and suddenly a new disease would appear” in her peer-reviewed journal, recalls Hawthorne, who completed two years of medical school. Reverse anorexia, for example, cropped up one day as a condition of bodybuilders who work out obsessively,

Hawthorne couldn’t put her finger on what bothered her about this and other medically diagnosed conditions such as obesity and chronic fatigue syndrome except that it wasn’t simply the “medicalization” of unusual behaviors. It wasn’t until she took a few classes and ultimately received a PhD in philosophy that she says she acquired the vocabulary to express her interest in the effect social influences were having on science, and that science was having on society. Hawthorne said she chose to study ADHD specifically because its controversies offered the kind of ethical puzzle she was interested in solving. “Nearly 10 percent of kids and 5 percent of adults are diagnosed with ADHD,” she noted. “That’s a huge swath of people and it raises a lot of philosophical questions about what concepts are built into disease.”

In a recent article, “Redefining ADHD: Disagreement over Values,” Hawthorne argues that while parents, teachers, and clinicians might benefit from diagnosing and treating children for ADHD, there is limited evidence to show that the process does anything for the children in the long term, other than further stigmatize their behaviors. At MHC, Hawthorne teaches classes on medical ethics, women in philosophy, and the philosophy of science. In her environmental ethics classes, students couple civic engagement projects and theoretical analysis to better understand the two. While there is still debate in the field about whether applying theory to action is “real philosophy,” Hawthorne says there is little confusion that doing it motivates students to think critically. And in the end, those interested in abstractions and those more socially engaged will feed each other’s pursuits, she believes.—M.H.B.

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more engaging philosophy on campus Summoned by MHC’s president and philosopher-in-chief Lynn Pasquerella ’80, philosophers from across the country came to MHC this winter for the Engaging Philosophy conference. Check out their bios at philosophy.html. Listen to a radio interview with professor of philosophy Lee Bowie about the conference at newsmain?action=article&ARTICLE_ID=1779867. Learn more about how and why professor Tom Wartenberg teaches philosophy to children at Finally, listen to President Pasquerella’s philosophical take on a variety of health issues at

What They Said Notable quotes from around campus for your edification and enjoyment

“I’ve been saying for a couple of years that we shouldn’t have wished for another FDR, we should have asked for another Frances Perkins.”


eat idiosyncratically, and may use anabolic steroids to counter a distorted sense of themselves as lacking in bulk and muscle.

—Lissa Potter FP’87(on Facebook), in response to the governor of Maine’s removal of a mural depicting Frances Perkins and other historic labor leaders from a government building.

“I wanted to write a book that showed that the Jersey Shore is a fun place and is not what people think.” —Mystery author and Garden State native Carol Higgins Clark ’78 (in the Hackensack Record) on the setting of her new book, Mobbed.

“They’re all wrinkled and have some traces of water driplets that we papermakers call papermaker’s tears, that I embraced to reflect on the history of these people who worked so hard and shed tears and sweat to make this city happen.” —Associate professor of art and papermaking artist Rie Hachiyanagi, in an interview on NPR affiliate WFCR, on pieces of paper in her recent installation at Open Square in Holyoke, a former paper mill.

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Student Edge

See the World, Invent Yourself. Students head overseas thanks to alum travel award

A recent recipient of the Karen Snyder Sullivan Travel Award for students who have never been abroad, McAlister wondered just for a second if her childhood dream of going to Africa wasn’t best left just that, a dream. But ten weeks, three African nations, and two European countries later, McAlister was a changed person, her timidity overcome, her worldview vastly expanded, and her cultural sensitivity finely tuned. “It cracked open my world,” says the western Massachusetts native. While many MHC students have traveled abroad or are natives of another country, plenty haven’t yet been outside of this country and would welcome the opportunity to challenge themselves. That’s exactly the goal of the award, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary this year. Set up by Craig Sullivan to honor his wife and avid traveler Karen Snyder Sullivan ’68, who died unexpectedly in 1985, the $7,000 stipend gives one student every year the chance to shape her sense of self and see the world.


Applicants submit a travel proposal, detailed itinerary, and budget. Recipients must travel for at least four weeks and travel solo. Awardees are selected by a committee made up of past recipients and come from vastly different backgrounds with a wide range of travel desires. Amy Gracey FP’07 had spent more than twenty years in a monastery before coming to MHC and almost immediately applied for the Sullivan stipend. “I had no idea what I was getting into,” she recalls of her plan to spend two months in France. “I was still learning about all the things I had missed in the past twenty years…and was about to step into an even more challenging world.…I didn’t realize then that life as I knew it was about to change forever.” Staying in youth hostels, hitchhiking for the first time, praying in medieval cathedrals, and eating unimaginably good pastry opened Gracey up to strengths and desires she did not know she had. Taking a risk, daring to set out into the unknown, and learning to handle deftly the challenges of life in another culture are benefits noted by each Sullivan recipient. Courtney Centeno ’07 took the opportunity to connect with her father’s family in the Philippines. She has gone on to teach English to children in Honduras, travel in

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Micronesia, and study for her master’s in teaching degree. “The KSS Award broadened my horizons, pushed my limits, and…helped me discover that I wanted a career that could transcend other cultures and make ripples in this small world,” she says. After landing safely and negotiating her way through the Ghanaian culture, (where women are still greeted with catcalls,) working on a water project in rural Kenya, and visiting the Ethiopian orphanage where her soonto-be siblings awaited adoption by her parents, Barbara McAlister has returned to Africa once already and hopes to go back again. “Ever since I was six, I wanted to go to Africa,” she says. “I wouldn’t trade what I’ve seen and done for anything.”—M.H.B.

web extras To hear Barbara McAlister talk about her experiences, go to user/mountholyokecollege#p/ search/0/JUmgpXRszfM. For more information about the Karen Sullivan Award, go to karen_ssta.html.

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

Barbara McAlister ’12 looked out her window as the plane approached the airport in Accra, Ghana, and she had a moment of panic. “Please turn around,” she begged the pilot, silently. “I’ve made a huge mistake!”

In Session

Comparative Culinary History of Italy and China The History on Your Plate Tomatoes. Jonathan Lipman chose to compare the culinary histories of Italy and China in class this spring because of tomatoes. Lipman, professor of Asian studies and history, wants to understand why, even though tomatoes were introduced to Italy and China around the same time, they are used so differently in these two places. In Italy, tomatoes have achieved stardom, while in China, tomatoes are widely used but known as “foreign eggplants,” and are not particularly acclaimed. “Rolling out thin dough and stuffing it with something: in China you have dumplings and in Italy, ravioli.” Having long talked about food in classes he teaches on Asian history and culture, and because MHC chose food as a collegewide theme this year, Lipman decided to teach a full-blown class on

the “wild variety of parallel evolutions” prevalent in food history. Lipman has always been interested in the role of food in culture and the interplay between gastronomy and taste, as well as regional differences. Famine and hunger also play a role in his course. “The study of food is not just about the elite, but people’s food and lack of food,” Lipman wants his students to know. In class, Lipman pulls down a map of Italy and goes region by region, asking students what they know about each area. The discussion ranges from the use of black truffle oil in Umbria to the historical-political context of seafood. One student explains that in some port cities, seafood was not popular with returning sailors who wanted nothing more to do with fish. This preference is called the “cuisine of the return” and helped dictate culinary culture.

Andrea Burns

Barbara McAlister in a dress and with a kidi drum from Ghana

Jonathan Lipman and his history of food class celebrate their last session at Butterfly, a Chinese restaurant in Hadley, Mass.

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Another student, Annie Arbuthnot ’12, copresident of the Food Justice Society at MHC, appreciates that in this class, she can indulge her passion. “I love food, but people make fun of me when I talk about it all the time. Now I can write papers about it instead of boring my friends.” “History is not just textbooks,” Lipman said to students settled into their seats in Dwight 101. In fact, when the origins of lasagna are debated and the class meets over egg rolls, history is delicious.—Maxine Getz ’13

competition) class, where MHC finished third in the nation overall.

impressive, and it is an honor to teach a student of this ability.”

Given that there are more than 340 colleges and 8,000 riders who participate in intercollegiate riding, being the third best is impressive, said riding coach C.J. Law. “Lindsay is an outstanding, top national rider for MHC,” she added. “Her abilities are

Team captain in 2010, Sceats chose not to run for a leadership position this year, as she was busy applying to medical schools. A Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi inductee, she was a biochemistry major and English minor, winner of the Louisa Stone Stephenson

Chemistry Prize and Bernice MacLean Excellence in Biology Award, and boasted a 3.95 grade-point average. “Her honesty, integrity, and conscientiousness are beyond reproach,” added Law. Sceats will attend Stanford Medical School in the fall and will bring along her horse Puffy, with whom she does the big jumps.

Equestrian Named AA Scholar–Athlete Top national rider Lindsay Sceats ’11 has been awarded the Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Award for her outstanding achievements in academics and athletics.

This year, Sceats was the champion Open Equitation Over Fences rider for Region III, Zone 1, and the champion Zone 1 Open Equitation Over Fences team rider at the Tournament of Champions. She rode at the IHSA Champion Horse Show this year in the Open Equitation Over Fences Collegiate Cup (team


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Sceats and Cacchione Cup ribbon in 2010

R. Ormanowski/

A champion rider at intercollegiate shows, Sceats in her college career earned many points for the MHC team’s successful runs at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships. Her accomplishments include winning the coveted 2010 Cacchione Cup, cementing her spot as a top intercollegiate rider in the United States.

Don’t Wait

Image Source

to Be Asked

“2012 Project� Prods Women to Run for Elected Office

In 2008,

it seemed for a brief, heady moment that women were asserting their rightful place in national politics: Hillary Clinton ran for president, and Sarah Palin for vice president. But neither was elected, and the 2010 midterm elections proved a major setback for women in politics. For the first time since 1978, female representation in Congress actually declined. Today, women hold just 16 percent of seats in Congress. Only 12 percent of governors and 23 percent of state legislators are women.

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The United States ranks seventysecond internationally when it comes to gender parity [in elected office.] We’re tied with Turkmenistan and behind Kazakhstan and Honduras. Hoping to improve these statistics, political strategist Mary Hughes ’74 founded the 2012 Project, a nonpartisan national campaign to identify and encourage accomplished women over the age of forty-five to run for political office. The Project, a campaign of Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), targets women from fields underrepresented in government. The Project’s timing is intentional. This year’s congressional reapportionment and state redistricting create new open seats—and a once-a-decade opportunity for women new to politics. (Research shows that new seats are easier for political newcomers to win than those held by incumbents.) “I want to engage women who are pioneers in their fields, who have already broken some glass ceilings. These women have expertise that’s in short supply in many state legislatures,” says Hughes, who was an American studies major at MHC. Here’s how she plans to do it.—Hannah M. Wallace ’95 H.W.: What difference do women make in Congress or a state legislature? M.H: Women change the agenda, procedures, and content of policy making. They bring different perspectives, experience, and priorities into the discussion. As early as 1991, CAWP researchers found that women legislators’ positions differed from their male counterparts on a range of issues. Women legislators were less likely than male legislators to favor the death penalty, rely on the free market to solve economic problems, or support building new nuclear power plants to solve energy concerns. This gender gap in policy positions remained consistent across party lines. run, women, run! If you’re considering a run for office, or belong to an organization in one of these fields—energy, environment, finance, health, international affairs, science, small business, or technology—visit You can help increase the number of women in elected office.


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One CAWP study of Congress found that female representatives were stronger advocates for victims of domestic violence, women’s health, and breast-cancer funding. More recently, all women senators voted to prohibit the United States from contracting with companies that restrict their employees from taking workplace assault, battery, and discrimination cases to court. Their male counterparts voted along party lines.

How does the 2012 Project recruit potential candidates? We built a database of organizations and professional groups in eight areas (science and technology, finance, energy and environment, international relations, etc.) and told these organizations we’d like to present a program on public service and political office. Our volunteers are sixty formerly elected women—former governors, speakers of their state legislatures, members of Congress—and they’re assigned to particular conferences. We try to make a match of expertise—a woman who served on a health committee in Congress might go to the American Medical Women’s Association, for instance. At the end of [a conference] panel, we ask women in the audience who even remotely think they’d like to run for office to fill out a form. When we follow up, we find out more about them and see if they’re in a state with a particular opportunity. If a woman decides to take the next step, we introduce her to the fundraising networks, think tanks, and campaign boot-camp training programs. And we introduce her to the leadership of her party. Do you specifically target women of color too? The 2012 Project is not focused on women of color, but we do specific outreach to organizations for women of color. How many women have you recruited so far? By the end of March, 120 women had filled out the initial form expressing an interest in running for office; twentyone of those are working with campaign resources to launch their candidacies next year. [Filing for office in 2012 does not begin until next year.] How does the United States compare with other countries when it comes to women in elected office? The United States ranks seventy-second internationally when it comes to gender parity, according to the InterParliamentary Union. We’re tied with Turkmenistan and behind Kazakhstan and Honduras. Yet we have some very high-profile, powerful female players in politics. So there is a very interesting disconnect.

C e n t e r f o r A m e r i c a n Wo m e n a n d P o l i t i c s , E ag l e t o n I n s t i t u t e o f P o l i t i c s , R u t g e r s Un i v e r s i t y

Why don’t more women run? A series of reasons. They don’t run because they continue to be primary caregivers of their children. And as we all live longer, many of them take on the responsibility of eldercare as well. Families are central. Another factor is privacy. Women are very reluctant to put teenage children, a spouse, and themselves in front of that kind of scrutiny. Then there’s the negativity and partisanship. Incumbency is a big issue. We have an incumbency rate of 96–97 percent. For a lot of women, politics is foreign to begin with. How does it work? How do you get into it? The lack of a road map is a deterrent. A lot of women think, “If I’m serious about poverty or want to eliminate illiteracy, or think I should be doing more to get us out of Afghanistan, I’m going to join the board of a nonprofit, start an organization, or volunteer.” That seems a more direct route to a solution. Scholars will tell you that the most significant [reason women don’t enter politics] is that no one has asked them to run. Men say that they ran because they were interested in a career in politics. They self-nominate. Women, by and large, are recruited. Is there any proof that women are better than men at reaching across the partisan divide? A new Stanford-University of Chicago study shows that women in Congress sponsor and cosponsor more legislation than their male colleagues do. They bring more federal resources and assistance back to their districts. They get more cosponsors for their bills. CAWP studies show that women politicians tend to carry legislation that improves the lives of women and their families. Can you give a few examples? In 1992, we added twenty-four new women in the US House. In the direct aftermath of this so-called “Year of the Woman,” there was a lot added to the agenda, and this changed the outcome of policy discussions. For example: until 1991, almost all clinical research done by the National Institutes of Health was done only on white males, but results were assumed to apply to women. After 1992, Congresswomen Pat Schroeder (D-CO) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) led their female colleagues in forcing the NIH to include women in clinical trials.

Why not encourage women under forty-five, as well? We recognize the reality of younger women’s lives. People move around a lot before they put down permanent roots. It takes time to build the community networks that will support a candidacy for public office. Also, it was important to me that the 2012 Project not infringe on anybody else’s territory. There are already organizations focused on younger women: Running Start, EMERGE America, and Ready to Run. The 2012 Project is nonpartisan. How do you feel about promoting candidates whose positions limit women’s choices and freedoms or whose views are seen as antifeminist? We do not promote candidates. We connect them to resources that can help them launch a successful candidacy. Partisanship is one of the reasons women are put off by politics. So, in this one election cycle, it seemed like a good idea to approach nonpolitical women from a nonpartisan standpoint and get them to engage. Aren’t women’s-college alumnae an ideal source for the 2012 Project to tap into? The Women’s College Coalition is very interested in our project, and we’re in the process of figuring out how we can send speakers to alumnae association events and reunions. Have you ever run for public office? No. My mantra is “one per household.” My husband is a state senator. Trust me, one is enough! Political strategist Mary Hughes ’74 founded the 2012 Project to encourage women to run for political office.

Is there a tipping point after which we can see a tangible change in national policies? Most organizational behaviorists who have looked at the impact of minority groups on a majority say you need to be at 30 percent before you have an impact. We sit in the Congress with 16 percent. We don’t know what 35 percent women might mean in terms of focus, procedures, and outcome.

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<< esreveR

Culture Shock International Alumnae Discover Returning Home Is Hard

Culture shock—that disorienting feeling that’s common while adjusting to another country—is a challenging but expected part of settling into a new society. What happens, though, when an international student returns home after Mount Holyoke? After adapting to a foreign culture, going home again should feel like slipping into comfortable old clothes, right? But when several international alumnae wrote us independently about experiencing “reverse culture shock” after MHC, the Quarterly invited them to share their experiences making the transition. The essays begin here and continue online.


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R ita Baner ji

As Rita Banerji knows all too well, just being female in a public place is enough to draw stares in India.

By Rita Banerji ’90 It was one of the first things that struck me as extremely bizarre when I returned to India. Everywhere I went—government offices, banks, the marketplace, the post office—more than 80 percent of the people present were men! In retrospect, I wonder at my own amazement. After all, I grew up in India and am familiar with this erratic spatial pattern of gender distribution. The tacit logic here is that the domestic realm is the woman’s place, and the “outside” space is the male domain. And even for women who want to buy their own stamps and queue up to pay their own phone and electricity bills, the overwhelming, almost aggressive male presence can be inhibiting.

If there are women in these public spaces, they are more likely to be from the poorer sections of society. For the higher-income, educated classes, it is considered almost an act of vulgarity for women to walk into these places. So, a woman with a

R ita Baner ji

As Rita Banerji’s photos show, public space in Kolkata, India, is occupied largely by men. That struck her as bizarre when she returned to India from MHC.

management job might drive to work at her fancy office downtown, but she would never walk into the electricity office to pay her own bill. (She would send her husband, father, or domestic help.) I understand this perfectly, and yet I was surprised. It was only later that I understood why. After living in the United States, three things definitely changed: how I perceive myself and my femininity, how I perceive my environment, and how I respond to it. When I first went to Mount Holyoke, I sent a letter to a friend in India saying, “I feel so free! I can wear anything. And I can go anywhere—alone!” As a teenager in India, I went places only in pairs or in a group. Walking down the main street of town, as a young girl in India, is like walking through a war zone, with your defenses up, always expecting an attack. There is no telling when there will


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be lewd remarks or when you’ll be groped or followed. This power dynamic is how boys and men reinforce their dominance over space in India. We girls grew up like hedgehogs, always curled into our protective balls, occupying the least amount of space possible. When I returned, my expectations had changed. Simply put, I now expect women in India to occupy public space with the same freedom and nonchalance as men! Moreover, my response to gender dynamics has changed. The territorial male responses don’t frighten me anymore; they infuriate me! I don’t cringe the way I once did—and the way I still witness other women doing. Something in me almost compulsively pushes back, and I stand my ground.

going home again Reverse-culture-shock stories from more international alumnae continue online at

• Eleanor Choo ’06 fought a “battle of wills” with her homeland, Malaysia. Find out who won. • Gianna Reyes Montinola ’80 found it hard to curb her tongue to let others “save face” after returning to the Philippines. • Marie-Hélène Taverne-Jacquet CG’67 found she had changed at MHC but her family and friends in France hadn’t. • Long Truong ’10 returned briefly to her native Vietnam and missed the critical-thought process common at MHC. Her innovative solution may surprise you. • Liz Pitman Small CG’84 returned to “the small intensity” of Scotland more focused on a career than her UK peers. • Gigja Fridgeirsdottir CG’63 was glad to get back to Iceland, where “in some ways women are more independent than in the United States.”

I remember an incident in the post office, when I was the only woman in a thirty-person queue. A man came and stood behind me, and even though there was plenty of space, he stood close enough to attempt periodic body contact with me. (This is a very frequent occurrence for women in India.) I swung around and told him to please move back and not touch me. He said, with a tone of aggression men often use in public space, “Why? Do you own this post office?” So I told him in a loud and firm voice, “No I don’t own it, and neither do you. It is a government office for all citizens to use. I am treating you in a civilized manner, and I expect you to do the same.” None of the other men in the post office said a word. The message was: “You don’t belong here. You deserve what you get.” Most importantly, my perception and expression of my “self ” as a woman have changed. Femininity in India is a sternly tailored costume that every girl and woman is expected to assume. It tells you what to wear, what to think, what to do, and who to be. There is a prototype ideal “Indian woman,” and any deviation is harshly judged.

Growing up, I too unquestioningly wore the “Indian girl” costume. There was a given way to be, and I don’t remember ever challenging that as a girl. But going from my late teens into adulthood in the United States, I got initiated into a different concept of being a woman. It was not something given to me to wear or assume; it was simply who I was. My femininity is how I evolve as an individual, the process of growing into my own skin. And I am free to experiment and change. I don’t have to explain, justify, or defend it. I am allowed to be confused, and I am free to surprise myself by discovering that part of my womanhood I never knew existed. And now I see that this is where my power lies. The freedom and ability to decide how I will occupy the space within—the space of my “self ”—gives me the power to determine how I will occupy the space outside with family, community, and the world. Rita Banerji is a writer, photographer, and gender activist. She is also founder and chief administrator of the 50 Million Missing Campaign (, which raises awareness about and fights female genocide in India.

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da for the Downtrodden Betsy Scheibel Ends Three Decades as a Victims’ Advocate By Christ ina Barber-Just


hen Elizabeth “Betsy” Scheibel ’77 woke up to find her clothes dryer on the fritz on the first day of her retirement, she says, “I actually went to the laundromat and did some wash and ran errands, and it felt great. It felt terrific.” The first female district attorney in the history of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, Scheibel retired in January at age fifty-five after a thirty-year career as a prosecutor, including almost eighteen years as DA. The 24-7 nature of the job left little time for pretty much anything else, hence her delight in doing something as quotidian as the wash. If Scheibel’s name sounds familiar, it’s perhaps because she was the prosecutor at the center of the Phoebe Prince case, which made international headlines last year. Fifteenyear-old Prince committed suicide in January 2010 after reportedly being relentlessly bullied at South Hadley High School—Scheibel’s alma mater. As Northwestern district attorney, Scheibel brought charges against six of Prince’s fellow students and alleged bullies.

As it happens, Scheibel’s career has taken her in a number of surprising directions. A lifelong resident of South Hadley, she never intended to be a lawyer (she majored in psychobiology at Mount Holyoke), and when she became one, she never intended to be a DA.


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Fred Collins

The indictments ignited a firestorm—and brought Scheibel’s tenure as DA to an unexpectedly high-profile conclusion. “I never in a million years believed that the Prince case would garner the kind of attention that it did and snowball as it has,” she says. “I honestly thought my last year [in office] would be sort of riding off into the sunset, drifting slowly out of the job and into something else, and it turned out to be something so completely different.”

Betsy Scheibel ’77 was named one of the Boston Globe’s “Bostonians of the Year” for her pioneering prosecutorial work.

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“Betsy is a one-of-a-kind woman. She was the main reason that Japan passed the first law to protect women and children [from domestic violence].” But destiny had other plans for her. Impressed that her future husband, South Hadley attorney Paul Boudreau, was so enthusiastic about the law, Scheibel decided to give it a try herself. She enrolled at Western New England College School of Law in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. Although she was naturally reserved, she found herself drawn to criminal law and trial work. “For many years, friends of mine from high school or college couldn’t believe that I would become a trial lawyer,” Scheibel says. “It was interesting for me to see the transformation.” She began her prosecutorial career at the Hampden district attorney’s office in Springfield in 1980 and moved to the Northwestern district attorney’s office in 1988. She made Massachusetts history five years later, when then-Governor William Weld tapped her boss, Judd Carhart, for a judgeship, and appointed Scheibel to succeed Carhart as DA. Scheibel, who had just turned thirty-eight, was sworn in at Mary E. Woolley Hall. She finished Carhart’s term, then ran as a Republican for the office—unopposed—in the next four elections. “It was a combination of having done the work and being in the right place at the right time,” she says. “I started at the very bottom and worked my way up.” As Northwestern district attorney, Scheibel had a jurisdiction of forty-seven Massachusetts cities and towns, a staff of about 100, a budget of almost $5 million—and two prime concerns: “First and foremost,” she says, “my priority was the prosecution of criminal cases in a way that was fair and respectful to all parties. The second priority was the commitment to education and outreach as a way of reducing and preventing crime.” Sometimes the two overlapped—as in 1993, when a local man named Sean Seabrooks stabbed to death his ex-girlfriend, Sherry Morton, and their eighteen-month-old son Cedric, sparking one of Scheibel’s earliest—and biggest— cases as DA. Not only did she succeed in convicting Seabrooks on two counts of first-degree murder (priority #1), but also she used the opportunity to tackle the problem of domestic violence both at home and abroad (priority #2). Notably, she traveled with Morton’s mother, Yoko Kato, to her native Japan, where they kick-started a national discussion about battering that led to the passage of Japan’s first anti-domestic-violence law. “Betsy is a one-of-a-kind woman,” Kato says. “She was the main reason that Japan passed the first law to protect women and children, and I’m really thankful for that.


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Because of her, Sherry and Cedric’s lives didn’t just end with a domestic-violence murder but went on much further to help the Japanese people.” Scheibel’s handling of the Seabrooks case set the tone for her term as DA and established her as a powerful voice for victims and survivors. She went on to advocate on behalf of quite a few other disenfranchised groups, including abused children, elders, people with disabilities, and traumatized veterans—and did so in innovative ways. For instance, she partnered with ADT Security Services to provide domestic-violence victims with home and personal alarms; helped implement a program that aims to protect the susceptible elder population from targeting by criminals; established a first-in-the-nation model for recognizing, reporting, and responding to abuse against individuals with disabilities; and educated law-enforcement officers on interacting with recently returned veterans dealing with post–traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder, and other issues. Such work was “one of the great joys of my professional career,” Scheibel says, and earned her a reputation as a pioneering victims’ advocate. As her successor, David Sullivan, told the Quarterly, “Throughout her illustrious career as a prosecutor, [Scheibel] fought for our most vulnerable citizens—children, elderly, battered women, and disabled people. She leaves a proud legacy of fighting for justice.” In bullying, Scheibel may have found her greatest cause of all—and, perhaps, the doorway to a second career. In January, the Boston Globe named her a “Bostonian of the Year” for her role in prosecuting the Phoebe Prince case, and in February she testified in Boston before a special commission set up to review the state’s new anti-bullying law. (She favors toughening the legislation, which was largely prompted by Prince’s suicide.) And she has publicly mulled the possibility of becoming a consultant on bullying prevention, although she has yet to hang out her shingle. “I’m looking for that teachable moment,” she says. “How can we learn from this and other instances of bullying? How can we begin to change the culture so that this isn’t the norm and it’s not acceptable behavior?” For the time being, Scheibel is intent on enjoying her newfound freedom. “I am wide open right now,” she says. “I fully understand all of the things I’ve missed these many years. It’s been a blast in the last few months to begin to reconnect with family and friends, so this has been a great beginning for me. I seem to be smiling most of the time now.”


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

Reunion 2011 Featured New Traditions (and Sunshine!)

More than 1,000 alumnae were welcomed back to campus during two, threeday celebratory weekends in May. As always, the weekends’ highlights were the parades, where alumnae dressed in white outfits highlighted by festive accoutrements in their class colors. But reconnecting with old friends and making new ones were also tops on alumnae to-do lists. And by the looks of myriad intimate conversations seen around campus, that objective was accomplished.

Behind the scenes, Reunion organizers created four new events to engage both returning alumnae and the newest members of the Alumnae Association, the class of 2011. The “rising alumnae ceremony” (see p. 28) at Reunion I involved members of the class of 1961 wrapping the necks of their “granddaughter” class—2011—with a yellow silk scarf that many seniors wore during the Laurel Chain parade on Saturday. The Back to Class program (see p. 27) was revamped, and centered around the

Gertrude “Bobby” Walter Lerch ’31 celebrates her 80th reunion flanked by her granddaughter (Beverly Lerch FP’94, right) and President Lynn Pasquerella ’80.

theme of food, to mesh with the college’s similar curriculum-wide focus this past academic year. More than 400 alumnae attended classes on a range of related topics, including chickens in your backyard, food and the sacred, and law, food, and health. The everpopular professor Vinnie Ferraro offered his class on global politics during Mou n t Ho lyo k e Al u m na e Qua r t e r ly


Summer 2011


The Reunion II parade was restructured entirely this year, with a new focus and a new route that began at Mary Lyon’s grave. Festivities started with a procession of Reunion chairs and class presidents who wound long-stemmed red roses into the iron fence surrounding the founder’s resting place. The Alumnae Association and MHC presidents placed laurel wreaths on the gravestone and welcomed the crowd. Then the assembled alumnae sang “Bread and Roses.” Rallied by the skirl of the bagpipe

band, classes walked and wheeled their way in class regalia from the gravesite around Skinner green to Mary Woolley Hall, clapping and cheering as the honored class of 1946 passed by. Finally, at the Saturday morning annual meetings, classes were paired as they read their histories, creating a moving and often funny point/counterpoint effect, greeted with much clapping and laughing from attendees. Together with their spouses, partners, and children, alumnae shared their good feelings with one another and left campus with a refreshed understanding of the beauty of sisterhood.

reunion to go It’s not too late to enjoy Reunion. We’ve got photos (at OcUnd) and video (at of Reunion festivities online. scan here for photos


scan here for video

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

first reunion, as part of an additional selection of “electives.”

Back to Class Focuses on


“Heart disease is not caused by what we weigh but in part by what we eat.”

“The story of food is the story of humanity. You can trace the history of people on the planet by studying the history of food.”

—Ellen Perrella, MHC senior lecturer in physical education and athletics, “Separating Fat from Fiction: Exploring Myths, Realities, and Assumptions”

—Janet Lansberry, assistant director, Weissman Center, “Food! Enticing Programs Through Successful Campus Collaboration”

“There’s good preliminary evidence to suggest that sugar acts much like other addictive substances, like alcohol.”

“India has more hungry people than any country in the world.”

—Jennifer Hamilton, assistant professor of legal studies and anthropology, Hampshire College, “Food, Health, and Law”

—Elizabeth Fischer ’81, “Last to Eat: Barriers to Improving Health and Nutrition of Women and Children in India”

“Did you know that October 24 is Food Day?” —Amy Koren-Roth ’76, nutritionist, “Considering the Conversation Around Food: Where Do You Fit In?”


More than 400 returning alums and their friends attended the Back to Class program, which focused on the college’s yearlong theme of food and sustainability. From how to raise chickens in your backyard, to food secular and sacred, Reunion class offerings featured the expertise and insight of MHC and Five College professors and MHC alumnae. Following are some of the presenters’ more radiant quotes from the classes they offered. Learning—it’s lifelong.

“No toothbrush handy? Drink green tea; it contains fluoride.” —Yeonhwa Park, associate professor of food science, University of Massachusetts, “Eat for Your Health”

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Professional and Volunteer Work Honored

1961 to 2011: “Welcome to the Alumnae Association!”

Welcoming Newest Alumnae with Scarves Launches a Tradition The first annual “rising alumnae ceremony” was held the Thursday before commencement in Chapin Auditorium. Designed as a formal welcome by the Alumnae Association to graduating seniors, the event featured members of the seniors’ “grandmother class” of 1961 bestowing on their MHC “progeny” silk scarves in their class color, yellow, highlighted with their class animal, the sphinx. Class president Barbara “Bobby” Childs Sampson ’61 gave the welcome to the class of 2011 and noted that when

her own class met their grandmother class at a tea—there has always been a relationship between the grandmother class and their fifty-years-younger counterparts—those women were members of the class of 1911. The audience gasped at that! As seniors stepped forward to receive their scarves, quick conversations broke out between the “scarfers” and the “scarfees.” Questions such as “Where are you studying next year?” “What was your major?” and “Where will you be working?” made the event resemble speed dating (though with a far different goal). Here, the ceremony was sealed with literal and figurative ties that bind.

See the photos and read Bobby Sampson’s welcoming remarks at


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Reunion I award winners included, left to right, Kristen Renn ’86, Linda Ing Phelps ’86, Ann Lyles MacPhail ’91, and Rosemary Cox Masters ’61.

Reunion II winners included, left to right, Barbara Burns Moran ’66, Antoria Howard-Marrow ’81, and Margaret Smillie Child ’51.

Seeking Awardees In order for the Alumnae Association to honor deserving alumnae, we rely on our members to share the names of people they’d like to see considered for a variety of recognitions including honorary degree, Medal of Honor, Mary Lyon Award, alumnae trustee, Loyalty Award, Young Alumnae Loyalty Award, Achievement Award, and the Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award.

For a detailed explanation of each award and the required documentation, please go to alumnae. awards/index.php. You may fill out the forms online or mail your suggestions with the names, addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses, plus references to: Alumnae Association, at 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1486. You may also e-mail us at alumnaeassociation@

B e n B a r n h a rt, Pau l S c h n a i t tac h e r , A n d r e a B u r n s

Medals of Honor for exceptional volunteer service, Loyalty Awards, Achievement Awards for service to society, and the Elizabeth Topham Kennan Award for outstanding alumnae educators were presented to alumnae at Reunions I and II.

Sisters, Mentors, Friends

Sponsored by the Alumnae Association and the Office of the President, the gathering at President Lynn Pasquerella’s house began with brief presentations by the alumnae, who have agreed to mentor up to three students each through their senior year as they consider their next steps postgraduation.

Jennifer Ryan

The volunteer mentors represented a wide range of activities in the nonprofit world. Becca Bailey ’04 is the administrative coordinator for the Algebra Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which focuses on improving math education for kids in poor school districts. Stevie Converse FP’05 is the multimedia manager of Free Press in Florence, Massachusetts, which promotes universal access to communication. Sheila Dennis ’83 is an assistant vice president of the Wilderness Society; Alison Morse ’02 is a foundation relations officer for Physicians for Human Rights in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Sarah A. Pease ’86 is the program director for the Northampton Survival Center in Massachusetts, which supports poor families in the Pioneer Valley by providing food and clothing.

While not an overt jobhunting exercise, student participants were focused on learning about what kinds of work are available, what additional training is best for particular jobs and organizations, and what steps alums took to get where they are. “The mentorship aspect is a good thing,” commented Lydia Bowers ’12. “You have someone you can bounce questions off of and who can help you along the way with connections and contacts.” “There is a huge need for women in leadership [positions],” Sheila Dennis revealed during her small-group session about environmental policy. “Organizations are looking for young people to come in and expand the movements. Whichever direction you go, you will always have something to do.” Alumnae stressed the importance of writing and communications skills no matter what sort of nonprofit students decide to go into, as well as the fact that not everything started out as perfectly as they expected. “Don’t let the

job you are given be all that you have. Make it into the job that you want,” advised Sarah Pease ’86. “Even the little experiences make an impression.” Plans call for two more events in the fall, which are slated to focus on public health and public policy. —Megan Dean ’12

AA Fellow Examines Nurses’ Role Abroad At the turn of the twentieth century, nurses traveled the world and served in many American-held territories such as Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. While they had their own motivations and interests for working far from home, they also represented the nation’s interests in international expansion. Winifred C. Connerton ’92 plans to explore the intersection of health care and national ideology with the help of the 2011 Mary E. Woolley Fellowship. A postdoctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Connerton will use the $7,500 award to complete archival research in Hawaiian and Philippine hospitals where nurses’ oral histories and work records exist. With the results of this research and her completed dissertation examination of American nurses abroad between 1989 and 1917, she hopes to publish a book. “As individuals, nurses offer a unique grassroots perspective into the

United States’ interest in international expansion,” says Connerton, whose own clinical experience includes work as a midwife and staff nurse at several New York and California clinics. “As a group, nursing offers a lens for understanding colonial goals for health policy among the colonized communities.” Connerton’s work is part of the growing academic field of health care and internationalism. “I think these nurses are so fascinating, and they were aware of their own part in the imperial scheme—in fact, they seem to have approved of it entirely,” says Connerton.


Five alumnae and fifteen juniors came together to talk about careers in the nonprofit world in April in the first of what it is hoped will be an ongoing series of alumnae/student career conversations.

“With this event, I hope students gain ideas for occupational possibilities in their future and understand that whatever you do, whatever past work experience you have, can help you choose what you want to do along an ever-changing career path,” President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 explained. “Making connections and taking advantage of those connections will make a difference in opening new doors for you.”

“The idea of benevolent tutelage fit very well into the nursing mindset that had a proper way of doing everything, and an interest in helping everyone understand that proper way.”—M.H.B.

Winifred Connerton ’92 (shown with daughter Maizie) was awarded the 2011 Mary E. Woolley Fellowship.

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alumnaematters More than 200 students packed into Pratt Hall’s McCulloch Auditorium in winter, hoping to gain some insight into the lives and professional world of artists. “Crafting a Life in the Arts” featured a panel of alumnae who have pursued careers in art, writing, dance, and music. Jane Hammond ’72, whose paintings have been shown in more than fifty museums, delivered the keynote address. She thanked the late Professor of Art Leonard DeLonga for teaching her how to have a life as an artist and touched on how, growing up before the women’s movement opened lots of doors, the prospect of having a career was not seriously considered. Ironically, she said, one reason she was able

to become an artist may simply have been that she did not have the burden of trying to become a civil engineer. If audience members had an idyllic sense of the life of an artist, Hammond set them straight. She noted how dusty her apartment gets, the many hours she spends on the business side of her art, and how many jobs she held after graduating before becoming successful. Other alumnae who participated in the conference included fashion designer Nathalie Degenhardt ’99, media and performance artist Paola Di Tolla ’09, dancer Anne Lewis ’09, music therapist Roseanna P. Cyr ’06, and Merli V. Guerra ’09 and Kimberleigh Allen Holman ’09, cofounders of Luminarium Dance Company, which performed at this year’s commencement concert. The event was sponsored by the college’s InterArts Council, made up of the art history, studio art, theatre, music, film, dance, and creative writing departments in collaboration with the Art Museum and Career Development Center. —Maxine Getz ’13

Kimberleigh Allen Holman ’09 (left) and Merli V. Guerra ’09, cofounders of the dance company Luminarium, perform at MHC’s commencement concert.

Jim Coleman

Alumnae Lead Frank Discussion of Life in the Arts


Words Worth a Second Look Nonfiction The Pen and the People: English Letter Writers 1660–1800 BY SUSAN E. WHYMAN

(Oxford University Press) Drawing from previously unknown letter collections from the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, Susan Whyman explores the expansion of literacy through the dialogues of bridle makers, wheelwrights, and domestic servants. She also links the democratization of letterwriting to the development of the Royal Mail. Susan E. Whyman ’59 has published three books on English social and cultural history. The Pen and the People won the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars. Breaking the Wave: Women, Their Organizations, and Feminism, 1945–1985 EDITED BY KATHLEEN A. LAUGHLIN AND JACQUELINE CASTLEDINE

(Routledge) In this collection of essays, a range of authors explore the weaknesses in the “waves” theory of feminist activism. The pieces point instead to a continuous process of organization by women across

ideological contexts and geographic locations. Authors underscore the dynamism and persistence in organizing by women from Harlem to the American West, and from a lesbian softball game to Marxism. Jacqueline Castledine FP’99 teaches interdisciplinary studies at the University of Massachusetts and is the educational director for the Valley Women’s History Collaborative.

The Illusion of Ignorance: Constructing the American Encounter with Mexico, 1877–1920 BY JANICE LEE JAYES

(University Press of America) This book examines the cultural politics of the American encounter with prerevolutionary Mexico under the Porfirio Diaz administration. Jayes

presents this nineteenthcentury relationship as a precursor for twentieth-century diplomacy and argues that ignorance of other nations’ experiences was a strategy America chose to maintain its vision of itself and the world. Janice Lee Jayes ’84 has taught American studies in the United States and abroad, worked for the Civic Education Project at the University of Latvia, and was a Fulbright teaching scholar in Egypt.

A Promise to All Generations: Stories and Essays about Social Security and Frances Perkins EDITED BY CHRISTOPHER BREISETH AND KRISTIN DOWNEY

(Frances Perkins Center) This collection of essays illustrates 1902 alumna Frances Perkins’s dedication to social justice and improving the lives of ordinary workers. The authors, including US President

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—Robert Reich Former U.S. Secretary of Labor

“this remarkable collection of essays presents a stunning portrait of how one woman’s commitment to social justice transformed the lives of generations of workers. . . . [i]t offers penetrating insights into policy development, public administration, and contemporary debates over the sustainability of social security.” —Lynn Pasquerella President, Mount Holyoke College

—Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree A p u b l i c a t i o n o f the

Frances Perkins center newcastle, maine

F r a n c e s P e r k i n s C e Cover art from a mural by ben shahn: “the Meaning of social security” Photographed by Chris Eichler

a Promise to all G E n E Social r aSecurity t i&oFrances n sPerkins stories & essays aBout

Barack Obama, examine the collaboration between Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Perkins and the value of Social Security today. Christopher Breiseth was a friend of Frances Perkins and is on the board of directors of the Frances Perkins Center in Newcastle, Maine. Kristin Downey is a journalist and author of The Woman Behind the New Deal. Radical Reform: Interracial Politics in Post-Emancipation North Carolina BY DEBORAH BECKEL

(University of Virginia Press) Between the Civil War and 1900, interracial leaders of the Republican Party in North Carolina worked together to establish political, civil, and labor rights for African Americans. Beckel illustrates


EditEd by

Christopher Breiseth and Kirstin Downey

Breiseth & Downey FranCes PerKins Center

“an important look at the heart of social security and the values that led to its creation. required reading for all who care about the role government can play in improving people’s lives now and in the future.”

a Promise to all G e n e r a t i o n s

“Here, finally, is the definitive account of the origins of america’s most important social program. social security was Perkins’s crowning achievement, as well as Fdr’s. . . . no federal program has ever been as popular. none has had nearly the impact on the lives of ordinary americans. and none has been as important in assuring them decent livelihoods. . . . [a]n important reminder of what we as a nation can do together, for one another.”

Kraushaar Galleries: Celebrating 125 Years BY BETSEY FAHLMAN

how this coalition was able, briefly, to overpower the white supremacist Democratic Party in the 1890s, and to collaborate with the Populist Party. She sheds light on a largely overlooked portion of US political history and radical party politics. Deborah Beckel ’77 received her Ph.D. in history from Emory University and lives in Virginia. Your Loving Son, Philip EDITED BY HELENE P. HERZIG

(Mixed Media Memoirs) This collection of letters from the author’s husband to his parents was written during

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World War II when Sgt. Philip Herzig was an American soldier. Called “a major memoir” by MHC Professor of History Joseph Ellis, the book deftly illustrates the daily life of an infantry soldier and profiles a devoted son whose responses to his family’s correspondence are engaging and deeply affectionate. Helene Phillips Herzig ’49, a longtime resident of Long Island, was features editor of North Shore Magazine and is the author of Legendary Long Islanders: Interviews with Famous Residents from the Hamptons to New York and A Father’s Dream Through a Daughter’s Eyes.

(Kraushaar Galleries) The youngest of four remaining art galleries in New York City that have been open since the nineteenth century, the Kraushaar gallery celebrated 125 years in business in 2010. Open “by appointment or by chance,” the gallery specializes in earlytwentieth-century American art. Fahlman’s book celebrates the history of this New York landmark. Betsy Fahlman ’73 is professor of art history at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. She focuses on American art from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Children’s Books

Everything I Was

Where Did Dinosaurs Come From?



(Carolrhoda Books) In her latest novel for young adults, Demas follows a wealthy New York family in crisis when the father, a corporate vice president, is downsized in a merger. Their penthouse, private-school tuition, and lavish lifestyle cannot be sustained, and thirteen-year-old Irene, the daughter and focus of the novel, moves with her parents to her grandfather’s farm in upstate New York. Although Irene is devastated, the summer proves unpredictable. Corinne Demas is professor of English at MHC and the author of more than twenty books, including The Writing Circle, which is out in paperback.

(HarperCollins) In this new picture book, Zoehfeld goes back millions of years to explain the history of animal life on earth and how dinosaurs came to roam the planet. She talks about the anatomy, daily lives, and interesting names of these giant creatures to provide background for enthusiastic young scientists. Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld ’76 has written dozens of natural-science books for young people. She also does fieldwork and prepares fossils for her local natural-history museum in Berkeley, California.



Young Adult

Just Fine the Way They Are

with wandr’ing feet (CD)




A compilation of traditional music from Corsica, Georgia, and America in a cappella harmony is the result of a decade of collaboration between the members of the Windborne Trio. The three friends move between contemporary and traditional tunes and a variety of styles on their new CD. The Windborne singers ( are Lauren Breunig ’08, Lynn Mahoney Rowan, and Will Thomas Rowan. The three met at the Village Harmony singing camps as teens and have traveled throughout Europe to train and perform.

(Boyds Mill Press/Calkins Creek) From dirt roads to railroads to interstate highways, Wooldridge chronicles the evolution of transportation across the United States. Chronicling our desire for faster, more comfortable, and now more environmentally friendly travel, she looks at how we get from here to there from the perspectives of people historically and adversely affected by each change, such as tavern owners and railroad magnates, who find things “just fine the way they are.” Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge ’72, a former teacher and librarian, has written four books for children and a biography for young adults.

more books

For descriptions of these books, go to Pip-Pip to Hemingway in Something from Marge


Edward Gorey Plays Cape Cod: Puppets, People, Places & Plots by cAROL VERBURG ’70 (Boom-Books)

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offtheshelf A Closer Look

Author Under the Spell of MHC When Writing A Discovery of Witches

Like the Harry Potter and Twilight juggernauts, A Discovery of Witches features otherworldly creatures, but the similarity ends there. For Harkness has performed some alchemy of her own, magically transforming her academic knowledge into an engrossing tale full of intellectual wonders. Harkness, a professor of history at the University of Southern California, built her career writing and teaching about the sixteenth century, a time when scientific and supernatural explanations for natural events vied for acceptance. So she was understandably intrigued by modern popular culture’s similar fascination with the occult. “I kept thinking that a sixteenth-century person would be completely comfortable with [contemporary] stories of the supernatural and strange,” she says. So Harkness started imagining what today’s world would look like with vampires, witches, daemons, and ghosts. After about six weeks, she realized with a jolt that she was writing a novel. Although Witches is set in Oxford, France, and New York, many of the story’s aspects trace their heritage back to Harkness’s experiences at MHC. “What I really wanted to do in this book was explore an issue I first became aware Learn More Read our full Q & A with Harkness, listen to a radio interview with her, or read an excerpt from Witches at


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Harkness reads from A Discovery of Witches at the Odyssey Bookshop.

of at Mount Holyoke—the issue of a woman accepting who she is and the power she has,” Harkness explains. “MHC is an environment that’s very accepting and nurturing when it comes to realizing your full power. Then you discover that the world isn’t as hospitable as MHC was, and you have to go through the process all over again, learning not to give that up just because the world doesn’t support it.” That’s one of the lessons Diana may learn over the course of Harkness’s planned All Souls trilogy. To create Diana and Matthew’s academic-centered world, Harkness draws from fields including literature, history, and science in a way that also echoes MHC. “The whole book is a kind of love letter to what a liberal arts college represents, in the way it situates you in a world of ideas and texts,” she says. “I experienced that for the very first time at MHC, and it is still very precious to me.” While fashioning fiction about witches and vampires seems a world away from writing nonfiction scholarship about sixteenth-century humans, Harkness says the transition happened naturally. “I have a character-driven approach to history. I try never to forget that these were real people who had emotions and troubles, but historical evidence can give me only so much access to their world. I’m bound by the limits of evidence in my scholarship. What I love about fiction is that there’s no boundary.”—E.H.W.

Fred LeBlanc


eborah Harkness ’86 won acclaim for her scholarly works on the history of science, but the effusive praise greeting her first foray into fiction is another thing entirely. The saga of fiercely independent historian of alchemy (and descendent of witches) Diana Bishop and dashing geneticist (and vampire) Matthew Clairmont topped the bestseller lists its first week in publication and has been published in thirty-four countries so far.

bulletinboard Redefining Documentary Photography One exhibition slated for the MHC Museum of Art this fall is World Documents, which brings together the work and ideas of important, thoughtful, and eloquent contemporary photographers.

role of the camera and photographic technology in strikingly varied ways. They are confronted by social and cultural changes wrought by immigration and migration, postcolonialism, ethnic nationalisms, and global conflict.

Presenting their work as competing approaches to the practice of documentary photography, it places their projects in a global setting and meditates on the possibilities and limitations facing the socially concerned photographer today.

They are also aware of the social and activist legacy of documentary photography, and they each propose new purposes and distinct styles for the photographic document. As a group, they redefine the role documentary photography can serve today. The exhibition runs September 2–December 18.

The exhibition represents different generations concerned with different parts of the world that understand the

MHC Art Museum

47,526 Homes by Livia Corona is part of this fall’s World Documents exhibition at the MHC Art Museum.


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travelopportunities September 12–20, 2011 Mediterranean Masterpieces

With Smith and Vassar Colleges and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and featuring architectural historian Patrick Bowe, museum lecturer Olivier Bernier, and Vassar Professor Emeritus of Classics Robert Pounder Sail along glorious Mediterranean coastlines in autumn on the luxurious three-masted Sea Cloud II. We begin in Rome at the restored Borghese Gallery. In the nearby port of Civitavecchia, we’ll set sail for Livorno. We will pass Tuscan olive groves and vineyards en route to Pisa. Cruising the Italian coastline, we then sail to Genoa, where the collections in seaside palaces are a blend of wealth and culture.

Ed Jones

Continuing along the Riviera to Marseille, we’ll stroll through Parc Borély to the Musée Cantini. In St. Tropez, long a haunt of Impressionist painters, we visit the Musée de l’Annonciade. Our journey concludes in Nice, where you may wish to extend your trip with an optional postlude. Prices start at $7,295 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Academic Arrangements Abroad at 212-514-8921, 800-221-1944, or trips@

Burgundy trip

New! Five Days of Food and Wine October 3–9, 2011 Biking and Walking in Burgundy

With Vassar College This tour of the Burgundy region of France is a fiveday immersion in the food, wine, and beauty of the region. Filled with biking and hiking as well as leisurely walks, gallery visits, shopping, and unforgettable dining, this superb trip is geared to all levels of fitness, and includes nonbiking options. Our lodging is in the center of the medieval town of Beaune in the renowned Hôtel Le Cep, a group of four fourteenth-century townhouses joined around a Renaissance flower garden. Daily visits to famous wineries such as Gevrey Chambertin, PulignyMontrachet, Meursault, and Nuits-Saint-Georges are offered, as well as nonwine options. Prices start at $3,995 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please visit http://www.benefactortravel.

Nicaragua trip: adventure philanthropists at work

com/vassarholyoke or call 905-842-2196 or 800-801-6147. New! Adventure and Service Trip in Central America January 2012 (exact dates TBA) Expedition to Nicaragua

In January 2012, Mount Holyoke will join with Roadmonkey Adventure Philanthropy on a small-group, adventure philanthropy expedition to Nicaragua, home to some of the most stunning and least explored regions of Central America. Roadmonkey expeditions combine off-the-path adventures with sustainable volunteer projects benefiting a local community in need. We will spend four days exploring Nicaragua’s southern beaches and deserted coves; hiking

remote jungle paths; and, if you’re up for it, taking a surfing lesson in tropical waters. A moonlight seaturtle migration and a jungle medicine-plant trek are also on the schedule. The remaining three days of our trip will be spent building a food-generating organic garden/small farm for a school outside Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. The project is coordinated and supervised by Roadmonkey’s nonprofit partner in Nicaragua, the Fabretto Children’s Foundation. Join this expedition, explore incomparable Pacific coastline, and be part of positive change for impoverished Nicaraguan students. The low price of $2,999 per person Japan trip includes all lodging, meals, equipment, and local ground transportation. For

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Summer 2011


Caribbean cruise: Gustavia Harbor

more information, contact Roadmonkey founder and CEO Paul von Zielbauer at or 323-924-8351. February 3–10, 2012 Caribbean Cruise in the Lesser Antilles: Puerto Rico, Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts, St. Barts, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Barbados

Escape the depths of winter on this eight-day cruise of the tropical Lesser Antilles aboard the six-star, allsuite MV Silver Cloud, providing an unmatched small-ship experience in the Caribbean. This splendid opportunity offers free air* from twenty-three gateway cities, and a host of complimentary features aboard ship. These include all onboard gratuities; personal butler service;

Australia/New Zealand trip: Queenstown

beverages in your suite, with every lunch and dinner, and throughout the cruise; and fitness classes. Cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Bridgetown, Barbados, and explore the natural and cultural treasures of these Caribbean isles— mountainous Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands; elegant eighteenth-century sugar plantation estates near Basseterre, St. Kitts; stylish Gustavia, St. Barts, where street signs appear in French and Swedish; English St. John’s, Antigua; picturesque Roseau; Dominica with its Victorian townhouses and fascinating volcanic geology; and St. George’s, Grenada, the “spice isle.” There are also San Juan precruise and Barbados postcruise options.

information or to make reservations, please call Gohagan & Company at 800-922-3088 or 312-6091140. *Free air and low air add-ons have limited availability and are not guaranteed. Register early!

Prices start at $3,508 (early booking). For more

Accompanied by a marine biologist, observe the wondrous underwater world from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat or while snorkeling. On land, experience the stark contrasts, magnificent natural wonders, and dynamic cultures Down Under, from the soaring peaks of New Zealand’s Southern Alps to Sydney’s glittering skyline, with three

Class and Club Products Lots of MHC-related class and club products are for sale. For details and photos of many items, visit shop/alumgifts.php.


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February 5–18, 2012 Australia and New Zealand: Cruising the Great Barrier Reef

This spectacular fourteenday journey captures the essence of Australia and New Zealand and features an exclusive three-night Great Barrier Reef cruise aboard the intimate Coral Princess, a stylish expedition cruiser that moors alongside secluded reefs and islands and is known for the warm Aussie hospitality of its crew.

nights in Queenstown, one night in Te Anau, three nights in Sydney, and one night in Cairns. Enjoy a nature cruise on Milford Sound and see the stunning vistas of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu, and the Remarkable Mountains. Visit the world-famous Sydney Opera House and learn about the rich heritage of the indigenous people. An exclusive twonight Auckland preprogram option and a one-night Ayers Rock postprogram option are offered. Prices start at $3,635 (early booking) plus air. For more information or to make reservations, please call Gohagan & Company at 800-922-3088 or 312-609-1140. Interested? To request a brochure for any of these trips, please call the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 or visit www.alumnae.mtholyoke. edu. For additional information, please call the travel company sponsoring the trip.

You did it!

Mount Holyoke women love a good challenge.

It’s true—Mount Holyoke women love a good challenge. The Trustee Five for Five Challenge was a success! More than 1,700 new alumnae supported the Annual Fund. The result? A $500,000 gift from trustees and other volunteer leadership. Thanks to you, the Annual Fund closed the 2010–2011 year with more than $8.1 million in gifts. You did it! Congratulations on a job well done.

“Reunion is being at home—in my world, in the world.”

—Marcela Muschett ’81

You don’t have to wait for your reunion to come home again. No matter where you are in the world, you are always part of our alumnae community. See what’s new at:

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Summer 2011  

Don't Wait to Be Asked: "2012" Project Prods Women to Run for Elected Office Reverse Culture Shock: International Alumnae Discover Returnin...

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