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2009 Vespers Highlights

 Highlights from the 2009 vespers concert. Christmas Vespers tells the story of Advent through hymns, prayers, and readings.

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A Smith alumna I met at a concert in my hometown suggested I consider Smith in my college search, and I was so impressed with her that I did some research. When I discovered that Julia Child, Nancy Reagan and Betty Friedan were all Smith alumnae, I thought, a school that produces consistently impressive graduates is definitely worth consideration! Smith has been a great fit for me from the beginning.

I was homeschooled through high school, and I played with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra the year before I came to Smith. I was concertmaster in the college orchestra my first year here. This year I am in a piano trio working on pieces by Shostakovich and Schumann.

I’m considering a career in law or criminal justice and will use my Praxis grant this summer to intern at the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department. This semester I worked on a research project with Nnamdi Pole, one of my psychology professors, involving the psychological effects of trauma on police officers and their families. Next year I will be going to Paris to study through Smith’s Junior Year Abroad program.

Smith is both nurturing and tough at the same time. It makes you stretch yourself, while giving you support and encouragement. My professors are always available to talk with me, not just about classes, but about books and articles I’ve read, ideas and research. 

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I visited Smith the fall of my senior year in high school and fell in love with the campus and the people. There’s such a positive energy about Smith. When I sat in on classes and saw how rigorous the work was and how motivated the students were, I thought, this is where I need to be.

My first year, I took a broad range of subjects. Government emerged as a central theme. I plan to be involved in politics in some way, to be a voice for change, either as an attorney or a state representative or a senator. Smith has taught me that as long as I have tenable arguments and can back them up with coherent and thoughtful statements, I can confidently speak my mind and listen to opposing points of view with an open mind.

I attended the University of South Africa in Cape Town my junior year. I don’t think I would have dared to go abroad if my friends and counselors at Smith had not encouraged me. Living in another culture has given me confidence. I took a course in South Africa called Theater in Education. Being confident onstage and knowing how to present myself are assets that I also use as a Gold Key guide at Smith.

I know I’m on the right path at Smith. I’m broadening my skill set and knowledge, so that no matter what I end up doing, I’ll be prepared.

Video

Engineering Social Justice

Donna Riley, Associate Professor of Engineering
Traditionally, engineers have been trained to be “value neutral,” focusing on solving the problem at hand without always considering the social and moral consequences of their work. Donna Riley argues that, with a shift in priorities to emphasize helping people over earning profits, engineers can strive to achieve not only efficient solutions but a more just society as well.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

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Smiffenpoofs Celebrate 75 Years

Smith's Smiffenpoofs, the oldest collegiate women's a cappella group in the country, held celebration concert with alumnae on Saturday, Nov. 5, in which they performed selections from their vast repertoire, compiled since 1936. Don't miss the special message from crapappella at the end of the video.

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Minding the Achievement Gap

Sam Intrator, Professor of Education and Child Study
It’s widely accepted that higher education leads to better life outcomes, yet college remains an unfulfilled hope for many young Americans. At the same time, the U.S. is falling behind much of the developed world in measures of academic achievement. Sam Intrator considers the merits of three different approaches to narrowing the achievement gap to the benefit of individuals and society.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

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Scholars in Studio Launch

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Poetry Reading by Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield’s work has been called “passionate and radiant” by The New York Times. Her poetry is an extension of a life both lived and examined, and her carefully crafted poems range from elegiac to joyful, reflective to restive.

The reading took place on October 4, 2011, in Weinstein Auditorium, Wright Hall. With an introduction by Poetry Center Director Ellen Watson.

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Speaking Out On Quiet

Kevin Quashie, Associate Professor of Afro-American Studies
Kevin Quashie takes a closer look at the iconic image from the 1960s of American sprinters Tommie Smith and Juan Carlos raising their fists in protest on the medal podium at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Their display, Quashie argues, was more than an angry act of defiance; it was a quiet moment of personal revolution.
Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

 

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Video

Environmental Refugees

Greg White, Professor of Government and Faculty Director of the Global Studies Center
Among the concerns about human-caused climate change is the specter of tens of millions of so-called environmental refugees spreading north into Western Europe and North America. Greg White argues that the estimates of potential environmental refugees are both greatly exaggerated and politically motivated.

Part of the Scholars in Studio video series

Learn more about the intellectual life of Smith College

Insight
An online journal of ideas and creative thinking from Smith College
www.smith.edu/insight/

The Centers for Engagement, Learning and Leadership
Smith's four interdisciplinary centers integrate student and scholarly interests within a real-world context
www.smith.edu/acad_centers.php

The Smith Design for Learning
Smith's plan to re-imagine a liberal arts education for today's complex world
www.smith.edu/giving/design.php

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