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A Message from Dean Renée T. White:

Dear friends,

It is hard to believe that the end of the semester is already here! The holiday season is a time to reflect upon our past accomplishments and think about what lies ahead. For me, this has been reinforced as a result of the Anchor Institutions Task Force (AITF) conference I attended in Chicago a few weeks ago. AITF is an international cohort of higher education leaders, as well as representatives of government agencies, non-profits and foundations.  Anchor Institutions are those with deep roots and commitments to their communities.  These institutions use their resources to create positive change and impact locally, and many partner to do similar work regionally, nationally, and/or internationally. 

I see Simmons College as a clear example of an Anchor Institution. We not only provide access to a diverse array of student learners but many of these same students serve as peer mentors, academic leaders, and community role models while completing their studies. In addition there are many examples of faculty and staff who commit to using their talents in support of their local communities. This an academic institution that embraces opportunities to ask questions of social relevance and to host events tied to current issues in the news.  

For example, this fall has been so full of wonderful and enriching moments that it is hard to pick just a few to share with you. Simmons faculty members Gary Bailey (School of Social Work), Kristin Dukes (Psychology), and Catherine Paden (Political Science and International Relations) were joined by Lisa Smith-McQueenie (Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion), Professor William Rodriguez from Wheelock College (Chair of Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy), and State Representative Byron Rushing for “Is Boston the Next Ferguson?” This roundtable discussed race, violence, and the media in America. 

Faculty collaborations with students and alumnae/i continue to thrive.  Changqing Chen (Chemistry), Caitlin Horgan (Junior Biochemistry major), and the Chemistry Liaison, have received an honorable mention award from the American Chemistry Society for their activities conducted during the 2013-2014 academic year. The Liaison will be recognized at the 249th ACS National Meeting in Denver, CO in March 2015. Professor Ben Cole (Political Science and International Relations) and Laura Blume ’13 (Political Science) presented “Accounting for Latin American Homicide Rates in State Fragility Metrics” at the New England Council of Latin American Studies annual meeting at Connecticut College.  Also I am pleased to report that Simmons is the convening institution — and Chemistry Professor Jenna Canfield is the new director — of the Southern New England Girls Collaborative Project, a regional branch of a national organization dedicated to providing enriching STEM exposure to girls and young women. 

As illustrated by these examples, it is clear that the creative energy of faculty, staff, and students is something to celebrate. They inspire me every day.  I hope you feel the same. 

I hope that you and your loved ones have a fulfilling and relaxing holiday season. 

Dean Renee WhiteSincerely,

Renée T. White, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Simmons College
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

You can also find out all kinds of information from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Professional Studies page on the main Simmons website as well.



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