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December 2011 Archives

It goes without saying that 2011 was a milestone year for Simmons College. Students, faculty, staff, and alumnae/i all made contributions to help tell the world the "Simmons Story."

We here at 300 The Fenway have compiled some notable highlights from our 2011 coverage.


Simmons kicked off 2011 by sharing its wishes for the coming year. Success, innovation, and students who make a difference in the world were among the many views shared by the community. Fortunately, we got what we wished for!


In February, we honored Black History Month with several celebratory events hosted by the Black Student Organization. One of our alumnae was named "America's Tweetheart" and our science students took innovation to a new level by turning trash into cleaning products.


"Women" was the theme for March as Simmons recognized the significant contributions of women to history, society, and the world during itsWomen's History Month celebrations. In addition, the Student Government Association hosted Women's College Week, and Simmons held the 14th annual International Women's Day Breakfast.

Continue reading Simmons College 2011 year in review.

Simmons English Associate Professor Emeritus Susan P. Bloom is a staff reviewer for The Horn Book Magazine and has served on the Newbery Committee. Every year she makes a 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 2011:

stars.jpg1. Ray, Mary Lyn. Stars.
"Calmly and directly, Ray addresses the reader in this gentle, somnolent narrative. 'A star is how you know it's night. / As soon as you see one, there's another, and another. / And the dark that comes doesn't feel as dark.' Like a lulling tide, the text moves easily between grounded practical advice ('...[Y]ou can draw a star on / shiny paper and cut around it. / Then you can put it in your pocket') and naturalistic metaphor: 'Blow a ball of dandelion and you blow / a thousand stars into the sky.' Ideal for bedtime, this will shine on through repeat readings." - Kirkus

swirl.jpg2. Sidman, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl.
A graceful poem about the spiral shape. "A spiral is a snuggling shape," begins the story of the ways the spiral appears in the world. "Exquisitely simple and memorable." - Kirkus

mejane.jpg3. McDonnell, Patric˚. Me...Jane: Young Jane Goodall.
A young Jane Goodall and her toy chimpanzee, Jubilee, wander outside their country home observing every day animals. The story shows the groundbreaking primatologist during her early days, perfectly content lying in the grass. "Children will appreciate McDonnell's original format and take heart that interests logged in their own diaries might turn into lifelong passions." - Kirkus

boat.jpg4. Stead, Phillip. Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat.
Jonathan's parents trade his teddy bear for a toaster, so he sets sail on a Big Blue Boat to find his lost friend. The illustrations will keep young readers engaged, shifting their focus from big to little and large shapes to tiny numbers. "Stead encourages children to puzzle over minutia, readying them to think about more opaque topics: growing up, obsolescence and the intrigue of old, forgotten things." - Kirkus

Continue reading Susan Bloom's Best Children's and Young Adult Books of 2011.


Campus is quieting down as students head home for winter break. The holiday season is here, and we want to take this time to wish the entire Simmons community a very happy holiday season. Whether current student, faculty, staff, or alumnae/i, we are so grateful for all you do.

Please enjoy these holiday video cards:

Stormy the Shark has a job to do every year...

Woman on Campus, Sarah Galvez '15, takes us along on one of our favorite Simmons College traditions: Winter Wonderland. Follow Sarah on Twitter @WomanOnCampus.

Have a great break, and we look forward to seeing you back on campus in January!

Chemistry students at Simmons College work in conjunction with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in order to determine various pigments and dyes used in artwork. Students help the MFA determine how best to display the various artworks that may be sensitive to light.

Sandy Lor '14 blogs for Simmons' Faces of the Future, and in her latest entry she details the exciting research she and junior chemistry student Nnennaya Okey-Igwe '13 is doing at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.

The research that we are involved with is in collaboration with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) involving the identification of dyes used in 19th-20th century Japanese block prints. The objective of this research deals with the history of Japanese art and whether or not synthetic dyes were used during the 19th to early 20th century.

Learning the history behind the art is important to understanding the cultural background, as well as potentially authenticating a work of art. For example, if our research shows that there were only natural dyes used during that era, then any Japanese painting from that time should not contain synthetic manufactured dyes. If a work did contain a synthetic dye then it can be concluded that it was not an authentic Japanese block print from the late 19th and early 20th century and was created after that time period. We're pretty much crime scene investigators for the MFA. :)

Read more about the MFA research project on Sandy's blog:

Crime Scene Investigator: Museum of Fine Arts

The Faces of the Future blog details the Simmons College experience through the eyes of four students. The students began blogging during their second semester at Simmons and will continue to share their experiences through their four years at the College. Sandy, Andree, Naomi, and Tania are incredible women, involved in all aspects of the Simmons community, and this blog is a way for them to share their college journey.

Welcome to 300 The Fenway's "Know Your Professor." Here's your opportunity to get to know Simmons' professors on a more personal level. You'll get the inside scoop on their favorite books, music, hidden talents, and more.

Meet Professor Jill Avery from the School of Management. Professor Avery is perhaps best known for her background in brand management and customer relationship management. But did you know she volunteers at the Museum of Fine Arts and loves sushi? Plus, you may be surprised to hear about the last concert she attended!


What is your favorite class to teach?
My two favorites are Consumer Behavior (MGMT 230) and Creating Brand Value (MGMT 231). I spent 10 years as a brand manager for Gillette, Braun, Samuel Adams, and AT&T before becoming a professor, so teaching students about brand management brings me back to my roots. Brands are such an important part of contemporary culture and I believe that our brands are windows into our identities, so I love unraveling the mystique that brands have for their consumers. I also love teaching Consumer Behavior because it is fascinating to understand "why we buy". The course teaches us how to be better marketers, but, more importantly, how to understand ourselves as consumers and to be more mindful of the many invisible forces persuading us to buy.

What book are you currently reading?
I just finished The Little Book by Selden Edwards. It is a fascinating novel about time travel, family ancestry, and intellectualism in turn of the century Vienna. It resonated with me because 1.) it illustrates the life-long influence good teachers have on their students, 2.) it transported me to a magical time and place, and 3.) I visited Austria this past summer with my family to be a guest professor at the University of Innsbruck, so it was wonderful to learn more about the country's cultural, political, and intellectual history. I also read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein to my children this summer. It was the first time I'd read it since I was a child and it still fascinated me.

What's your favorite book?
I hate this question! As a former English literature major, I struggle with choosing only one favorite book, as there are so many books that have been influential in my life. Books that have been particularly resonant with me are F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (I chose to name my daughter Tess in tribute to this one!), Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. More recently, I have enjoyed Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Jill Avery.

With finals week approaching stress levels around campus are high. We at 300 The Fenway wanted to provide some relief, so we asked the Center for Academic Achievement for some help. Study Skills Specialist Tina Brin offered up some of her most helpful study tips. Here are 6 tips Tina gives students to get them through exam period:

1. Take the time to "Time Manage."

Don't just dive into studying; organize what you want to study and when. Make a list or draw a chart: whatever works best for you. This will help stabilize your study routine and will slowly ease you into the material.

2. Set realistic studying goals.

Don't overwhelm yourself. Give yourself enough time to prepare for the exam material rather than cramming the night before. Make sure to space out your studying and know your limits.

3. Take lots of breaks.

Try not to study for more than one hour at a time. Taking breaks is just as important as the studying. For best results take five to fifteen minute breaks between study sessions.

4. Reserve library rooms ahead of time

Make a week plan for when and where you'll be studying. Stability is key. Visit the Simmons portal to reserve a room at the library.

Continue reading 7 awesome study tips for finals.

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This page is an archive of entries from December 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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