With the consecration of several Hindu sacred murtis (statues) September 19 at the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary, the College put one of the final touches on the interfaith worship space created last March. A Hindu priest traveled to South Hadley from Boston to perform the ceremony at the invitation of SHRI (Students of Hinduism Reaching Inward), a new Mount Holyoke Hindu religious and cultural group.
Ten Mount Holyoke biology students who excelled as first-years spent the summer on campus as participants in an intensive training program in biological research funded by a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. HHMI is a medical research organization whose scientists include many of the world's leaders in the fields of cell biology, genetics, immunology, neuroscience, and structural biology.
In September, Roberto Marquez, William J. Kenan Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, attended White House briefings concerning the Afro-Latino community. The briefings covered work by the Clinton administration on civil rights, economic development and community empowerment, education, women's and children's issues, and international issues.
Mount Holyoke students and crew team members provided staffing and support to Rowing Strong, Rowing Together, a collaboration between Mount Holyoke and the Care Center, a Holyoke-based social services agency. The program teaches at-risk teens to row, aiming for them to realize that if they can master the demands of rowing, they can conquer other goals, such as earning a GED. The September 12 Boston Sunday Globefeatured a story on the Rowing Strong program, and another piece appeared in the October 10 issue of the New York Times.
Among the experts appearing on the PBS miniseries "American Photography: A Century of Images" October 13 was Mount Holyoke history professor Daniel Czitrom, author of Media and the American Mind.Czitrom's courses at the College include American Media History and Reading the New York Times. Czitrom's commentary examined the relationship between photography and emerging forms of mass media in the twentieth century.
There is food for thought in the Williston Library's former reserve room. A new café now serves coffee, Tazo teas, assorted soft drinks, juices, biscotti, fresh-baked cookies, and packaged snacks. An opening reception on September 28 featured an artist's talk by Leandro Soto, visiting lecturer in theatre arts, who created an art installation in honor of the café.
The Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership received a $100,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a pilot study of "case method" teaching. The case method encourages students to analyze a real-life situation as a narrative and to use their analysis and judgment to evaluate possible outcomes and solutions. The Weissman Center's Speaking, Arguing and Writing Program also was featured prominently on ABC's 20/20on August 18.
The Mount Holyoke Art Museum opened its exhibition The Moon & the Stars: Afterlife of a Roman Empresswith a toga-optional reception on September 30. The show was built around images of Faustina, empress to Antoninus Pius, and the ritual, social, and political values embodied in her form.
Helen Huarca '00 has been named one of five "Latinas of promise" based on an essay she submitted to the 1999 Hispanic Magazineand State Farm Insurance Essay Competition, which had a national pool of applicants. The contest required a 500-word essay on how the applicant demonstrated leadership potential, commitment to community service, and academic excellence.
October saw Kaiulani Lee's performance of her play A Sense Of Wonder,which is based on the life and works of Rachel Carson. The event was part of the Weissman Center's fall series focusing on the environment.
A number of campus organizations sponsored the College's first student leadership conference on September 25. Students registered to take part in ten different workshops and to hear a keynote speech by Sarita Gupta '96, executive director of Chicago Jobs with Justice, on "Sowing the Seeds of a Movement: Building Coalitions For Change."
Several Mount Holyoke faculty members have authored new books. Associate Professor of Geography Girma Kebbede wrote and edited Sudan's Predicament: Civil War, Displacement and Ecological Degradation.The book deals with the roots of Sudan's internal political conflict, social and economic breakdown, and ecological impoverishment. Professor of Philosophy Thomas Wartenburg authored Unlikely Couples: Movie Romance as Social Criticism,in which he examines a series of popular romantic films to explore what romances between unlikely couples have to say about societal mores and prejudices. Fetal Subjects, Feminist Positions, coedited by anthropology professor Lynn Morgan, examines society's emerging and often contradictory view of the fetus and its meaning within current feminist theory.
The U.S. News & World Report'sannual college rankings placed Mount Holyoke sixteenth among best liberal arts colleges, up from nineteenth last year, and also named Mount Holyoke second-best educational value behind Swarthmore. In the half-serious, half tongue-in-cheek ratings issued by the Princeton Review,Mount Holyoke figures prominently in a large number of categories. Among them: we rank third among 331 top U.S. institutions in "great library"; fifth in "Birkenstock-wearing, tree-hugging, clove-smoking vegetarians"; and eleventh in "professors bring material to life."
Carol Browner, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, led off the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership's "Silent Killers? Environmental Contaminants and Health" series with a September 13 talk on EPA policy. Browner laid out a history of agency achievements and detailed a current legal battle to enforce clean air standards.
Several faculty members had articles in national publications this summer: women's studies professor Martha Ackmann's satiric op/ed piece on how to equalize prize money for men and women at Wimbledon appeared in the June 27 New York Times;politics professor Chris Pyle's views on Congressional action to outlaw flag burning appeared in the July 11 Boston Sunday Herald;and sociology and anthropology professor Richard Moran's piece on the history of the juvenile justice system was in the July 18 Boston Sunday Globe.
More than 200 Emily Dickinson scholars from all over the world gathered at Mount Holyoke in August to participate in "Emily Dickinson at Home," a conference devoted to the works of the acclaimed poet and Mount Holyoke alumna. Conference attendees presented a wide range of addresses and papers on Dickinson's work, and toured the Dickinson Homestead in Amherst. Women's studies professor Martha Ackmann was codirector of the event.