Reading Series brings Maxine Hong Kingston
Writer Maxine Hong Kingston read from her new novel, The Fifth Book of Peace, in Thomas Great Hall on October 7, taking questions from the audience afterwards and signing books for a queue of people that stretched around the perimeter of the hall. The second event in the Creative Writing Program's 2003-04 Reading Series, Kingston's reading was sponsored by the Lucy Martin Donnelly Women Writers Series Fund. The creative writing program opened with a reading on September 30 by Poet Robert Pinsky, t he U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997 to 2000.

New psychology facility
After winter break, Bryn Mawr's psychology department will settle into a new home with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities.

The College is funding the project with proceeds from a bond issue, individual gifts, and foundation grants as part of the "Challenging Women" campaign.

Bettws y Coed (Welsh for "Chapel in the Woods") is being renovated and expanded to create laboratories, classrooms, and offices for undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology as well as office space for the Education Program.

Although the undergraduate psychology and graduate programs in human development merged in 1992 to form one department, offices for its seven tenure-track faculty and one laboratory lecturer have been split between buildings at opposite ends of the campus.

Clinical and developmental psychology have been located in West House, along with the Phebe Anna Thorne nursery school, while physiological, cognitive, and social psychology have been in Dalton Hall.

"Students will now have the experience of one department with a unified perspective," said chairman and professor of psychology, Leslie Rescorla. "They will have increased interaction with graduate students. Faculty will value being together and having opportunities for more cross fertilization of ideas."

The department, which also offers a concentration in Neural and Behav-ioral Science, sees psychology as a broad and diverse discipline that encompasses the perspectives of both natural science and social science. "Issues of how mind, body, and culture interact to shape human experience are central to psychological inquiry here," Rescorla said.

From left: the new three-story addition to Bettws y Coed under construction and an architect's rendering of the completed facility. Built in 1913-14, the Colonial Revival house has stood vacant for 10 years. It was last used as a faculty residence.

Bryn Mawr also coordinates its offerings with Haverford's department, which emphasizes different fields of psychology. Bi-co students benefit from being able to take courses, major, and do research at either campus.

Bryn Mawr's entry level course, Experimental Psychology, 101-02, plays an important role in engaging large numbers of women in the study of science. Either semester fulfills the laboratory science requirement; 60-70 students typically enroll in each semester.

"The new laboratory for 101 will be the most dramatically improved space in terms of technology," Rescorla said. It will include a central computer with networked PC and MacLab work stations that will allow students to enter their own data and analyze it. A video/data projection system will facilitate student training in the use of sophisticated equipment, for example, to measure the electromyographic activity (EMG) of facial muscles that express specific emotions. The system will also allow students to do behavioral observations using time sampling, viewing digitized videotapes of mothers and young children.

Creation of the Experimental Psychology lab has been partially supported by a $125,000grant from the George I. Alden Trust. For more information about giving and naming op-portunities for the new building, please contact Chief Advancement Officer Marc Diamond ( or 610-526-5159), or Director of Development Martha Dean ( or 610-526-5121).

College athletic programs examined
Reclaiming The Game: College Sports and Educational Values (Princeton University Press, 2003) praises Bryn Mawr's athletic model while analyzing an ever-widening divide between academics and athletics at the best-regarded colleges and universities in the United States. The book argues for reestablishing athletics as a compliment to the educational missions of these schools, quoting Bryn Mawr's Director of Athletics and Physical Education Amy Campbell extensively. The women's colleges discussed in the book-Bryn Mawr, Smith and Wellesley-as of yet are not representative of the trend.

Considering four-year records of about 28,000 freshmen who entered 33 selective schools in 1995, authors William G. Bowen and Sarah A. Levin claim that the typical recruited athlete-one included on a coaches' list submitted to the admissions office-is substantially more likely to end up in the bottom third of the class than is either the typical walk-on athlete (one not included on the coaches' list) or the student who does not play sports. While at one time this trend was limited to the players of high-pr ofile sports such as football, men's basketball, and men's ice hockey, athletes from the full range of men's and most women's sports now tend to lag academically. Additionally, recruited athletes enjoy a substantial advantage in admissions. At Ivy League schools, they are as much as four times more likely to gain admission than are other applicants with similar academic credentials.

The book explains that recruitment at women's colleges focuses on capable athletes who are good candidates and interested in the college. At Bryn Mawr, every high school student who expresses interest in athletics to the admissions office or a coach is tagged in the admissions database. According to the book, coaches then identify prospective students who have the appropriate academic credentials as defined by the admissions office, eventually ranking athletes by potential contribution to the team as well as by other criteria. The final coaches' list is very small. Uniquely, Bryn Mawr also targets and pursues potential walk-ons.

Reclaiming the Game notes that at Bryn Mawr, the interest in athletics has increased so that in addition to the 12 varsity sports, the College offers six club sports, which are student-lead and supported administratively by the Department of Athletics.

Undergraduate Dean Karen M. Tidmarsh '71, also referenced in Reclaiming the Game, is pleased that Bryn Mawr's teams are becoming more competitive. "Our athletes want to play well and experience success at least some of the time," she says. "On the other hand, I am very happy that our athletes do not have to choose between academic and athletic achievement, nor to give up other kinds of involvement in the community. It isn't easy today to be competitive and at the same time to keep athletics as an appropriate part of a student's experience, not the driving force, but we are a lot closer to that ideal than most colleges."

Campbell says the role of athletics at Bryn Mawr, in addition to providing competitive sport opportunities, is to give women skills and confidence that are applicable to other areas of their lives, allowing them to accomplish anything they want. "I care deeply that athletes, specifically Bryn Mawr athletes, are able to participate in activities that support their scholarship, such as internships, externships and study abroad programs," Campbell says. "Competitive athletics enhances their academic experienc es."

Campbell is a member of The College Sports Project (CSP), an initiative supported by the Mellon Foundation to engage college presidents and administrators in a conversation about athletic reform. Other members include Bowen, president of the Mellon Foundation; Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation; and Mary Patterson McPherson, PhD '69, president emeritus of Bryn Mawr College and vice president of Mellon.

"The Geosophist's Tears"
anaday Library Gallery's opening fall exhibit was a video installation by multimedia artist Peter Rose, created from scenes shot during a seven-week, cross-country road trip taken after September 11, 2001.

Moving images of uninhabited American landscapes are interwoven and spliced in horizontal and vertical bars. The soundtrack for the eight-minute video is a "harmonic lament" generated digitally from the plaintive squeak made by an antique cylindrical slide rule, whose image opens and closes the piece.

In its fractured and phantasmagoric reworking of the horizon, "The Geosophist's Tears" offers unstable metaphors for the state of the union and a respectful homage to the traditions of painting.

Rose, professor of media arts and film at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, described the process of discovery in both his travels and the creation of the video during an artist's talk for the installation's 9-11-03 opening. On sabbatical in the fall of 2001, Rose and his wife, traumatized by the events of September 11, "hadn't known what to do," he said. "We got in our car and started driving. As we went further west, the landscape became imponderable."

His wife shot the passing scenery with a video camera; Rose's own view was constricted by the bar dividing the car's side windows, which opened up for him "the formal possibilities of substituting one part of a landscape for another."

Rose found the rising and falling horizon line calligraphic: "I was watching the landscape write itself," he said. The wobbling of the horizon in the video that resulted from his wife's "unsteady hand" also heightened for him its effect as "a geographic thermometer."

After returning home, Rose selected 160 shots to work with. "You can play with digital images in a way that's completely impossible in film," he said. Rose had originally made a 21-minute version; he thought of the video as a painting, and that viewers could walk in and out, seeing only some of the frames. "But people like beginnings and endings, so I had to shorten it," he said.

For the installation at Bryn Mawr, the video was projected onto a sheet of silk blown by the breeze from an oscillating fan. "The deformations on a flat surface become more complex on an undulating one," Rose noted.

Rose had been given the slide rule, made in 1895, for his 14th birthday. "The Cadillac of antique slide rules, it was worth a lot of money, and I was going to sell it on e-bay," he said. "It had been sitting in a closet for 40 years and subjected to some humidity. When I was setting it up to photograph it, the centerpiece, which slides in and out, made an odd, irritating noise. I suspected there might be something there on a superaudible level, so I recorded the sound, slowed it down by factors of two and four, and layered them with a seven-second delay. Needless to say, I didn't want to sell it after that!"

For the video's title, Rose used the trope of "geosophy," from the Greek for "earth" (ge) and "wisdom" (sophia), the search for mathematical constructs in the landscape that have deep meaning. The title also plays on the word "tears," referring not only to weeping and ripping, but "tiers" as well, Rose said.

"I'm interested in finding other forms of seeing," Rose said. "It's very hard to find new images; everything has been appropriated." He has begun photographing at night, which frees images from their daytime associations, using celestial as well as scattered artificial lights.

Rose has an academic background in mathematics and is an avid star gazer. His treatment of landscapes in "The Geosophist's Tears" seems akin to the search for deep space objects through a telescope, although he said he was not consciously aware of this.

"The Geosophist's Tears," previously exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has been acquired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris for its permanent collection.

Ramona T. Livingston, 88
Ramona T. Livingston, instructor and lecturer in English at Bryn Mawr for 32 years, died in Bangor, ME on July 25. Born Ramona Madeleine Whitaker Tripp in Wynnewood, OK, she received her A.B. degree from William Jewell College, did graduate work at Baylor University while teaching English courses there, and went to work for the Bell Telephone company.

In 1942, she was among the first group of women selected for officers training in the WAACs, where she rose to the rank of captain. In 1944 she married Wendell Livingston, a fellow officer and peacetime lawyer, and moved to his hometown of Wayne, PA.

In 1953, Ramona joined the teaching staff of Bryn Mawr's English 15, the required freshman composition course whose offices in those days were in Pem East basement. Bare-bones as this setting was, it proved an excellent training ground for clueless tyro instructors like myself, because we could, and did, tiptoe to Ramona's office door and shamelessly eavesdrop on her freshmen conferences.

But Ramona also let us pick her brains openly. Among other things, she taught us how to recognize a"straw man" argument, and how to keep the critical discussion focused on the student's argument, in other words on "composition" rather than on the interpretation of the text that was the essay's occasion-no mean feat. Ranked members of the Department who taught English 15 also made use of Ramona. One assistant professor would make the trek from his office in Thomas every Monday morning to ask her, "What's the paper topic for this week?" (They weren't even teaching the same novels, but it didn't matter; she provided the topic.) Certainly the armature of English 15 preceded Ramona's arrival, but she modeled it and showed us how to bring it to life.

In the 1970s, Ramona was appointed adviser to the international students. Without missing a beat, she brushed up her army captain's administrative skills, mastered the intricacies of red tape and green cards, and dispensed advice-mainly, but not exclusively practical-with absolutely nothing of the martinet about her.

In addition to her husband, Ramona is survived by daughters Ann Holland '67 and Jane Livingston, two granddaughters, three sisters, one brother, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on August 25 in Bangor, ME.


Melville T. Kennedy, Jr., 86
Professor Emeritus of Political Science Melville T. Kennedy, Jr., a specialist in South Asian politics and a promoter of social justice and international understanding, died on July 7.

Born in Calcutta, India, where his father was warden of a YMCA student hostel, he returned with his family to their home in Illinois at the age of 8 and received his A.B. from Oberlin College in 1938.

After graduating, he taught at Oberlin-in-China in Szechuan and at Yenching University. During World War II, he served in Kunming, China with a Friends Ambulance Unit as a conscientious objector. Coming to realize the necessity for the war, however, he enlisted in the "Flying Tigers" 14th Army Air Force.

After his discharge, Kennedy earned an M.A. from Oberlin in Christian ethics and social problems. and directed the Oberlin-in-China Association. He later earned a doctorate in East Asian studies from Harvard University.

Kennedy joined Bryn Mawr's political science department in 1958. From 1969 to 1971, he took a leave to work for the American Friends Service Committee in South Asia. Based in New Delhi, he arranged meetings and conferences to promote better understanding between the people in the area.

Kennedy was faculty representative to the College's board of trustees and a long-standing member of the Admissions Committee. He received the Lindback Foundation award for Distinguished Teaching in 1985, the year he retired. His published works include articles he contributed to Men and Politics in Modern China, Biographical Dictionary of Republican China, and Dictionary of Political Science.

He is survived by his wife, Luella M. Kennedy, daughters Leslie Elder and Gail Coleman, and four grandchildren. A memorial service was held in September. Contributions in his memory can be made to Bryn Mawr College for international scholarships.

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