[New & Notable]

Campus lifesavers--Quick action by two MHC workers probably saved the life of general laborer Jack Magnani. On the afternoon of March 13, Magnani had driven a truckload of sand to the equestrian center. Ron Rodzen, a general laborer who'd worked with Magnani for quite a while, was called to the equestrian center to deal with a mechanical problem. When Rodzen saw Magnani sitting on a bench in the corner of the riding arena instead of dumping his truck's load of sand, he thought something might be wrong.

In fact, Magnani was having a heart attack. Rodzen, who had experience dealing with emergencies during eighteen years as a South Hadley firefighter, immediately radioed public safety officer Ray La Barre, who called an ambulance and sped to the equestrian center himself. Help arrived in "no more than a minute or two at the most," Rodzen said.

Magnani was whisked to Holyoke Hospital and later transferred to Baystate Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to improve his blood circulation. He is now recuperating at home, according to Rodzen.

Magnani was told by his doctor that he "might not have made it" but for the quick work by MHC workers. "Everything just fell into place: I called, public safety responded, the ambulance came," Rodzen says. "It shows you people are capable of doing the right thing, and it made me feel pretty good to know we'd saved a life."

>>> Elizabeth Ham '28
From secretary to Secretariat--Elizabeth Ham '28 was honored for twelve years of volunteer service to the Alumnae Association with a March 12 luncheon and an honorary citation describing the many ways she helps the association. Ham held a variety of positions after graduating from MHC. As secretary to the U.S. representative to the United Nations, she attended the Geneva disarmament conference at the end of World War II. She also worked for more than thirty years for businessman Christopher Chenery and indulged her lifelong love of horses by helping him build up his horse-breeding farm. It is said that Triple Crown winner Secretariat was named in her honor.

In 1985, Ham began volunteering for the Alumnae Association. She cochaired the 1987 sesquicentennial auction and has since helped with alumnae directory updates, surveys, and reunion reservations. The recent citation calls her "a stellar example of a Mount Holyoke woman."

Car talk--Click and Clack weren't there, but March 25 was an evening for car talk during a hands-on workshop for students offered by buildings and grounds. Abbey Hall programming coordinator Hirut Gebrekristos '99 organized the event, attended by Gebrekristos, Jesse McKinney '99, Madelyn Baez '99, and Jillian Dunham '97. Trainers taught students to change tires, check oil and other vehicle fluids, and jump-start a car. Volunteering as auto experts were buildings and grounds employees Roland Racine, Ron Rodzen, Paul Guillotte, and Jon Cowan, and greenhouse supervisor Russ Billings.

Dancing in Durban--Rain Ross '99 has landed a ballet internship with The Playhouse Company in Durban, South Africa. As the group's dance intern, she will rehearse, take classes, and perform with the company during this summer's contemporary ballet season and the fall 1997 season of classical ballet works. Ross, who has been studying ballet since she was six, is also trained in modern, theater dance, and flamenco styles and will perform in April's campus dance concerts.

Ross says she got the address of the company from friends in South Africa and says "Fred McGinness and our wonderful Career Development Center helped me with my application and cover letter."

This will be Ross's first professional dance experience, and also her first trip to South Africa, though her father is South African and she has other relatives and friends in that country.

The Clinton connection--Juniors Rachel Maris, Karen Reyes, and Kirsten Williams were far from Washington, D.C., but still managed to meet First Lady Hilary Rodham Clinton earlier this month. The students are spending all or part of this academic year on the MHC program in Dakar, Senegal. Mrs. Clinton was speaking there during an African goodwill trip. According to a letter from Maris, the three students exhausted many leads trying to get tickets to Clinton's speech at the U.S. Embassy, went to where she was scheduled to speak at a local school only to discover the time had been changed, and finally "camped out" at the embassy. Since Clinton spoke on the embassy grounds, the students listened to the speech from outside the embassy. After the speech, they called out to her, and she came over, shook their hands, and talked with them for a few minutes. Apparently she was delighted that they were "Mount Holyoke girls."

Winner's circle--Dilrukshi Fonseka '00 won the Mary Lyon Essay Contest, sponsored by the Student Government Association in commemoration of Lyons's 200th birthday. All entrants addressed "What Mary Lyon Means to Me and How I See the Values of Mary Lyon Espoused Today at Mount Holyoke." Fonseka's essay calls the campus buildings the visible image of Mary Lyon. "To me, her spirit lives within these walls, and it is her spirit which gives me a sense of belonging. They stand as a testimony to her unflinching dedication and courage," she wrote. "The spirit of this great individual lives in all of us," she continued. "I see this spirit in the way we ask questions in our classes, in the sportsmanship we display on the playing field, in the enthusiasm with which we participate in cocurricular activities, and in the emphasis we lay on individual responsibility and duty. Most of all, I see it in our strong desire to strive for the best and to triumph at whatever we do." Fonseka's prize is A Vision Realized, a book of color photographs of Mount Holyoke.

How do coaches know what to do?--Laurie Priest, director of athletics, recently attended the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance national convention in St. Louis, MO. While she was there she gave a presentation titled "Coaching Evaluation: From Theory to Practice." She also chaired the National Association of Girls and Women in Sports honors ceremony luncheon.

Swimmer logs personal best at nationals--Katie Herrold '00 recently competed in the NCAA Division III swimming nationals, one of only five swimmers to qualify for nationals in the history of MHC's swim program. She had lifetime best swims in her four events (200-yard freestyle, 500-yard freestyle, 1,000-yard freestyle, and 1,650-yard freestyle). She finished eleventh nationally in the 1,650 (17:47.80), earning All-American honors. This marks a first for Mount Holyoke's swimming program.

What's new with you?--Send news for "New & Notable" to Emily Weir, Office of Communications, or email eweir@mtholyoke.edu.