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We hope you enjoy this special holiday video from all of us at Simmons College. As we bid adieu to 2010 and look forward to welcoming 2011, we asked the Simmons community to share their wishes for the coming year. Whether your wish is for an athletic championship, straight A's, or health and prosperity, we sincerely hope all your dreams are fulfilled.

Wishing you and yours a happy New Year!


We caught up with the Simmons Sirens, the a capella group on campus, and we had the opportunity to record them singing a lovely winter song. It definitely puts us in the mood for snow and ice skating (Frog Pond!), and we hope it does the same for you.

What are your favorite things about winter?


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Simmons Associate Professor Emeritus Susan P. Bloom makes an annual list of her picks for the "Best Children's and Young Adult Books" of the year. If you're doing some last minute shopping for the holidays, these make for great gifts. Here is her list for 2010:


countdownthumb.jpg1. Wiles, Deborah. Countdown.
Countdown takes place during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. 11-year-old Franny Chapman lives just outside of Washington, D.C., near Andrews Air Force Base. As the world holds its breath during this intense time in our history, Franny is also dealing with her own family drama; A fight with her best friend, a chain-smoking mother, a college-student activist sister, and an absent pilot father. The story tells of a radical change in American history. Read the book review on Kirkus.


nothingthumb.jpg2. Teller, Janne. Nothing.
Pierre Anthon, a seventh grader at Tring School, has an existential crisis, climbs a tree, and refuses to come down to go back to school. "Determined to prove to Pierre Anthon that life has plenty of meaning, the students embark on a dire quest. Over the course of months, each student is required to give up something full of meaning, something chosen by the previous sacrificing student." Read the review on Kirkus.


annexed.jpg3. Dogar, Sharon. Annexed.
Dogar writes a historical fiction about Peter Van Pels, Anne Frank's companion while hiding in the Annex. Peter deals with his feelings towards Anne, which range from annoyance to fascination, his sexuality, and loss of faith. Dogar follows his life after the Annex is raided and through to the concentration camp. Read the review on Kirkus.


Continue reading Susan Bloom's Best Children's and Young Adult Books of 2010.


Many children grew up playing sports. Parents drove to soccer practice on Mondays, softball on Tuesdays, gymnastics on Thursdays; not to mention the afternoon games of basketball with the neighborhood kids. For some, athletics is a major part of growing up.

But, let's face it. Most of us do not turn into professional athletes. Even most students who are good enough to get scholarships to Division I and II schools, don't make it to the pro's. Division III schools give athletes the opportunity to continue their athletic careers while attending great academic programs that prepare them for their future.

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Being an all women's undergraduate college, Simmons female athletes are top priority. Jessica Thomas '12, a member of the Simmons basketball team, talked about the advantages of not having a men's team.

Continue reading Athletics at a Division III college.


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MarthaStewart.com's Senior Associate Garden Editor named Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens by Professor Vaughn Sills her favorite book of 2010.

Every year, dozens of books cross our desks (a real perk of this job!) but my hands-down favorite of 2010 was Places for the Spirit: Traditional African American Gardens by photographer Vaughn Sills. For nearly 10 years, Sills traveled the South visiting gardeners and the spaces they created. The beautiful photographs she took during this period showcase the vision, creativity, and soul that her subjects have poured into their gardens.

She goes on to say that Places for the Spirit would make a perfect gift for "gardeners, artists, photography lovers, history buffs, book lovers, culture junkies, collectors, and the insatiably curious."

Interested? There's a copy in the lobby of the admission office (C-116) -- stop by anytime to take a look!

See Professor Vaughn's photographs on display in the Trustman Art Gallery March 21-April 22, 2011.


The Sharks swam to their seventh Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship this weekend against what head coach, Mindy Williams, said was their toughest competition yet.

"We have won GNACs for the seventh year in a row. This past weekend was undoubtedly the most competition we've seen at that meet. Last year, Simmons ran away with it, but this year we really had to work for it. We put it onto the athletes to put everything into the meet, and they really responded to the atmosphere."

Continue reading Swimming & diving team wins GNAC championship.


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The Republican Journal, a newspaper covering Waldo County in Maine, has an article about two of Simmons' top field hockey players who used to be fierce rivals at competing high schools.

Renna Smith '14 attended Belfast Area High School and Monica Doucette '14 attended Camden Hills Regional High.

Anyone here from Maine who can attest to the rivalry?

After successful high school field hockey careers, both decided to put their competition aside and play for the Sharks. As teammates, the two women joined forces to make an immediate impact on the team.

When asked about her decision to play at Simmons, Renna said:


"It made my transition from high school to college way easier and way better than people that didn't play a sport," said Smith. "From the second I stepped onto campus at Simmons College I had 20 automatic friends, most of which were upperclassmen and had already been to Simmons for one or two years. I had a coach, an assistant coach, an athletic director and an athletic trainer that I could go to if I needed something. So there was that support system that I already had that a lot of girls didn't already have."

That kind of support came in handy when she was unexpectedly asked to be the team's goalie -- a position she had never played!

Read more about Renna, Monica, and Simmons' field hockey team in Swimming with Sharks: Smith, Doucette excel at Simmons.

(Photo courtesy of Monica Doucette via Village Soup)


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Brrr... time for the hats and gloves! It pains me to admit it, but these chilly mornings mean winter is officially here. My first thought? Hibernation! But, Alexandra '12 is back to offer her suggestions on ways to stay warm (and active!) during Boston's cold winter months - all within 120 minutes of Simmons, of course.

It is freezing outside! Being from Florida, I tend to overreact to the dropping temperature. In October, I break out my down jacket for temperatures in the low 50s when my friends are still wearing windbreakers.

However, winter weather is here! While it is so easy to want to stay inside, there are many ways to keep warm and have fun in the city. Boston.com offered 17 great suggestions.

Continue reading "120 Minutes in Boston: Keeping warm."


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Lauren Rodrigue writes an interesting article in today's The Daily Free Press about Simmons and the current state women's colleges.

In the article, "No Boys Allowed," Rodrigue cites a study conducted by the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research. She says:

Women's colleges, according the study, circumvent the gender inequalities upon which most co-ed schools are inherently and historically structured. The study states evidence that "suggests that compared with men, many women students [at co-ed colleges] perceive their campus to be less supportive of their academic and social needs and that, as a result, their learning and personal development is adversely affected."

The conclusion of the study showed that women tend to succeed better in women's colleges because of the presence of strong female leaders and mentors, more opportunities for leadership roles for students and a higher percentage of women's enrollment in traditionally male-centered disciplines like math, engineering and the sciences.

Continue reading The girls club.


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Tis' the season of shopping, crowds and finals. I know it's a busy time. But, there is so much going on this weekend at Simmons that you should take advantage of. Organizations have worked hard all semester to bring you top notch entertainment and fun. Please, take a break from the hustle and bustle of classes, studying, work, and whatever else is going on in your hectic life, and attend at least one fantastic performance or celebratory event.

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Continue reading A weekend of activities.


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