The ninth annual Smith in the World conference will be held Tuesday, November 11, 2014 in the Campus Center.
Session I: 4:30–5:10 p.m.
Panel 1: Business & Economic Research
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Janie Vanpee, Professor, French Studies
Ayla Ahmed ’15
Sustainable and Renewable Energy: The Future of Rural Pakistan
Community Service, Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
Only 55 percent of Pakistan’s population has access to electricity. While the energy shortage continues to grow with the increasing population, sustainable energy resources such as wind, solar and biomass remain virtually untapped. After spending the first ten weeks of my summer interning at Morgan Stanley in the Power and Utilities group in New York, I went back to Pakistan to dedicate the rest of my summer to addressing the severe energy crisis in rural Pakistan. I made use of the Praxis funding during the summer of my sophomore year to pursue an internship at Tameer MicroFinance Bank (TMFB). During my six-week internship, I worked to create a business plan titled Tameer Tawanae which sought to provide energy to the rural poor in Pakistan. We sought to develop a sustainable program to provide access to improved cook stoves and solar power kits, and helped the local community develop biogas plants. Through my experience working on-site and interacting with the rural community, I have seen the extreme conditions that are a reality for so many millions around the world. I have a renewed sense of social commitment to someday make a difference, because I know I can.
Farah Hamud Khan ’16
Effects of Germany's Environmental Regulations on the Labor Market
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
This past summer, I worked as a research intern in the Environmental Economics Department of the Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim, Germany. I worked under the supervision of a labor economist and conducted research on the impact of environmental policies on the German labor market. I learned sophisticated techniques of organizing large data sets, analyzing results and presenting my results to professional economists. An important part of the experience was learning about German office culture and using my German language skills to integrate into the workplace. My experience solidified my ambitions of going to graduate school in economics, and becoming a researcher in labor economics. I will present the research I conducted during my internship, and the unforgettable experience of integrating into a new culture and country.
Laura Lubben ’16
Investment Banking: What is it Really Like?
This past summer I participated in Morgan Stanley’s Sophomore Investment Banking Program. I was selected as one of ten sophomores working in the investment banking division. I have accepted an offer to return next summer. Many misconceptions exist about the work environment at a bank which I look forward to addressing and clarifying as well as giving insight into the experience as a whole. Furthermore, there is a common belief that working for a big corporate firm requires sacrificing independent thought, and I would like to share how my critical thinking skills—honed at Smith—were essential to my success in banking. In contrast to my rigorous academic background at Smith, I learned a lot about the financial industry and its culture—knowledge that cannot be ascertained in the classroom. This experience has led me to an interest in public policy and how these skills can be applied to a wide range of interests and career paths.
Paxton Misra ’15
Conducting Economic Research at the U.S. Department of the Treasury
I will discuss my experience interning with the Treasury Department's East Asia Office in Washington, D.C this past summer. One of my main responsibilities as an intern included providing daily updates and analyses on overnight fluctuations in the Chinese renminbi exchange rate. In addition to writing these daily reports, I assisted colleagues in preparing analyses of economic data and tackled long-term projects with the guidance of a mentor. My research culminated in two reports, one on the North Korean economy and one on the natural gas sector in China. Preparing these papers gave me the opportunity to apply theoretical material and empirical methods from my economics courses at Smith and learn how to write concise, analytical prose for policymakers. In my presentation I will address how my time with the Treasury has reaffirmed my interests in pursuing a career in economic research and policy.
Shamael Mahmood ’15
Finding the Missing Pieces of the Economic Puzzle
Global Financial Institutions Concentration
Over the last three years, I have grown as a student leader and explored different academic and extra-curricular interests at Smith College. I’ve spent the last three summers working in three different countries, most recently at one of the top management consulting firms, Accenture, in New Delhi. Consulting is a field that we often don't hear about, but for me it provided the best learning experience. The project I worked on, A Study to Improve the Business Environment in India, has been implemented across Indian states and is changing the economy of about 1.25 billion people. With the skills that I have acquired at Smith and minimal content knowledge about consulting, I found myself outside my comfort zone, but at just the right placement for learning. In addition to learning from the work, I grew personally from working with a diverse group of people—from post-grad degree-holders to first-years, science majors to economics majors. Consulting is a field where my international perspectives and experiences could make a difference. As a senior, I have had an enriching well-rounded experience and look forward to talking more about my experience at Accenture.
Panel II: Community Based Advocacy
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Barbara Kellum, Professor, Art Department
Anna Morrill ’16
I'm Nobody Productions and Marcella Jayne’s “I Am Holyoke” Short Story: A Semester in Community-Based Learning, Community-Based Work and Social Justice
Community Engagement and Social Change Concentration
In the fall of 2013, I interned at a Holyoke not-for-profit video production company, I’m Nobody Productions. Under the leadership of Rob Deza, Maria Quiles and Eileen Maginnis I helped produce the personal narrative of Holyoke native and housing rights activist Marcella Jayne as part of I’m Nobody’s larger project, “I Am Holyoke Short Series.” I’m Nobody Productions uses passionate and real stories of Holyoke residents to change and challenge stereotypes. This intensive internship complemented the learning in my Sociology 214 class, "The Sociology of Hispanic-Caribbean Communities in the United States," a course which examined the social, cultural, and political institutions that alienate and marginalize Dominicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans in the United States. Throughout the evolution of this project, I referred often to questions of class, race, gender and culture when considering my position, intention, privilege, ignorance and perspective, thereby underscoring the challenges and obstacles in community-based work and community-based learning. This experience broadened and defined my desire to work in a community based setting, focusing on stories, people, learning, and discomfort. From this experience I gained critical perspective of the challenges with engaging in social justice and community-based learning to complicate, resist and understand structures of power, identity, privilege, and community.
Oluwa Jones ’15
The Union Scholars Program
I will present my summer work as a Union Scholar for the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees which put me on the front lines of the historic Chicago taxi campaign. I spent ten weeks working in Chicago, talking to city cab drivers about the benefits of unionizing. I worked daily with some of the most hardworking and inspiring people, visiting worksites, doing campaign research (FOIA requests, and using the research systems that the council pays for such as Lexus Nexus), developing materials, staffing the phone bank, and writing weekly reports on my activities. I assisted in planning the kick-off meeting which nearly 100 drivers attended; attended a rally with over 2,000 AFSCME members; attended a meeting with the Chicago Board of Commissioners; and participated in meetings between cab drivers and their Aldermen throughout the city. By the end of the summer I had signed up more than 200 cab drivers. After spending the summer as a Union Scholar, I now see myself going into non-profit work and political advocacy.
Rachel Klinger ’15
FAAB-ulous Queer World-making in La Habana
I spent last spring with the Hampshire College program in Havana, Cuba. Through interviews, going out to gay clubs and lesbian baseball games, queer café takeovers, and otherwise spending time with queer female assigned friends, I began to map a limited and constantly morphing panorama of queer spaces and moments of queer world-making in the neighborhood of Vedado. As several of the bars and clubs closed over the short three months that I was there, it became clear that these spaces where ephemeral; yet just as soon as one closed, another seemed to open somewhere else. Furthermore, while these spaces functioned as disruptions of heteronormative space, they also function as disciplinary spaces, deploying their own set of exclusionary norms, especially in regards to gender presentation, desire, race and class. It also became increasingly clear that many of my U.S.-centric expectations and understandings regarding how gender and sexuality work could not be applied to what I was hearing and seeing, forcing me to re-think what often appears to be the universalizing assumptions made in western queer theory.
Tziona Breitbart ’16
Education: For the Public, by the Public
Community Engagement and Social Change Concentration
Last year I became involved with “Taking It Back,” a grassroots movement that fights to keep public schools in public hands and ensures that learning revolves around the student. I brought “Taking It Back” to campus by hosting a lecture on issues surrounding the public educational system. The impact of my experience played a profound role in shaping my perspective on public education and the need for equitable education. The experience granted me a chance to participate in community organizing. I enjoyed the chance to meet others involved in community organizing for educational issues and the opportunity to inform individuals about problems in education such as data walls, high-stakes standardized testing, and students being viewed as numbers in relation to their test scores. My involvement has given me the background I need to pursue my interest in community organizing for critical issues, such as, education. In my presentation, I will discuss how my involvement simultaneously deepened my feelings for juvenile equitable education, specifically, and for community organization, generally. I shall also highlight what I learned about the impact of school-based and governmental policies on students, and the importance of school and community interaction for the improvement of public education.
Panel III: Education and Social Justice
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Hannah Kaplan-Hartlaub ’15
Hey Miss K! — A Summer of Teaching, Learning, and Double-Dutch at the Steppingstone Academy
I spent last summer teaching at The Steppingstone Academy, a non-profit organization that works to prepare underserved, motivated Boston Public School students for secondary schools that will put them on the path to college. My main duty was to co-teach a course called Perspectives, a US history-based class on economic, political, and human rights to students entering the seventh grade. This afforded me the opportunity to help my mentor teacher design a curriculum that could reach every student. My work was to ensure the course materials were relevant and accessible. For example, we drew on primary sources written by marginalized people and applied the US Bill of Rights and FDR's Bill of Economic Rights to issues that threaten my students and their communities each day: mass incarceration, gun violence, stop-and-frisk, and the death penalty. When the students came at the course material from a place of experience, they felt true ownership of the history. In my presentation, I will discuss the academic process of teaching and designing a “socially just” curriculum, and will share my perspectives on the dynamics of power and privilege present in the educational world today.
Jordan Dubin ’15
Discovering College Opportunities with Project Coach Students
Combining my academic and teaching experiences with my creative mentoring, I have developed a "Get to College Initiative” for youth who participate in Project Coach. Project Coach is a youth development program run by Smith faculty and students for youth and children in Springfield, Mass. that empowers inner-city teens to coach, teach and mentor younger kids. Since 100 percent of Project Coach teen coaches graduate from high school, the focus is to establish a program that allows the students to see that they are able to: (1) apply to and to get to college; (2) succeed in college; and (3) graduate from college, despite often formidable obstacles. I began working with Project Coach when I was accepted into the STRIDE Scholar program as a first-year student and have continued to participate in Project Coach since. Currently, I work with the co-founders, Sam Intrator and Don Siegel, and with the director, Jo Ann Glading-DiLorenzo, on programming projects specifically geared towards achievement in higher education.
Kerry Thompson Grove ’16
Turning Traditional Classrooms on their Heads: Lessons Learned from Progressive Educators in a Conservative State
Summer Internship/Praxis; Community Engagement and Social Change Concentration
How does social context affect teaching and learning? Through my Praxis internship at the Utah State Office of Education, I analyzed the influence of three systems: the classroom, politics, and neighborhood communities. Few people understand the diversity of Utah schools. As the "minority population" quickly becomes the majority throughout most of the state, progressive educators are examining the stratification of success across racial and socioeconomic lines. Politics, state-wide standards, money, and power advantage some over others and suppress certain voices in all contexts. In Utah, the interaction of politics and education is brilliantly clear. Due to strong conservative politics influenced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a homogenous population of white, wealthy men, progressive educators are required to work within a system contradictory to their beliefs about teaching and learning. They used passion, networking, and political tact. I watched teachers form collaborative classroom communities and principles influence success through understanding the populations they serve. I had the privilege of listening, documenting, interacting, and reflecting over coffee, in schools across the state, with individual students, and in district and state offices. I found my educational voice and learned how to turn my passion into action.
Milanes Morejon ’15
Teaching in Brazil: Fostering Connectedness
Community Service, Study Abroad
During my spring semester in Salvador da Bahia, I spent eight months teaching English in a community school run by six Afro-Brazilian women. The school, Escola Aberta do Calabar, is located in Calabar, a neighborhood where residents struggle with poverty and encounter few economic and educational prospects. In order to disrupt the cycle of violence that disproportionately affects the city’s poor and black youth, the school intervenes at an early age. The school responds to various demands and provides the students with an enhanced learning environment, meal assistance, a library, capoeira lessons and occasional psychiatric and dental consultations. Building upon their knowledge of Portuguese, I provided basic English instruction and assisted in leadership development activities. By incorporating a socio-educational approach to learning, the children were encouraged to view themselves as important agents of social change able to transform their individual and collective histories. In addition to presenting on my experiences in the classroom, I will also discuss how my identity and relative privilege in these spaces influenced the power dynamics in the classroom and how my experiences at Smith prepared me to deal with these issues.
Panel IV: Human Rights
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Afreen Gandhi ’15
Diane Rhim ’15
My Passion and Voice: Shining Light on North Korean Human Rights
Community Service, Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis, Study Abroad
Since high school, I've had a passion for North Korean human rights, as both my grandparents were from Pyongyang. I used my Praxis during my sophomore-year summer to intern at Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights (NKHR), an NGO dedicated to shining light on human rights violations in North Korea and helping North Korean refugees successfully escape and settle in South Korean society. I organized various grassroots campaigns and also met North Korean defectors in person, spending time with them and hearing their stories. The stories of their harsh childhood, their escape from North Korea, and their life in South Korea inspired me to continue to raise awareness of the human rights abuses in North Korea. The following year, I went abroad to Geneva through Smith’s JYA Program. While doing independent research on North Korean black markets, I interned with United Nations Watch, and had the privilege of delivering a statement on behalf of UN Watch and North Korean victims at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR). It was a tremendous honor when my statement was referred to by the chairperson of the commission of inquiry, Michael Donald Kirby, in his concluding remarks. I learned that there is no limit to what I can do as long as I have the passion and the confidence. I continue to advocate for North Korean human rights, working on a project to bring a North Korean defector to speak at Smith College.
Jennifer R. Pekol AC ’15J
Exporting Justice: International Humanitarian Organizations and Tunisian Transitional Justice
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
I will discuss my summer internship with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) in Tunisia. After the fall of the former dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the transitional government of Tunisia established a ministry of Human Rights and Transitional Justice. Three years later, the process of investigating and prosecuting the human rights and economic violations of the previous regimes has begun. For three and half months I attended conferences and workshops with ICTJ’s international staff, Tunisian politicians and activists and the members of the Tunisian Truth and Dignity Commission. I worked with the Tunisian lawyers who drafted the law and ICTJ staff to write a detailed Frequently Asked Questions report about the newly enacted Transitional Justice law. I will discuss the role of the international humanitarian community in the Tunisian transitional justice process and how my anthropology background framed my study of international law and has informed my goals for the future.
Liz Markee-Behrends ’15
Child Rights Connect: Attempting to Unite Academics and My Future
Junior Year Abroad
Children’s Rights has always been a passion of mine. Before studying abroad in Geneva, I had my own biases and opinions on the way policies are structured and enforced. Likewise, I recognized the importance of studying children’s rights and shaping policy to improve child welfare and children’s outcomes. This was due in part to my own personal experience as a foster-adoptee, but also because of my other internships and activities involving child welfare. Through my internship with Child Rights Connect and being able to work with the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child, I was reminded of my own biases and viewpoints as well as the importance of a general and more specific framework, both nationally and internationally, that support children and their welfare. These reminders and further awareness led me to rethink my own future and specific interests in children’s rights. For this reason, I have structured my academics and non-academic activities such that they propel me towards a greater impact on child policy and welfare.
Yoo Eun Kim ’16
The Effects of Prison Gerrymandering
Since December 2013, I have served as a Research Associate at Prison Policy Initiative (PPI), a non-partisan non-profit organization that exposes the negative impact of mass criminalization. One of the issues that PPI focuses on is prison gerrymandering, a practice that counts inmates as residents of the areas where they are stationed, after state and local governments re-configure the voting districts. My duties have included leading the state legislator outreach project, assisting with PPI outreach mails and filming, and crosschecking the data in the Prison Policy Initiative’s Locator database with the information provided by the United States Census. My work has helped strengthen my analytical and communication skills to inform the public about current U.S. criminal justice policy. Working in PPI has equipped me with the resources and knowledge to help members of socially marginalized groups, and to understand the current strategies for creating lasting and sustainable improvement in the American criminal justice system.
Panel V: Sustainability and Rural Development
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Danielle Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Amelia Burke ’15
Cows Go Green: Studying the Potential of Livestock as Environmental Assets
Sustainable Food Concentration
Last spring I spent two months interning at an agro-ecology NGO outside of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. My work there encompassed various projects, including writing grant proposals, participating in the adoption of a more sustainable organizational model, communicating with officials, and studying effective livestock grazing. I learned about the organization’s research on the regenerative effects that proper herding of livestock can have on exhausted soils, and I witnessed this regeneration myself by living in a conservation area for the length of my internship. My experiences in Zimbabwe taught me a great deal about what it takes to run an effective organization, work in partnership with local communities, and create meaningful and substantive social and environmental change.
Danielle Jacques ’16
Labor Rights on Sugar Plantations: What I Learned During my Summer in the Dominican Republic
I spent this past summer in the Dominican Republic interning at an organization called Community Enterprise Solutions (or Soluciones Comunitarias) through their Social Entrepreneur Corps program. This organization uses the microconsignment model to promote products like mosquito nets, water filters, and solar lamps in communities without access to these kinds of technologies. This works to generate a supplemental income for young, primarily female entrepreneurs. One of my projects involved gauging the demand for two new models of solar lamps in communities without consistent access to electricity. In conducting this research, I had the opportunity to visit a number of rural sugar plantations and meet some of the workers who live there. My presentation will focus on what I experienced and observed during those visits, the systematic exploitation of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic, and the role of the U.S. in perpetuating this system. I will also discuss how this experience changed my view of international development initiatives and further the trajectory of my studies at Smith.
Noor Sethi ’15
Empowering Female Farmers in Rural Himachal Pradesh, India
Community Service, Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
As an intern for the Chinmaya Organization for Rural Development (CORD), I participated in a project that aims to empower female farmers in rural Himachal Pradesh, India. The project is designed to achieve its goals by creating strong social networks, introducing efficient farming techniques, and connecting these farmers to a wider agricultural market. As part of my fieldwork, I documented changes in farming practices, in structures of social networks, and in household incomes. This project reinforced in me the idea that social networks can play a strong positive role in human development, a theme that underlies my senior thesis. It also made me realize that the work of organizations such as CORD, which play a stellar role in mobilizing farmers and inducing remarkable social change, could be further enhanced significantly by the application of rigorous statistical methods in project design and outcome assessment, a suggestion I incorporated in the blueprint I wrote for CORD’s future work.
SESSION II: 5:20–6 p.m.
Panel I: Arts and Literature
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Janie Vanpee, Professor, French Studies
Alessia Becker ’16
Handling Latin American Photography
I will reflect on my experience and impressions on working at Toluca Editions in Paris during the summer. Toluca Editions is a French publishing house of artist’s books as well as being home to one of the largest collections of Latin American photography. Over the course of nine weeks, I participated in several national and international projects that will contribute to the growing global recognition of South American artists. My experience at Toluca shaped my perspective on art as a communicative agent of society—particularly in non-Western or less economically developed countries. Upon my return to Smith I look forward to opening channels for accessibility and awareness of emerging art markets, starting of course, with Latin America.
Ana Ruffino Darrow ’15
Activism as Dance, Dance as Activism; or, Why Integrated Performance is Important
This summer, I used my Praxis funding to work with an integrated (disabled and nondisabled) dance company called Stopgap, which is based in the UK. During this internship, I was able to help teach and perform with their disabled youth groups; take company classes; and tour a dance piece—the first to have a choreographer with Down Syndrome get widespread recognition for his work—to various arts festivals around the country. This work gave me the chance to reflect on the politics of integrated dance and the implications of engaging within an evolving artistic field; the responsibility to expand and challenge aesthetics; and the extent to which the work of an integrated performer can or should be advocacy-based.
Chinomso Ezeh ’16
More than a Light-Skinned Female Intern
This past summer, I interned at a publishing company in Nigeria, partly owned by the young Nigerian female writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. During my time with the organization, I worked with manuscripts of many brilliant, but mostly unknown indigenous writers. Also, I was put in charge of organizing a one week creative writing workshop for female secondary school students in Lagos state, Nigeria. In my presentation, I will share the way that my overall Smith experience helped me to navigate my way through six weeks of interning with co-workers who saw me as being privileged because I am studying outside of Nigeria. I will briefly share how I managed to prove to my co-workers that I had earned my place as intern in the company, not by being an attractive light-skinned girl, but by working hard at being really good at what I enjoy doing. My presentation will tell, in a nutshell, the way in which I was able to greatly inspire the talented young girls who attended my workshop, and serve as an example of how hard work and diligence can help anyone succeed, Nigerian women included.
Panel II: Engineering
Campus Center 003
Moderator: Margaret Bruzelius, Dean of the Senior Class and Associate Dean of the College
Katia S. George ’15
Tissue Engineering at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences: A Scientific and Cultural Education as a Woman in India
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
This past summer, I worked at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences in Kochi, India, in the Nanosciences Laboratory. In my presentation, I will discuss my scientific research, and my efforts to incorporate a multi-modal contrast agent into a gelatin scaffold. The clinical end-goal of my project was to provide a scaffold that could be implanted into a patient with compromised bone tissue. The scaffold would provide a template for cell growth with sufficient contrast to allow care providers to monitor the cell growth and the rehabilitation status of the patient via MRI. In addition to the scientific education this experience provided me, I will discuss living and working in India—specifically, my experience as a woman working in a STEM field in a foreign country. I will also discuss the philanthropic philosophy of Amrita and its founder, and the importance of providing medical care in an altruistic manner.
Sara Stoudt ’15
Beyond Calculations: Communicating through Statistics
I will discuss my experiences working in the Statistical Engineering Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) over the course of two summers and how these experiences, paired with my Smith education, have influenced my decision to pursue statistics further. I will also demonstrate a day in the life of a statistician by providing an example of my own process, working on climate related data, to show that it is made up of more than just computation; communication and collaboration are also key skills needed to do the job. Often one must present information to non-statisticians; a meaningful graphic is an opportunity to compress large amounts of information into an accessible format. Through my work at NIST I have gained a sense of responsibility to make an impact with the work that I do, and as I move forward with my statistics education I aim to use the authority that comes from being a researcher to convey insight and to stimulate change.
Yezhezi Zhang ’16
A Glimpse into Particles Physics : Summer Internship at Fermilab
Over the summer, I worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab) with its Advanced Superconducting Test Accelerator (ASTA), which is an R&D facility for accelerator technology. I installed four Total Loss Monitors and evaluated their ability to detect different kinds of radiation. I also created an interface that enables engineers and operators to adjust gun parameters and monitor devices’ status during Cryomodule commissioning. This summer experience was profound in shaping my perspective on the field of scientific research, my Smith education, and my career aspiration. I am returning to Smith with a greater appreciation of the interdisciplinary approach of the Picker Engineering Program here at Smith, which has helped me gain solid knowledge and has provided me a broad engineering background. At Fermilab, I saw how engineering could help further our understanding of fundamental sciences by facilitating discovery and can lead to a revolution in the field of physics itself. This makes me feel more determined to become a creative, professional engineer.
Yumeng Melody Cao ’16
Argonne National Laboratory Summer Internship
Fellowship, Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
My summer in 2014 was spent in Chicago at Argonne National Laboratory participating in an internship offered by the Illinois Accelerator Institute. The Lee Teng Undergraduate Internship in Accelerator Science and Engineering offers ten-week summer internships at Fermilab and Argonne for undergraduate students enrolled in four-year U.S. institutions. This program has been developed to attract undergraduate students into the exciting and challenging world of particle accelerator physics and technology. It also included a two-week particle accelerator course offered by USPAS in New Mexico. At Argonne I worked in building 402, the Advance Photon Source (APS), which is the highlight of the Lab. APS is a national synchrotron-radiation light source research facility funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and produces the brightest storage ring generated X-ray beams in the Western Hemisphere. The storage ring itself is over 1km in circumference. My project was on characterization of growth rate and interfacial roughness of multilayer optical X-ray coatings. I worked on the experimental floor directly adjacent to the storage ring. From this summer work I have gained a great deal of understanding of national labs and facilities and the scope and importance of the work conducted.
Panel III: Fieldwork
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Elena Karlsen-Ayala ’16
How “Finding Nemo” Got Me to Belize: Soft Coral Surveys and Environmental Education
As a young child the ocean housed my biggest fears: corals, sea anemones, and everything else hiding below the surface. Imagine being a kid with these fears and watching “Finding Nemo.” However, after declaring a conservation biology major, I embarked on an underwater research adventure. I participated in the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures Program, offered by Smith’s Environmental Science and Policy Program in conjunction with Hol Chan Marine Reserve, in Ambergris Caye, Belize. For two months last summer I trained to be a shallow-water marine researcher using SCUBA as a research tool in order to obtain data that will affect coral reef conservation. In addition to conducting research, I taught local school children the importance of conservation efforts, as they will some day be the stakeholders of the Meso-American Barrier Reef that frames their island. By bringing my scientific knowledge to a level that engaged the youth and got them excited about science, I hope I have given them the tools to change and conserve their own communities. With much courage, a few oxygen tanks, and lots of art supplies, my summer in Belize has redefined who I am as a field researcher, challenged my approach to conservation work, and has restructured my values with recognition of the importance of place-based learning education for children.
Katherine Lyons ’16
The East Coast Meets the West: Understanding Environmental Issues in the Field
This past summer I worked for the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service in the Salmon-Challis National Forest, which is located in the remote town of Mackay, Idaho. For two months, I learned fieldwork techniques and reached a greater understanding of the impact of these practices on the protection of the public lands and the species living there. I helped the leading wildlife biologists in the region, primarily collecting data for two threatened species—Big Horn Sheep and Sage Grouse—and worked with the fisheries management team. I learned the technical process of collecting data and also the politics behind gathering and protecting these species. I discovered the trials and tribulations of rural communities attempting to put into effect policies that are created worlds away in Washington D.C. As a student of Environmental Science & Policy I was interested in learning about the difficulties this community faced in order to achieve the goals and objectives of their jobs.
Viviana Aluia ’15
Transitioning Landscapes: Expanding Environmental Consciousness in Terrasini, Sicily
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis, Study Abroad
As an extension of my Junior Year Abroad experience in Florence, I spent my summer in Sicily at The Capo Rama Reserve, a World Wildlife Fund site located near Palermo. My duties at the reserve were focused on assisting the rangers by directing visitors and caring for the grounds. I worked on becoming familiar with the flora, fauna, geological history, and past work of the WWF in this zone. Through this practice, I developed a well-rounded understanding of the territory, the problems that the community and land have faced in the past, and its significance as natural habitat. My work allowed this information to be shared with a wider audience, as I could convey what I had learned to English speaking visitors, an audience that the reserve had been relatively inaccessible to. I was engaged in completing translations of the informational pamphlets and website, and answering questions in person with English speakers, enabling the reserve to continue to appeal to and communicate with a larger community. Pursuing an internship at Capo Rama allowed me to focus my energies on environmentalism, while integrating my two studies of Geosciences and Italian language.
Panel IV: NGOs Abroad
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Jacqueline Ekins ’15
Anya Gruber ’16
Health and Youth in El Salvador
Since a brutal civil war in the 1980s, El Salvador has continued to experience unrest, including the proliferation of gang violence directed specifically at the young people of the country. My family has been involved with an organization called ASAPROSAR, an acronym for The Salvadoran Association for Rural Health, since it was founded in 1986. This organization runs a number of programs that provide healthcare, support, and safe spaces for the rural people of El Salvador. Every year since 2011, I have traveled to Santa Ana, El Salvador and volunteered with ASAPROSAR’s annual Eye Health Clinic, where I work as a translator and assist the doctors in the clinic as well as the operating room. I also volunteer with the Barefoot Angels, an afterschool program that provides a structured, educational environment for schoolchildren with the goal of minimizing their susceptibility to gang violence and child labor. In my presentation, I will talk about my experiences with ASAPROSAR and how it has influenced my life and shaped the way I view the world.
Lou Goore ’15
Ahiman Women: Education and Mentorship for Girls in Côte d’Ivoire
Ahiman Women is an organization that focuses on mentorship, leadership and professional development for young girls in Côte d’Ivoire. It was co-founded by four Ivorian young women, including myself. This summer, my colleagues and I brought Ahiman Women to a reality. It has been a journey full of learning experiences. In addition to doing an internship, I planned a two day leadership and professional development camp and put in place a mentorship program for more than 30 girls coming mostly from disadvantaged backgrounds. During my presentation, I will reflect on my journey with Ahiman Women. I will first give an overview of the current state of girls’ education in Côte d’Ivoire and the reasons why I think organizations like Ahiman Women are important. I will talk about the ways my experience at Smith has shaped my vision for Ahiman Women, and I will share the challenges I encountered during my journey and what I have learned from them.
Serafina Lalany ’15
Smithie in the Field: My Research on Chronic Illness with USAID in Limpopo, South Africa
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
In the summer and fall of 2013, I was working to develop the framework for research and surveillance on chronic illness such as diabetes, heart disease and glaucoma in the northernmost, rural province of South Africa, Limpopo. Trained and hired by USAID, I was linked with local NGOs, community leaders, and government agencies to develop my project with projected sustainability. After a year's worth of research and statistical method at the graduate level, I discovered a talent I never knew I had. My framework for study was finally rolled out into various sites in Venda communities in Limpopo and is now being scaled up for use on a national level. Though I regard my success in the field with much pride, perhaps my most cherished experiences are outside of the field and in the community. These experiences had a profound impact in shaping my perspective on global health as a profession and in all human-to-human relationships. Public health is exceptionally fascinating in South Africa, where merely 20 years after apartheid, its legacy can still be traced in the most unassuming of places—like interpersonal relationships in health care.
Sonrisa B. Murray-Fox ’15
Our Collective Struggle: What are the Next Steps in our Human Evolution?
Community Service, Research/Travel Abroad
A huge leap of faith is what brought me to Cape Town, South Africa during the summer of 2014. Being accepted to volunteer abroad with One Heart Source (OHS), a non-profit/grassroots program, was the the life-affirming moment that I had been in search of. For four weeks, OHS provided me with the opportunity to educate and empower vulnerable youth of sub-Saharan Africa as a mentor through social and academic support. In an effort to address and close the achievement gap in the classroom I first had to gain an understanding of just how connected we all are through our humanity. Living in the birthplace of Nelson Mandela, a leader who believed love and reconciliation could heal all wounds, rejuvenated my activism and pushed my consciousness to new levels. To be humbled by kindness, loved and cared for by strangers (who quickly became family), to learn and live within a culture unlike my own, and be an agent for social change halfway across the world has caused me to question what work still needs to be done so that we may achieve a non-racial society and show that we are reflections of not only ourselves but of each other.
Panel V: Psychology and Neuroscience
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Danielle Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Dannia Guzman ’15
The Power of Transformational Mentors: Discovering New Possibilities Through Meaningful Research Experiences with a Smith Alumna and Faculty
Mentors have the potential to be a catalyst for success and growth at all stages of students’ journeys. In this presentation I will share the impact of alumna and Professor Kristine Molina’s mentorship on my personal and professional growth. Through her guidance in a research project on the mental and physical health of Latino immigrants in the United States, we developed a friendship that will last a lifetime. With the additional support of Professor Benita Jackson, this project became the foundation for the manuscript we will submit for publication. My summer experience together with the continuous support of the Smith community have reinforced and shaped my interest in pursuing a career in statistics. My long-term professional goal is to use my quantitative expertise to support businesses and researchers and to increase interest in STEM among the youth.
Krithika Venkataraman ’15
From Mouse to Human: A Tale of Humanizing Antibodies for Characterizing Myasthenia Gravis
I will reflect on my experience this past summer as a visiting student in research at Yale School of Medicine. Working in a laboratory situated in the Department of Neurology and the Program in Human and Translational Medicine, this Praxis internship wove together my molecular biology-focused major in biochemistry and my minor in neuroscience. My project contributed to the laboratory’s research on better characterizing the immunopathology of autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG), a severe neuromuscular disorder. Given the DNA that codes for a monoclonal mouse antibody against a neuromuscular protein that is targeted in one form of MG, my task was to re-engineer the antibody at the genetic level, such that it was “humanized”. In this transformed state, the antibody has higher potential for direct application in diagnostic experiments or in the development of therapeutics, since humanized antibodies produce fewer adverse effects than foreign mouse antibodies and can serve as controls. With the successful completion of my project, I realized the significance and value of conducting research that is translational and clinically applicable. This experience was also instrumental in demonstrating the importance of collaboration between different scientific fields, which will shape my approach towards a future career in medical research.
Lauren A. Kauffman ’15
Marketing Neuromarketing: Explorations of Consumer Neural Decision Making
The Center for Neural Decision Making at Temple University is at the forefront of analytical research in the areas of consumer motivation analysis as well as neurobiological bases of human behavior and preference studies. Using the generous Praxis internship grant, I joined the lab to engage in hands-on research from May to July of 2014 focusing on three unique studies: (1) retirement annuity using eye tracker technology; (2) MRI techniques examining neural correlates of nostalgia; and (3) facial electromyography signal analysis. I will talk about the fantastic growth I achieved through my involvement in these projects and the lasting impact of this experience which was highly supportive of my neuroscience studies at Smith and has generated a new focus for my future research goals after graduation.
PANEL VI: Scientific Research Abroad
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Stacie Hagenbaugh, Director, Lazarus Center
Bonnie Hawkins ’15
Living with Leopards: The Importance of Context in Rural South African Public Health Research
I worked at a public health research center in rural South Africa aiming to learn from and contribute to a locally led, sustainable institution trying to solve health care problems. The center was founded in the early 1990s, around the end of apartheid, to provide the government with much-needed data on rural life. It started by conducting a census of 20 villages chosen for their high population of Mozambican refugees and limited access to public services, and now encompasses a larger population and wider range of research. I will discuss the challenges of assisting with research at this small, partly internationally staffed and funded institution. My internship helped me to understand how important cultural context is for survey-based research. Variables such as the local landscape, population, geography, wildlife, government, language, education system, and lack of good infrastructure affected study implementation and the quality and interpretation of results. I will also touch upon some consequences of this research for local and international communities.
Garrett V. M. Garborcauskas ’15
Assessment of DNA Breakage Potential of Graphene Nanoparticles at Amrita University, India
Research/Travel Abroad, Summer Internship/Praxis
This summer I spent eight weeks at Amrita University in Kochi, India studying the genetic toxicology of graphene. Graphene is a one-carbon thick nanoparticle, which was the subject of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Since then, it has been used in many different biomedical applications, but especially in cancer treatment. Graphene and graphene oxide can be functionalized, and a blood insoluble cancer drug can be attached to it, which makes the entire compound soluble. The cancer drug separates from the graphene for treatment, and the graphene circulates freely in the blood. Much research has been done on graphene, but there is a lack of research on the potential of it to mutate or break DNA. I studied whether graphene causes DNA damage in white blood cells. To do this, I did a micronucleus assay in human white blood cells and measured the amount of micronuclei formed in the cells. When DNA is broken, the nuclear wall envelops the broken DNA and makes a micronucleus with the broken DNA. I measured the instances of micronucleus formation to prove or disprove the hypothesis that graphene causes DNA damage. My data suggest that graphene does cause DNA damage in human white blood cells; however more research needs to be conducted to confirm this.
Meadeshia Mitchell ’16
Life-changing Clinical Experience and Shadowing Opportunity in Hungary
Smith’s Praxis Program allowed me the opportunity to do an internship in Hungary during the summer of 2014 for two months. I worked in the vascular disease department and the vascular and urological surgery department where I learned many surgical skills, developed patient communication skills, and acquired skills to diagnose patients. During my internship, I took part in daily routines such as patient visits and work in the outpatient unit, and I participated in numerous surgical activities. I also helped with patient examinations and diagnoses. This internship had a profound impact in shaping my perspective on the European healthcare system, and I began to understand cultural differences. This experience also taught me that it is important to learn the language of my patients in order to have successful patient communication. I learned the importance of giving back and doing what I love. I was able to inspire others and help save lives with the little knowledge and the few skills that I gained. It was very comforting to see patients smile and experience the relief of their family members after a surgery. I felt at home and at ease with myself while I worked in each department, and thus this experience has motivated me to continue my dream of becoming a surgeon.
Shabnam Kapur ’16
DNA Barcoding in Herbal Medicine: All Genetics, Spain.
During my internship, I worked in the laboratory and office of All Genetics in Spain. I worked closely with a botanist on a project called DNA barcoding in herbal medicine, specifically in Ayurvedic medicines. I selected a list of herbs, prepared a system to score these plants ,and analyzed medicines that included their extracts. While in the lab I learned different techniques such as DNA isolation methods and how to run and load a gel electrophoresis and then how to analyze what the different bands mean. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with highly knowledgeable people and I learned a lot from them. I enjoyed collaborating with the botanist and learning what it is really like to work in a professional laboratory. I believe hands-on experience in the area you would like to work is very important for giving you a taste of what it is like and what skills are important. This internship has helped to influence my career goals. I realize that I love botany and would love to be researcher, but a researcher who works in the field of ethnobotany.
The eighth annual Smith in the World conference was held Monday, November 11, 2013 in the Campus Center.
Session I: 4:30–5:10 p.m.
Panel 1: Theatre
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Beryl Brachman '14
Growing in the Garden: Creating Costumes for a New American Opera from the Ground Up
Summer Internship/Study Abroad
This past summer, as a part of the Mellon faculty-student summer seminar, I worked as an assistant costume designer on the opera Garden of Martyrs that premiered at the Academy of Music in September of 2013. Starting in mid-July, I worked with the opera's costume designer and the rest of the design team to create the physical world of the opera. I was involved from the first production meeting all the way to its premier, when I also worked backstage as a dresser. The production posed several challenges because of the period in which it was set and the size of the cast. This experience afforded me a chance to be a part of the holistic process that is required to put on a professional performance. I thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to know others on the design team and having an impact on the outcome of the show. I have come away with a much better sense of what is required to design costumes on this scale and the research and planning involved to have those ideas come to fruition. Thanks to this experience, I am more confident in my choice to pursue costume design as a career and have had my love of and belief in the power of performance reaffirmed.
Afreen Seher Gandhi '15
Theater in India and Pakistan: The Effect of Partition and Politics on South Asian Artists
India and Pakistan are neighboring countries that have not experienced peace since they were partitioned by the British in 1947. In the summer of 2012, I interned at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Karachi (Pakistan) and acted in two plays I also helped direct. One of the plays was about Sadat Hassan Manto, India's and Pakistan's most renowned Urdu short-story writer and partition-critic. His most famous story centers on the idea of "No-Man's Land," which is the chunk of land that lies in between these two countries and belongs to neither India nor Pakistan. The play, "MantoRama," was selected for an International Theater festival held at the National School of Drama, New Delhi (India). Along with my theater team from NAPA I crossed that tormented border on foot in January 2013. What actually transpired when our team, after much preparation and rehearsals, arrived in India was quite unexpected, and provided unexpected lessons. It brought home to us the vulnerability of art and artists to political tensions between two countries, something that is beyond their control. In my presentation I will talk about what I did during the internship and the ramifications of the entire experience which took the form of a documentary film that I made and screened on campus. This incredible journey has stayed with me throughout my time in college. Today I am a theater major focusing on directing because of this internship, and I will stage Smith's first Indian main stage production for the Smith Theater department in spring 2014.
Jessica D. Hodder '14
All the World's a Stage: The Future of International Theatre Education
Last summer I conducted research on theater education at twelve schools in nine countries spanning four continents. Using the information I gathered, as well as drawing upon my own international schooling (International School of Kenya and Marymount International School London), I'm seeking to analyze and compare the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Theater program at each school as part of my senior honors thesis focusing on the future development of theater education within various international schools around the world. I will present some of my findings and will share my experiences while visiting with administrators and practitioners in the field.
Emma Kelley '14
Global Connectivity and Self-Development: Applied Theatre Methods at Work in Europe
Praxis/International Experience Grant
This past summer, I researched Applied Theatre techniques at work in Ireland, the UK, and Germany. A burgeoning field rich in potential, Applied Theatre serves as a bridge to creative expression and as an instrument of personal growth and cross-cultural exchange. To fulfill my Praxis, I served on the faculty of an international youth exchange in Kildare County, one of Southern Ireland's poorest rural regions. Funded by the European Union, the exchange brought together 40 Irish, Norwegian, and French teenagers in an exploration of their identity as the "post-economic-crisis generation." This experience allowed me to examine Applied Theatre techniques as they contribute to international dialogue. My own interest and study in this area were expanded by observing ESL students in the UK with learning and behavioral challenges. To examine the relationship between performance and sociocultural arts techniques, I completed a playwriting residency at the North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford, which investigated the meeting point between methodology and text. Working with themes of riot and revolution, the process involved interviews, news research, and devised techniques to write script. I attended a Theatre of the Oppressed (TO) course in Berlin led by Barbara Santos, an associate of Augusto Boal and founder of the international Madalena Network, a TO organization serving women communities. My presentation details these experiences individually and holistically, examining how this project relates to my undergraduate studies at Smith and how these experiences furthered my desire to pursue the development of global Applied Theatre techniques with communities of youth and women.
Panel II: Engineering/Computer Science
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Danielle Carr Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Kalifa Clarke '14
Transcending the Limitations of an Engineering Student Abroad
Smith Program Abroad in Florence
I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a year where I had the opportunity to take an advanced course of Biomaterials for Biomedical Devices taught by Professor Corvi at the University of Florence. In addition to teaching me the fundamentals of the subject of biomaterials he is also responsible for introducing me to the clinical and design aspects of Biomedical Engineering where I observed surgeries in the operation room at Fucecchio Hospital and learned about the design process of prosthetics and assistive medical devices at INAIL Centro Protesi. My time abroad confirmed my passion for pursuing biomedical engineering and inspired me to continue a similar course work at Smith. In my presentation I will address how my experience shaped my current academic work and future plans.
Emma Gould '15
An Internship with Los Alamos Visualization Associates
Over the summer I worked with Los Alamos Visualization Associates (LAVA) on several projects pertaining largely to computer science with a smaller focus in optical physics. My mentor, Steve Smith, gave me a variety of topics to choose from at the beginning of the summer, including real-time molecular dynamics, complex systems analysis, 3D modeling of art and sculpture, holography, omnistereoscopic camera array development, and digital dome production and visualization. I worked mainly on 3D modeling and holography with a brief excursion into designing and building a circuit implementing a micro-controller. I also had some exposure to the other projects. My main project was assisting in making a three-dimensional model of a bronze sculpture created by local Native American artist Charles Rencountre so that we could recreate it in a slabbed glass medium, then making digital/multiplex holograms that we placed in the head of the sculpture. I am majoring in physics, but during the course of my internship I began to realize I was choosing topics more related to computer science (both programming and hardware). These were the projects that captured my attention and made me excited about what I was working on. I found that I love using computer science to create models or tools for physics or art, and I could see myself doing that or something similar in the future as a career. As a result, I will be switching my major to computer science and minoring in physics, and when I go on to graduate school I will be able to integrate computer science, physics, and art/design, which is really where my passions lie.
Najneen Sultana '14
Examining Inefficiencies in a Controlled Direct Methanol Fuel Cell System at InES, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany
My summer in 2013 was spent in Braunschweig, Germany working at the Institute of Energy and Process Systems Engineering, Technische Universität Braunschweig. I studied the inefficiencies of a direct methanol fuel system set up previously at the Max Planck Institute of Dynamic Systems, Magdeburg, Germany. Working with my research advisor, my main focus was attempting to account for all the sources of water loss in the system and trying to ensure that a maximum amount of water recovery occurred during the running of the system. I will be reviewing the different phases of my research work, the challenges encountered, the successes and the amazing support I was given during my time at the institute. Part of my presentation will also be spent on discussing scientific research in Germany, particularly in the field of engineering. It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me, one that also helped me understand the importance and need for women in science, particularly engineering.
Panel III: Fashion/Food/Music
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Moderator: Maureen A. Mahoney, Dean of the College and VP for Campus Life
Noa Gutterman '14
Savoring Italy: The Empowerment of Florentine Nunneries through Food Production
Smith Program Abroad in Florence/Internship
I will present on my experience as an intern at the State Archives of Florence during my junior year abroad in Italy, for which I researched the food histories of Florentine nunneries from the renaissance to the political unification of Italy. As a Smith student, I have studied the relationships between women and food and how these relationships are globally constitutive of culture. While interning at the State Archives, I studied the impact of Catholic cloister policies on the daily lives of nuns and their food histories. The continuous tension between enclosure and the push towards an open model of international religious life is exemplified in the grocery lists of nunneries and demonstrates that these nunneries were able to maintain their international relationships and influence through their food.
Izabel Nielsen '14
As Seen in Vogue
Last summer after spending my junior year studying design in Denmark, I had the opportunity to intern at Vogue Magazine in New York. Vogue is a highly regarded publication reporting, analyzing and representing contemporary culture. During my three months as an intern to the Accessories Editor I worked with the creative and editorial team to produce upcoming issues of Vogue. I also helped to create online content, and assisted on photo shoots and fashion events. The internship at Vogue opened my eyes to the many facets of the fashion industry and furthered my understanding of the role that it plays in our visual culture. With a more developed knowledge of creative production, design process, and editorial business, I returned to Smith College with an awareness of how my academic studies are directly reflected in the fashion industry and how I can work towards incorporating my passion of design into my liberal arts education and future in the industry as it relates to new directions in contemporary culture.
Caroline Rives '14
Going back in Time: Music at the Court of Louis XIV in Versailles
Smith Program Abroad in Paris/Summer Internship
During the summer following my year abroad in Paris, I transitioned from living in the city as a musicology student at the Sorbonne to commuting every morning near the Château de Versailles to work at the forefront of French musical heritage. I interacted with professionals and students alike in the field of research and worked under the administrator of musical editions at the Center of Baroque Music of Versailles. I collaborated with their head authors to prepare for an upcoming novel in February 2014. In turn, I gained knowledge of the true work of musicologists in both Europe and the US, connected with different historical institutions and shared cultural perspectives with my international peers. My time there enabled me to learn more about myself from a different point of view. I came to appreciate the breadth of the education I have received in America and the opportunities Smith has brought to me as a student going overseas.
Panel IV: Scientific Research
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Giovanna Bellesia, Professor, Italian Language & Literature
Defne Abur '14
Investigating Effects on Human Hearing through Sound Stimulation on Cadaveric Temporal Bone
This past summer I worked at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary with Dr. Heidi Nakajima on her research on the human ear. In order to better understand what factors may affect human hearing and the efficiency and effectiveness of specific hearing aids, it is possible to make measurements on cadaver ears to simulate what a live human might hear. This is done primarily by taking simultaneous pressure measurements on each side of the cochlear partition, known as intracochlear pressure measurements, which is the foundation for Dr. Nakajima's research. By monitoring how sound travels through various structures in the ear, her team works on improving alternative methods of sound stimulation in patients who have conductive hearing loss (when sound has trouble traveling through the outer ear, tympanic membrane, or middle ear). I participated in the experiments, learned how to make the research tools used (such as pressure sensors), and how to document and interpret information from the experiments. I also shadowed a graduate student, a Smith College alumna, who was working on power reflectance as a diagnostic for SCD (Superior Canal Dehiscence), a problem in the inner ear. The most valuable part of my experience during this internship was participating in this hands-on research: learning to make pressure sensors used in the experiments and being able to shadow Dr. Nakajima working with fresh cadaver bones, but also learning about the different projects of the graduate students in the lab which gave me a better understanding of what I may want to pursue in graduate studies.
Rebecca Bracken '14
Is Chlorhexidine Safe to Use on Newborns?
This past summer I received a Praxis grant to support a position as a research assistant at the University of Maryland Baltimore Medical School in the Neonatology Department. During the three months I spent working in the laboratory, I developed the first animal model to mimic the effects of Chlorhexidine Gluconate (CHG) wipes on preterm infants. Currently, the Center for Disease Control has no safety data available for the usage of these wipes on neonates. Chlorhexidine is a skin disinfectant that decreases skin and mucous membrane bacterial colonization and suppresses organism growth. While multiple studies have analyzed the safety in full-term infants, concerns remain regarding its use in premature neonates. The specific aim of my project was to investigate the potential for neurotoxicity in neonates through the transdermal absorption of CHG. I was able to work directly with the Chief of Neonatology, Dr. Cynthia Bearer (Smith College '72), as an assistant in her lab, and I was also able to attend grand rounds in the NICU and shadow other physicians in the Pediatric Emergency Room. My experiences this summer helped shape my perspective of what it means to be a physician-scientist and heightened my drive to join the medical field post graduation.
Jenn Christensen AC '15
You are Your Brain's Best Advocate
Smith's Praxis Program allowed me the flexibility to seek out a local internship in my field of study with an internship at UMass-Amherst where I designed and refined a study of the effects of sleep on neuronal synaptic density in the hippocampus and, in turn, memory. This project is in its infancy and carries the potential of becoming a complex graduate project. In this presentation, I will briefly offer a basic background in the neuroscience needed to understand the project, followed by an overview of the project itself. While sleep and memory are very prominent topics in the field of neuroscience and the work I did was rewarding and worthwhile, my greater passion is in education. I will conclude this presentation with an explanation of how my internship relates generally to my education, and I will offer some tools available to the general public for learning more about the brain.
Clarke Knight '14
Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
I will discuss my experience as an ORISE Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. This transformative research experience connected my Chemistry major with my Environmental Science and Policy minor. I was responsible for a study assessing the stability of biological samples taken from people exposed to mercury, an environmental toxin. My data indicated that one preservative and container type were optimal for urine and blood sample integrity. CDC urine and blood collection and storage procedures have been changed as a result of the study: new protocols will be implemented in the upcoming National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 5,000 Americans. With this success and awareness that research could make such a big difference in such a short time, my future career crystallized: the application of scientific research to environmental dilemmas. At the CDC, I discovered the powerful nexus between science and policy towards public health goals, and this realization will continue to animate my next steps as I continue in chemistry.
Paige Sarlandt '14
An Inspired Heart
During the summer of 2013, I spent two months working at Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. The majority of the time I was interning with a cardiovascular surgeon, the same doctor who performed my heart surgery 17 years prior. While working alongside the man who inspired my interest in medicine, I was able to participate in rounds, prepare patients for surgery, and scrub in on heart surgeries. I was able to see a wide range of medical anomalies and varied surgical approaches. Throughout the summer, I was challenged with unfamiliar situations and tasks beyond my training. These experiences required me to stay calm and alert while following specific instructions. Through my presentation, I will speak about the challenges of performing CPR, stepping into new roles, and overcoming mistakes. This experience fueled my desire to go into medicine and opened my eyes to the vast variety of options. I was challenged in many ways, but I was mainly inspired to pursue my dream to save lives.
Panel V: Women's Health, Education and Empowerment
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Stacie Hagenbaugh, Director, Lazarus Center
Jacqueline Ekins '15
La doula y su significado: Increasing Awareness of Labor Support for Women in Mexico
For ten weeks this summer, I was very fortunate to be able to travel and intern at el Hospital de la Mujer—a maternal health hospital located in the large city of Puebla, which provides free services to many women with limited resources who cannot receive necessary healthcare elsewhere. Due to many factors, including overcrowding and the fact that neither partners nor family are allowed to be with the mother during her labor, women often suffer negative memories that stay with them forever. As a trained doula, who specializes in the emotional and physical needs of women during labor and birth, I worked with the psychology department of the hospital to increase awareness among medical personnel of the necessity of labor support. In my presentation, I will share the rewarding experiences I had working with these women as well as some of the challenges I faced conveying my ideas on birth to doctors in a country with an inherently different set of cultural norms.
Jinglin Huang '14
Women's Leadership in Asia: Now and Future
The Asian Women's Leadership University Project (AWLU) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit project incubated at Harvard Innovation Lab. The aim of the AWLU is to cultivate future women leaders and entrepreneurs in Asia and the Middle East. I will review my experiences as an intern with the AWLU. I worked with a team of high profile leaders, including many Smith alumnae. Over the summer, I handled both administrative as well as substantive work, such as market research, data analysis, out-reaching, legal work, social media, proposal drafting, etc. Working with a group of role models in a start-up environment offered me a better understanding of the operating structure of an organization and the real meaning of leadership. I have gained valuable skill sets as well as a revelation about my potential. It is a life changing experience in the sense that it helps me see better what I can do as well as what I should do as a woman who has access to a privileged education. I will share my view on what impact the AWLU can make, and what potential contributions we can make.
Julia Moskowitz '14
Yande Kuñas, Yande Guaraya: Documenting Indigenous Women's Stories in San Pablo, Bolivia
In fall 2012, I produced a short documentary film for an Independent Study Project on the women in the Guarayos Province of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. In less than a month, I interviewed and collected ethnographic research on Guarayo women's daily activities, education, language, and experience living in the community. I will highlight my experience as a researcher in the field during my junior year abroad, and I will examine how these women's stories have shaped my perspective on globalization, gender, and indigenous rights. Weaving these women's stories with my own, I will share how this opportunity has influenced my professional goals and passion to be an agent for social change.
Panel VI: Community Support & Engagement
Campus Center 003
Moderator: Lucinda Klarich-Kahn '15
Meghan Carney '15
Justia Omnibus: Police Work in the Nation's Capital
Every year, the District of Columbia experiences approximately 37,000 crimes, ranging from homicide to arson to assault, and it is the responsibility of the Investigative Unit to process, investigate, and solve each of these crimes. This past summer, I worked as a Detectives' Aide for the Metropolitan Police Department's in Washington, DC. My primary responsibility in this role was to gather raw information for the detectives to synthesize and investigate. To this end, I worked primarily with crime victims to gather evidence in the form of witness statements, photographic proof, and crime scene conditions. Additionally, I had the opportunity to shadow law enforcement officers in other units, including patrol officers, vice agents, air support unit personnel, and forensic scientists. This summer presented me with the perfect opportunity to apply my coursework from Smith to the real-world task of crime reduction and investigation, while gaining a new perspective of law enforcement officers and the crucial role they play in our society.
Gabrielle Martone '14
Rural Poverty: Confronting Assumptions and Challenging Opinions
I will present about my summer internship working with Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Kentucky during the summers of 2012 and 2013. I spent two full summers living in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains working with the three poorest counties in the United States to help break the cycle of poverty. Through my experiences working and interacting with the community there, my entire experience at Smith College has changed. I have a renewed sense of social commitment, and an entirely new community that I want to understand.
Francesca Petronio '14
Coming Out Italian Style: My Experiences with the Queer Community Center in Florence, Italy
Community Service/Praxis/Summer Internship
I will discuss my experiences at IREOS, a queer community center in Florence, Italy, where I spent my Junior Year Abroad. I started as a volunteer for the organization in October of 2012, and began working as a Praxis intern in the center's archives in the summer of 2013. I was immersed in the LGBTQ Italian scene—the social events, the political movements, and the health outreach programs—and I was inspired and fundamentally changed by the wisdom and solidarity of this intergenerational community. I was most struck by the unique and often all-encompassing role of volunteers and social activists in meeting the needs of the Tuscan community in a culture that does not offer much protection or support from other institutions. My realization of the fundamental role IREOS plays in Italian society, a society plagued by chronic lack of institutional support for the LGBTQ community, fundamentally changed my academic interests at Smith, and my goals for the future. I began work on my thesis exploring the recent spike in gay teen suicides and the role of the school environment in protecting and serving LGBTQ adolescents in Italy, highlighting the great potential of intervention projects by IREOS and other community organizations in light of the failures of institutions, a project to continue well beyond Smith.
SESSION II: 5:20–6 p.m.
Panel I: Politics & Political Activism
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Elis Lee '14J
Party Politics in the Far East
I will present my experiences as an intern at the International Relations Bureau at the Saenuri Party (the New Frontier Party), the current ruling political party in South Korea. During my 10 weeks interning in Seoul, I was able to develop my skills and deepen my knowledge of the Korean language and society by translating President Geun-hye Park's PowerPoints presentations, creating and translating brochures into English, and writing letters to political figures including the President of Laos and the Ambassadors in Korea. The internship allowed me to understand Korean politics beyond one political party's perspective, and allowed me to put my knowledge of Asian politics from the classroom to practical use. Through the internship, I had the unique opportunity to immerse myself into the Korean work and social culture and return to Smith with more confidence in my Korean language skills, lifelong friends, networks, and colleagues in the Asian political field, a tremendous experience I would not otherwise have been able to get if I had not interned with the Saenuri Party.
M. Abigail Pratt '14
A Seat at the Table: How Praxis Shattered my Five-Year Plan and Helped me Build a Better One
The Praxis internship program enabled me to work for Annie's List, a Texas political action committee, this past summer. My experience focused on the development, planning, and execution of the organization's Candidate 101 Trainings across the state, which aims to train and recruit progressive, Democratic women to run for office in the state legislature. My involvement with Annie's List permitted me to participate in the activism surrounding women's health in Texas, including volunteering in the capitol office of Senator Wendy Davis, an Annie's List-endorsed candidate. My presentation will focus on how my Smith experience prepared me for my internship, some unique moments of my summer, and how both the College and Annie's List have shaped my plans for life after graduation.
Sammie Scovill '15
A Shift in the Meaning of Social Justice
In my presentation, I will be evaluating and analyzing my experience as an intern at Coalition for Social Justice in New Bedford, MA during the summer of 2013. I spent 13 weeks working as an intern canvassing for various political campaigns in public housing projects in New Bedford and Fall River, Massachusetts. During my experience I met some of the most hardworking and inspiring people, particularly women who have dedicated their time to empowering and educating voters who are typically disenfranchised and ignored by politicians running for office. They have inspired me to continue working on issues surrounding working class issues and poverty. At Smith I've learned the importance privilege plays in society at large, but through this experience I learned what it actually meant to recognize the privilege I hold in relation to others. As a Smithie in the world I was prepared to adjust, to answer hard questions, to push myself to the limits of where my confidence would take me, and to make relationships and connections with people that will last me my entire life.
Panel II: Education and Youth
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Danielle Carr Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Catherine Cote '14
Street Children in Uganda
For six weeks this past summer, I worked as an intern for Raising Up Hope for Uganda, a nonprofit, grassroots organization based in Kampala, the capital city. While there, I assisted in the maintenance of a safe house, which is meant to be a secure location that becomes a home for children who were previously without one. It currently houses approximately 25 boys from ages 10 to 18, who were forced to turn to the street due to intolerable home conditions. I taught the boys basic math and English, and made visits to the slums to give aid to current street children. My experience showed me the extreme conditions of homeless children in Uganda, and revealed the limitations that nongovernmental organizations face when trying to tackle issues of development.
Anna Lee Hirschi '15
Social Studies Swag: A Summer of Teaching and Learning at Breakthrough Greater Boston
In the spring of 2013, as part of a special studies with Jennifer Guglielmo, I wrote a social studies curriculum for middle school students about women's leadership in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The following summer I worked as an intern teacher for Breakthrough Greater Boston, an organization that supports low-income youth of color who will be first in their family to attend college. I expanded on my special studies to write an intensive six week course that I then taught to 8th graders in my community. As their final project, my students wrote beautiful and historically accurate first person narratives about the Montgomery Bus Boycott that dealt with issues of race, power, identity, privilege, and community. I will discuss the writing process—from primary source to polished narrative—and touch on some of the issues we explored throughout the summer. I will share examples from students' work dissecting primary and secondary source materials, developing historical literacy skills, and discussing race, power, and privilege.
Emma Lattes '15
Let's Join Hands: Expanding Educational Opportunities in Palestine
Throughout my time teaching at Tomorrow's Youth Organization in Nablus, West Bank, Palestine, I gained a greater understanding of the challenges this unique community faces. This experience also enhanced my leadership abilities and improved my understanding of what I have to offer in the workplace. Some of my experiences in Nablus were extremely difficult or upsetting, but witnessing the difference that just two months work can make was astounding. Seeing children who wouldn't even talk to one another at the beginning of our classes—whether because of gender or which refugee camp they came from—hold hands on our last day together to take a bow after a final performance was quite inspiring, and gives me great hope for the future of the Middle East. This experience taught me to be less compliant when I see injustice in the world, and to do what I can to have a positive impact, even if a problem initially seems insurmountable. My time spent working at Tomorrow's Youth Organization opened my eyes to the world and has motivated me to pursue a more internationally focused career.
Marie Tamagnan '14
Developing Curricula and Navigating the UN: A Year at the International Bureau of Education
Smith Program Abroad in Geneva/Internship
During my junior year abroad in Geneva, Switzerland I interned part-time for 10 months at the International Bureau of Education – UNESCO. The International Bureau of Education specializes in curriculum development, and as such it extends a helping hand to UN Member States in creating their curricula so that children can receive better education. During my time at the IBE I worked as an intern in the HIV special projects and technical assistance department with a team of three other people. My presentation will focus on my experience as an intern for the United Nations, and the incredible projects that I was able to work on, such as the development of a guideline for the new Iraqi Syllabus for elementary education, my analysis of HIV curricula, and my involvement in the start up of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) project in collaboration with the IBE focused on primary school literacy and numeracy education. Lastly, I will address the challenges I faced as I became more familiar with the UN and the politics surrounding it.
Sunny Zeng '14
From Paris to Cambodia: Accepting the Guidance of Vulnerability
Smith Program Abroad in Paris/Praxis Summer Internship
Last summer, under a straw shack located in the middle of a Cambodian rice farming village, I taught English to several groups of local students for two months. However, what I want to share with you the most is how I discovered my way there. Last year, I made two big shifts: from a difficult year in Paris to summer volunteer teaching in Cambodia, but more important, from a career choice fixed on finance to exciting possibilities in education. Several people and occasions serve as my inspiration, but to my astonishment, my biggest guidance is vulnerability. To be vulnerable is to engage in things yet known to us. To be vulnerable is to be truly seen by ourselves and others. I argue that the opposite of vulnerability is perfection, for it is a refusal to one's imperfect self. As it turns out, we cannot embrace who we are unless we let go of who we want to be. Vulnerability is very uncomfortable, but worth the trouble, because it might turn out to be the source of life, joy and creativity. This is a lesson I wish to bring to my life-long journey in teaching and learning.
Panel III: Development & NGOs
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Maureen A. Mahoney, Dean of the College and VP for Campus Life
Alex Neff '14
Addressing Gender Inequality at the International Level: A Summer Internship with UNESCO
Community Service/Summer Internship/Global Engagement
I spent the summer of 2013 working for UNESCO's Division for Gender Equality in Paris. This relatively recent division uses gender-specific programs employing a policy of gender mainstreaming to ensure gendered considerations are taken within programming and in the Secretariat in Paris. I interned under Sara Callegari, one of the Division's three specialists, who works on areas at the intersection of gender and the environment. I was given three projects to research and help develop into workshops, including the gendered approaches to disaster risk resiliency, the relationship between gender and flood mortality in South Asia, and women's roles in water management in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. I participated in environment-related meetings with UN representatives and member states, and recording sessions of the 190th Executive Board, and I learned about processes of the UN institutions, as well as the challenges to bringing gender equality to these structures and their policies. I will review my experience, while reflecting on UNESCO's position in the current push for addressing gender gaps at an international level.
Katie Paulson-Smith '14
Humble but Mighty Strides: Ending Torture and Delivering Justice in our Lifetime
Praxis/Summer Internship/Smith Program Abroad in Geneva
This past year, I studied international relations in Geneva and completed two internships at international NGOs. While interning at International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), which is devoted to ensuring the basic legal rights of citizens around the world, I was given responsibilities that challenged me to step into a strong leadership position. I wrote funding proposals to donor agencies, for instance, and co-led a social media campaign to fund a new country program in Myanmar. My experiences at IBJ resonated with my passion for social justice, and they have fortified my dedication to protecting the most basic rights of all human beings. I now have a sturdier foundation on which to build an understanding of global socioeconomic injustices and inequalities, and I have a stronger capacity to execute real-world projects independently. I improved my ability to lead team initiatives and take on ambitious challenges, even when I am not sure whether what I set out to do is possible.
Carlota Ruiz '14
Coming to Terms with the Financial and Administrative Struggles of Development Work in Senegal
Last summer, I interned at Africa Consultants International (ACI), an NGO based in Dakar, Senegal. ACI has ongoing development programs in health and social justice across West Africa and also acts as a host institution for study abroad programs. Because of my academic interests in Anthropology and Global South Development Studies, I greatly anticipated the opportunity to experience development work first-hand and learn what it would be like to work at an NGO in Senegal. Through my main task of writing ACI's 2011 and 2012 annual reports, I gained a broad understanding of how the organization operates, and the financial and administrative struggles that ACI and other NGOs face. While it was hard coming to terms with these harsh realities, I came away from my internship determined to find my place in rethinking and redefining the ways in which we "do" development.
Panel IV: Scientific Research Abroad
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Giovanna Bellesia, Professor, Italian Language & Literature
Nicole Collier '14
Developing Character: A Young Woman in Academia in the Developing World
During the summer of 2013, I participated in a SIT Study Abroad program entitled "Nepal: Geoscience in the Himalaya." This intensive program that stretched over seven weeks helped me understand what it is like to be a geologist in the field amidst some of the greatest terrain on Earth. It also forced me to consider my place as a woman in science, conducting active research. The program required activities ranging from traditional field mapping, to exploring human use and geomorphic features, to conducting individual and group field research in a location of our choice. Going outside the realm of traditional rock-and-hammer geology, I chose to conduct a water quality analysis of the Bagmati River, the main river that runs through Kathmandu. My presentation will reflect on this experience, especially as a woman in science, and how it has affected my future academic and personal goals. Through friendships, patience, and a love for science, this experience in a developing country truly helped me gain a deeper understanding of my own character.
Madison Danis '14
The Good, the Bad, and the Italian: My Experience as a Florentine Lab Rat
Smith Program Abroad in Florence/Praxis
I will share my experiences working in a molecular biology lab with the University of Florence this past summer. During that time, I assisted doctoral candidates in Professor Annarosa Arcangeli's lab in the Dipartimento di Medicina Sperimentale e Cliniche on projects surrounding the role of voltage-gated potassium channels in colorectal cancer. In the context of this internship I was able to observe the rhythm of life in an Italian workplace. Looking back, I have returned to Smith College knowing that lab work is not a career field I would like to pursue and with a newfound confidence in myself.
Nini Dvali '15
Summer in the Eye Clinic: Working to Rebuild Sight
I spent the summer of my sophomore year working in the eye clinic "Akhali Mzera" in my hometown Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. As a neuroscience major who spent all year conducting behavioral tests on voles in a neuroendocrinology lab, I decided to test myself in a clinical setting. For three months, I worked with a pediatric ophthalmologist and vitreo-retinal surgeon. The medical staff trained me rigorously so I could perform basic eye examinations on a par with ophthalmology residents. On surgical days, I accompanied patients on consults and prepared them for surgeries. I learned important skills you can only learn on the job: how to persuade a five-year-old to follow me into the OR, how to reassure parents and how to give hope to a patient with melanoma. I attended the joint meeting of the Black Sea Ophthalmological Society and the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Academy, where I translated the guests' research presentations in synch, which was a great way to acquire extensive medical knowledge and become more familiar with the world of 21st Century ophthalmology. In this presentation, I will share my reflections on how working in a clinic helped me get more acquainted with the every-day life of physicians and encourage my fellow Smith pre-med students to consider spending at least a month in a hospital or just shadowing a doctor, because it is a very worthwhile experience.
Camille H. Dwyer '14
Early Cambrian Archaeocyathan Reefs and Phosphatized Fossils of Southwestern Mongolia
For the month of July, I traveled to southwestern Mongolia with Harvard University's Earth and Planetary Science Department to study 525 million year old fossils of the Cambrian Period, archaeocyathans, our planet's first animal reef builders. I worked nine hours a day mapping different rock outcrops and measuring and examining sections containing archaeocyathans, which was a lot like snorkeling over ancient tropical reefs. I worked in rural Mongolia to understand what it is like to complete vigorous fieldwork, to continue my world travels, and meet other scientists who ask compelling questions about Earth history. Based on my fieldwork, I am completing a special studies with Professor Sara Pruss to understand the diversity and ecology of these enigmatic Cambrian organisms. I am examining the archaeocyathans and other animals using a light microscope, and I will use the scanning electron microscope to better understand their morphologies in 3D. The primary goal of this work will be to determine the morphological diversity of these organisms and to interpret the ancient environments in which they lived.
Victoria von Saucken '16
Epigenetic Reprogramming of Differentiated Cells at the University of Córdoba in Córdoba, Spain
During the summer of 2013, I conducted research on a novel approach to reprogramming differentiated or specialized cells in the epigenetics laboratory under Teresa Roldán-Arjona, Ph.D in the Department of Genetics at the University of Córdoba. It is acknowledged that genes become active and expressed when their promoter sites, or specific DNA segments, are demethylated, which signifies the removal of methyl groups (CH3) from the DNA sequence. We used a demethylating factor to reprogram adult human dermal fibroblasts (HDF) into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are able to perform both indefinite self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation. Using various techniques, we analyzed the generated cells and arrived at hypotheses that may have significant clinical applications for treating debilitating diseases and injuries. This new approach to epigenetic reprogramming is currently undergoing patent review. The cultural and professional experiences I had while living in Andalusia, Spain for two months will be reflected upon in my presentation.
PANEL V: Media
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Stacie Hagenbaugh, Director, Lazarus Center
Madelyn Forden '14
Videojournalism in Asia
As a summer intern for Reuters' Asia headquarters in Hong Kong, I joined a tight-knit team of reporters, editors, producers, and camera experts for three months. Though I started the internship knowing very little about journalism or videojournalism, I took every opportunity to learn from each member of the team. I learned many tricks of the trade from the team's camera guru, learned the ins and outs of the production process, and gained the skills necessary to write and produce my own piece for international release. I will discuss the process of acquiring these skills and the experiences, both successful and not, that made the internship worthwhile.
Mylasha Furlonge '14
Portrayal of African-Americans in Hip-Hop Culture
My research focuses on the way African-Americans are depicted in hip-hop culture and in the media. My sophomore year I worked in the On-Air Talent Department at 106&Park, a premiere show on the Black Entertainment Television Network. My primary responsibility was to engage with and assist celebrities including rappers, singers, basketball players, actors, actresses, and socialites. Throughout this internship, which was supported through a Praxis grant, I witnessed how factors such as hair, makeup, and complexion affect one's level of success in the music and entertainment business. Most of all I witnessed firsthand the negative images and connotations in hip-hop pertaining to the black community.
Emilia Gambardella '14
Bridging Cultures in Florence, Italy
Smith Program Abroad in Florence
Florence, Italy, is famous for its bridges. As an intern at Vista Magazine during my Junior Year Abroad, I served as a kind of bridge between Italian and American languages and cultures. From October to May I worked at Vista's small office in the historical center of Florence translating, writing press releases and articles, attending art show openings and events, and meeting local artisans and business owners. Through interviews and conversations, visits and observations, I was able to find ways to communicate aspects of Italian and Florentine culture and life to an American audience. In addition to improving my writing and language skills, my internship at Vista helped me to better see and understand some of the smaller, less apparent differences between the two cultures, and how to most effectively build bridges between them.
Laura Leung '14
Business Practices in China: The Importance of Guanxi
Fellowship/Summer Internship/Study Abroad
As a recipient of the Anita Volz Wien '62 Global Scholars award, following my semester abroad in Shanghai, China, I sought out an internship at Beijing Century Visual Culture Media Co., Ltd. In a country where the public has limited knowledge of censorship and central television is controlled by the government, media is subjected to strict scrutiny. While the company mainly provides media services and production, its C.E.O. also operates a trading company, importing and exporting goods to various countries. To be successful in business, guanxi relationships are very important. I learned firsthand that in a country where corruption persists, extending gifts to officials is necessary for the continuation of business practices. Guanxi is central to the Chinese business model because it is key to achieving success.
The seventh annual Smith in the World conference was held Saturday, October 13, 2012 in the Campus Center.
Panel I: Arts
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Martine Gantrel-Ford, Professor, French Studies
Misra Cohen-MacGill ’13
The Transmission and Preservation of Traditional Balinese Painting
After studying abroad in Indonesia during spring semester of 2012, I chose to remain in Bali over the summer to intern with the organization Dharma Nature Time. This organization facilitates creative dialogue among people of diverse cultures and faiths through formal and informal educational approaches and sharing in the arts, religion and nature. My internship took place at the home sanggar (atelier) of traditional Balinese painter I Gusti Made Kwanji. While conducting a practice-based study of traditional Balinese painting, I documented for archival and preservation purposes, the oral history and daily life of Pak Kwanji, as well the transmission of traditional art forms to the younger generations. Through orchestrating shared art sessions with the local neighborhood children and working with Pak Kwanji and other traditional Balinese artists, I learned about the benefits and drawbacks of formal and informal learning environments, the importance of cross-cultural collaboration, and the huge impact that simple creative dialogue can have. Additionally, as a studio art and anthropology double major at Smith College, my internship gave me the opportunity to explore both of my interests on a much deeper level. I was touched and inspired by my time with the Balinese and the traditional Balinese painters.
Jaclyn Majewski ’13
Where People and Poetry Meet: A Summer Spent at the Center of Scotland’s Poetry Scene
During my summer at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh, I experienced a culture that deeply values poetry, which made me think about what the United States could gain from a deeper appreciation of the form, as well as how we can better incorporate it into public spaces. My work focused on three major experiences. First, I searched for poems that tie to major themes within the Scottish Primary School Curriculum. These poems will be a resource for teachers in lessons ranging from ecology to spelling, introducing the idea that poetry has relevance beyond an English class. Second, I worked with the Library to find a poem from each country participating in the Olympics, which offered new insight into the different roles poetry takes in different cultures. My last role was helping visitors to the library, which resulted in many conversations that provided a picture of where poetry resides in contemporary Scottish society. My work, particularly, with the children visitors and school workshops hosted by the library, inspired me to look further into how poetry is introduced to children and how we can work to bring poetry to more people.
Keturah Williams ’13
Jazz in France: The Discovery of an International Music Culture
Last spring, I received a Blumberg Traveling Fellowship which provided me the opportunity to design and perform independent research drawing on the many wonderful jazz performances I had witnessed during my junior year abroad in Paris. I focused my research on the genre and its role as one facet of cultural interaction between France and the United States. I had become intensely curious about the artistic relationship between the two countries: what effects does American jazz have on its French cousin, and vice versa? To answer this question, I took up residence at a succession of festivals, including the Calvi Jazz Festival in Corsica, Jazz à Vienne in mainland France, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, analyzing and comparing the performances at each one. My Blumberg project has served only to fuel my passion for jazz and many other questions emerged after my month of great music. My continuing exploration of these gave birth to another project, this one a blog. Through my writing, I hope to inspire others to understand the genre that is one of our nation’s greatest musical legacies.
Panel II: Education & Leadership
Campus Center 001
Moderator: Glendean Hamilton ’13
Erika Sophia Marin ’13
Higher Education in the Pursuit of Happiness
LYHEP-- Latino Youth for Higher Education Program-- is a non-profit organization that accomplishes exactly what it says it will: promoting higher education as a means for success. I will share my experience and the insight I have since gained as their Summer Program Coordinator. Working within an area that is heavily populated by immigrants from South and Central America, I have gained new perspectives on what it means to be an immigrant teenager in New York City and how higher education is marketed as a tool for reaching a higher level of happiness and success. It is with profound gratitude that I return to Smith College with the inspiring stories and dreams that my campers have shared with me and continue to push me to believe that there is a better tomorrow.
Hannah Kistler ’13
Introspection and a Call to Action: A Summer with the District of Columbia Public Schools
This past summer, I worked as an associate of the Urban Education Leaders Internship Program under the District of Columbia Public Schools. Because of my prior experience examining education through various academic disciplines, I was particularly interested in the District of Columbia Public Schools' recent ambitious and innovative reform efforts. Through my work in the Office of Human Capital, I gained a greater understanding of the educational system, challenges to reform, and the importance of having excellent teachers, not only for students but for the entire community. The experience increased my sense of urgency and caused me to reconsider my career goals as I now realize that much of the positive impactful change happens not on the larger policy or district-wide level, but on the micro level in the classroom.
Emma Reim ’13
More Than Just a Game: Girls’ Leadership and Sport in South Africa
In the summer of 2012 I traveled to Stellenbosch, South Africa, and interned at the Academy for Girls’ Leadership and Sport Development, an initiative aimed at helping young women gain the skills necessary to become change agents in their communities. While at the Academy, I helped plan and facilitate leadership camps promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for high school girls. Working with girls from a variety of backgrounds exemplified how sport is able to unify individuals and encourage collaboration. Teaching in an all-female environment and using sport as an approach to promote leadership allowed me to apply what I have learned at Smith to a new experience abroad. During my presentation I will address why being an athlete at a women’s college drew me to this opportunity and how it has helped reshape my future ambitions. I will focus on aspects of the summer that exposed me to the challenges non-profit organizations face and those experiences that illustrate the effectiveness of sport as a bridge between individuals of different social and cultural groups.
MacKenzie Hamilton ’13
Komera! Supporting Gender Equity and Girls’ Education at Home and Abroad
In Kinyarwanda, the national language of Rwanda, “Komera” means “be strong, be courageous.” This summer, I worked with The Komera Project, a nonprofit organization providing secondary education funding and support for girls of promise in eastern Rwanda. Using a broad approach, Komera has developed strategic partnerships in the United States as well as with local Rwandan organizations to provide girls with the financial and emotional support to continue their education past a primary school level. As Komera’s intern, I worked on fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and program development. Notably, I worked with Komera’s Executive Director to plan and implement Komera’s first annual Girls’ Empowerment Summit in New York City, and developed an ambassador program for high school girls in the U. S. Through this program, we hope to develop a commitment to gender and education equity for girls in the United States, and challenge them to think about global inequality. Similar programs are being developed for Rwandan Komera scholars with the help of the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Rwanda, an NGO that supports girls locally and nationally, serving in an advisory role to the government of Rwanda on education reform issues.
Kayla Clark ’14
From Mangroves to the Deep Sea: Environmental Education in San Pedro, Belize
This past summer as a Coral Reef Ed-Ventures intern I spent two months as part of a six-person team of students teaching environmental education in San Pedro, Belize, with the goal of helping local children become invested in the preservation of their unique and endangered reefs. The program was started thirteen years ago, a collaboration between Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Smith professors who were conducting research on the Meso-American Barrier Reef. Our focus this summer was a project with middle school students who were teamed with the marine reserve’s biologist to collect data on sea grass health. The enthusiasm, creativity and knowledge of the youth participating in the project showed me the importance of place-based experiential learning and of creating spaces for youth to talk with each other about what they are learning and share information and perspectives. I will talk about the process of designing a curriculum for younger children that addresses environmental issues with urgency, but not despair, and the importance for outsiders to be sensitive to the experiences and needs of their students, especially in a cross-cultural setting. I came away from this internship struck by the disparity in access to the reef and inspired to pursue environmental education further.
Panel III: Fundraising & Business
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Maureen A. Mahoney Dean of the College
Megan Nanney ’13
Meeting the Challenge: The Necessity of Fundraising in Non-Profits
Human Rights Watch is a research organization present in over 90 countries, developing reports and policy reform on rights abuses. In 2010, George Soros donated $100 million to Human Rights Watch and established the Global Challenge for HRW to match the gift. This summer, I spent my Praxis working with the Strategic Development and Major Gifts office cultivating over $5 million in donations. Long days spent researching the giving history of philanthropists were daunting, but the impact that a single gift had was worth more than its monetary amount. On the personal level, this experience taught me marketable skills such as fundraising research, Raiser’s Edge database management, and cultivation methods for individuals and organizations. On the institutional level, I helped Human Rights Watch come closer to meeting the challenge. On the global level, the funds that I helped raise were used to report on LGBT abuses in Uganda, military rape in the US, and women’s participation in sports in Saudi Arabia. The impact of my work was profound in shaping my perspective on fundraising, non-profit work, and human rights. While fundraising does not align with my occupational goals, I have learned that it is the backbone to the human rights movement.
Shama Rahman ’13
Marketing the MoMA: Expanding Museum Audiences through Promotional Partnerships, Digital Products,
and Social Media
Interning in the marketing department of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this past summer provided a behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collection, operations, and role as a cultural institution in New York City. Combining my academic interest in Economics and Art History with my background in research and nonprofit marketing, the internship culminated in three main initiatives: a video partnership with an international airline, a digital product new to the museum world, and a promotional plan focused on social media platforms. In addition to showcasing some of the institution’s best marketing practices, these three projects allowed me to see the reaches and restrictions of MoMA’s audience, both nationally and abroad. My presentation will explore how digital marketing determines which groups individually connect with the institution, and how it affects the Museum’s commitment to serve more diverse and broad populations as a whole. This opportunity has greatly influenced my professional goals and increased my understanding of the intersections between museum external affairs, technology, and accessibility.
Emily Strobelberger ’13
Getting Down to (New) Business
Over the course of my Praxis internship this summer, I gained experience and confidence in my major that classes alone could not have provided. I worked in New York City for Lenox Advisors, a growing personal wealth management firm. I interned in the New Business department, which is responsible for incoming insurance policies for high net-worth clients. In my presentation I will highlight my responsibilities, successes and challenges as the sole intern working in the highest grossing and fastest growing department. With that I can say that my internship had an impact on me socially and professionally. I feel as though my time at Smith informed the decisions I made this summer and will make my transition into the “real world” much easier.
Esther Suh ’13
Rethinking Cosmopolitan Magazine: A Closer Look into the World’s Largest Women’s Magazine.
As the summer marketing intern at Cosmopolitan magazine, I experienced what it is like to be a part of a major publication. I worked on various marketing campaigns, focusing on consumer and market research. It was a great learning experience to see the different strategies and efforts that went into making sure each undertaking was directed towards the intended consumer. My experience has changed my perspective the publication itself and I learned just how influential and crucial market research and strategy is to ensuring successful branding. I will discuss my experience as an intern and the lessons I learned about marketing, Cosmopolitan and the impact of publications.
Panel IV: Government & Advocacy
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Debra Shaver, Dean of Admission
Casey Levesque ’13J
Taking Initiative and Playing a Part
This summer, I interned at the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. Over a period of three months, I embarked on a project to improve efficiency of and accessibility to public records. What started out as mundane office work, evolved into a rewarding and memorable experience. I accepted the project for what it was and took the initiative to make it more. By taking advantage of the ample opportunities around the office, I made the internship uniquely mine. I will discuss the relationship between my studies here at Smith and the highlights of a summer well spent exploring the office of the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer in the state.
Rachel E. Smith ’13
Discovering the Importance of Mentorship and Investment: Providing Recommendations for the Government
of the Netherlands
I will present on my experience at the Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal (the Dutch Parliament) in The Hague during the summer of 2012. Working in the Office of Member of Parliament Brigitte van der Burg, I spent five weeks developing a report on child protective systems in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands. My main task was to develop solid recommendations for the Dutch system of child protective services. At the same time, I was at the forefront of Dutch politics, attending daily meetings, debates, and conferences. A key aspect of this experience was the investment my parliament member had in my knowledge, skills, and potential. This educational environment, paired with my passion for improving child protective system policy, allowed me to create solid recommendations that my parliament member is now working to integrate into Dutch policy. This presentation will also demonstrate themes of cross-cultural analysis in developing potential solutions for national problems.
Britainy C. Stephens ’14
TransAfrica Forum: Seeking Social Justice and Protecting Human Rights
My 2012 summer internship with TransAfrica Forum was a tremendous and humbling experience. TransAfrica Forum is an African-American, non-governmental organization whose purpose is to influence foreign policy between the United States and the African world. As an intern, I was assigned to help on two projects the organization is currently working on: the first about gay rights in Uganda, and the second about the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the continued militarization of that country. I attended various meetings outside of the office such as the World’s AIDS Conference 2012, a panel discussion on Ghana’s Public Interest and Accountability Committee, and a meeting at the White House about the White House Strategy on Sub-Saharan Africa. Upon completing my internship with TransAfrica, I created fact sheets for each of the issues I was assigned to. TransAfrica will use the fact sheets to educate the public in hopes of building awareness around such issues. This internship gave me valuable insight into prevalent issues of injustice within the African diaspora, and helped me define my strengths and weaknesses and develop my communication and networking skills.
Araba Taylor ’13
People, Technology & Torture: Educating to Open Minds and Save Lives
This past spring and early summer, I lived, studied and worked in Geneva, Switzerland, where I held a Praxis internship with an international non-profit called International Bridges to Justice. The organization’s mission is to combat institutionalized torture and indefinite pre-trial detainment through education and awareness initiatives. While with the organization, I conducted research while focusing my work on the marketing and development branch to fundraise and implement IBJ’s new technology initiatives. I will discuss the challenges and rewards of working for an international organization and within the confines of international law. I will also touch upon my experience working with a girl’s leadership and sport development camp in South Africa later in the summer and how it helped to shape my perception of my experience in Geneva.
Panel V: Scientific Research
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Brittany Edens ’13
Achieving Connectivity: A Tale of Two Cortices
This past summer, I received a Praxis grant to support an internship at The Scripps Research Institute's Dorris Neuroscience Center. While there, I conducted research on the molecular mechanisms underlying guidance and pathfinding in the neocortex. In the developing central nervous system, neuronal projections must transduce and respond to environmental cues in the process of making the connections that constitute the cellular architecture, or wiring, of the brain and spinal cord. As such, an understanding of the molecules, and subsequently receptor trafficking and signal transduction, responsible for guiding cells and processes during brain development becomes essential. By utilizing a fusion pH reporter system, as there are detectable differentiations in the pH measurement of vesicular verses membrane bound receptors, it is possible to monitor dynamics of trafficking, that is, receptor release and expression in the motile tip of neuronal projections. Trafficking is at the root of a host of guidance defects, given its necessary specificity of timing and localization within the cell and neural network. As such, understanding wild type dynamics as well as the process and ways in which this system can become mutated is crucial. Dysfunction in trafficking is among a number of defects that can occur in the processes of pathfinding and migration resulting in clinical phenotype. Importantly, many such defects, when specific to the cerebral cortex, have been correlated with human-specific disease and disorder.
Ellen Gunzel ’13J
Studying the Behavioral Ecology in Chile of Octodon degu
This summer I traveled to Chile as part of a research team working with Pontifica Universidad Catolica in Santiago, Chile. The research project I worked on focused on the behavioral ecology of Octodon degu, a species of rodent that is indigenous to Chile. My fieldwork included populations near Santiago as well as in a national park. The goal of the study was to determine whether there is a correlation between available biomass and relatedness within burrow system. The hypothesis was that if there is more available biomass near the burrow system, the animals within that system would be more related because there is less incentive to leave. We tracked the burrow systems by tagging the animals and identifying which burrow system they emerged from in the morning and then used telemetry to identify which burrow system they were sleeping in. My presentation will include a description of how fieldwork is conducted, specific to my project and as whole, as well as how conducting field work in Chile is related to a pre-med Neuroscience major at Smith College and how my experience has impacted my future as a research scientist.
Yasmin Kamal ’14
Examining Glucocorticoid Gene Regulation at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in
I will review my research internship in Berlin, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in the Department of Computational Biology, during the summer of 2012. For three months, I studied the role of glucocorticoid receptor co-factors in cell-specific gene regulation using both experimental and computational methods. My experience in the German and European scientific research community helped shape my perspective on research and development, education, and investments in science and technology in the public and private sector at a national and international level. My engagement with the European academic community provided me with a greater appreciation and understanding of the impact of the culture and ideology in the United States and Smith College on the role and progress of science and science education in our global society.
Jane Ramsey ’13
Reflections of Response and Rehabilitation: Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles of Southwest Florida
During the summer of 2012, I interned at Mote Marine Laboratories in Sarasota, FL with the Stranding Investigation Program. While working with this non-profit, my group spent much of our time responding to public reports of sick, injured or dead marine mammals and sea turtles along the coastal waters of central southwest Florida. In the field, we would assess live animal’s behavior to determine if they were, indeed, in distress. The resources of Mote Marine Laboratories covered the rescue, transportation, rehabilitation, release and monitoring of animals that are in need of care. In this presentation, I will reflect upon my experience with a rescued bottlenose dolphin we named Edna. I will address how this animal challenged my thoughts about working with marine mammals, my academic work, and future plans.
Panel VI: Under-Resourced Communities
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Danielle Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Lucinda Klarich-Kahn ’15
Youth and Gender Culture in Rural Appalachia
I will be presenting a summary of my experiences working in an alternative education program called High Rocks in rural Appalachia. West Virginia suffers from a flawed public education system, where a lack of resources is accompanied by an absence of political, racial, and religious diversity. As a Study of Women and Gender major, I was able to apply feminist theory and community engagement techniques in a real-world setting. I spent two months alternately living in a two-story house with six other interns and on the mountainside directly servicing the High Rocks community. Collectively, we participated in two summer camps, one academic research project, and a major natural disaster relief effort. The mission of High Rocks is to Educate, Empower, and Inspire Young Women of West Virginia. The entire organization operated under a progressive, non-hierarchical structure. I will analyze the theoretical and practical implications of this working model.
Gabrielle Mohamed ’13
Fertility, Luck and Wealth - World Change Begins With Rice
My presentation will briefly describe my experience working at Rural Returns (Guarantee) Limited which is a non-stock, nonprofit company limited by guarantee in Sri Lanka. The organization’s mission is to economically empower Sri Lankan rice farming communities by enabling them to earn higher profits selling sustainably cultivated heirloom rice to global markets. A typical work day for me involved doing market research for our various ongoing projects, each focusing on a different village group. I also met with different stakeholders with whom we had to negotiate contracts for purchase. These meetings were vital in terms of ensuring that the farmers would have a fair price for their product and earn a steady income through us matching them with these steady buyers. I also got the opportunity to go into the field and meet the farmers Rural Returns works with. My colleagues and I had to educate our farmers about sustainable practices they could use which would provide them with a steady income for the future. Rural Returns operates on the principle that ’Everybody's good at something’. Similarly, it can be concluded that every community has something that they are so good at; or that is unique to them; or that, for whatever reason, only they can do, or do well. With this in mind, Rural Returns helps communities identify those sustainable comparative advantages and encourages them to start developing these unique traits to increase their incomes and fund their own development.
Rebecca Raymond-Kolker ’13
Levanta La Voz: Creative Writing and Publishing Processes as Mechanisms of Youth Empowerment
During the summer of 2012, I completed a Praxis funded internship with 826 LA, a non-profit tutoring and creative writing center in Los Angeles, California. I worked at 826’s English Language Learner’s Camp, their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) workshops, and their Words, Spoken youth poetry workshop. The models and applications of teaching at 826 prioritize creative expressions of students’ individual voices, which creates a uniquely energetic and exciting learning environment. Located in Echo Park in East Los Angeles, the organization serves a diverse student population with a high concentration of students whose primary language is not English. During my time with 826 LA, I witnessed and participated in the transformational work of the organization, especially with regard to students learning English as a second language. In this presentation, I will review my experiences at the center and explore the meaningful work that 826 LA engages in East Los Angeles.
Panel VII: Women's Health
Campus Center 003
Moderator: Margaret Bruzelius, Dean, Seniors/Junior Class
Angela Chong ’13
For Women and Girls Everywhere
During the summer of 2012, I spent two months in New York City working with the Center for Environment and Population and Friends of UNFPA. During this internship, I worked with the communications and marketing departments where I undertook a hands-on role in writing and updating web stories, biographies, media pitches, and monitoring social media. Living in America has eclipsed my perspective of an urgent need for action. However, working for CEP/Friends of UNFPA has exposed me to the importance of and need for reproductive health and family planning. Not only are they imperative issues, but they are also the core of almost all other issues other organizations strive to solve. In my presentation, I will highlight why reproductive health and family planning is critical and how this internship strengthened and inspired my academic and future goals.
Heidi Grego ’13
Women’s Health in the Dominican Republic
I plan to recount my experiences volunteering as a doula for the professional interchange program Proyecto ADAMES in the Dominican Republic in January of 2012. For four weeks I worked alongside a group of fellow undergraduates, nursing students and trained midwives in the maternity ward of a public hospital. Working with ADAMES was a rewarding yet challenging experience. My time working with ADAMES confirmed my desire to become a midwife and inspired me to broaden my knowledge and experience in the field of women’s health. I learned about Dominican culture and the Spanish language, and I also gained insight into issues in international health.
Deirdre Kavanah ’14J
Apoyando el parto: Promoting Labor Support in Puebla, Mexico
In the summer of 2012, I spent two months working at a public maternity hospital in Puebla, Mexico. While there, Karisa Klemm ’12 and I implemented a Davis Project for Peace designed to increase emotional, physical and informational support provided to women giving birth at the Hospital de la Mujer. We sought to attain these goals by conducting classes for the hospital staff and from hospitals and clinics in the surrounding area about the work of the doula, strengthening the hospital’s childbirth education program and training the psychology department as birth doulas. In addition, we spent time working as doulas in the labor and delivery ward. In this presentation, I will speak about the challenges we faced throughout our time at the hospital and how we learned to adapt to a system that is very different from our own. This experience reinforced my goal as a future health care provider to give all individuals quality and compassionate care regardless of economic status or educational background.
The sixth annual Smith Elects the World conference was held Monday, November 14, 2011 in the Campus Center.
SESSION I: 4:30–5:10 p.m.
Panel I: Global Engagement Seminar/Costa Rica
Campus Center 003
Moderator: Lisa Johnson, Assistant Dean for International Study
Elizabeth Gillespie ’AC
Conservation in Costa Rica: The View from the Beach
Global Engagement Seminar Costa Rica
In May of 2011, I participated in the Global Engagement Seminar “Costa Rica at a Crossroads: Examination of Globalization and Sustainability.” From June to August, I interned with PRETOMA, a Costa Rican non-profit organization that promotes sea turtle and shark conservation and sustainable fisheries. Much of my time was spent preparing for the turtle nesting season and involved hard physical labor under primitive living conditions. I gained valuable insight into the challenges faced by one NGO and how it met some of those challenges. Working within a conservation NGO in a developing country also highlighted concepts that had been abstract in my courses at Smith. In this presentation, I will discuss some aspects of my work with PRETOMA and the question that I am still pondering: Is the mechanism for environmental protection in Costa Rica, in which NGOs do much of the conservation work, sustainable?
Vannessa Louchart ’13J
Living the Effects of Free Trade
Global Engagement Seminar Costa Rica
During the summer of 2011, I worked for a women’s organization in a rural area of Costa Rica, in the most tourist heavy province in the country, Guanacaste. Hotel chains in the area such as Hotel Riú and the Hilton offer luxurious all-inclusive packages for foreigners. For almost ten weeks, I witnessed the effects of free-trade agreements between Costa Rica and the United States in an isolated community, and I learned that “there is no such as thing as a free lunch.”
Hannah Vasconcellos Hastings ’12
What I Didn’t Learn in the Rainforest: The Effects of Globalization on Santa Elena, Costa
Global Engagement Seminar Costa Rica
As part of the Smith College Global Engagement Seminar in Costa Rica, I spent two months interning at the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve. My main responsibilities were maintaining trails and translating documents from Spanish to English. But the most important lessons I learned did not come from the backbreaking work of hauling 80 pound bags of rocks and not from the hours spent staring at a computer screen searching for the right word in English. Instead they came from the very experience of living in and becoming part of the small community. I have studied development and globalization throughout my time at Smith College, but I was able to experience them first hand and learn how these vague concepts have real implications for a small community that survives on ecotourism.
Kayvia Pemberton ’13J
Learning English: Education, Globalization and the Labor Force
Global Engagement Seminar Costa Rica
During the summer of 2011, I participated in the Smith Global Engagement Seminar in Costa Rica where we studied the impact of globalization and sustainability on the tourism industry. As tourism grows and globalization takes its effect on Costa Rica, more employees are requiring Costa Ricans to be fluent in English. As part of the seminar, I worked as a teacher’s assistant for conversational English classes at Colegio Tecnico de Calle Blancos, a technical high school in San Jose. My experience teaching in the high school gave me a unique perspective on the importance of English as a second language for functioning in the labor force, and what this means to Costa Ricans. My work during the internship helped me gain a better understanding of the effects of globalization on education and all aspects of a society.
Panel II: Girls’ & Women’s Leadership
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Maureen A. Mahoney, Dean of the College
Mariam Awaisi ’12
From New York to Istanbul: Women Leaders in Action
When I first began my eight-week internship at the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) in New York this summer, little did I know that it would transform into a trans-Atlantic journey. This past October, I attended a conference hosted by one of ASMA’s most dynamic programs, the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), where I served as assistant conference rapporteur. The three-and-a-half day conference, entitled “WISE: Muslim Women Leaders at the Frontlines of Change,” convened more than two hundred prominent Muslim women from around the world and focused on three realms of Muslim women’s leadership: civic leadership, business and philanthropic leadership, and religious leadership. In my presentation, I will discuss my experience at the conference, emphasizing how my internship at ASMA melded the domestic with the international.
Daniele Natali Goldberg ’12
I was Schooled on Education
During the summer of 2011, I had a Praxis internship with the Jamyang Foundation in India. The Jamyang Foundation works to empower and educate Buddhist nuns from the Himalayan region. I taught English to four nuns who now have hopes to travel to the United States. They aspire to conduct research on the liberal arts educational system and to eventually become leaders in their communities by reforming the educational systems in their nunneries. By living and learning with these kind women I came to understand and appreciate the education which Smith offers each of its students. The nun’s culture of learning and their relationship with education shocked and changed me. Time and again I was shown how to learn, to delve, to think, and to experiment. I will discuss newly-shaped approaches to my education; I will discuss my confrontations with inadequate leadership within an organization, and my wider perspective on leadership and cooperation within my volunteer community. I will also share how people create and work together in the face of unclear leadership and insufficient direction.
Geri Hubbe ’13
The Launching of Full Circles Foundation
I will talk about my summer Praxis experience working collaboratively with a team of eight women in my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina, to launch the Full Circles Foundation, a new community powered non-profit dedicated to building strong girls, a fair economy, and a healthy earth. Beginning in early June of this year, nearly from scratch, we developed and coordinated a very successful summer camp pilot program, called the Strong Camps, consisting of three thematic two-week long camps, free of charge, for girls ages 5 through 15 who face big economic challenges in realizing their potential. With 32 girls enrolled and an average 20 girls each day, we integrated lessons, field trips, and creative projects that taught environmental stewardship, personal health, creativity, reading and writing skills, entrepreneurship, social justice, and leadership. My experience with Full Circles has given me faith in the tremendous potential of communities to create positive, transformative experiences and has instilled in me that the building of a fair and environmentally-sustainable economy is inseparable from girls’ empowerment. Coming back to Smith I believe that my academic work is now grounded in a newly-realized pursuit for holistic solutions to our current social and environmental crises.
Rebecca Gordon ’13
Giving Back through Sport: How Physical Activity Can Affect Lives
I spent the summer of 2011 in Stellenbosch, South Africa interning at the Academy for Girls’ Leadership and Sport Development, a non-profit organization funded primarily by Stellenbosch University that provides leadership camps focused on sport and active lifestyle to girls ages 12-19. While at the Academy, I worked at different types of camps that emphasized the importance of physical activity, whether through a specific sport or movement involved in everyday life. Doing such work with girls from underprivileged communities was an eye-opening experience and has demonstrated the impact that physical activity can have on young women from different backgrounds, and helped me to realize how I can be a positive influence through my personal interests and studies, as an athlete and sociology major. Through my presentation I will highlight parts of my experience that were particularly intriguing; those that have shown me that despite cultural differences and social barriers, there are ways as humans that we can all contribute to bettering the world.
Panel III: NGOs Abroad
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Danielle Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Renee Robilliard ’13
Finding My Lovely Moment: Wonders and Hardships in Kaoma, Zambia
During the summer of 2011 I spent three weeks living in Kaoma, Zambia working with a non-profit organization called WISE (Women’s Initiatives to Strengthen and Empower). While there I read with students at the town’s school, tutored and played with children living at the local orphanage, visited and learned about a women’s center, and spent time shadowing doctors at a hospital. I was able to meet and hear the stories of the three Zambian women who started the school, orphanage, and women’s center. At the hospital, I witnessed the doctors working with very limited resources for treating and curing patients. It was striking to see such poverty and a need for help, and I began to question my personal values and intended career, realizing that there is nothing more important than helping others to become self-sufficient, across the globe. In my presentation I will convey why sustainable help is critical, how the people I worked with inspired me, and how my future goals have been altered by my summer Zambian experience.
Sanita Dhaubanjar ’13
The Outsider: Rethinking Appropriate Technology and Development Projects
In January 2011, I worked in Northern Ghana to establish a water treatment center in a rural village as one of the Community Water Solutions (CWS) fellows. The following summer I implemented a Davis Project for Peace in a village in the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal, training farmers in low-cost technologies in agriculture. For both projects, I received full support from INGOs that have had prior experience working in these communities. However, the difference in the working principles of these non-profits and my own cultural experiences in a completely unfamiliar community in Northern Ghana and a familiar one in Nepal, has made me rethink my technical or engineering approach to sustainable development for poverty alleviation. In my presentation, I will draw upon the realizations I have come to as I consciously and unconsciously reanalyze my experiences with these non-profit organizations, the local community and these development projects. In particular, I will discuss questions about social justice and cultural appropriateness of technologies that I ask myself today as I reflect on these experiences.
Ethan Shapiro ’12
Soccer Without Borders
During my presentation I will discuss my experiences volunteering in Uganda for an American NGO, Soccer Without Borders. I spent two and a half months over the summer of 2011 living and working in a small town, Ndejje, just outside the capital, Kampala. Throughout the week we designed and taught classes at the Hope Primary School, subsidized by the UNHCR and intended to make education affordable and accessible to the prevalent refugee populations in the area. On the weekends we held soccer trainings open to all kids in Ndejje. During these trainings we encouraged boys and girls of all ages to come out for two hours, have some proper soccer instruction, build their skills, and teamwork abilities. I have played soccer my entire life, and Soccer Without Borders was a great opportunity to share my love of the game and sport with kids who wanted nothing more than the opportunity to learn. It reminded me of how playing on sports teams brings people of all nationalities, backgrounds and languages to play and also creates a community network.
Madeline Smart ’12
The Value of Access: My Work with People with Disabilities in Córdoba, Spain and Seattle, Washington.
During the spring of 2011, I interned with ACPACYS, a non-profit organization in Córdoba, Spain, serving people with cerebral palsy and related disabilities. In my work teaching classes in Spanish and assisting with therapeutic riding sessions, I often reflected and drew on my experiences in the U.S. as a therapeutic riding instructor deeply interested in issues of disability on a personal and political level. In the summer of 2010, I completed my Praxis work in a teaching internship at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, where people with disabilities benefit from equine-facilitated therapy. My involvement with this organization and the surrounding community over the last five years has provided me with a rich context in which to situate my work with ACPACYS. Becoming involved with ACPACYS allowed me to explore new perspectives on disability and welfare, increase my strengths as a teacher and as a Spanish speaker, and deepen my understanding of the value of equal access for every individual in any context. Returning to Smith, I find myself exploring new avenues of learning in order to ground my practical experiences in the prevailing body of theory, policy and research.
Panel IV: Peace/Conflict
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Barbara Kellum, Professor, Art Department
Bridget Rhinehart ’12
Exploring International Law in an African Context
After studying abroad in Tanzania last spring, I worked as a research assistant with the Nyerere Center for Peace Research in Arusha, Tanzania. My work was focused on two projects: research and writing for a book on the international prosecution of Hissene Habre, the dictator from Chad (1982–90); and indexing and conflict analysis of African Union Peace and Security Council resolutions and decisions in 2004. Through this internship, I traveled to Rwanda to speak at and to help run a conference for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on universal jurisdiction. I also traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, to present research on Hissene Habre at a conference for African academics on international criminal law. I will discuss the ways in which this work challenged my intellectual capacities, academic work and professional aspirations.
Alicen Roberts ’12
Theory Meets Practice: Realizations about the Role of Art in Transforming Violence in Belfast
While studying abroad in the Republic of Ireland and in Northern Ireland last spring I explored the evolving face of peace and conflict studies. Throughout the semester I witnessed a variety of approaches to conflict transformation—ranging from the community grassroots level, to international NGOs, to the state political realm. I was profoundly inspired by the arts sector in Northern Ireland as I realized that you do not need the phrase "peace" or "nonviolence" in your organization’s slogan in order to be actively engaged in alternatives to violence. For my month-long final project I explored the evolving social and political context of Belfast through the lens of public and community art. From this experience I developed a new passion for arts-based research, recognizing that creative expression holds great potential for sparking dialogue and new ways of addressing conflict. This new interest is reflected in my selection of courses at Smith as well as my Praxis internship. Over the summer I completed a sculpting apprenticeship in Florida with an accomplished Spanish sculptor. In my future I hope to continue studying and creating works of art that challenge societal issues.
Kristen Connor ’12
The Problems and Politics of knowing ’Africa’
How do we know Africa? How does what we think we know about Africa shape our engagement with, and understanding of, the massive and diverse continent? What does it mean to study African history when the primary ways of knowing Africa in mainstream culture come from images and news of violence, destitution and disease on the one hand, and dreams of beauty, wisdom, wildlife, music and color on the other? In the summer of 2010, I participated in a Peace and Conflict studies seminar in Uganda and Rwanda focused on the history leading up to and following the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and the Lord’s Resistance Army war in Northern Uganda (1987-2007). In the summer of 2011, I worked at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. as an Education Intern designing, organizing, and implementing lecture series and symposia geared towards a scholarly audience. I will discuss these two sites of knowledge as contradictory yet convergent examples of the two dominant discourses surrounding “Africa,” my experiences therein, and the politics and problems (and positives) for the hopeful Africanist.
Panel V: Urban Schools/Education
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Sue Briggs, Program Administrator, Dean of the College Office
Carlie Dennison-Leonard ’13
Play, Learn, Grow: Working with Elementary School Students in East Harlem
As part of the Urban Education Initiative Fellowship, I spent January of 2011 working in a first-grade classroom at DREAM, a charter school in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City. My experience with DREAM was so powerful that I used a Praxis grant to intern with DREAM’s partner organization, Harlem RBI, the following summer. I was chosen as one of 21 college interns working as Learning Coaches for Harlem RBI’s pilot kindergarten and first grade summer enrichment program. In the mornings, I worked with nine students who had ended first grade reading significantly below grade level. In the afternoons, two other coaches and I took our team of 15 kindergarten and first grade students on field trips around New York City. My experience working for Harlem RBI was very challenging and incredibly rewarding. In my presentation, I will discuss how my internship simultaneously deepened my passion for urban education, while causing me to question my desire to become an elementary school teacher. Drawing on my experiences working in a charter school and on living in Harlem, my presentation will also touch on some larger issues surrounding the charter school movement.
Glendean Hamilton ’13
Helping Students Shine: The Role of Schools and Communities in the Lives of Urban Youth
This year, I was an Urban Education Initiative Fellow in Harlem. I became interested in Urban Education after becoming conscious of the inequities that exist in the American public school system. Thanks to the fellowship, I gained classroom experience in New York City during January term and secured another teaching fellowship with the Partnership in After School Education (PASE), also in New York City, for the summer of 2011. These unique experiences allowed me to interact daily with middle school students. My presentation will highlight what I learned about the impact of schools on the lives of students, as well as the importance of school and community interaction in order to close the achievement gap. I will also share my thoughts on the direction that education policy should take in order to ensure that every student receives an excellent education that allows him/her to reach full potential.
Jeneva Parks ’13
Clashes in the Classroom: Teaching English as a Second Language in Ecuador
This past summer I spent nine weeks teaching beginning English in Ecuador through WorldTeach. While there I encountered quite a few challenges in the classroom. Some naturally stemmed from cultural differences, but others arose from issues that extend across multiple borders and cultures. In my presentation I will talk about these conflicts — perceptions of time, acceptance or rejection of cheating, willingness to defy authority figures, and a heavier emphasis on grades than quality of learning — and how they have shaped the way I perceive cross-cultural exchange. Although I never saw myself as a teacher prior to my experience in Ecuador, the people I met and the knowledge I gained of multiple cultures (Latin American, national, and local) inevitably reinforced as well as dismantled some of my previously-established academic and personal goals.
Panel VI: Museums
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Stacie Hagenbaugh, Director, Career Development Office
Kendra Danowski ’12
Rethinking the Museum: Supporting Community Activism Through Exhibition and Dialogue at the Wing
This past summer, I received a grant from the Brown Foundation (through the Museums Concentration) to complete an internship I designed at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, located in Seattle’s International District. I contributed to a major upcoming exhibition project and supported award-winning youth initiatives at the museum. I assisted and collaborated with the Wing Luke Exhibits team in structuring a community-based process for a show tentatively titled Beyond Talk 2, which will feature art focused on national racial issues. Among other responsibilities, I identified and corresponded with potential project partners, including community members, fellow local cultural institutions, activists and artists. The Wing Luke Museum implements a unique and innovative community-based exhibition model, and my internship allowed me to learn about and participate in this process first-hand. I will discuss my work with Beyond Talk 2 and the structure of the Wing Luke Museum’s planning process, as well as how this experience directly affected my personal, academic and professional outlook on museum operations, values and standards. This summer greatly influenced my understanding of the intersection of museums and community-based activism and will inform my Museums Concentration capstone project.
Sophie Ong ’12
Art Under the Microscope: Examining and Conserving Art at The Frick Collection
Interning during the summer of 2011 in the conservation department of The Frick Collection in New York City provided me with the remarkable opportunity to look at a museum’s collection from a new perspective. Instead of studying the Frick’s collection first from museum catalogs and photographs—a research point of view—I learned the collection through my biweekly task of dusting each object. My first interaction with the objects was physical instead of scholarly, helping me to make my own observations about each one and providing me with a more personal connection. I worked on a number of other projects, including actual conservation treatments, analysis of the gallery environments, and the technical analysis, condition reporting, and presentation to the Board of Trustees of a Sèvres porcelain vase proposed for acquisition. In addition, I attended meetings with engineers, donors, journalists, and almost every other department at The Frick. To my surprise and delight, the conservation lab seemed to be at the heart of the Frick’s operations. These unusual and exciting experiences deepened my understanding of the multi-faceted job of a conservator and solidified my desire to pursue a conservation career.
Taylor Schulte ’AC
Presenting the Past: Historical Research in a Museum
How does history become exciting, accessible, engaging to the public? In the summer of 2011, I explored this question as I spent 15 weeks working as an intern in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. I assisted a historian at the Portrait Gallery with conducting biographical research about American dancers for an upcoming exhibition of portraits of dancers. My experience changed my understanding of the ways history can be presented in a museum. The work I did challenged me to adapt the research and writing skills I had learned in an academic setting to fit the needs of a museum whose audience is the general public. Over the course of my internship I learned about the dancers I was researching through a variety of primary sources including video, costumes, legal documents, and newspaper articles. I will discuss my experience as an intern and the lessons I learned about historical research in a museum setting.
SESSION II: 5:20–6 P.M.
Human Rights Organizations
Campus Center 003
Moderator: Rebecca Hovey, Dean for International Study
Jiajing Wang ’13
Exploring Archaeology in Jerusalem
Global Engagement Seminar Jerusalem
During the summer of 2011, I worked in an archaeological site in the City of David, Jerusalem. It is the oldest settled neighborhood and a major archaeological site because of its attribution as biblical Jerusalem. Working with other international volunteers and Israelis, I learned digging skills and had a good culture-immersion experience. Israel is one of the most excavated countries in the world. In this contested land of political conflicts, archaeology never means simply sites, ruins or the material findings. It is always imbued with political and social content. Through interactions with my co-workers and the local people, I explored how archaeology is used to create a socially meaningful understanding of the past and as a political weapon with a direct impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. My experience in Jerusalem has strengthened my passion in archaeology and provided me a lens to see archaeology in social context.
Lena Zairis ’12
The Lone Soldier Center: An Exploration of the Israeli Military Narrative
Global Engagement Seminar Jerusalem
This summer, I participated in the Global Engagement Seminar in Jerusalem. As part of the course, I completed an internship with the Lone Soldier Center in Memory of Michael Levin. As a non-profit organization, the center assists immigrant soldiers in finding housing, furniture, employment, and counseling services. Some of my duties as an intern included updating the center's databases, coordinating furniture donations, and organizing informational seminars. Outside of the office, I helped organize social events for soldiers, such as Friday night dinners and a comedy show in downtown Jerusalem. In addition, I traveled to a military base to photograph a graduation ceremony. As an aspiring trauma therapist, my work at the Lone Soldier Center was directly related to my career aspirations. My interactions with soldiers and veterans in Jerusalem profoundly affected my understanding of the emotional demands of military life. In the future, I hope to work with veterans in both the United States and Israel.
Mackenzie Green ’13J
Contested Land, Contested Language: Examining the Role of Political Rhetoric in Jerusalem
Global Engagement Seminar Jerusalem
In summer 2011, I was part of the inaugural Global Engagement Seminar in Jerusalem. I spent my time in Israel working as an intern with the Jerusalem Post, an English newspaper with a global readership. During my time with the Jerusalem Post, I conducted my own interviews, got into the field, and wrote my own articles for an international audience. As a student of government and religion, I found that at the intersection of rhetoric and ideology lies a complex system of language by which both Palestinians and Israelis further their political causes. By examining the role of ideographs in modern political rhetoric in the Middle East, I found that my own writing for the Post was shaped by the use of certain evocative language. I will reflect upon my time in Jerusalem, focusing my discussion on the role of political rhetoric role in shaping policy and perspective within the Holy Land.
Molly Oringer ’12
Summer of Demolitions: Translating the Experiences of Endangered Palestinian Communities
Global Engagement Seminar Jerusalem
This past summer I was an intern with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, a non-governmental organization based in Jerusalem that exposes disparities within Israeli civil/military law, land expropriation, settlement expansion, and the construction of the Separation Wall and its implications. My task included collecting testimonies from communities within the West Bank, Jerusalem, and Israel proper, and translating my findings into English for advocacy use at European and American conferences and universities. My time with ICAHD was a great opportunity to hone my Arabic skills in everyday Palestinian life, as essential to my understanding of myriad issues Palestinians face while securing a stable living, schooling, employment, and basic infrastructures for their communities. My internship granted me a deeper knowledge of the Israeli legal system vis-a-vis the Palestinian call for equality and renewed justice including how this system relates to the framework of Israeli NGOs working with Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza.
Panel II: Medical/Health
Campus Center Carroll Room
Moderator: Maureen A. Mahoney, Dean of the College
Himani Aggarwal ’12
Researching Tuberculosis in India: Challenges and Successes of Working and Living Abroad
During summer 2011, I worked as a Research Assistant at Lady Willingdon Hospital, in rural Manali, HP, India. I will highlight the most meaningful and transforming experiences of my work, while also shedding light on some of the challenges faced and successes enjoyed. I spent two months researching tuberculosis and the prevalence of Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR-TB) in northern India. I observed and interviewed TB patients, transcribed data, and visited the community in efforts to create a detailed map of the surrounding area. For a few weeks, I also taught English to students at the local high school. During the entire time, I lived among the hospital staff and the members of the community. This experience has changed me tremendously. It has completely transformed me and redefined my personal and professional goals. Above all, it has lead to the realization that the fields of education and global health/development are where I belong. I now want to pursue a career in the field of public health, where I will be able to combine my passion for teaching, research, and health advocacy.
Kiersten A. Wulff ’13
Compassionate and Affordable (For Now): A Local Perspective on Providing Federally-funded Family
In the summer of 2011, I used my Praxis grant for an internship at Tapestry Health’s Northampton Health Services Clinic. Tapestry is a non-profit reproductive health agency based in Western Massachusetts with an extended scope of services including insurance enrollment, WIC nutrition, and needle-exchange harm reduction programs. As an anthropology student and aspiring midwife, I approached this internship hoping to learn about how a non-profit organization cares for a community. Drawing from my time spent working in the office and training to become a counselor at Tapestry, I will discuss how the agency addresses the structural and social challenges that individuals face when seeking health and health care. I will also talk about the effects of stringent federal budgeting which both enables and limits Tapestry’s ability to effectively carrying out its mission. Bearing witness to exceptional work done by the agency staff has motivated me as a future health care professional to provide care that goes beyond medical training as one who is able to work within and around structural political, social, economical conditions that affect patients and healers alike.
Karisa Klemm ’12
Apoyando el parto: Volunteering as a Birth Doula in Urban Mexico
While studying in Puebla, Mexico, in 2010–11, I volunteered as a birth doula at the Hospital de la Mujer, the state’s only public maternity hospital. There, I spent six hours a week providing emotional, physical and informational support to young women in labor and giving birth. Additionally, I held training workshops for hospital staff and volunteers on birth physiology and doula support and implemented a Baby Hat Project with the Mexican host mothers and U.S. program students for newborns at the Hospital. I will share poignant memories of the women I worked with and I will speak to the challenges I faced in working in an overburdened and prejudiced urban maternity system where young women are scared, alone, and powerless in making decisions about their births. Furthermore, I will discuss the profound impact that this experience has had on my personal development as a global citizen and my interests in medicine and public health.
Shannon Pettit ’12
A Month with Tabitha: Autoclaves and Antibiotics in Kibera
For the conference, I will present my experiences during a month-long internship at the Tabitha Clinic in the Kibera informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya. In April 2011, I held an internship position as part of my studies with the St. Lawrence University Kenya Semester Program. During this internship, I served as a pharmacy technician for both the in-house pharmacy at the clinic and as the pharmacy technician for an ongoing CDC-funded influenza vaccine study. I also shadowed the laboratory and radiology staff, who demonstrated for me some of the intricacies of technologically demanding diagnostic processes in the developing world. These experiences changed my perspective on healthcare in underserved areas, the importance of effective national infrastructure, and the problem of antibiotic resistance and disease diagnosis at the grassroots level. My expectations for my future as a healthcare provider will focus on effective disease diagnosis and treatment for all communities, especially underserved ones.
Panel III: Science/Research
Campus Center 103/104
Moderator: Danielle Ramdath, Associate Dean of the Faculty
Clare Landefeld ’12
Combining Science and Cultural Immersion: Working to Develop Solutions to the Increase in Antibiotic
Resistance in Paris
I am majoring in biology, and one of my goals for my JYA in Paris was to immerse myself in French life and French science. During the spring and summer of my JYA in Paris, I joined an exciting lab team at l’Institut Pasteur, a premier medical research institution in France, where I performed my own research project in Structural Biology. My project was aimed at understanding a specific problem in how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, namely the role of mutant integrases in bacterial recombination that can lead to antibiotic resistance. In learning new techniques like protein crystallization, I met real challenges in the lab and was able to put my previous coursework at Smith to work in meeting these challenges. In this presentation, I will discuss the excitement of performing research abroad, the stimulation of working with colleagues from all over the world, as well as the skills (scientific and otherwise) and confidence I obtained.
Sonya Bhatia ’13
Understanding Mechanisms Behind Metastasis in Neuroblastoma
I will talk about my experience interning at the National University of Singapore with MIT-Singapore collaborator, Prof Heng-Phon Too, Department of Biochemistry. Over the six weeks that I worked there, I conducted preliminary experiments to study the mechanisms behind metastasis in neuroblastoma patients. My experience played a major role in defining my career path. Having had a refreshing research experience in a unique country, I return to Smith College with a clear sense of purpose and a passion for research in the Biomedical Sciences.
Belinda Juliana Nhundu ’13
Reflections of a Premed Student: Discovering my Passion for Medicine Half Way across the World
In the summer of 2011 I traveled to Chiang Mai, the largest province in northern Thailand, to pursue a medical internship at Maharaj Hospital, one of the nation’s largest medical centers. For four weeks I did weekly rotations in otolaryngology, obstetrics and gynecology, family medicine and the operating room. In each department I was paired with a full-time Thai doctor and worked all day, five days a week. I shadowed the Thai doctors in their normal, daily routines and assisted with professional responsibilities as assigned by the supervising doctor. I will talk about my experiences through interactions with patients and staff and the challenges of working and living in a country culturally different from your own.
Kaylyn Oates ’12
Exploring the Geology of New Zealand: Learning what Living on a Plate Boundary Means
Earlier this year, I participated in a geology-focused program called Frontiers Abroad in New Zealand. This program starts with a five-week field camp where we explored the local geology of the North and South Islands of New Zealand. Our fieldwork included exploring examples of stratigraphy, tectonic structures, geothermal energy and volcanology. The skills developed, knowledge gained and data collected in field camp are then further expanded on through a semester-long research project at the University of Canterbury. However, my experience was a bit different than that of the typical program participant, as I was in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 22, 2011, when the earthquake struck — a 6.3 magnitude aftershock of the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that happened on September 4, 2010. As a student geologist, I realized that I had a unique perspective on the event as others did not have the benefit of geology coursework about earthquakes. This experience sparked a research project that investigates the knowledge of the general public about earthquake science and how understanding the science and mechanics of earthquakes can reduce uncertainty and anxiety by promoting a greater sense of individual control. My current role as a student teacher, which is supporting my education minor, has confirmed the value of accessible public science education.
Panel IV: Food
Campus Center 204
Moderator: Barbara Kellum, Professor, Art Department
Erin Gernon ’12
A Summer at Heirloom Meals
Last summer I was an intern at Heirloom Meals, a new company that “offers a multi-media culinary journey into the kitchens and gardens of anyone who has a treasured family recipe.” To me, it was much more. It was my home for a summer, where I read many recipes, heard many stories, and witnessed the importance of food among families and communities. I learned how meals connect people, and about the nature of people as well. During the course of my internship, we filmed a PBS Thanksgiving special, which will air in November. Our rigorous film schedule spanned five days, and we traveled throughout the Berkshires. I had various jobs during the filming, including preparing the set, preparing the ingredients, and organizing the documentary guests. In addition to the Thanksgiving Special, I also edited the Heirloom Meals Radio show for NPR; formatted the Web site with pictures, recipes, and news; and maintained the blog and social media outlets. Heirloom Meals host and creator Carole Murko is an alumna of Smith College, Class of ’83.
Ali Zipparo ’12J AC
Exploring the Food Regional System: Work in Vermont
My presentation will give an overview of my work in the state of Vermont in a role as the Farm to Plate program intern for Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. The program, part of a legislative initiative designed to strengthen Vermont’s food system, involves an in-depth analysis of the entire system, accompanied by a 10-year strategic plan. My job required a high level of communication with various stakeholders in the food system community, and often included contact with congressional staffers, directors of agricultural agency departments, members of the governor’s administration, globally recognized scientists, directors of federal programs, and many other interesting and accomplished professionals. I also had the honor of co-authoring several sections of the report. I will begin with a description of my past work, and move into the process of getting my internship. The main focus of the presentation will be on my work experience as a non-traditional student, in a traditionally-educated work environment. I will list the benefits of working as an older student with a lot of experience, as well as the frustrations that occurred. Finally, I will articulate how the internship shaped my future plans, hopes and dreams, in conjunction with my experience as a Smith student.
Astrid Adam ’13
Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Vacation
This past summer I participated in the Americorp Vista program at D.C. Hunger Solutions (DCHS)/Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). I worked on a wide range of projects all associated in one way or another with the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program. These projects included creating a map of sites for the Web site, running a nutritional education demonstration, visiting WIC clinics, creating a survey for all the free summer meals sites, visiting the meals sites and collecting stories from parents, site coordinators and children. Throughout the summer I learned a great deal about DCHS, FRAC, and the free summer meals program and about national policy as it relates to low income programs, poverty in America, and how a non-profit runs and operates. I was in a unique position because I was able to go to the FRAC meetings and learn about policy at a national level and then go out into the community and see how these national policies affect local programs.
Panel V: Human Rights Organizations
Campus Center 205
Moderator: Maggie Kraus ’12
Anna Leversee ’12
Teaching and Research in Córdoba, Spain
While studying in Córdoba, Spain in 2010–11, I designed and taught English classes at Córdoba Acoge, a local immigrant-support NGO. The Smith Spanish Department awarded me a grant to continue my work through June and July. In addition to my class at Acoge, I designed and led an intensive one-on-one English course, taught beginner-level Spanish at a different immigration nonprofit, Asociación Pro Inmigrantes de Córdoba (APIC), and researched the 2007 Ley de Memoria Histórica (Historical Memory Law). This research included interviews with history teachers and young adults on their views regarding the Civil War, the Franco era and the 2007 law, as well as work in the Archive of Historical Memory in Salamanca. I will briefly discuss all aspects of my work in Spain, highlighting my growth as a language teacher, my increasing commitment to immigration issues and my learning as a researcher.
Rebecca Muskat ’13
Solving Cold Cases: My Summer at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
I spent this past summer interning at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), an experience that has affected me personally and professionally. At NCMEC I primarily worked with NamUs, a missing person’s database that attempts to match missing people with unidentified remains. I entered cases into NamUs, complied data and completed numerous research projects. Work I did as an intern led to the identification of a young girl’s remains. My work allowed me to see the many issues that plague missing person’s investigators and medical examiners. I also came to see the dedication of the NCMEC employees and their unflappable spirit. My summer with NCMEC has reaffirmed my interest in Forensic Psychology and federal law enforcement. The National Center was an inspiring place to work.
Iris Howorth ’12
Studying the Fathers of the Disappeared in Argentina
A major component of my study abroad program in Buenos Aires, Argentina was an independent study project which is part of the requirement of the program’s theme of human rights and social movements. As a Latin American Studies major I came into the program with some background knowledge of the dictatorship in place in the 1970’s and 1980’s and the famous human rights group, the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo, that emerged from mothers searching for their disappeared children. I chose to focus on the fathers and why their stories seem so hidden from the public while their wives have formed one of the most famous human rights organizations in the world. Since there is little research on the subject, most of my investigation was done through oral history archives and personal interviews I conducted with fathers and brothers of young adults who became “disappeared” after being taken by the government during the dictatorship.
Panel VI: Arts
Campus Center 102
Moderator: Stacie Hagenbaugh, Director, Career Development Office
In Kyung Lee ’12
Dancing in Cambodia
I studied at Laban Dance Centre in London for my junior year and went to Cambodia to teach dance the following summer. The time in London was challenging but still priceless. My presentation will focus more on my experience in Cambodia. For a month, I travelled with three friends I met in London to three centers and one school to teach dance. It was physically challenging; we suffered injuries, illness, allergies and countless mosquito bites. It was also not an easy process to plan everything out before we went because we did not go through any organization. However, the time in Cambodia was worth everything. We taught children who, in the past, had to search through garbage to eat, and women who were rescued from sex trafficking. We witnessed the power of dance, how it allows people to express themselves and how that brings immense joy and love. We realized the importance of education in Cambodia. We saw, felt, loved, learned, and shared so much, and I will be talking about this experience and how it changed me.
Rhian Sasseen ’12
Literature in the Time of Social Media: Continuing a Digital Presence at Ploughshares
In my presentation I will reflect on and review my summer 2011 editorial at Ploughshares magazine in Boston, Massachusetts. As an editorial intern, I was exposed to some of the most pertinent issues facing the publishing industry and literary world today, particularly in regards to digital media and literature’s internet presence. I was taught how to code back issues of Ploughshares so that they could be read on e-readers, and I also worked on increasing Ploughshares’ social media presence, frequently updating their blog, starting a Tumblr, and expanding Ploughshares’ Facebook presence and gaining more than 500 “fans.” Since returning to Smith, I have been using my new media knowledge to expand the presence and outreach of Quick Brown Fox, a Five College literary journal I helped to found in 2010 for which I am now editor. I hope in the future to also apply my knowledge to a job in the publishing industry following my graduation from Smith in the spring.
Margaret Kurkoski ’12
Between the Pantheon and the Parthenon: Studying the Classics in Rome and Athens
As soon as I declared as my Classics major, I wanted to gain a stronger sense of the cultures and cities I was studying by living abroad. With this purpose in mind, I attended the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome during the fall semester of my junior year, and College Year in Athens in the spring. While in Greece, I volunteered at the Agora Conservation Lab. I worked with ancient materials from the nearby archaeological site. While both programs were demanding, each one required me to grow in different ways, and I ended the year with a stronger sense of what I did and didn't want from my future career. In my presentation, I will discuss the difficulties of living and working in countries where I did not speak the language, as well as my efforts to integrate my core academic studies with my experiences abroad.
Meredith Nnoka ’13
A Summer with Robert Frost
I will discuss my time spent at The Frost Place, a small New England nonprofit. For nine weeks, I lived in the White Mountains of New Hampshire interning at The Frost Place, a poetry center housed in poet Robert Frost’s former homestead in Franconia, New Hampshire. The center functions as a museum of Frost’s life and work and as a gathering place for poetry conferences. My job was to write promotional materials for The Frost Place as well as help facilitate the conferences. As an aspiring poet, my experience at The Frost Place was instrumental in helping me develop my writing, solidify plans for the future, meet seasoned poets, and learn the ins and outs of the poetry business.
The fifth annual Smith Elects the World conference was held Monday, November 8, 2010 in the Campus Center.
Defending Human Rights Through Storytelling: Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo
Caroline Smith ’11, Praxis/Internships
I will discuss my experiences as a volunteer with the Madres de Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires during fall 2009. For four months, I listened to the stories of mothers, siblings and children of “Desaparecidos,” those young people who were kidnapped, tortured and killed under the military dictatorship of 1976-83. I also helped with archival work, attended a trial of some of the perpetrators and attended various acts of remembrance and meetings with collaborating human rights organizations, listening and learning. This experience profoundly affected my understanding of the Argentine people and of the value of telling stories to preserve collective memory and shape the history and culture of a country. This has affected my study of comparative literature at Smith, informing my understanding of the importance of the literature and oral histories from countries and cities all over the world. It has motivated me to share these stories with as many people as I can and to continue to learn more about the stories of other people and places in an effort to understand them more deeply and thoughtfully, and contribute to global understanding and cooperation.
Shelving Boxes, Sharing Stories: Archival Work as a Way to Preserve and Pass on the Rich Histories of Fairview Lake Summer Camp
Maggie Kraus ’12, Praxis/Internships
I will share my experiences as an archival intern during summer 2010 at Fairview Lake YMCA Camp in Stillwater, N.J. Approaching its 95th anniversary as a summer camp and a member of the Metro YMCAs of the Oranges, Fairview Lake YMCA Camp has been my home away from home for ten years. I returned this past summer with a vastly different agenda, as a Praxis-funded intern aiming to collect, organize and preserve the wide array of archival material Fairview had accumulated since its inception. I spent eleven weeks working to piece together the hundreds of photographs, journals, letters, songbooks, maps, brochures and other items that outline the rich and plentiful stories of Fairview Lake. It was a privilege to be able to see camp from this perspective, learning volumes about the Fairview’s history and its tremendous impact on all those who passed through its gates. Through my presentation, I hope to shed light on the importance of archival work as a means of maintaining and preserving the histories of people and places, as well as a method for sharing knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible or, even worse, lost forever.
A Comfort Zone Ends: An Exploration of Racial and Reproductive Politics Begins
Anna C. Holley ’12J, Praxis/Internships
I will explore my experiences as an intern for SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Combined with archival work for the Sophia Smith Collection, this internship afforded me the privilege of observing and researching the complexities of Black abortion in Atlanta, Georgia. My research focused on an anti-abortion campaign that targets Black women around the country using billboards, framing abortion as a coercive tool that leads to genocide. I organized and attended a national Black activist conference, which focused on strategic planning to combat attempts at limiting Black women’s reproductive choices. With the guidance of Loretta Ross, noted Black activist and human rights expert, this internship allowed me to consider the role of white women within this movement while expanding my own views regarding racial and reproductive politics. I faced numerous challenges identifying and organizing SisterSong’s founding documents in order to transfer them to the Sophia Smith Collection. At the same time, I gained valuable insight on the realities of grassroots organizations.
The Cult of Childhood and the Evidence of Adulthood
Reyna Abigale Levine ’11, International Study
During my study abroad in Tel Aviv, Israel, I had the opportunity to meet my extended family. When I arrived in Tel Aviv, I was scared and alone; I did not know anyone. I had a phone number for my aunt, and she invited me to dinner; from that short phone call grew a series of relationships that eventually led to a special studies/ independent photography project with Israeli artist Michal Heiman. The photography project I developed focused on finding and creating a family. I learned a lot about what it means to be an artist, about living and cultivating meaningful relationships, and about how I want to continue to live my life after Smith. I am now in the process of applying to the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Tel Aviv for a masters of fine arts.
Behind the Frame: Exploring Curatorial Work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Jessica Watson ’11, Praxis/Internships
In summer 2010 I interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and helped organize an upcoming exhibition of Alfred Stieglitz’s work. During my internship, I began to grasp the complexity of the various aspects of curatorial work. I expected to bring my knowledge of art to work and also show my administrative skills as well as my creativity. As a museum visitor, I never realized the amount of work and organization that comes with planning an exhibition: before, during and after. Witnessing such a long, arduous process was a revelation and changed my preconceptions about working in a museum. The curators, conservators and administrators I met helped me shape a new understanding of what day-to-day life in a museum entails. This experience not only broadened my views about the art world and the diversity of jobs it offers, but also confirmed my desire to become a curator.
The French Publishing House and Its Literary Scandals: Editions Gallimard and the Jan Karksi Affair
Ramsay Leimenstoll ’11, Praxis/Internships
I will explore the academic and career benefits of a full-time internship in one of the most prestigious publishing houses in France, Éditions Gallimard. I spent three months in the service presse of this establishment, in the heart of Paris. This experience constituted most of my second semester abroad, giving me new opportunities to explore French society and the world of publishing and to create a multifaceted experience abroad. My position in the company allowed me to interact with members of the press, authors and literary critics and provided me with rich material for my mémoire du stage. This 30-page French thesis explored the role of the press in the conflict surrounding Jan Karski, published by Gallimard (winter 2009). The book drew all echelons of society into a frenzied debate on the rights of the fiction writer, the ethics of the historian and the idea of ownership of a genre—in this case, asking: Who has the right to write about the Holocaust and its aftermath?
Accepted or Rejected: In Search of the Next French Bestseller
Alexandra Lewis ’11, International Study
In February 2010, I began working for Pocket Jeunesse, a publishing house specializing in young adult literature in Paris. As the on-site lectrice charged with spearheading the acquisition of new titles, I read incoming manuscripts in both French and English and wrote fiches de lecture in French for the directors of the collection, detailing my recommendations for each manuscript. My presentation will focus on the pressure of being entrusted with the job of accepting or rejecting incoming projects, including high-profile book proposals (sometimes six- or seven-figure deals from well-known authors such as John Grisham), and the challenges of ignoring what I’ve learned about literary analysis at Smith in order to evaluate manuscripts from a strictly commercial perspective, asking myself “Will this sell?” and not “Is this a great work of literature?” Additionally, I will discuss the difficulty of determining if a story would be well received by a French audience. My knowledge of French culture was valuable to me because I needed to assess whether or not the proposed works would be culturally relevant to the French and whether a French reader would take offense to the central themes (religious material is almost always problematic, for example). I continue to work for the publisher on a freelance basis.
Insight Dubai 2010
Hanah Spencer Brower ’13, Conferences
I represent a group of six Smith students who attended the four-day Insight Dubai Conference at Dubai Women's College last April, with women from around the world—from Afghanistan to Australia—learning about women’s leadership and global women’s issues such as human trafficking. This trip inspired me to sharpen my focus and apply for a Fulbright scholarship. I am grateful to have been able to represent Smith and the United States in such a diverse group, and I see the importance of Smith continuing to strive forward as a global college by sending students abroad and by increasing internationally focused course offerings, particularly those relating to women and education.
Beyond Translation: Cross-Cultural Communication in the Japan-America Student Conference
Leah Flake ’11, Conferences
I was one of 16 American and Japanese students in charge of planning and organizing the 62nd Japan-America Student Conference, a student-led cultural and academic exchange program between Japanese and American university students held in August 2010. For one year before the conference, my colleagues and I arranged lodging, transportation, events and activities in four U.S. cities, operating within a $100,000 budget, in preparation for the conference. As our extensive planning came to life in August, my peers and I witnessed the results of our hard work—communication between two cultures in its purest form. We facilitated and participated in discussions among students who, despite their different backgrounds and ways of thinking, were able to combine their perspectives, constructively debate and discuss global issues, and work toward a multilateral solution to these world problems. In my presentation, I will discuss the personal and global influence of the Japan-America Student Conference through its fostering of student leadership and cross-cultural communication.
2010 Shanghai World Expo: Inner and Outer Politics
Quincy Knapp ’11, Praxis/Internships
I will talk about my internship at the USA Pavilion during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, describing the contrast between the atmosphere among the general public and the inner politics at the Expo. In the three months I worked at the USA Pavilion, I saw how business, politics and culture were manipulated to separate general visitors from VIPs, resulting in a sense of isolation from the daily life of Shanghai.
Exploring 2G Integration in Prato’s China Town
Jade Bowden ’11, Blumberg Fellowship
I will discuss the case study I completed on the large concentration of Chinese immigrants living in Prato, Italy, a city right outside of Florence. I conducted interviews, research and observatory fieldwork, with a particular focus on second-generation integration and the effects that the media have on immigrant portrayals. One of the most important people I met was Doctor Anthony Tang, the first Chinese immigrant to arrive in Prato. Through my interactions with Tang, I was able to gain valuable input and insight that surprised, enlightened and disappointed me. I will review my findings, pointing to strategies that I believe will help decrease intolerance, while emphasizing the lessons I learned throughout my month-long study.
A Photographic Exploration Into German Cultural Identity
Margaret Metzler ’11, Blumberg Fellowship
While studying abroad in Germany in 2009-10, I conducted a self-designed research project titled “A Photographic Exploration Into German Cultural Identity” as a recipient of a Blumberg Traveling Fellowship. Interested in the conflict between regional and national interpretations of cultural identity stemming from Germany’s turbulent history, I set off in February 2010 to explore my host country through the lens of my camera and the experiences of its inhabitants. Four weeks, 11 host families, 23 cities, 50.5 hours on trains and more than 10,000 photos later, I have learned more about German culture and history than I ever could have from the outside and experienced the compassion that occurs naturally between human beings, even of dissimilar backgrounds. In this presentation I will speak about what I learned from these hosts through my photographs and their incredible stories.
A Different Education: Coming of Age in Gion Kobu
Elizabeth Woodham ’11, International Study
I will speak about my experience conducting fieldwork in Kyoto on the maiko and geiko (geisha) of the Gion Kobu district. I focused on documenting the hierarchical structure of the community, as well as the formal and secular rituals that govern their yearly calendar. Despite the secretive nature of Gion Kobu, I was given unprecedented access as an observer and a participant in the artistic and private lives of these women. What I was not expecting were the bonds i formed with the college-aged apprentices; to my surprise, they are making some of the same life choices that I am. My presentation will thus focus on education and career decisions in Gion Kobu and the unique trappings that come with it.
Why the Little Things Matter: Volunteerism and Its Impact on the Community
Dana Stuehling ’11, Community Service
For the past two years, I have been one of many volunteers working at Safe Passage, a local domestic violence shelter for women and their children. The mission of Safe Passage is to end violence and oppression in women’s lives. During my time there, I volunteered in the shelter and in the office. Much of my work at the shelter centered on childcare, and I also did clerical work. My presentation will focus on the importance of the little things, especially in volunteer work. The work of volunteers and interns is very important to organizations such as Safe Passage. I will discuss the impact that this work has had on my life and my studies. I will also incorporate in my presentation the work I did with Cultural Bridges to Justice, an anti-oppression organization that I worked for this past summer, and our work with Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Taking Urban Education Outside of the Classroom: My Experience With Project Coach
Marie Wallace ’11, Community Service
Project Coach has become a part of who I am and now, it seems, who I will become. An after-school program developed by two Smith College professors six years ago, PC is based in Springfield, MA, where the graduation rate in the public high schools is lower than 50 percent. The goal of the project is to improve the future success of their teenagers. High school teens receive training in coaching sports to elementary Springfield children who find role models among the coaches. Initially, my assignment for PC was to write a weekly blog of my observations of the program in action. I have since become thoroughly invested in the program, and I have been inspired to write a Senior Honors Thesis considering the transference of the students’ learning in PC to the classroom. Watching these teenagers take responsibility for their young charges and blossom into leaders has had a profound effect on me. My experience has led me in the direction of urban education and given a newly discovered passion to my academic life.
Learning Lessons in the Dirt: Food Justice and Community Engagement in Springfield and Holyoke
Molly Sauvain ’11, Community Service
For the past two years, I have been involved in the efforts of community organizations in western Massachusetts. During the summer of 2009, I worked at the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. As an intern for the Target: Hunger program, I worked to increase the community food security of the Mason Square area of Springfield. I was mainly involved in two projects: the Mason Square Farmers' Market and the Intergenerational Meals nutrition workshop series. The farmers' market was a relatively new installment, created to combat Mason Square's status as a “food desert” — an area with few or no sources of fresh fruits and vegetables. I helped to recruit new vendors for the market, organize events for the upcoming season and write a monthly market newsletter. I served as an all-purpose helper for the nutrition workshop series, which offered participants information and tools to help them eat and live well. I will discuss this experience, as well as that of my work at Nuestras Raices, a community organization in Holyoke where I have been volunteering for the past year. Nuestras Raices is a multifaceted organization that seeks to empower the large Puerto Rican immigrant population in Holyoke. I volunteer at the community farm, where I have been involved in planning and managing a youth garden. The garden is used over the summer in a program for Holyoke youth, as well as during the year for school tours and garden education–related field trips. Most recently, I developed a curriculum of garden-based activities that engage kids in the pleasure of gardening while teaching them about their place in the food system.
Community Service Abroad: Serving and Connecting Communities Across the Americas
Leonore Brodsky ’11, Community Service
After a semester studying in Buenos Aires, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer at Tzedaká, a nonprofit organization that provides services for needy community members including the elderly and disadvantaged in the Jewish community. I volunteered at the Medicine Bank, which provides donated medication for chronically ill people. Another part of Tzedaká is the Center for Holocaust Survivors, which supports immigrant elders with adult education classes, social activities, transportation and access to home care. My experience also included compiling a database of Jewish organizations in my hometown of Dallas, Texas, that could provide a connection for sponsorship, fundraising and public relations for Tzedaká. I learned about how a nonprofit organization functions and the huge role it plays in the lives of needy people, something I knew little about. I had the opportunity to get to know a wider range of people than I had experienced with my abroad program. I realized how much I enjoy hearing other people’s life stories, especially those whose backgrounds differ from mine. My career choice in education and the service aspect of nonprofit work share many qualities that I will continue to pursue.
Finally Getting My Hands Dirty: Six Weeks in Tanzania
Hanna Meghji ’11, Praxis/Internships
I will highlight the most meaningful pieces of my experiences as an educator at the Wali Ul Asr Education Center in Kibaha, Tanzania, in summer 2010. I spent four weeks teaching English, biology and mathematics; fashioning Montessori materials; starting a spinach garden to be maintained by the students; organizing a free clinic; constructing financial portfolios of each sponsored student; and creating brochures to distribute when fundraising. All the while, I lived with the students and other workers on campus. This experience changed me in ways that I cannot entirely capture. It has completely redefined who I am and my list of goals, and it has affected my lifestyle and how I think about race relations, sustainability and foreign aid. Returning to the United States was strange. Eleven weeks later, I now feel ready to talk about the poverty that I witnessed in Tanzania. I hope that it will spark the difficult conversations regarding the detriments of foreign aid, how we must empower individuals to live sustainably—not merely empower them to live—and how we as human beings must take responsibility for one another.
The Way of the Horse: Ranching and Holistic Health in the Great American West
Liz Cook ’11, Praxis/Internships
During summer 2010 I lived and worked at Buffalo Woman Ranch in southwestern Colorado. This woman-run facility is home to nine horses and specializes in Equine Facilitated Integrative Healing. EFIH is a deeply holistic therapy that blends modern psychology with ancient healing methods and awareness practice. As calm and sensitive animals, horses serve as ideal helpers (and therapists) during sessions. During my stay at the ranch, I performed daily tasks of ranch maintenance and animal care, witnessed a great many therapeutic sessions with visiting clientele, helped to facilitate live-in weekend training programs and retreats, and worked regularly with groups of Navajo at-risk youth who came to the ranch as part of their summer school enrichment. I had an excellent and incredibly informative experience at the ranch, and I hope to impart some of my knowledge about this very nuanced and not-so-well-known therapeutic practice.
"After death, there is a symbol that there was life." Working in Palliative Care in Montevideo, Uruguay
Deborah Nadler ’12, Praxis/Internships
Palliative care is a form of medical care that focuses on reducing the symptoms and severity of terminal illness, rather than attempting to reverse the progression. I spent my summer in Montevideo, Uruguay, working and assisting in the Palliative Care Unit of the public Piñeyro del Campo Geriatric hospital. I never thought that working with terminally ill people could be so heartening, inspirational and important. It has changed my views of life, of death and defined for me what it means to die in a dignified and meaningful way. I will reflect on my experience in confronting miscommunication, poverty and death, and in returning to America feeling revitalized and hopeful, assured that there is hope in this discipline of medicine.
Frontiers Abroad: My Investigation of New Zealand Geology
Katherine Kravitz ’11, International Study
I spent the 2010 spring semester in New Zealand participating in a geology-based study abroad program called Frontiers Abroad. The program begins with a five-week field camp where I learned fundamental field research skills. Three weeks were spent on the South Island where we focused on field mapping to interpret the tectonic history of the island. The last two weeks were spent on the North Island, where we studied volcanology and geothermal systems. I spent the rest of my semester studying at University of Canterbury where I enrolled in a research course focusing on our volcanology module at Mt. Ngauruhoe. I investigated how the volcano’s effusive eruptions changed over time by examining the geochemistry and petrography of each flow. This experience has given me many skills that I will carry with me in my future as a geoscientist, no matter what path I choose to pursue. I will reflect on the challenges I faced while working on such extensive mapping and research projects and elaborate on what I gained in the process.
Discovering Hemmeh, Jordan and Myself
Rawan Mustafa ’11, Praxis/Internships
This past summer I had the opportunity to intern, as part of a 20-person team, on a pre-pottery Neolithic archaeological excavation site in Hemmeh, Jordan for seven weeks. While I had no prior archaeological knowledge or experience, my internship ended up being incredibly enriching. I will discuss the various difficulties and challenges that I encountered, how I overcame them and how they helped me redefine myself; the various skills I learned such as basic lithic, faunal and human osteology analytical skills working primarily on two specific projects; and how important teamwork is. After a rough beginning to my seven-week internship, I learned how to make the best of a situation that in the end led to my discovery of an intriguing field that I am now considering as future work.
Pharmaceutical Industry’s New Approach to Drug Development
Androniki Tsakiridou ’12, Praxis/Internships
During the summer of 2010 I did an internship at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, one of the largest pharmaceutical industries in the world. For nine weeks I worked in the Modeling and Simulation group, undertaking several small projects along with my primary one. The emergence of the M&S group is quite new, and the department engages with modeling in various stages of a drug development, from pre-clinical molecular formulation to advertising and promotion strategies after its approval. I became familiar with this spectrum of activities through several small projects. I analyzed patient recruitment data, and uncovered some surprising trends that will be particularly helpful to future patient recruitment strategy choices. Also, my main project involved assessing and further developing an existing model to assist the biology team with siRNA-infused protein inhibition experiments, a new approach to drug production. That project was at the pre-clinical stage and involved a lot of cooperation with other experienced modelers and the biology team. Through this experience I became familiar with working in a multinational corporate environment, its challenges and advantages.
Sustainability and Urban Development
Ella Hartenian ’11, Blumberg Fellowship
Urban areas are one of the key tipping points for how the human population will rearticulate its relationship with the environment. During my time in Paris, I approached this challenge through a four-month internship with the United Nations Environment Programme, Division of Technology, Industry and Economics and then through a five week Blumberg Fellowship during which I studied eco-villages in London and Freiburg. My experience in Paris has led me to believe that it is possible to integrate sustainability initiatives into city living and that it takes careful planning, foresight and innovation to do so. For this presentation, I will briefly touch on my work at UNEP and focus on how low-carbon, limited-ecological footprint lifestyles can be fostered in an urban environment. I will also highlight how my interest in cities and sustainability during my year abroad has transformed into an honor’s thesis looking at broad relationships between health and urban environments.
Reclaiming the Land: Libera Terra and Ethical Agriculture in Italy
Emily Hale Sills ’11, Blumberg Fellowship
Libera Terra is an Italian brand name given to products that are grown and processed by cooperatives on land the Italian government has confiscated from criminal organizations. These cooperatives produce organic pasta, wine and olive oil, and serve as working examples of an alternative to the mafia-dominated economy and politics in Southern Italy. I will discuss the month I spent researching and working with Libera Terra, which led me to a better understanding of how the program is structured and why. In particular, the experience illuminated for me some of the strategies, challenges and possibilities that lie in the intersection of social justice and sustainable agriculture: an intersection that is relevant to my interest in urban community gardens and the local food movement in the U.S.
Promoting Coral Reef Conservation through Environmental Education in Belize
Lily Maynard ’11, International Study
My experience as an environmental educator in the Environmental Science and Policy Program’s Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program in Belize for the summers of 2009 and 2010 has greatly shaped my studies at Smith and focused my goals for my life after college. I am inspired by the collaborative aspects of the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures promoting the conservation of the nearby Mesoamerican barrier reef ecosystem. From the place-based environmental education camps for the local Belizean children to the partnership with the world-renowned marine protected area, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, collaboration is necessary to energize meaningful conservation efforts. As a student teacher using dynamic activities to inspire children and as a researcher studying the influence of marine protected areas on coral reef health, I cultivated a personal knowledge and appreciation for ecology and conservation in our modern world. My time in Belize has emphasized for me the importance of informal educational programs, personal experience, and community involvement for environmental education efforts as I look to my future after Smith.
Tackling Data Quality at the Energy Information Administration in the Nation’s Capital
Tanya Hakim ’12, Praxis/Internships
In summer 2010, I interned in Washington, D.C., at the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in the Office of Coal, Nuclear, Electric and Alternate Fuels through the Joint Program in Survey Methodology Junior Fellows Program. The program, run by the University of Maryland, College Park, places undergraduate students at various federal statistical agencies in the DC area (i.e. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis) to tackle projects related to survey methodology. At the EIA, I analyzed 2007 and 2008 data from power plants on annual by-product disposition, financial information, emission control systems, renewable energy certificates and green energy pricing to assess the quality of data submitted to the EIA and recommended data edits to be programmed into the electronic surveys based on statistical analysis of historical data. I will reflect on my transition from using statistics in the classroom to using statistics in the workplace, my experience in working in the public sector and several extraordinary networking meetings I had, all in the heart of Washington D.C.
Gibbs Who? A Summer With the Real NCIS
Grace Burberry-Martin ’11, Praxis/Internships
I spent the summer of 2010 interning in Washington, D.C. for the Inspector General of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), an experience which has profoundly shaped my aspirations for the future and changed my life. As the IG’s intern at NCIS Headquarters, my primary responsibilities were to analyze data from annual field office inspections and to conduct an audit of overtime authorization for special agents not currently deployed overseas. Outside of the IG shop, I attended national security briefings given by senior officials of NCIS, participated in death review boards, attended firearms training sessions, observed naval court martial proceedings, and was given tours of the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon. This internship not only solidified my desire to pursue a career working for the federal government in military intelligence and national security, it also exposed me to the fast-paced and intense lifestyle of our nation’s capital.
Research That Changes Lives: My Summer at the Urban Institute
Jewels Rhode ’11, Praxis/Internships
Although minorities and people from vulnerable communities are often the subject of public policy, they are seldom a part of the field of public policy research. The Summer Research Academy at the Urban Institute (UI), a social and domestic policy firm in Washington, D.C., provides minority students with the opportunity to become immersed in the field of public policy research. I will discuss my experience at UI where I conducted my own research, gained policy knowledge, technical skills training, and exposure to various careers in Federal agencies.
A Washington, D.C., Experience: Civil Rights Advocacy, Networking and Personal Growth
Mindy Chu ’11, Praxis/Internships
This summer I completed a Praxis-funded internship with the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) in Washington, D.C., working with five staff attorneys on various projects in different areas including the census, immigration reform, advocacy, judicial nominations and voting rights. In addition to my work in the office, I had the opportunity to engage in educational activities around the city such as intern networking events, a protest at the White House, legislative briefings, and conferences. I will talk about the projects and assignments that I worked on at the AAJC, my experience of living and working in Washington and how my summer confirmed my passion for Asian American issues, civil rights, social justice and public service.
The fourth annual Smith Elects the World conference was held November 29, 2009. Here is a snapshot of the presentations.
Urbanism in Florence, Italy
Mary Miller ’10, Blumberg Fellowship
I will discuss the 10 months I spent living in Florence and the valuable experiences that have had an impact my career aspirations in the field of architecture and urbanism. Significant influences affecting my perspective on urbanism were an internship with an architectural firm specializing in historical preservation, an independent research project concerning Florentine architecture, and general day-to-day living in the birthplace of the Renaissance.
Fatimid Architecture of Cairo
Yvette Elfawal ’10, Research/Travel Abroad
In the winter of 2009, I traveled to Cairo to research Fatimid-Islamic architecture. As part of the project, I took approximately 3,000 photos at over 30 sites, and completed the research by writing an in-depth analysis (research paper) of specific architectural sites in the spring of 2009. I will review some of the concepts I discovered, such as the presence of an Ismaili Shiite identity in Fatimid architecture, and will supplement my presentation with some of the photos I took. I will talk about the establishment of Cairo as the seat of power for the Fatimids and its development as a new urban center that specifically served the agenda of the new ruling class. I will talk about the creation of a physical boundary between “believers” and “non-believers,” and the Fatimids’ domination of Egypt economically, politically, and socially through their extensive architectural patronage. I will also talk about the signs of Ismaili ideology, which are manifested in architectural elements and motifs. As is shown through the built environment, in terms of style and symbolism, there is a well-developed argument for the relationship between architecture and Ismaili ideology, as well as the dynastic associations.
SketchUp Summer: 3-D Architectural Modeling at Metcalfe Associates in Northampton
Kira Disén ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will review my summer internship experience working for Metcalfe Associates Architecture Firm in Northampton. Over the three-month period (and continuing even now), I worked with Tristram W. Metcalfe and his clients to design, perfect and present two houses which incorporate not only advanced design, but also cutting-edge green technology. This internship has opened up the world of architecture and design in a way I had not previously imagined. I experienced not only the joys of architectural design, but also the pitfalls of working with clients, software, deadlines and real-life material physics. This experience has provided me with valuable life skills and has made me re-think my career choices, not only as an architect, but as an artist and student as well.
The All-Consuming Nature of a Successful Political Campaign
Audrey Monday ’11, Praxis/Internship
This past summer, I had the opportunity to work on John C. Liu's campaign as a candidate for Comptroller of New York City. I was selected under a critical application and interview process by the People for John Liu as part of Mr. Liu’s educational initiative to provide opportunities for young professionals to become active in politics and also to see how governmental institutions function at the local level. During the internship I took on various responsibilities. I handled administrative tasks, such as organizing and maintaining the campaign’s volunteers and supporters database. I perfected my verbal communication skills making phone calls to volunteers and supporters. Under the supervision of campaign professionals, I also did some scheduling of Mr. Liu’s endorsement interviews and appearances. I had the opportunity of shadowing Mr. Liu by attending some of these events with him. In my presentation, I will discuss my experiences in detail, the learning behind those experiences and how the overall experience of working on a campaign have affected my ideas about future careers and my perception of politics.
Central American Resource Center (CARECEN): Building a Strong Latina Community Through Education
Susan Elizabeth Salinas ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will discuss my Praxis internship experience at CARECEN in Los Angeles within the education program. I served as an instructor in CARECEN's first summer school program, "Wings, Roots, & Hope," where I worked closely with children ages 5 to13. I also assisted the Education Department Coordinator, Raul Borbon, with the parent leadership workshops, which informed parents about the college process and requirements. I participated in local education policy meetings and various community events. I also supervised another set of volunteers that came from UCLA's Worksource program who were also committed to social and economic justice for the Latina community.
Living Out Loud: Young Women and Art
Kaitlyn Krauskopf ’10, Praxis/Internship
During the summer of 2009, I used Praxis funding to work as an intern at my local art association in New Castle, Indiana. I worked in collaboration with a small group of disadvantaged teenage women at the local youth center, and I structured a large art project for them to present to the community. Because young women in the arts are often overlooked, the project became a way for the girls to voice their stories and contribute within the community. We worked together to paint individual colorful self-portraits that tell a story about the girls' lives and what is important to them, and we assembled the paintings into a large installation project that is now on display at the Henry County Art Association gallery. I will be discussing my time with the girls, their project and perspectives, and some of the challenges and rewards of my experience.
Women Public Call Offices in Afghanistan
Roya Mohammadi ’10, Praxis/Internship
I did a 2009 summer internship with Roshan’s social development program in Kabul. Roshan Social Programs is the Corporate Social Responsibility department of Telecom Development Company in Afghanistan. My internship involved training women with the goal of empowering them for entrepreneurial work. I developed strategies for promoting Women Public Call Offices (WPCOs) and Women Mobile Money (WM-Paisa). To do my research, I met with as many women as possible who were already running WPCOs. Meeting and talking to women operators was the most interesting part of my internship. I was always wondering why the life quality of poor people is so slow to change despite the inflow of billions of dollars of aid in Afghanistan. Though my project was small, it still gave me a feel for why Afghanistan steps towards development so slowly. From my internship, I have learned that many Afghans lack sufficient skills and have few examples of work competition that would help them complete a successful project. In addition, aid distributors with great development vision but little cultural understanding struggle to find efficient ways of initiating development projects.
Women’s and Youth Entrepreneurship at the International Labor Organization in Geneva
Nicole Widger ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will talk about my experience working for the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland during the spring and summer of 2009. I worked in the Small Enterprise Development sector and focused on Women’s and Youth Entrepreneurship. This provided me with great insight into the world of international organizations, and I was able to see how ideas and policies within large institutions were implemented to affect people on a local level. After meeting and working with so many diverse people in this type of workplace, I have expanded my knowledge of how international organizations function. My attendance at some of the ILO and UN Conferences in June has fueled my ambition to create positive change throughout the world.
A Summer of Tomatoes: Cooperative Micro-Business in Rural Mexico
Lonicera Lyttle ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will present on the field research I did for the Center for Global Justice in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. For two weeks, I lived on the ejido ranch, Peñón de los Baños, where I studied the community’s newly-established tomato-greenhouse cooperative. I compiled information on its costs, benefits, and overall effect on the people living there. This experience has dramatically affected my own priorities and values. I have come to see the role of microcredit as a tool to combat poverty and have since rekindled my love for the study of economics.
The Good Childhood: My Practicum at a Danish Childcare Center
Meredith Jones ’10, International Study
During the spring semester of 2009, I studied abroad in Copenhagen through the Danish International Studies Program. As part of my coursework, I had a weekly practicum at a childcare center serving both typically developing children as well as those with special needs, predominantly ADHD. I will provide an overview of the Danish childcare system and discuss how the Nordic philosophy of “en god barndom” or the “good childhood” influences the center’s practices. Finally I will show how this experience has influenced my academic interests and my goal of becoming a school psychologist.
How my Smith Education was Influenced by Researching and Teaching Biological Sciences
Pamela Cote ’10, Fellowship
I will discuss my experiences with the Smith College Urban Education Fellowship Program during Interterm 2008 and my experience with the Northampton High school Science Teaching Fellowship during Interterm and March of 2009. In both programs I worked directly in the classroom preparing lessons and teaching biology to middle and high school students and assisting students with their assignments. I will also talk about my summer research experience in the Cancer Immunology and AIDS department at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston during the summer of 2008 and 2009. My experiences teaching and conducting research gave me the opportunity to appreciate the impact teaching and biomedical research has in the community and the world. Ultimately, these experiences have allowed me to shape my undergraduate academic and career goals as a future scientist and teacher.
Putting Theory Into Practice: Giving back what I’ve been given
Paola Tineo ’11, Community Service
Throughout the course of my life there have been people and organizations who have pushed me to strive for success. Coming from impoverished urban communities, I am grateful for that extra push. After being at Smith College for a couple of months I realized there was something I wasn’t doing it. Through the community service office I decided to use what I was learning in the classroom to empower children and teenagers living in communities like my own. Keeping in mind Paulo Freire’s theory on liberating the oppressed, I started working with programs in Springfield and Holyoke and then expanded to create a program in the Dominican Republic.
Through My Eyes; Putting Theory to Practice
Trina L. Coleman, Ada Comstock Scholar, Praxis/Internship
I will reflect on my experience at Dunbar Community Center in Springfield as an intern over the past summer. I worked to foster the Hasbro Summer Learning Initiative (HSLI), a program of the Hasbro Corporation. A goal of this partnership was to provide “literacy support to enhance the potential programs for improving youth outcomes and stemming summer learning loss.” I assisted a HSLI specialist in increasing and providing literacy support during summer 2009. My experience with Dunbar Community Center was life-changing. My coursework on Individuals with Disabilities made it possible for me to work with the children at Dunbar with special needs. The many challenges they face as students or in their everyday lives is reflected in their behaviors. In applying my previously-learned theory to my work, I was able to forge bonds with the children that proved beneficial during my daily reading efforts. Upon completion of my internship, I was thrilled to announce to my professors in the education department my intent of adding special education to my area of concentration.
Women and Empowerment in Cameroon
Kathryn Freeman ’10, Research/Travel Abroad
I will speak about my experiences in Cameroon as a student with the School for International Training in the Fall 2008 semester. For my independent study project I examined the experiences of women farmers in solidarity groups. Through qualitative interviews I sought to discover if group work in the fields was empowering these strong women farmers. Doing this research challenged my ideas about what feminism looks like and what it means to be a woman. I was pushed to examine where my ideas and ideals come from and the role that culture plays in my life. Ultimately my experience in Cameroon has shaped the way I look at development, feminism, and the world. I have a greater desire to learn more and look at situations from many points of view, I know that nothing is one sided or simple. For this I thank my many host mothers and host sisters in Cameroon who allowed me into their fields and their lives.
Groundhogs, Grapes and the Green Monster
Francesca King ’10, Praxis/Internship
In summer 2009, I worked as a technician’s assistant at Cornell University’s research vineyard on Long Island, New York. I will discuss the daily obstacles faced by the vineyard, including personal struggles such as overcoming a fear of the Green Monster — an ooze-squirting, hissing, giant caterpillar with spikes. As my research was focused on limiting the use of herbicides, I will also explore my reaction towards sustainability efforts in viticulture. My experience contradicts much of what I have learned in the classroom, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that many vineyard managers are already to acting sustainably.
ConSuma Dignidad: Education for Responsible Consumption in Buenos Aires
Claire Denton-Spalding ’10, Research/Travel Abroad
I will evaluate my experience as a volunteer with ConSuma Dignidad in Buenos Aires from March to June 2009. During this time, I facilitated a series of workshops about fair trade, responsible consumption, and the environment for high school students. The project began with a role play of the system of global trade and culminated in a project on environmental and human rights issues. My volunteer experience overlapped with a course on Sustainable Development, which dealt with the relationship between humans and nature. The experience has opened my eyes to the degradation of the environment and inherent inequality caused by globalization. Upon my return to Smith, I have continued to explore these issues through economics, taking courses on Latin American economics and urban development.
Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Adrienne Klein ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will review my Praxis internship experiences as a translator for The Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires during the spring of 2008. For three months I worked in the National Libraries, the library and main office for the Grandmothers locating bibliographic materials, translating and cataloging for the public opening of their library. The impact of my experience was profound in shaping my understanding of the history and politics in Argentina and my ability to empathize with the Grandmothers’ personal accounts. I return to the United States and Smith College with the stories and histories of people I worked with, begging to be shared. I also return with a focus in Latin America for my research in anthropology and a confirmed sense that I wish to pursue forensic work in a human rights context.
“Supporting Child’s Rights through Education, Arts, and the Media” (SCREAM): My Praxis internship with the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor in Geneva, Switzerland
Marguerite Davenport ’10, Praxis/Internship
During my junior year abroad I interned with the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), a department within the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. This presentation will highlight my experience evaluating "awareness raising, campaigning and social mobilization” projects and their effectiveness in combating child labor. I will specifically focus on the advocacy program, “Supporting Children’s Rights through Education, Arts, and the Media” (SCREAM) to examine how social mobilization initiatives are being used as part of a multifaceted approach to promote the ILO child labor conventions. I will reflect on my experience in light of my ongoing education on the role of international organizations and my personal questions about the concept of development, and the international framework addressing development issues in the context of rapid globalization.
Seeing Another World: Working with Marginalized Parisians at the Organization Autremonde
Julia Mandeville ’10, International Study
I will review my experiences volunteering at an association called Autremonde as part of a service-learning course during my junior year abroad in Paris. The association’s mission is to help socially re-integrate people on the margins of society; every week, we held an open house where guests could come and have a cup of coffee and “bavarder un peu” (chat a bit). My experiences working with this association changed the way I think about France, the way I think about immigration, and the way I think about the relationship between state social services and volunteer associations and made my experience in Paris rich and unique.
Revolutionary Beginnings and a Repressed End: The Life of Africans in Contemporary Russia
Radhika Garland ’10, International Study
I will review my experience studying in St. Petersburg, at Russia’s first liberal arts college, during the spring semester of 2009. Among other courses on Russian culture and politics, my particular area of research was anthropology. I conducted interviews with Africans living in St. Petersburg, to discover the particulars of their daily experience. In recent years there has been a rash of racially-induced hate crimes in Russia, including armed attacks by fascists and neo-Nazis. I wanted to understand how Africans have been coping in such an environment and why they remain. This study and the interviews I conducted have opened up my mind to new ways of thinking about race and cultural trends. I hope to continue my research of ethnic minorities in Russia, with a view towards learning about how different cultures have historically interacted with each other and what the consequences of the interaction have been.
Working as an Étudiante-Chercheur at the Centre Louis Gernet
Leah Schwartzman ’10, International Study
I will talk about my experience as a library intern and research assistant at the Centre Louis Gernet/Bibliothèque Gernet-Glotz in Paris during the spring semester of my junior year abroad in Paris. For four months I worked as an assistant to Claude Calame, director of studies at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and eminent specialist in the field of Greek lyric poetry, translating Professor Calame’s articles from French into English for submission to scholarly journals for review. In addition, I worked as a library assistant, helping to facilitate the day-to-day functioning of the Bibliothèque Gernet-Glotz by shelving books, cataloguing inventory and registering new acquisitions. Both of these experiences were invaluable in the development and execution of my “Mémoire de Stage,” a 30-page research paper, written under Professor Calame’s direction and supervision, on the epinician odes of Pindar and Bacchylides.
My Year Abroad in Italy: Adventures in Art, History and (Cultural) Identity
Debleena Mitra ’10, Blumberg Fellowship
I will discuss how during my year abroad I learned the value of cross-cultural exchanges. While studying art history in Florence, I learned much about beautiful artwork and good food, but I also discovered many new things about myself. Perhaps most important, I was able to find the real meaning of self-expression. I will demonstrate my journey through my Blumberg research on the iconography of Mary Magdalene and my internship at the Biblioteca degli Uffizi. Building on that topic, I will talk of the challenges and successes of my life in Florence and of identifying oneself in a foreign context. The final aspect of my presentation will focus on how I am applying my new-found sense of identity here in my classes at Smith College. It is ironic that my original academic goal was to define the identity of Mary Magdalene, and somehow along the way I ended up finding my own.
Historic Deerfield and Me
Heather Johnston ’10, Praxis/Internship
In my presentation I will describe how I came to be at Smith, how I came to choose my major, and how I learned of the Henry N. Flynt Library in Historic Deerfield. I spent six weeks of the summer not only learning how a library runs, but also discovering the strength and wisdom evident in the small town of Deerfield. Over the course of the summer I met dedicated people, assisted in projects and toured the museum-houses. During my time here I at Smith, I have explored all the avenues that I may pursue after graduation, including library sciences, and especially archiving and book preservation.
The Adventure with Traditional Chinese Medicine in Beijing
Luisa Tsang ’10, International Study
I spent the spring of 2009 in Beijing, completing an independent study project focusing on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). My project allowed me to interview a variety of Chinese patients in three different major hospitals and one rural village clinic. In addition to interviewing patients, I spoke with practitioners of TCM and experienced TCM procedures, such as acupuncture and massage therapy. To successfully complete my project, I interned at a TCM clinic once a week practicing TCM healing techniques on patients and observed the regular functioning of a typical hospital. My work resulted in two end-product papers: TCM Approach: The Effects of Emotions on Headache and Rural Health Access: Understanding the Healthcare System in Cibei Yu Village. I will discuss my experience learning about TCM and how people in Beijing incorporate the practice into their daily lives, show some photos, and discuss my observations on the impact of western medicine on the future course of TCM.
Shadowing Medical Consultants in a Nigerian Hospital
Adeola Awodele ’11, Praxis/Internship
During the summer of 2009, I did an internship at Garki Hospital, Abuja, which is the first hospital in Nigeria to participate in the privatizing of government-owned hospitals. For five weeks, I shadowed medical consultants in five departments: internal medicine, general medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics. This internship afforded me the opportunity to see the daily lives of these different medical personnel. It also permitted me to talk with the doctors in order to widen my knowledge about the health field in Nigeria ities available to contribute to it, especially to the public health sector. These conversations helped me to better understand the impact and limitations of a medical degree on my career aspirations. In this presentation, I want to share my acquired knowledge of the varied aspects of public health, the limitations affecting public health in developing nations and the need for diverse skills in combating the various problems and challenges of the health sector.
Fundación Padre Damian
Catherine Castillo ’10, Praxis/International
This past summer, I volunteered with Fundación Padre Damian, a non-profit organization in Guayaquil, Ecuador. For two months, I rotated through different sections of the foundation to assist in various tasks but mostly to get to know the people who suffer from Hansen’s disease and thus experience the humanity of the disease. The rewarding outcome of my service project has driven me to further purse my interest in a yearlong service project abroad, most likely with Fundación Padre Damian, and my intention to attend medical school.
Peace-building and Environmental Justice in Israel and Palestine
Hannah Belsky ’10, International Study
In the fall of 2008, I studied for 4 months at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a peace-building and environmental studies program located on a kibbutz in Israel. Along with 30 students from Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and the United States, I examined the interplay between peace and environmental sustainability. I was inspired by the mantra, “The environment knows no borders,” which reflects the reality that air and water do not abide by national borders and, consequently, environmental solutions require cross-border cooperation. I am always interested in building friendships and exchanging stories across religious, national, and ethnic borders to overcome difference and grow mutual understanding and compassion. The final weeks of my time in Israel coincided with the devastating war in Gaza. During that time, I experienced the war through my friends’ stories and emotions. When I returned to Smith, I translated my experiences abroad into a passion for peace-building and conflict resolution and took courses that would help me understand conflict and its relation to economics, environmental injustice, and gender.
Sarah Perkins ’11, Research/Travel Abroad
In Mwanza Tanzania, I worked with women leaving correctional facilities and with HIV/AIDS orphans. I taught business economic classes with a service learning component planting trees, and developed a business plan for selling produce. I designed a sustainable economic curriculum and created a business plan that uses microfinance tools and organic farming. The goal was to establish a plan for self-sustaining peace for women leaving correctional facilities and for local women entrepreneurs. With these classes and projects, I facilitated seminars and workshops for working mothers on finances and basic investment strategies, which instructed them on issues of nutrition, education and wellness. Many of the local women entrepreneurs were introduced to basic accounting and bookkeeping skills, demonstrating how to apply concepts of saving and reinvesting in their business.
May The Grass Grow Tall
Kaitlin Hodge ’12, International Study
As a Smith Global STRIDE Scholar, I spent six weeks in 2009 studying in Uganda and Rwanda through the School for International Training Summer Program on Peace and Conflict Studies in the Lake Victoria Basin. My studies focused primarily on the twenty-year conflict in Northern Uganda with the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the 1994 Rwandan Genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutu. The program also featured two homestay experiences, through which I lived with a family in each of the conflict epicenters — Gulu and Kigali. On a typical day, I attended two or three lectures by local professors, professionals, leaders, and officials. I also participated in regular field excursions to camps and villages where I met with subgroups to learn about their particular concerns. I will talk about the major concepts I was exposed to in my study of conflict in the Great Lakes region of Africa, including but not limited to traditional justice, reconciliation, and the role of post-conflict governments. I will also highlight my lingering questions and concerns as I attempt to reflect on and share my experiences with others.
Not Your Average Hawaiian Vacation: Field School at the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes
Kristen Rahilly ’10, Praxis/Internship
This past summer, I did a Praxis internship in a field school on volcano monitoring with the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes in Hawaii. Alongside 16 other students, I had the opportunity to learn about four different areas of volcano monitoring: seismology, physical volcanology, deformation, and gas geochemistry. Within each unit, I was taught how to look at volcanoes with a new perspective and with different types of equipment. Not only did I get an introduction to the techniques of monitoring volcanoes, I was also fortunate enough to work with professional scientists from the University of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. As part of our work, I climbed an active volcano, saw flowing lava, measured ground deformation, and took gas samples. Although I've always been interested in volcanoes, my experience in Hawaii has widened my perspective on the local and global affects of volcanism and the ever important connection between policy-making and science.
Animal Care and Research at Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary
Maggie McCaffrey ’10, International Study
During the summer of 2009, I was one of eight volunteers working at the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary outside of Cahuita, Costa Rica. As a volunteer, I worked primarily in animal care, getting up very early every morning to clean cages, feed the animals, and prepare food for the afternoon feedings. We conducted a study to evaluate the amount of food the sloths could eat. Every morning we measured the food left from the day before and fed each of the study sloths a set amount of leaves in the morning and food in the afternoon. We also exercised the young sloths (up to a year old), taking them out up to three times a week to explore the specially-built jungle gym. Since sloths in the wild climb down from the canopy once a week to defecate and urinate, we took the juveniles (1 to 3 years) out to explore the forest floor. I also assisted when tour groups came, answering questions and handling the sloths. Every day working at the sanctuary was a dream come true as it gave me the opportunity to experience what life would be like as a zoologist. I will share some anecdotes, photographs, and sloth facts.
Deciding to be a Physician
Catherine Murphy ’10, Praxis/Internship
I will report on my experiences as an intern at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center during the summer of 2009. At Bayview I gained insight into and experience in several areas of hospital operation and medical care and research. I learned of hand-hygiene practices working with epidemiologists of the Department of Infection Control, I learned of diagnosis processes on rounds with attending physicians of the Department of Infectious Diseases, and learned of research methods conducting clinical research with physicians and epidemiologists of the Departments of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control. I entered Bayview thinking I would become a physician and left Bayview knowing I will become one.
An Anthropological Perspective on the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
Karen Sise ’10, Research/Travel Abroad
I was one of ten students selected to go to Edinburgh for two weeks this summer in a course through the University of Massachusetts to study at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I was able to draw on my skills and knowledge in technical theatre, music, and anthropology to study various elements during the festival. My intention was to focus on sound use in theatre but shifted my focus in the middle of data collection to study the use of space. I have come back with much more data than I had anticipated, resulting in one paper for the original course and a research project in the works for an Urban Anthropology seminar this semester. During the presentation I will elaborate on the unique show environments I experienced.
Flavors of French Literature
Rebecca Weiner ’10, Blumberg Fellowship
I will review my experiences traveling in France on a Blumberg travel fellowship. For the month of June 2009 I researched the relationship between gastronomic scenes in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century French literature and the local cuisine of the hometowns of the authors who wrote about food. I read Émile Zola, Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, and Marcel Proust, and traveled to and ate in their hometowns in Normandy, Burgundy, and the center of France. My experience allowed me to investigate the connections between food and literature, and thus, to enhance my passions for these two aspects of French culture. The Fellowship allowed me the freedom to concentrate, for an extended period, on an essential link between the world and the work of the author. Upon returning to the United States and Smith College I am delighted to take the added depth and breadth of my experience to help me gain greater insight into French literature and culture.
One Graffito/Two Graffiti
Zoe Litsios ’10, Blumberg Fellowship
In the summer of 2009, after studying abroad in Florence, I conducted a self-designed study entitled One Graffito/Two Graffiti as a recipient of the Blumberg Fellowship for international study. Awarded to Smith students studying abroad, the Blumberg Fellowship allows students to pursue an independent study of a cultural aspect of the country where they studied. My study focused on ancient and contemporary graffiti in Italian cities. I traveled to the Italian cities of Milan, Rome, Perugia, and Naples, and the archaeological sites Pompeii and Ostia Antica to view examples of graffiti and take photos as documentation. Through my study of these examples and my research of graffiti and street art movements I was able to identify the changing nature of Italian graffiti through history. I will use photos to discuss my experiences traveling and documenting the graffiti of Italy.
Volunteering with PANAFEST 2009: My Life’s First Capstone
Esi Kagale Agyeman ’10, International Study
During the summer of 2009 I was awarded the Smith College Class of 1983 Developing World Fund Grant, allowing me to work in Ghana for 3 months as a volunteer with the PANAFEST, a local, biennial festival promoting Pan Africanism through arts and culture in Cape Coast Ghana. I worked alongside the PANAFEST Executive Secretariat, who had been my project advisor during my fall semester in Ghana, young men and women who were unemployed, and African-American repatriates. Together we formed a cohesive team that worked to ensure that the PANAFEST materialized. My presentation will focus on how I counseled and advised those young people who were unemployed, informally observed a group of African-American repatriates, and came to understand the challenges that organizations like PANAFEST experience in executing such an involved activity. In my conclusion I will explain how each experience has come together in directing me more definitively to my life’s purpose.
There’s More to Maternal Health than Catching Babies!
Katherin Hudkins ’10, International Study
Catching a baby at its birth wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. After I became interested in childbirth and midwifery my first year at Smith, I went to rural Guatemala to learn as much as I could about traditional midwifery and to decide whether or not I wanted to be a midwife. I attended six births, caught four babies, and had more than enough downtime to think. I will discuss my experiences with traditional Guatemalan midwifery and rural daily life. These experiences taught me that I do not want to be a midwife, and revealed to me a new path within the field of maternal health. Experience truly is the best teacher. My summer in the field continues to enrich my liberal arts education, my career goals, and my life. I will talk about the value of trying new things, being open to surprise, and self-reflection.
Women’s Health in Tanzania
Rachel O’Sullivan ’12J, Research/Travel Abroad
I will talk about my experience working with a doctor and a nurse midwife in Tanga, Tanzania. I had the special opportunity to work closely with a doctor on forming an organization dedicated to lowering the maternal and infant mortality rates in the area. I was able to learn not only from observing sessions with patients but also by developing health education classes as preventive medicine with the doctor’s supervision. Through working with women in Tanzania, I have come away with a passion to further my own education in women’s health and women’s education so that I may soon be able to pass my knowledge on to those who need it.
Knowledge and Practice of Preventive Measures against HIV/STD Transmission: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Marla Maccia ’10, Research/Travel Abroad
I participated in a Public Health and Community Welfare program directed by a Brazilian anthropologist in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in the fall of 2008. I spent one month of my time there researching different communities’ knowledge of HIV/STD transmission and their knowledge and use of contraceptives. I focused on homosexual females because my advisor works with an organization that supports lesbian women. I used questionnaires and interviews to interact with members of the community and found that there is a lack of understanding of these issues among young women, both lesbian and straight. While Brazil has developed a successful AIDS information campaign, the information is geared toward men in the “machismo” Latin culture. This has opened my eyes to how ineffective campaigns can be, and how public health information is influenced by cultural values and not easily accessible to those who most need it.
The third annual Smith Elects the World conference was held October 30, 2008. Here is a snapshot of the presentations.
Avignon Theatre Festival
Alyson Faller '09; JYA
After my JYA in Paris, I received a Blumberg Travel grant to do research with the Avignon Theatre In and Off Festivals and found myself in a unique setting. My research included attending exceptional performances, including Guy Cassiers' two politically charged plays, Wajdi Mouawad's self-exploration and examination in Seuls, and a young troupe's enthusiastic adaptation of Othello. I will discuss the programming associated with the theatre festival, discussing some observations about French cultural policy. I will examine how this experience has influenced by future plans for study. I will be using photographs of the city and of publicity throughout the city to illustrate the diversity of the dramatic offerings.
Catherine E. Hatch '09; JYA
I will describe my experience abroad living in the cosmopolitan city of Geneva and the peculiarities of everyday life in a foreign culture. My classes were spectacular, and I had the opportunity to do two different internships. I will talk about how certain frustrations with food led to my inspiration to explore the role chocolate plays in European culture. My travels to Versoix, Barcelona, Brussels, Cologne and Vienna informed my research. I will relate my Blumberg experience to the thesis on coffee I am writing for my new field of study at Smith -- European Cultural Studies (self-designed major).
Penumbra Theater Company: Black Social Justice and Awareness
Kelsey Olwell '10; Praxis
I did a Praxis internship with the Penumbra Theater Company where I worked on the August Wilson Oral History Project. The Wilson project is of great significance to the Black community, and it affected me personally. Though I did not get any photos of my work or time at the theater, I have other images as background to my talk.
Roberto Cavalli: “Devil Wears Prada” Meets the Pursuit of Happiness
Sarah L. Carroux '09; Praxis
I had a Praxis internship working with the Roberto Cavalli fashion house. Not only was this internship experience the direct opposite of a Devil Wears Prada experience, I am now certain that I have what it takes to pursue a career in the fashion industry. I will show slides with images of outfits from previous and upcoming Roberto Cavalli collections.
Working for Change with some "Considerations": A Summer Internship in Kabul
Shaharzad Akbar '09; Praxis
I did a Praxis internship this past summer with the Asia Foundation projects in Afghanistan. I will talk about NGOs in post-conflict Afghanistan and people's view of them. I will elaborate on two of the projects that I worked on during the summer to explain the shift in my view towards NGO work. Both these projects were part of my internship with the Asia Foundation. I will illustrate the role of government and the donor society and the politics of NGO work, drawing on a donor meeting that I went to as an example. My Praxis internship has led to plans for graduate school in the field of development studies followed by work in Afghanistan.
Working in Person in Tanzania
Meg Schmitt '09; Praxis
My internship with the Faraja Trust Fund, the non-governmental organization (NGO) that I interned for in Morogoro, Tanzania, was made possible through Praxis funding, International Study Grant, and the Leanna Brown Fellowship sponsored by the Government Department. I will discuss my preparation for the trip through Smith, and will discuss how it has reshaped my academic and career goals: I am now studying Kiswahili, and I am applying for a Fulbright in 2010 to examine Faraja's programming which addresses gender dynamics within communities/relationships and its correlation with HIV transmission. I will also discuss the implications for graduate school, as I was planning to pursue a Master's degree in Public Policy and am now trying to combine that with a degree in International Development.
To LULAC and Beyond: My Amazing Summer in DC
Amanda Lee Keammerer '09; Praxis
I did a Praxis internship with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), at the national office in D.C. I will focus on my work during LULAC's 79th Annual National Convention, a week of events that took place in July, since these projects were my biggest assignments and proudest accomplishments of the summer. I will share photographs from our convention week to help illustrate my amazing experiences.
The Likeness of Capitol Hill and the Maghreb
Elena Farrar '10; Internship
I will talk about the two experiences that I had this summer--an internship in the U.S. Senate and my development study in Ifrane, Morocco--and offer a comparison of the two experiences. In Morocco, I learned about different models of development and traveled to different regions seeing government development initiatives. While working in the Senate, my work as a liaison for the constituents of New Hampshire often seemed tedious, or ineffectual. These experiences have led to a desire to continue studying international relations, and perhaps to act on behalf of the United States to foster dialogue among developing nations.
Refugee Resettlement Policies in Switzerland
Melanie Jaskolka '09; JYA
I will present an overview of the current political climate in Switzerland. The prevailing attitude towards immigrants and refugees fueled by a recent xenophobic political campaign, was my motivation to study refugee resettlement in Switzerland for my Blumberg Traveling Fellowship. I will present posters from this campaign to illustrate my points. I was able to travel to Berne, Fribourg, and Zurich to interview people at four refugee resettlement agencies. This project is related to my broader interests, and evolved from a previous internship at an American refugee resettlement agency as well as my studies in political science.
The Map is Not the Territory
Elizabeth Crews '09; Study Abroad
I will introduce my presentation by describing the concluding event of my summer study at Trinity College, Oxford University as a participant in the University of Massachusetts Amherst Oxford Summer Seminar program. On August 6, at the final high table dinner, I received one of two Hofer Book Prize Awards for my essay entitled, “Irresistible Force Meets Unmovable Object: Policy, Principle, and the Anglo-American Crisis.” I will describe my experience studying at Oxford in more detail; the course work, the privilege of studying with Dr. Clare Connors of Queens College and Dr. Andrew Beaumont of Lincoln College, as well as the benefits of being “in residence” at Trinity College for six weeks. My photographs not only will illustrate the history and hospitality of the “dreaming city of spires,” but will emphasize the transformative power of a Smith education: the ability to apply the rigorous criticism and analysis necessary for research, writing, and debate and professors who not only taught, but mentored me, enabling me to produce academic works of merit at Oxford, as well as confirming and refining my current research that I intend to continue in graduate school.
Reconnecting with Jewish Cultural Identity through Research
Ayla Schlosser '09; Research/Travel Abroad
I will talk about my study abroad experience in Barcelona and my feeling of isolation during the High Holy Days as the only Jew in my program. I will explain why, as a recipient of the Smith College Vale Grant, I decided to research the pre-1492 Jews in Catalonia, specifically Barcelona and Girona, and I will present some of the information that I gathered, as well as show photographs of some of the few remaining physical remnants of pre-1492 Jewish communities in Barcelona and Girona. This project has helped me to reconnect with my own Jewish cultural identity, and it has redirected my coursework at Smith.
Got Water? Will You Always?
Kelly Forbush '09; Community Service
My time in Switzerland this summer motivated me to take serious action on the water crisis. I will describe the remarkable experience of the World Council of Church's Ecumenical Water Network's Summer School on Water, which I attended in Geneva, an opportunity provided to me by the connections, resources, and skills developed with the help of Smith. During the summer school the twenty-two culturally, denominationally, vocationally and politically diverse young men and women from around the world, developed concrete action plans to begin the process of sustainably providing clean, accessible water to all people on earth. These actions are being carried out by participants in their home countries through their ecumenical Christian communities. I am preparing presentations and taking courses which will help me better understand and articulate the issues surrounding water.
Target: Hunger. Transforming Mason Square One Ripe Peach at a Time
Kathleen Daly AC; Internship
“What would happen if people came together to create long-term solutions to hunger in their own community?” My 2008 summer internship, sponsored by the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts/Target:Hunger Springfield and funded by Praxis, allowed me to address this issue concretely through my work with the Concerned Citizens of Mason Square Farmers Market in Springfield. My association with this unique hunger reduction strategy was sparked by community-based learning coursework at Smith. As a result, I had an opportunity to experience effective grassroots community organizing at its most essential. In helping the residents of Mason Square to realize their dream of making fresh nutritious local produce available at a price they could afford, I bore witness to the vast range of possibilities available and achievable when people work together to create solutions from within their own communities. I'll share some of my stories from classroom to the kitchens, the orchards to the offices, and the rural farm fields to the urban neighborhood gardens, where this model of local activism entirely specific to its constituents took form. Regardless of my career path, I hope my work will always be so meaningful as it was this summer in Mason Square.
Volunteerism in New Orleans
Amber Tucker '09; Community Service
I will describe what the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) is and how I came to be involved with the program and the work I did. I will elaborate on how my experience with ASB expanded my understanding of classism and racism in the U.S., and will speak on how the experience solidified my desire to make activism a bigger part of my life, including my decision to volunteer with Safe Passage, work in the community gardens and apply for the Peace Corps after graduation.
Rebellion, Solidarity, and Expression: Exploring Folk Music in Italy
Rachel Love '09; JYA
In the summer of 2008 in Florence, Italy, I studied Italian folk music, or la musica popolare, and its role in the Italian identity on a Calkins Grant. I interviewed an Italian folk musician and anthropologist, Ivan della Mea, and a professor of oral history, Alessandro Portelli, researched texts, and attended concerts and festivals. I discovered that Italian traditions are diverse and innumerable. La musica popolare embodies this diversity and its consequent cultural divisions, but it also communicates across boundaries of class and region. This project has helped me understand the importance of cultural expression, especially to those who frequently have no voice.
Art is Power: Young People's Mural Painting in Nicaragua
Olivia Levins Holden '09; Praxis
I will give a brief history and context of the organization FUNARTE and their role in the community of Esteli, Nicaragua, including their mission and their work teaching children and youth to express knowledge of their rights through murals painted in public spaces around the city. Photographs of the workshop process and of murals on city walls will illustrate this narrative. I will explain my role as a volunteer for the organization and what I observed during my time there. To conclude, I will place the experience within my greater context of learning, and how it has inspired hopes for future collaboration and similar work.
Art, Ritual, and Representation: Tsam Dance in Mongolian Culture
Mikaela Mroczynski '09; JYA
Drawing from six months of ethnographic research done in Mongolia, I will talk about the experiences that shifted how I thought about my work as a scholar and a student. My presentation will begin with an introduction of the Buddhist ritual through photographs and a video clip. A discussion of my research process, tracing the conclusions I reached with my process of discovery, will follow. Emphasis will be placed specifically upon a two-month maskmaking apprenticeship that I completed, and how the liberal arts informed my time in Mongolia.
Children's Photovoice Project in Paraguay
Amelia Mitchell '11; Internship
During the summer of 2008, I was one of 100 undergraduate college students chosen by the Davis Foundation to implement a project I had designed to promote peace in the world, as part of their initiative 100 Projects for Peace. For my “Photovoice” project, I worked with children from an indigenous community in a rural part of Paraguay, whom I had met the previous year while doing volunteer work. I taught the children of the community how to use cameras to document, explain, celebrate, and share their lives, which required self-exploration and self-definition, as well as social action, as the community hopes to use the photos in its case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to increase awareness about their fight to reclaim ancestral lands. I will discuss my experience with the “Photovoice” methodology, show some of the children's photos, and discuss the impact on the community and its struggle for justice.
Helping Women Help Themselves: Sex Work, Health and Development in Mahajanga, Madagascar
Rachel Pryzby '09; Research/Travel Abroad
Poverty is an inescapable reality in Madagascar, a force that permeates the lives of most Malagasy people. Poverty proves to be particularly cruel to women, who are often illiterate, unmarried, and have children to support. In cases such as these, often the quickest and most lucrative type of work available is sex work. During my semester abroad in Madagascar with the School for International Training, I conducted a month-long research project looking at access to health care and development opportunities for sex workers. I will introduce contextual information about my academic program and the study site, and discuss my methodology and findings. I initially sought to understand sex workers' conditions from the perspective of medical practitioners, non-governmental organizations, the community at large, and, most important, sex workers themselves. After the first stage of the study, however, the focus shifted to how to help sex workers -- what kind of help they seek, if any; what efforts currently exist among Malagasy and foreign organizations; what the role is of healthcare in aiding sex workers; and which elements are lacking.
Delivering in the Dominican
Natalie Krumdieck '09; Praxis
I will describe Proyecto ADAMES, the non-profit organization that I volunteered with over the summer of 2007 for my Praxis internship, and my daily duties as a labor doula. I will also discuss my realization that one of the most important parts of volunteering is the learning experience, and that helping people is a side benefit to this. My experience has driven me to further pursue my interest in global healthcare by studying abroad in South Africa and my intention to pursue a Master of Public Health degree after Smith.
Internship with A Mother's Wish Foundation, Dominican Republic
Emily Wolfe Roubatis '09; Internship
I worked with A Mother's Wish Foundation to improve maternal and child health outside of Santiago, Dominican Republic. I will talk about starting three separate women's support groups, teaching health classes to women of reproductive age, organizing lactation counselors to help in the community and shadowing doctors and nurses in the community clinic.
Blumberg Traveling Fellowship: Doulas and Childbirth Care in France and Switzerland
Brittany Diaz '09; JYA
I will talk about my experience studying the newly-developing doula work and changing midwifery and maternity care in France and Switzerland, particularly in Paris and Geneva, making a distinction between American practices and European practices. I had the opportunity to travel between two Francophone regions and made surprising discoveries about maternity care in Europe, interviewing practicing doulas, doula clients and midwives. I will make key comparisons between my observations of birthing culture in America and Europe, and I will note the importance of this study with relation to my education as a doula and my career goal of becoming a midwife to work internationally.
Students Redesigning the Automotive Industry: The Vehicle Design Summit 2.0
Sari Field '09; Research/Travel Abroad
As an engineering student, I participated in the Vehicle Design Summit in 2007 and 2008, culminating last summer when our Smith team built the first prototype in Torino, Italy. I will talk about my personal growth, the value added to my curriculum, and what I could bring to the project because of my education at Smith. I will discuss what I have been able to bring to Smith because of my involvement with this project, what the future holds for Smith in terms of our relation with the Vehicle Design Summit, and how the project has shaped my goals for my professional career.
Urban Planning in the Paris Banlieues
Norabelle Greenberger '09; JYA Internship
While on Paris JYA, I was an intern in a low-income housing office in the Paris suburb of Romainville. French suburbs are very different from our American idea of suburbia. I will discuss the work I did for the office, finishing the semester with an urban study analyzing a component of a proposed renovation project. This site analysis, which incorporated the historical, social, economic, architectural, and urban context of a block that will be developed into a commercial center linking the low-income housing complex to Romainville's downtown, was used to evaluate the success of the proposed project. I will discuss how this experience relates to my studies previous to Paris JYA in both architecture and French, and how this first introduction to the field of urban planning has inspired my future academic and career goals.
The Beauty of Security - What Ties Hearts to the Landscape
Christine Cobden '10J; Praxis
I had a Praxis internship in New York City at Mark K. Morrison Associates, a landscape architecture firm, working under Leonard J. Hopper, former President of the American Society of Landscape Architects and “site security” design expert. Through research and work on projects for clients such as the United Nations and the Trust for Public Land's “Schoolyards to Playgrounds” program, my own definition of what constitutes “site security” has transformed to include a complex beauty in its own right. My participation in the “design and build” process allowed me to experience the power landscape architects have to bring people together and define our common experience of place. With photos gathered from the firm's portfolio I will demonstrate how careful design can bind hearts, through both site and sight, to landscapes, and secure the future of its users. I will also discuss my Praxis internship experience as a critical capstone to my studies at Smith and as inspiration for those I am currently pursuing.
The Art of Looking
Emily Clare Casey '09; JYA
The lessons students take away from their cross-cultural educational experiences are diverse and often unexpected. While many can articulate concrete ideas or practices they have gained from their time, others deal in more abstract and formative reactions. I will explain how my presentation — in detailing my relationship with specific paintings in Paris — falls under the former rather than the latter, and I'll talk about the experience of living in a teeming European city steeped in history, where I visited myriad museums and galleries every week. My academic, intellectual and aesthetic reactions to a group of paintings shifted my practice of looking, not just at art, but at ideas. My idea of looking is relevant and vital not only to art historians, but to those active in all fields of learning and practice.
Problematizing the Museum Space: A Summer at the Corcoran
Kelly Montana '09; Praxis
I had the opportunity to work as an Exhibitions Intern at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., a position I was able to obtain through Praxis. I will describe exhibition projects I worked on and highlight key pieces from each exhibition. My classes at Smith, in particular a museum studies seminar offered through the Smith program at the Smithsonian, prepared me for this work and helped me address the challenges that museums face today, and my plans for the future have been greatly influenced by the experience.
Restoration and Transformation: Perspectives on Reading History in the United States and China
Elisabeth Ramsey '09; Internship
My presentation will focus on two of my internships, the first in the Department of Historic Landscapes at Strawberry Banke Museum, Portsmouth, NH, a museum covering 300 years of American history, and the second at 798/Red Gate Gallery in Beijing, a contemporary art gallery housed in a former munitions factory. While seemingly irreconcilable, each of these internships concentrated on the many ways we read history in the spaces we occupy and the things we own.
Investigating Provenance for the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin
Sarah (Lois) Jenkins '09; JYA & Praxis
I will begin my presentation with a description of my introduction to the Mortimer Rare Book Room and how I talked Martin Antonetti into hiring me. My daily activities there included helping to curate an exhibit in the third floor gallery during J-term of my sophomore year. During that time I was applying for JYA, and Martin proposed the idea of my looking for an internship while abroad. It turns out he had connections to the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, and I ended up doing my Praxis there over a period of seven months as curatorial assistant. I will talk about my work there and the opportunities that presented themselves when I started to connect to people there.
My AllAfrica Experience
Laura Ingabire '09; Praxis
AllAfrica, the oldest online news source, disseminates news from countries all over Africa. It is invaluable as a news source and as a tool to encourage sustainable development and change the image of Africa. I will talk about how I came to intern at AllAfrica and the experiences I had there. I will also talk about how my experience at AllAfrica shaped my interest in working in Africa.
Health, Violence and Development in Southern Sudan
Presenter: Emma Ensign '10; Internship
My presentation will be focused on my travel and work in southern Sudan this past summer. I primarily worked on a public health project under the auspices of the Catholic Diocese of Torit in Eastern Equatoria, one of the eight states in southern Sudan. I wrote an application to the Global Fund for mosquito nets, medicine and programs to strengthen health systems in order to reduce the incidence of and treat malaria in Eastern Equatoria. I also traveled extensively to evaluate health facilities in the area, compiled data and maps on population distribution and village locations, and organized and participated in a mosquito net distribution to mothers and pregnant women. My presentation will describe the project in more detail, as well as briefly touch on other aspects of the summer, including the research I conducted on disarmament policies. I will use photographs from my trip to illustrate my talk. In conclusion, I will examine the effects of my summer experience on my academics, and the ways in which the summer changed my approach to my education. I will also talk about how my experience in Sudan influenced my Kahn Institute Fellowship project and helped me formulate my plans for graduate study.
Kiva.org Microfinance in Cameroon
Lucy Gent '09; Fellowship
I will present my fellowship with Kiva.org doing microfinance in Cameroon during Summer 2008 and talk about the innovative online platform that Kiva.org has created to raise funds from individuals. My work in Cameroon was based on skills acquired at Smith, and became more developed through my field experience. In addition, I developed personal skills that I believe will help me be a better global citizen. This Smith Praxis internship helped me develop ideas and prepare for a career as an entrepreneur and sustainable business leader after I graduate from Smith.
Addressing the Needs of Gitana Rumana Women and Their Children in the Streets of Córdoba, Spain.
Shana Dooley '09; Research/Travel Abroad
I will begin my presentation with an explanation of the objectives outlined by the Association for the Social Defense of Adolescents and Minors (ADSAM), and the specific projects I worked on with them in Córdoba, Spain, for my Praxis internship and Vale Grant experience. My focus will be on the street social intervention program for the prevention of mendicancy with children, especially among the targeted population of ethnically Gypsy families of Romanian nationality, the childcare and educational services provided by the program and my specific functions as a social educator and child education monitor. I will expand on the highlights of my experience and how this work relates to my overall goals for exploring further education in the sectors of public health and social intervention psychology.
Vietnam Medical Project- International Medical Options
MyDzung Chu '09; Summer Internships
Through photographs and personal account, my presentation will be a journey of my trip back to the Kien Giang, Vietnam, last summer on a medical mission trip with the Vietnam Medical Project. I will discuss the program's objectives and preparations, the diffficulties of establishing a medical missions trip in Vietnam, my observations and reflections of health in Kien Giang District, especially pediatric and geriatric health, and my experience in the clinics working alongside doctors and meeting patients. My overall experience in Vietnam has reinforced my desire and confidence to pursue medicine, and the integrative approach of the program on medical treatment and public health education has also reinforced the need to integrate these two areas, medicine and public health, in my studies and career as well.
Mali: A Look at Childhood Health Issues and Health Education
Jillian Merica '09; Study Abroad
I will talk about the different cultures of Mali where I studied abroad, providing background information on the health concerns in the country. My independent research project, performed during my semester abroad with SIT, compared childhood health issues with the health education provided by local schools in the capital city, Bamako. I will talk about the parameters of my research, my observations and my findings, examining the current difficulties related to healthcare and health related knowledge. In conclusion, I will touch on the positive aspects of health care and education, including feasible changes.
Climate Change in the Land of the 24-hour Sun: Svalbard Research Experience for Undergraduates
Maya Wei-Haas '09; Fellowship
Polar regions are ideal environments for studying climate history because of their sensitivity to changes in climate and their isolation from direct anthropogenic influences. I will discuss the climate change research I conducted in Svalbard, Norway, as a participant in the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. I am continuing this research for my honors thesis at Smith as a Mellon Mays Fellow. I will elaborate on the techniques I learned at Lake Kongress in Svalbard for collecting sediment cores from a boat at 50 meters water depth. Life in the field required adjustments, and I will address how this experience has shaped my perception of fieldwork and describe how participating in the Svalbard REU program has influenced my views of climate research and my aspirations for a future in science.
SFS Australia: The Wonders and Hopes for the North Queensland Rainforest
Sylvia Vega '09; JYA
I will provide the historical context of deforestation of the North Queensland Australian rainforest, and I will describe my experiences with concerned local groups, including Aborigines, and the challenges of microbat research to demonstrate the impact of rainforest destruction. The use of images from my time abroad will illustrate my discussion. This experience expanded my understanding of why environmental degradation occurs, while enabling me to identify a career in conservation biology and animal rehabilitation. Furthermore, this experience instilled in me a sense of hope for our world's ecosystems.
Searching for the Green Flash: A Year's Worth of Epiphanies on How to Save the World
Lela Schlenker '09; JYA
I became interested in fisheries biology through two hands-on research semesters during my junior year abroad in Ecuador. My interest began in the 2007 fall semester while studying at the Williams-Mystic program when I was involved in a marine ecology research project that analyzed the diets of two commercially important predator species, bluefish and thorny skates, and why research like this is crucial to the health of our oceans. In Ecuador, I performed an independent study on the impacts of shrimp farms on the coast of Ecuador and their affect on estuarine communities in the region. My interest was further developed during my summer internship with the National Marine Fisheries Service working on a salmon recolonization project and as a research intern for a local author writing a book about the collapse of the global fisheries. All of these experiences have reinforced my interest in fisheries biology and led me to the decision to pursue work in this field.
"Microfinance Plus": Research at Grameen Koota
Asha Sharma '09; Travel/research abroad
I will present on my summer experience at Grameen Koota, a Forbes50 microfinance institution, located in Bangalore, India. With the help of Praxis and an International Study Grant, I analyzed its core micro-lending operations and conducted research on the potential for livelihoods programs in the areas. I will discuss my research findings, while highlighting the logistical and cultural adventures that arose. In conclusion, I will tie my internship together with my other research-based opportunities, including a Civil Liberties and Public Policy grant and a Goldwater Institute fellowhip, that provided me with the requisite skills to get the most out of a relatively unstructured environment.
Turning Paris JYA into an Applied Work Experience
Rebecca Freeman '09; Internship
In 2007-08 I did an internship while participating in the Smith JYA Paris program working in the Structural Economic Statistics Division of the Statistics Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. I was able to use Praxis to prolong my internship through the summer, and I'll talk about the relationship between my internship and my current academic studies (in particular my senior thesis which is partially a project for the OECD) in addition to how this experience has influenced my career goals.
Science and Splendor: Researching Historical Scientific Instruments
Lyudmyla Kovalenko '09; Category: JYA
I conducted my Praxis-funded internship in the museums and cultural center of East Germany, where I worked in the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon. I will use images of scientific instruments to illustrate my story as well as allow the audience to appreciate the grandeur of the Royal Collection. The interdisciplinary nature of my tasks compelled me to research holistically, drawing from versatile domains (math, physics, history, art, religion, languages). My work at MPS was both intense and inspiring, and enabled me to conduct a self-designed project (funded by Smith Calkins Award) that focused on the Jahrhundertwende paintings created in Vienna (1895-1935), which I completed after my JYA Hamburg program. I plan to continue researching the union of art and science in the field of Neuroesthetics.