The hit pop band Garbage (right) collected lots of fans at their recent concert at Mount Holyoke. Other recent campus visitors include author and international law professor Lan Cao '83, (below) who read from Monkey Bridge, her widely praised novel about the Vietnamese immigrant experience, and Virginia Johnson, a principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem who gave aspiring ballerinas pointe-rs during her master class.
Liberal arts graduates are receiving excellent starting salaries, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Mount Holyoke's Career Development Center Director Phil Jones echoed this Ūnding, citing earlier visits to campus this year by corporate recruiters and starting-salary offers to seniors in the mid-$30,000 to mid-$40,000 range.
Award-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks '85 gave a campus audience a sneak preview of her new play In the Blood just days before an article on it appeared in the New Yorker magazine. It was part of a "Theatre in the World" gathering that linked current students with seventy of Mount Holyoke's prominent alumnae in the arts. Audiences at New York's Public Theatre will have to wait until the 1999-2000 season to see Parks's Ūnished product.
MHC women Ūgured prominently in Vanity Fair's November special section on "America's 200 Legends, Leaders, and Trailblazers." President Joanne Creighton appeared in a group photo of the presidents of the Seven Sisters colleges, along with Nancy J. Vickers '67, president of Bryn Mawr College. And Pulitzer Prize winner Wendy Wasserstein '71 was pictured in the section on leaders in the arts.
WMHC, Mount Holyoke's FM radio station, is one of the oldest continuing radio stations run by women in the country. Since its 1951 founding, WMHC evolved into a heavily music-oriented station. Recently, it has added news-oriented programming too, including "Mount Holyoke Talks," an informal weekly news/talk show (below). Discussions so far have focused on the National Young Women's Day of Action, hate crimes, coed vs. single-sex education, and race in America.
We're popular! More high school seniors applied for Early Decision admission to Mount Holyoke this year than ever before. (MHC is Early Decision applicants' Ūrst- choice college.)
Mount Holyoke won the privilege of hosting the prestigious World Preparatory Debate Champion- ships this fall, the lead-up event to international Ūnals in the Philippines. Top debaters from across America and Canada gathered at Mount Holyoke to argue for and against propositions such as "Competition does more harm than good" and "The Church is dead" before world-class judges.
Despite our debaters' success, Donnetrice Barbee, new director of the Speaking Center, knows that "80 percent of the world would rather die than speak publicly." She coaxes sometimes reluctant students to come to the center, where Barbee offers a variety of techniques to help students plan, organize, rehearse, and polish their oral presentations. "Speaking is natural, but it takes skill to do it well," she says. "Just because words come out of your mouth doesn't mean that you're being clear, understood, or effective in your speech." Well said.
Is it play or is it science? It's both as physics major Jenny Thurman '99 takes a ride on the hovercraft (below) with help from physics technician Ernie Provo, who built it with members of the Society for Physics Students. The hovercraft skims just above the floor supported by a thin cushion of air.
Mount Holyoke was one of seventeen colleges and universities honored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for "improving the quality of undergraduate education in the sciences, mathematics, and technology." Each institution receives $200,000; our share goes to revamp introductory and core courses in several scientiŪc disciplines.
The Ūrst of several planned interfaith worship services (left) attracted worshippers from the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, and Muslim traditions.
New faces: News Services Director Kevin McCaffrey (right) is serving as interim director of communications while a nationwide search is launched for a successor to Cheri Cross. She resigned as director of communications in November to pursue graduate studies in Internet strategy management. And the College welcomed a new registrar this winter. Monica Loyce Augustin helped the College of William and Mary and Pomona College convert to online registration, one of her goals at MHC.
Mount Holyoke's Russian department is working with Williams and Wellesley Colleges to set up an exchange program with Tbilisi State University in the Republic of Georgia. It started with a January-term stay, and organizer associate professor Stephen Jones hopes to make it a semester-long program. The Ūrst Georgian students will visit here in October.
Donna J. Albino '83 has been collecting Mount Holyoke-related postcards (below) since 1985, and now more than 1,000 of them are visible to anyone with Web access at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/~dalbino/. The site features a variety of postcard styles, from handcolored and tinted to those on which views of the campus are visible through a "frame" made of peeling birch bark. The oldest was written in 1871 by Cornelia Clapp, for whom Clapp Laboratory is named.
Students in the women's studies seminar Emily Dickinson in Her Times learned where no class had learned before: in the poet's Amherst, Massachusetts, homestead. The class met weekly in the home where the poet-and Mount Holyoke alum-composed most of her poems. One day, students were struck by the light pouring into Dickinson's bedroom, and imagined that the poet was inspired by something similar to write "a certain Slant of light,/Winter Afternoons-/That oppresses, like the Heft/Of Cathedral Tunes-." Other on-site revelations helped the students see Dickinson's work in a similarly new light.
They said it couldn't be done, but chemistry professor Helen Leung ignored the naysayers. She built a pulsed molecular beam Fourier transform microwave spectrometer-the only one of its type at a college without a Ph.D. program-and now teaches MHC undergraduates to operate it. Leung also uses it for her research on intermolecular interactions between unbonded molecules, which recently garnered her an "outrageously prestigious" award from the Dreyfus Foundation.
The opinions of our outspoken faculty are now posted on the College's Web site in a new op-ed and essay section (www.mtholyoke.edu/ofŪces/comm/oped/). Among the early entries are comments on public reaction to abandoned baby cases, on NASA's sexism that went unrecognized in the nostalgia over John Glenn's second space flight, and on what the controversy over children fathered by Thomas Jefferson says about the effect of patriarchy on society.
How to Stay in the Know about Mount Holyoke
If you want to stay up-to-date on what's happening at Mount Holyoke, one quick and easy way is by reading MHC's weekly newsletter, the College Street Journal. The CSJ carries articles about interesting people and events on campus, summarizes recent media coverage that mentions MHC, and contains a calendar of campus events.
Best of all, it's available free on the Web at http://www.mtholyoke.edu/ofŪces/comm/csj. Printed copies are also available; one-year subscriptions are $20, which covers the cost of Ūrst-class postage. If you prefer to receive printed copies, mail a check (made out to Mount Holyoke College) to Debbie Wright, Mount Holyoke College, OfŪce of Communications, 50 College Street, South Hadley, MA 01075-1459.