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Pomp, Ponies, and a Picnic: Convocation to Celebrate New Year and Opening of Kendade Hall

Kendade to Encourage Multidisciplinary Study

Barbara Ehrenreich to Give Reading

Art Museum's Inaugural Exhibition to Feature Thomas Cole's 1836 Painting The Oxbow

Going West: Mount Holyoke Opens Satellite Admission Office in California

Rabbi Lisa Freitag-Keshet Named MHC's Jewish Chaplain

Tree Planted to Honor Nora Ahmed Gabbani

Orientation to Offer Everything from Discussion and Poetry to a Magic Bus

Agreement Reached between College and Alumnae Association

Construction, Construction, and More Construction

Front-Page News

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Quidnunc

This Week at MHC

Mount Holyoke College News and Events Vista The College Street Journal Archives

August 30, 2002

Quidnunc

Plight of the Gypsies In 1999, during the first three months of her stay in Bulgaria as a Peace Corps volunteer, Sarah M. Perrine '98 took part in an intensive language and culture training program. "We each lived with host families, and mine happened to be Gypsy, or Romani," says Perrine. "They were, and continue to be, wonderful hosts and friends." But Perrine was shocked by the negative reactions of Bulgarians toward her Romani friends. The experience sparked a passionate interest in the situation of the Romani of Bulgaria. During her Peace Corps term, she organized two summer camps for young Romani children and a summer program to help motivate Romani high school students. She also recruited a group of new Peace Corps volunteers to continue the program, on a larger scale, the following summer. When Perrine returns to Bulgaria this fall as a Fulbright Fellow, she will be working with a human rights organization in Sofia that focuses on the Romani, as well as with the National Council on Ethnic and Demographic Issues at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria, to help raise awareness of the problems facing the Romani. Perrine is interested in finding out if conditions for the Romani have improved under a democratic system of government, as well as in researching how the government can better meet the needs of the Romani community. When she returns from her Fulbright year, Perrine—who majored in international relations and German studies while at Mount Holyoke—plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in political science with a focus on Eastern European studies.

Seats of Learning More than 250 of Shattuck Hall's chairs, as well as more than a dozen tables and desks, are now seventeen hundred miles due south, helping to meet a pressing need for classroom furniture in Jamaica. When several classrooms' worth of furniture became surplus property in the new science center construction and renovation project, John Bryant, director of facilities management, got in touch with the Massachusetts Materials Exchange, an organization that matches businesses or institutions that have surplus items with those who need them. The organization contacted Food for the Poor, a Florida-based charity that works throughout Central America and the Caribbean, bypassing governments to deal directly with missions and contacts in those countries. In Jamaica, as in the rest of the region, communities can barely afford to build schools, let alone outfit them with desks and chairs, said Ann Brier of Food for the Poor. While helping 250 Jamaican schoolchildren, the College is also conforming to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, as established by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). Thanks in part to the reuse of the furniture, when two floors of Shattuck were cleared out, the materials discarded filled just one small Dumpster.

Understanding Wisdom An article by Scott Brown, director of the career development center, was published in the April 2002 Journal of College Student Development. In the article, titled "Exploring Complex Phenomena: Grounded Theory in Student Affairs Research," Brown argues that because of their close connections to college students, student affairs practitioners are uniquely positioned to explore student phenomena about which little data or understanding exists. For those explorations of student learning, student development, and student identity, Brown recommends "grounded theory," a qualitative research method that generates theory from data obtained through social research. Brown has applied the grounded theory approach to the study of wisdom development, research that became the foundation for the annual American College Personnel Association national conference in March 2002. Brown's abstract, "Wisdom in Our Work: Reflection, Integration, and Application," encouraged the conference's 4,400 participants to consider how students integrate and derive meaning from lessons they learn in and out of class and the conditions that affect that meaning-making process. Last summer, Brown focused on the same subject at the Oxford International Roundtable for Senior Academic and Student Affairs Administrators, delivering the paper "Learning across the Campus: How College Facilitates the Development of Wisdom." This summer, he presented "Assessing the Ineffable: College and the Development of Wisdom" at the American Association of Higher Education assessment forum. His article "A Model for Wisdom Development and its Place in Career Services" is included in the summer 2002 issue of the Journal of Career Planning and Employment.

Standouts At the end of May, Mount Holyoke convened a committee to select the most outstanding Take the Lead action projects that evolved from last October's program. Take the Lead is the College's leadership program for teenage girls. While all the submitted projects were successful, the committee chose those completed by Shanté Bassett, Anna Boatwright, and Sarah Geisler for three $500 awards. Bassett founded a youth organization in Queens, New York, to help teens become involved in their communities. Boatwright, a trained ballerina, brought the benefits of ballet to a group of underserved children at a YWCA in South Carolina. Geisler, whose mother has Multiple Sclerosis, created Invisible Crutches: Help for Kids with Disabled or Chronically Ill Parents, a self-help book she hopes to publish for middle school students. The group awarded honorable mentions to Nissa Hiatt, who orchestrated a race called Race to Erase Racism in Memphis, and Heidi Roop, who raised $15,000 in school supplies for a small town in Mexico that is one of the last breeding grounds for the Monarch butterfly.

A Smart Crew In June, the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association named four MHC rowers National Scholar-Athletes. Alexis Billett '04, Katie Boates '02, Joanna Bradshaw '03, and Leah Roberts '04 were four of only forty-five Division III rowers nationally to receive the annual award, which recognizes the outstanding academic and athletic achievements of female rowers and coxswains. The Mount Holyoke rowers met the award criteria by participating in at least 75 percent of last season's races in a varsity boat and earning a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA through the fall 2001 season.

Emily's World On July 6, poet Mary Jo Salter, Emily Dickinson Lecturer in the Humanities at MHC, participated in "The Angle of a Landscape": Nature and Art in Emily Dickinson's World, a series of public programs focusing on three aspects of nature and art as they relate to the poet, her work, and her family. The programs were organized by the Dickinson Homestead and the Evergreens, which are located in Amherst, and the events were held at one or both of the sites. Salter offered to an audience gathered on the Homestead lawn a lecture on Dickinson's extensive and complex use of natural imagery, in particular the Amherst native's poems that take as their starting point birds and plants. The last lecture in the series, to be held Sunday, September 22, will be given by Brown University English professor Barton St. Armand, who contributed one of three essays to The Dickinsons of Amherst (University Press of New England, 2001). The book also included an essay by MHC English professor and Dickinson scholar Christopher Benfey. St. Armand's talk is titled "Angling for a Landscape: Emily Dickinson, Stalking, and the Privacy of Nature," an exploration of how Dickinson as a poet viewed and portrayed landscape. Visit http://www.dickinsonhomestead.org/spec.html#angle for additional information.

In Memoriam

Earl T. Stanton, associate controller at the College for twenty-five years, died at age seventy-four on June 27. Stanton retired from his position in 1998. He is survived by his son and daughter, a brother and sister, and four grandchildren.

Vladimir Sajkovic, an authority on the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky and a retired professor of Russian at the College, died June 22 at the age of ninety. He joined the faculty at MHC in 1959 and was instrumental in building the Russian department. He leaves his wife of forty-six years, two sons, a sister, and two grandchildren.

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