News Briefs for Fall 2013

Professor Rogelio Miñana and Katharine Constas '15

Mount Holyoke faculty and students presented at academic conferences from Amherst to Tokyo this fall, while alumnae gathered accolades and honors:

Professor of Spanish Rogelio Miñana and Katharine Constas '15 participated in the GREAT (Global-Research-Engagement-AT) Ocha Symposium on global education held last month in Tokyo at Ochamonizu University.

Miñana opened symposium events each day with an overview of the definitions of culture and various approaches to studying cultural exchanges. Constas gave a presentation she originally prepared for Miñana’s Spanish 212 course on how print media portray violent incidents involving immigrants. Other presenters discussed topics such as English teaching in Japan and foreign language learning in general, as well as the transcultural nature of literary translation.


Two poems by Andrew Lass, Professor of Anthropology on the Ford Foundation, have been included by a Czech publishing house in The Best of Czech Poetry, 2013. The poems are from Lass’s most recent collection of poetry, and this is the second year in a row his work has been selected for inclusion.

Lass, who specializes in the role of language in culture and society, also recently spoke with the BBC's Night Waves (cue 32-minute mark) and Czech television about the artists of Prague and his own work.


The University of Illinois Foundation has named Ellen J. Ellison ’80 to be its new chief investment officer as of January 15. Ellison has more than 30 years of experience in the financial sector and is the former executive director of investments at the University of Miami. In 2010, she was named one of the Ten Best University Endowment Managers by Business Insider.

Ellison is a member of the Mount Holyoke Art Museum Advisory Board. Her husband is David Ellison, formerly of the MHC French department and now of the University of Miami French department.  


Emily McGranahan ’12 has won an honorable mention from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program in the area of social science and international relations. Currently a master’s candidate in ethics, peace, and global affairs at American University, McGranahan is conducting research on women-led social justice/democracy movements in Latin America. 


Professor of Anthropology and Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor Debbora Battaglia was recently a featured speaker at the prestigious Sawyer Seminar series at the University of California at Davis, where she contributed to the theme of indigenous cosmopolitics.

Battaglia discussed papers titled “Epistemic Warming: A Cosmic Diplomacy for the Anthropocene” and “Cosmic Exo-Surprise, or, When the Sky Is (Really) Falling, What’s the Media to Do?”


Professor Becky Wai-Ling Packard, director of MHC’s Weissman Center for Leadership, presented a keynote address at the New England Student Success Conference in October. Associate Professor and Chair of Biological Sciences Sarah Bacon presented at the same conference on Mount Holyoke’s STEM program.


Mount Holyoke’s Community-Based Learning (CBL) Program has been awarded a $4,500 grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance in support of its partnership with the South Hadley Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) Food Pantry. The funds will be used to underwrite the development and distribution of media and outreach materials promoting the food pantry and its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day food drive.

Last year, the CBL and the Office of the Dean of the College involved some 70 spring-admitted students in the food drive; that will continue again this year.  A weekend of events will include a panel at Mount Holyoke on food (in)security, a day of collecting and sorting food donations at South Hadley High School, and discussions to elicit student learning and commitments to continued community engagement. The 2013 food drive yielded more than 10,000 pounds of material donations and served the needs of more than 150 families in South Hadley.