This year’s Julia Child Day celebration, held November 20, served up delectable treats that the iconic chef would have loved, such as filo bundles with fresh brie and roasted duck with turnip, but aside from the mouthwatering  menus there was a thoughtful discussion about the ways we obtain and use food. Anna Lappé, activist, author, and co-founder of the Small Planet Institute, and Bryant Terry, eco-chef and food justice activist, provided the day’s featured presentation in the Campus Center Carroll Room. Lappé and Terry teamed to write the critically acclaimed book Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, part exposé about the food industry, part cookbook with healthy, responsible—and inviting— organic recipes. Information about the day’s events, including menus and a photo gallery, appears at http://www.smith.edu/future/NewsEvents09/JuliaChild08/

When President-elect Barack Obama stepped behind the podium in mid-November to outline some of his economic proposals, one of the key advisers standing behind him was Laura D’Andrea Tyson ’69. The New York Times reported that Tyson, who was the first woman to chair the Council of Economic Advisors under President Bill Clinton, was being considered for a top economic job in the new administration. For more on Tyson you can read her profile in the New York Times here.

How can new sources of energy be integrated into the country’s existing electric power system to improve its efficiency without disrupting its stability? That’s a question Judith Cardell, associate professor of engineering and computer science, hopes to answer with the help of a new $70,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. Her project, which will incorporate student research, promotes the expanded use of distributed resources such as wind turbines and cogeneration plants. “The electric power system is one of the most complex, interconnected engineering systems in existence,” Cardell says. “As this system evolves under the combined influence of restructuring, technological advances, and restrictions on pollution emissions, distributed energy resources organized into semi-autonomous ‘microgrids’ will have an important role.” For an expanded discussion of Cardell’s work, go to http://www.smith.edu/newsoffice/releases/NewsOffice08_025.html.

Sarah Winawer-Wetzel ’05 and Amanda Hanley ’06 knew there had to be other avid alumnae bloggers out there. So they put out a call, and a year later the two have culled a collection of more than 180 blogs written by alumnae, listing them all on their newly created site, The Association of Smith College Alum Blogs. “It’s a great resource,” Winawer-Wetzel says of the site, which gets about 1,000 hits a month. Visit the site here. Read more in the upcoming Winter issue of the Smith Alumnae Quarterly.

Anyone interested in seeing the extent of Smith’s global reach need only have attended this fall’s Smith Elects the World conference, held on October 30. More than 40 students used the occasion to talk about their Junior Year Abroad experiences, internships, and community service projects around the world. Their projects ranged from using theater to advance social justice to working in a low-income housing office in a Paris suburb; from documenting a medical mission to Vietnam to working with women and children on the streets of Spain. While the projects encompassed diverse types of work, students highlighted the benefits of having to learn from hands-on efforts in new and often difficult environments. For a full list of the projects, see
http://www.smith.edu/news/2008-09/smithelectstheworld-030.php.

Therese Stanton AC ’96, who is preparing a book on literacy in America, recently received the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, which is given annually to six women writers who demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers. The award offers each writer $25,000 in support to complete a work in progress. Stanton’s book, tentatively titled Reading and Writing in America, is a novella and collection of stories that put literacy and speech in a cultural and historical context. Her nominator wrote, “These are necessary stories, written by an emerging writer with great generosity and vision.” For more, visit www.ronajaffefoundation.org.

An upcoming conference sponsored by the Alumnae Association of Smith College, with support from Liberty Mutual, will examine the current climate for women in business. Titled Smith Women Mean Business, the event, which is scheduled for March 26–27, 2009, will feature panel discussions and personal stories from alumnae at all levels of the profession. A highlight of the program will be a session on the topic of business ethics, planned in conjunction with Smith’s philosophy department, ethics program, and the Women and Financial Independence program. For information, e-mail alumedu@smith.edu.

The Office of Admission is looking for high school teachers to add to a database of alumnae teachers. If you’re a teacher, follow this link to tell us who you are and where you teach: http://www.smith.edu/admission/forms/alumteach.php. As a teacher and an alumna, you have no doubt shared your enthusiasm about Smith with your students. We encourage you to continue to spread the word. We look forward to hearing from you.

A host of affinity groups are available for alumnae looking to connect with other Smith women who share similar interests, professions, or cultural backgrounds. Among the existing groups are the Association of Latina Alumnae of Smith (ALAS), Black Alumnae of Smith College (BASC), the Smith Asian Alumnae Connection (SAAC), the LGBTQ Alumnae Alliance of Smith College, and Smith Alumnae with MBAs (SAMBA). For information about affinity and special interest programs, visit http://alumnae.smith.edu/groups/affinity.php.

In October, economics professor Randall Bartlett, geology professor John Brady, and psychology professor Patricia Marten DiBartolo ’89 were awarded the Sherrerd Award for Distinguished Teaching. Watch profiles of each professor here.
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