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Community Response

Read some of the community responses to the news that Constance Hungerford will serve as interim president.

Farha Ghannam

In addition to her dedication, collaborative style, and smooth way of conducting business, Connie has excellent skills as a listener who is able to hear and appreciate different points of view. She was always very organized, responsive, and graceful. When I look back and think of myself as a junior faculty, I feel so grateful for her availability, approachability, and generosity with her time and ideas. She always took the time to talk and help brainstorm about academic matters and finding ways to handle difficult situations. Connie also had the special gift of making people feel much appreciated and respected for all their contributions to our community. Her vision and support were instrumental to so many good things that happen on our campus including the establishment and development of interdisciplinary programs such as Islamic Studies and the introduction and growth of Arabic. I am so grateful that she has accepted to be our interim president and look forward to working with her in this capacity. 

Farha Ghannam
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Coordinator of Islamic Studies

Raven Bennett '17

I was delighted to hear about Professor Hungerford's appointment as interim president. She was my first-year seminar professor this past fall and I felt her course embodied what Swarthmore is all about. Her passion for the subject matter inspired me to delve deep into the material and grow as a writer and as a thinker. She showed an incredible amount of personal attention to each student and met with us individually about every essay we wrote. I learned so much from Professor Hungerford, including what it means to be a Swattie. I believe she will be an excellent interim president. 

Raven Bennett '17 
Santa Monica, Calif.

Jim Ellis

I love the idea that someone as familiar with Swarthmore as Connie will be taking the over the helm. It's nice to see an "in-house" person like her with so much Swarthmore experience and with everyone from top-ranking College officials to faculty and the students getting such a wonderful opportunity to work with her. 

Jim Ellis
Public Safety Officer

Andrew Ward

When I was on the search committee for Connie's successor as provost, the committee members were provided with a sample of Connie's schedule from when she had served in that position. My strongest emotion was guilt at ever having met with her (and, as a new department chair, I met with Connie a lot), given how incredibly busy she obviously was. But I didn't realize how busy at the time because in every meeting, Connie always gave me the sense that she had as much time as I needed. In all our interactions, in fact, she was unceasingly supportive, helpful, and collegial. As my colleague Barry Schwartz has pointed out, Connie always assumes the best about you, and it makes you want to live up to that standard. She is a terrific choice to be interim president.

Andrew Ward
Professor and Chair of Psychology

Zoe Wray '16

I have greatly enjoyed my relationship with Prof. Hungerford as her student in several courses and as her academic advisee. She has always been kind, helpful, and open with me in all of our interactions and I am confident she will be an excellent interim president as well. Perhaps on a selfish note, it is nice to see the small department that I am a part of (Art History) get such major representation in the College leadership. In short, Prof. Hungerford has helped me grow as a student in my time at Swarthmore and I think she will do the same for the College while she is president. 

Zoe Wray '16
Art history major from Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Alison Masterpasqua

It has always been so easy to work with Connie. Most of our interactions have been at the circulation desk in McCabe. When I came to Swarthmore, I worked with her in setting up library reserves for her courses and seminars.  When she finished her years as provost, I re-introduced reserves to her since we had made some changes to the process. It is very special that Connie now has a third opportunity to serve the Swarthmore community.   

Alison Masterpasqua
Access and Lending Services Supervisor

Amy Cheng Vollmer

Connie was provost when I was department chair the first time (2003-2005). She was a terrific mentor to me in my first stint as chair of a large and complicated department. She is thoughtful, wise. I wondered if she would be able to 'relate' to the special circumstances in the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering and I found that she learned very quickly and provided support and encouragement to me and other department chairs. She is a clear communicator and I trust her judgment completely. I think she is superb at getting people to work collaboratively; she is quick to assume burdens and just as quick to share credit. She is a great listener and works to build community. I am happy to hear that she will be serving as interim president of the College and have heard wholehearted agreement from other faculty as well as staff.

Amy Cheng Vollmer
Professor and Chair of Biology

Emily Lipner '15

It was exciting to hear the news that Professor Hungerford would be interim president for the College. The classes I've taken with her have embodied the liberal arts spirit of the College by incorporating intersecting perspectives from different disciplines. My hope is that, as president, she continues to be able to teach as she is a very engaging and accessible professor. Nonetheless, as an art student, it is great to know that an art historian will be leading our College! 

Emily Lipner '15
Art history and psychology major from Sea Cliff, N.Y.

Vince Vagnozzi

Every encounter I have ever had with Connie, either on a College committee or meeting in general, can be characterized as thoughtful, respectful, and inclusive. However, her most endearing characteristic is her never-ending smile and cheerful greeting.

Vince Vagnozzi
Post Office Supervisor

Eric Jensen

Having worked closely with Connie for a number of years, including on the strategic planning process, I particularly admire her thoughtfulness, her good humor, and her ability to listen carefully to a range of voices in a discussion while still coming to a decision and moving things forward. I think we are fortunate to have her leadership as we go through this transition. 

Eric Jensen
Professor of Astronomy and Director of the Aydelotte Foundation

Rose Maio

I had the pleasure of working with Connie both in her capacity as humanities division chair and as provost. She is a good and respectful listener, she does not like to draw attention to herself but she gets the job done in a quiet and thoughtful way. She will make an excellent interim president.

Rose Maio
Administrative Coordinator, Sociology & Anthropology

Ellen Magenheim

It was a wonderful experience to work with Connie as associate provost. Connie made sure she had heard different perspectives clearly and fully. But being attentive to different views did not keep her from being decisive; her decisions reflected her integrity and commitment to fairness. Connie deeply understands the pleasures and challenges of being a Swarthmore faculty member and, as provost, did all she could to support faculty as teachers and scholars, paying particular attention to the challenges faced by junior faculty. She is very attentive to how hard everyone works here and is wonderful about showing her appreciation through a simple thank you, an email expressing appreciation, or a kind word. It's hard for me to imagine anyone better prepared to step into the interim presidency. 

Ellen Magenheim
Professor of Economics and former associate provost

Stu Hain

My experience with Connie is that she builds and supports teams, and she trusts the people on her team to do the work. Connie is an inquisitive listener; she has a way of smiling, cocking her head, and engaging through good questions and note making that lets you know she is taking it all in. There is a quietness about her that is steadying and sure. Finally, she is consistently and thoughtfully supportive.

One more story. For many years Connie was Faculty Marshall. In that role she conducted commencement. As a result, she spent time in the amphitheater with the grounds and maintenance crew as they set-up and organized the event. She will tell you she really enjoyed the interactions she had, and they will tell you they would have done anything for her.

Stu Hain
Vice President for Facilities and Services 

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