This page is a list of resources for documenting successes of the Science Center community. Please email any new information to the Director’s Office.

Institutional Profile (May 2008)
For more information or updates, contact Marylin Woodman at Corporate and Foundation Relations, x2679 or

Founded in 1871, Smith College is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. It seeks to provide the finest liberal arts education for women of diverse backgrounds, ages and outlooks who possess the ability and promise to meet the demands of an academically rigorous curriculum. Enrolling 2,600 students from every state and 66 other countries, Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country. In addition, graduate degrees (M.A., Ph.D.) are offered in a limited number of departments and by the Smith College School for Social Work. Although the majority of Smith students are of traditional college age, the college provides an opportunity for qualified women of all ages to begin or complete their work for the A.B. through the Ada Comstock Scholars Program.

Smith’s 281 full-time faculty members offer more than 1,000 courses in 50 areas of study, encompassing more than 70 majors and minors. Smith maintains a student/faculty ratio of 9:1, and the nature of Smith’s educational program provides students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects. Students regularly co-author articles in scholarly journals with faculty members.

Today the college benefits from a dynamic relationship between innovation and tradition.
In 1999, Smith became the first women’s college to establish its own program in engineering science, the Picker Engineering Program. In August 2005, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET) awarded accreditation to Smith’s pioneering Picker Engineering Program, retroactively including the first two Smith classes that graduated with bachelor of science degrees in engineering.

Smith College Campus
Smith’s campus consists of 125 contiguous acres situated in Northampton, a city of 30,000 located in the Pioneer Valley in western Massachusetts. The campus comprises 105 academic, administrative, residence, and maintenance buildings. Smith, along with Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Hampshire Colleges and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, is a member of Five Colleges, Inc., one of the oldest and most successful educational consortia in the country. This cooperative enables the schools to provide students with access to a wider variety of programs and courses than any single institution could offer.

The Smith College Museum of Art
The Smith College Museum of Art is a world-class museum residing within a dynamic academic environment. Its collection, numbering approximately 24,000 objects, represents works dating from the 25th century B.C. to the present. It is the mission of the museum to promote learning, understanding, and enjoyment of art through its collections, exhibitions, and programs. The museum collects, preserves, displays, and interprets works of aesthetic quality and historic importance from all periods and cultures, with particular emphasis on modern western art.

Smith College Libraries
For more than 100 years, Smith has developed its libraries to enrich the educational experience of students. Smith has some 1.5 million items among four libraries that together comprise one of the largest collections of any undergraduate liberal arts college in the country. The college’s distinguished collections include women’s history manuscripts and a nationally prominent rare book collection.

Smith’s Mortimer Rare Book Room houses the college’s rare books and literary manuscripts. Over decades of acquisition, curators have developed a broad, general collection of books that includes works from all periods (from medieval manuscripts to contemporary artists’ books) and in all subject areas (from ancient history to zoology). Among the literary manuscripts are important collections of the papers of Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, and others.

Also notable is the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, an internationally recognized repository of manuscripts, photographs, periodicals and other primary sources in women’s history. It was founded in 1942 to be the library’s distinctive contribution to the college’s mission of educating women and evolved from a collection of works by women writers into a historical research collection of material documenting the lives and activities of women. Today, the Collection consists of approximately 600 collections (over 9,500 linear feet) of material in manuscript, print, and audiovisual formats. The holdings document the historical experience of women in the United States and abroad from the colonial era to the present.

The Brown Fine Arts Center
Smith College’s renowned Museum of Art, art library and art department are housed in the Brown Fine Arts Center, thanks to the completion of a two-year, $35-million building renovation and expansion. At its outset, the renovation was the largest capital project in the college’s 122-year history. Features of the 164,000-gross-square-foot facility include a cutting-edge digital imaging center, updated ventilation and environmental controls and improved galleries and art studios. The Hillyer Art Library, regarded as among the best art libraries at American undergraduate institutions, was significantly redesigned. The new building features a greatly expanded technological infrastructure, a dramatic aesthetic overhaul and improved amenities for students, staff and visitors.

Smith was the first educational institution to adopt Luna’s Insight visual database, a powerful software program that has been developed to serve the imaging needs of higher education. Smith went online with 2,500 images in 1998. Since then, the digitized collection has grown dramatically, in part with support provided by the Davis Educational Foundation. The imaging center allows students unprecedented access to the college’s vast and growing collection of images. Convenience is also an added advantage with the new technology, as students can access digital images from any place on campus, including their residence hall rooms, at any time, day or night.

Smith Women in Science
Thirty percent of Smith women major in the sciences, a rate over three times the national average. In 2007, the strength of science, math, and engineering at Smith was demonstrated across nine academic departments and four programs, comprised of 111 faculty members and associates. Over 423 science and engineering majors are represented in 11 majors. For seven consecutive decades, Smith has ranked in the top 2 percent of 914 four-year colleges in the number of graduates who have gone on to receive doctorates in science. Smith students go on to the country’s most prestigious graduate schools and pursue careers in science and technology in significant numbers. Smith faculty provides extraordinary leadership and innovation in both teaching and research. Fifty percent of the science faculty members at Smith are women, while 60 percent of our engineering faculty members are women, by far the highest percentage of women engineering faculty at any engineering program in the country.

Ford Hall: Smith’s Engineering and Molecular Science Building
In the spring of 2007, Smith College broke ground on Ford Hall, a state-of-the-art, $73 million, 140,000 square-foot engineering and molecular sciences building. This exciting new facility will house the college’s programs in biochemistry, chemistry, molecular biology, computer science, and the Picker Engineering Program–the country’s first engineering program at a liberal arts college for women. Sustaining and enhancing the college’s position of strength in the sciences is a key priority for the college, and the science and engineering building is needed to ensure that Smith remain a leader in educating women to be knowledgeable scientists and researchers.

The project is being designed by the architectural firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Pittsburgh, winner of more than 230 regional, national, and international awards, including the prestigious Architecture Firm Award for the American Institute of Architects. BCJ designs may be seen on their website at The new engineering and science building will be the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified green building, fostering opportunities to exemplify sustainable construction design and practice throughout Smith’s interdisciplinary science and engineering curricula. The building will incorporate green design elements such as renewable energy, a partial green roof, and highly efficient heating, lighting, ventilation, and water use systems.

Diversity at Smith
Diversity in all aspects of the educational environment is necessary for achieving the highest level of academic excellence. When a community is rich with varying perspectives, outlooks and values, the potential to prepare its members to deal more readily with complexity and to participate productively in a pluralistic society is greatly increased. Smith College places a high priority on achieving and supporting diversity among our students, faculty, and staff in the areas of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, disability and age. The college is very committed to developing a diverse student body and increasing the numbers of underrepresented students. This year’s incoming class is 19 percent first generation (neither parent has a bachelor’s degree), while students of color compose 28 percent of the entering class.

Financial Aid at Smith
Smith has a very generous financial aid policy. Indeed, we are nationally recognized for serving students in need, and we lead our peers in the percentage of the student body who receive federal Pell Grants (a non-loan aid program for the most needy families). In 2006-07, 23% of Smith students (and 38.5% of aided students) were awarded Pell Grants. Among our peer colleges the median is 11.4% of all students and 24.4% of aided students. Smith’s commitment to this area is evident, and we have a long and proud history of enrolling a socio-economically diverse student body.

In 2006-07 Smith provided need-based institutional aid (aid that comes from the college’s own funds) to 1,698 students (59.5% of the student body). Of the total $43,237,910 in aid we awarded, $39,409,359 or 91% was Smith institutional aid; the remaining 9% came from federal and state sources. Smith’s average grant aid per student in 2006-07 was $26,413, notably higher than the median amount in our peer group. Of the funds we used to provide this undergraduate grant aid, 39.2% come from Smith’s endowed funds that are restricted for financial aid purposes.

Smith Alumnae
More than 46,000 Smith alumnae and 7,000 graduate degree recipients in all 50 states are ready to help students step into internships and careers. Smith’s alumnae network of successful women stand willing to share insight and information about their professions with both undergraduates and other alumnae. Smith also is consistently among the top private liberal arts institutions in gift income. Thirty-seven percent of the college’s alumnae contributed to the Smith Fund. The first Smith’s first club was formed in 1890 in New York City with the object of social enjoyment and increasing interest in the college. Today, there are more than 100 active Smith Clubs across the nation and abroad.

Student Statistics

For basic demographic information about the Smith student body, go to

More in-depth statistics are available at For any additional information, call x3021.
Clark Science Center

The current Clark Science Center is a five-building complex with laboratories for teaching and research, lecture and seminar rooms, computer classrooms and resource centers, and offices for some 85 professors. The center’s Young Science Library is one of the largest college science libraries in the United States, with more than 163,000 volumes in easily accessible open stacks, as well as 22,700 microforms, 700 scientific journals, and 154,000 topographical and geologic sheet maps.

State-of-the-art equipment and laboratory instruments include laser laboratories, global positioning receivers and a National Geodetic Survey continuously operating reference station. But even more important is the spirit of Smith science. At Smith, students learn science by doing science. With the equipment available at Smith and the encouragement provided by the close mentoring relationships between faculty and students, they have the opportunity both to collaborate with faculty and to work independently their own projects. In addition, Smith has fostered an environment that encourages cross-departmental collaboration, allowing students to follow their interests wherever they lead.

A renovated Lyman Plant House is home to plant physiology and horticulture laboratories and to a teaching collection of plant species representing every region of the world. The adjacent botanic gardens are also designed for horticulture study, and the entire campus is an arboretum, with trees and plants labeled for easy identification. The 63-acre Hawley Bog is used for fieldwork and ecological research.

Perhaps the greatest resource at Smith is the faculty—women and men who are as dedicated to teaching as they are to scientific research. Even senior faculty members teach introductory courses, and Smith’s overall faculty-student ratio of 1:10 guarantees personal attention in small classes and labs.

Botanic Garden

What is a botanical garden? A botanical garden is a collection of plants–but not just any random selection of plants. The plants are scientifically ordered and maintained, documented, and labeled for public education, research, and enjoyment.

Why is there a Botanic Garden at Smith College? The Smith College Botanic Garden has a long history and is the result of much hard work and dedication. Incorporating the study of plants into academics was an insightful idea in 1875, and it still is.

Today, the Botanic Garden includes thousands of plants, of course, and not just those grown under glass in the Lyman Conservatory or outdoors in various not-so-secret gardens. After all, Smith’s 150-acre campus–our landscape for learning–is an arboretum, in other words, a living museum of plants. There is also a collection of dried plants. There are 60,000 pressed specimens available for research in the Herbarium.

Botanic Garden activities and collections include not only plants but also books and other resource materials (including our newsletter, Botanic Garden News), an international seed exchange, research and conservation, and diverse events. Yet the living plant specimens are the heart of the Botanic Garden and our bridge to the rest of the botanical world, past, present, and future.

The Botanic Garden Collection
• 1200 types of woody trees and shrubs
• 2200 types of hardy herbaceous plants
• 3200 types of tender herbaceous and woody plants in greenhouses
• 6600 different kinds of plants, with altogether approximately 10,000 total on campus

Lyman Conservatory
Size: 12,000 square feet
Age: Various glasshouses date from 1895, 1901, 1952, and 1981
Average temperature: Varies by house, with minimum of 50°F (10°C) in coolest house and 70°F (21°C) in Palm House, and a summer maximum of over 100°F (38°C) in all greenhouses, even with shading and hosing down!
Heating: Low-pressure steam
Irrigation: Hand watering

Campus Arboretum
Size: 127 acres
Location: Northampton, Massachusetts
latitude: 42° 19′ N longitude: 72° 38′ W altitude: 61 m (190 feet)
USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a/5b
Center for Design & Fabrication

The Center for Design and Fabrication exists to serve students, faculty and researchers as an instructive facility where ideas take solid form. We are primarily a teaching shop. Our shop has machining, welding and fabrication, woodworking, and rapid prototyping capabilities. We support two initiatives.

1. Teaching. We work with faculty from any division of the college to add an enriching hands-on experience to their curriculum. Students design and build their own projects and gain valuable insights only available by doing.
2. Research. Our staff will repair or fabricate the specialized equipment that science center faculty and students need for their research.

We strongly believe that enabling a student to build her own project will enhance her knowledge in several unique ways. She will learn some basic craft skills, design principles, an appreciation for how objects we use in our personal and professional lives get created, and last, but certainly not least, our shop is a fun place to work!

So who can use the CDF?
Just about anyone! Students and Faculty are welcome to bring class or research projects to us. If you want to make it yourself, you will attend a one hour safety session. After that you are allowed to use any equipment that our staff gives you permission on. This means we will teach you one on one how to use the tools you need for your project. If you need equipment fabricated or repaired, please fill out our project request form. This will get your work on the schedule. The shop manager will communicate back to you any questions and ultimately agree on a delivery date for your project.

What can we build in the shop?
We can fabricate from metal, wood, plastics, and glass. We can help rapid prototype your
design, using our 3D printers, and laser cutter.

18” 1950’s Leblond
13” 1960’s South Bend
10” 1950’s Heavy” South Bend
608 1940’s Rivett precision
Sherline mini, with Microkinetics CNC

Bridgeport, 1951 Round Arm J head 8 speed
Bridgeport, 1975 J2 with power feed
Sherline mini 4-axis, with Microkinetics CNC

Zcorp 3D printer Model 310
Dimension BST 768 3D printer
Versalaser cutter
Zcorp 3D laser Scanner

7×12 horizontal bandsaw
18” Do-All turning bandsaw
Four drill presses
Bench grinders/Belt sanders
6×18 1940’s Brown & Sharpe surface grinder
Homemade glass saw
Miller AC welder
Oxy/Acetylene torches
Microscopy and Imaging Technology

All instrumentation is available for students and faculty/staff who would like to use these instruments for their projects and/or research. Several courses are available if you are interested in using the microscope as a tool to do research or if you are interested in the technique itself.

Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy: LEICA TCS NT Microscope
Transmission Electron Microscopy: JEOL JEM-100CXII
Scanning Electron Microscopy: JEOL JSM-6400
Center for Molecular Biosciences

Molecular biology strategies have penetrated into all disciplines of the life sciences from neuroscience to environmental biology and ecology and also play important roles in fields such as chemistry, physics, and engineering. The ability to ask such interdisciplinary questions comes, in part, from significant technological advances. The instrumentation that has been developed from these fields is complex, highly specialized, and expensive to purchase and maintain. While core facilities housing such equipment typically exist at large universities, they are rare at four-year colleges. With the support of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), we have been able to develop the Center for Molecular Biosciences (CMBS) such that integrates significant hands-on teaching with basic core facility services for our scientific community.

The CMBS was initiated in 2002 with funds provided by Smith College. Since 2004, the CMBS has been funded by a four-year grant from the HHMI Undergraduate Science Education Program. The HHMI grant has provided staff, and equipment to significantly expand the CMBS’s existing resources.

The goal of the CMBS is to establish first-class support for molecular biology research, training, and education of all interested faculty and students at Smith College and pre-college outreach education. The CMBS and the other two cross-disciplinary science research centers, the Center for Biochemistry and the Center for Histology, continue integration of cutting-edge research techniques into student-faculty research and science education at Smith College.

Facility Service
The CMBS currently houses 20 pieces of state-of-art equipment to support new molecular biotechniques, including DNA sequencing, DNA fragment analysis, microarray analysis, and real-time PCR analysis. The CMBS hired an Instrumentation and Techniques Instructor (ITI) who provides expertise for using instrumentation and oversees the facility. HHMI has played an important role in purchasing these expensive instruments and funding the ITI.

Hands-on Student-Faculty Research
Unlike other core facilities at large universities, the CMBS at Smith College allows the undergraduate students to operate the equipment after training by the ITI. “Our goal is for Smith science graduates to understand the instrumentation on their first day of graduate school or on the job” said Tom Litwin, the director of Clark Science Center. “We want to expose our students to the fantastic array of questions that cutting-edge technology can be used to address.”
Training and Education
The ITI gives lectures in both major and non-major courses to introduce the new biomolecular techniques and the theory behind them. Applications workshops are held throughout the year to assist faculty and students in the use and application of the instrumentation, as well as analysis and interpretation of molecular and genomic data.

The CMBS also hosts a Molecular Biosciences seminar series. Notable researchers and specialists from academe and industry are invited to talk about cutting-edge technologies and techniques, and how they are used to answer questions in basic and applied research.

Pre-college Outreach Support
The CMBS extends support to pre-college outreach initiatives for high school students and teachers. They are encouraged to visit the CMBS and other science research facilities and even attend a hands-on lab class during their field trip. The CMBS also provides technical consulting with high school teachers when they need it.
Center for Proteomics

The Center for Proteomics was established in 2005 with funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Smith College. The primary goal of our Center is to provide support for the research and teaching goals of faculty and students at Smith College. In addition, we will provide educational workshops and seminars on various topics in proteomics, bioinformatics and biological mass spectrometry with a focus on the state-of-the-art high-performance, tandem mass spectrometry and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis instrumentation that is part of our facility.

The center has instrumentation for high-resolution two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE) including the VersaDoc Model 4000 gel imaging system, the EXQuest automated spot cutter and the PDQuest image analysis software. The center also houses a high pressure liquid chromatography-coupled mass spectrometer, the Thermo Finnigan LCQ Deca XP MAX.

Our aim is to provide cutting edge resources for proteomic analysis although we will also serve as an important resource for small molecule analysis. The center’s purpose is to promote the effective use of leading techniques of mass spectrometry in molecular research.

Mass spectrometry technologies have a broad application in projects in the chemistry, biology and biochemistry research communities. As a general overview, the mass spectrometry resources available in the center for proteomics are outlined below. We will work with the users of the center on an individual basis to provide a customized mass spectrometry approach for their particular field of interest.

Mass Spectrometry Experiments
* Full- Scan Mass Spectra (Molecular Weight Information)
* Selected Ion Monitoring (SIM) for monitoring selected ions
* Full Scan MS/MS and MSn experiments to probe the structure of ions
* ZoomScan, a high resolution, narrow range scan that can be used to determine charge state of peptides and ionization state of organometallics
* Selected Reaction Monitoring (SRM) for LC/MS quantitative experiments and positive compound identification

Types of Ionization probes available
Electrospray ionization (ESI). Used to analyze more polar compounds such as amines, peptides, oligonucleotides and proteins. Range of molecular weights that can be analyzed is 50u to greater than 100, 000u due to multiple charging.

Atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI). Used to analyze compounds of medium polarity that have some volatility. Range of molecular weights is 50u to 2000u. Very robust ionization technique that is less dependant on changes in buffer or buffer strength.

Nanospray ionization (NSI). Essentially the same as ESI except it uses lower flow rates than ESI (10 to 1000 nL/min). Three types of NSI probes are available, static NSI, dynamic NSI and Packed-Tip NSI.