EMMA THE BULLETIN OF EMMA WILLARD SCHOOL
Capitol Accomplishment U.S. Representative Kirsten Gillibrand ’84
DEPartments 2 3 4 8 9 32 74 75 76 78 80
View from Mt. Ida Panorama Around Emma Tribute Sports Round-up Class Notes/In Memoriam From the AAC Alumnae Connections Asian Tour In the Archives Images of Emma
Features 10 14 20 24 28
Capitol Accomplishment Habot Forming Serving and Shaping The Emma Willard IDEA Revels 2006
by Trudy E. Hall, Head of School
What Would Emma Do? Whether we agree or not that the youth of America are unprepared to compete in the global economy, we know that each day a plethora of task forces and foundations are jumping into the fray with dire predictions, recommendations, and mandates. I believe that American high schools must reinvent themselves. Our students need to fully understand the power of technology; they need to understand the importance of being fluent in more than one language; they need to develop a global perspective. As we look to the future of American education, I am energized by the significant discourse, inside Emma Willard and out, over what reinvention means for curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment. No Child Left Behind, with its focus on competency, addresses the bare minimum but neglects the unfortunate reality that American students are falling behind. The Advanced Placement® curriculum is unwieldy, but what might take its place? Can we rectify the educational disparity between “the haves and the have nots” and the socioeconomic reverberations such disparity creates? Can we improve a college selection process that is skewed by marketing, driven by economic agendas, and often leaves college-bound students and their parents bewildered, beleaguered, and bereft? Most people searching for solutions to the troublesome educational crises of our times would do well to look back to how the innovators of American academia resolved similar dilemmas. At Emma Willard, we are fortunate that our mentor is one of the greatest pioneers in American education. This is the now familiar story. In early 19th century a doctor from Middlebury, Vermont, happily shared his extensive library with his young bride. Prevented from attending classes at the prestigious Middlebury College because of her gender, and hungry for additional intellectual stimulation, an idea took shape in this energetic scholar’s mind: what might the world look like if
women received the same education as men? We know what happened to that bold idea. In fits and starts, and against considerable opposition, it produced nothing short of an educational revolution. Because our nation is in need of another educational revolution, I find myself thinking often about Emma Hart Willard—a woman whose persistence created unimagined possibilities—and the innovative, entrepreneurial ways in which she forged her vision. She recognized a social problem of immense proportion. She thought deeply about sound solutions. She shared her vision with all who might be intrigued and supportive. She created a venue in which her novel approach might be modeled. She invited others to see this model’s success in action. She continuously sought strategies to increase the sphere of her own influence and the influence of her experiment— the Troy Female Seminary. What would Emma see in 2007 if she were looking at how her school is addressing the issues of this day and time? Our list is substantive, and includes: ■
application of technology in smart, useful ways to enhance the relational aspect of learning and ensure girls are technologically literate
launch of a global perspectives initiative that permits our students to understand international women’s issues
introduction of a student-designed, student-led community service program that encourages experiential learning
addition of Chinese to our language offerings
a mathematics curriculum that teaches through the use of collaborative problem-solving
emphasis on writing as a communication skill that will never go out of vogue
introduction of a new seminar program that promotes emotional intelligence
—Trudy Hall can be reached at email@example.com 2
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If Emma were with us today, I believe she would give us high marks, but I also think she would challenge us to do more in creating the best ways of educating girls and to share that knowledge with the media, public officials, and other educational institutions. I think she would expect us to provide solid evidence of the success of our methodology through nationally understood measures. I know she would encourage us to continue to be bold and good, innovative and traditional, daring and smart. In this moment, when the chaos and clamor of the educational debate roar with much chatter but result in little action, Emma Willard School is taking a stand. We will continue to create the pilot programs that strike the elusive balance between core knowledge, essential analytical abilities, and superb communication skills. We will share these gems with those in a position to carry the seeds far and wide. To the girls of the world, we say, come here to learn and we will send you out with new power as women of sophisticated intelligence who know what it means to be citizens in a global economy. Like Emma herself, we have no intention of wringing our hands about what can’t be fixed in today’s world. Instead, using our mentor’s model, we see the uncertainty of our times clearly, we are responding boldly, and we will do a better job of expanding our sphere of influence. To all who care about education today, we invite you to explore, debate, create, and prove the educational models that are right for our time. Then help us stand as an example to others who may lack our imagination and verve. I believe this is what Emma would do. ■
Left: Dana Deaton, Martha O’Neill, and Ashley Coletti with proctor Trina Akins ’04 in September 2003.
EMMA WINTER 2007
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Below: The trio in February 2007
EMMA, the Bulletin of Emma Willard School, is published by the Communications Office three times each year for the alumnae, parents, grandparents, and friends of Emma Willard School. The mission of EMMA is to capture the school’s remarkable history, values, and culture through accurate and objective coverage that adheres to the highest journalistic and literary standards. STEVEN RICCI Manager of Publications and Media Relations Editor firstname.lastname@example.org SUSAN H. GEARY Web and Production Manager Class Notes Editor email@example.com CHERYL ACKNER Class Notes Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Design by Kristina Almquist Design
TRUDY E. HALL Head of School TRUDY J. HANMER Associate Head of School MARGARET A. FUSCO Director of Strategic Communications LARRY LICHTENSTEIN Director of Advancement LINDA PASSARETTI ’84 Director of Alumnae Relations and Annual Giving Please forward address changes to: Emma Willard School 285 Pawling Ave. Troy NY 12180 (518) 833-1787 email@example.com or visit www.emmawillard.org/alumnae.
CORRECTION: The cover photo of the Fall 2006 edition of EMMA was taken by Billy Howard. Our apologies for the omission.
PHOTOS BY STEVEN RICCI
“It’s been a great place to grow up.” – DANA DEATON ’07
The Senior Experience They arrived at almost the same time I did. It was moving-in day in September 2003 and I had just started working at Emma Willard a couple of weeks before. We had planned a story for the fall issue of EMMA on “The Freshman Experience”—a look at how students cope with their first year in boarding school, so I visited the dorms and observed as students carried their belongings into their rooms, bid tearful farewells to parents and siblings, and attended their first class meeting. Along the way, I snapped the top photo—Dana Deaton ’07, Martha O’Neill ’07, and Ashley Coletti ’07, with proctor Trina Akins ’04—which appeared with the article. Today, Dana, Martha, and Ashley are accomplished seniors who exemplify the Emma Willard experience. All have served as peer educators; and Martha, a boarder, and Ashley, a day student, are proctors. Dana spent her junior year abroad in Spain. In June, they will graduate and leave the place they’ve called home for nearly four years. I recently showed them the 2003 photo and asked them to reflect on how they’ve changed since September 2003. Dana: “I think I’m a lot more aware of the world around me. I’ve learned a lot from the people I go to school with. It’s been a great
place to grow up, just for the friends we’ve made and the opportunities we’ve had. Even during the year I spent abroad, I still felt so connected to Emma Willard.” Martha: “I thought I knew everything then, but the diversity here at Emma has really changed my outlook. I’ve loved it, but it’s bittersweet to leave. All the diehards feel like, after four years, you’re ready to move on, to make new friends, and to have new experiences. But it’s sad to say goodbye.” Ashley: “I’ve grown up a lot since that picture was taken, but Emma itself has grown as much as we have, with the new construction and with classes that are getting to be more diverse. The school seems to be offering a lot more opportunities.” When the Class of 2007 departs, it will be something of a milestone for me, having seen a full cycle of scared 14-year-olds grow into confident, accomplished women. I think in September I’ll again visit the dorms on Opening Day and talk to some of the incoming freshmen. This time, when I take their pictures, I’ll be able to say, “Don’t worry. You won’t believe who you are about to become.” ■ – STEVEN RICCI
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FROM WAR TO LAW Asja Zujo ’98 was 13 years old when the Bosnian War erupted in her native Sarajevo. As the city endured an almost daily barrage of shelling, education became a secondary concern to survival. “My family was lucky and no one was hurt,” Zujo recalled during a recent visit to her alma mater. But soon after the war broke out, she said, the school systems deteriorated; many teachers fled and classes became irregular. Through the efforts of Carol Craft Schaefer ’60 and her husband, Barry, Zujo learned that Emma Willard was accepting students in an effort to help Bosnians affected by the war, so she applied for a scholarship. “I had never heard of Emma Willard,” she said, “but once I did, I was very set on going there. I didn’t know what to expect. There are no boarding schools or all-girls schools in Bosnia.” Schaefer is the founder of Connecticut Friends of Bosnia and for many years has been actively involved in helping implement projects in Bosnia, including rebuilding homes for families who were driven from their communities in the waves of ethnic cleansing that swept the country, and visiting the region to identify families most in need. The Schaefers served as Zujo’s host family when she arrived in September 1995 to begin her sophomore year at Emma Willard and have since helped finance her education. Asja was joined by a fellow Bosnian student, Mirela Jusupovic ’96, and was followed at Emma by her sister, Sonja Zujo ’02. During her days as an Emma Willard student, Asja excelled in drama and language and she especially remembers Françoise Chadabe’s French class. “The people who I met were so helpful and
Asja Zujo ’98 (second from right) was congratulated by Emma Willard teachers Dawn Stuart Weinraub (left) and Françoise Chadabe (right), and her host parent Patricia Trudeau, on the day of her swearing in as an attorney before the New York State Bar Association in Albany. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
made me feel at home,” she said. “I got a great education because I didn’t even feel the transition when I went away to college.” After majoring in theater and French at Mount Holyoke College, she attended law school at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska, graduating in May 2006. At Creighton she cultivated an interest in international law and took a year off in 2004 to intern for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where she aided a legal team that was prosecuting accused war criminals. During her internship, she attended the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic, the embattled president of Serbia and Yugoslavia who died before his trial concluded. In July 2006, Zujo passed the New York State Bar and was admitted at a ceremony in Albany in January 2007. She plans to continue her work in international law and human rights and is
currently working as a legal assistant and researcher for a Bosnian lawyer in Sarajevo in the defense of accused war criminals. She also divides her time between her family in Bosnia and her host families—the Schaefers, and Patricia Trudeau, of Loudonville, New York. “I am very proud of Asja,” Schaefer said in a recent e-mail to Emma Willard. “It was great that Emma gave her the opportunity to start her education in this country.” “When I came to the states I didn’t think I would end up in international law and human rights, but now it seems like a natural progression,” Zujo said. “I can see how important it is to bring justice to that area. It’s a complicated situation, and there is still a lot of ethnic tension and a lot of corruption, unfortunately. The trials are going to help with reconciliation. It’s just one step; there’s a long way to go.”
School for Scandal Gossip, innuendo, and romantic intrigue ravaged Emma Willard in November as the school’s finest thespians staged a stellar production of the 18th-century British comedy, The School for Scandal. When two brothers—one with genuine affection and the other with avarice aforethought—compete for the attentions of a comely young ward of a middle-aged and wealthy bachelor, Lady Sneerwell and her entourage of scandalmongers wreak havoc on the entire affair. Caroline Gregg ’10 (center) and Lauren Siciliano ’09 (right) swap some scandalous gossip as Robyn Smigel ’08 listens in the background during the fall production of The School for Scandal. PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
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PHOTOS BY STEVEN RICCI
Through the fall and winter, Emma Willard was honored to welcome several outstanding guest speakers. In December, Farah Ahmedi was the guest of honor for the school’s 175th Anniversary Speakers Series. When Ahmedi was seven years old, on her way to school in her native Afghanistan, she stepped on a land mine. The explosion, which resulted in amputation of one leg and severe damage to the other, required two years of hospitalization in Germany. She returned to her family in Afghanistan only to see her father and sisters killed by a rocket and her brothers flee to avoid the Taliban. Ahmedi and her mother fled the country and spent four years in a Pakistan refugee camp before they were able to emigrate to the United States. Today, Ahmedi is an accomplished college student and the author of a best-selling book about her experiences—The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2005)—as well as an advocate for the abolition of land mines. In January, award-winning poet Chase Twichell visited campus for a day of classroom sessions and workshops. Her books of poetry include Dog Language (Copper Canyon Press, 2005), The Snow Watcher (George Braziller, 1998), and The Ghost of Eden (George Braziller, 1998). She has won awards from the Artists Foundation (Boston), the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. During her visit, Twichell also met with members of the English Department and attended a reception in her honor. Photojournalist and environmental advocate Stephen Donaldson inspired and informed students and faculty members in January with an electrifying address about the adverse impact that unchecked population growth, increased use of fossil fuels, and diminishing fresh water supplies will have on the sustainability of life. Using dozens of photos he has taken during his world travels as a backdrop for his presentation, he also offered the audience simple steps they can take to help reverse the growing threat to our environment. Donaldson was a guest speaker for the Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series, an ongoing series of lectures by experts in various fields. Editor’s note: To listen to these and other speakers at Emma Willard, visit www.emmawillard.org/ news/listen_up.php.
TOWER CAPS Passersby may have noticed that many of the campus’s loftiest structures have donned protective headgear. Emma Willard recently commissioned a masonry audit to assess the condition of its magnificent stone edifices. Heavy-duty netting and some scaffolding have been placed on Sage Tower, the Alumnae Chapel clock tower, the tower at the Laundry building, and on Kellas Hall’s tower as well. The netting will ensure safety as crews work to inspect and repair masonry on the buildings. [Editor’s note: Be sure to read the spring/summer issue of EMMA for a complete description of this important new maintenance project.] In other construction developments, work crews completed construction of the new front entry loop along Pawling Avenue ahead of schedule this fall. For continued updates on construction projects at Emma Willard, visit www.emmawillard.org/campus/construction/index.php. Workers secure netting around the gargoyles on the Alumnae Chapel. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
Major construction on the school’s new front entry loop has been finished ahead of schedule. PHOTO BY IAN SMITH
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Through a generous donation from Joe Vellano P’01 (left) a large group of students, accompanied by faculty members Dawn Stuart Weinraub and Linda Maier, visited the Metropolitan Opera in New York City this fall.
Computer Programming students visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in February.
OUT ABOUT Emma students and teachers took full advantage of opportunities to learn from the outside world during the current school year. The entire student body and faculty visited the Boston Museum of Science in November to see Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds 2, the controversial exhibit that uses a technique called “plastination” to preserve actual human body parts for the teaching of anatomical science. Students toured the exhibit with their advisor groups and talked to Emma Willard science teachers who were stationed throughout the museum to answer questions. Through a generous donation by Joe Vellano P ’01, students discovered the thrill of professional opera in New York City on a one-day trip to the Metropolitan to see Puccini’s Tosca and Madama Butterfly this November. Andrea Gruber, who played Tosca, talked to students after the show about how she got into opera and answered their questions about the production. Vellano (an opera enthusiast and saxophonist) has made it possible for a second excursion in April to see a different version of Students and faculty line up to see the fascinating exhibit, Body Madame Butterfly and Verdi’s La Traviata. Worlds 2, at the Boston Museum of Science. Science instructors Rob Buckley and Leah Riley escorted a group of students from their rocket science class to the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, in December. During the day, the group visited the center, looked at rockets, and viewed films about the history of NASA, the International Space Station, and the moon. They also met and had a class with astronaut John Herrington, who went to the space station some years ago. The group had hoped to witness the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which was delayed because of bad weather. In February, members of the Computer Science Department and students in Emma Willard’s Computer Programming course visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The From left, Hildy Schott ’08, Ashley Coletti ’07, Ainsley Harris ’07, Alice group sat in on MIT classes, toured the school, Newton ’07, Kelsey Saulnier ’07, and science instructor Leah Riley met and visited some Emma Willard alumnae. astronaut John Herrington during the Rocket Science class trip to Cape Canaveral. 6
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MATHEMATICAL PERFECTION In January, math instructor Bob Nielsen announced that six Emma Willard students attained perfect scores on tests given by the New York Mathematics League, which resulted in a perfect school score of 30 points (the sum of the top five scores). According to Nielsen, this is something Emma Willard had not achieved in the nine years the school has been participating in the program.
Back row (from left): Bob Nielsen, HyeLim ’08, Anna ’09, Lily ’08; front row (from left): Ellie ’07, Ji Mi ’08 , SunJoo ’07 PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
DanceAssembly Alyssa Rinaldi ’08 and Miro Cassetta ’07 perform a ballet number during the February Dance Assembly. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
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to a Trusted Friend In December 2006, the entire Emma Willard community mourned the passing of one of its staunchest supporters and dearest friends, Donald V. Buttenheim, who passed away at the age of 91 at Kimball Farms Retirement Community in Lenox, Massachusetts, following a brief illness. The community was doubly saddened to learn of the passing of his wife of 66 years, Kathleen (Kay) Buttenheim, only weeks later. Born in Hastings, New York, in 1915, Buttenheim was a graduate of the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and a 1937 summa cum laude graduate of Williams College. He worked for 40 years in the family business, Buttenheim Publishing Corp., a publisher of magazines and reference books. He was also publisher and part owner of Contractors and Engineers magazine, which covered highway and heavy construction in the U.S. Throughout his life, Buttenheim was deeply committed to education. In Mount Kisco, New York, he launched an effort to centralize six area school districts and became the first president of the Bedford Central School District Board of Education. He served two terms as president of the New York State Citizens Committee for Public Schools and was a delegate to President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s White House Conference on Education. He was a charter member of the Trustee Committee of the National Association of Independent Schools and active in the Independent School Chairmen Association. He also served 10 years as a trustee of the Council for Religion in Independent Schools, now the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education. Although he was a tireless advocate of Taft and Williams, he was an equally ardent supporter of Emma Willard, the school from which his sister, Martha Buttenheim, graduated in 1929. He and Kay sent three daughters—Deborah Brumell ’64, Judith Stevens ’68, and Nancy Buttenheim ’70—to Emma Willard, where he served the school as a parent trustee, an honorary trustee, and a trustee for 14 years, including terms as first vice president and as president from 1974 8
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Don Buttenheim with daughter Deborah Brumell ’64 EMMA WILLARD ARCHIVAL PHOTO
to 1977. A combination of gifts raised under his stewardship resulted in the Donald V. Buttenheim Scholarships, annual awards made to students who demonstrate positive participation and effective leadership. He also contributed generously his financial and leadership abilities to numerous school fund-raising efforts. In May 1998, Mr. Buttenheim was named the first recipient of the John Willard Award. Named for Emma Hart Willard’s son, the award is given by the Board of Trustees to individuals who continue his legacy of protecting and nurturing the spirit and stability of Emma Willard School with pride and devotion. The citation presented to him states: “You have helped to navigate the Emma Willard community through unsettled times, lending the strength of your dignity, your humor, your clear thinking, and your strong sense of values, not only to solve difficult problems, but also to help us all move forward in our educational task with vision and dedication. You
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have demonstrated your unfailing faith in the quality of an Emma Willard education and its success in preparing young women for positive roles in our society by providing educational opportunities for other students. The scholarship programs that you have established and support… attest to your deep belief in the importance of contributing to the creation of a better world for everyone, a world where positive human and spiritual values serve as the core of learning and of life.” “Throughout my tenure, and that of heads before me, Don served as the best sort of conscience,” recalls Head of School Trudy Hall. “A prolific note writer, he filled my mailbox weekly with urgings, articles, suggestions, and commendations; he gently prodded me to think about all the right questions in all the right ways. I sorely miss his ample doses of wisdom and good cheer.” ■
ROUND-up ALL-STAR JESTERS The following students were recognized at the 2006–07 Fall Athletic Awards in November for their exceptional athletic efforts and accomplishments. Cross Country ■ Alexandra Fradkin ’07: Most Improved ■ Helen Rowe ’09: Coaches’ Award Varsity Field Hockey Hye Ji Yang ’08: Most Improved ■ Hye-Lim Shin ’08: Coach’s Award 2006 ■
JV Field Hockey Mattison Moran ’10: Most Improved ■ Sun Young Doh ’08: Coaches’ Award ■
Varsity Tennis Laura Hendrickson ’07: Coaches’ Award ■ Nawal Mays ’07: Coaches’ Award ■
Varsity Soccer Samantha DeSantis ’07: Most Improved ■ Elizabeth Martin ’07: Coach’s Award ■
JV Soccer Julia Hutson ’09: Most Improved ■ Annie Mitchell ’09: Coaches’ Award ■
GETTING READY FOR SPRING IN THE FROZEN WINTER
Varsity Volleyball Crystal Painter ’09: Coaches’ Award ■ Leto Karatsolis-Chanikian ’08: Coaches’ Award ■
In late February and early March, Emma Willard’s spring sports teams need to start training for the upcoming season. That can be a challenging task when the Hudson River is sealed by inches of ice, the playing fields are still buried under a foot of snow, and temperatures are struggling to get above the freezing mark. So coaches and players improvise by training inside the Mott Gymnasium until more a clement climate prevails. Above, members of the crew team train on machines.
Varsity Swimming Anna Mantero ’09: Most Improved ■ Morgan Smits ’09: Coach’s Award ■
HOOP SCOOP In December, Sarah Hutcherson ’09 was named Athlete of the Week by ESPN Radio and the Troy Record for her outstanding performance in the varsity basketball team’s first three games of the season. During that period—in which the Jesters won all three games—Sarah scored a total of 38 points and grabbed 36 rebounds, according to Head Coach Angela Miklavcic (left), who presented Sarah with the award. The Jesters, reigning Central Hudson Valley League champs, took a 16-3 record into the first round of sectional play in February, but were defeated by Schuylerville 44-36. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
At left, Libby Schultz ’08 eyes a rebound. PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
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Capitol From Mount Ida to Capitol Hill: Ac KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND ’84 BECOMES EMMA’S FIRST ALUMNA ELECTED TO U.S. CONGRESS
Kirsten Gillibrand's official congressional portrait
BY STEVEN RICCI The nation’s 110th Congress opened in January with a first: the election of Nancy Pelosi as the country’s first female Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Congress also provided a
months away, Mr. Sweeney finds himself in the political battle of his life, as he faces his first significant electoral challenge since taking office in 1998, from a political novice who has not only
because of party labels or television commercials, but from a deep need to change course. “The election was not about political parties,” she said. “It was not about Democrats,
complishment first for Emma Willard School: the first alumna to become a member. In 2006, Kirsten Gillibrand ’84—a Hudson, New York, resident who had never held a political office—waged a dogged, high-profile campaign for the state’s 20th Congressional District, a seat held for eight years by Republican John E. Sweeney. The rambling 200-mile district, encompassing all or parts of nine counties from the southern Catskills to the northern Adirondacks, is sprinkled with wilderness areas, rural towns, several medium-sized cities, apple farms, and a small but growing number of hightech industries. With Republicans outnumbering Democrats nearly two to one, the district has voted decidedly conservative through much of its history—three of the four representatives who served between 1985 and 2006 were Republicans, and George W. Bush won comfortably here in both of his presidential elections. In his prior four elections (two in New York’s 22nd District), Sweeney faced scant opposition and won by sizeable margins. When she officially announced her candidacy in January 2006, Gillibrand seemed more like a neophyte testing the political waters than a viable candidate with any chance of turning a deeply red seat into a blue one. However, the political temper of the district, the state, and the country was approaching a tipping point. As the undercurrent of change buoyed Gillibrand’s prospects, a different image of the candidate emerged: that of a polished, informed, and savvy competitor who knew exactly what she wanted, who had carefully studied the political roadmap, and who had put the necessary machinery in place. “There were many factors that converged to our benefit,” Gillibrand said. “We had a national mood that was anti-incumbent and we had a local mood where people didn’t feel that things in our communities, or around the state and across the country, were moving in the right direction. There was enough desire for change.”
DEFYING EVERY EXPECTATION By spring, the nation had taken notice. As a May 15, 2006, article in The New York Times noted: “…with Congressional elections just six
turned out to be a surprisingly strong campaigner and fund-raiser but who also has assembled a seasoned campaign team closely tied to the vaunted Clinton operation.” Indeed, as her poll numbers improved so did support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which began funneling more money into the campaigns of candidates in hotly contested races. She won prized endorsements from Democratic stalwarts like former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hilary Clinton, and former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (who would win a landslide gubernatorial victory on Election Day). In the first quarter of her campaign, Gillibrand raised more money than the previous three Democratic candidates had raised during their entire campaigns and the record-breaking pace continued through November. In addition to support from influential veterans’ groups and powerful teachers’ unions, Gillibrand received the endorsement of the 2.5 million-member state AFL-CIO labor union in August. According to the Post-Star of Glens Falls, New York, the endorsement marked the first time in at least 30 years that the labor organization, which includes dozens of area unions, endorsed a Democrat in the local congressional district. Previously, the organization had either endorsed a Republican or remained neutral. As the election neared, Gillibrand received a chorus of media endorsements, many of which read like this one from Metroland, an independent arts/news weekly in the Capital District: “Kirsten Gillibrand has defied our expectations. We are not used to candidates with the kind of thoughtful, precise positions on important issues like the war in Iraq and the health-care crisis that Gillibrand has. She is a candidate any district would be lucky to have… . We heartily endorse Kirsten Gillibrand because she is a candidate of intelligence and ideas who understands the consequences of both her own and of her country’s actions.” On November 7, voters handed Gillibrand a 6 percent margin of victory and a ticket to Washington, D.C. Reflecting on the victory, Gillibrand reiterated the mantra she had articulated throughout the campaign: that voters made a decision not
Republicans, or independents; it was about change and new leadership for our country.”
POISE, PREPARATION, POSITIONING Gillibrand may have stunned the pundits who viewed her as a greenhorn with little chance of beating such daunting political odds, but her meticulous preparation, determined tenacity, and
“We had a national mood that was anti-incumbent and we had a local mood where people didn’t feel that things in our communities, or around the state and across the country, were moving in the right direction. There was enough desire for change.” unflappable poise were qualities she had been polishing even before she came to Emma Willard. In fact, she had been planning for the moment since she was 10 years old. The Albany native’s passion for politics was inspired by her grandmother, Polly Noonan, the founder of the Albany Democratic Women’s Club. As a 20-year-old secretary for the state legislature, without the benefit of higher education, Noonan craved a voice for women in government and worked resolutely to get it, Gillibrand says. Her efforts not only gave women a more potent influence in government, they also strengthened the local Democratic party and supported the community. “They knew every family that needed a turkey at Thanksgiving, and every family whose children needed new shoes,” Gillibrand said. “Politics back then was part social service, and they were providers.” Over the years, Noonan became a major participant in Albany politics and instilled in her granddaughter the importance of getting involved W i n t e r
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at the grassroots level. Together, they stuffed envelopes and went door-to-door canvassing votes, with Kirsten sometimes wearing T-shirts advertising the candidate her grandmother was stumping for. “That’s what I grew up watching her do,” Gillibrand said. “It certainly made an impression on me that what you do with your time does matter, and what you do with your voice does matter.”
“We ran a grassroots campaign and took my message, and what I was offering, and who I was as a person, directly to the people and families of our district. And they made a choice.” As an Emma Willard diehard, Gillibrand took full advantage of the opportunities offered to her. She excelled in science, math, and languages; played JV soccer and captained the tennis team; sold advertising for the Clock; and as a junior became head of the weekend activities committee, an unusual position for a day student as the committee primarily serves the boarding
community. But the position provided an opportunity to develop organizational and management abilities, and to hone her listening skills, tools she would later use to forge a political career. Her most cherished Emma Willard experiences, though, included the opportunity to meet students from around the country and the world, and to pursue foreign studies. She visited France as a freshman, Spain and northern Africa as a sophomore, and Russia as a junior. “I saw an extraordinary amount of the world and learned so much about culture and history outside of the classroom,” she said. “It really gave me the ability to strive to do anything I wanted to do.” The confidence and leadership abilities she cultivated at Emma Willard served her well as an Asian studies major at Dartmouth, where, she said, the traditionally male-dominated academic and social culture required women to be markedly assertive and self-assured. She learned to read and speak Chinese and spent seven months studying in China, Taiwan, and Tibet. During her travels through northern India as part of a senior fellowship on the history of the Tibetan-Chinese conflict, she interviewed the Dalai Lama and a number of Tibetan refugees for her research paper. After graduating magna cum laude from Dartmouth, she attended UCLA School of Law and had a senior internship in Vienna at the
PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
United Nations Crime Prevention Branch, studying the ways in which different legal systems address violence against women and families. Throughout her academic career she entertained a desire for public service, but also recognized that working first in the legal arena would best serve her long-range ambitions. “I always aspired to do public service in my career,” she said, “but I also knew that it would take time to be prepared do that. I believe that, for many women, it’s important to develop all the skills they’ll need to be successful in the arena
Emma Alumnae in Office Although Kirsten Gillibrand is the first Emma Willard graduate to serve in the U.S. Congress, the school’s alumnae have a long history of serving in public office. Those who have held elected office recently include: • Kathryn Hendrickson ’75: In November, Hendrickson won the race for commonwealth attorney in Kentucky’s 19th Judicial District, the first woman to serve in that position in the history of the district. Hendrickson also teaches courses in juvenile delinquency and law at Maysville Community & Technical College. • Virginia Hinrichs McMichael ’74: In November 2005, McMichael was reelected to a second six-year term on the East Whiteland Township Board of Supervisors in Chester County, Pennsylvania. During her tenure, McMichael championed the enactment of a development moratorium so the township could revise its comprehensive plan. • Dorothy H. Wilken ’53: In 2004 Wilken retired from her position as clerk of the Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida after a long and distinguished career in public service, including a term as the first woman mayor in the City of Boca Raton, Florida. Other positions she held include Palm Beach County Commissioner, founder of the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission, and member of the Governor’s Crime Commission. • Sue Wierengo ’49: Wierengo is the City Commissioner At Large of Muskegon, Michigan. In addition to her duties on the commission, she is the founding director of Hospice of Muskegon, the first executive director of the Michigan Hospice Organization, and the director of Leadership Muskegon.
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• Mary Price “Pricey” Taylor Harrison ’76: A retired communications attorney, Harrison recently won a second term as a representative in the North Carolina General Assembly for District 57. An experienced political activist, Harrison introduced during her first term a number of bills designed to protect the environment and conserve renewable energy sources.
they want to be in. What my analysis brought me to was that I needed to learn good advocacy skills first, and achieve a level of experience that would allow me to bring a lot to the table when I did choose to serve the public.” Her legal career included positions as a law clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals Justice Roger Miner, senior associate at the law firm of Davis, Polk & Wardwell, and special counsel to Andrew Cuomo, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton administration—an association that lasted only seven months but would provide a valuable backdrop to her future plans. Speaking with Cuomo after an event where he gave a speech about the importance of public service, she told him of her lifelong desire to work in the field. He invited her to send her resume to his office, and after an interview the following week, she was hired as special counsel. “I was up for partner (at my law firm) in six months, so it was a significant time for me to be focused on law,” she said. “But my real heart was in public service.” Cuomo, she said, gave her “enormous amounts of responsibility” during her tenure at HUD, including work on labor initiatives, wage and safety regulations, and oversight of the American Private Investment Companies Act, a piece of legislation designed to combine venture capital and public funding for infrastructure investments in low-income areas. Although the legislation ultimately failed to pass Congress, she gained extensive experience working with the team that drafted the legislation and lobbied for its passage and observed the legislative process first-hand. Although the position ended with the conclusion of the Clinton administration’s term, the public service bug had bitten, and Gillibrand spent the next five years doing homework. She attended the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University; the Women’s Campaign Forum training program in Washington, D.C.; and the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, a training program for women Democrats seeking political office. These programs, she said, taught her much about the extensive preparation required of a successful campaign, including strategic fundraising techniques, policy development, and crafting clear, resonant, and easily understood messages. In 2003, she founded the Women’s Leadership Forum Network, an under-40 version of the Women’s Leadership Forum—a D.C. organization she joined 10 years ago that works to get women involved in politics on a national level. The network, she said, enlisted 1,500 members during the last presidential campaign, and trained hundreds of the recruits in public speaking and media relations skills. Additionally, she volunteered to work for Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign Cuomo’s 2002 New York State gubernatorial campaign, and Hilary
Clinton’s 2000 campaign for Senate. In the last presidential election cycle, she helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democratic candidates. In 2001, she returned to the law as a partner in the Manhattan firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner. After marrying her husband, Jonathan, a lobbyist and financial consultant, they moved upstate, where she worked in the firm’s Albany office and began crafting the message that would send her to Washington, taking a leave in March to begin working on the campaign full-time. Despite an almost constant uphill battle, she said, she was never intimidated by the magnitude of her task. “The reason why it’s so rare for a challenger to beat an incumbent is because it’s so hard to get that message out,” she said. “It was an enormous commitment of time and effort for me and my whole family. It takes going door to door in every community, holding open forums on health care, agriculture, the war, veterans issues. We did everything. We ran a grassroots campaign and took my message, and what I was offering, and who I was as a person, directly to the people and families of our district. And they made a choice.” Throughout the trying campaign, Gillibrand said, she relied heavily on the ideals she learned on Mount Ida and would take to Capitol Hill. “The core values of Emma Willard—of teaching young women to have the confidence to lead, to have honesty and integrity in all they do, to be knowledgeable of themselves, to be someone who will give back to her own community—are the core values I brought with me, not only to undergraduate and law school but also throughout my career.”
GETTING BUSY EARLY After her swearing in ceremony in January, Gillibrand wasted no time in delivering on her promises to her largely Republican district. Once in Congress, she joined the House Agricultural Committee and the prestigious Armed Services Committee, for which she serves on the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats, and Capabilities subcommittee and the Army and Air Force Programs subcommittee. In the same month, she instituted in the 20th district a series of public forums she calls “Congress at Your Corner,” a town hall effort to solicit feedback from constituents on a variety of topics. Among the issues she wants to tackle in her first term are energy independence, a strengthened agricultural policy, improved treatment and benefits for members of the armed services and veterans, and stricter ethical standards for the nation’s elected leaders. But first and foremost will be the issue currently at the forefront of American politics, and the decisive factor in her election: the war in Iraq.
“A new direction for Iraq means having a real plan for success,” she said, “having a plan for redeployment of our troops out of Iraq over the next year, using our leverage and reconstruction contracts more effectively to bring the parties together, making sure we use our oil revenues to bring the Sunnis and the Kurds to the table, making sure we use our presence during redeployment as leverage over the Shias. There’s a lot to be done to help the parties there reach a political solution.” In early February, she issued a statement opposing President Bush’s proposed budget, specifically addressing military spending for the ongoing war: “The amounts being requested for Iraq and defense are extraordinary sums. We must fully fund our national defense, but we cannot afford to simply accept the President’s request without providing the requisite oversight and accountability our constitution requires.” Less than two weeks later, she joined vocal House opposition to the president’s plan for an increase of 20,000 troops in Iraq, speaking from the House floor for the first time in support of H. Con. Res 63. “At no point has anyone from the administration been able to articulate to me, clearly, that this is a strategy that will effectively undermine terrorism, promote lasting stability, and be successful in redeploying our troops,” she said during the speech. “What is so clear to so many of our military advisors, former and current military generals, the majority of this body, and the American public at large, does not seem to be shared by this administration: that the answers to sustaining peace in Iraq lie in political, diplomatic, and economic solutions, not military ones.” As she refines her congressional agenda and even begins planning for a 2008 reelection bid, Gillibrand said, she is honored and privileged to be in Congress at a time when women are providing more political influence than at any time in the nation’s history. “It’s a wonderful era for women, and I hope women are inspired by the leadership we have right now,” she said. “I’m hopeful that there are hundreds of 10-year-old girls out there who are looking at Speaker Pelosi and saying, ‘I could some day be speaker of the House’ and looking at Senator Clinton and saying, ’I could be president some day.’” Inspiring the next generation of women leaders, she said, is the greatest gift she and her colleagues can give America. “To inspire young women to not only believe that they can serve but to be honored to serve,” she said. “To not only give them the confidence to do it, but also the will to do it. Those are the two things that are necessary. Once a woman has the confidence and the will, she will get there. And I will help her.” ■
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HabitForming Curricular initiatives prepare students to serve and shape their worlds
B Y K AT H R Y N G A L L I E N Can character be taught? Can a complete education be fully realized within the academic curriculum? These questions have received thorough and thoughtful exploration at Emma Willard, as the nation’s private and public schools also begin wrestling with them. As well they should, according to National Association of Independent Schools President Patrick F. Bassett. “There is a need to articulate better the character curriculum of each school,” he said. “In the long wash of time, it is the skills and values we learn that count, the ‘content of one’s character’ more so than the content of the curriculum.” Emma Willard’s Dean of Curriculum and Programs Lisa Schmitt agrees, wondering aloud, “How do you get parents to understand that that’s what they’re spending their money on?” A closer look at the school’s Serving and Shaping Her World programs should help. Implemented in fall 2006, the Emma Willard Seminar Program and the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Service Program, together with the Serving and Shaping Speakers Series, constitute what might be called the “second curriculum” or “character curriculum” or even, Schmitt says smiling, “the softer side of the Emma Willard education.” But there is nothing soft about its purposes or longterm implications. “I think of this as being part of a whole education,” Schmitt said. The new programs have been developed to ensure that EW graduates go forth into their complex world with a strong sense of personal values, a willingness to take initiative, leadership skills, and the ability to communicate well and thrive as members of their communities at all levels. “We want them to know the power of their own voices, to be able to have deep conversations, and know their voices will be heard,” Schmitt said.
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In the Dietel Library the Race for a Cause service group, which organizes benefit races to help various charities, meets to discuss strategy for their next event. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
EMMA WILLARD SEMINAR PROGRAM “The students are marvelous. They’re enthusiastic about the opportunity to have very candid conversations about things that matter.” -PAM SKRIPAK ’80, SEMINAR PROGRAM DIRECTOR The Seminar Program has been designed to foster exactly that kind of open conversation. The required weekly class meets in small groups of 10 to 12 girls, and each grade level has its own schedule, intents, and purposes. The freshman
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program focuses on making the transition into a new community, understanding its culture and expectations, and gaining the skills needed to make the most of school resources, such as the library and information technology. Sophomore
EMMA WILLARD’S MISSION STATEMENT Honoring its founder’s vision, Emma Willard School proudly fosters in each young woman a love of learning, the habits of an intellectual life, and the character, moral strength, and qualities of leadership to serve and shape her world.
In Young Hwang a member of the service group, Student Organization for Animal Respect, cares for an abandoned cat at the Mohawk & Hudson River Humane Society in Menands, New York. PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
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Caroline Malave ’10 tries on a sign that she made as part of her work with the Foreign Culture Educators group. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
year’s health curriculum includes frank discussion about sexuality, and emotional as well as physical health. Juniors explore the road ahead—college and beyond—with exercises helping them “shut out the noise of expectation and hear their own authentic voices,” as Seminar Director Pam Skripak ’80 puts it. Senior year, the program shifts to a speaker series offering practical advice and words of wisdom on everything from business etiquette to financial literacy. Skripak explains that the pedagogy centers on “circle sharing” and draws on the four intentions outlined by Rachael Kessler in The Soul of
Education: Helping Students Find Connection, Compassion and Character at School—speaking from the heart, listening from the heart, speaking spontaneously, and being lean of expression. “It’s not a therapy session,” Skripak notes. “No one person dominates. It’s not about venting. It’s about deeply understanding yourself and others.” Each class has a clearly articulated subject, goal, and structure. When the sophomores tackle gender roles, for example, the class begins with each student stating something she did over the weekend that a boy probably wouldn’t have done. The teacher then elicits quick definitions of gender, gender identity, and gender roles and asks girls how the terms differ. One of the class’s activities has students indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with several statements by standing at correspondingly marked colored dots on the floor. Statements include: A guy who cries easily is weak. Boys are more interested in math and science than girls. Women are more concerned about appearances than men. If I have children, I’d like my first child to be a son. Discussion and more activities follow, and the class ends with each student expressing something she loves about being female. The “authentic moments of personal sharing” can be profound, Skripak said, and lead to a “deeper, more meaningful sense of connection to
Director of Service Stacey Dodd (left) works with her team of “ubers,” the students who coordinate the community service program. From left: Maura Farrell ’08, Laurie Massry ’07, Philicia Tan ’07, Jenna Portelli ’10, Alexis Steinberg ’07, and Victoria Wong ’07 PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
each other, their community, themselves.” Students complete feedback cards after each class that help the director and her colleagues—each of whom received special training to lead the classes—review and improve the program. The administrative responsibilities are great, but for Skripak the reward is “being in the class with the girls. The students are marvelous. They’re enthusiastic about the opportunity to have very candid conversations about things that matter.”
Pam Skripak ’80 (left of flip chart) and Polly Kimberly (right of flip chart) lead a group of juniors in a seminar program aimed at establishing ground rules for self-expression within the class’s meetings. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
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Juniors in the Emma Willard Seminar Program participate in an identity exercise in which they draw symbols to represent themselves. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
ELIZABETH CADY STANTON SERVICE PROGRAM “One of the most important parts about high school is developing habits for later life.”
-ALEXIS STEINBERG ’07
By Example To complement its curriculum, Emma Willard School offers students regular opportunities to come together as a community and learn directly from speakers whose interests and accomplishments bring the school’s core values to life. The Serving and Shaping Her World Speakers Series is the newest addition to the speakers and visiting artists series. Speakers in this assembly program explicitly address global, women’s, artistic, ethical, health, and scientific perspectives. Classroom and advisee group pre- and postassembly discussions help students assess and integrate the topics and consider what broadening their perspectives will bring to their lives as students and citizens of the world. Recent speakers have included filmmaker and Afghanistan expert David Edwards, author and survivor of war-torn Afghanistan Farah Ahmedi, and photojournalist and environmentalist Stephen Donaldson. You can listen to these and other speakers at www.emmawillard.org/news/listenup.php.
Community service is not new at Emma Willard; for many years student/teacher teams visited key locations in the Capital District, and also on the Emma Willard campus, twice a year to perform volunteer service. This year, for the first time, the program places teams of from three to 15 girls in 45 different service projects both on and off campus, to work through an 80-minute class period every week. Students themselves propose the projects, and a large project fair is held in the spring for students to study and pick their favorites, and another in the fall for new students. Even more unusual, the students also run the program, with an “uber” leadership team of service coordinators who oversee the progress of the various teams. “The students have taken on a hefty responsibility,” said Service Program Director Stacey Dodd, “and they are rising to the occasion. They are learning how to manage things and how to manage people.” The student leadership team solicited ideas, did research, and culled the list of proposed projects. Each needed to have “enough work and enough need,” Dodd said, to involve students weekly in a group activity that serves EW or the community beyond. Each project has one or more student leaders and faculty/staff advisors, and Dodd notes that the community organizations served receive orientation packets “so they understand what we are trying to accomplish.”
Projects range from the Emma Now campus news service and Emma Green campus conservation to hospital and hospice volunteering, Africa Aid, and a bilingual literacy program at a local school. The organizations get good workers and, says Dodd, the students “get new experiences, interact with people unlike themselves, serve people in need, take initiative, develop skills, and learn responsibility.”
“The students have taken on a hefty responsibility, and they are rising to the occasion. They are learning how to manage things and how to manage people.” -STACEY DODD, SERVICE PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Those running the Fair Trade Store, for example, did all their own research, visiting coops and fair trade vendors, then began selling goods such as coffee, chocolate, and sweaters at school events. For the Troy Empty Bowls project, students began by volunteering at the annual hunger awareness and fundraising event in October. “We washed many bowls that day,” says their advisor Nicole Hapeman, a resident faculty (continued on page 19)
PHOTOS BY STEVEN RICCI
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The Delicate Dance: Spirituality and Education
Above: Personalized ceramic pieces in the One Thousand Singing Souls project were created as part of Emma Willard’s Inner Journey spirituality program. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
It’s a problem many independent secular schools face, especially in these times of sensitivity to religion: how do we recognize the distinctive and diverse spiritual needs of our students without enforcing a specific religious curriculum? According to Assistant Head of School Eric Niles, it’s an issue Emma Willard has wrestled with for a long time but particularly as the school began to reexamine its curriculum in recent years. “We had recognized a need and we were looking for a balance,” Niles said of the Inner Journey Task Force, an amalgam of parents, trustees, alumnae, and faculty of various religious backgrounds who began meeting in 2002 to explore the feasibility of incorporating a spiritual element into Emma Willard’s educational experience. “We were looking for a middle ground where we could honor the ability of individuals to be spiritual in a safe place without forcing it upon them, and educating our students about world religions regardless of whether they practice any of them.” The task force’s findings were complemented by a 2006 spirituality audit by educational consultant Peter Cobb, the former director of Council on Spiritual and Ethical Education, 18
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which found that there was no appetite in the Emma Willard community for any mandatory religious instruction other than as an optional program. “Students want to explore their spirituality, or choose not to, without stepping on anyone else’s toes,” Niles said. The work of the task force was recharged by the 2004 arrival of Heidi Dwyer, a house parent and computer science instructor who is currently an instructor in the Emma Willard Seminar Program. Dwyer received her bachelor’s degree in religious studies at St. Lawrence University, and during her graduate studies in education there she worked with the university’s chaplain to design a program that would promote belief exploration and spiritual understanding in a diverse context. The eight-week course they created, based on a similar one within the Unitarian Universalist Association, was called B.Y.O.B.—Build Your Own Beliefs—and is ongoing at St. Lawrence. “The creative idea was about something I saw lacking in our community as an undergrad,” Dwyer said. “Because I had to seek out ways to fulfill that need on my own, I thought it would be interesting to offer a way for people to enhance
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understanding across different traditions; to create a dialogue and learn each other’s language without offending.” Even during her job interview at Emma Willard, Dwyer said, she recognized that the school was struggling with the same issues she had worked to resolve at St. Lawrence. “I could tell that it was a place where they had a desire to understand spirituality better and to do it in a nonthreatening way,” she said. “It’s a delicate dance in any environment to bring up spirituality and religion. My stance is not about pushing any agenda but offering a space for students to explore who they are, who they are becoming, who their peers are, and who they are becoming, and that’s a shared process.” Dwyer worked with cofacilitators, science instructor Joseph Tamer and houseparent Gemma Halfi, to implement the 10-week Inner Journey program, which is open only to Emma Willard’s juniors and seniors. Each week of the program covers a specific topic related to the exploration of personal spirituality. They include “Looking Back (and Forward) on the Self,” “Unraveling Human Nature,” “The Influence of Society and Culture,” “Connecting to Our Surroundings,”
“Contemplating Something Greater,” “Growing Through Conflict and Crisis,” “Rising to Life’s Challenges,” and “‘Peacing’ it Together.” Each session builds on the last but can also function as a separate component if a student doesn’t have a particularly strong feeling about a specific topic. Meeting for 90 minutes once each week, the program is not conducted in a traditional instructive classroom setting, but rather through open discussions and activities intended to guide students along a path of creative investigation. Emphasis, Dwyer said, is placed on expression through activities like journaling, collage, conversation, and silent reflection. “It’s about the students learning to implement their own practices,” she said. “Depending on the session topic, we talk about how to define yourself within a group, understanding the self in relation to a shared vocabulary, how we define terms like religion, spirituality, creed, self, and sacred. Each session is designed so that, at the end, the girls ask themselves, ‘What do I believe about this topic?’ and they write it down and keep it.” Extreme sensitivity is given to respecting each student’s beliefs, or lack of them, Dwyer said. “The students definitely recognize the need to not invade; they really don’t want to offend,” she said. “It’s something we need to model for our students as they grow to become leaders.” At Inner Journey’s final session, “Credo and Closure,” students generate a personal creed that expresses their statement of beliefs, which is shared with the rest of the group. The creed, Dwyer said, is a benchmark that allows students to establish what their feelings and beliefs are at
this stage in their lives, and generates a lasting record to which they can compare future beliefs as they grow, change, and evolve. This semester, Inner Journey’s final session included a new ceremonial aspect devised by Dwyer and houseparent and ceramics instructor Nicole Hapeman. As a ceramics artist, Hapeman has launched a project of her own called One Thousand Singing Souls, in which she creates (through the Japanese raku process) individualized pieces symbolizing spiritual renewal. The project took shape in collaboration with Inner Journey’s closing ceremony, in which Hapeman created the raw ceramic pieces and then turned them over to students to add their own glazing and decoration. Additionally, the students were asked to insert into the pieces a written record or their own fundamental beliefs as well as a record of some negative aspects of their lives they wished to get rid of—bad memories, self-doubts, fears, or secrets. The completed pieces were then fired in a kiln, where the intense heat would forge an individualized piece reflecting the student’s innermost beliefs while burning away the negativity they wished to purge. The end effect, Hapeman says, is a transformation in which the intentions behind the words become a part of each student’s piece, and in which negative feelings are symbolically carried away in the same manner. The process, Dwyer said, “gives actual physical form to positives and negatives: those things you want to keep and hold dear, and those things you want to let go of.” “Ceramics artists have a long tradition of connecting their work to spirit,” Hapeman said. “The metaphor of the fire is very
transformational, and the idea that you can build, and destroy, and rebuild your work over and over again is something people live through every day. I felt like Inner Journey was almost seamlessly connected to this idea and I created these pieces with Inner Journey in mind.” Hapeman intends to continue making the pieces until she has 1,000 of the “singing souls” and is currently working on a Web site that will document each of the firings and feature photos of the participants and their pieces. “The firing is done as a ceremony; it’s ritualistic,” she said. “It’s about living through what you’re dealt. You are subjected to the forces of change in your life, and the fire is that force of change for the piece. You put into it everything that you can, and you do the best you can, then you have to put it in the kiln and hope that it comes out the way you want it to. It doesn’t always; it might break. It’s a little risky, which all adds up to what we live through every day. Despite all of the intensity of the experiences that we live through, more often than not, things come out very beautifully. That’s the Inner Journey idea: you put into your life everything that you can, give it your best effort, and in the end, you have to live with that.” -STEVEN RICCI Editor’s note: To watch a video of the One Thousand Singing Souls kiln project and hear more about Inner Journey, visit www.emmawillard.org/ news/lookhere.php.
(continued from page 17) member who also teaches ceramics. “Since then, we have been making bowls to donate to next year’s event.” The team also sold ceramic items at the holiday craft sale, raising more than $200 for local food pantries. Mary Leigh Roohan ’09 is co-leader, with Grace Pitman ’09, of the 14-member Children’s Theater group, leading third and sixth graders at the Ark Community Charter School in activities such as play-writing and improvisation. Handling the sometimes chaotic classroom has been challenging, says Roohan. “We’ve learned to monitor our patience, to not just freak out when it’s stressful and kids aren’t listening and we have to keep explaining things over and over.” But it is fun and rewarding “to help the kids be more comfortable sharing in front of a group,” she says, adding that “I’ve learned to be calmer, better at planning, and more flexible.” Although Roohan may not be completely sold on community service being a required part of the curriculum—“I’d be happy to go out and do community service on my own,” she says—she also admits that it would be hard to find an organized opportunity like the children’s theater project.
But Alexis Steinberg ’07 is a believer. “As every Emma Willard student knows, life can be extremely hectic,” she says, noting that she wasn’t able to make time for community service before. Now, she says, “I’m glad that it’s required and that I have such a large part in it; otherwise I’m not sure it would be a part of my life.” Steinberg was one of four students on the team that developed the community service program, and this year she is student head of the program. “When the implementation team was formed last year, I was just one in a group,” she says. “Now I’m a leader and I have to act like a leader.” In doing so, she says, “I have learned an enormous number of things, the two most important being how to take control and how to let other people take control.” “In the beginning,” says Steinberg, “I was worried that students would resent the requirement; but as far as I can see, most have begun to take a sincere interest.” Bassett says the EW requirement is “absolutely a good idea,” noting that “many schools already have the same requirement. As Aristotle indicated, you develop ethics by practicing ethics—likewise a commitment to community service.”
“In the long wash of time, it is the skills and values we learn that count, the ‘content of one’s character’ more so than the content of the curriculum.” -PATRICK F. BASSETT, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS
“Hopefully, the students enjoy community service and see the importance of it and will continue to be involved in their communities,” says Steinberg. After all, she said, “One of the most important parts about high school is developing habits for later life.” ■ –Kathryn Gallien is a freelance writer from Saratoga Springs and a regular contributor to EMMA.
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SPEAKING FOR THOSE WHO CAN’T MARGARET BAUMAN ’56 HAS DEVOTED HER LIFE TO UNDERSTANDING AUTISM B Y PAT T I D I B O N A
“They come to LADDERS expressly to work with Dr. Bauman. Autism has received a lot of media attention lately and that’s good; it’s almost sexy to say you work in the field now. Yet, this woman has been doing it forever. Margaret Bauman just gets it.” -KAY MURRAY, RN
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On a chilly December day just before Christmas the gray skies over Wellesley, Massachusetts, are threatening rain; yet, inside the cramped waiting room of one medical office, the atmosphere is warm and comforting. Bright red bookcases line the walls and a geometric border meets the ceiling. A low green table supporting a train track dominates the room’s center and a child-sized kitchen and green plastic mountain stand across the floor. Behind the window of an adjoining room, a cheerful crew of men and women chat helpfully into headsets while greeting arriving patients, who can choose from a smattering of tattered magazines and children’s books. This aging waiting area could be part of any pediatric office in Massachusetts; but it soon becomes clear that LADDERS (Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services), an affiliate of Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, is not an ordinary medical office. A boy holding a sparkly holiday ornament and wearing a lopsided grin walks into the waiting room. “What a busy day we had today,” the therapist accompanying him tells his mom. “We worked on pushing and pulling. He was a good listener and had great attention.” Another little boy wheels his walker determinedly into the room. He’s sporting tiny round eyeglasses and has a breathing tube in his throat. He moves purposefully from coloring with markers to fiddling with the train set to maneuvering a toy car down the green mountain. “Seat belts buckled. Seat belts buckled,” he
repeats over and over as his mom agrees and retrieves the wayward car. A therapist strolls in and claims his attention, “Hey buddy, are you ready for me?” she asks. “Let’s scoot down to my office. Look, there’s Dr. B!” Dr. B is Margaret Lang Bauman ’56, MD, the founder and director of LADDERS, a multidisciplinary clinic providing evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities, and with a particular expertise in autism spectrum disorders. Bauman started the clinic more than 25 years ago and has seen it grow dramatically as autism, once considered rare, has become a familiar diagnosis. A distinguished pediatric neurologist and research investigator, she pioneered the biological study of autism and continues to develop and seek new advances in clinical treatment. In addition to her full-time work at LADDERS, Bauman also runs the nationally known Autism Research Foundation, devoted to autism brain research; the Autism Research Consortium, a “think tank” of worldwide experts; and the recently created Autism Treatment Network, a consortium of five U.S. medical centers dedicated to evaluating medical conditions present in autism and devising treatment guidelines. She is associate professor of neurology at Harvard University Medical School, adjunct associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at Boston University School of Medicine, and associate pediatrician and assistant neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While she built her medical career, she and her husband,
Roger Bauman, MD, former associate chief of radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, raised three children: David, now a St. Louis lawyer; Karen, a scientist at the St. Louis Zoo; and Margot, a doctoral student in Washington, D.C. The Baumans were married for 37 years, until Roger’s death in 2005. During his final days, the couple found comfort in their medical connection and expertise. “Roger created the prototypes for the use of computers in radiology,” she said. “He was instrumental in developing the technology that allowed radiographic studies to become available to doctors in emergency and operating rooms and intensive care. His physicians used this on-site technology to explain Roger’s condition to his children.”
QUEST FOR A SMART BLAZER Despite Bauman’s affinity for science and accomplishments in medicine, working in these fields was not always her most ardent desire. “I was horrible at math, and science was my worst subject,” she said. A native of West Haven, Connecticut, Bauman attended Emma Willard as a boarder her junior and senior years. “I had polio when I was four and had a few residual problems,” she said. “My parents sent me to a small girls’ day school in New Haven. As a teenager, I became bored and complained all the time, particularly about the less-than-attractive uniforms. There was another school nearby that had smart blazers and I thought I’d like to go there.” She was shocked to learn that
Dr. Bauman examines a patient at the LADDERS clinic in Wellesley, Massachusetts. PHOTOS BY GARY GOODMAN
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her parents—her father was a rubber chemist with Armstrong Industries and her mother a social worker—had applied to Emma Willard and that she had been accepted and received a scholarship. “I still remember driving up to those big iron gates the first time and seeing the imposing Gothic-style buildings,” she said. “It was a big adjustment, but it ended up being a very positive experience.” Bauman was accepted at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and consulted her “wonderful” science teacher at Emma Willard, Dr. Frederick Viaux. Although science was required at Smith, she intended to study art. Viaux suggested that she take a science in her freshman year to get it out of the way. “Chemistry was a nightmare!” she said. “By the end of sophomore year, I still hadn’t picked a major so I chose pre-med by default. Soon I was taking three tough science labs. I’m a big visual learner, and I really enjoyed biology.” As college graduation drew near, Bauman again found herself wondering what would come next, a question that was answered when she became one of six of Smith’s 600 graduates to be accepted to medical school in 1960. She chose another all-female school, the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Again, the scholarship student was indecisive about her area of concentration. “No way would I become a pediatrician; that’s what all lady docs were then,” she said. “Dermatology made me itch. I’m not a great listener, so cardiology was out, and ob/gyn, well, one weekend rotation with a midnight call was enough for me.” Bauman completed her internship in internal medicine at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore and met Erland Nelson, MD, the chief of neurology. “He turned my life around,” she said. “I was fascinated with neurology but the adult side was not my cup of tea. My parents were aging and adult disorders, such as stroke, with their higher incidence of death, hit too close to home. Pediatric neurology was just being developed as a medical field. Working with kids, to me, was more hopeful. I was able to impact lives in the long-term and see real progress.” She completed a pediatric residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1968 and a fellowship in neurology at the University of Maryland Hospital in 1969. She completed a fellowship in child neurology in 1971 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. While at Johns Hopkins, she met and married Roger, then a radiologist at the United States Public Health Service Hospital in Baltimore. They moved to Boston to work at Massachusetts General and in 1970 had their first child. “The Harvard system was very patriarchal
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back then,” said Bauman, who hid her pregnancy under large lab coats and took just two weeks of maternity leave. “Women doctors weren’t supposed to marry, let alone have kids. I was told that I didn’t need to earn money because my husband did, and I couldn’t really be serious about my career because I was a mother. There was little support for working parents. I realized quickly that I was on my own.” Fortunately, the Baumans arranged in-home childcare through a wonderful woman who stayed with them for 17 years and two more children. “She became another grandparent to our kids,” Bauman said. Bauman settled into a job as a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General, treating children with developmental disabilities and seizures.
A CHALLENGE PRESENTS ITSELF After about 10 years she was burned out and yearning for a new challenge, so she called her friend, Thomas L. Kemper, MD. The two had published a paper together in 1982 and have since written The Neurobiology of Autism, the second edition of which was published in 2006 by Johns Hopkins University Press. (Bauman also has authored more than 75 scientific publications.) “I asked him: ‘Can I hang out in your lab and, by the way, do you have an autism case?’” Kemper did, and the team began their first of many collaborations. They compared sections of a whole postmortem autistic brain with those obtained from an identically processed age- and sex-matched control sample. “There were obvious differences,” said Bauman. The team identified neuro-anatomical abnormalities in the limbic system, the area controlling memory, learning, emotion, and behavior. “The nerve cells were one-third smaller and packed in tighter, allowing us to conclude that the limbic system’s development was curtailed early on. There was no brain damage, just an immature system. We discovered that a group of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum were reduced 90 percent, causing a ripple effect in other parts of the brain. Whatever happened to these cells occurred before 28 weeks gestation.” These observations confirmed the biological basis for autism and vindicated parents of autistic children. For many years, psychologists had blamed autism on “refrigerator parents,” cold, unresponsive parents who failed to nurture their children adequately. “Much of the scientific community believes that whatever appears to cause autism has its onset before birth,” Bauman said. In the six decades since autism was identified, the disease has remained a mystery. There has
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been a tenfold spike in numbers over the past 20 years—one in every 166 children is now diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and 1.5 million Americans today are living with varying degrees of autism. The lifelong disorder is four times more common in boys than girls and is more prevalent than Down syndrome and childhood cancer. Autism affects individuals in the areas of social interaction and communication with a medley of symptoms, including poor eye contact, insistence on sameness, sensitivity to sound and touch, and repetitive behaviors. Bauman’s clinical experience with patients and her biological research have shown the importance of early intervention. LADDERS is currently conducting an NIH-funded research study to increase the understanding of early identification, genetics, and autism. “We are evaluating younger siblings of autistic children, ages 6 to 36 months. We’ve learned that approximately 7 to 8 percent of second children will be autistic and 25 percent of third siblings. Of 100 babies in our study, 18 percent have autism and a significant 50 percent have some kind of developmental delay,” Bauman said. “Often, such kids don’t receive treatment until after their third birthdays and kids with Asperger’s, on the higher-functioning end of autism, may be overlooked well into elementary school.”
RUNG BY RUNG LADDERS began in 1981 in the basement of Youville Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “We later expanded into new headquarters under the for-profit Braintree Hospital Rehabilitation Network but felt financially squeezed by managed care costs,” Bauman said. In 1997, the program caught the eye of Alan Ezekowitz, MD, chief of pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. “It was wonderful taking LADDERS back into a non-profit environment where philanthropic support is possible, and to combine it with an academic medical center where teaching the next generation of caregivers and researchers is an ongoing process,” Bauman said. Patient visits that stood at about 1,000 in 1997 today have swelled to 4,000 annually for medical care and therapy. Under Bauman’s leadership, LADDERS offers a multidisciplinary team approach with top experts in the fields of neurology, psychiatry, psychopharmacokinetics, gastroenterology, genetics, nursing, social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, developmental pediatrics, behavioral psychology, and neuropsychology. Children receive a thorough diagnostic evaluation followed by a treatment plan and assistance identifying resources in the community.
Friends of LADDERS is integral to the future “All physicians, therapists, and educators of the LADDERS program, Bauman said. involved in the child’s care communicate and “As a clinical practice devoted to medically learn from one another,” Bauman said. complex children, we are chronically losing “LADDERS also trains parents and teaches them money because of poor insurance to advocate for their children.” reimbursements,” she said. “A new patient visit is Though autism is a complicated disorder extremely time-intensive and we are never totally requiring a huge commitment medically, reimbursed for our services. Visits require reviews educationally, therapeutically, and socially, of voluminous patient records, lengthy clinical LADDERS has never been a big money-maker, evaluations, Q-and-A’s with parents, and time according to Katherine Murray, RN, a spent helping families find community resources. LADDERS research study nurse and parent of a We draw from the entire New England area, New 28-year-old son with autism. York, New Jersey, and elsewhere in the U.S., “Our staff is the best of the best, yet they are Canada, and abroad. We also write letters of underpaid,” Murray said. “They come to support to schools and insurance companies and LADDERS expressly to work with Dr. Bauman. Autism has received a lot of media attention lately provide ongoing follow-up care. Research dollars are limited so philanthropy is absolutely and that’s good; it’s almost sexy to say you work necessary.” in the field now. Yet, this woman has been doing it forever. Margaret Bauman just gets it.” BUILDING A DREAM Murray comes by her admiration not only as a medical colleague, but also as a parent in need. Friends of LADDERS recently kicked off an She says Bauman’s care of her son, Doug, set him $11 million capital campaign to build a worldon a path for a highly productive life. Her eyes class autism research and treatment center. brim with tears as she remembers a long ago “My long-term dream for LADDERS is a conversation with Bauman. single site where we will not only combine “She asked me, ‘What do you want for your services, but also pursue clinical research and basic son?’ My answer was simple: ‘I want him to be science research,” said Bauman. “The scientist happy and have friends. Doug spent his fifth needs to learn from the clinician and vice versa.” birthday hiding in a hall closet,’” she said. “Today LADDERS’ dual devotion—to research and he works at the Burlington Marriott Hotel and clinical treatment as well as the ability to see the has been associate of the month twice.” child first and autism second—is nowhere more Bauman and her LADDERS staff directed evident than in Bauman’s insistence that every Murray to the best schools for Doug and taught patient receive an overall health assessment. the family techniques for coping at home. Several Children with autism may have illnesses similar to years later, Doug suffered a grand mal seizure and those affecting typically developing children, but Murray returned to LADDERS. they often go untreated. These include seizures, “I became involved with Friends of sleep disturbances, and gastrointestinal disorders. LADDERS, the organization’s parent networking “We’ve got a group of nonverbal kids who and fundraising group, and eventually joined its can’t say, ‘My stomach hurts,’ or ‘My head board of directors,” Murray said. “When a research nurse position at LADDERS came up, I was thrilled to take it.” Murray coordinates the world-renowned “Current Trends in Autism” annual conference sponsored by LADDERS. Now in its 12th year, the conference presents the most up-todate, scientifically sound information in the field of autism for parents and professionals. ■ Autism is the fastest growing disability in the United States. ■ Autism is more common than Down syndrome and childhood cancer. ■ A child is diagnosed with autism every 21 minutes. ■ Autism affects one in every 166 children and appears four times more in boys than girls. ■ Autism affects at lease one million Americans and costs the country more than $90 billion annually. ■ Autism is a life-long disorder.
The Facts About Autism
hurts’,” Bauman said. Many primary care doctors are uncomfortable treating children who can’t communicate their symptoms and are prone to outbursts. True pain from a medical ailment may be misinterpreted as an autistic behavior. “We’re just saying these kids are kids, too, and they deserve good medical care,” she said. LADDERS serves as the flagship and model for the Autism Treatment Network (ATN), an alliance of hospitals, physicians, and the Cure Autism Now Foundation, dedicated to improving medical treatment for autistic patients. ATN will evaluate therapies, pool data, and create guidelines. “We can’t have parents chasing down the latest treatment,” said Peter Bell of Cure Autism Now. “We need to understand what works.” Tim Buie, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children and LADDERS, and a founding member of the ATN GI research group, believes a GI history and work-up should be part of every autistic person’s medical assessment. “Recently, I saw a young boy who hit his head rhythmically,” Bauman said. “Dr. Buie ordered an endoscopy and colonoscopy and found that the boy had colitis which, once treated, stopped the behavior. I’ve seen children with sleeping problems that resolved after an ear, nose, and throat visit, and kids with incontinence who’ve been found to have spastic bladders. One patient writhed and twisted her body because, as we learned, she had Sandifer syndrome, a condition causing esophagus ulcers. Many medical conditions are treatable, and effective diagnosis and intervention can improve an autistic child’s daytime behavior, his attention and ability to learn, and his overall quality of life.” Despite her overflowing professional plate, Bauman finds time to relax. Kay Murray smiles and says with admiration. “Dr. B leaves her house at 5 a.m. She drives to the local ice rink and figure skates before coming to work.” And, in true Bauman fashion, Murray said, the accomplished physician, scientist, and patient advocate is “really an incredibly good skater.” ■ — Patti DiBona is a freelance writer from Braintree, Massachusetts.
– SOURCE: Learning and Developmental Disabilities Evaluation and Rehabilitation Services; for LADDERS program information, visit www.ladders.org or call (781) 449-6074. W i n t e r
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The Emma Willard
Empower a girl, transform the world
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Head of School Trudy Hall, Board of Trustees Chair Mariana Stroock Leighton ’55, Alumnae Association Council President Erin Crotty ’84, and co-chairs of the campaign’s Executive Committee Diane Wynne Mercer ’61 and Nancy Alexander P’05, ’08, toast the official launch of The Emma Willard Idea. PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
A Bold Idea Imagined Anew EMMA WILLARD OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES $75 MILLION CAMPAIGN On Friday, February 23—Emma Hart Willard’s 220th birthday and the 100th anniversary of Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage’s gift to establish the Mount Ida campus— administrators, trustees, faculty, and special guests gathered in Kiggins Hall for a momentous announcement: the official launch of The Emma Willard Idea. The five-year campaign aims to raise $75 million to support four priorities: ■ Endowment for Scholarships ($20 million): To attract an even greater and more diverse range of motivated and talented students. ■ Endowment for Faculty Excellence ($20 million): To assure that there is no better academic community in which our faculty can do their impressive work. ■ Endowment for Unrestricted Purposes ($25 million): To permit Emma Willard the flexibility it will need to move forward with an exceptional array of programs and a campus fit for the 21st century. ■ Support of Annual Fund Giving ($10 million): To strengthen giving by expanding the number and size of gifts made to the Annual Fund.
The campaign’s theme, “Empower a Girl, Transform the World,” articulates its overarching objective, to continue meeting the school’s mission of providing students with unparalleled opportunities to prepare to serve and shape their world. Commitments to the campaign, due to conclude in 2009, already total more than $46 million. “From now through 2009, we are bringing the most ambitious campaign in our history to our alumnae, parents, and friends,” Head of School Trudy Hall said about the campaign. “Our goal is to increase Emma Willard’s endowment and current funding so that we can pursue every possible avenue for educating girls powerfully for the world they will inherit.” For more information about The Emma Willard Idea, please visit our Web site at www.emmawillard.org/ giving/campaign/index.php or contact Larry Lichtenstein, director of advancement, at (518) 833-1779, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Be sure to follow the campaign’s progress in future issues of EMMA. ■
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Diane Wynne Mercer ’61 Executive Committee Co-chair “Emma Hart Willard firmly believed that women should not only be educated but also be, and I quote, “of the greatest possible use to themselves and others.” From the start, she instilled in her students the importance of taking action, inspiring generations of Emma Willard graduates to spread Madame Willard’s vision to serve and shape their world throughout the United States.” Diane Wynne Mercer ’61 PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
Mariana Stroock Leighton ’55 Chair of the Board of Trustees
Mariana Stroock Leighton ’55 and Director of Advancement Larry Lichtenstein enjoy dinner at the launch of The Emma Willard Idea. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
Mariana Stroock Leighton ’55 PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
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“February 23, is Emma Hart Willard’s birthday, her 220th, to be exact. This is a noteworthy day, not only for us, but also in the history of education. As if our founder’s birthday were not cause enough for celebration, today is also a remarkable anniversary. Precisely 100 years ago—on February 23, 1907—Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, Class of 1847, presented the trustees of Emma Willard School with the $1 million necessary to build our Mount Ida campus. How much more significance can one date have?”
Nancy Alexander P’05, ’08 Executive Committee Co-chair “Women’s philanthropy is now coming into its own with role models like Madame Willard, Margaret Olivia Slocum Sage, and the women who have followed in their footsteps. With financial means and autonomy, women are discovering the power of philanthropy to effect change … finding themselves willing to be more than charitable, to be change-making activists, to help the world become as it should be for all.” Nancy Alexander P’05, ’08 PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
Wendy Pestel Lehmann ’64, vice chair of the Board of Trustees, Debra Spiro-Allen, director of vocal music, and Charlie Johnson share a laugh. PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
Faculty Emeritus Russell Locke lights the candles on the cake to celebrate Emma Hart Willard’s 220th birthday. PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
Trudy Hall Head of School “In every instance when the bold idea is imagined anew in stunning and visionary ways, it has happened because we got it right: we partnered the genius of gifted educators with the generosity of visionary philanthropists to make a vision real. One of the reasons why it feels so right to launch our campaign for the third century tonight, with faculty and staff and trustees, is that in this moment— our third founding if you will—we are doing just that again. It is time to make public our commitment to the bold idea as we understand it today. Join me in declaring that if you empower a girl, you will—we will—transform the world. Emma certainly believed that and we, like those who celebrated 100 years ago tonight, are called to carry forward the genius of our founder with this declaration.” Head of School Trudy Hall PHOTO BY STEVEN RICCI
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PHOTOS BY MARK VAN WORMER AND STEVEN RICCI
The Class of 2007 staged a magnificent rendition of Revels in December, featuring time-honored favorites as well as some wanderingThe Viking from the were Nordicnot north and a ll thatnew is characters, certain is,including indeed,asurprise. great folk jester with masterful trapeze skills.
disappointed this year as the Class of 2007 staged a spectacular performance for thewine 91st annual celebration Revels. Unique visitorsDailey to Opposite page: (top, l. to r.) house steward Dana Deaton andof bearer of the plum pudding Turner; (middle, to r.) candle pagethis SunJoo monks Kelsey Saulnier, jester Jasmine andand Maria the l.Manor House yearPark, included an acrobatic onWallas, trapeze DiSanto-Rose, jester Laura Hendrickson; (bottom, l. to r.) servants Angela Lockwood-Westfall, Nordic traveler who journeyed all the Alexis way from Iceland. Dailey Turner, Miro Cassetta, Kathryn Dennett, Steinberg, and Dana Deaton as Tom. This page: (top left) acrobatic jester Elizabeth Woodham; (above right, l. to r.) bell ringers Philicia Tan, Alice Huang, Jessica Tseng, Natawan Sittipolkul, and Victoria Wong; (below left,by l. Mark to r.) dancers in Sabra's Court, Photos Van Wormer and Steven RicciNastajjia Krementz, Claire Feinberg, Erisu Jo, and Kristina Maldonado; devil Haley Campbell.
This page: (above) Lord of the Manor Naffie Sawaneh and Lady of the Manor Victoria Lee lead their court and guests from the Great Hall; (middle, l. to r.) jester Brennan Miller, devil Martha O'Neill, Viking Valgerdur Thoroddsdottir, St. George Vanessa Coletto; (below, left) lord Lauren Vegter and lady Lee Valigorsky; (below, right) marshal Jasmine Wallas.
Opposite page: (top) the marshals ready for the Sword Dance; (below, l. to r.) herald Kateryna Kozyryts'ka, lady Aisha Simmons, and chamberlain Hannah Morris.
From the AAC “Those of us who learned the fundamentals of computers at Emma Willard were well equipped and not intimidated by new technology; we were prepared in the best ways at that moment in time.”
Emma on the Edge By Erin Crotty ’84 In this issue’s “The View from Mount Ida,” Trudy Hall conveys the ways in which today’s Emma Willard takes a stand to bring order to a somewhat chaotic educational system and to present a program that meets the educational needs of students in today’s world. What Emma Willard would see were she here today is surely impressive. What strikes me is not only how Emma Willard is successfully rethinking its program to keep pace with cultural, technological, and global advances, but how Emma Willard has always met the needs of the times. In my era, the early 1980s, I remember Mr. Nelson teaching what had to have been the first computer class in the history of Emma Willard. Wending our way through the rabbit warren of the library basement, we would sit in windowless rooms staring at Radio Shack Tandy computers while keying in the most elementary commands of the BASIC language. What a novelty it was to make a phrase repeat over and over, and spit out on a tiny dot-matrix wheel on silver computer tape. It seems laughable now in the age of iPods,
Blackberries, Powerbooks, Vista, and all of the technological advances and innovations that have taken place in the past 25 years, but at the time it was cutting edge. We were the first Emma generation to learn about personal computers. Some of us were sent off to college with Epson’s newest offerings and floppy drives. (Do you remember having two floppy disks, one that held your program and the other to save your data?) We bridged the gap between the IBM Selectric typewriter and the PC. Those of us who learned the fundamentals of computers at Emma Willard were well equipped and not intimidated by new technology; we were prepared in the best ways at that moment in time. Today’s students revel in opportunities to try new things. Emma Willard boasts a strong Practicum program exposing its students to life beyond “ye grey walls” in veterinary offices, nonprofits, research labs, and many other venues. In my time, it was called independent study and was begun in the 1970s when Emma Willard added a new dimension to its curriculum. The correlated curriculum, as wonderful as it was,
gave way to a much looser set of requirements. However, we quickly realized that freedom of choice meant both exploration and responsibility. I’ve spent my professional career synthesizing ostensibly disparate scientific, technological, and social information into a format that demonstrates linkages and uncovers systems that then allows for appropriate decision-making by government and corporate leaders. What has always struck me as one of the most valuable attributes of an Emma education is the seemingly innate ability of its graduates to feel comfortable and succeed in the face of this type of complexity. I think it is because of Emma’s openness to ebb, flow, weave, bob, and bend to meet the needs of its students, challenge them, and adequately prepare them for the world beyond. My experience with “What would Emma do?” is a snapshot in time. What was yours? How do you remember Emma Willard as a pioneer? She always has been and always will be, and I’d be interested to hear your story. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the final strains of winter as we prepare to welcome spring. ■
—Erin Crotty ’84 is president of the Alumnae Association Council.
Stephanie Gertz ’86 works in the Slocum Hall computer lab circa 1985, in a photo that appeared in the winter 1986 bulletin. The photo’s caption boasted that, thanks to the new lab, “there is one computer for every four students at Emma Willard.” EMMA WILLARD ARCHIVAL PHOTO
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CONNECTIONS Washington, DC
(l. to r.): Emma Cheuse ’94, Marcia Easterling, and Suzanne Grinnan ’83
(l. to r.): Young alumnae Tess Marstaller ’05, Jamila Best ’06, and Fae Jencks ’06 catch up at the Mount Ida Evening event with the Easterlings.
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OCTOBER 8, 2006 Parents and alumnae joined Trudy Hanmer for brunch at the Middlebury Inn to learn about Emma Hart Willard’s years in Middlebury, VT.
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(l. to r.): Helen Pettit ’61, Jane Dorgeloh Muranyi ’61, Ruth Oppenheim Legon ’53, and Newell Chair of the Humanities Jack Easterling enjoyed good music and good conversation at the Festival Chamber Music concert at Merkin Hall.
(l. to r.): Ruth Partridge ’35, Laurie Stavrand P’02, Associate Head Trudy Hanmer, Jean McGowan Marshall ’37, Ruth Harvie ’45, P’68, GP’10, and Mags Caney Conant ’67
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SEOUL, KOREA A colorful changing of the guards ceremony at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, Korea
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Linda Passaretti â€™84 and Associate Head of School Trudy Hanmer enjoyed a tour of Gyeongbokgung Palace hosted by several of our wonderful Korean parents.
The Star Ferry is a common sight in Victoria Bay, Hong Kong.
Current parents Joe Cheong and Annie Tam (Samantha ’08) enjoyed meeting alumna Cecelia Tse Ying ’54 and visiting with Trudy Hanmer and Linda Passaretti at the Hong Kong Club, November 4.
Hiroko Tetsuko Minato ’73, Linda Passaretti ’84, and Katsuki Izawa Tanaka ’83 catch up at the Emma Willard alumnae and parent reception in Tokyo, November 9.
Our Korean fathers beam with Emma pride
Stephani Cho ’99, Jenny Ahn ’02, and Seung Eun Lee ’02 toast Emma Willard at the Seoul alumnae and parent reception at the COEX Intercontinental Hotel, November 1.
Emma Willard alumnae, parents, and friends gathered at the Renaissance Ginza Tobu, Tokyo, for an update on life at EW from Associate Head of School Trudy Hanmer November 9.
TAIPEI, TAIWAN Alumnae, parents, and friends enjoyed a reception and remarks by Trudy Hanmer, associate head of school, at the Grand Formosa Regent in Taipei, November 7. Gargoyles guard a temple in Taipei.
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By Nancy Iannucci Although the years have faded the memory of Justine Olive Johnstone, Class of 1914, a recent acquisition by the school has reopened the curtain on the life of this extraordinary alumna. Through a recent eBay purchase, the archives obtained a scrapbook that once belonged to Priscilla Chahoon, Class of 1918. Although Chahoon’s scrapbook provides an astonishing journal of the events that occurred between 1913 and 1918, a substantial portion is filled with news clippings about Johnstone’s career as a star of Broadway and silent films. Like Chahoon, Johnstone’s fellow students were dazzled by the girl they nicknamed “Ju-Jo.” According to her 1914 Gargoyle: “Her air had a meaning, her movements a grace,” and she was
silent film industry, appearing in numerous films from 1920 to 1925. The couple moved to London in 1921, where Johnstone appeared in several films and stage productions. She was also an accomplished writer, penning a column on beauty tips for London’s Daily Sketch in 1923. Returning to New York in 1926, she appeared on stage again that year in a production of “Hush Money”—and at that point the entertainment career of Justine Johnstone ended abruptly. An article in American Weekly magazine (June 30, 1946) offers some insight into her decision to retire from show business. Titled “The Girls Who Glorified Ziegfeld,” it states, “after her success in the Follies, where she was noted for her aloofness and her almost arrogant manners, Justine went to
but she always gave me the feeling that she didn’t care much. She seemed to be thinking about something else most of the time.” What she may have been thinking about was a desire to shed her ingénue image for a more substantial career. When Walter Wanger became ill in 1927, Justine formed a friendship with his doctor, Samuel Hirshfeld. At his urging she enrolled in some science courses at Columbia University, where her work so impressed the head of the science department, Dr. Thomas Hyman, that he and Hirshfeld hired Johnstone as an assistant. The triad’s numerous research experiments led to an innovative cure for syphilis that was hailed by the New York Academy of Medicine as “one of the greatest steps” in the history of treating the disease. The team also revolutionized the modern intravenous drip, revealing the dangers of “speed shock,” which occurred when intravenous drugs were introduced into the bloodstream too rapidly. Johnstone continued her research and studies at Columbia, breaking new ground in treatments for the victims of electric shock, and the use of cryogenic therapy to destroy cancer cells. The Wangers returned to Hollywood in 1933 and were divorced in 1938. According to the American Weekly article, she was working as an assistant in a Los Angeles laboratory and studying to be a research chemist when she met and married a young doctor and “vanished from the Hollywood scene.” A 1941 article about Johnstone in Independent Woman magazine stated that: “Today, at 46, she is whitehaired, serene, and happy.” Few other details about Johnstone’s life are known. A single communication from a bulletin reporter indicates that she had two sons, Justin and Oliver Wanger. This remarkable Emma woman, who went from the footlights of Broadway to the annals of medical history, died in Southern California in 1982, seemingly as unsung in her later years as she was celebrated in her early years. ■
From Entertainer to Innovator active not only in the Dramatic Club and Senior Play, but also as an “Athletic Editor of Gargoyle, member of the Basketball team, Glee Club, Operetta, and Choir.” Johnstone’s charms attracted attention beyond Mount Ida, and she apparently began modeling while she was still an Emma Willard student, a fact that did little to charm her principal. In a May 28, 1913, letter to a Mr. Ralph Ranlet, Miss Eliza Kellas wrote: “We have been grieved and annoyed by the numerous pictures of Justine appearing in all sorts of papers and magazines, advertising articles of every description. I have closed my eyes and ears to everything in my effort to help Justine.” Despite Miss Kellas’s displeasure, Johnstone graduated and soon gained renown as a chorus girl in Ziegfeld’s Follies in 1915 and 1916. She also appeared in several Broadway musicals from 1914 to 1918. A review of “Over the Top” in the New York World said, “There is scarcely a scene…that Justine Johnstone’s 1914 Gargoyle photo she does not monopolize.” A 1918 news EMMA WILLARD ARCHIVAL PHOTO bulletin about one of her performances raved, “Never in Broadway’s history has a beautiful girl caused such a furore [sic] or held the throne so Hollywood, to brief movie stardom and to long.” Another article cites a 1916 beauty contest marriage with Walter Wanger… When he and in which Johnstone won $5,000 and defeated Justine were first married, they were seen 20,000 other contestants. occasionally at Hollywood parties. As a hostess, In 1919 Johnstone married noted film lovely Justine Johnstone Wanger was gracious and producer Walter Wanger and diversified her charming; as a guest she was much sought after, acting career by branching into the burgeoning
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Editor’s note: Information for this column was gathered from archival publications and Internet research. If you have any information about Justine Johnstone, please contact archivist Nancy Iannucci at email@example.com.
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Eventide Alumnae Chapel December 8, 2006 PHOTO BY MARK VAN WORMER
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