Life on Mars, ecology in Russia, womens rights in Morocco,
poverty in our cities: What do such diverse topics have in
common? The answer is Wellesley Colleges multifaceted
Conference, to be held for the first time Wednesday, Oct.
The day-long conference celebrates the relationship between
the liberal-arts classroom and student participation in an
increasingly diverse and interdependent world through internships,
study abroad and other off-campus experiences. The Tanner
Conference has been established through the generosity of
Wellesley trustee emerita Estelle "Nicki" Newman
Tanner, a member of the class of 1957.
conference is premised on the belief that a greater understanding
of the learning that takes place off campus-combined with
critical inquiry into the purpose, value and effect of such
learning-serves to enrich the liberal educational experience,"
said Lee Cuba, dean of the college and co-chair of the Tanner
the work of more than 300 Wellesley students, alumnae, faculty
and staff, the conference is organized around seven themes:
Community and Society; Science and Technology; Gender and
Social Relations; Politics and Economics; Decisions of Consequence;
Wellesley in the World; and Conversations about New Directions.
For example, under Decisions of Consequence, Meredith Sorenson,
Wellesley class of 2001, will present "Tale of the
Trail: A Wellesley Graduate Hikes the Appalachian Trail."
summer I hiked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia,"
Sorenson explained. "This 2,167-mile endeavor took
several months. My classmates moved to cities, traveled
on fellowships, went to graduate school, found jobs and
collectively took their first steps into the real
world. I am taking a different path-one through the
woods with my food and shelter on my back."
will talk about the challenges, from a family of bears to
a pancake-eating contest, she faced on her journey. "I
will share my experience through my slides and journals,"
she said. "Ill tell my tale of the trail: an
alternative path after college."
presentations will explore the world beyond our shores.
Under the theme "Gender Issues in International Perspective,"
senior Erin Humphrey will discuss her research project,
"Communities of Elderly Women in Japan: The Changing
Nature of Emotional and Spiritual Needs in an Aging Society."
goal of my research this summer in Kyoto, Japan, was to
investigate how Japanese women perceive and deal with change-emotionally,
psychologically and spiritually-as they move from a traditional
caregiver role into a care-receiver role in the last stages
of life," Humphrey said. "Japan faces a rapidly
aging population: an estimated 33 percent will be over 65
by 2050. I plan to share some of my impressions of the lives
of 11 elderly women whom I interviewed, and the changes
taking place in their families, neighborhoods and communities."
Tanner Conference concludes with an exhibition featuring
information on internships, service learning opportunities,
international study programs and the opportunities available
during Wellesleys January Wintersession. For more
information, including a schedule and more samples of the
presentations, go to the web site at http://new.wellesley.edu/CWS/TannerConference/.
in 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in liberal
arts and the education of women for 125 years. The College's
500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate