2018 Back-to-Class Sessions: Reunion I

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Friday, May 18

Session I (1:00–1:45 p.m.)

The State of Liberal Education in a Changing World
Jon Western, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty; professor of international relations

Join Mount Holyoke’s dean of faculty for a discussion of the state of liberal arts education in a dynamic and challenging global environment. Dean Western, who is also the Carol Hoffman Collins ’63 Professor of International Relations, will discuss the imperative of liberal arts education in a world with highly complex and interconnected global challenges. He will present how a liberal arts education, and an MHC education in particular, is preparing our students to understand and confront some of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century: climate change, resource scarcity, environmental degradation, global economic, social and cultural inequality, and globalization and its backlash, among others.

Location: Cleveland L2

You’re History! An Introduction to the Mount Holyoke College Archives
Leslie Fields, head of Archives and Special Collections

This will be a hands-on look at the fascinating artifacts in the Archives and an introduction to some of your fellow alums who made history over the past 175+ years. If you would like to sleuth the stories that scrapbooks can tell, read other people’s mail, or consider the legacies of dedicated women who worked for social justice in many forms, then this class is for you. Plus we’ll discuss how your own Mount Holyoke stories can be preserved and remembered in the Archives! Due to the limitation of space, the class will only be able to accommodate 20 attendees.

Location: Archives Reading Room, Dwight Hall

Career Transitions
Karen M.L. Miller, senior associate director of external relations and Kelly R. Woods, associate director of career advising

Join Career Development Center staff for an opportunity to reflect on this phase of your life. Where are you and where do you want to be? Managing your career requires developing a plan that makes sense personally and professionally. Hear from others, consider next steps, and establish goals to get started on the professional trajectory you want today! Career resources available to alumnae will also be reviewed.

Location: Cleveland L1

Session II (2:00–2:45 p.m.)

Urban Teacher Pathways: A Collaboration between MHC and Holyoke Public Schools to Prepare ‘Home Grown’ Teachers
Beverley Bell, director of Graduate Education Programs, with Kelly Curran, manager of recruitment at Holyoke Public Schools, and alumnae and current teachers Stephanie Isabelle MA’17 and Kate O’Donnell MA’17

During this session, participants will experience first-hand the practices that characterize high-achieving, engaging classrooms as we share information on our exciting partnership with Holyoke Public Schools to provide a pathway for paraprofessionals and teachers-on-waivers to enter the classroom as highly qualified teachers.

Location: Kendade 305

Preliminary Evidence for Triangulated Threat Theory of Race Relations from a Virtual World Study
John Tawa, assistant professor of psychology

In this presentation, Professor Tawa will share the development of a triangulated threat theory (TTT) and offer empirical support. TTT posits that Black and Asian relations are particularly adversely affected by perceived resource competition. Black, Asian, and White participants created self-resembling avatars in the virtual world, Second Life, and interacted in social events that modeled contexts of resource competition. Results partially supported TTT.

Location: Clapp 306

Chaperoning Protein Aggregation Diseases
Kathryn McMenimen, assistant professor of chemistry

There are approximately 30,000 proteins in the human genome that must be produced and managed properly for cells to function effectively. Protein aggregation arises from the accumulation of misfolded and partially denatured proteins, often resulting in disease. We are interested in understanding part of the quality control network that prevents protein aggregation from occurring. Additional projects in the lab are aimed toward developing potential therapeutics to rescue misfolded and aggregated proteins.

Location: Kendade 302

Navigating Career Negotiation
Kelly R. Woods, associate director of career advising and Karen M.L. Miller, senior associate director of external relations

Maximize your value! Join Career Development Center staff for an opportunity to reflect and begin planning for your next performance evaluation or salary negotiation. Take a pause this weekend to clarify your work values, learn how to do effective salary research, define your bottom line, and prepare for your next ask.

Location: Cleveland L3

Session III (3:00–3:45 p.m.)

Jean Sammet Was Ahead of Her Time: An Interdisciplinary View of Introductory Computer Science
Valerie Barr ’77, Jean E. Sammet Professor and chair of computer science

What happens when you marry together liberal arts and the ubiquity of computing across disciplines? How does that change introductory computer science? Come explore the mysteries of what goes on behind the scenes in the computer, the fun and challenges of working with information from a range of disciplines.

Location: Cleveland L1

Tour of the President’s House
Brenda Adams, house manager

Join Brenda Adams, house manager of the Mount Holyoke College President’s House, for an engaging tour and a bit of history about the house and past presidents. Brenda has been the house manager for 19 years and will entertain you with stories from her experiences throughout those years. This tour will be approximately 30 minutes, with time for questions afterward.

Location: The President’s House (Behind Pearson’s Hall)

Lessons from Mo’Coffee: Adapting the Cooperative Model to the Liberal Arts
Ali Aslam, visiting lecturer of politics

Mo’Coffee is a student-owned cooperative business that addresses three core missions of the College: to connect classroom learning to the real world, prepare students to engage in democratic decision-making, and offer entrepreneurship and management experience.

Location: Cleveland L2

Sustainability – Moving Mount Holyoke Forward
Nancy Apple, associate director for sustainability, Miller Worley Center for the Environment

In January 2018 the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College endorsed the goal of becoming a carbon neutral campus by 2037, its bicentennial. Mount Holyoke is committed to training the next generation of environmental leaders while also taking significant measures to reduce its own carbon footprint, improve the sustainability of its campus operations, and foster a campus culture of sustainability. Learn more about where we are and help shape where we are going.

Location: Clapp 407

Session IV (4:00–4:45 p.m.)

Transform/Transcribe: A Mount Holyoke History Project
Leslie Fields, head of Archives and Special Collections

Can you read cursive handwriting? If your answer is YES, the College Archives needs you! Join us in transforming handwritten letters into searchable and machine-readable resources for classes and student researchers. Help make the Archives’ unique collections in the history of women’s higher education more accessible through our crowdsourced transcription website. Staff will work with alum volunteers to transcribe documents and excite learning in everyone!  Participants may bring their own laptops if they wish to do so, otherwise one will be provided. Due to the limitation of space, this class will only be able to accommodate 15 attendees.

Location: Archives Reading Room, Dwight Hall

Gender/Sex/Sexuality: Experiences of Being DES-Exposed
Jacquelyne Luce, visiting lecturer in gender studies

Exposure to a drug called diethylstilbestrol (DES) in utero affected millions of people who were born between 1947 and 1972, and possibly also their children. Jacquelyne Luce will discuss ongoing research in which she and MHC students are exploring DES-exposed people’s experiences and understandings of gender, sex, sexuality, and sexual orientation.

Location: Cleveland L3

Women Poets and the Irish Famine
Amy Martin, director of the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center for Leadership; professor of English of the Emma B. Kennedy Foundation; faculty director for SAW

This lecture will examine how Irish women poets represented the Great Famine from 1845-1852, particularly their exploration of the category of the “human” and the gendered experience of starvation. We will look at their legacy in later 19th century writings about famine and empire and in contemporary Irish poetic tradition.

Location: Kendade 305