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or Bytes Are You Ready for the Future? 8 Dorm Food Revisited

14 Small Solutions to Big Problems in Kenya

20 Lesbian Healthcare: Invisible No More

Into Africa By Emily Harrison Weir

With an international team, President Pasquerella puts ethics into action to help Kenyans improve their own lives with simple engineering solutions to huge problems.


Mount Holyoke alumnae Quarterly Winter 2011 Volume 94 Number 4 Editor Emily Harrison Weir

Associate Editor Mieke H. Bomann

Class Notes Editor Kris halpin


Is Being Lesbian Hazardous to Your Health?

ALDRICH DESIGN Design Farm (class notes)

Editorial Assistant Laurel Rhame ’12

By E m ily Harrison W eir

Quarterly Committee: Marg Stark ’85 (chair), Cindy L. Carpenter ’83, Laurel Rhame ’12 (student rep.), Emily A. Dietrich ’85, Jillian K. Dunham ’97, Catherine Manegold (faculty rep.), Missy Schwartz ’97

Fac i n g pag e : Jo h n Ku c h l e , t h i s Pag e : ( t o p ) Ju d e Mo o n e y, ( b o t t o m ) G e o r g e B at e s

Pioneering physician Patricia A. Robertson ’72 delivers a mixed prognosis, and sobering news about how lesbians’ health differs in many areas from other women’s health.

20 Books or Bytes? By Me linda Bl au

With e-readers on the rise and bookstores going the way of the blacksmith shop, will books even exist in another twenty years? Here’s how readers, and writers, can cope with the new word order.


On the cover:

Illustration by George Bates

2 Viewpoints 3 Campus Currents: Thematic minors; dorm food revisited; old art is new again

26 Off the Shelf: Caregiving handbook; framing a life; no-doze prose

29 Alumnae Matters: Globe-trotting trustee; wish you were here? where’s Lynn today?

37 Class Notes: News of your classmates, and miniprofiles

78 Bulletin Board: Ancient America; Take the Lead; travels with Mikhail

Alumnae Association Board of Directors President* Cynthia L. Reed ’80 Vice President (Engagement)* Jennifer A. Durst ’95 Treasurer* Linda Ing Phelps ’86 Clerk* Julianne Trabucchi Puckett ’91 Classes and Reunion Director Erin Ennis ’92 Alumnae Trustee Director Lila M. Gierasch ’70 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 Director-at-Large (Communications) Elizabeth A. Osder ’86 Young Alumnae Representative Akua S. Soadwa ’03 Quarterly Director Marg Stark ’85 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 St., 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 St., South Hadley, MA 01075-1486. Winter 2011, volume 94, number 4, 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 A Bully’s Background “Battling Bullying” (fall) does an excellent job discussing the complexities of bullying. Experiences from my career as a public school teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent of schools lead me to a somewhat different perspective, however, than the article’s statement that the more common kinds of bullies are otherwise nice kids who have gotten really off track. At the elementary school where I was a principal for fourteen years, we took very aggressive and proactive measures to deal with bullying using all the approaches mentioned in your article. However, we also included a comprehensive approach to change the behavior of the perpetrators. Our careful evaluations found that each bully was dealing with some sort of abuse, neglect, trauma, or sense of powerlessness because of conditions in his/her life out of school. We discovered that drug- and alcohol-addicted parents, domestic violence, sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, refugee PTSD, or being bullied themselves were among the most common stressors in the lives of young bullies. We made efforts to alleviate those stressors while also providing the bully with counseling and opportunities to build pro-social behaviors. The serious family problems impacting bullies are often hidden behind carefully maintained facades of “perfectly normal family lives.” We frequently found the parents of bullying children to be arrogant, defensive, and even threatening—yes, they were bullies themselves. Yes, occasionally there is an “otherwise nice kid” who will join a bully to stay on his/her good side. That child’s behavior


is easily changed. But the vast majority of bullies need a more comprehensive approach by school staff. Many local school budgets include positions for psychologists, social workers, and guidance counselors. Those folks do bullying prevention work every day. You can contribute to their effort by supporting those budget expenditures when they come up for a vote in your community. Jill Vollmer Blackwood ’70 South Portland, Maine

Authority Bullies I was not bullied in school, but I was bullied mercilessly in two summer camps. In the first camp, when I was nine, I was so homesick that I cried every day and so was picked on for being a “baby.” My counselors blamed me for being the butt of all the teasing—if I didn’t cry, no one would tease me. In the second camp, I was picked on [because] I was not “stylish,” my sneakers and clothes were wrong, I was a bed-wetter, I was homesick, and I was not athletic or socially adept enough to laugh off my lack of athletic prowess. The other kids ostracized me, pranked me, and teased me. But what really was agonizing were the counselors who participated in the bullying, aggravating my grief. One counselor, who I had trusted and told that I felt that I didn’t fit in, betrayed my confidence in front of everyone. Another told me that I had no right to complain about anything because my parents had so much money. This happened to me from the time I was nine until I was fifteen. I am sixty-one now. I have a knot in my throat as I write about this humiliation. I have experienced severe panic attacks in my adult life that I tie back

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to the times when an authority figure turned to me and said, in essence, “You are worthless.” Peer bullying is terrible and must be stopped. But authority bullying must also be addressed. Amy Silver Khoudari ’71 New York, New York

Emotional Bruises Hannah Wallace’s article seems to point outward: we must all be informed about bullying. Bravo! How about MHC takes an internal look at this issue. I graduated in 1984 and witnessed much bullying of other students. Whether a person was too straight, too lesbian, too rich, too unhealthy, too white, too city, too rural, too middle class, individuals in these groups were bullied. They didn’t end up in the ER or with bruises, but with emotional bruises. Ironically, the people using the “silence treatment” or “exclusion tactics” against someone whom they found different, or disagreed with, or disliked even if they didn’t know the person, seemed to learn those techniques in the lives they came from. The ability to manage bullying must start from one place: love of another human being, a desire to get to know their unique gifts, and a willingness to share a different way of being without the intimidation that comes with bullying. We can have an alumnae magazine that touts us as sisters, but I didn’t always find a lot of sisterhood at MHC. This article conveniently implies it’s a problem in our homes. But it was a problem when I lived in Ham Hall, Prospect Hall, and North Rocky. I bet it’s still a problem. Betty Walter ’84 Annandale, Virginia

Fight Bullying by Chalking Positively Thanks for the excellent article about bullying. I was so saddened when I heard in the national news about Phoebe Prince, the high school sophomore who was driven to suicide by the bullying of students at South Hadley High School. I would like to add two more sources for help for students who are experiencing bullying, and for their families and friends. So much of middle- and high-school bullying is directed, with especial viciousness, towards gay teens. Two groups providing help and support are the Trevor Project and the It Gets Better Project. Their Web sites are and Teens needing help can also call the Trevor Project’s twenty-fourhour hotline: 1-866-4-U-TREVOR (1-866-488-7368) or chat live online with a volunteer. My spouse and I have been engaged in anti-bullying demonstrations that involve chalking positive messages to at-risk teens on public sidewalks. (Because chalk is easily removed, it is not considered vandalism.) We have joined groups that have done this at the Colorado state capitol, an actively homophobic Roman Catholic church in Denver, and at the headquarters of Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, which spews the kind of hate messages that inspire teen bullying. Pamela Thiele ’70 Lakewood, Colorado


Wide Angle New Thematic Minors Let Students Study a Topic Across the Disciplines Like many of its peer institutions, MHC in the past twenty-five years has structured its curriculum to reflect the growing interest of students and faculty in a wide array of studies. Today, more than forty departments and programs offer students a dizzying number of courses. While the result is a dynamic and broad curriculum, MHC’s wealth of offerings can sometimes make it tough for students to make deliberate connections between the courses they choose and for faculty to make similar connections across the curriculum. Thanks to a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, a new piece of “curricular architecture” in the form of thematic minors was formally launched this year to attract students interested in considering questions that span the disciplines, in lieu of a traditional minor.

L aur a Weston

“The thematic minor encourages students to pursue a particular theme from multiple perspectives, with faculty from across the disciplines,” says Karen Remmler, thematic minors director and professor of German studies, critical social thought, and gender studies. It is also an opportunity for faculty to come together and Pasquerella was greeted with a talk about their teaching, standing ovation. share their pedagogies, and team up to help students choose their courses with intention.

Students from “War: What is it Good For?” look at guns and a sword inscribed with Ulysses S. Grant’s name from the Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, administered by the MHC Art Museum.

Last fall, Remmler helped institute a pilot seminar, “War: What Is It Good For?” that is now titled “War and Society,” as one of four thematic minors on offer. Its selection came about as eight faculty members were teaching classes on war, realized they didn’t know what the others were doing, and felt they were missing an opportunity to bring their combined 160 students together to share insights. “I’ve collaborated with scholars at different universities around the world but never, before now, with colleagues in different fields at Mount Holyoke. It is a wonderful experience,” says Sohail Hashmi, associate professor of

international relations, who, along with Vinnie Ferraro, professor of politics, was part of the team that taught the seminar last fall. “The insights they bring to the topic from their own intellectual backgrounds have helped me see the topic of war in many different lights.” Students will sign up for the first thematic minors this spring. Scheduled to run in three-year rotations, they are currently offered in Memory, Food, and Comparative Literature and Transnational Studies as well as in War and Society. Each consists of sixteen credits and includes a required “gateway course” and three others from a roster of varied but related topics.

Students who choose the thematic minor in food, for example, focus on classes that explore the social, political, ethical, religious, and cultural dimensions of food in a hungry world. Students who minor in memory consider the topic from the perspectives of science, including the brain and psychological trauma, and history. Some students will use the new minors as a steppingstone and move on, Remmler says. Tara Penny ’11 took the pilot War and Society seminar last fall but will double major in psychology and critical social thought. While her decision was purely tactical—she had the credits to double major and took most

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of the same courses as the thematic minor, anyway— she finds the notion of an interdisciplinary minor fascinating. “It’s so interdepartmental,” she says. “One week we went to the museum to look at relics of war…the next week we’d examine the psychological effects of war from the perspectives of Virginia Woolf and Erich Fromm. At times it was chaotic as we bumped from discipline to discipline, but it was extraordinarily interesting.” The seminar also inspired her thesis topic, women combatants. And that’s really the goal, says Remmler. A thematic minor gives students an option to pull their thinking and studies together and do it in an even deeper fashion than a traditional minor would allow. “Our hope is to help [sophomores especially] develop a sense of how the liberal arts work, make their interest in topics, such as war, a major part of their overall studies, and prepare them to make decisions about their majors and overall academic plan.” It’s the kind of framework, finally, that enables future alumnae to navigate an increasingly complex set of choices in the world with purposeful engagement. —M.H.B. Note: For a video excerpt from the course War: What Is It Good For?, see


Steve Herman Brings His Entrepreneurial Spirit to MHC Garrett College in McHenry, Maryland, is wedged between Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the Allegheny Mountains, which offer outdoor enthusiasts lots of different choices in adventure recreation. It’s also located in a historically poor county with few employers and a long history of economic disadvantage. But that didn’t discourage Steve Herman, former president of Garrett and now senior adviser to President Lynn Pasquerella for complementary program development at MHC. By focusing on the assets of western Maryland, he turned a community college starved for funding into a vibrant institution that draws students from forty-four states. “We earned a national reputation,” says Herman, for instituting a first-in-thenation adventure sports degree program, and regional recognition for a program in

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juvenile justice that attracts students from a four-state area interested in careers in juvenile detention. Interested in finding new ways to generate revenue for Mount Holyoke, President Pasquerella hired Herman to develop similarly entrepreneurial programs that would complement MHC’s mission. Herman, who retired in 2006 after twenty years as president at Garrett, first met Pasquerella when she was a student in his philosophy class at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut. “Steve has a proven track record of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education,” says Pasquerella. “At the same time, as a college president, he garnered a reputation for his commitment to shared governance, collegiality, and integrity. I can’t imagine a better leader to take us through the process of working with faculty

and other community members to identify and develop programs that both complement our mission and assist us in generating revenue.” “The framework at MHC is different,” says Herman, “but there are lots of similarities. We are developing concepts that need to be shaped into programs.” More than 100 ideas are in the hopper, Herman says, and about a dozen are being actively investigated. For example, he and Jesse Lytle, the director of complementary program development, are working with the Educational Testing Service to see if the college’s Summer Math for Teachers program might be replicated as a pilot in Tennessee, where federal funding for schools is available. They hope it will be picked up in other states, too. “If it’s approved, and we do it well,” Herman says he thinks it has potential to generate upwards of $100,000 annually for the college.

In keeping with the Yale/ Mellon project’s theme, “Reconstructing Antiquity,” students might draw a literal reconstruction of an object found in fragments, deduce where and how an object was used in ancient times, or reimagine its likely history through the ages. For her seminar paper, Sara Abdullah ’14 is scrutinizing several marblesculpture heads and drawing conclusions about what the bodies originally attached to those heads looked like. “For the first time in my life, I am attending a class where there is truly no wrong answer,” she marveled. Bergmann says that teaching using original art “makes a huge difference. Photos can’t convey how objects were used. Here you can see how the vases were fired and painted. You get a sense of a sculpture’s scale when it’s in the room; and you can’t walk around a slide!” And having objects displayed in thematic groupings helps students “think about how the objects inform one another and about how we experience the past,” she says. Art history major Victoria Schmidt-Scheuber ’12 says that studying originals “provides a grounding focus for a time and places that are far away.” Something special happens when students can literally reach out and touch the past. Rachel Davis put it this way, “I feel a connection to the ancient world that I have never felt before.”—E.H.W.


Student Edge

Enlightenment in the Wake of Tragedy It’s not exactly how she expected to begin her semester abroad. Zilin Cui ’11 arrived in Chile to study just ten days before one of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded devastated large portions of the South American nation. She and some friends had been camping when the quake occurred and suffered no injuries. But the country was in chaos, and Cui immediately went to work to see how she could help. “Sitting in a hostel with WiFi and a bed and food, I felt it was unfair that I could survive unscathed while millions suffered,” the Beijing native recalled. She started writing a blog in which she posted the names and bank account numbers of organizations to which people could donate to help the relief effort. Cui, an economics and Spanish double major, had come to Chile to learn how

microfinance worked in South America. Cui has been intrigued by microfinance since she read Banker to the Poor, by Nobel Prize–winner Muhammad Yunus, in high school.

ment to gather data on families and their eligibility for assistance. For this task, Cui was able to apply both what she knew about microfinance and her compassion for their terrible situation.

After an internship at Women’s World Banking in New York, Cui was eager to learn more. At once struck that microfinance did lots to lift individuals out of poverty but little to address the structural issues of poverty, especially in Latin American countries, Cui set off for the University of Chile, where she planned to study the development model in a different context.

“We were combining our hearts with our heads,” she says. “It was a lot harder but more rewarding than extracting data from a database.”

She learned much more than she could have anticipated. After the earthquake, the university economics department decided to sponsor the rural town of Coltauco, which was devastated. Her team of students worked with the municipal govern-

Her participation in a University of Chile course called Microenterprise Clinic—for which she helped design a business plan for an entrepreneur building an environmental and recycling business—was featured in the national newspaper La Nacion. Coupled with coursework in economic history, Chilean folklore, and poetry, Cui, who hopes to be a translator, says her time abroad was exhilarating. “I felt as if Chile adopted me as a daughter.” —M.H.B.

Zilin Cui ’11 holds photos of the devastating effects of an earthquake in Chile that occurred while she was studying in Santiago.

Sports Shorts: Fall Sports Roundup

Soccer: Senior Jacquelyn Archibald recorded six points on two goals and two assists to lead the way for the soccer team. The forward found the back of the net in Mount Holyoke’s 2-1 triumph over the Coast Guard Academy and also scored a goal against Connecticut College. She was joined up front by junior Margaret Hanmer, who posted a pair of goals during the season. Senior goalkeeper Elaine Harvey posted 152 saves in fifteen starts for the Lyons, who finished with an overall record of 1-14-1. Her

team went 1-7-1 in NEWMAC contests. Golf: Alexandra Irish set the tone for the golf team with her outstanding play during the fall. The junior finished in the top ten in four of Mount Holyoke’s five tournaments, with an average score of 82.5. She was at her best at the Middlebury College invitational, where she grabbed fifth place with a two-day total of 167 (82, 85). With Irish and senior Sarah Keating at the helm, the Lyons collected fifth place at the Williams College fall classic. Tennis: With senior Elise Marifian and first-year Maya Sayarath leading the way, the tennis team recorded an overall record of 3-7 (3-4 NEWMAC) during the fall. The duo earned NEWMAC all-conference second-team accolades after sprinting to a 5-1 mark in league matches this fall. They were at their best down the stretch, when they won three straight times to help the Lyons secure their seventh straight trip to the NEWMAC tournament. Riding: The riding team exploded out of the gate, taking

Members of MHC’s field hockey team stick it to competitors.

high point honors at each of its first three Intercollegiate competitions of the 2010–11 campaign. With leadership from Margaret Swanson, Mount Holyoke posted a perfect score of forty-nine in its season opener at Smith College. After cruising to another win at the University of Massachusetts, the Lyons were nearly perfect in their first home show of the season the following weekend. Crew: Mount Holyoke’s new boathouse was on display on October 30 when the crew team hosted the Seven Sisters championship regatta for the first time in nearly a decade. The Lyons’ first varsity boat grabbed second place with a time of 14:20.98. Mount Holyoke also took part in the historic Head of the Charles regatta, posting thirteenth place in the Collegiate Eights Division. Volleyball: Using a balanced attack, the volleyball team posted an overall record of 9-16 (1-8 NEWMAC).

Alexandra Irish ’12

First-year Martina Kneifel made an immediate impact both offensively and defensively. The outside hitter registered team highs of 2.70 kills per set and thirty-four service aces while also delivering 3.04 digs per set. She piled up six double-doubles and was named NEWMAC player of the week on September 13. Senior setter Kateryna Kuc became the fourth player in program history to reach 1,000 career assists after averaging 6.26 helpers per set.


t h i s pag e : R i c h a r d O r r , Fac i n g pag e : Pau l S c h n a i t tac h e r

Field Hockey: After opening its season with an overall record of 5-5, the field hockey team racked up six straight wins to secure a spot in the NEWMAC tournament for the twelfth year in a row. Junior Shara Robertson amassed thirty-nine points on eighteen goals and three assists to lead the way during the regular season. Mount Holyoke also received a boost from first-year Stephanie Slysz, who erupted for seven goals in October to run her total to eight. Both forwards earned NEWMAC player-of -the-week accolades during the fall.

Cross-Country: The crosscountry team took part in seven competitions during the fall. With Rebecca Engell paving the way, Mount Holyoke kicked off its season with a fifth-place finish at the Smith College invitational. The senior took home fourth-place overall with a time of 20:25.77. She later helped the Lyons to an eighth-place showing at the NEWMAC championships with her twenty-second-place time of 19:55.42.—Mike Raposo, sports information director

Alexandra Irish ’12 tees off

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review Remembrance of Food Past We wondered whether young alumnae were thrilled to kiss “blazin’ cod nuggets” goodbye forever, or if—faced with cooking for themselves every day—dorm food would look better than ever. Journalist Hannah Clay Wareham ’09 agreed to take a culinary trip down memory lane—and through the cafeteria line—one fall evening.

The mauve dishware in Wilder’s dining hall signified a meat day, and my friend and former suitemate (who is finishing her last semester) and I loaded our pink plates with beef au jus, vegetable strudel, and sesame carrots with a side of turkey dumpling soup and French bread each.

My friend and I reverted quickly to meal topics of yore: gossip, raunchy jokes, and the gifts we’d gained spending four of our most formative years at an institution of creativity, reason, and the particular brand of clarity offered by the single-sex institution that somehow still felt immediately like home.

The furniture and décor remained seemingly untouched since the last time I’d eaten there, almost two years earlier. One Cards still held students’ seats while they fetched food; heads were bent close together over roast chicken with apricots, deep in conversation. New were posters touting the nutritional and economic benefits of local food.

As far as the food went: the beef was tough, the turkey dry, and the carrots limp. But, as my friend put it, the meal was good, too. Nourishing enough to sustain powerful conversation, warm enough to inspire a nostalgic feeling of home, and tasty enough to send plenty of students—and one alum—back for seconds.—Hannah Clay Wareham ’09

What’s Next for MHC?—Strategic Planning Underway The college has begun an integrated five-year planning process that combines strategic planning, which is tied to the reaccreditation cycle set by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, with annual financial planning and budgeting. In this first year of the effort, the college’s mission, values, and vision will be reexamined and a sort of collective vision of what MHC might look like in five years outlined. “The point of the process this year is an actual document,” with a set of strategic goals, says Sally Sutherland, senior adviser to the president, who is in charge of the process. Those goals will then unfold into objectives, or “overarching directions” for the college, she says.


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Planning for MHC’s future is continuous and campuswide. A permanent subset of the fifteen-member planning committee will meet periodically in the final four years of the planning cycle, after creation of the initial “road map,” as circumstances and events merit. The committee includes faculty and staff members, trustees, students, and alumnae. President Lynn Pasquerella, building on work already completed by board and faculty committees, says she is eager to “engage all members of the community,” including alumnae. Pasquerella is talking about planning in her visits with alumnae. As it began meeting in fall 2010, the planning committee’s first goals included reviewing existing data on alumnae views and soliciting further thoughts.


To p : Ev e r et t Irv i n g , B ot t o m ( b ot h ) : Jo h n Ku c h l e

Out on the Connecticut River President Lynn Pasquerella and head crew coach Jeanne Friedman’s son christened the president’s namesake and MHC’s newest boat in fall. The Vespoli Advantage is designed to be stable in the water and provide novice rowers with a solid learning platform. The president and members of the crew team and staf f later took the boat out for a row.


Campus Safety Rober t Smith was named director of public safety for the Mount Holyoke, Smith, and Hampshire College communities. A member of the Massachusetts State Police Depar tment for twenty-six years until his retirement in Januar y 2010, Smith remains involved in the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and is a member of the Massachusetts Depar tment of Public Health H1N1 Advisor y Committee.

Days of Dialogue In October, Five College Days of Dialogue took place in an ef for t to promote the strengths of intergroup dialogues about impor tant issues among the Five College campuses. To prepare, sixty staf f and faculty attended a three-day training at MHC. Pakistani Students Respond to Flooding Following the horrific floods in her native Pakistan, Zehra Nabi ’11 created a shor t documentar y to illustrate just how easy it is to separate oneself from tragedy emotionally even when it occurs close by. The film, Distanced, won best documentar y at the 2009 Five College Film and Video Festival and was shown on campus this fall. See the video at: mtholyoke. edu/news/channels/22/stories/5682429.

Author John Irving The World According to John Irving Best-selling novelist and former MHC professor John Ir ving returned to campus in October to speak about his work and read from the first draf t of his thir teenth novel, In One Person. Its protagonist is a bisexual man, and his stor y is presented in the first person, a rarity for Ir ving.

Like The World According to Garp, the for thcoming book deals with those who hate others because of sexual dif ferences. Before the talk, Ir ving spoke about his work, and what it was like to be back on campus, in a video; view it at news/stories/5682441.

President Pasquerella (midboat, in blue) takes an oar during her namesake boat’s first time on the Connecticut River.

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Books or Bytes

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A r e Yo u R e a dy f o r t h e F u t u r e ?

By Melinda Blau

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George Bat es


are serving lattes and muffins, and local bookstores seem to be going the way of the blacksmith shop. Last summer, Amazon announced that e-book sales outpaced hardcover books by almost two to one. And several companies are developing ATM-like machines that dispense print-ondemand books instead of $20 bills. We can’t help but wonder, will books even exist twenty years from now? “I’m not sure yet what the digital revolution has done,” admits Deb Futter ’80, vice president/editor in chief, hardcovers for Grand Central Publishing, “and I don’t think anyone is. It’s still happening. Everyone said television was the end of radio and that didn’t happen.” The industry powerhouse is married to a writer, William D. Cohan. “During our discussions about the future of the book, despite being on different sides of the business, we both believe that the book will live on, certainly in our lifetime.” The question is, in what form? It’s all happening so fast, even industry insiders can only guess. Lane Zachary ’75, a literary agent in New York and Boston, predicts that in twenty years, hardcover books will be extinct. “Technology is going to take us someplace dramatically different. We’ll have paperbacks and something like the Kindle, which by then will be seen as a dinosaur.” 

The shift already happened in the music business, says Zachary. “At one time, everything was the album, then eight-tracks, cassettes, CDs, and now downloads. I see publishing as having a similar arc, and we have to reinvent ourselves to keep up with these changes.” Traditional publishers have been “slow to adapt,” agrees Priscilla Painton ’80, editor in chief of Simon & Schuster’s adult trade division. “But over the last two years, a whole new industry has come into existence to produce new digital products that we’re still calling ‘books.’ Also, the devices are getting better and appeal to all age groups.” Digital natives, who’ve grown up with computers, eagerly embrace e-books. When Simon & Schuster put its teen readers’ book club online, providing e-versions instead of print books, its membership soared from 3,000 to 20,000 in one year. “More and more preteens are online now,” says Bethany Buck ’84, a vice president and publisher in Simon & Schuster’s children’s book division. “Digital opportunities give us a way to be more creative. In the future, kids might have multiple versions of the same story. And picture book e-books are likely to be significantly different—tons more content and additional features in digital form. It’s not a paperback and not a hardcover. Writers have to think of it as another format.”

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How Writers Can Thrive in the New Word Order


Although e-books now account for only 10 percent of book sales, Forrester Research predicted that 10.3 million people in the US would own e-readers by the end of 2010, up from 3.7 million in 2009. Even now, says Dan Visel, researcher at the Institute for the Future of the Book, “Almost everything that’s ever been printed is available to anyone with a computer.” But what does this all mean to aspiring writers? There is definitely more competition, and fewer traditionally published books make it to market. Publishers and agents are less likely to take a chance on an unproven novice. Advances are also lower, and the quick read seems to be edging out books that require more time and contemplation. “It’s a different world now than when I sold my first novel in 1996,” says Zachary. “It’s harder to sell literary fiction. Editors want blockbusters, and now that the economy has truly declined, it’s even more difficult. Editors that I once worked with on literary fiction are now cookbook editors.” With fewer magazines and newspapers, fewer ad pages, and more journalists freelancing, it’s even worse for nonfiction writers. “I got to the party just as they were closing the open bar!” quips Christine Muhlke ’92, food editor at the New York Times. “It’s a competitive market without the kind of outlet for good writing that we‘ve had in the past. Now I’m telling top writers, ‘We can give you $50 for a blog post.’” A key advantage of technology is that it broadens the definition of a book and makes the reading experience more social. Writers can interact with readers in ways that were impossible in the past. “Authors have become real people,” says Buck, “not just photos on a jacket.” Some authors enjoy the give-and-take. “It’s why you write: to connect with people, to grow the mind, and to have a dialogue,” says mystery writer Sibella Connor Giorello ’85. “Over half the people I’m friends with online are readers.” Giorello believes we’ll also read more because of digital readers. “This could be a golden age to be a writer,” she adds, “because you can also self-publish, which means you’re not beholden to a gatekeeper to tell you if your book is worthy or not.” Priscilla Painton agrees, “It’s going to be harder and harder to say, ‘I wrote a great American novel, but I couldn’t get it published.’ A good novel still has to be a good novel to be read very widely, but there are more mechanisms now for getting attention.”


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0 1 0 1 0 1 Whatever route you take, the going will be a bit smoother 0 if you prepare for the trip. Here, then, is “W-R-I-T-E”—a 1 compendium of advice from alums who have been in the 0 trenches. 1 0 1 To state the obvious, writing takes skill, knowledge, and 0 practice. “Too many people who aren’t qualified want to 1 write books,” says Lane Zachary. “I get so many manu0 scripts from people who have never studied the craft, yet 1 they want to write books about being in prison or overcom0 ing a disease. Most of the time, these manuscripts serve as 1 therapy for the writer, but they are not well-told stories that 0 are ready for publication.” Corinne Demas, a widely published MHC professor of 1 0 English, has mentored many now-successful writers and 1 editors. “Our students are lucky because they’ve had work0 shop experience. They know how to look at a text. Critiqu1 ing other people’s work helps them become better writers.” Carol Higgins Clark ’78, author of thirteen bestselling 0 1 mysteries, stresses that “the business of writing may have 0 changed, but the part about learning how to tell a story 1 hasn’t.” Find a writing class in your area, she suggests, 0 “where you can get constructive feedback from a writing 1 teacher.” Blogging is a good way to practice the craft and to “have 0 1 the most people possible look at your work,” adds Christine 0 Muhlke. “Editors look at blogs. I’ve definitely assigned 1 pieces based on them.” Read widely, and expose yourself to a variety of styles and 0 1 types of writing. Even if you’re drawn to a particular genre, 0 says Muhlke, think of your writing as a retirement fund: 1 diversify. “Advances are a quarter to a third of what they 0 used to be. You can’t just write books, just copyedit, just 1 blog, or just write for magazines. You can’t put your writing 0 all in one place.”  1 0 1 “If you want to be a smart author,” says Bethany Buck, “get 0 to know the trends.” Also read what’s already been written 1 on your topic. “You have to make sure you have a unique 0 idea before you make a pitch,” says Muhlke. “I can’t tell you 1 how many people send ideas that were in another maga0 zine.” Educate yourself about the business, too. “Start in a 1 0 bookstore,” suggests Rebecca Fabian ’07, a sales assistant 1 at Beacon Press who previously worked at Barnes & Noble 0 and the Odyssey Book Store and interned at Houghton 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 10 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 10 1 0 1



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Mifflin. “It’s a great way to get to know the publishers and what they print.” Read trade magazines, too, to learn about advances, royalties, rights, and other aspects of the business. Know your options. Most publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, so if you go the traditional route, you’ll need an agent. If you decide to self-publish, know what you’re in for. Who will edit and format your manuscript and help you market the book? Writers Marketplace is a classic source of information; so are college connections. Deb Futter landed her first job at Bantam Books “because the person who needed an assistant had previously hired a Mount Holyoke grad.” When Karen Tucker LeFrak ’69 was working on her third children’s book earlier this year, MHC’s Office of Development suggested Professor Demas. “I asked her about the number of manuscripts you can present at one time, how long it takes to hear back. As a seasoned writer, she was a person I could trust as a friend in the field.”



Thanks to the Internet, the twenty-first century is all about connections—blogs, authors’ Facebook pages, and myriad other reader/writer “communities.” Most sites allow you to comment or at least be a fly on the wall. If you’re skittish about socializing online, think of it as a big cocktail party, and do what you’d do in person: make interesting comments, ask thought-provoking questions, seek help when you need it. Find favorite sites and drop in when you can. Becoming part of the conversation not only eases the loneliness of the long-distance writer; you also gain a posse of like-minded comrades.

Tech-ucate Yourself

Karen LeFrak was taken aback when her publisher first asked, “Are you going to join Facebook?” LeFrak was inspired by a real-life experience to write her first book, Jake the Philharmonic Dog. “It combined all of my passions— education, music, and dogs.” She went on tour, and the book did well. But that was 2004. For her newest book, Best in Show, she needs “an online presence.”  If you haven’t sampled social media yet, it’s time to “techucate” yourself. Start by writing a pithy profile of yourself to establish your online identity. Learn the mechanics of posting. Sites like Facebook make it easy; blogging software is a little trickier, but not hard. And if it all feels overwhelming, find a mentor who’s half your age. “These skills are mandatory for writers today,” says Christine Muhlke. “I wouldn’t even look at a resume from

someone who didn’t have online experience.” Social media can also help you tighten your prose. “Younger writers are already succinct, because they’re used to tweeting. It’s surprisingly useful.” Brevity is also essential when “pitching” an idea. “Do everything by e-mail,” Muhlke suggests. “Editors and agents don’t answer the phone.” But even with e-mail, she adds, “you have about two seconds of attention. I can’t tell you how often editor friends and I have said, ‘It was a good idea, but it took a page to get to.’” One caveat: The demands of social media leave less time for writing. “If Hemingway were alive today, they’d be bitching because he doesn’t have a blog,” jokes Giorello, mindful of the new expectations.


Edit, and Experiment

Professor Demas gives the same wear-two-hats speech to today’s writing students that she always has: Write “joyfully” and without constraints. However, once your story is on paper, step back and put on your editor’s hat. “Ask yourself, ‘Who’s my audience, what am I trying to accomplish, and what can I do to make this clear and original?’ Be objective. Make believe it isn’t yours anymore.” Still, in the current publishing climate, writers also have to think outside the book. “Digital readers are going to change what we write,” Giorello predicts. The new formats, which allow you to research as you read, says Dan Visel, promote a more distracted, but also a more informed, kind of reading. “Readers will expect hyperlinks within a novel,” says Giorello. “For example, when my character mentions a mineral, sodalite, the reader will want to click on it. It’s almost like putting a bibliography into a novel.” Of course, it also depends on the type of book you’re writing and your target audience. But given the new possibilities, why not ask yourself whether photographs, links, videos, or even games might enhance your text. Be creative in marketing your book, too, because it’s increasingly harder to get, and keep, readers’ attention. “The challenge is trying a whole palette of ways to sell books,” says Painton. “I see that as an advantage. But it depends on whether you choose to see the glass as half empty or half full.” None of us knows what lies ahead, but, as Lane Zachary points out, “You can never stop progress. We have to be open to new possibilities and not be frightened by them.” more of the write stuff For Writer’s Digest’s latest list of the top 101 Web sites for writers, and other tips, see

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President Puts Ethics Into Action in Kenya By Emily Harrison Weir


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The 2010 team led by Lynn Pasquerella ’80 (far right) included Yiting Wang ’11 (second from right), Hilda Barasa ’12 (second from left), and students from four other institutions.

The stakes don’t get any higher.

The work of the international team led by President Lynn Pasquerella is a matter of life and death. Western Kenya suffers from both floods and widespread droughts; contaminated water is a common killer; one-third of the area’s population has HIV/AIDS; and starvation kills five people a day in some villages. One desperate mother, convinced that her daughter wouldn’t survive, thrust the child into a startled visitor’s arms, begging the woman to save the daughter’s life by taking her away. The problems are so overwhelming that many people would throw up their hands and walk away in frustration.

John Kuchle

But that’s not the kind of person Lynn Pasquerella is. Informed by Kenyan colleague Clarice Odhiambo in 2007 about the vast needs in her home region near Lake Victoria, Pasquerella became a partner with the group Odhiambo founded, the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions (ACESS). For three years, Pasquerella has brought students and faculty from colleges and universities to Kenya. They become partners with local talent to improve access to food, water, jobs, and other basic needs. The problems are multilayered and complex, but sometimes the solution to a massive problem is surprisingly simple, at least technologically speaking. And small actions can have far-reaching consequences. Take, for example, the issue of clean water. Many people in Western Kenya sicken or die after drinking contaminated water, because enough clean water simply isn’t available. So the team combined

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Kenyan know-how and Western engineering to invent a cheap, ceramic filter made of local materials. First, faculty and students from US universities collected samples and tested combinations of sand, clay, and sawdust to see which provided the best filtration. Later, they designed a prototype to make batches of filters efficiently by using molds. This past August, Kenyan potters further refined the mold-making apparatus. These humble ceramic cones, each the size of a one-gallon flower pot, now filter contaminants from water and can provide income for those who make and market the life-saving devices. “In many cases, the Kenyans have many more solutions than we do, because they know the culture,” Pasquerella explains. “They just don’t have the resources or the political power to implement them. So it’s really a partnership.” It’s also the kind of meeting of the minds and cultures that delights Lynn Pasquerella. Tackling Real-World Problems

The project grew from Clarice Odhiambo’s vision of work that could improve conditions for Kenyans while also offering American college faculty and students opportunities to solve vital, real-world problems. And in Lynn Pasquerella, Odhiambo found a colleague determined to sustain the work over several years. Each summer since 2008, an international team has gone to Kenya to ask questions, gather data, test solutions, and plan next steps. The rest of the year, they raise money and work on the challenges identified during the previous summer’s visit. One season’s unanswered questions become research projects for faculty and students the following academic year. “The real value of the project from an educational standpoint is that it allows us to create interinstitutional, interdisciplinary research teams of undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty, working together to solve real-world problems,” says Pasquerella. Each time Pasquerella moved to a new institution, instead of handing off the project to someone else, she kept the old ties and added faculty and students from her new institution to the mix. Now participants from Mount Holyoke, Brown University, Hampshire College, the University of Hartford, and the University of Rhode Island are involved. Ethics in Action

Decontaminating water may seem far removed from the lofty realms of philosophical contemplation, but the project often requires putting Pasquerella’s intellectual specialty—ethics—into practical applications. “So much of our work focuses on the psychosocial issues rather than just providing the simple engineering solutions,” Pasquerella admits. For example, she questioned


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Women spend hours every day gathering fuel and water.

Clarice Odhiambo, founder of the Africa Center for Engineering Social Solutions.

A Kenyan-US team developed this machine to produce water-filtration pots that improve water quality.

J o h n K u c h l e , F a r r i g h t : Y i t i n g Wa n g

“I’ve spent my career committed to Benjamin Barber’s notion of colleges and universities as civic missions.” the ethics of sending students into the Kibera slums— where the visitors might be perceived as practicing “slumdog tourism” (paying to see how “the other half lives”). They were actually visiting to learn the business models residents use to sell goods, and to discuss how they might be improved. “I worry about crossing the line between service and exploitation,” Pasquerella admits. This kind of social advocacy is not new to Pasquerella, who has done nonviolence training in Colombia and China, has had students do basic legal work for prisoners to counter a lack of public defenders, has served on ethics boards, and has tutored inmates. Everything Is Connected

“I’ve spent my career committed to [political theorist] Benjamin Barber’s notion of colleges and universities as civic missions,” Pasquerella says. “He talks about not only educating women to make them free but also freeing them to be educable. To do that is to provide them with the tools necessary to gain access to higher education.” How is making water filters related to securing higher

education for Kenyan women? As you’ll see, everything is connected. Before higher education for women must come some education. Since norms dictate that girls and women must provide water for their families, and since finding and transporting clean water takes up to six hours daily—thus preventing school attendance—girls rarely get a formal education. But if clay filters were readily available, females wouldn’t have to walk as far to get drinkable water, and thus could attend school. The filters now perfected, the next step is to start microbusinesses, helping potters make and sell the waterfiltration pots. Once in full swing, this will help everyone: people get jobs and a market for their products; women won’t have to trudge miles carrying heavy water cans; and fewer people die from water-borne illnesses. “It changed everybody to see how simple things can make a difference in people’s lives,” Pasquerella recalls.

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Go Deeper Into Africa For more about ACESS, interviews with this year’s student participants, and more photos from Kenya, visit

This Year’s Trip

The 2010 trip group included nineteen participants hailing from Afghanistan, Jamaica, Kenya, Poland, China, Turkey, and America. They brought determination, curiosity, and 300 pounds of equipment, including a disassembled portable press and molding tool designed by engineering students to batch-produce ceramic water filters. After a seventeen-hour flight, they were in Nairobi and started working almost before catching their collective breath. Pasquerella’s blog ( kenya/) gives the flavor of those two whirlwind weeks: waiting entire days to see dignitaries who might support ACESS’s work, following intricate protocol to avoid offending influential village chiefs, playing soccer with local kids, and consulting with villagers to make sure the group’s efforts targeted their most urgent needs. There was fun—a dinner in Nairobi where the group was joined by MHC alumnae and students living in the city; and a breathtaking morning drive through big-game habitat in Masai Mara—but this was far from a vacation. The visitors shared the locals’ lives, eating only when they did, often spending up to sixteen hours a day in the field with no food or water. When food did appear, it was sparse and eaten from common pots so all could share. A few bananas could seem like a feast.


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“These students were the best group so far because they worked together so well as a team and were so sensitive,” says Pasquerella. One day they went from putting together the clay-pot-making press to playing with local kids. “They didn’t hesitate to pick up these babies, many of whom were HIV-positive and were spitting up on us. It was a very thoughtful, mature team.” Pasquerella was impressed with the way the MHC students used their multidisciplinary backgrounds to “look at issues in ways I found stunning.” Yiting Wang ’11 used her

John Kuchle

There was fun, including a breathtaking morning drive through big-game habitat in Masai Mara— but this was far from a vacation.

“So much of our work focuses on the psychosocial issues rather than just providing the simple engineering solutions.” background in environmental studies and international relations to help a villager think about the best way to produce food for fish he’s raising to add protein to the local diet. “Have you thought about solar power? Why are you doing it this way?” she asked the man. “It’s this constant barrage of questions that makes our students distinctive,” Pasquerella says. “It’s never taking anything for granted.”

The Kenyan sojourn revealed to Wang “the fundamental importance of putting higher education coursework into a real setting to create a better world. What [the trip] has not changed are my aspiration to work in the field of international sustainable development, and my desire to explore the world and plant more ‘seedlings’” of change.

Hilda Barasa ’12, a Kenyan, says the experience made her realize “that change needs to have a ‘trickle-up’ effect.” The key, says the double major in urban development and economics, is “immersing yourself for a while in a community, hearing the members of that community speak about their challenges, seeing their ingenious and effective (or not so effective) methods of solving those challenges, and then merging your skills, educational insights, and resources to enhance their quality of life.”

Apparently the villagers were also moved by the visitors. As Pasquerella wrote in her final blog post from the village of Kisumu, “As we were leaving the village, it began to rain. The Luo people consider rain upon the arrival or departure of a guest to be a blessing. A ‘vote of thanks’ was given to us as a sign of their appreciation and to signify that we had blessed their community,” she wrote. “If there are such things as blessings,” Pasquerella wrote, “then surely we were the recipients simply by being in their presence.”

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Is Being Lesbian Hazardous to Your Health? The state of lesbian healthcare is like the classic cartoon in which a doctor says to a patient, “Well, I have good news and bad news …” According to Patricia A. Robertson ’72, a physician and professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Services at the University of California–San Francisco, the good news is that lesbians are no longer totally invisible to the medical community. Research has revealed many areas in which lesbians’ health differs from straight women’s health, and those differences have important implications for treating individual patients. The bad news is that research findings about lesbians’ health are sobering. B y E m i ly H a r r i s o n W e i r

A pioneering alumna doctor delivers a mixed prognosis

Jude Mooney

Dr. Patricia Robertson ’72

While all women have the same basic anatomy, research has shown that, when compared with straight women, lesbians + are less likely to get regular health screenings; + are more likely to smoke, become depressed, abuse alcohol and other drugs, and be overweight; + are more likely to develop breast cancer and possibly ovarian cancer; + are more likely, as young women, to have unintended pregnancies; + are more likely, as young women, to develop the sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia, which can cause infertility in later life; + are as likely as heterosexual women to be the victims of domestic violence.

I have stayed away from gynecologists for the past twenty years because of the treatment I received as a gay woman; it was generally snide and inappropriate.

Now, some doctors don’t blink or respond negatively, and that’s a huge relief. Because for most of my adult life, I had to worry not only about [my] medical problem, but also about how my sexual orientation would affect the quality of the care I would receive. ——Pam Thiele ’70

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Yet even those discouraging findings represent progress, Robertson says, because just a few decades ago, there was no scientific research about what health issues might be more common in lesbian patients. Robertson remembers how frustrating it was to talk about lesbian health as a young doctor in the 1980s. “In my work as an obstetrician-gynecologist, I used research studies to justify how I provided care to my patients, but I didn’t have evidence-based guidelines about lesbian health then. All I could say to other practitioners was, ‘Be nice to your lesbian patients.’” The Center for American Progress notes just how little research has been done on LGBT health: A review by Ulrike Boehmer of twenty years of medical research revealed that only 0.1 percent of the 3.8 million citations published between 1980 and 1999 related to LGBT issues.

I have had relationships

Take Our Word for It

The personal stories shared by these lesbian alumnae (some of whom asked to remain anonymous) suggest both the challenges lesbian patients still face, and the fact that lesbian-friendly healthcare is becoming more common. Healthcare stories from many more alumnae are online at



And 80 percent of those articles focused on men. Things have changed significantly since then, thanks to research supported by the Lesbian Health Fund; to mentoring of lesbian-health researchers by the Lesbian Health and Research Center at UC–SF, which Robertson codirected for eight years; and to volunteer researchers. Slowly, a critical mass of research in lesbian health outcomes emerged. “Not enough,” Robertson is quick to clarify, but enough to form the basis of the new 500-page book Lesbian Health 101, which Robertson coedited with Suzanne L. Dibble, RN, DNSc. Though the book is intended primarily to guide clinicians in their work with lesbian patients, Robertson hopes that lesbians also use it to educate themselves and advocate for improving their own healthcare.

with both men and women, yet I was told by a primary-care provider that I did not need to undergo routine Papsmear testing because I was dating a woman.

9% lgb

——Sharon T. Smith ’05

LGB adults are more likely to have cancer. % of adults ever diagnosed with cancer

Health Disparities at a Glance

The charts are excerpted with permission from the 2009 article by Jeff Krehely, “How to Close the LGBT Health Disparities Gap,” published by the Center for American Progress ( See for the full article and citations.


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LGB youth are more likely to smoke cigarettes. % of youth who smoke



Despite its detailed guidance on everything from fertility options to palliative care, the book can’t answer one huge question—why are lesbians more likely than other women to suffer some health threats? Robertson points to several possible reasons: the stress of daily discrimination, internalized homophobia, government and business practices that deny lesbian partners health insurance, and plain old bad doctoring. Teasing out the strands of correlation and causation in future studies, and using the results to improve the health of lesbians, are the next steps in this emerging research field. There is “a complex web of factors” behind many lesbian health issues, according to Robertson. “For example, we know that lesbians who have had a homophobic experience at a physician’s office usually don’t go back for a follow-up.

But is this why lesbians get clinical breast exams less often than heterosexual women? We don’t know. And we know that 90 percent of lesbians have sexual relationships with men [at some point in their lives]; that lesbians are more likely to have alcohol and drug issues; and that lesbians are less likely to have partners use condoms when they do have heterosexual sex. But do these things cause the higher rate of unintended pregnancies among young lesbians? We don’t know.” Barriers to Equal Treatment It’s no secret that not everyone approves of or is comfortable with homosexuality. That includes healthcare providers, of course, which can lead to encounters running the gamut from awkwardness to inappropriate treatment.

LGB youth are more likely to be overweight. % of youth who are overweight









LGB adults are more likely to experience psychological distress % of adults experiencing psychological distress in past year

In the late 1980s, I had a chiropractor stop an examination in the middle when I told him I was gay. He left the room; I got dressed; I yelled at him and left. I have no idea why he was so upset; perhaps he thought being gay was contagious. ——Pam Thiele ’70

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With some doctors, Robertson says, being lesbian can be hazardous to your health. For example, she recounts the experience of a young woman from Montana who, for medically relevant reasons, told her physician that she was attracted to women. By the time she got home, the doctor had called the young woman’s parents, and they took her to a program aimed at changing her sexual orientation. “That experience kept her away from getting a Pap smear for ten years,” Robertson reports. She has also heard more than once that, when a physician is doing a medical history and the patient comes out as lesbian, the doctor leaves the room and has a medical student or nurse finish the medical history. “That kind of treatment has a huge effect on the patient … and can really increase the distrust lesbians have of our healthcare system.” Is that distrust paranoia? Robertson cites a recently published research finding that 74 percent of physicians

surveyed had heard colleagues make disparaging comments about LGBT people. And even if actual harm is uncommon, the fear of bad treatment is real and runs deep. “LGBT people are afraid to go to doctors. They’re afraid they’re going to die because there’s so much prejudice that the health provider will not treat them appropriately,” Robertson says. “After all, they’ve been told their whole lives they’re not important.” Promoting Change Perhaps the most provocative unanswered question is: If anti-gay discrimination didn’t exist, would we still need different healthcare for lesbians? Robertson believes that, while special methods of conception for lesbians would obviously still be required, “you could probably wipe out a majority of health issues for lesbians” if bias went away. Robertson is not just waiting for that day; she’s helping to train future doctors who are knowledgeable

It was awkward LGBT adults are more likely to have problems with alcoholism. % of adults reporting alcohol abuse

44% LGB 33% HETEROSEXUAL 24% transgender

and hard to have to “come out” [to doctors] over and over again when I moved, and I moved almost every year. ——Elizabeth

29% lgb


17% hetero

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LGB adults are more likely to delay or not seek medical care. % of adults delaying or not seeking health care

about, and sensitive to, LGBT health issues. She helped institute LGBT healthcare education as part of the formal curriculum for all medical students at UC–SF, based on research she published in 2008. It showed that even “a single two-hour session for second-year medical students—involving a panel of patients, background reading, and small-group discussions with LGBT faculty—can change attitudes.” Her lecture on lesbian health is one of about two dozen given to third-year medical students on the rotation in ob-gyn. “I tell them, this is probably the only lecture you’re going to get on lesbian health in your whole career, so listen up.” Even in San Francisco, Robertson says some

More than twelve years ago, my partner and I went to the Advanced Reproductive Medical Clinic at the University of Connecticut. It took a year and a half and both of us trying before I became pregnant.

medical students had never met a lesbian or even uttered the word “lesbian.” “Having lesbian health education as a standard in the medical school curriculum is huge. I’ve finally been asked to write questions on lesbian health for the national board exams,” she says. “I’m seeing awareness of homophobia grow, and I have more speaking invitations than I can accept. That’s a sign that the mainstream is engaging.” Still, she eagerly awaits the day when all lesbians receive sensitive, nonjudgmental, and appropriate healthcare; in other words, when lesbian medical care gets a completely clean bill of health. Take two suggestions and call me in the morning How can you find an LGBT-friendly doctor? How can healthcare providers be more inclusive? Dr. Robertson’s suggestions are online at

LGB youth are more likely to be threatened or injured with a weapon in school. % of youth threatened or injured with a weapon

We were treated with as much compassion, dignity, and respect as I imagine any other couple encountered. ——a 1990 alumna





For me, good healthcare has not been about being a lesbian but about finding the right physician that can help me, regardless of their gender, my sexual orientation, or any other ancillary aspect of our doctor-patient relationship …

Doctors who treat with any bias are just bad doctors.

——Laurie A. Cagnetta ’82

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Words Worth a Second Look MHC Faculty


First Family: Abigail and John Adams By Joseph J. Ellis (Knopf ) Though there are volumes written about John and Abigail Adams, Ellis still chooses to throw his hat into the ring and puts forward a unique portrait of the two as a team who needed one another’s advice and support to accomplish great things. Ellis delves into their correspondence, a collection of more than 1,200 letters, to produce a narrative that is part biography and part love story. Joseph J. Ellis is Professor of History on the Ford Foundation at MHC. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation.

Fits, Starts & Matters of the Heart Edited by Jennie L. Phipps (Freelance Success) These personal essays on relationships discuss everything from the loss of a parent to the birth of a child and learning to live with a loved one’s dog. An essay by MHC alumna and freelance writer Sarah Zobel is included in the collection. Sarah Zobel ’88 is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Essex Junction, Vermont.

War and Revolution in the Caucasus: Georgia Ablaze Edited By Stephen F. Jones (Routledge) The South Caucasus region, which includes the republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, has long been associated in Western minds with political conflict and instability. Jones takes a deeper look into the region with his anthology, where the authors discuss everything from democratic development and state building to the role of leadership and public opinion. Stephen F. Jones is a professor of Russian and Eurasian studies at MHC. He is also the author of Socialism in Georgian Colors: The European Road to Social Democracy.

Editor’s note: In the fall Off the Shelf section, we ran an incomplete mention of Uncommon Women Together—Generations Apart by Joan W. Ripley ’55 and Nancy L. Mohr ’55 (mhc1955. Here’s the full synopsis: As part of its fiftieth-reunion celebration, members of the class of 1955 created an unique sociology project that involved their classmates and current students. The project had alumnae from the 1950s and members of the class of 2005 investigate and compare their experiences and attitudes, values, and choices as students. A rich and fascinating body of research resulted, and the book offers a treasure trove of shared insights as well as firsthand accounts of the unique life passages of women of the 1950s.


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Historicizing Fat in Anglo-American Culture Edited by Elena LevyNavarro (The Ohio State University Press) Editor Elena LevyNavarro puts fat into a historical context by selecting essays that cover everything from the relationship between weight-watching and the rise of the novel to a pre-modern period when fat was universally celebrated and thin was not in. Historicizing Fat suggests ways that scholarship and criticism can counteract the assumptions of modern culture. Elena Levy-Navarro ’87 is associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin– Whitewater and the author of The Culture of Obesity in Early and Late Modernity.

Young Adult Framing a Life, Building a House By Eileen Sypher (Goose River Press) First an English major, then a professor, a minister, and a builder, Eileen Sypher explores what it means to construct a home and later to leave it. This book tells the story of the building project itself and also the story of the people without whom the project could not have been finished. Sypher’s meditation on building a home reflects her belief that to raise one’s own home is another way of raising one’s spirit. Rev. Dr. Eileen B. Sypher ’68 taught English for twenty-five years at George Mason University before being ordained into the United Church of Christ. She has built two homes on her own. Framing a Life, Building a House Eileen Sypher

Toolbox for Writers: How to Write No-Doze Prose By Marciano Guerrero and Mary Duffy (CreateSpace) If you’re a writer looking for new tools to polish your prose, or to gain insight into appositives, oppositions, and absolute phrases, this toolbox may be for you. With ample examples of famous folks using terrific technique—like Poe’s use of alliteration in The Fall of the House of Usher—Duffy promises to transform your snoozy sentences into no-doze prose. Mary P. Duffy-Guerrero ’66 is a motivational speaker and entrepreneur. She is also the coauthor with her husband, Marciano Guerrero, of East of Tiffany’s, a collection of stories.

More Books For descriptions of these books, go to I’ve Learned to Tolerate Vanessa: I Can’t Believe the Twit Made it to Sixteen By Myst (and Patricia) Wismer ’58 (Animals Voice Publishing)

The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton By Connie Nordhielm Wooldridge (Clarion Books) Acclaimed novelist Edith Jones Wharton was born into a life of extreme privilege—the “Joneses” with whom we struggle to keep up are her relations. This youngadult biography follows Wharton through her early days in New York society and into her later life as the novelist whose work we know today. Nordhielm Wooldridge gives readers who may be too young for Wharton’s novels a look into the stories she crafted as well as the life she lived. Connie L. Nordhielm Wooldridge ’72 has worked as a teacher and a school librarian and has published five picture books for children. Wake Unto Me By Lisa Cach (Speak) After spending ten years as a romance novelist for adults, Lisa Cach has shifted her focus to young adult novels. Cach’s protagonist is a teenager who knows she does not belong. But when she leaves home to attend boarding school in France, her problems follow her. She is plagued by nightmares, but also visited in her dreams by a young Italian man from the 1500s. Caitlyn believes him to be her soul mate, but wonders how that can be when both time and distance separate them. Lisa A. Cach ’89 has written more than twenty books, ranging from romance to the paranormal and the historical. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

Poems and Pastels By Sally Lemaire ’68 (self-published)

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A Closer Look

Joanna Lillian Brown ’73 hopes that you will buy her

book before you really need it.

Caring for Dying Loved Ones: A Helpful Guide for Families and Friends is the result of nineteen years of caregiving for relatives and friends. In it, Brown shares the wisdom and a host of resources she has picked up along the way. Americans are more death-denying than the rest of the world, Brown, director of alumni relations at Holyoke Community College, points out. Most of us have moved off the farm and no longer see animals being born or dying. Family members have moved in every direction, and most of us aren’t around to see our grandparents die. The “medicalization” of death hasn’t helped, either. “People died at home before,” she points out. Today, “Many people die in the hospital or in a skillednursing facility.” So it makes sense that a lot of people fear death and that families wait until a crisis arises to handle the overwhelming number of details that end-of-life caregiving involves. Brown’s first experience caring for someone nearing the end of life was with her grandmother. Anxious about what to expect, she tried to locate someone who had been with a person when they had died, but couldn’t find a soul. As it turned out, her grandmother’s passing was a positive and spiritual experience. She learned it doesn’t take a miracle or years of experience to usher a person through their last days. But Brown wishes she had been better prepared for all of the tasks and responsibilities, which her book addresses. As a potential caregiver, understanding how much you are willing to do for someone, and what you can live with as you reorganize your work and everyday life, is key, she says. Brown has chapters that address at-home care, assisted living, and skilled-nursing facilities. She comes down firmly on the side of caring for a person at home whenever possible. But if she’s learned nothing else, it’s that “quality at the end of life depends on time spent with your loved one,” no matter where that is. Brown also summarizes the financial costs of different kinds of care, offers a “My Wishes” survey to help people express how they want to be treated at the end of life, and describes what might happen in the final minutes of a person’s life. She makes no bones about the fact that caring for someone


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who is dying is complicated. For a reader not familiar with the process, the details can be a bit dizzying. “This is why it’s important to get this book before you need it,” she says. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to caring for someone who is dying. Some people will be better at it than others. But the beauty of caregiving at any stage of life is the chance it offers all who are involved to give and receive an extraordinary gift. “I didn’t want to have children,” Brown said. But just like a new mother who gives herself over to the needs of her young children, Brown was willing to do the same for her aging family members. “Life provides for caring full circle,” she says. “I hope to give people the opportunity to look at all the options.”—M.H.B.

Michael Zide


Caring Full Circle

alumnaematters Alumna Trustee Knows her Way Around the Globe Suzanne A. George ’90, a founding principal of the global strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group, has been nominated as alumnae trustee of the college for a five-year term beginning in 2011. Albright Stonebridge is led by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, and former Senator Warren Rudman, and helps companies and nonprofit organizations do business abroad.

Sam Kittner

George works with clients on strategies for operating successfully in the public and private sectors and helps them expand in complicated international markets, allowing them to “do well by doing good.” “I primarily focus on running the business side of the firm, from finances to contract negotiations to growing the business,” says George. “I make sure it’s well managed, runs efficiently, and is a fun place to work.” She also comanages the Aspen Atlantic Group, an initiative of twenty foreign ministers who meet biennially in cities around the world.

As deputy chief of staff to Albright from 1997 to 2001, George was in charge of planning all the trips that Albright made abroad, which she calculates amounted to more than one million miles and 100 countries. Most significantly for George, she accompanied the secretary on almost every single trip. “It was the most phenomenal experience at exactly the right time in my life,” George recalls. “I was young, single, and hungry. You have to be, in that kind of job. I was gone two to three weeks a month and worked from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.” She was also responsible for political interactions as liaison to the White House, the cabinet, and government agencies. George stumbled into working for Albright. Right after graduation from MHC, where she majored in politics, she moved to Washington, DC, and one day ran into a fellow alumna who invited her to help out at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, where Albright was a board member. George worked at the institute while attending law school at George Washing-

Suzanne A. George ’90

ton University. While she was taking her bar exam, she was unexpectedly called in to interview as assistant counsel to Albright, then the US representative to the United Nations. George, who always thought she would be a practicing attorney, jumped at the chance. “Life often unfolds differently than you would expect,” she says. She’s learned that “what differentiates you as being good or great” at what you do is the ability to handle deftly the 30 percent of life that arises unexpectedly.

As a trustee at MHC, she feels her hard-earned understanding of the importance of a liberal-arts education in successful diplomacy and her commitment to active engagement in the world will make her a purposeful steward of the college’s mission. According to those who know her well, she also has the on-the-ground skills and talent to make a real contribution. “She has practical common sense and a can-do attitude,” said one colleague in a recommendation. “Suzanne

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is really good at strategic and critical thinking,” and “skilled at group dynamics and keeping people focused.”

Where in the World Is Lynn Pasquerella?

According to a classmate, George “has always had a unique talent for bringing people together, reaching consensus, and making decisions.” She is forceful, yet always mindful of the need to include others and listen to their opinions, she added.

President Lynn Pasquerella ’80 has been busy since taking office July 1. We thought it would be fun to see how many places she’s visited. No word on how many frequent flier miles, but it seems that she should be awarded extra leg room, at least!

“MHC was instrumental in helping me become who I am today,” George says. “I feel a great desire to give back to a place that is unique and rare and can really turn someone’s trajectory around. The idea that I could help foster that is really an honor.”—M.H.B.

Notice: The alumnae trustee election will take place at the association’s annual meeting in May. Additional nominations may be submitted to the Nomination of Alumnae Trustees/Awards Committee by written petition, signed by at least 100 voting members, no more than 30 percent of whom shall be from the same class or the same club area. The executive director of the Alumnae Association must receive such written petitions by February 21, 2011. Nominations by petition must include the written consent of the nominee to serve if elected.


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August 2010

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April 2011

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January 2011

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February 2011

June 2011

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March 2011


Two Generations Share Birthdays and Aspirations On October 5, the class of 1962 hosted a mini-reunion/birthday celebration in collaboration with their “granddaughter” class of 2012 at the Willits-Hallowell Center.

Abigail Dykens ’12

In keeping with Mount Holyoke tradition, the 1962 alumnae are the appointed “grandmothers” of the students who will graduate in the same year as their fiftieth reunion, which is next May. This year, the majority of 1962 alumnae turned seventy, while members of their granddaughter class turned twenty. They thought it would be fun to celebrate together. So the class of 1962 coordinated the birthday celebration as part of a mini-reunion on campus organized by Elaine Kasparian Elliot ’62.

“I’ve always been involved with reunions and coming back to be with my classmates and other alums, and I heard about the connections project and thought, ‘I would like to get to know our granddaughter class,’” she says. Many 1962 alumnae traveled from all over the country for the birthday celebration and to meet their MHC granddaughters. They shared lots of campus and career stories. Hannah MacLaren ’62 graduated with a degree in political science and then went on to graduate school in Chicago. “In the process of being in graduate school, I ended up working in a small Montessori school and it turned out to be absolutely fascinating, and that’s how I

ended up in education,” she says. MacLaren now lives in Los Angeles and works in public-school reform. Elizabeth Guckenheimer ’62 spoke of a new generation of women that is the class of 2012. She pursued a career, she noted, but perhaps not the one she would choose today. “I’ve been in interesting career work. I used to do teaching and now I work in a hospital. However, I think if things had been different, I probably would have become a scientist or a mathematician.” While it is easier for women in the class of 2012 to follow their true callings, there are still challenges, she added. “It’s changed a lot for more women to follow their own careers throughout the years; but it’s not easier enough for them yet.”

A member of the class of 1962 shares an old photo album of her time at MHC with her “granddaughters” in the class of 2012.

“It was a great experience getting to know members of my grandmother class,” says Jasmine Haddad ’12. “It was interesting to hear about what the college was like when they were students here.” Anne Tucker ’12 agreed. “It was really interesting to learn how Mount Holyoke has changed since the 1960s and about how many different ways life can take you.” —Meaghan Collins ’13 Reprinted with permission from the Mount Holyoke News,

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Wish I Was Still at MHC… Or Maybe Not Editor’s note: We admit it. We don’t hesitate to mimic the work of commercial magazines that do fun stuff. Like adapting the idea of a graph in Wired that captured “the people, places, and things that were once the future—but vanished.” We asked you what some of the easiest and most challenging things were at MHC that you either miss, or have kissed a sweet goodbye. You posted them on our Facebook page and we’re giving them to you here, too. Who knew that so many of you would miss such difficult things!

Easy to Do I miss everything!

Weekly FP “soirees” Meeting friends from all over

Late-night talks Cheese omelets to order

not having to cook

m & cs

Being in love with the people around me

Warm breakfast doughnuts friends to talk to 24/7

Tea in the Stimson Room

Being in the LGBT community

Library study carrel Crisp fall air, leaves turning colors Sharing a bathroom scenic, beautiful campus

Praise for thinking outside the box

Paying for textbooks

Buying new books Walking past Upper Lake before 8 a.m. thinking outside the box

Anxiety of planning for the postcollegiate life Intelligent discourse

Preselected reading Biochemistry at 8 a.m. four days a week for a year

I miss everything!

Finding a niche and exploring passions Cleaning up the kitchen the morning after M&Cs Amazing professors

Caring for a pigeon in psychology Late-night, last-minute papers

Learning new cultures and ideas Excitement of the unknown Being challenged mentally, daily

Pre-exam jitters Setting up house in an unfamiliar spot

Challenging to Do


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I Miss

I Don’t Miss

Cleaning the dorm room

Save the Date!

Mount Holyoke European Alumnae Symposium in Torino, Italy Friday, September 23rd – Sunday, September 25th, 2011 The Paradox of Plenty: Redefining La Dolce Vita How do we reconcile the lifestyle, needs, and aspirations of today’s population with the finite resources and threatened ecology of our world? We invite you to contemplate the future of our planet in the historic context of Torino, the Italian Republic’s first capital city. Join us for a weekend of intellectually stimulating presentations and discussions on the philosophy of economic development, consumption, and sustainability. Distinguished speakers include: Ertharin Cousin U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture

Paolo Di Croce

General Secretary of Slow Food International

Vincent Ferraro

Ruth Lawson Professor of Politics, MHC

Lynn Pasquerella, class of 1980 President of Mount Holyoke College

This event is open to all MHC alumnae. For more information:

Once a Student, Always an Alumna You became a force at Mount Holyoke. Some things never change. Imagine the collective power... Now access it! ✱ Find old friends and connect with alumnae around the globe using our secure online directory and our social networks. ✱ Enhance your career opportunities through alumnae networking. ✱ Indulge your intellect with lifelong-learning offerings and worldwide travel. ✱ Add to Mount Holyoke’s dynamic collective energy by sharing your time and talents with students and other alumnae.

Are you taking advantage of your alumnae benefits? To discover all you can do through the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College, visit

bulletinboard Attention: Past Dickinson House and Ham Hall Residents Marcella Croce ’72 and Peggy Kidney ’74 plan to organize a fortiethanniversary mini-reunion, to be held in June 2011 in Palermo Mondello (Italy) of alumnae who lived in Dickinson House and in Ham Hall (Italian table) in 1971–72. For more information, please contact Marcella at marcellacroce@ or Peggy at peggy.

MHC Art Museum; photo by Petegorsky/Gipe

Art Enhances Classroom Learning This spring, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum will launch a new series of focused exhibitions featuring works of art drawn from the collection that have proven especially important for teaching across the curriculum. The exhibitions offer viewers a chance to see objects not regularly on display and from a different perspective. The first—Collecting the Past: Art, Artifact, and Ancient America— focuses on the questions of who collects the art of ancient America and what

makes antiquities worthy of display. The exhibit complements a fall seminar based on the museum’s small but impressive holdings that highlight the cultures of the Nazca, Chimu, Moche, and West Mexican peoples. It runs February 11–June 12.

Applying to Medical School? Help us help you put together the best application possible. Alumnae who think they may apply to health professions schools in 2011 (for 2012 admission) are urged to contact the Office of Pre-Health Programs by the end of March for important information. E-mail David Gardner, dean of pre-health programs, at

Post Baccalaureate Pre-Health Studies at MHC Mount Holyoke’s post baccalaureate, pre-health program is for academically talented, highly motivated college graduates seeking to fulfill science prerequisite courses for the health professions. The program prepares students who have majored in a wide variety of disciplines for graduate study in medicine, veterinary medicine, dental medicine, public health, and physical therapy. Teachers’ Aid: Seated dog vessel from Colima, Mexico, terracotta, 200 BCE–200 CE.


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The program also provides comprehensive personal advising, access to clinical internships, support with the very rigorous application process, a formal composite letter of recommendation, and practice interviews. Recent postbaccalaureate students have been accepted at Harvard Dental School, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Colorado State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, among others. For more information, visit prehealth/postbac.html or call David Gardner, dean of pre-health programs, at 413-538-3389.

MHC Class and Club Products Lots of MHC-related class and club products are for sale. For details and photos of many items, please visit shop/alumgifts.php or phone the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 to request a printed copy of the information.

Take the Lead Do you know a promising high school sophomore who is interested in making positive change in the world? Nominate her for Take the Lead, a prestigious leadership program offered at Mount Holyoke September 29–October 2. After ten years, the program builds on a record of success

in helping young women achieve amazing things. You can view the results of some former participants’ action projects online at mtholyoke. edu/takethelead/18507. shtml. Take the Lead gives students the opportunity to become part of a diverse network of forty girls who are passionate about important issues. Students acquire leadership skills, design action projects, learn to solve problems, and become agents of positive change. They also make new friends and have lots of fun! Nominated students will be invited to apply to the competitive program. Adults can nominate up to three girls online at mtholyoke. edu/takethelead. Students accepted into the program attend in the fall of their junior year and pay only a $75 registration fee. To learn more, call 413-538-3500 or e-mail Yedalis Ruiz at

Philosophy Opportunity for School Teachers MHC philosophy professor Thomas Wartenberg will offer an NEH summer seminar for school teachers on existentialism. The seminar will run July 4–29 on the Mount Holyoke campus. All full-time teachers are eligible to apply, as are graduate students intending to work in K–12 schools. Participants will receive a stipend. A description of the seminar, and application information, can be found at

travelopportunities April 15–27 The Red Sea, the Nile River, and the Holy Land

With Northwestern University Join us on this exclusive journey encompassing five major sites—the city of Jerusalem, St. Catherine’s Monastery near Mount Sinai, Petra, Luxor, and the Great Pyramids—and featuring a unique cruise on the Red Sea. Journey through antiquity on a five-night sail aboard the MY Harmony from Ain Sukhna to Aqaba, with two days/one night in Luxor, two nights in Cairo, three nights in Jerusalem, and visits to Petra and Amman. Prices start at $4,795 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please contact Gohagan & Company at 800-922-3088 or 312609-1140 or via e-mail at information@gohagantravel. com.

shopping arcade. After Tokyo, we’ll head to Matsumoto, gateway to the Japanese Alps, and visit a sixteenth-century castle and folklore museum. Our next several days take us to through the Shokawa Valley to Shirakawa, home to several UNESCO world heritage sites. We’ll visit one of Japan’s greatest gardens and the Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Traditional Arts and Crafts. During the remainder of the trip we’ll explore Kyoto, home of the Fushimi Inari Shrine and the Temple of the Gold Pavilion. We’ll learn about traditional and modern ways of life in Japan and participate in unique cultural rituals. The trip also offers an optional post-trip extension to Hiroshima. Prices start at $3,309 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please call Avalon Waterways/Globus Travel at 847-251-5691 or

Holy Land trip

e-mail June Arra at jarra@ New! Environmental Family Trip July 1–10 Costa Rica: Leatherback Sea Turtles

With Vassar College On this unique educational trip for families, we’ll visit butterfly farms, turtlenesting habitats, unspoiled beaches, organic farms, and rainforest preserves. Lodging ranges from simple dorm-style rooms (two nights) to beautiful eco-

lodges with their own hot springs. At every stop we’ll be joined by trained guides. The trip will begin with an easy boat trip to Estacion Las Tortugas, a research station that protects a critical nesting beach for endangered leatherback sea turtles. There, we’ll meet local biologists and join beach patrols to look for nesting females and emerging hatchlings. After our stay at Turtle Station, we’ll visit the famed Kekoldi Reserve to learn about the Bribri, one of the

May 16–26 Discover Japan

With Mount Holyoke Associate Professor of Art and Asian Studies Rie Hachiyanagi Join us on a journey into the heart of Japan. With an expert tour guide versed in the culture and history of Japan, this educational trip offers an unprecedented view of the contrasts and beauty of Japanese life. We start with three days in Tokyo, visiting the Meiji Shrine, a magnificent Shinto monument; the Asakusa Kannon Temple; and the famous Nakamise

Japan trip

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Costa Rica trip

few remaining indigenous peoples of Costa Rica. Then we’ll raft to the traditional town of La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano; take a guided hike at Arenal National Park, home to Eco Termales Hot Springs; and visit a traditional organic farm. Our adventure culminates with a zip-line tour through the rainforest canopy. Price is $2,310 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please call Reefs to Rockies, LLC, at 303-860-6045, or e-mail Sheridan Samano at September 12–20 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

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 showcase a blend of wealth and culture. Continuing along the Riviera to Marseille, we’ll stroll through Parc Borély to the Musée Cantini and wander through St. Tropez, a haunt of Impressionist painters. 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 212-5148921 or 800-221-1944 or via e-mail at trips@

New! Five Days of Food and Wine October 3–9 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

Mediterranean trip

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, Interested? To request a brochure for any of these trips, please call the Alumnae Association at 413-538-2300 or visit For additional information, please call the travel company sponsoring the trip.


Burgundy trip

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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 parallel options. Prices start at $3,995 per person. For more information or to make reservations, please visit vassarholyoke or call 905842-2196 or 800-801-6147.

Take a moment.

Remember the transformative power of the College— the education you received and the friendships you made.

Please support today’s students and make your gift today. Every gift to the Annual Fund is a gift to the Campaign. With thanks for everything you do for Mount Holyoke.

Fill your Heart. Feed your Mind. Savor your Friendships...

Reunion 2011

May 20–22 & May 27–29 Start making plans online at

Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2011  
Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly Winter 2011  

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