Is It Art? JiaJia Fei â€™08 and social media p. 26
The Power of the Pipeline A Mellon Mays roundtable p. 30
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Living as LGBTQIA+ Alums and students trade stories p. 36
View From the Hill
Rite of Spring Students poised to start up the annual Maypole Dance.
See the gallery photos.brynmawr.edu/2017/Events/May-Day/
View From the Hill
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Table of Contents
On the Cover JiaJia Fei ’08, a social media powerhouse of the art world. Photograph by Andy Boyle.
Is It Art? A social media sensation talks to the Bulletin about the art world, her career, and digital storytelling. By Ayesha Mir ’17
Over brunch, three Mawrters discuss the Mellon Mays program and diversity in the academy. By Joanna Pinto-Coelho ’09
Alumnae/i and students share perspectives on coming out, navigating the workforce, choosing a place to live, parenting, and more.
The Power of the Pipeline
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Living as LGBTQIA+
Table of Contents
ALUMNAE BULLETIN SPRING 2017
Chief Communications Officer Jesse Gale firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Nancy Brokaw email@example.com Contributing Editor Nancy Schmucker ’98 firstname.lastname@example.org
4 Letters 6 President’s Message An Arts Collaborative
For Starters: A student exhibition, a science march, and more Lore: The Poet and the Pitch Student Profile: Reaching for the Stars By Melissa Learn
Debate: What Do You Think of Our New Look? Faculty Profile: Mathematics Professor Erica Graham ’04 By Maureen McGonigle ’98 Crowd Source: What I Know Now U-Curve: Mawters in Mid-Life. By Elizabeth Mosier ’84 In the Know: Factories of Failure By Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D. ’81 Class in Session: Cracking the Code By Matt Gray
Bryn Mawr Woman: What Gives? By Cassie Kosarek ’12, BMC Postbac ’15
Art Director Jodee Winger Photographer Aaron Windhorst Class Notes Liaison Diana Campeggio email@example.com
Student Research: Are You Good? By Emma Wells ’17
Contributing Writers Joanna Corman ’95 Matt Gray Melissa Learn Maureen McGonigle ’98 Ayesha Mir ’17 Joanna Pinto-Coelho ’09 Mahira Ahmed Tiwana ’16 Emma Wells ’17 Louisa Wilson
Dispatch: The Big Bang Theory By Larry Keller Books: She's a Rebel (Maybe)
39 Our Bryn Mawr
Editorial Advisory Board Alison Kosakowski ’01, chair Julia Kagan Baumann ’70 Sarah Caldwell ’08 Elizabeth Mosier ’84 Magda Pecsenye ’94 Saskia Subramanian ’88, M.A. ’89, Alumnae Association President (Ex Officio)
Association News: From the Alumnae Association President By Saskia Subramanian ’88, M.A. ’89 GSAS: Art and the Intellect By Louisa Wilson
The Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin (USPS 068-360) is published quarterly in February, except April (May), except July (August), and November. Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association © Vol. 98, No. 4, Spring 2017. Periodicals postage paid at Bryn Mawr and other offices. Postmaster: send form 3579 to Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, 101 North Merion Avenue, Wyndham, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899. Please send address changes to the address above, or email to bmcalum@brynmawr.
GSSWSR: Making a Change to Make a Difference By Louisa Wilson Anassa Kata: Finding the Lost, Decades Later By Molly Petrilla Class Notes
Team Players By Joanna Corman ’95
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Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
Just Dandy I am an aged alum not always ready for change. My children know the lines from the hymn Abide with Me: “change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.” They would poke me and wink knowingly. Having said all that, I find the new Bulletin just dandy. Easy to go to articles of interest; print easy to read; Class Notes easy to find; enough white space. Well done and daring of you not to broadcast ahead of time that changes were coming. Also good variety of articles. Well done. —SUE SPEERS ’51
Editor’s note: For more alumnae/i response to the Bulletin’s new look and feel, turn to Debate on page 14.
Languages in Limbo I was especially interested in President Cassidy’s column on language studies since I work at Hunter College in New York which offers students courses in Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Latin, Greek, Polish, Russian, and Hebrew, as well as French, Italian, and Spanish. However, I think she is mistaken when she says Bryn Mawr is the only U.S. liberal arts college with a Flagship language program. Hunter is a liberal arts college and hosts a Flagship program in Chinese—although like Bryn Mawr, it seems to be the only liberal arts college of the 11 Flagship programs offering Chinese. It is wonderful that both colleges clearly share a commitment to offering important global languages to their students. (While Hunter is coed, having been all women until the 1960s, its undergraduate enrollment remains about 70 percent female.) —DEBORAH SCHOR GARDNER ’70
Comment online: bulletin.brynmawr.edu
Send letters to: email@example.com
Notice of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Alumnae Association and Slate of Candidates for Office
At Large Representative Chair, Bryn Mawr Fund Representative for Careers At Large Representative Chair, Committee on Leadership Development
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—JODY HESPENHEIDE BABOUKIS ’76
We’d like to hear from you! The Bulletin welcomes letters expressing a range of opinions on issues addressed in the magazine and of interest to the extended community. Letters must be signed in order to be considered for publication and may be edited for length, clarity, accuracy, and civility. Comment online at bulletin. brynmawr.edu or send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, 101 North Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010-2899.
The Annual Meeting of the Alumnae Association will take place during Reunion weekend on May 28, 2017 at 10 a.m. in Thomas Great Hall. The Committee for Leadership Development will present the following slate for election to three-year terms: Linda C. Bush ’85 Linda D. Friedrich ’89 Sharon Harshbarger Kucera ’90 Mia Parker ’87 Kate Salley ’00
The first time I watched the first Harry Potter movie, I took one look at the Great Hall and said, “Hey, it’s Rhoads dining hall!” A bit larger, perhaps, but otherwise so much the same. And the courtyard where the students spend their break times is just like Thomas Cloisters. Watching all of those movies is like going home to Bryn Mawr.
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The caption on page 34 identified Susan Walker Fitzgerald, as Class of 1983. In fact, she graduated in 1883. The caption on page 62 reversed identifications: Marie Bernard is on the left and Margo-Lea Hurwicz on the right. In her Class Notes obituary on page 52, Katharine Blodgett Gebbie's name was misspelled. It's Katharine with an "a," not an "e."
Bryn Mawr’s history in furthering women in science and math is simply extraordinary. At a time when few colleges or universities allowed women to obtain advanced degrees or hired women faculty, Bryn Mawr at the beginning of the 20th century was unique. President M. Carey Thomas handpicked a brilliant Englishwoman, Charlotte Scott, to build the department of mathematics in 1885 and do the unthinkable: award Ph.D.s in mathematics to women. The result: of a total of only 228 doctorates earned by women in all fields in 1900, tiny Bryn Mawr awarded 15.
MORE THAN SHE THOUGHT POSSIBLE
—STEPHANIE WENKERT KANWIT ’65
EDITOR’S NOTE: Charlotte Angus Scott (pictured above) served at Bryn Mawr until 1917. Her specialty was the study of specific algebraic curves of degree higher than two. Her book, An Introductory Account of Certain Modern Ideas and Methods in Plane Analytical Geometry, appeared in 1894. In 1891, she became the first woman to join the New York Mathematical Society (later the American Mathematical Society) and, in 1906, its vice president.
“As a young girl from Ethiopia, I had few opportunities available to me. Thanks to the Ann Updegraff Allen ’42 and Ann Allen ’65 Scholarship at Bryn Mawr, I am able to open my mind to a world beyond what I thought possible.” —Sorenie Gudissa ’20 To learn more about planning a gift for scholarship, contact Dianne Johnson, Director of Gift Planning. To read about Sorenie and the Allen Scholarship, visit giftplanning.brynmawr.edu/scholarship.
OFFICE OF GIFT PLANNING 610-526-6597 GIFTPLANNING@BRYNMAWR.EDU
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An Arts Collaborative Dear Friends: When I enter the back door of Taylor in April on my way to my office, I pass a bulletin board covered by posters for upcoming arts events at Bryn Mawr and Haverford. Over the course of April, these included the Bryn Mawr-Haverford Chorale’s performance of Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, three seniors’ vocal or instrumental recitals and performances of two senior thesis music compositions (collectively by three Bryn Mawr and two Haverford students), two Bryn Mawr Reading Series readings by guest authors, the Bi-Co Theater Program’s performance of Jeremy Gable’s Particular Risk, the spring concert of the Bi-Co Orchestra, the BiCo Student Spring Dance Concert, and the Haverford Fine Arts Department theses exhibit displaying the work of six Bryn Mawr and two Haverford seniors. Long lists are not ordinarily interesting, but the one above tells great stories. It communicates the vibrancy of creative and performing arts at Bryn Mawr and Haverford and the success of a 35-year-old Bi-College agreement to collaborate in our
arts programming. Hundreds of students from each campus participate each year in academic or co-curricular arts programs (as well as hundreds of others in student-run organizations such as a cappella groups, Greasepaint Productions [musical theater], the Art Club, and the TriCo Rhythm N’ Motion Dance Company). Among current Bryn Mawr juniors and seniors, 13 have declared independent majors in creative writing, theater, or dance, in addition to 14 in fine arts and three in music at Haverford. Creation of a Bi-College approach to the arts was in some sense a child of necessity, born during a time of tight budgets. Thirty-five years later, the five programs have grown in size and quality. Faculty take advantage of our proximity to Philadelphia to bring instructors and performers to campus to enrich our offerings. Added and/or renovated facilities, especially the 2007–09 renovation of Goodhart, have provided enhanced performance opportunities at Bryn Mawr for theater and dance. A new facility for visual culture, arts, and media
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is slated to open at Haverford later in 2017, and Haverford plans to renovate its music facilities within the next five years. Most important, the arts programs have been led by talented faculty who see a liberal arts college as a rich environment in which they and their students can learn and create. In describing the arts program, Bryn Mawr’s faculty write, “Chemists and philosophers and students of ancient literature sing together, draw together, dance together, sit down together to study a novel or a play. Everyone brings a different perspective to the table; everyone grows intellectually and artistically from these exchanges.” The faculty’s commitment to pursuing the arts in a liberal arts context is reflected in the long tenure of so many, such as Linda Caruso Haviland, who founded the dance program at Bryn Mawr in 1984; Mark Lord, director of the theater program since 1987; Tom Lloyd, director of the choral and vocal studies programs for Haverford and Bryn Mawr since 1996, who will be much missed following his retirement this spring; and many of their colleagues. Some of our students will go on to professional careers as artists, performers, or writers. Most will not pursue this path, but I hope they will find time to continue to sing, dance, write, perform, paint, and create, enriching their future communities as they have these two small, amazing campuses outside Philadelphia. With all good wishes,
Kim Cassidy President
In this Section
For Starters p. 8 Lore p. 11 Student Profile p. 12
With her own experience in mind, Joy Rukanzakanza ’19, a 2016 recipient of the Davis Projects for Peace Prize, created a girl-empowerment endeavor that supports education for high school girls in rural Zimbabwe: “Instead of allowing my past circumstances to define me, I used them to define this movement. At Bryn Mawr, I became aware of the opportunities offered for people who are passionate about making a difference.”
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Dispatch from the City of Brotherly Love
1. Mirrors and Masks
Organized by 11 student curators in a 360˚ course cluster, a spring exhibition in Canaday considered the role of mirrors, masks, makeup, and masquerade in explorations of the self across the centuries and cultures. Mirrors & Masks: Reflections and Constructions of the Self draws on objects in Bryn Mawr’s Art & Artifacts Collection. “To be able to physically handle a work you’ve read so much about is so thrilling and special,” says Alexa Chabora ’18, a history of art major considering a career in curation.
Browse opening night photos photos.brynmawr.edu/2016/Events/ Mirrors-Masks/
“For the first 38 years of my life, if I wanted to see a dramatically desecrated Jewish cemetery, I had to fly to Eastern Europe,” said Associate Professor of Creative Writing Daniel Torday in response to the desecration of the Mount Carmel Jewish Cemetery in Philadelphia earlier this year. On NPR’s Fresh Air, Torday recalled a 1990 visit to the Hungarian town where his grandfather was born. “On the outskirts of town we found a walled graveyard…. On headstones throughout the place we saw graffiti, the painful evidence of kids who’d come to hang out there, defacing graves and drinking. Under the weeds we found the names of my greatgrandparents, who had been deported to death camps during World War II. My father explained that my great-grandparents’ bodies weren’t actually buried there. They’d never been recovered. The family had put these markers up to commemorate their lives: to consecrate them.” “The morning I went to see Mount Carmel Cemetery, I was overcome by a familiar feeling, one I’d had in Hungary…. Now I was feeling it in the city where I live. In 2017.”
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Against Domestic Violence
Tell Me What a Scientist Looks Like
At Philadelphia’s March for Science in April, Michelle Francl challenged the stereotype of scientists. Most people imagine "a man—and it’s almost always a man—in a lab coat with crazy hair, glasses, at a lab bench.” Not so, says Francl. Scientists are also “short plump women with grey hair [and] tall athletic young women from New Jersey and brilliant women from Mexico.”
5. In the Spotlight Bryn Mawr dance professor Linda Caruso Haviland was center stage at the Performance Garage’s 2017 gala this spring. The founder of the College’s dance program was honored for her contributions to the Philadelphia dance community by the city’s premier space for modern dance. As a dancer, Caruso Haviland performed primarily with Hellmut Gottschild’s Zero Moving Company. As a scholar, she has focused on the work of Philadelphia dance artists and the rise of a professional class of dancers in turn-of-the-century Philadelphia.
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Christabel Koomson ’18 will use a Davis Projects for Peace project to achieve a personal vision: empowering girls to speak up against domestic violence. “As a young girl growing up in Ghana, like many other young Ghanaian girls, I was always taught to revere shyness and to speak only when I’m spoken to,” Koomson says. “While these are not exactly terrible teachings, it becomes problematic when girls become women in a society that taught them from infancy that they can only speak up when asked.” Spurred to action by the alarming rate of domestic violence suffered by Ghanaian women, Koomson has launched Project Duafe to engage girls at a high school in Kumasi. Going forward, she hopes to expand the project to the national level. Working with about 150 girls, Koomson is offering weekly lessons on topics such as listening and storytelling, survivor sessions, intervention and resource availability, self-esteem, and the need for education. To provide ongoing support, she hopes to start a Girls Against Domestic Violence club at the school and establish an annual conference of local schools. Davis Projects for Peace invites all undergraduates at partner colleges and universities to compete for grants. This year, 120 projects were awarded for implementation.
Read more here brynmawr.edu/news
Digital Skills for Digital Natives
Look at just about any resume these days and you’re bound to find “Mastery of Microsoft Office” in the Skills section. But ask most folks to create a pivot table in Excel, and chances are they’ll go running to Google for help. “We think of today’s students as being so comfortable with technology, but the truth is that many of them haven’t used these tools in any sophisticated manner,” says Educational Technology Services Manager Jennifer Spohrer. Bryn Mawr’s Digital Competencies initiative provides a framework for identifying the proficiencies students will need in the future—and can gain through their academic work, workshops and intensives, internships, and student employment. “We don’t want people thinking of this as boxes on a checklist that need to get ticked off,” says Chief Information Officer Gina Siesing. “This is about having students take time to assess the path they want to take and to ask what the digital skills and habits of mind are that they’re going to need to get where they want to go.”
7. Dance in the Diaspora
Each year, the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship program awards select seniors of unusual promise with a grant for a year of international exploration. Danielle Roomes ’17, an anthropology major and Watson Fellow, is studying African dance around the world. In the Netherlands, Roomes, who uses the pronoun they, is investigating why a South Bronx form has succeeded in a “color-blind” country. In Chile, they’ll be looking at how dance is helping millennials reclaim African history and, in New Zealand, working with a Samoan choreographer to understand how hip-hop is being incorporated with traditional indigeous styles. In Accra, Roomes will focus on communities teaching traditional drumming and dancing in a time of corporate convergence and societal change.
8. An Elite Exception Colleges often brag about helping poorer students rise in life, but research shows that elite colleges are not much more economically diverse than in the past. But among those elites, Bryn Mawr is an exception, enrolling one of the highest percentages of low- and middle-income students. The College ranks sixth in the top 10, with 13.7 percent of its students from the bottom 40 percent of the income scale. The report, Mobility Report Cards, was released by the Equality of Opportunity Project.
Read more here
Read more here
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Photo from Bettmann
The Poet and the Pitch
One of America’s foremost poets began her writing career as a contributor to Bryn Mawr’s literary magazine, Tipyn O’Bob. Marianne Moore, Class of 1909, was also a diehard sports fan who wrote the liner notes for I Am the Greatest, Muhammad Ali’s spoken word album and rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers and, after their departure to Los Angeles, the New York Yankees. She immortalized her love of the game in Baseball and Writing, and famously threw out the first ball of the Yankees’ season opener on April 10, 1968. Moore got a November 15 birthday shout-out on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. From the blog: “She went to Bryn Mawr College, where she hoped to study English literature, but after a professor wrote a disparaging comment on one of her papers, she switched to biology. Working in a laboratory had a profound effect on her writing. She said, ‘Precision, economy of statement, logic […] drawing and identifying, liberated [my] imagination.’”
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Fanaticism? No. Writing is exciting and baseball is like writing. You can never tell with either how it will go or what you will do…. EXCERPT FROM BASEBALL AND WRITING, 1961
Reaching for the Stars For Lindsey Marinello ’17 (physics and Russian), the choice of major was inspired by the International Space Station collaboration between the U.S. and Russia. And that same spirit of collaboration has characterized her Bryn Mawr career: the physics-Russian double major launched several initiatives to help her fellow students succeed in STEM fields. BY MELISSA LEARN
“There was something really special about the nature of collaboration between the U.S. and Russia and the fact that we have people living up there continuously who are communicating and doing science and building crazy projects and testing them and making beneficial technologies,” Marinello says. Originally drawn to Bryn Mawr for its Russian program, Marinello had never taken a physics class before arriving on campus. She maintains that she wasn’t good at math, but she did like “science as a whole, as a method, and also as a way of viewing the world.” Her lack of experience only helped to fuel her pursuit, but she has seen it deter many others. To gain experience and learn more about the different fields of engineering, she founded the BMC Makers and Engineers Club in her first year on campus. Its mission? To consolidate the resources Bryn Mawr offers and to help students discover what is available off campus as well? “A surprising number of Bryn Mawr students go into engineering,” says Marinello,
WHAT’S A MAKERSPACE?
A place where people with shared interests, especially in computing or tech, gather to work on projects and share ideas, equipment, and knowledge. S.TEAM
stands for Science Technology Engineering Advocacy for Mawrtyrs. GET A GRIP
Marinello interned at the NASA Robotics Academy, where she worked on a prototype of an electrostatic gripper arm used for space debris collection and satellite servicing. JOINING FORCES
During her study abroad time in Moscow, Marinello attended an international space conference along with experts from the U.S., Europe, and China. FAVORITE SPOT
“Park! It’s the places that you end up spending most of your time that becomes home to you.”
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“and I thought it would be helpful for it to be represented as a student interest.” Working with the Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center and the departments, club members organize workshops, attend conferences and career fairs—and hope one day to get a makerspace at Bryn Mawr. Marinello also worked on a planning resolution with other engineering students and started S.TEAM. These related efforts set out to improve academic advising and general math and science support for STEM majors by appointing student reps and partnering with the administration to keep students from becoming discouraged. “Bryn Mawr gave me a lot of opportunities to develop as a leader,” she says. As for the future, Marinello plans to pursue a Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering and perhaps a Russian language development program. In either case, she hopes the initiatives she worked on at Bryn Mawr will continue to encourage students to pursue a path in STEM—and reach for the stars.
In this Section
Cracking the Code p. 21 Are You Good? p. 23 The Big Bang Theory p. 24
“It’s a transcendent thing to be a Bryn Mawrter,” said the Tony and Obie Award–winning playwright Sarah Jones ’95. “It’s like a cult—a wonderful, benevolent cult.” Known for her one-woman, “Returning at this moment in history multi-character shows, feels like a poignant opportunity to honor the multicultural, creative, social the shape-shifting performer brought her cast of characters justice-focused values that define our nation at its best, and which Bryn Mawr to an SRO audience in helped me cultivate as a student,” Goodhart Hall this spring. said Jones.
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Watch a video clip at bit.ly/SarahJonesatBMC
Q: What Do You Think of Our New Look?
We asked, and you answered—with a record number of letters about the new Bulletin. Opinion runs 2-to-1 positive with the most frequently expressed complaint focused on the font size—an issue we’ve addressed in these pages. Herewith, a representative sampling of what you had to say. Plus, two Bulletin veterans who apprenticed under legendary editor Skip Shakespeare offer competing views of what their mentor might think.
News of the death of Skip Winter Mason Shakespeare ’50 in the Winter 2017 issue was unexpected and sad, but its coinciding with the debut of the magazine’s fresh new look was, for me, a sweet reminder of Skip’s most prominent contribution to the Bryn Mawr community: her many years producing intellectually and aesthetically stimulating Alumnae Bulletins. I served as Skip’s assistant and associate editor at the Bulletin, and some of the most valuable lessons I learned from her came as a result of our perpetual quest to find dynamic balance between innovation and tradition, between challenging our readers and remaining a familiar space for convening community. Skip’s professional fearlessness was key.... So, I love the Bulletin’s new format and design (as I believe Skip would have, also) for the energy and thoughtfulness it embodies. May you—no, may all of us— continue to be bold and fearless and to flourish in these balancing acts that are our work and our lives. —KATHY NEUSTADT ’73
With the three attractive students in coordinating clothing on the cover I thought it was a retail catalog and luckily took another look before tossing it into the recycle bin. I’m not objecting to the format, but it might have been a good idea to give us a heads-up with an e-blast. Also, the text in the Class Notes section really needs to be darker with the reduced point size. —MELODEE SIEGEL KORNACKER ’60
I LOVE the magazine. I had always read it, but this format helps it reach a whole new level of excellence. And I’m 75 years old—so please don’t think that the more zippy look will appeal only to millennials. The content has a great balance in length and subject matter, and I guess more than anything else, the magazine seems to reflect so much of what is unique about Bryn Mawr. —MARILOU HYSON, PH.D. ’79
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I was once upon a time an assistant editor, photographer, columnist, and chief bottle washer for the Bulletin, along with editor Skip Mason. Curmudgeonly me took an immediate dislike to the new publication. Not to speak too freely on behalf of Skip, but she-who-loved-thelayout is probably spinning in her grave. My first impression was that it was a clothing catalog. Once I realized that it was our magazine, I took it out of the trash and really looked at it. So these are the things I like: The photographs and creative use of a graph on SGA and font sizes. The variety of layout and articles make it interesting and readable. The size means I can throw it in my purse to read. What I don’t like: The front looks like a catalog or admissions piece. The size means I almost threw it out as junk mail and not a magazine.
Just BEAUTIFUL. I am sitting here at my desk with little sparkling tears in the corners of my eyes. What more to say than this is just a stunning publication? The new Bulletin is 100% a beautiful testament to Mawrter history, diversity, and futurity, and it was just what I needed. —LEE WACKER ’12
Fresh and bright and so new. BMC leads the way again. —JULIET GOODFRIEND ’63
Although I like the compact size of the new Bulletin, the tiny type is very taxing for my aging eyes! It's as if you took the old version and simply shrank it, shrank everything, including the typeface. Sadly and frustratingly, I find it really hard to read. —ELIZABETH ROUECHÉ KRIJGSMAN ’66
WOW!! The new Alumnae Bulletin is absolutely smashing. It’s elegant, easy on the eye, and inviting— just draws readers into the always-interesting material inside. Fabulous job: kudos! —SUE HALPERIN BRYANT ’53
I liked the older version just fine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! —NANCY WHITE ’60
I LOVE the new Bulletin. The new size makes it easy for me to put it in my purse so I can read it on my commute to class. I also think the new design and format give it a fresh and exciting look, highlighting both the intellect (it looks like a sociology journal subscription) and creativity of the Bryn Mawr student. Thank you for making me look forward to checking my mail for once! —JOMAIRA SALAS PUJOLS ’13
The articles are very short. I used to love sitting back and reading in-depth pieces. Less large photographs, more text! —LIBBY WHITE ’80
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MATH IN ACTION
I am an applied mathematician who focuses on biological problems. The goal of my work is to develop mathematical models motivated by biological phenomena.
My current projects include modeling physiological mechanisms underlying type-2 diabetes, anticoagulation therapy, and female hormone regulation.
MY TOOL KIT
Nonlinear dynamical systems, stochastic processes, and numerical simulation.
Math didn't feel like work to me. It was just fun.
WOMEN IN STEM
At Bryn Mawr, women don’t get the impression they’re not supposed to study math. You see people who look like you, and your professors don’t tell you women aren’t good at STEM.
IN THE CLASSROOM
Teaching students who are extremely engaged means I have to be on top of my game, and I have to keep it up for 16 weeks in the semester.
Erica Graham '04 A 2004 magna cum laude graduate of Bryn Mawr, Graham returned to campus to teach mathematics in 2015. She specializes in mathematical biology and mathematical modeling, with a general interest in cellular and molecular physiology and a particular focus on endocrinology. A confirmed academic, Graham holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Utah.
Read more here
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What I Know Now What advice would you give to your younger self or a first-year student?
@bibinebbs 1) Believe in yourself! You can do anything! 2) A positive attitude is infectious. 3) Find something you are passionate about, then go after it. Do what makes you happy. 4) The path is sometimes long, rocky, and winding, but you’ll meet really wonderful people and experience really amazing things along the way. 5) When you fall, get up again! 6) When in doubt, count on a bar of chocolate and a bowl of ice cream. 7) When you wake up every morning, ask yourself, “How am I going to make the world a better place today?” Venita Datta ’82 Trust yourself. You are a very smart woman—that is why you are at Bryn Mawr College. Use your intelligence to learn all you can from professors, classmates, and those around you. I say this as a college professor and an alum.
Jo Karimurio ’09 A women’s college is a truly magical place. Not only will you discover the diversity of others, but you will find you are stronger and more capable than you imagine. Embrace the community you find yourself in, and you will have sisters for life.
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@takc0429 When you first get to campus, try lots of new things. Go to an SGA meeting, attend the college news or Bi-Co info session, try out a few different clubs. They might not all stick, but what does might surprise you. So much of learning at Bryn Mawr happens outside of the classroom with your peers, and the people you meet will make a lasting impact.
Rachel Kutten ’13 Keep a journal. You think you’ll remember everything in the moment, but some events will become hazy even only a few years after graduation.
Mawrters in Midlife Lawyer, doctor, immigrant— three Mawrters rebuild their lives after midlife upends their best-laid plans. BY ELIZABETH MOSIER ’84
While directing the Language Partners Program at Catholic Charities Maine, Malvina Gregory ’98 met “the one”— but he was Brazilian and undocumented. “Working in a field related to immigration,
I knew what I was dealing with if our relationship continued,” she says. When a family crisis compelled Etelvino’s return to Brazil, she left family, friends, and a “dream job” to marry him, move to rural Padre Paraíso,
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and, a year later, give birth to daughter Gabriela. “I knew who I was when I came here,” she says. “I wasn’t expecting it to break me down.” Adept at “forming a tribe,” she was disappointed when her
in-laws didn’t step in to help and when her new friends didn’t call. After her mother’s visit, she felt alone, an “immigrant in a foreign country with a colicky baby who wouldn’t stop crying.” Prone to depression, Gregory needed social contact to stay balanced, but just getting out of the house was a challenge. For Gregory, rebuilding community in her adopted home, the Internet was a lifeline—connecting her to “Mawrter Moms” on Facebook, letting her commiserate with an Argentine friend studying in the U.S., and giving her a forum to examine experience in her blog, Minhas Crônicas do Brasil. “When you give me a problem, that’s where I go to solve it,” she says. As she re-establishes trust in local family and friends, she writes to restore faith in herself. “In my darkest months, I held onto a card a Mawrter friend sent, describing me as ‘joyful,’” she says. “It took time to find that person again.” Graduating in an era after Betty Friedan and anticipating Leslie Bennetts’s The Feminine Mistake, Lauren Licata ’01 was cautioned by wellmeaning friends and colleagues to factor fertility into her career plans. “I decided to go into surgery when there were very few mentors, including women, who would tell you, ‘You can do this,’” she says. “I dealt with a ton of sexism, but I kept moving forward, saying, ‘I can handle it.’” But marriage to a critical perfectionist depleted her, and medical school left little time to reflect. When Licata didn’t get the fellowship she wanted, she says, “I was in a miserable place. I thought back to what made me happy in college,
when I didn’t have to compete with or answer to anyone but myself.” Her subsequent choice to be a community surgeon is both a departure and a return. Emulating her mentor, who is “meticulous and caring, showing respect for the human being who has placed their life in his hands,” she feels resonance with the “mutual respect that was baseline at Bryn Mawr.” Post-divorce, baby pressure persists as Licata rebuilds her life and surgical practice in suburban Long Island, where “success is marriage-home-kids.” But “I’m in charge now,” she
disruptive.” Afterward, she “dated” in the field for a few years; consulting in the area of electronic discovery kept her resume current and led to her new public sector job as a senior assistant attorney general with her state department of justice. Being tapped for her expertise was gratifying, but the time away—spent with her three children, publishing essays, and seeking mental health treatment—was transformative. “It forced me to develop certain habits of questioning,” she says. “For three generations, every adult woman in my
“At 21, your brain is a physiologically and chemically different piece of equipment from your brain at 45.” says. Her collaborative style, as she talks through a surgery with her OR team or mentors a friend’s science-minded daughter, takes the shape of the support she once sought. These days, she measures success in gratitude from her patients and colleagues. “A law partnership is like a marriage,” says Elleanor Chin ’93, a commercial litigator by training, rebuilding her identity after a painful “divorce” from her firm. “The concept evolved as a fiduciary and intimate legal structure and so to be ejected by my partners, essentially because I wasn’t a ‘good girl,’ was intensely psychically
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family has had depression and/ or anxiety. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I’m basically a high-functioning person with a long-term mental illness. If I have a shorter ‘battery life,’ I’ve got to operate differently, be self-aware and mindful, for the rest of my life.” Watching her kids develop, and recalling who she was at Bryn Mawr, gives Chin insight into her middle-aged self. “At 21, your brain is a physiologically and chemically different piece of equipment from your brain at 45,” she says, pointing to the continuity and constant discovery that characterize midlife.
In the Know
Factories of Failure
No one who has spent any time in a youth prison can walk away without seeing it as anything but a factory of failure. BY PATRICK MCCARTHY, PH.D. ’81
The first one I visited had been built for 40 people but was housing 100. I was struck by the glaring lights and the barrage of noise. The kids were dressed in sweats, many with holes in them. Some were in shackles or handcuffs. Guards carried Mace. Decades of hard evidence, not just gut feeling, tell us that youth prisons like that one do real and lasting harm. We know that one of the strongest predictors of delinquent behavior is having a social circle of delinquent peers. So what do we do? We put young people in prisons where they create intense relationships with those with a history of breaking the law. Instead of reform schools, youth prisons are schools for crime. We know that young people develop emotional maturity by learning from their mistakes and realizing that they can do better. So what do youth prisons do? They reinforce the most negative aspects of young people’s developing personalities, tell them that they are dangerous, that they have no future. And after shaping their identity as young criminals, we return them to the community with little support or connection to opportunity. We know that most incarcerated youth have histories of trauma that make them especially sensitive to environmental triggers. So where do we send them? To youth prisons characterized by isolation, solitary confinement,
Patrick McCarthy, Ph.D. '81 is president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which is devoted to improving the lives of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social, and health outcomes.
chemical and physical restraints, bright lights, constant din, and a pervasive threat of violence. So how can we be surprised by dismal recidivism rates of 60, 70, 80 percent? These factories of failure fail at protecting the community, they fail at turning young lives around, they fail at being cost-effective, and they fail at protecting kids from abuse. Clearly, the time is way past to close every last youth prison in the country. And we can.
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By changing policies, we can ensure that kids aren’t locked up for minor offenses. By changing programs, we can create alternatives like kinship programs and family-based interventions. By changing systems, we can transform state juvenile justice systems—by, for example, implementing risk assessments that give judges sound criteria for making sentencing decisions. By changing practice, we can create small, community-based residential care that ensures safety while delivering staff-intensive treatment and education and fostering relationships of trust. With all the powerful structures and systems of our society, juvenile justice systems are mediated by this country’s long history of racism. They’re influenced and mediated by the stories we tell ourselves about black and brown young people— in other words, by the central social injustice that has infected this country for hundreds of years and continues to affect us to the present day. It’s time we face up to the dismal failure of the adult-like youth prisons that lock up thousands and thousands and thousands of young people every day. It’s time we close every last one of them in favor of more family-based, communityoriented responses that hold young people accountable for their behavior but, at the same time, are more safe, more effective, and more just.
Class in Session
Cracking the Code
At their simplest, they are used by kids passing notes in class and at their most complex, by governments carrying out military operations. In between, they are used by people every time they pull out a credit card or shop online. BY MATT GRAY
A special topic course offered recently by the mathematics department, “Codes and Ciphers” is “an introduction to classical and modern methods for encoding secret messages (cryptography) and the science of breaking codes and ciphers (cryptanalysis),” writes instructor Penelope Dunham in her course description. “It blends the history of secret writing, the art of creating codes, and the mathematics underlying the theory and practice of encryption and decryption.” “The puzzle nature of the course really appeals to students,” says Dunham, a research associate who offered the course many times when she taught at Muhlenberg College. “Math majors and science majors love to solve puzzles.” The course begins during the time of the Greeks and Romans with examples such as the Caesar
CIPHERS VS. CODES
Codes substitute arbitrary symbols— typically, letters or numbers—for the components of the original message. Ciphers use algorithms to transform a message into an apparently random string of characters.
cipher and proceeds all the way into the modern era. Some of the key moments in history that the class studies are the decoding of the Zimmerman Telegram in 1917 and the Allies’ successful cryptanalysis of Germany’s Enigma machine during World War II. Intercepted and decoded by British intelligence, the Zimmerman Telegram was a secret diplomatic communication that proposed a military alliance of Germany, Mexico, and Japan in the event that the U.S. entered World War I. Its release inflamed U.S. public opinion and generated support for a declaration of war. By World War II, the Germans were transmitting encrypted messages via the Enigma machine, but the British broke that as well. “Many students have seen the film The Imitation Game,” says Dunham, “but I think
The Caesar cipher is a shift cipher, one of the simplest forms of encryption in which each letter of the message is replaced by a letter a certain number of positions down in the alphabet.
For history, students read Simon Singh’s The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography, and for math, Dunham assigns Cryptological Mathematics, by R.E. Lewand.
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they’re still surprised to learn just how important the breaking of these codes has been throughout history.” “The students really enjoy the first half of the course because it’s stuff they can break,” says Dunham. “When we get to things like the Enigma machine and the computer era, the students can no longer break the ciphers, so then it becomes more about learning the mathematics behind them.” Today, thanks to the need to send data securely online, cryptography is an unseen part of everyday life, and students with the right math skills are in high demand. “I’ve had two of my students go on to work for the National Security Agency, which is now one of the top employers of math Ph.D.’s in the world,” says Dunham.
THE CODE TALKERS
The name is generally associated with Navajos who served with Marine divisions in the Pacific. The Iwo Jima landing, for example, was directed entirely by Navajo code. But code talking had been pioneered during WWI by Cherokee and Choctaw Indians.
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WHAT IT SAYS
To find the key to the message illustrated above—and to crack the code—go to bulletin.brynmawr.edu.
Bryn Mawr Woman
What Gives? With gap years, student debt, and admissions processes delaying post-graduate study, getting on with life can be a challenge. BY CASSIE KOSAREK ’12, BMC POSTBAC ’15
When I told my family that I’d be taking another year off—my fourth post-undergrad—before matriculating into medical school, I was met with silence. Finally, from my mother: “How old will you be when you finish training?” She looked at me questioningly. She is a lawyer who, in the ’80s, went to law school straight from undergrad, married two years after graduation, and had three children in quick succession. Hers was an era of economic prosperity and lack of student loans. Her generation embraced linearity without the uncertainty of increasingly competitive admissions processes and job markets, meaning that graduate training was often complete before the societal expectation of building a family came into play. She, and many of her generation, don’t understand the phenomenon of not just one gap year but multiple—of stretching toward a graduate program for many years, strengthening resumes, volunteering, publishing, finding ways to be competitive in admissions, and finding money to pay for application cycles. The average age of my first-year
CAN WE TALK?
The Bryn Mawr Woman column is a platform for Mawrters to tell their stories. Find out more at brynmawr.edu/alumnae/bmw or submit a story via email to alumnaebulletin@ brynmawr.edu.
medical school class is 26. My road toward application was filled with anecdotes about how graduate programs value older applicants and how much richer our experiences are as compared to those of students with only a few months’ distance from college graduation. The message was clear: graduate programs see advantages in older students. But the reality of being a nontraditional female student in a doctoral program lay in the implications of my mother’s question. I will be 33 when I finish a four-year medical residency. After that, as in many fields outside of medicine, I might complete a fellowship in an area of specialization, making me firmly in my mid-30s before it’s “time” to fulfill what is still considered by many to be my social duty—to have a family. It is in this modern delay of graduate education wherein my conflict arises. We are expected at once to fulfill a biological role of parenthood
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while simultaneously being encouraged to delay our own professional goals by admissions processes and economic realities that might favor older students. At 25 and entering medical school, I faced a barrage of questions: when will I have kids, and in what will I specialize? It became clear that a woman’s worth no longer hinges on either parenthood or professionalism but rather on a winning composite of the two. In medicine, this composite might mean giving birth during residency or choosing a specialty that better accommodates family life. Implied in these questions is the sense that female professionals are somehow incomplete if we don’t satisfy expectations in both of these realms. As a medical student of nontraditional age, I am left wondering what fulfilling both of those roles will mean to me and how my personal choices about building a family and my professional choice of specialty will inform my social worth. In due time, I’ll have a ring on my finger, enduring the comments: too soon, and not soon enough. An English major and psychology minor, Cassie Kosarek ’12 returned to Bryn Mawr to complete the Post-baccalaureate Premedical Program. She is currently a medical student at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
Are You Good? Good deeds don’t necessarily beget more good deeds, but cultural context can influence a person’s subconscious attitude toward morality. BY EMMA WELLS ’17
Such were the findings in a cross-cultural study of moral licensing conducted by seniors Priyanka Dutta and Kate Pellegrini. The term “moral licensing” describes the concept of a subconscious “good quota” that influences moral behavior. In other words, doing something “good” boosts an individual’s moral self-concept but then, secure in her self-image, she is free to do something “bad.” “You’d think that if you do a good act, you’d be more willing to do good in the next iterations, but actually the literature says that you’re more likely to commit selfish acts if you commit a good one first,” says Pellegrini.
The pair wanted to compare how Eastern and Western concepts of morality influence how individuals license their morality. Over the summer, Pellegrini and Dutta were stationed in Portland, Oregon, and Mumbai, respectively, to collect data for their study, which was supervised by Louisa Egan Brad, formerly an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr and now at the University of Portland. “We were expecting to see that moral licensing would be more present in the U.S. population and less present in the Eastern populations because of the influence of different religions and cultural concepts such as karma,” says Dutta.
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The students recruited a randomized sample of 192 people in public spaces and assigned them to one of two groups: a “hard” group or an “easy” group. Each participant received a questionnaire asking if they regularly complete a variety of environmental conservation tasks. One group of participants was asked whether they completed relatively easy activities, such as recycling paper, while the other group was asked about more difficult activities, such as making one’s own shampoo. After completing the questionnaire, participants were told that they had been entered into a raffle for $60 and that they could either keep the money or give it to charity. In the U.S., the moral licensing effect was in evidence: those who felt environmentally responsible donated less money to charity. But in Asia, says Dutta, “people still donated more money, whether they were in the easy or difficult group."
Dutta and Pellegrini's study “Moral Licensing as Acquired Behavior,” is the first to take a cross-cultural perspective. CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS
The pair presented their findings at the 2017 Conference for the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
“We’re attempting to use the smallest known pieces of the universe to answer some of its biggest questions—at least those questions that can be answered with science.”
The Big Bang Theory BY LARRY KELLER
“For as long as I can remember, I was always interested in trying to figure out how things worked, both man-made tools and natural phenomena, and also in math,” says Leigh Schaefer ’13. Today Schaefer is a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania working at CERN, a multinational research center near Geneva, Switzerland. CERN studies the fundamental structure of the universe by accelerating particles at almost the speed of light and then colliding them at very high energies. “We’re attempting to use the smallest known pieces of the universe to answer some of its biggest questions—at least those questions that can be answered IN COLLABORATION
The ATLAS experiment, on which Schaefer has been working for three years, is one of seven at the LHC being run by scientists collaborating from institutes around the world.
with science,” Schaefer says. “Our ultimate goal is understanding the state of the universe at the big bang and how it evolved into what we see today.” Schaefer is part of a group from Penn working on the ATLAS experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. The LHC is a massive underground particle accelerator. ATLAS measures its data. Schaefer is the software coordinator for one of the subdetectors that make up the ATLAS detector. “Most of my day-to-day is spent either meeting with collaborators or writing code to improve” the subdetector’s performance. She also is involved in an analysis searching for another particle
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE
Perhaps the best-known discovery at CERN is the Higgs boson, or so-called “God particle,” which scientists describe as a building block of the universe.
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that has been theorized but not yet measured. Schaefer didn’t consider a career in physics until she took a course her freshman year at Bryn Mawr. “Being at Bryn Mawr, surrounded by brilliant, confident women and faculty who were nothing but supportive, instilled in me the confidence to think that I could pursue a career in a traditionally male-dominated field,” she says. “I haven’t experienced explicit condescension or hostility because I’m a woman,” Schaefer adds. “[But] I think as a society we can do more to encourage girls to study math and science, and then the demographics of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) will consequently change.”
A physics major at Bryn Mawr, Schaefer had a double minor in astronomy and French.
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NO WAY OUT BUT THROUGH by Lynne Sharon
Schwartz, M.A. ’61. In her third collection of poems, Schwartz mines the realms of dreams and childhood and the ironies of daily life. “These poems have the immediacy and poignance of the best photographs, clear, haunting, trustworthy,” says writer Patricia Hampl. (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016)
She’s a Rebel (Maybe) Piyali Bhattacharya ’07 was at dinner, listening to her friends—all Asian women—talk about their families, and the words she heard over and over were obedience and rebellion. As she listened, Bhattacharya, writer-inresidence at Vanderbilt University, hatched an idea—and a title— for Good Girls Marry Doctors, an anthology
of stories from South Asian women. Collectively, the voices reveal how a “good girl” is trained to achieve professional success while maintaining the family’s cultural heritage. Gratitude for the sacrifices her immigrant parents have made creates pressure to be the “perfect daughter,” but the demand for perfection
can make it difficult to construct her own identity. Bhattacharya hit a nerve: her book sold out on the first day it appeared on Amazon, got coverage in Huffington Post, NBC News, Elle, and Vogue India, and is being touted on Twitter and Facebook—hashtag #GoodGirlsMarryDoctors. (Aunt Lute Books, 2016)
PROJECT PERFORMANCE REVIEW by Alexia
Nalewaik ’90 and Anthony Mills. For anyone managing projects of any kind (IT, construction, events, etc.), this book provides a methodology for identifying the scope of a project review or audit and handling commonly enountered pitfalls when procuring professional services. (Routledge, 2016) BOOK NEWS
The Body’s Alphabet by Ann Tweedy ’93 is a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Nonfiction.
Read more here
Browse more books online at bulletin.brynmawr.edu
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Is It Art? BY AYESHA MIR â€™17
From JiaJia Fei’s Instagram: facing page, a detail from work by Zhuang Hong Yi. Inset left to right: A Menace to Liberty by Andrea Bowers; Fei at The Meat Grinder’s Iron Clothes, an installation by Samara Golden at the Whitney Biennial; A Small Matter of Engineering, Part II by Kara Springer; Fei with beginning & the end neither & the otherwise betwixt & between the end is the beginning & the end by Rául de Nieves at the Whitney Biennial; and de Nieves’ Celebratory Skin.
The woman Artnet calls “a veritable art world social media sensation” returned to campus this spring to share her story and impeccable style. JiaJia Fei ’08 came at the invitation of Bryn Mawr’s Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center to talk with students about her high-powered career in the New York art world as director of digital at the Jewish Museum of New York. The Bulletin’s Ayesha Mir ’17 sat down with Fei to discuss the art world, her career trajectory, and the power of digital storytelling.
The child of scientists, JiaJia Fei ’08 was drawn to art early, thanks in part to the free museums in Washington, D.C. (her hometown) and to a high school art class that taught her to “find reflections of the world in images.” During her time at Bryn Mawr, she never imagined that she would create a new department at the Jewish Museum of New York as its first director of digital. “I was taking art classes at Haverford and UPenn,” she says. “All of my professors were artists, and they were the ones taking us to art galleries. From those experiences, I became more entrenched in the art world. “My goal was never to become an academic or get a Ph.D. in art history. I wanted to bring art to a broader audience—and a lot of that was done through technology.” With that in mind, Fei started her career by landing an internship at Bryn Mawr’s Summer Multimedia Design Institute. There, she learned web design and HTML, which she describes as “the most important language I’ve learned.” In fact, she encourages students to learn how to code—even if just for fun.
Today, with more than 60,000 Instagram followers and nearly 10,000 on Twitter, Fei has what she modestly describes as “a pretty active” social media presence that spans the personal and professional. “My job involves carrying out the mission of my institution with the tools of our time—on digital platforms,” she explains. “My personal social media presence is a visual diary of how I see, from travels to museum shows, and I consider both very authentic representations of brand identity. “That’s the most important aspect of social media,” she continues. “It’s about delivering content that is authentic. Making an impact in this profession involves knowing your audience and tailoring your messaging strategy to reach those people.” In an age when our first encounter with art is often through our devices, digital storytelling is revolutionizing the way we perceive it. As Fei explains, digital storytelling comes from the need to create a narrative. “Art requires so much context for the average person to understand,” she says, “so I see my role as a translator and educator in using scholarly research as a starting point and making it more accessible to the broader public online through interpretation. Taking the time to explain why something matters, why an institution has decided to collect an object, preserve it, and define its relevance to humanity— that’s a really big gesture for museums. So we try to break down challenging topics such as conceptual art by chopping up the backstory into more digestible pieces.”
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One common criticism of digitization is that it discourages people from going to museums. Fei argues that it should be up to the audience to choose how to experience art. “Our goal is to make the work accessible to as large an audience as possible,” she says. “Some people prioritize the in-person experience, and some experience art online on museum websites, often because they can’t physically go there themselves. Personally, I like to visit museums and go into more depth with a digital post-visit experience. But it shouldn’t be up to the museum to decide which one is better.” For Fei, social media has enabled museums not only to connect with a wider audience but also to assert their relevance in a rapidly evolving world. “A lot of what we do on social media is about listening,” she explains. “We look at what’s happening in the world at large. In the last few months with so much tension around politics, immigration, and refugees, we examined our collection to see how we could source objects on our website, such as photographs of immigrants coming to New York in the early 20th century, as a reminder about the history repeating itself in the present.” “When the first travel ban got signed on Holocaust Remembrance Day, we shared a photograph of a ship carrying refugees that sailed to the U.S. from Germany during World War II. The U.S. denied everyone on board from entering because of its strict immigration policies at the time. It was estimated that a quarter of those people died in Nazi concentration camps.”
Follow JiaJia www.instagram.com/vajiajia/ twitter.com/vajiajia
MORE INSTAGRAM: opposite page, posted on Holocaust Remembrance Day. This page, at right, a detail of Erdman Hall and Fei's post about the How to Move a Mountain Kickstarter campaign by The Bruce High Quality Foundation, a Brooklyn-based art collective aiming to support arts education in Zambia.
on Women in the Arts
During Women’s History Month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., led a social media initiative called #5WomenArtists to challenge people to name five women artists. Even today, it’s shocking to think about the inequities faced by women artists and their lack of representation in major museum collections. But while a majority of the staff working at museums are women, the higher levels of institutional leadership are male-dominated. According to a recent report from the Association of Art Museum Directors, female art museum directors still earn 73 cents for every dollar earned by male directors. As a graduate of an all women’s college, I have always been conscious of gendered fields of study, particularly in the art world.
Currently the director of digital at the Jewish Museum of New York, Fei previously served as associate director of digital marketing at the Guggenheim.
5,000+ Mellon Mays Fellows nationwide
100+ Fellows with faculty tenure
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Power Pipeline of the
BY JOANNA PINTO-COELHO ’09
700+ Fellows earning PhDs
With its long tradition of preparing students for academic careers, BMC was a natural for the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program, which aims to diversify the professoriate. Scores of Mellon Mays fellows have graduated from the College and gone on to earn advanced degrees and pursue distinguished academic and professional careers. Bryn Mawr has often been at the forefront of movements toward equality in higher education. Time and again, that impetus comes from students who challenge the institution they love to love them back even more fiercely. The Bulletin invited three fellows—two alumnae and a current student—to share their Mellon Mays experiences.
In response to Black student demands for racial justice on campus in the late ’60s, Bryn Mawr hired its first Black professor, Dr. Robert Washington (sociology), in 1970. It is not strange at all that asking to be reflected in the professoriate—and in the curriculum—was central to minority student demands. In fact, research consistently shows that having co-ethnic professors has positive implications for minority students’ retention, self-confidence, academic performance, and graduation. The same is true for women. But women and people of color—especially women of color—are severely underrepresented among the ranks of the American professoriate.
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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation runs a constellation of initiatives to diversify the professoriate. Its centerpiece, the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) Program, was founded in 1988 with eight member institutions (including Bryn Mawr) and has since recruited 40 more colleges and universities in the United States and South Africa. As of 2017, the program has selected and trained more than 5,000 fellows, more than 700 of whom have earned their doctorates and more than 100 of whom are now tenured faculty members at colleges and universities all over the world.
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Each year, five rising juniors interested in pursuing a career in academia are selected as fellows and then embark on a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Fellows earn a monthly research stipend during the academic year and propose budgets for larger summer stipends to fund research, travel, and unpaid internships. Coordinators meet with fellows weekly, holding workshops on topics such as writing graduate school personal statements, working through research roadblocks, and self-care. Mellon’s coaching and financial assistance continue after commencement with opportunities to network and share research, secure research and travel grants, and attend dissertation proposal and manuscript writing retreats. Even after alumni earn their doctoral degrees, MMUF offers programs to prepare them for the job market and the development of their tenure dossier.
Three of Bryn Mawr’s own Mellon Mays fellows — two alumnae and one current fellow — gathered in Wyndham’s Blue Room on a recent Saturday to talk about experiences with the program. Now a major gift officer for Swarthmore College, Erica Seaborne ’09, an English major, originally planned to be an English professor, but after graduation she worked in fundraising for Medical Students for Choice and found her passion in philanthropy. In that time, she earned her M.A. in public administration with a focus on nonprofit leadership from the University of Pennsylvania. Gissell Montoya ’17, a senior majoring in International Studies and minoring in Health Studies, hopes to work in research this year while applying to sociology Ph.D. programs. And I am Joanna Pinto-Coelho ’09, a sociology major and political science minor who earned my M.S. in social policy and Ph.D. in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“You don’t have to fall prey to the grad student stereotype, which is the bloodshot eyes, eating only coffee and pizza, and never sleeping and being sad and crying all the time and hating yourself.”
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GISSELL MONTOYA: How many years did it [the Ph.D.] take you? JOANNA PINTO-COELHO: So I went straight through. GM: Wow. JPC: And I think it was because I knew, at least at the time, that that was what I wanted to do, and I couldn’t think of anything else I would do in the meantime. I was like “Let’s just go!” I graduated in 2009. So I guess that’s what — seven and a half years? GM: How long did — JPC: How long did it feel Like?! Fifty years. ERICA SEABORNE: Not to dissuade you.
JPC: It is a long, hard slog, my friend. But I think Mellon really did help and continues to help while you’re in grad school. Money is a big thing. Even if you go somewhere where they fund you — because you shouldn’t go anywhere that doesn’t waive your tuition and give you a stipend and health insurance — even then that stipend is kind of peanuts, and you’re still expected to go to conferences, and buy books, and be a member of various professional associations — all these expenses start piling up that aren’t rent and food. Especially if you’re going to do research that involves traveling, that involves going onsite, money is a huge problem. Mellon provides
Educational Attainment by Race 93.3%
opportunities for you to get grants, and stuff and that is great. ES: My Mellon experience was interesting. I got to spend my time as a Mellon reading crazy-interesting books, and it got me into film studies and how to talk about images. And I wouldn’t have done that if it weren’t for Mellon. It was wonderful! And being a Mellon pushed me to think differently about my interests and what I was capable of doing, and I feel that, even now, in “the real world,” I’m always far more apt to do something that I don’t feel entirely comfortable with because it’ll work out well, it’ll be fine. I’ll spend a couple of months not knowing what I’m doing, but then I’ll get it, and it’ll be awesome.
Have a High School Diploma Have a College Degree Have a PhD
53.9% 36.2% 22.5% 6.4%
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JPC: Fake it till you make it! GM: Yeah! ES: Exactly! JPC: That is a great lesson to learn from this. What about you, Gissell? Have you learned any lessons from Mellon yet? GM: I guess the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that you can do it. I came into Mellon thinking, Are you sure you chose me? But it’s given me this sense, knowing that Mellon instills this kind of trust—“We chose you for a reason. We knew you could do it.” I’ve realized, I can! The work is being produced, people like it. Every time I go to a Mellon info session and talk to potential Mellons, I always tell them, “Yeah, you can do it!” because a lot of them come in saying,
“I would love to do this, but it seems so scary.” So I like to tell them I was in their shoes. “You can do it, as a person of color, you can.” JPC: Mellon also impressed upon me that “Hey, these are normal, cool, smart people interested in doing this.” You don’t have to fall prey to the grad student stereotype, which is the bloodshot eyes, eating only coffee and pizza, and never sleeping and being sad and crying all the time and hating yourself. It’s just like Bryn Mawr—stuff is hard, but you will make friends in your cohort. They’ll be weirdos, right? But they’ll also be people who will be in the trenches with you. GM: It’s OK, it makes life interesting!
Racial Composition of the Academy 74.5%
6.8% 6.1% 5.6% 0.5%
ES: I’ve noticed a difference being in the real world, working at a real-world job, comparing myself to other women, whether they’re women of color or not, of my same age. I feel that I am much more, “Just shut up and listen to me because I know what I’m talking about, I’m educated, and I have value,” whereas some
6.3% 11.1% 4.3% 0.4%
5.2% 9.8% 3.8% 0.7%
JPC: I hope so, too.
ES: For me, it was more Bryn Mawr, and it was more around “you as a human are smart, capable, valuable. Your perspective matters, and while, yes, it’s up to you to have the strength to put that forward into the world, we’ve given you all the tools to do that. Once you do it, you’re going to kick ass.” I hope that’s what everyone takes out of Bryn Mawr.
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5.7% 10.2% 4.1% 0.4%
of my counterparts are like, “I’m going to wait for other people to tell me what to do, or tell me what to say, or give me some kind of signal that what I’m doing is right.” Bryn Mawr made me confident. I mean, I was confident before Bryn Mawr, but Bryn Mawr just heightened it. Every time I see something for the [Defy Expectation] campaign, I think, God, they did such a good job, because that’s what Bryn Mawr taught me! They taught me to defy expectations! Yes, Mellon was part of that—that’s something I associate with my Bryn Mawr experience—but I would say it’s my experience as a whole that really taught me how to be in the world. GM: So I’m taking a year off because I want to put time and effort into my applications. But I can only think of doing research right now. I love doing research,
and I just love learning— getting my Ph.D. is the only thing I see myself doing. But I’m scared, with that one year that I take off, that I’ll lose that motivation because I won’t be in the school setting. ES: If you have that drive, I don’t think you ever lose it. I always had that drive of I want to know the most about this subject that I can, so even while I was in the nonprofit sector, I was still doing research, reading academic articles about medical stuff, reproductive rights. I always had that drive, and that was what made me think, after a year, I want to go get my master’s because I want to learn the theory behind nonprofit leadership and what are the foundational principles of fundraising from an academic perspective. I always have that in me, that I want to be grounded in academics, even
SOURCES: High school and college data: The Census Bureau 2015 Table A1; Doctoral degree data: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) 2010; Professorial data: NCES 2013.
if I’m not working in the academic sector. JPC: Yeah, I haven’t been in academia this past year. I’m in a completely different and unrelated field, but I’m still working on three different papers right now, which is ridiculous. Shouldn’t I have a weekend? We’re stupid! Erica worked and went to grad school at the same time; I’m working and writing papers and being an idiot at the same time. But she’s right, it’s a drive that doesn’t go away. Yeah, you might be tired at the end of your workday, and you might not want to deal with your applications, but you’re always going to want to know more, you’re going to want to read more, you’re always going to want to understand why things are the way they are. I wouldn’t be afraid that you’re going to lose that. I’m not worried about you at all.
NOTES: “Adjuncts” include instructors and lecturers; “Other” includes visiting professors, postdoctoral fellows, and primarily research positions; “Assistant professor” is a tenure-track faculty position (7 years); “Associate professor” is a tenured faculty position; “Full professor” is a more senior tenured faculty position.
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Want to join the conversation? Coming this fall, a Facebook Live session with Mellon Mays Fellows, past and present.
This spring’s conference on living as LGBTQIA+ brought together current students and members of the College’s LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group for a series of workshops on wide-ranging topics. Participants discussed coming out to family and friends, entering the workforce, choosing where to live, parenting, and sharing a then-and-now comparison of on-campus LGBTQIA+ life. Below, the Bulletin shares reflections on the event from a handful of the 50some participants, including conference organizers Emily Engler ’01, Susan Messina ’86, M.S.S. ’91, M.L.S.P. ’92, and Erica Seaborne ’09.
I did the math. If there had been a program like this when I was a senior in 1986, a participating alumna my age today would have been born in 1934 and graduated in 1955. Would I have even seen her experience as relevant? I will never know. It was a far different environment than today; the Alumnae Association certainly was not hosting LGBTQ-related events in the mid-1980s. I am delighted that today, the campus is actively engaging with questions of sexuality and gender identity. I left heartened by the honesty of the panelists, interest of the students, and commitment of the Alumnae Association to serve LGBTQIA+ students and alums. — SUSAN MESSINA ’86, MSS ’91, MLSP ’92
I never fail to be incredibly humbled by the amazing community I am a part of as a Mawrter, and this conference showed me the wonders of that community again and again. As an organizer, I was so appreciative of the openness and honesty each panelist brought to the day and was brought to tears more than once. But I think what I will remember most 20 years from now is the pure joy found when alumnae/i and current students come together in one space to share our stories, our knowledge, and our truth. — ERICA SEABORNE ’09
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I was a panelist at the conference, but I learned so much from the other panelists on my own panel and on the other panels. Everyone was willing to be open about their experiences, and it was heartening at times and heartbreaking at others. There were tough stories of discrimination and family abandonment, but the pervading message was that people were able to find community and make family in new ways and that the group that gathered for the conference was one more way to build community. My very favorite moment, though, was finding out that one of the panelists had actually driven the Blue Bus as her student job, and the common response of awe from the whole room. — EMILY ENGLER ’01
While times have changed, there are still distinct issues faced by LGBTQ individuals. Being able to share in experiences like coming out, finding community, and navigating societal and familiar pressures was an incredible experience. As a younger alum, I was happy to share my experience with current students, but I was also really interested in hearing from older alums. I think our panel group was lucky to have been intimate and candid both in answers and in audience questions. I feel really lucky to have participated in something that strengthens the Bryn Mawr community both on and off campus. — LAUREN BUCKHEIT ’15
It is a well-known fact that graduates of Bryn Mawr go on to do great things with their lives, but what they do after achieving that success is what differentiates them from the thousands of graduates from other colleges across the nation. Mawrters celebrate their success by helping others to succeed. I have never met a Mawrter who didn’t support my dreams and aspirations. So many Mawrters have helped me to affirm the person that I am today and inspire the person that I want to become tomorrow. This conference was no exception. When I came out, I was told that being part of the LGBT community would prevent me from achieving my goals, but these amazing alums proved them wrong. The panelists were so open and honest, and that made me feel comfortable asking the hard questions. I feel more ready than ever to conquer the world, and I owe so much of that confidence to Bryn Mawr students, both past and present, that have always accepted me, just the way I am. —
ABBY HOYT ’17
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EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH
JANUARY 7–16, 2018 Co-sponsored wth Swarthmore College
CUBA: AN EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE EXPERIENCE BY LAND AND SEA
EXPEDITION TO ANTARCTICA
JANUARY 11–25, 2018 Co-sponsored with Harvard and Yale
SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS, ISLANDS & NORWAY’S FJORDS
MAY 17–25, 2018 Co-sponsored with Dartmouth College
UNIQUE & CUSTOM TRAVEL PROGRAMS FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE TRIPS, PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE AT BRYNMAWR.EDU/ALUMNAE/TRIPS OR CONTACT SARAH DOODY AT 610-526-5316 OR SDOODY@BRYNMAWR.EDU
In this Section
Anassa Kata p. 43 Class Notes p. 44 In Memoriam p. 80
Bryn Mawr Welcome
This summer, Mawrters will be welcoming the Class of 2021 and their parents at Send-Off parties across the country.
Visit brynmawr.edu/ sendoffs for party updates and new listings.
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From the Alumnae Association President DEAR FRIENDS: Happy Spring! I don’t know about the rest of you, but my internal clock seems forever set to a student calendar, so I am anticipating summer eagerly, as though I were facing months of leisure. Alas, as all of you know, being an adult means that the endless to-do list never quite gets done, and summer is fleeting. This particular summer marks the completion of my first year as president of our Alumnae Association, and it continues to be an honor to serve. My immediate team is the Alumnae Association Executive Board: a group of 15 alumnae/i spanning a wide range of ages and professional and personal backgrounds and representing both the undergraduate college and the graduate schools. We meet in person and by phone several times a year, and while we are tasked with assessing and improving the alumnae/i experience in a variety of arenas, our most pressing and welcome challenge is to enable alumnae/i to engage in the larger Bryn Mawr community in meaningful and fulfilling ways. Together with the College’s administrative team, we are hard at work for you and value your feedback and suggestions. More than 1,000 alumnae/i volunteers participate in various capacities, and we invite you to join us! There are so many ways to be involved: joining a local/ regional club or affinity group, signing up as an admissions volunteer, hosting undergraduate
SAVE THE DATE
ALUMNAE VOLUNTEER SUMMIT 2017 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 For early arrivals, we’re offering casual programming on Friday evening, September 15. For invited volunteers, look for registration information and invitations in July.
internships, traveling with faculty and alums on one of our programmed trips, or helping to fundraise for the Bryn Mawr Fund, to name a few. Why do I volunteer for Bryn Mawr? I could give a long, complicated answer, but the short version is that I hope to pay back to the institution that shaped me and pay forward to future generations who will benefit from the extraordinary experience of being part of the College. The daughter of one of my good friends in California graduated from Bryn Mawr this year. Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her friends and observing and sharing in her Bryn Mawr experience. While some of it is very familiar to me, some is specific to her generation. But
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For questions, contact Elizabeth Schwartz at eschwartz@ brynmawr.edu.
at the core is the enduring Bryn Mawr experience: joining a company of smart, ever-curious, challenging women. Now, perhaps more than ever given the many social, economic, and political challenges that women face across the globe, we need to embrace the Bryn Mawr spirit that has allowed us to grow and flourish as strong women and critical thinkers. Best, Saskia Subramanian ’88, M.A. ’89 President, Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association
Art and the Intellect Artist-Scholar Mariam Souali
Mariam Souali is an artist and Fulbright scholar from Morocco visiting Bryn Mawr to work on her doctoral dissertation in history of art. In a recent conversation with the Alumnae Bulletin, Souali spoke about why she chose Bryn Mawr, the influence of her studies on her own art, and her upcoming exhibitions in Tunisia and Egypt. BY LOUISA WILSON BULLETIN: Tell us more about the upcoming exhibitions of your work.
ALUMNAE BULLETIN: What made you come to Bryn Mawr? MARIAM SOUALI: Bryn Mawr is the place to be if you want to study history of art. It’s home to the best scholars in the field, and you can feel the presence of the influential critics, researchers, and historians who have spent time here.
SOUALI: My work will be part of a group exhibition traveling to Tunisia and Egypt. I’m one of seven artists from across the Arab world examining the golden age of Egyptian cinema of the 1960s and 1970s. Cinema of that era made a big impact on the culture of the Arab world. Today, there is a lot of disillusionment and a loss of the ability to dream in the same ways that were inspired by that golden age. My series of ink drawings mingle the history of cinema with images of current disillusionment. The exhibition strives to create a new mythology, a new dream for the Arab world.
As an artist, I wanted to be where I could approach history of art in an interdisciplinary way. There’s an open-mindedness here about how to pursue research, and I can mingle research and the practice of art in my thesis. It’s been enriching to take classes like Experimental Drawing at Haverford along with theoretical classes at Bryn Mawr. BULLETIN: What’s the focus of your dissertation? SOUALI: I’m examining how trauma and remembrance are represented in French contemporary art, particularly in the works of Sophie Calle and Georges Perec. I’m looking at how contemporary art dealt with the traumas of war and history in the 20th century and then how those works of art can become a game between the artist and the public and express the playful nature of human beings.
BULLETIN: What’s next for you? BULLETIN: How have your graduate studies influenced you as an artist? SOUALI: For me, there’s a deep link between art and the intellect. Right now, my art is the result of what I’m reading. My latest series of drawings was influenced by game theory and the works of Johan Huizinga and Steven Johnson. So, my academic studies have had a direct impact on my imaginary world and offered me new combinations of images.
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SOUALI: I’ll be back at Bryn Mawr in the fall. In addition to continuing my dissertation work, I hope to include my art in exhibitions here in the U.S.
FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: Zman Dhlam (The Age of Obscurity), acrylic on canvas, 2016. Rule of the Game 7, Lego, ink on paper, 2017. The Rule of the Game 2, Semsebbout (leapfrog), ink on paper, 2017
Making a Change to Make a Difference
Career Changers gives potential students a taste of the many professional pathways in the field of social work. BY LOUISA WILSON
Left to right: Jacqueline Cahill, M.S.S. '18 and Jim Alderfer, M.S.S. '17
“I’m excited to be following my passion,” says Jim Alderfer M.S.S. ’17. Before earning a social work degree, Alderfer worked for 32 years as a computer programmer. It was a successful career but not his true calling. “Social work was my first love,” says Alderfer, “but I convinced myself that a career in computer systems would be a more practical. Then several years ago, I decided to retire and return to that first love.” “I’ve always valued service to others, and I’ve watched family members struggle with bipolar disorder,” he adds. “So I wanted a second career helping those with mental illness.” Taking a step to follow his dream, Alderfer took part in the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research’s Career Changers program. Designed for those considering a graduate degree in social work, the Career Changers program introduces potential students to the curriculum and the professional pathways in the field. “Career Changers enables more people to come into our profession,” explains GSSWSR Dean Darlyne Bailey. “Social
workers connect with individuals, families, organizations, and communities confronting multifaceted issues. Preparing those from a range of professional backgrounds and experiences, who share our core values, enriches our classrooms and the social work profession.”
of the M.S.S. program, Cahill’s goal is to work with people who struggle with substance use disorders. For West, getting a social work degree was a natural move. Says West, “I’ve been practicing social work in some sense all my life.” For years, she worked with children with disabilities and volunteered with nonprofit and faith-based organizations in marginalized neighborhoods. But she knew other professional opportunities would open up if she had a graduate degree. “I loved the Career Changers course. It removed the fear I had about returning to school after such a long time.”
“Career Changers are at a place in life where they want to give back.” Like Alderfer, Jacqueline Cahill M.S.S. ’18, and Kristi West, M.S.S. ’11, took part in the Career Changers program before attending the GSSWSR as students. Cahill, in her early days of recovering from substance abuse, earned a B.A. in journalism and began a successful career in retail management. “But I kept asking myself,” she says, “’Is this what I’m meant to do? What is my true purpose?’ After years of introspection, I knew my purpose was to be of service to others, and I decided to go back to school for social work.” Now, having completed her first year
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Today, West is still using her past experiences in her job as a hospice social worker. “I’ve always loved connecting people with the resources they need. My ultimate goal is to open a private practice and provide free or low-fee therapy for low-income families.” Says Bailey, “Skills and knowledge from a previous career or life experience are often transferable to social work. Our Career Changers are at a place in life where they want to learn how to best use their experience for the greater good. They want to give back, and we’re here to help them do just that.”
Finding the Lost, Decades Later
Using cutting-edge scientific research, D. Sarzinski ’05 is identifying victims of the 1990s war in her native Bosnia. D. Sarzinski ’05 was nine years old and living in Sarajevo when the Bosnian War broke out in 1992. Suddenly her beloved city was under attack. Her friends were dying. She stayed in the basement, hungry all the time. Her uncle was captured, whisked away from his family, and still hasn’t been found. But now Sarzinski is helping bring closure to other families who lost people during those years of brutal conflict. Through her work as a forensic anthropologist and project manager with the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP), she helps to find and identify the remains of those who are still missing more than 20 years later. Sarzinski first discovered forensic anthropology as a student at Bryn Mawr. She took a course with Melissa Murphy in her junior year and was immediately hooked—it combined her long-standing interest in “the morbid,” she says, with a curiosity about “what drives people to do horrible things to each other.” After she graduated from Bryn Mawr and spent an extra
Photo by Shaul Schwarz/Getty Images
BY MOLLY PETRILLA
osteologist, she helped identify missing people through their remains: broken bones, teeth, anything that could offer a clue. Since 2013, she’s been leading ICMP’s No-Name Project, which aims to attach names to so-far-unidentified human remains in 12 mortuaries around Bosnia and Herzegovina. The team’s current site has no running water, no toilet and stays a chilly 41 degrees—conditions that Sarzinski says aren’t unusual in her work. As of March 2017 her group has identified 92 people, a number she’s proud to report. “I know
“Even one new name, one new identity means a lot to me. year in the U.S., Sarzinski returned to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2006 and began working with ICMP. Advancing from intern to junior
that number by heart and I know when each one of them is identified,” she adds. “Even one new name, one new identity means a lot to me. Those are
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92 people who were lying in mortuaries for the past 20 years and nobody knew they were there.” She admits it can be an emotionally draining job, hard to shake off at the end of the day, especially when she finds children with toys in their pockets or Ninja Turtles stickers in their notebooks. Not having direct contact with the families helps—case managers handle that. “As scientists, we need that separation,” she says. “I’m fine when I see a case as a case. As soon as you start seeing it as a person, that’s when it gets hard to be a good scientist and do your work properly.” But Sarzinski is proud of the closure she’s bringing families, and she says her work extends beyond that, too: ICMP’s discoveries have been included in the Hague Tribunal and trials for war crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Croatia.
Separated by three decades, two Owls reflect on life on the hockey field. BY JOANNA CORMAN ’95
Lydia Fisher ’20
Jana Ernakovich ’91
When I was looking at colleges, I decided I wasn’t going to play a sport. Athletics had always been a big part of my school years. But playing on a competitive team came at a cost of time and energy, and I forgot to enjoy it. At Bryn Mawr, I talked to the coach and the teammates, and their experience with field hockey, and they described the camaraderie, the desire to get better for its own sake. It was competitiveness without being cutthroat. I felt like the Bryn Mawr field hockey family was a place I could belong to. They were so in love with the sport and that inspired me to try it again. I am a third-generation Mawrter. Both my mother and my grandmother played field hockey here. My mom played field hockey under coach Jen Shillingford. My grandmother played under Constance Applebee, who introduced women’s field hockey to the U.S. in the early 1900s. Going to Bryn Mawr was the defining aspect of my grandmother’s early years. She’s accomplished a lot, and she attributes most of that to Bryn Mawr. She’s an incredible woman. My grandmother, at 85, rock climbs. She travels the world. She is involved in conserving open space. She and my mother came to Lantern Night with their lanterns. They were incredibly happy that I came here. Our experience at Bryn Mawr has been different for all of us, but one of the unifying threads is how much field hockey and the team means to us.
I started playing field hockey in junior high. I also swam and ran, but at Bryn Mawr, I thought playing a team sport would be a great way to meet people, and field hockey was always my favorite. I was a forward for three years on the varsity team, and when I was a senior I played center half. There’s a lot about the game that translates off the field. I’m an investment banker now, and I’ve been working in a team environment for over 20 years. That desire to win carries over, but by playing a competitive sport you also learn how to overcome defeat. If someone scores a goal against you, get over it and score one back. Jen Shillingford was our coach. She always used to say, “Poise, ladies, poise.” What she meant was don’t let some adversity get the best of you. She wanted us to pick ourselves up and get it together. That has really stuck with me. That’s something you certainly need in this job. It’s a competitive environment so you have to be prepared for a lot of unexpected things. You are constantly fighting to win business and reacting to market ups and downs and need that overriding desire to win. Going to an all-women’s college has had a big influence on me being successful in what’s still a male-dominated field. I see a lot of women in the profession who are also Seven Sisters grads. Going to Bryn Mawr gave me a lot of confidence. I just feel grateful to have had the opportunity. I’m really lucky.
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Published on Jun 16, 2017
This is the latest edition of Bryn Mawr College's Alumnae Bulletin, the second featuring its new design. Visit the Bulletin site at http://b...