Computer Science

Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program

Announcement of This Year's Scholar

The Computer Science Department is delighted to announce our second Clare Boothe Luce scholar, Gavriella Levy Haskell ('15). Gavriella is a second-year student at Smith, with a double major in Computer Science and Art History and is a STRIDE student with the History department. She is interested in the thoughtful incorporation of technology into museum settings, for example to provide patrons with a vivid sense of the time, place, and even day-to-day life of the society that produced the presented artifacts.

As a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar she may research iPad applications to pursue her research interests in uniting Computer Science and Art History, and will be a tutor and mentor to other Smith College students in Computer Science.

Gavriella joins the department's first Clare Boothe Luce scholar, Emily Flynn ('14). Emily is a third-year student at Smith, with a double major in Computer Science and Biochemistry and a concentration in Biomathematical Sciences. She is interested in programming computational tools with biological applications and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Computational Biology or Bioinformatics.

As a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar Emily is performing computational geometry research, is a department student liaison, and is a teaching assistant for 200-level courses.

Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program

The Clare Boothe Luce Scholars Program at Smith, has awarded each of two deserving Computer Science majors a full-tuition scholarship for 2 ½ years from the spring of her sophomore year through graduation, as well as a guaranteed research assistantship and other support.


Awardees are students who are U.S. citizens and currently in their first year (who have committed to majoring in Computer Science in the first semester of their sophomore year or earlier. (The grant from the Henry Luce Foundation specifically requires Clare Boothe Luce (CBL) Scholars to be U.S. citizens, and specifies that the scholars' academic-year studies must take place in the U.S.). For each of two consecutive years, the award was made to a sophomore. Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.3, and a GPA of at least 3.5 in Computer Science courses, had the best chances to be selected as a Luce scholar.

Application Process

The application process is closed.

The application consisted of an essay describing aspirations and how the student would further her plans, her (unofficial) academic transcript, and her resume, supplemented by three letters of recommendation. Each applicant was interviewed by two faculty members. The selection, by the entire faculty of Computer Science, is based on proven academic excellence, commitment to a high-end career in computer science, and research and leadership potential.

The Clare Boothe Luce Program

Clare Boothe Luce was a U.S. Congresswoman, an Ambassador (to Italy), as well as a playwright and journalist. She promoted women tirelessly throughout her long life, and continues to do so through the philanthropic foundations she established. The Clare Boothe Luce Program, which funded the Computer Science Department's grant, "has become the single most significant source of private support for women in science, mathematics and engineering" [Wikipedia].

Research and Tutoring Positions

CBL scholars will have opportunities to be research assistants as well as tutors and peer mentors within the CS program for two (junior and senior) academic years. These academic year activities will result in a $2,200 stipend per academic year. In addition, CBL scholars will be offered two summer research experiences at the end of their sophomore and junior years ($3,800 each summer), though many students capitalize on their research experience to secure summer research positions in industry, at REU sites, etc., and the awardee is free to do so.

Knowledge Dissemination

CBL Scholars will present their work both on campus during Celebrating Collaborations, an annual celebration of student research and performance, and in other venues as can be arranged. To increase visibility of computer science, the CBL scholars will present annually at the department's "Major Presentation" meeting. CBL Scholars will be invited by Smith College admissions officers to visit certain high schools to reach out to prospective CS students. CBL Scholars will have their expenses covered to attend at least one major discipline-specific conference with their mentor where they will have the opportunity to present their research and develop their own professional networks. Examples include the Grace Murray Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, the annual Consortium for Computing in Colleges (CCSCNE) conference, or other appropriate conferences.


CBL Scholars must remain eligible for each semester's tuition scholarship by maintaining their high scholastic standards. Scholarship funds may not be used for study outside of the United States. This includes Junior Year Abroad. CBL scholars interested in JYA are free to seek other funds for study abroad, during the academic year or the summer. Existing merit scholars will have their current award replaced with a CBL Scholarship (this includes Trustee Grants). Stride Scholars will be able to finish their current research project. The CBL Scholars Program is available to students intending to study at another U.S. institution only if that institution is part of an existing exchange agreement. Mellon Mays Fellows will receive only the Mellon Mays stipend. Students must have U.S. residency to apply for the CBL Scholars Program.


Students may contact Judy Franklin, CBL Scholarship Facilitator, at <>.