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Title
SPRING 2000
VOLUME 4
NUMBER 3
SPECIAL EDITION

MHC In The Media
Making Headlines: MHC In
The Media

Joanne Creighton
Joanne Creighton

Beverly Daniel Tatum
Beverly Daniel Tatum

Francine Deutsch
Francine Deutsch

Joseph Ellis
Joseph Ellis

Christopher Benfey
Christopher Benfey

Barbara Cassani
Barbara Cassani '82

Students As Newsmakers
Students As Newsmakers

Speaking, Arguing and Writing
Speaking, Arguing and Writing

Mount Holyoke News
News Bites

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Martha Ackmann, Mount Holyoke women's studies lecturer and director of community-based learning at the College's Weissman Center for Leadership, is becoming a feminist voice in the national media. Her diverse editorials have included everything from critiquing President Clinton and Elizabeth Dole to championing women astronauts and advocating equality for women in sports. Ackmann has also written opinion pieces on the Wimbledon tennis tournament and the Women's National Basketball Association. Newspapers such as the New York Times,the Wall Street Journal,the Boston Globe,and the Chicago Tribune,as well as the online magazine Salon, have been forums for Ackmann's passionate views.

In a New York Timescritique of Wimbledon's "prize money gaffe" in awarding male winners $72,800 more than their female counterparts, Ackmann offered an ironic explanation for the discrepancy—that "swanky Wimbledon is over budget." Writing for the Timeson the Women's National Basketball Association, owned and controlled by the NBA, Ackmann urged "fans of professional women's basketball to be impatient" regarding the "men's club influence" that prevents women with long successful records of collegiate experience from being hired as coaches for the WNBA. "Now it's time for the NBA to move from allowing women in the door to giving them an unblocked shot at success," she wrote.

In the academic arena, Ackmann was cited in the Timesas the organizer of this summer's Emily Dickinson International Society conference at Mount Holyoke. In addition, the Chronicle of Higher Education featured a story on Emily Dickinson in Her Times, Ackmann's popular community-based learning course. By holding her class in the poet's Amherst home, now a museum, Ackmann says she is able to give students "a familial, cultural, gendered, and historical context that allows for a better understanding of Dickinson's work." The Christian Science Monitor,in a recent article on Dickinson, described Ackmann's students seated in Dickinson's bedroom, reading aloud their favorite works.

Ackmann's interest in pioneering women extends into the wild blue yonder through research that she has conducted on women pilots of the 1940s and '50s. She has made a cause celebre of the unfair treatment of thirteen women who were recruited in 1961 for America's women in space program. The women, all of whom were accomplished pilots who passed the same rigorous physical tests given to male applicants, were ultimately prevented from taking part in the Mercury 13 mission because of their gender. Ackmann authored an article in the Houston Chronicle'sTexas Magazine on Mercury 13's Wally Funk, and the Mount Holyoke lecturer's op-ed piece on the issue ran in more than two dozen major daily newspapers from Miami to Anchorage.

 

 

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