Commencement honors
Conferred at Commencement on May 20, 2001 were 121 graduate and 311 undergraduate degrees, including 12 Katharine E. McBride Scholars, students beyond traditional college age. Graduate degrees included 21 doctorates, three of which were conferred last December; 32 masters of arts; 67 masters of social work, and 21 masters in law and social policy.

The Gertrude Slaughter Fellowship was awarded to Kristin Pauline Henry '01, who graduated summa cum laude with a major in history of art. The European Traveling Fellowship was awarded to Anneliese Eva Helene Butler '01, who graduated summa cum laude with a major in anthropology.

Among graduating seniors receiving outside awards were: Abigail Youngblood '01, summa cum laude with a major in physics, a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship; Hana Brown '01, summa cum laude with a major in anthropology, a Harry S. Truman Scholarship; and Allison Weiner '01, summa cum laude with a major in English, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. Youngblood will spend a year studying sustainable agriculture in India, Kenya and Russia. Weiner will study comparative literature at Yale University. Brown is researching human rights situations around the world, particularly in Africa, on an internship in Washington through the Truman Foundation Summer Institute with the Department of Justice in the Resource Information Center in the International Affairs Division of Immigration and Naturalization Services. In September, she will begin working for the Jifunza Project, an education development program in Tanzania.

The Student Self-Government Association awarded outgoing president Meera Ratnesar '01 an honorary lifetime membership.

The Doris Sill Carland Prize for excellence in teaching assistance by graduate students in laboratory or section teaching was Maria Sharda-kova in the department of Russian.

The Lindback Award for Distin-guished Teaching was presented to Associate Professor of Social Work and Social Research Maria DeOca Corwin. The Rosalyn R. Schwartz Teaching Award was presented to Alison Cook-Sather, Assistant Professor of Education and Director of the Education Program of BrynMawr and Haverford Colleges. The Mary Patterson McPherson Award for Excellence among faculty was presented to Professor of Science and Environmental Studies and Geology Maria Luisa Busé Crawford '60.

Graduating to the status of Professor Emeritus was Nancy Dorian, who taught German and linguistics at BrynMawr for 24 years.

"I must say that I feel a particular kinship with the class of 2001, arriving at Bryn Mawr four years ago just as they began their freshman year," Vickers noted. "We shared the same learning curve as we settled into Bryn Mawr culture and traditions. My red lantern enjoys pride of place on the mantle in my study and always will."

Rituals: gestures of resistance against time
Drew Gilpin Faust '68, dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, began her convocation address by confessing that she has always resisted ceremonial occasions and "hated the Bryn Mawr traditions."

"When I was a student here between 1964 and 1968, I was focused on establishing justice and equality in the world, bringing racial integration to American society, and ending the war in Vietnam-all of which I expected to accomplish before graduation," said Faust. "… lanterns and strawberries and maypoles seemed somehow trivial-even frivolous."

She has finally come to see ritual as not conformist and conventional, but "a significant gesture of resistance" against time. Rituals such as graduation enable us collectively to step briefly outside of time and shape it for our own purposes and meanings.

"You are dressed all alike to mark your membership in a community you inhabit for the very last time," she said. "In doffing your black academic robes, you will burst into a multitude of colors-like pupae transformed into butterflies-no longer Mawrters but medical students, law students, teachers, artists, social workers, scholars. … We celebrate that you are all together, all for this last moment visually and sartorially the same, and that you are together with us the embodiment of the College-across gene rations and through time. So paradoxically we underline your identity at the very moment we take it away. We need to feel loss because life's meaning comes in no small part from understanding the importance of what we no longer have. But we ease and transcend this difficult reality by acknowledging Bryn Mawr as a community, by enhancing our sense of human connectedness even as we recognize its limits."

Faust also warned graduates against the tyranny of work, urging them to take charge of their lives and its passage by noticing and reflecting upon it. She recalled her shock during Freshman Convocation in 1964, when President of the College Katharine E. McBride, told "us to be humble in face of Our Work. ... I had not before realized that I had Work. I had thought I did assignments and took tests and wrote papers. But Miss McBride's address instilled in me a newfound reverence for learning and scholarship. My awe at being invited to play even a small part within that sacred and timeless world has never left me. … That veneration of one's work is in my mind the hallmark of the Bryn Mawr experience. ...

"[But] we are at risk of developing a frantic sense that we never have enough time to do all that our Bryn Mawr-enhanced ambitions and consciences and superegos say we must. If we do not resist the inevitability of these demands, if we do not determine that we will act in ways that bring meaning-friendship, love, family, beauty, art, spirituality-into our existence, we may live lives that dissolve into purposeless frenzy. ... It is in this sense that the liberal arts are liberal-as in liberare-to free. They empower you with the possibility for agency, for imposing meaning, for making choice."

Sports Scholars awarded
Three Bryn Mawr undergraduates have received the 9th annual Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award, sponsored by Black Issues in Higher Education. Rickquel Tripp '02, a mathematics major who plays field hockey and lacrosse; Pashawnda Briley '03, a psychology major who plays basketball; and Rebekah Rosas '03, a history major who plays volleyball, all had been nominated by the College.

The award program recognizes student-athletes of color who exemplify the high standards of sportsmanship and citizenship Ashe embodied.

"Rikki, Rebekah and Pashawnda are representative of our scholar-athletes and the commitment they have to the Bryn Mawr community, their academics, their teammates, their friends and themselves," said Director of Athletics and Physical Education Amy Campbell.

Women athletes in film
Would the athlete played by Katharine H. Hepburn '28 in Pat and Mike have turned from sport to sport and man to man in order to gain confidence in herself had the film been made today?

Students discussed the role of women in sport and how society has portrayeded them in different ways over a period of decades in a course taught this spring by Director of Athletics and Physical Education Amy Campbell and Associate Professor of Sociology David Karen.

Students viewed Pat and Mike; Dare to Compete, a history of women's sports; Love and Basketball, a 2000 film about basketball, gender and race; Personal Best, a film about the training of Olympic track athletes and sexual orientation issues; and A Hero for Daisy, a documentary about two-time Olympian Chris Ernst who galvanized her rowing team to storm the Yale athletic director's office in 1976 to protest the lack of locker room facilities for the women.

"David and I were able to draw from our own areas of expertise and more fully engage the students in thinking about women, gender and sport," said Campbell. "It was also terrific to work with history major Jenny Yuh '01 who used this as a project for her education course.

"The class gave students the opportunity to look at women and sport in a context beyond intercollegiate athletics, which is a part of the department of athletics and PE's plan to broaden its curricula to include subjects beyond physical activity," she said. "It also allowed David and me to talk about Title IX to a generation who are its direct beneficiaries, but don't know much about the struggle and pre-Title IX issues."

Karen said he was particularly struck by "the students' shock at the tremendous inequality of treatment between male and female athletes just 30 years ago and the deepening of their understanding about how social change comes about.

"We had a broad cross-section of students in the class; this was revealed time and again by the observations that people made about the film," he said. "Often using the perspectives and language of their discipline, the students were wonderfully analytical about the films. I was struck by the vast array of reactions to each film-from comments about the acting to observations about how U.S.-based or western was the perspective of a given film to comparative comments about historical change.I thought we had a great melding of opinions and perspectives."

Campbell promised, "We have some exciting ideas in the works for next year!"

Experiential learning program
Praxis, Bryn Mawr's new experiential learning program, will allow students to get academic credit for internships and fieldwork that are integrated into courses with traditional classroom work or faculty supervision.

A Praxis Council has developed guidelines for faculty who want to design or redesign courses with three levels of fieldwork: departmental courses with about 25 percent fieldwork; multidisciplinary courses that combine substantial fieldwork, typically 50 percent, with an academic focus on a central topic studied from several disciplinary perspectives; and independent study that places fieldwork at the center of a supervised learning experience. Two field placement coordinators will help identify placements, conduct field checks on students' progress, coordinate transportation and identify sources of funding. Praxis is supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Comparative Literature Review
The English Department is publishing an online journal, The Bryn Mawr Review of Comparative Literature, featuring reviews of new books in the field. The journal is modeled after a sister journal, The Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and reflects the evolving nature of comparative literature in its reviews of studies of national literatures and theoretical, interdisciplinary and cultural inquiries.

Editors are Carol Bernstein, Mary E. Garrett Alumnae Professor of English and Comparative Literature; Vincent Hausmann, assistant professor of English at Furman University; and David Sedley, assistant professor of French at Haverford. View the journal online. To subscribe, e-mail with "subscribe complitr" as the body of the message.

A campus of many cultures
Bryn Mawr's campus population and course offerings are as diverse as or more so than many peer institutions, but pressure from its students to improve representation and understanding only strengthens the College's institutional commitment to a higher standard.

Community members discussed the progress being made in diversifying the campus at a series of gatherings, most initiated by students, held throughout the spring semester. The first, a Town Hall meeting in Thomas Great Hall, opened Black History Month on February 1. Sponsored by Sisterhood (African-American students), Mujeres (Latina students) and BACASO (Bryn Mawr Caribbean and African Organization), the meeting was intended to provide a safe space to talk about "hot topics," particularly the admission and retention of African, African-American, Latina and Caribbean students; the recruitment of tenure-track faculty of color; and diversification of the curriculum.

Forums on Admissions and Financial Aid, and Dining Services Student Program: Issues of Race, Class and Respect were held in March. Near the end of the academic year, Seniors Samantha Foster and Kierstin Gray convened an April 21 symposium to discuss ways of improving communication within the community and sharing information about resources and policies.

At the Town Hall meeting, students of color spoke of ignorant and hurtful comments "from everyone, white, black, Asian American." Some complained of backlash from sisters in their own cultural organizations when they made friends with white women. "I thought we came to Bryn Mawr to learn about one another's cultures, listen to people's stories," one student lamented. Students would like various culture groups to work more closely together. Groups on campus include Asian Students Association (ASA), BACASO, Half and Half (for mixed race students), Mujeres,Muslim Students Association, The Rainbow Alliance (for students of all sexual orientations and minorities), Sisterhood, and South Asian Women (SAW). These will get much needed space in houses on Faculty Row that are being renovated for student organization offices, religious groups and a Multicultural Center.

A number of Town Hall participants pointed out that perceptions differ widely-to some, Bryn Mawr seems too homogenous, to others extremely diverse. Those who have been at the College for 20 to 30 years or more see great progress, and seniors admit that much has changed in four years.

Among the requests most frequently voiced by students over the semester were:

o Include more discussion of multiculturalism in Customs Week (freshmen orientation) and carry over the positive experiences of the Tri-Co multicultural orientation program, which is held a week before Customs for about 75 minority freshmen from Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore;

o Offer more course work on underrepresented groups in the United States;

o Hire more tenure-track faculty of color and women and include a stronger student voice in the process;

o Provide on-site day care for children of McBrides, faculty and staff;

o Coordinate better communication within the campus community, in print and electronically, about events and policies.

During the meetings, administrators gave background information about these issues, which continue to be addressed:

Customs Week:Customs people and Hall Advisors (HAs, upperclassmen who hold the responsibilities of wardens in earlier decades) are working with the Office of Institutional Diversity to create more successful pluralism programs during Customs Week.

Curriculum: In response to input from the community during its initial stages, The Plan for a New Century already addresses many of the concerns raised during the semester's discussions. Diversifying the curriculum is an important part of the Plan, which calls for departments to share ideas and break outside 19th century academic boundaries. Most of the courses already offered on underrepresented world cultures or groups in the United States are cross-disciplinary. The four new Centers (Visual Cul ture; Science in Society; Ethnicities, Communities and Social Policy; and International Studies) have generated great excitement and energy among faculty as they consider ways to broaden the courses they teach and to develop new ones. This is not to say that the College will sacrifice depth for breadth-it is as important to offer the upper level seminar in Greek taken by only a few as it is to offer the course in hip hop culture that is oversubscribed.

Tenure: Bryn Mawr involves students in this process far more than most liberal arts colleges and research universities, asking for letters of recommendation from students and alumnae/i and involving student evaluations at each review level. Equal weight is given to teaching, research and scholarship, and community service in the tenure process.

Students are invited to participate in faculty job searches, but since much of the information discussed during searches and reviews is confidential, it cannot be shared with the larger community. Searches can be advertised more broadly, however, so that minority recommendations can be made. Faculty can encourage more students to attend candidates' lectures and direct them to available information.

According to figures from the Provost's office, in 2000-01 there were 117 tenured and tenure track faculty, of whom 87 held their positions with tenure. Fifty-eight of the 117 are male; 59 females. Forty-six of the tenured faculty are male and 41 female. Seventeen of the 117 are minorities and 12 of those are tenured. Overall, including the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Physical Education, full-time and part-time faculty, there were at the time of the official counting, 205 individual s, of whom 122 were female, 83 male. Twenty-five of these are minorities.

Many students apparently do not understand that faculty can be hired to tenure-track or non-tenure track positions. (A description of the tenure process and faculty standings are available online within the community.)

Day Care: While there are students, faculty and staff who would like on-campus day care, surveys conducted by the College within recent years have indicated not enough need to make financially practical the establishment of a licensed facility with trained workers. Most needs are for temporary or emergency fill-in care, for which there is a student babysitter referral system.

Communications: The College's newly designed website that went online this summer will be a valuable resource for scheduling, publicity and general information. Students have suggested kiosks for posting information and more use of mealtimes in dorms for informal discussions among students, faculty and staff. Alumnae can provide additional support and a sense of history.

During the course of the semester's discussions, it became clear that many students are misinformed or uninformed about some of the issues that trouble them. Better communication will not solve all of the problems identified in these discussions, but it is clear that it would help enormously. Energy and effort are sometimes wasted on non-existent or misunderstood problems rather than on those which really exist and could benefit from attention.

One of the most persistent misunderstandings among students is that Bryn Mawr's financial aid has changed from need-blind to need-sensitive, resulting in a drastic drop in socio-economic diversity. What changed, in 1995 for the entering class of 2000, was a policy that affects only the bottom-ranked five to 10 percent(about 15-30 students) of an admitted class. Students are admitted without regard for their financial need until funds are exhausted. At that point, only students who do not need financial aid are admitted. In the past, students in this group who needed aid were admitted, but denied financial aid, which was hurtful to both applicants and the institution. (Applicants placed on an admissions waiting list who need financial aid are not offered admission until funds are available.)

Students on financial aid are also concerned about being stigmatized. The Student Dining Service Workers program is very supportive, but student servers complain that other students are often rude and disrespectful to them. Any student who wants a job on campus in her freshman year must work for Dining Services so that there is adequate staffing, and many workers are not on financial aid.

Students of color can resent feeling compelled, by default, to "educate" others about their experience or speak for a group. They should get support from anew program that for the next five years will bring undergraduates to campus who have been trained to promote cross-cultural communication. Twelve freshmen from Boston area public high schools will join the Class of 2005 this fall as representatives of the Posse Program, which identifies students from public high schools in urban centers who have extraor dinary leadership ability and academic potential. They receive eight months of intensive coaching to prepare them to enter a top college or university. The students selected from a final pool by their host schools form teams, usually 10 in number, called posses and are trained to design and run workshops on multi-culturalism. Their mission is to excel academically and to act as agents of change. Ten of Bryn Mawr's first Posse are women of color; two are white. Posse members will meet weekly as a group and individually every two weeks with Assistant Director of Institutional Diversity Cynthia Chalker.

"There is a lot of work to be done and there is a lot of work that has been done," said President of the College Nancy J. Vickers at the February Town Hall meeting, emphasizing, "There is enormous commitment to going forward."

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