N e w fac u lt y
The MBA Progr am marks 10 years
The senior gift
Mills Quarterly Fall 2012
Girls on three continents gain access to education through the efforts of Mills alumnae
John Bischoff, MFA ’73
Photo by Joe Johnston
Composer and pioneer of live computer music Associate professor, Mills College Music Department Donor to the Mills College Annual Fund
“Your giving to Mills means a great deal to the College, even if your gift is modest. I do whatever I can to support Mills because my experience here has been so important to my musical education and artistic development.” — John Alumnae/i contributions to the Mills College Annual Fund send the message that we value the education Mills provides. When thousands of alumnae/i give, no matter the size of each gift, we amplify this message, which influences prospective students and donors. And we provide essential support for Mills’ academic programs, faculty salaries, and financial aid.
Make your gift today and show your Mills education is important to you. Give to the Mills College Annual Fund by calling 510.430.2366, picking up the phone when a student calls you, visiting www.mills.edu/giving, or returning the enclosed envelope.
contents Fall 2012 8 Pay it forward by Caitlin Graveson The graduating Class of 2012 demonstrated their philanthropy with a well-orchestrated gift campaign that raised more than $8,000 and achieved a 42 percent participation rate. Plus: Bent Twigs
12 Teach a girl, change the world by Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10 Success in school can make all the difference in a girl’s life, but overwhelming cultural, physical, and financial barriers keep many girls from gaining that advantage. We profile four alumnae who have had remarkable results improving access to education for young women from disadvantaged communities in Kenya, China, and northern California.
17 Risk and reward by Allison Marin ’12 A decade ago, the Mills MBA Program—and its first entering cohort of 12 students—forged new pathways in business education for women. We caught up with several of those first graduates to see where their paths have led.
32 What the body craves by Tarrin Griggs ’12 Excerpts from the winning submission that earned the 2012 Mary Merritt Henry Prize for outstanding poetry by an undergraduate student.
On the cover: As summer turns to fall, students everywhere are heading back to school. This issue of the Quarterly looks at the benefit that education brings to young women who are most in need; at the opportunities Mills offers to women pursuing advanced degrees; and at the joy of those who completed their degrees at Mills last May. Illus tr ation by MG & Co/IS tock .com
Join us in celebrating the new academic year at Convocation on September 28—and enjoy all that Reunion has to offer September 27–30. See alumnae.mills.edu/reunion for details.
Ask Alecia Volume XCXI Number 1 (USPS 349-900) Fall 2012 President Alecia A. DeCoudreaux Vice President for Institutional Advancement Cynthia Brandt Stover Senior Director of Communications Dawn Cunningham ’85 Managing Editor Linda Schmidt Design and Art Direction Nancy Siller Wilson Contributing Writers Caitlin Graveson Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10 Andrew Faught Editorial Assistance Allison Marin ’12
Q: Dean Deborah Merrill-Sands is
Q: Will you please reinstate the theater
dedicated to sustaining a quality
MBA Program at Mills’ Lokey Graduate
—Shelley Fernandez ’55
School of Business. Are you providing the strongest support possible for the
A: Yours is a question I’ve heard from a
Mills MBA and will you continue this
number of alumnae in the past year! The
support for the foreseeable future?
Dramatic Arts Department, which was
—Alisa Rodriguez ’11
closed in 2004 because of the budget deficit the College faced at that time, clearly
A: I am very proud of all that Dean
holds a very special place in the hearts of
Deborah Merrill-Sands has accomplished
generations of Mills graduates.
in the past two years to build on the
Many in the Mills campus community,
strengths of our Lorry I. Lokey Graduate
myself included, share your belief in the
The Mills Quarterly (USPS 349-900) is published quarterly by Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California, and at additional mailing office(s). Postmaster: Send address changes to the Office of Institutional Advancement, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613.
School of Business. I’m also proud of the
importance of theater for the liberal arts
achievements of our MBA students, who
curriculum. Because an understanding
have been winning scholarships, grants,
of theater is essential in dance perfor-
and accolades from a number of national
mance, our acclaimed Dance Department
has begun offering an acting fundamen-
Copyright © 2012, Mills College Address correspondence to the Mills Quarterly, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613. Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity or length. Email: email@example.com Phone: 510.430.3312 Printed on recycled paper containing 10 percent post-consumer waste.
One significant way that Mills is
tals class taught by the casting direc-
investing for the long term in the Lokey
tor of Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Amy
Graduate School of Business is by add-
Potozkin. The class is open to Mills stu-
ing faculty. Previously, all MBA faculty
dents of any major. In addition, the Dance
were either based in our outstanding
Department teaches courses in costume
Economics Department or were visiting
design and dance theater.
professors and lecturers. This spring, we
Although we are reintroducing drama
hired the first-ever tenure-track professor
through the dance curriculum, the College
specifically for the Business School, and
is not currently in the financial position to
she will start teaching this fall (see page 4).
invest in rebuilding a drama department.
A very different way the College sup-
Among other challenges, Mills lacks a
ports the Business School is by celebrat-
theater facility that could support a well-
ing its 10th anniversary at Reunion 2012
rounded, state-of-the-art theater program.
on September 29. We invite all MBA stu-
Lisser Hall, which opened in 1901, is full
dents and alumnae—and anyone curious
of character and history—but badly needs
about the program—to come and join us.
renovation. This is a situation in which a very generous donor could make a big difference for the College!
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
Each month, President Alecia DeCoudreaux answers questions submitted by alumnae and friends through the Mills College Alumnae Community website. A selection of these questions and answers is reprinted here.
Q: Did you know when you became
dents matriculated in fall 2011. And with
istrative positions. Another strategy is
president that the College had sig-
fewer students, Mills also received less
to boost enrollment. We are dedicating
nificant financial problems? What is
tuition and room and board revenue. The
as much of our budget as possible to
your analysis of the cause(s) of these?
decline in student revenues contributed
scholarships, and we have just hired a
$3.5 million to the budget shortfall in the
vice president of enrollment manage-
2011–12 fiscal year.
ment who will help to reinvigorate our
—Margaret Goldsmith Fawcett ’63
recruitment efforts and develop a strate-
A: I became aware that Mills College
The College is pursuing several strat-
faced some financial strain when I was a
egies for reducing the deficit, increasing
candidate for the position of president in
enrollment, and becoming more sustain-
A third strategy is to engage as many
the fall of 2010. The Presidential Search
able in the long run. One strategy is to
alumnae and friends as possible in sup-
Committee shared budget reports with
reduce our expenses wherever possible
porting the College financially and restor-
me and briefed me on fiscal concerns,
without compromising academic excel-
ing it to financial health. I am thankful
such as the effect of the recession on
lence or the financial support we offer
for the many donors who have given to
the Mills endowment and the College’s
students. We have achieved this through
Mills in the past year. As of June 30, these
high tuition discount rate (the amount of
temporary salary reductions and fur-
donors provided a total of $11.9 million, 8
financial aid Mills awards to students in
loughs and by eliminating a few admin-
percent more than last year!
gic enrollment plan (see page 6).
relation to tuition revenue). When I arrived at Mills and began working with my cabinet to analyze the budget in detail, I realized how complex and interrelated these financial problems are. Like other colleges, Mills saw the value of its endowment decline in 2008, and it has not yet fully rebounded. In June 2007, the endowment was worth $233 million; when I began as president here more than one year ago, it was worth $183.4 million. This decline in endowment value had a domino effect. It led to a significant decrease in the amount of income we receive from the endowment—income that used to cover as much as 20 percent of the College’s operating budget. Less endowment income meant that Mills had less scholarship funding to offer prospective students. Fewer and smaller scholarship offers meant that fewer stu-
At Mills, for Alumnae Alumnae Relations alumnae.mills.edu 510.430.2123, firstname.lastname@example.org Alumnae Admission Representatives Vala Burnett, Assistant Director of Admissions 510.430.2269, email@example.com Career Services 510.430.2130, firstname.lastname@example.org Giving to Mills www.mills.edu/giving 510.430.2366, email@example.com Library Services 510.430.2377, firstname.lastname@example.org
M Center/Transcripts 510.430.2000, email@example.com Pool and Gym Trefethen Aquatic Center 510.430.2170, firstname.lastname@example.org Haas Pavilion Fitness Center 510.430.3376, email@example.com Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC) aamc.mills.edu Linda Jaquez-Fissori ’92, President 510.430.2110, firstname.lastname@example.org AAMC, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., MB #86, Oakland, CA 94613-1301
For more information on these and other alumnae services at Mills, visit alumnae.mills.edu. Some benefits, such as access to the pool and fitness center, require you to show your AAMC membership card, available from Alumnae Relations and the AAMC. fa l l 2 0 1 2
Mills Matters Fresh faculty bring scholarly skills and teaching talent Mills continues to invest in academic excellence and quality teaching with the addition this fall of the following new faculty members: Audrey Calefas-Strebelle, assistant
Meryl Faith Bailey
Jennifer E. Smith
professor of French and francophone studies, received her BA in history and
Harvard Law School, and her MA and PhD
postdoctoral work at the Center for
art history as well as her MA in French
in art history at UC Berkeley.
Society and Genetics in the Department
Amy Franceschini will join the faculty
and American history at Sorbonne
of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at
University in Paris. She studied Turkish
as assistant professor of studio art,
the University of California, Los Angeles,
at Bogazici University in Istanbul and
with a focus in new genres, in spring
where she received an Innovative
completed her PhD in French at Stanford
2013. With a BFA in photography from
Courses in Undergraduate Education
University in June. She has previ-
San Francisco State University and an
grant award. Smith earned her doctor-
ous teaching experience at Stanford
MFA from Stanford, her works focus on
ate in 2010 at Michigan State University,
University and Notre Dame de Namur.
themes of sustainability and community
where she studied social ecology of
and perceived conflicts between humans
spotted hyenas. Her research focuses on
professor in fall 2011, returns as assistant
and nature. She has taught at Stanford,
the interface of behavior, physiology,
professor of art history with specializa-
California College of the Arts, San
ecology, and evolutionary biology.
tion in late Italian Renaissance art and
Francisco Art Institute, and UC Berkeley.
Meryl Faith Bailey, a visiting assistant
Assistant Professor of Biology Jennifer
architecture in Venice. She received her BA in anthropology at Harvard, her JD at
E. Smith comes to Mills following
September 27–September 30 Convocation on September 28
Join your classmates for a weekend of friendship and fun. See alumnae.mills.edu/reunion, or contact email@example.com or 510.430.2123.
Celebrating alumnae from class years ending in 2 or 7, including the Golden Girls of 1962
In Celebration of Julia Morgan
The Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business welcomes its first tenuretrack faculty hire: Assistant Professor of Business Carol Theokary earned her doctorate of business administration in 2010 from the School of Management at Boston University, where she specialized in operations and technology management with a minor in economics. She earned her MS in computer and communications engineering in Lebanon and worked for several years as an engineer in the telecommunications industry. Theokary has been a visiting assistant professor in the Mills MBA Program, teaching operations management and quantitative methods and supervising students in their management practicums. Former Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance Ann Murphy has been promoted to assistant professor, a tenure track
As part of a statewide festival honoring Julia Morgan, Reunion 2012 includes an exhibition of the architect’s drawings and photographs of the buildings she designed for the campus.
position, as has Jay Gupta, assistant
Come enjoy an opening reception on Friday and tours led by Campus Architect Karen Fiene of the five Morgan–designed Mills buildings on Friday and Saturday.
Look for more news on this appointment
professor of philosophy. As we went to press, Chiu-Hung Chen was confirmed as the Peng Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Literature. in the next issue.
Calendar Generous gifts strengthen College Mills College gratefully acknowledges the following gifts and grants of $50,000 and more received between March 1 and June 15, 2012. Trustee Mei Kwong ’70 and her husband, Laurence Franklin, made a generous gift through the Morris S. Smith Foundation that will support the Mills College Annual Fund, strengthen career services provided to students and alumnae of the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, increase the visibility of the Business School, and enhance activities to engage MBA alumnae. Alba Witkin and her family have been longtime donors and advocates for early childhood education and teacher training at Mills. Their most recent contribution, through the Bernard E. and Alba Witkin Charitable Foundation, will fund assistantships for graduate students in the Children’s School’s Preschool and Infant Care Program and scholarships for the Children’s School. Trustee Barbara Ahmajan Wolfe ’65 directed a gift from the Barbara A. and
Mills Music Now September 15 Bill Evans: Banjo in America September 28 Music by Darius Milhaud: Mills alumnae/i perform during Reunion October 5–6 John Cage and Pauline Oliveros birthday celebration (see back cover)
All events start at 7:30 pm in the Ensemble Room. Admission is free. For information, see musicnow.mills.edu or contact John Bischoff at 510.430.2331 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contemporary Writers Series September 1 Rubén Martínez
(7:00 pm, Student Union, co-sponsored with Latina/o Heritage Month) October 16 Rikki Ducornet
October 13 Thingamajigs: Music and art created with made and found materials
October 30 James Thomas Stevens
October 26 Jean-Philippe Colard: Dewing Piano Recital
November 13 Erin Moure
November 16 Laurie Anderson, Jean Macduff Vaux composer-in-residence All events start at 8:00 pm in the Littlefield Concert Hall. $15 general, $10 senior and non-Mills students, free to alumnae with AAMC card. See musicnow.mills.edu or contact Steed Cowart at 510.430.2334 or email@example.com.
November 6 Nina LaCour, MFA ’06 All events are at 5:30 pm, Mills Hall Living Room (unless otherwise noted), free. For information, contact Stephanie Young at 510.430.3130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mills College Art Museum Dance Rehearsal: Karen Kilimnik’s World of Ballet and Theater September 12–December 9, 2012
Songlines Series September 24 Magda Maya and Tony
Hung Liu January 23–March 17, 2013
Buck: Improvisational piano and percussion interplay
For information, see mcam.mills.edu or contact 510.430.2164 or email@example.com. The museum is open 11:00 am–4:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday, 11:00 am–7:30 pm Wednesday, and is closed Monday. Admission is free.
October 8 Keith Kirchoff and Eric Glick Rieman: Prepared acoustic piano and prepared Rhodes electric piano October 22 Bryan Eubanks and Cat Lamb: Solos and collaborative pieces using electro-acoustic sources and generative techniques
Thomas F. Wolfe Foundation to support efforts to increase student enrollment at Mills. The Hellman Foundation made a grant to support the Hellman Summer Science and Math Fellows Program. Ann Sulzberger Wolff ’42 made a leadership gift to the Mills College Annual Fund. The College received three distributions of bequests: from Kathleen Nordman Smith ’57 of San Mateo, California, to support the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business; from the estate of Betty Jean Brosinske Erickson ’47 of Eugene, Oregon, to support undergraduate student scholarships; and from Priscilla-Joy “PJ” Everts ’40 of Alhambra, California, to endow Priscilla-Joy Everts and Joy McCauley Everts Memorial Scholarship. Joy McCauley was PJ’s mother.
Jay DeFeo: A Retrospective Jay DeFeo (1929–89), an associate professor of art at Mills College in the 1980s, is recognized as a unique and influential figure in 20th-century American art. She inspired a generation of students and endowed the Jay DeFeo Annual Prize to support and encourage the artmaking of MFA students graduating from Mills. A major retrospective of DeFeo’s work will be presented in San Francisco and New York. The exhibition encompasses the extraordinarily wide range of media in DeFeo’s art—including three major works on loan from the Mills College Art Museum’s permanent collection—and reveals the incredible scope and depth of her artistic vision, ideas, and influences. The exhibition catalogue, by Curator Dana Miller of the Whitney Museum, is the first comprehensive monograph on DeFeo.
Untitled (Florence), 1952, © 2012 The Jay DeFeo Trust/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
• November 3, 2012–February 3, 2013, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art • February 28–June 2, 2013, at the Whitney Museum, New York • November 5, 7:30 pm, Lisser Theatre on the Mills College campus Greil Marcus delivers “Jay DeFeo and All That Jazz,” the 2012 Jane Green Endowed Lecture in Art History and Criticism fa l l 2 0 1 2
Mills cards now available The 5.5 x 4” folded notecard (below) displays a eucalyptus branch across the front and is blank inside.
New VP unifies oversight of admissions offices Brian O’Rourke has been named vice president of enrollment
A 4 x 6” correspondence card featuring a small eucalyptus leaf is also available.
management at Mills College, a new position that will be
Each comes in packets of six, with envelopes, for $10, plus $2.50 shipping and handling for up to five packets. Proceeds benefit Orange County Mills College Alumnae chapter activities, including an annual scholarship for a Mills student.
well as student retention. The position will also oversee finan-
To order: Mail your check, payable to Orange County Mills College Alumnae, along with a note indicating the quantity of each style, to Jana McDonough, 29262 Country Hills Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. For more information, please contact Jana at OCMCA@gmail.com or 949.347.8744.
responsible for both undergraduate and graduate admission as cial aid and student accounts. O’Rourke comes to Mills after 10 years as dean of admission and recruitment at Holy Names University (HNU), where he was responsible for reversing a decade-long enrollment decline and growing their student body to the largest in the university’s history. He counts his early-admit program guaranteeing admission at HNU for local college-bound students as one of his most gratifying accomplishments. He previously was director of undergraduate admission at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California, where he also increased student enrollment to record levels. O’Rourke began his admission career at his alma mater, the University of Southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and business administration. He was selected from a slate of candidates from across the nation by a search committee including representatives from Mills faculty, staff, and students. He took office on August 13.
College and alumnae leadership looks to the future The Mills College Board of Trustees has appointed three new members to help guide and support the College in its mission of advancing women’s education. Lyn Flanigan ’65, who previously served as alumna trustee from 2008 to 2011. A resident of Honolulu, Hawaii, she earned her JD at the University of Hawaii and has been executive director of the Hawaii State Bar Association. Her previous years of service to the College give her a strong sense of the campus’ strengths and challenges. Liz Parker ’85, of Chicago, Illinois. She was ASMC president while at Mills and completed her MA in international relations at the University of Chicago. Parker brings extensive volunteer experience gained through leadership roles with the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Service Club of Chicago, and other organizations. Marjan Soleimanieh ’11 is the recent graduate trustee. During her time as an economics major at Mills, Soleimanieh served on the Mills College Presidential Search Committee and was a member of the Retention Task Force. Since graduation, she has coordinated events for recent graduates as a committee chair with the Palo Alto Area Mills College Club and works as a financial analyst with Siemens Medical Solutions. The Alumnae Association of Mills College (AAMC) also welcomed new—and returning—members of its Board of Governors. Julia Almanzan ’92 has been elected to a second term as alumna trustee on the AAMC board and the Mills College board, and will serve in that role until June 30, 2015. In addition, five new AAMC board members are Rebecca Freeman ’13, student governor; Lesli MacNeil ’75; LaKimbre Brown, EdD ’10; Bianca D’Allesandro, EdD ’12; and Merritt Richmond, MA ’12. These alumnae began their terms on July 1. 6
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
Clockwise from top left: Lyn Flanigan, Marjan Soleimanieh, Merritt Richmond, Lesli MacNeil, and Bianca D’Allesandro
Campus kudos A selection of recent achievements by faculty, staff, and students
Kay Gilliland ’50, a teacher supervisor in the School of Education, received the Walter Denham Memorial Award for Advocacy for Mathematics Education from the California Mathematics Council. The award recognizes lifetime
achievement by an individual who has demonstrated “advocacy for leadership, curriculum, assessment, and quality
Greg Tanaka, visiting professor of
mathematics education, as well as a
education, facilitated two workshops at
Symphony Orchestra’s concert of
broad knowledge and deep beliefs about
the National Conference on Race and
“Tchaikovsky, Elgar, and Shakespeare,”
the myriad issues related to mathematics
Ethnicity in late May in New York City:
which was broadcast to nearly one
“How to End Racism in America” (pre-
program commentary for the Chicago
The Jeannik Méquet Littlefield
sented with Mills doctoral student Nolan
Concert Hall was recognized with a
Jones) and “The Economic Crisis and Its
of education, has been selected to
Historic Preservation Award from the
Impact on Higher Education.”
receive an American Association of
Priya Shimpi, assistant professor
San Francisco chapter of the American
Audio Combine, a solo CD by
Institute of Architects for outstanding
Associate Professor of Music John
restoration work that has preserved part
Bischoff, was released in February on
of the San Francisco Bay Area’s cultural
New World Records. His new solo piece,
American Studies Carlota Caulfield
University Women Fellowship for the 2012–13 academic year. Professor of Spanish and Spanish
“Field Transfer,” was featured in the
was a guest poet at the Taller de
Professor of Education Joseph Kahne,
2011 edition of The Experimental Music
Creación Poética de Bonsuccés in
with researchers from Mills College and
Barcelona in March. Her translation
the University of Chicago, released a
of Antonio Beneyto’s “Carta desde
new study entitled “Participatory Politics:
Mitch Allen, visiting professor
el Gótico. Para Patti Smith” (“Letter
New Media and Youth Political Action”
of anthropology, was added to the
from the Gothic. To Patti Smith”) was
in June, which found that young people
Professional Advisory Board of Digital
published in the Spanish magazine El
are engaged in online participatory
Antiquity, a Mellon Foundation–funded
perro blanco and she has been reap-
political acts across racial, ethnic, and
initiative to create a permanent reposi-
pointed to the advisory board of the
socioeconomic lines: 43 percent of white,
tory for archaeological research data.
41 percent of black, 38 percent of Latino,
He presented a paper on archaeologists’
and 36 percent of Asian American youth
experiments with creative nonfiction
presented a paper, “The Reinvention
have engaged in at least one such act
writing at the International Congress on
of a Tourist Town: Politics, Medicine,
during the prior 12 months. President
Qualitative Inquiry at the University of
Society, and Tourism in Vichy,” at the
DeCoudreaux wrote a blog entry for the
Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, in May.
University of California, Berkeley,
Huffington Post discussing the results and implications of this research. Marc Joseph, associate professor of
In Napa, California, di Rosa’s Gatehouse
Professor of History Bert Gordon
in April. His article on Vichy was
Gallery featured a display of new
published in the April 2012 issue of
works by Professor of Studio Art Hung
Journal of Tourism History.
philosophy, presented a paper at the fall
Liu through June 10. Her work was
2011 Northwest Philosophy Conference
also included in the Gold show at the
several photographs by Professor of
on the relation between Wittgenstein’s
Belvedere Museum, Vienna, through June.
Studio Art Catherine Wagner for its
early treatment of meaning in the
The Yale Art Museum has acquired
Nalini Ghuman, associate profes-
permanent collection. Within the past
Tractatus and Wilfrid Sellars’ conceptual
sor of music, gave the keynote lecture
several months, Wagner has delivered
role semantics. He also published an
at the annual event for the Society
lectures at Harvard University, Boston
article on Donald Davidson’s philosophy
for Art & Cultural Heritage of India at
University, and the Museum of Fine
of language in the Internet Encyclopedia
San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum in
November. In January, she also gave the
fa l l 2 0 1 2
Pay it forward
The Class of 2012 sets a philanthropic benchmark By Caitlin Graveson â€˘ Photos by Steve Babuljak
Senior Class Vice President KC Callender and President Jack Elliott present the class gift, right, which would continue to grow in the days following Commencement.
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
Members of the Class of 2012 not only celebrated their individual accomplishments when they received their baccalaureate degrees at Commencement on May 12, they also a marked a great collective achievement with the legacy they left behind: the Class of 2012 Lavender Scholarship. Established with the senior class gift of more than $8,000, the scholarship is being awarded this fall to a Mills student with financial need. But there’s more to the class’ legacy than
vice president of the Class of 2012.
the scholarship itself. Forty-two percent
Modesta Tamayo, who served as presi-
of the class donated to the senior gift—an
dent of the Associated Students of Mills
impressive participation rate that is now
College during her senior year, under-
the benchmark for future graduating
stood the importance of getting everyone
classes to beat.
involved. She found that many students
The class mobilized such high participa-
were reluctant to donate because they
tion through a semester of creative effort.
could only give a small amount. “We tried
The Senior Class Council began with a
to combat that by telling people that their
fundraising goal of $5,000 for the class
contribution could be just a quarter or a
gift, but its main focus was to get as many
dime,” she says. “It is whatever you can do.”
Isabel Cortes, above, can’t contain her excitement. Bottom row, left to right: Jillian Harris gives the day’s ceremonies “two thumbs up;” Michelle Mitchell helps Barbara Blackwell adjust her stole; Commencement speaker Luma Mufleh, a civil rights advocate for refugee and immigrant families; Martinet Phan, Michelle Ho, and Dawn Yanogacio share a moment of pride.
students as possible to participate actively
Following a conversation with a student
multiple classmates money from her own
in the campaign. By Commencement, the
who explained that she couldn’t donate
pocket so that they could participate. In
seniors had exceeded their dollar goal,
to the senior gift, Tamayo came up with
the end, most students who accepted
recruited nearly half their class as donors,
a creative way to address a need, bolster
money from Tamayo turned around and
and procured additional support from
participation, and foster community. “I
offered money to other classmates so that
faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae.
asked, ‘If I gave you one dollar right now,
they could participate, too.
“The point of emphasizing participa-
what would you do with it?’ and she said,
“It makes a difference when you are
tion was to bring our class together and to
‘Well, I guess I would donate it,’” Tamayo
that up front,” Tamayo explains. “For
make our entire class feel like they were
recalls, and they did just that. Over the
many students, the campaign became a
making a difference,” says KC Callender,
course of the campaign, Tamayo gave
way to ‘pay it forward.’”
fa l l 2 0 1 2
President DeCoudreaux presents a well-earned diploma; beaming graduates line up to receive their degrees.
The Senior Class Council initially set a
wanted to feel supported,” says class his-
coffee and instead put that money toward
participation goal of 30 percent, well above
torian Meaghan Leferink.
Mills’ alumnae participation rate, which has averaged 25 percent in recent years.
Senior Class President Jack Elliott feels
Leferink, a music major, wrote an origi-
the gift showed DeCoudreaux’s com-
nal song to promote the cause. With lyrics
“I was really nervous that they wouldn’t
mitment to students’ goals. “She was
that emphasize donating as a way to leave
get up to that level because it represented
grateful that we were working so hard,”
a legacy, the chorus appeals to the need
such a big leap forward,” says Elizabeth
says Elliott. “I really think that President
to give back: “We’re working for a scholar-
Coyle, associate director of alumnae out-
DeCoudreaux is a huge champion of
ship / Donate / In many convenient ways
reach, who served as staff support for the
Mills and its students.”
/ Donate / And show that a Mills educa-
campaign. “But the students were just so
In return, surpassing their participa-
tion pays.” She posted a video of the song
eager to make it work. They really blew it
tion goal shows students’ dedication to
on Facebook, where it scored hundreds
out of the water.”
the College, Elliott says. “We sent a mes-
of views. She also performed her song at
sage that Mills is worth something to us
fundraising events and at a thank you
and that it should be worth something to
reception for senior class donors hosted
offered to make a personal contribution
other people as well,” Elliott explains. “It
by President DeCoudreaux.
to the campaign based on the participa-
tells everyone else that they should pay
tion rate: $2,012 if the class met their 30
attention to Mills.”
President Alecia DeCoudreaux provided
“People thought it was hilarious. By the end, they were singing the chorus with
percent goal. “It was important to me to
From the beginning, the campaign
indicate to students that I supported their
was inclusive of all voices. The council
efforts and wanted to see them succeed,”
surveyed the class, asking for feedback
With all the success that the senior class
on how to use the funds, then hosted an
had this year, they expect the tradition
“The challenge really got the students’
open forum where students could vote
will live on. “A standard has been set and
attention,” says Coyle. “It showed how
and share opinions about where the gift
the other classes are very much aware of
much their campaign was recognized and
it because the senior class did so much
me,” Leferink says. “That was a really awesome feeling.”
valued by the College.” The President’s
The class also reached out to students
bragging,” Tamayo says, adding that other
donation was also a tangible demonstra-
in new ways: Callender put together
classes have already responded to the chal-
tion of her dedication to students, many
Mills’ first ever YouTube solicitation, a
lenge by indicating that they intend to
of whom felt a sense of disillusionment
video of President DeCoudreaux offer-
surpass this year’s participation rate. “The
following staff layoffs in December. “We
ing her challenge gift. Another student,
Class of 2012 welcomes that,” Tamayo
all knew and experienced the fallout
Susan Summerfield, sent an email appeal
explains, “because every time the participa-
of the financial crisis, and we as a class
to every senior, asking them to forgo a
tion rate goes up, we are all winning.” ◆
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
Bent twigs ’12 A Bent Twig is a Mills student or alumna whose family tree includes another Mills alumna. 10
1 Divinia Anderson ’11, MPP ’12, with her mother, Drucilla Anderson ’11 2 Zoe Marcus and her mother, Tiffany Renee ’97 3 Helen Kennedy and her sister, Jane Kennedy ’09 4 Charlotte Martin with her mother, Lesley Manheim Martin ’78, EdD ’07 5 Christina Kwong and her sister, Stephanie Kwong ’10 6 Veronica Perry and her mother, Maria Baraona Perry ’80
7 Ellen Newton and her mother, Mary Loeser, MA ’93 8 Ashley Roaseau with her aunt, Annie Neves, both members of the Class of 2012
9 Dawn Yanogacio and her sisters Stephanie Yanogacio ’05, MBA ’06, and Kimberly Yanogacio ’06, MBA ’07 10 Caitlin Osborne with her adopted Bent Twig, Lucy Barron-Gitter ’82 11 Ashley Mason with a photo of her grandmother, Nancy Griffitts Mason ’47 12 Dana Doughty ’11, MPP ’12, with her mother, Carol Evans Doughty ’63, and daughter, Madeleine, Mills Children’s School ’12
13 Lynn Burnett, MEd ’12, with his sister, Vala Burnett ’05 14 Mary Moon and her mother, Barbara Seid Moon ’74
photos by dana dav is
fa l l 2 0 1 2
Teach a girl, change the world By Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10
year after retiring from teaching high
similarly motivated a decade ago, when she created
school and several years after losing her husband
the Spring Buds program, a 13-year plan to fund
to cancer, Margo Manin McAuliffe ’58 traveled
the education of 1,000 girls from isolated villages
to Naivasha, Kenya, a rural town on open, fertile
in western China. And closer to home, Lacy Asbill
land about 50 miles northwest of Nairobi. It was
’02 and Elana Metz ’03 established Girls Moving
2005, and she had volunteered to teach math to
Forward, an organization that combines mentoring
girls at a co-ed Catholic boarding school there.
and tutoring to encourage the academic and emo-
Ever since she was a young girl herself,
tional growth of K-12 girls from at-risk communi-
McAuliffe had known that she wanted to do
ties in Oakland and Watsonville.
something to leave the world better than she
Each of these four alumnae has been spurred
had found it, she says, her lively green
to action by a shared commitment to using their
eyes shining behind oval, wire-rimmed
skills and resources to advancing women through
glasses. Providing education for girls in Kenya was a sure way to improve the circumstances of those
the power of education.
young women dramatically. In Africa, educated girls
A conducive climate for learning
face a reduced risk of HIV infection, are less vulner-
After arriving in Naivasha, McAuliffe learned that
able to exploitation and human trafficking, are less
the high school where she had planned to teach
likely to marry at a young age, and raise children
was phasing out girl students, with the intention
who are more likely to go to school themselves.
of building a separate girls’ school. This change was a reaction to the co-ed school’s high rate of
Numerous studies show a direct correlation between women’s education levels and their quality of life, including their health status, economic standing, and political power.
teen pregnancy—which carries a heavy stigma in Kenya. According to one regional nonprofit organization, 13,000 Kenyan girls leave school each year due to pregnancy, and nearly half of all young women have had a first child by age 19. Many girls who leave school pregnant risk ending
In any country, in fact, gender parity in educa-
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
up in prostitution.
tion is critical; numerous studies show a direct
Then there are those who can’t afford to go
correlation between women’s education levels
to school at all. Though Kenya introduced free
and their quality of life, including their health sta-
primary education for all in 2003, continuing on
tus, economic standing, and political power. The
through high school is very expensive for both
United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative reports
boys and girls. “There’s a hope that if you have
that 39 million girls globally are not enrolled in
an education, you can get a job,” McAuliffe says.
school, and that two-thirds of the world’s illiterate
“No guarantees—just like here.” Girls who can-
adults are women.
not afford high school are left with few options.
Like a number of other Mills graduates, McAuliffe
Mostly, McAuliffe explains, they become “house
is working to educate underserved girls in one of
help,” or end up in arranged marriages to men
the world’s most economically and socially disad-
two or three times their age, doing hard labor on
vantaged communities. Rosalyn Chen Koo ’51 was
the farm and producing children.
McAuliffe also learned that the Naivasha com-
shows, skits, and other
munity had donated a plot of land for building the
performances to let loose
separate girls’ school, which would be directed by
and express themselves.
the local Kikuyu priest, Father Daniel Kiriti. She
The school also brings in
realized, too, that by teaching math herself, she
speakers to hold work-
would be taking a job away from a well-trained
shops and lead discus-
local teacher, and came to conclude that her great-
sions on topics including
est result could be achieved by raising money to
relationships, careers, and sex, which encourage
build the new school. So McAuliffe returned home
the students to make responsible decisions and
to Menlo Park, California, and started sharing her
bolster their feelings of self-worth.
experience with friends, who shared it with other
Both in her fundraising and in her summers
friends. Her goal was to raise as much as $20,000
tutoring at the school, McAuliffe frequently consid-
for the St. Francis Xavier School for Girls. She never
ers her position of relative privilege and recognizes
thought she’d raise $1.3 million in just seven years.
the limitations of her status as a foreigner. “I realize
McAuliffe’s foundation, Kenya Help, has little
that it’s not my country or my culture, and it’s not
overhead and no paid positions, so all of the funds
my school,” says McAuliffe, who leaves the plan-
raised have gone to build the school and to pay
ning to Father Kiriti. McAuliffe particularly strug-
tuition for the girls. In addition to classrooms, two
gles with some disciplinary policies, but maintains
science labs, a library, a computer lab, a multipur-
an open conversation with school leaders about
pose room, and dorms, the school has livestock
the ineffectiveness of physical punishment and the
and a garden so the students can cultivate their
anger it breeds—and hopes her continued presen-
tation of alternatives is having an effect.
Anne Chantel, a student who appears in a short film on the Kenya Help website, speaks passion-
All of a sudden you are special
ately about her education: “Why I love this school
Rosalyn “Roz” Koo is a petite woman with a quick
is that it has a conducive climate for enabling us
sense of humor; she is never at a loss for words,
to participate in our studies,” she says. “The teach-
or at a loss for something sweet to offer visitors.
ers help us a lot.” Another student, Celia Bouquet,
Koo came to Mills from an elite all-girls school in
adds, “This school is improving our culture physi-
Shanghai in the late 1940s, but her mother had
cally, mentally, and emotionally; it helps me as a
always encouraged her to question the inequities
student improve and become a better person in
women faced in China and globally. With this back-
ground, Koo knew she wanted to serve underprivi-
At St. Francis Xavier, education extends beyond
leged women, but determined that she had to work
just the classroom. The girls often put on fashion
and train herself before she could help anyone else.
Margo McAuliffe (inset) and the students at the dedication of St. Francis Xavier School for Girls.
fa l l 2 0 1 2
Rosalyn Koo (above, center) and her Spring Buds in Shaanxi Province, China. Lacy Asbill and Elana Metz (opposite page, standing at left) with a group of Girls Moving Forward participants.
In 1949, at the onset of the Chinese civil war, Koo’s
when Koo started planning for the Spring Buds
family moved to Taiwan. “I searched my soul and
project, girls were seen as just another mouth for
decided I would stay here in the US,” she says.
their families to feed and often stopped going to
After several decades working in education
“So you married,” Koo says, “not for love, but
tion with government agencies in China, Koo was
to produce children. And if you only have a girl,
ready, at age 72, to start a major project. But she
heaven help you…that’s the end of your life.”
had one rule: she would run things her own way.
Suicide rates were high among teenage mothers.
In her four decades of organizing, Koo came to
Women who remained single or married poor
understand that the success of a project relies on
became domestic servants— “indentured slaves,”
three “circles” of factors: a strong need for change,
Koo calls them. Many of the girls in Spring Buds
a dedicated interest in the project, and the dem-
are orphans, “abandoned by their villages,” Koo
onstrated capability of the organizer. “When the
explains, whose parents have died from illness
three circles meet in the middle,” Koo says, “That’s
or accidents or have left their homes to become
when you can get things done.”
She sought out Wang Hong, vice chair of the All-
Koo instructed Wang Hong to choose 1,000 of
China Women’s Federation in Shaanxi Province,
the neediest girls entering fourth grade. These
to help her bring a
girls were placed in 22 primary schools across the
region, and each group was assigned a homeroom
tion to the “poorest
teacher to nurture them through at least ninth
of the poor” girls in
grade, when they could choose to work, attend
the region. Shaanxi,
vocational school, or continue on an academic
home to the famous
track. Meanwhile, Koo organized 400 foreign
Terracotta Army and
donors—professional, mostly Chinese-American
women who were passionate about education—to
As the students advance in each stage of schooling, they develop a sense of control over their lives, learning to think independently and make their own decisions.
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
school after the third grade.
and philanthropy, both in the US and in conjunc-
dynastic province, is
fund up to 13 years of education for these girls.
a mountainous region with dry soil and barely
Koo’s goals for the Springs Buds project are
accessible transportation. The options for poor
clear: to build up a middle class and to create new
girls there are similar to those of the girls in
women leaders. But the program also has another,
Naivasha. The United Nations Girls Education
less tangible result: as the students advance in
Initiative reports, “An estimated two thirds of
each stage of schooling, they develop a sense of
China’s school-age children who are not enrolled
control over their lives, learning to think inde-
in school are girls. When girls are enrolled, they
pendently and make their own decisions, and
are usually the first to drop out of school when
connecting with mentors and peers outside of
economic pressures affect their families.” In 2000,
their home counties.
Koo, whom the girls call Grandma Koo, has care-
conviction Asbill says she took from her education
fully monitored the progress of all her Spring Buds
at Mills. They want to take the experience they
from her home in San Mateo, California, and has
had at Mills—of feeling supported and encouraged
visited the young students almost every year. She
to take risks in small classrooms of women—and
funneled those who chose to go into vocational
bring it to younger girls who may not otherwise
school after middle school into three professions—
have a chance to benefit from such a setting. The
nursing, nursery school teaching, and computers—
cornerstone of their program is providing positive
that have high possibilities for employment, and
women role models to ensure the success of girls
that she sees as the foundation for the emerging
middle class. The 163 girls who have passed the
After graduating from Mills as women’s studies
highly competitive college entrance exams are
majors, Asbill worked in a bank and Metz worked
studying a diverse array of fields, including educa-
in a nonprofit health clinic. They both quickly
tion, art, music, environmental science, medicine,
realized they were unfulfilled by their jobs and
and engineering. These women will graduate from
decided to combine their work experience and
university with student loans, but if they return to
feminist education to create an endeavor that
their home county and work for two years to ben-
would be more meaningful to them: an organiza-
efit the community, they can apply to Koo to have
tion run by and for young people.
their loans reduced.
“We see the education system as being pretty
Though Koo says the Spring Buds project’s focus is
broken,” says Metz, who wears her bobbed, curly
economic support, it’s clear that it is more than just
hair clipped back, and speaks with the convic-
that both for her and for the girls. For these young
tion and eloquence of a seasoned organizer. “The
women, the investment in their education is a trans-
inequity we see in Oakland, let alone nationwide,
formative affirmation. “Just think: the girl feels like
is overwhelming.” Although the United States has
nobody,” Koo says of her Spring Buds. She pauses at
a long history of providing free and compulsory
length, the words seeming to catch in her throat. Her
education to youth, not all students have the
voice wavers as she continues and she blinks back
access, support, or confidence to stay enrolled or
the moisture in her eyes; the reach of her empathy
engage in the material. Girls Moving Forward seeks
and emotional investment in these young lives is pal-
to help the most at-risk youth by offering a blend
pable. “Overnight, you have an American sponsor,”
of academic and social skills development through
she says. “All of a sudden you are special.”
partnerships with public schools—especially “con-
Education by and for young people
tinuation” schools that provide a flexible schedule and specialized curricula for students who were
Like Rosalyn Koo, Lacy Asbill and Elana Metz share
unsuccessful in standard schools. They also offer
the desire to run an organization their own way, a
their services through after-school programs.
fa l l 2 0 1 2
“We’re working with girls at continuation high
woman.” Touched at the effect she’d had, Castillo
schools, with girls at a pregnant and parenting
says, “That’s my only drive everyday—to hope that
teen school, with girls at a school for kids who’ve
I can make a difference.”
been expelled from Oakland schools,” Asbill says. “There is a persistent culture of low expectations
The ripple effect
for these young women,” she adds. “They know it
Asbill and Metz hope their work will not only influ-
and they feel it.”
ence the girls they tutor, but also the young people
Asbill and Metz base their methodology on a
who are doing the tutoring. “We see our organiza-
1991 study, “Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging
tion as the beginning of a ripple,” Metz explains.
America,” that found girls’ academic performance
“Part of the reason we do this is to train the next
was directly affected by their confidence level.
generation of educators.”
The outcomes achieved by Girls Moving Forward
In addition, Asbill and Metz have spent the last
are impressive: the continuation high school stu-
two years developing a reading curriculum that
dents who participate in the program pass the high
suggests more contemporary books like Diary of a
school exit exam at double the rate of average con-
Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie to get students
tinuation students. The organization’s tutors work
talking about race, class, and low expectations
with the girls on body image, self-acceptance, com-
rather than more traditional texts like The Great
munication, and friendship. “Participants build
Gatsby. “The curriculum will roll out in pilot proj-
social and emotional connections that allow them
ects with a handful of partner schools in Oakland
to be open to academic learning,” Asbill explains
Unified this fall,” says Metz, “and will be available
with an easy smile that conveys her warm, charis-
for general distribution to educators throughout
the country shortly afterwards.” The two Mills
In 2011, Asbill and Metz were named Yoshiyama
alumnae see this curriculum program as a way to
Young Entrepreneurs by the Hitachi Foundation,
expand their positive effect beyond the scope of
and were awarded a $40,000 grant in addition to
their Oakland- and Watsonville–based programs.
professional guidance in growing their business.
Similarly, Rosalyn Koo has structured the Spring
Girls Moving Forward is now headquartered in an
Buds project to create a ripple. The 13-year cycle of schooling Koo initiated will be complete in two years
The cornerstone of their program is providing positive women role models to ensure the success of girls in need.
but, at age 84, Koo doesn’t plan to initiate another project of this scale. In order to continue and multiply the positive effects of these girls’ education, she has formed the Spring Bud Student Alliance, a professional association to be administered by the more than 100 girls who will graduate from college. The
airy, lofted Emeryville office that feels like it could
mission of the alliance is threefold: “Mutual support.
be a young girl’s bedroom, decorated with a play-
Help the needy. Improve the community.”
ful rug and presided over by an enormous teddy
In Kenya, St. Francis Xavier graduated its first class
bear. Funded primarily through federal grants, the
of 18 girls in 2010, and they are already driven to
program has served over 3,000 girls in the past
empower other women in their community. About
five years, at no cost to the girls’ families, and has
a third of the girls said they wanted to be lawyers.
expanded to offer a separate program for boys.
One told McAuliffe that she wants to provide peo-
Asbill and Metz attribute much of their intellec-
ple fair representation in the courts; another said
tual capital to the tutors they hire—the majority of
she wants to defend women threatened by domes-
whom are people of color or first-generation col-
tic violence as well as by a legal system that tends
lege students who model academic achievement
to favor husbands in family disputes.
for the girls.
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
As all of these alumnae are creating powerful
One of those tutors, Lindsay Castillo, had her
change for girls in need, they too are feeling a great
own struggles with confidence as a teenager. On
personal satisfaction rippling back to them. At a
the Girls Moving Forward website, she describes
2011 TEDx talk in San Jose, California, McAuliffe
her memory of “how scary it can be to take a
encouraged her audience, “If you feel something
math problem on and sit in a classroom of peo-
tugging at your heart, listen up, don’t wait until
ple who seem like they understand what’s going
you’re 68 like I did. And when you step on that
on.” She goes on to tell of being introduced to the
path for the first time,” she added, “just be pre-
mother of a student as “a mentor who is helping
pared, it may be a longer path than you ever imag-
her become an independent, intelligent young
ined, and infinitely more rewarding.” ◆
Ramona Smith and Yimei Wong
Risk reward and
The first 12 Mills MBA students struck out into uncharted territory— and have gone on to find success in a variety of endeavors By Allison Marin ’12 • Photos by Dana Davis
The MBA Program at Mills College has come a long way since its inception a decade ago, and so has its first cohort of a dozen students. The fledgling program was essentially an educational start-up, with its limited course offerings and no dedicated career services staff. Classes were held in what had been the Children’s School. But the MBA curriculum offered some obvious advantages from the beginning: it provided a way for students to earn an MBA in one year, it built on Mills’ strong undergraduate economics courses, and it was led by faculty who were committed to helping women realize their potential as business leaders and to an ethic of business as a means for social change. Members of that first graduating class—all of whom had completed their undergraduate degrees at Mills—describe the Mills MBA as a “once in a lifetime opportunity.” It was risky, but “it was like opening a refrigerator,” says Yimei Wong ’00, MBA ’02. “We were hungry, so we made the best of it.” These days, MBA enrollment hovers at nearly 100 students and more than 50 courses are offered in topics ranging from core economic theory and marketing basics to strategic philanthropy and environmental sustainability in business. When we caught up with several fa l l 2 0 1 2
A brief history of the
MBA Program at Mills
members of the class, we learned that they too have blossomed: their risk has been well rewarded with success in business, contributions to their communities, and personal achievements.
Wong believes “nothing is impossible,” and her bold confidence isn’t surprising after reading her resume: she has been a global operations consultant for
Chevron, head of operations and project development for
Mills MBA Program launched; Professor of Economics Nancy Thornborrow named director.
Trina Solar, member and strategic advisor for Joint US-China
and president of Chinamagination, LLC. She says her success
First 12 students admitted.
in the years after completing her MBA has come from her ever-
evolving goals. “We need to let our goals morph over time as
First MBA class graduates.
2004 August Lorry I. Lokey, P ’85, provides funding to support construction of a building for the Business School. The MBA Program becomes a school; Thornborrow named dean; dedicated MBA career services established.
Collaboration on Clean Energy, and, most recently, founder
the world changes,” she says, “and we need to master these pivotal moments to create change.” Her goal now is remarkable in its scope: her efforts in promoting solar energy and encouraging business partnerships with China through Chinamagination could potentially affect billions of people. “We can create an energy ‘ecosystem,’” Wong
says, “that is sustainable for the future if we use corporate col-
Mills Graduate School of Business and Financial Women’s Association of San Francisco present the Linda Pitts Custard ’60 Women in Business Conference.
laboration.” Wong’s endeavors have also included travel to 43 countries; lecturing for Singularity University in Mountain View,
former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom create the ChinaSF
Ground broken on a new building for the school, now named the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business.
program, which supports business exchange between China and
which educates leaders in sustainable enterprise; and helping
the San Francisco Bay Area. Ramona Lisa Smith ’01, MBA ’02, started at Mills as an under-
Center for Socially Responsible Business (CSRB) established; first annual conference held in April 2009.
graduate resumer in dance, but switched her major to business
cal” to support herself and her two-year-old daughter. Pursuing
economics after deciding she “needed something more practi-
Mills MBA Program selected as a partner in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative, a global program to increase the number of underserved women studying business and management.
an MBA had not originally been part of her agenda, she says, but
the world economy and my personal finances,” she says. “It pre-
Lokey Graduate School of Business building opens.
pared me for more than just business leadership; it prepared me
“when the opportunity came, I knew it was one I couldn’t pass up.” She joined the new program as it found its footing, and her conviction paid off. “The MBA Program helped me understand
to handle my life as a business.” Smith now works as asset services coordinator, financial
MBA enrollment surpasses 100 students; Deborah Merrill-Sands takes office as dean of the Business School.
coach, and lead of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program
at SparkPoint/Community Action Marin, helping economically
Summer term courses offered for first time.
2011 Fall Joint MBA/MA degree in educational leadership launched; part-time track introduced.
2012 June Mills’ Net Impact chapter receives gold status. Net Impact is a national organization of MBA students and professionals addressing social, economic, and environmental problems.
2012 April Over 200 attendees participate in CSRB’s 4th annual conference.
2012 August First tenure-track faculty member hired specifically to teach business courses in the MBA Program.
disadvantaged people understand and improve their financial standing. When entering a business venture, Smith brings her whole self to the table: “I want all aspects of my being to be present: my culture, myself as a woman, and myself as a woman of color.” Her daughter, now 17, is preparing to apply to college— with Mills on her list. Nikki Kwan ’02, MBA ’02, has always been ambitious and eager. Her advice to women in the workforce: “Be bold. Ask for a raise, ask for more things to do—even if you aren’t ready. Be confident; you’ll figure it out.” Kwan has followed her own advice successfully and is now first vice president in the retail banking division of East West Bank, where she is in charge of a variety of strategy and planning initiatives as well as mergers and acquisitions. Kwan has worked in banking since 1994, when she was an undergraduate with a scholarship and an internship from Home
M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly
Savings of America. Ultimately, her interest in how process affects change led her to pursue her MBA. “I wanted to help people become successful through incremental and sustainable change,” she says—a goal she continues to pursue through offering individuals loans to support businesses and homeownership. Immediately after completing her business degree, Kerrin Parker ’99, MBA ’02, joined M5 Networks, a small telecommunications startup. After helping develop M5 into a pioneer in cloud-based phone systems, Parker is now the senior director of development for this public company in Chicago as well as a mother to two young children. “It was my path to attend an MBA program,”
Celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Mills MBA Program on Saturday, September 29 See alumnae.mills.edu/reunion for details or call 510.430.2123
who had always aimed to manage a large company. She chose Mills over other schools because she was
Tsang now works as senior compensation manager for Applied
familiar with its support-
Biosystems in Foster City, just south of San Francisco. “The way
ive educational environ-
I explain it,” she laughs, “is that I figure out how much to pay
people, but I am not payroll.” Her job is specialized and requires
faculty—and because she
her to manage highly confidential information about employees.
wanted to be a part of the
“It takes a level head,” she says, “to not be shaped by the infor-
new MBA Program’s mis-
mation you know about your coworkers.”
sion to support women in
Since 2004, Claire Norton-Cruz ’01, MBA ’02, has been the
business manager at Midwifery and Women’s Health Care at
In February, M5 was
Geneva Woods in Anchorage, Alaska, which specializes in out-
acquired by ShoreTel for
of-hospital births, prenatal care, and cervical and breast can-
$160 million, and Parker
cer screening for low-income women. During her time in the
MBA Program, Norton-Cruz tackled her fear of public speaking,
learned to work in groups, and earned the Mills record—which
before moving on to start her own enterprise. “Over
she still holds—for fastest 100-meter individual medley swim with a time of 1:09.96. “I realized later how valuable my MBA
the years,” she notes, “I’ve
education was,” she says, adding that the degree made her “a
learned the importance of
standout job applicant” compared to her peers. She keeps her
building trust and keep-
competitive spirit alive—and fosters the physical well-being of
ing commitments. Being
women—through her work as treasurer for the board of the
trustworthy to my clients,
Golden Nugget Triathlon for women. She also serves on the
my coworkers, and my
boards of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Alaska
contractors is critical to
chapter, and the American Association of Birth Centers.
Tina Lee ’01, MBA ’02, is the first person to hold the title of MBA
director of outreach and innovation for the office of California
helped clarify the fact that
Controller John Chiang. After leaving Mills, Lee worked with the
I loved my career path,”
ZeroDivide Foundation, as a recruiting manager at Robert Half
Technology, and as a business analyst for a global management
’02, says of her work in
consulting and technology services firm. She then earned her
human resources. Tsang
second professional degree: a master’s in learning design and
first pursued her MBA
technology from Stanford University. “I wanted to explore how
because she felt stuck in her human resources job
technology is changing politics and society,” she says. In her new position, she aims to use technology to encourage busi-
at the time and hoped the
ness enterprise throughout northern California—using Twitter
degree would open other doors. The company she worked for
(@CA_SCO_Tina), for example, to ask questions like, “How can
allowed her to continue working part time and even paid part
California government help the green energy sector thrive?”
of her tuition. Surprisingly, the informational interview exercises
The liberal arts education she acquired as a Mills undergradu-
included in the business curriculum enabled Tsang to realize
ate provided the foundation for a clear business ethic during her
that she was not as interested in other jobs and helped confirm
time in the MBA Program, Lee explains. As a result, her personal
her commitment to her profession.
business philosophy is simple: “Think.” ◆ fa l l 2 0 1 2
Class Notes do not appear in the online edition of Mills Quarterly. Alumnae are invited to share their news with classmates in the Mills College alumnae community. To submit notes for publication in the next available Quarterly, send your update to classnotes@mills. edu.
Class Notes do not appear in the online edition of the Mills Quarterly. Alumnae are invited to share their news with classmates in the Mills College Alumnae Community, alumnae.mills.edu. To submit notes for publication in the next available Quarterly, send your update to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruth left a legacy for Mills students. You can too.
Ruth Gillard ’36 (1913–2002) Ruth began her professional career teaching sociology at Mills and was later recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency. She was the first woman to inspect the operations of CIA stations on three different continents. In her will, Ruth bequeathed her home to Mills. Her gift provided funding for scholarship support in 2003.
Lacy Asbill ’03 Lacy benefited from a scholarship from Mills in 2003. She
You may leave a gift of real estate to Mills through a bequest in your will or trust. Another option is to give the College your home now, live in it for the rest of your life, and receive a current income-tax deduction for a portion of its value.
went on to co-found a mentoring organization, Moving Forward Education, with another Mills alumna in 2005. Their organization has since offered free support to over 4,000 Bay Area youth.
To learn more about creating a legacy of your own at Mills contact us toll-free at 1.877.PG.MILLS (1.877.746.4557) or email@example.com. 22
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If you’ve already included Mills in your estate plans, please let us know.
Gifts in Memory of
Notices of death received before June 15, 2012
Received March 1–May 31, 2012
To submit listings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 510.430.2123
Annette Movich Abrams ’59 by Ellen Locke Crumb ’59, P ’94
Alumnae Mildred Downey Grenfell ’32, May 8, in St. Helena, California. She was involved with the Modesto Mills Club and was a generous supporter of the College. She is survived by her daughter, Gaye Grenfell Cook ’58. Betty Aicher Weir ’32, August 23, 2008, in Albuquerque. She is survived by her son and two grandsons. Bernice Nicoll Petty ’38, December 23, 2011, in Petaluma, California. She enjoyed gardening and traveling. Kathryn “Kay” Kaser Watkins ’38, May 11, in Phoenix. A world traveler and lover of languages, she served as a translator during World War II. She is survived by four children. Helene Smedley Willson ’38, March 25, in San Diego. A volunteer at Sharp Cabrillo Hospital and a member of PEO Sisterhood, she loved nature, theater, sewing, and gardening. She is survived by five children and six grandchildren. Margaret Thomson Bronson ’40, December 1, 2011, in Brewster, New York. She was a stage, screen, and theater actress. She was also a volunteer and fundraiser for the Putnam Hospital Center. She is survived by her husband, John, and her niece, Elinor “Lin” Herod-Vernon ’67. Jane Goldstein Schear Richards ’40, June 5, 2007, in Alabama. She is survived by three daughters, including Sarah Schear Cole ’70. Daphne Richmond Rockwell ’41, April 16, in Eugene, Oregon. She lived in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and England and, through her art, shared the beauty and wonder that she found in nature. She is survived by three children. Julia Keys Allan ’42, August 31, 2004, in Springfield, Illinois. She was a Red Cross volunteer, a member of the Springfield Junior League, and a city golf champion. She served as secretary to the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and the state governor. She is survived by three children. Edith Merrell Swayne ’42, November 15, 2011, in Lafayette, California. She is survived by a son and her sister, Marjorie Merrell Bartlett ’49. Imogene “Imy” Fluno Smith Whipple ’43, April 13, in Alameda, California. She volunteered at Big Trees State Park, participated in AAUW, and was an active member of her church. She loved to play piano, sing, and compose, including a song called Mills Memories, dedicated to Aurelia Reinhardt. She is survived by two children and two grandchildren. Patricia “Pat” Chilton Martyr ’46, November 15, 2010, in Medford, Oregon. She is survived by her husband, James, their three sons, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Beatrice “Betsy” Woodworth Richmond ’46, in November 2011, in Camp Verde, Arizona. She spent her life teaching Hopi and Navajo children and was an accomplished poet. She is survived by her three children. Lois Ager Way ’47, June 1, 2008, in Massachusetts. Barbara “Risty” Ristrom Wood ’47, May 20, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. A co-owner of The Admiral Risty Restaurant, she served on the board of trustees for Marymount College and Bravo!, a local theater 30
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Margery “Diz” Disman Anson ’42 by Robert and Leslie Appleton, Richard and Darla Evans Bastoni ’60, Julie Bernard, Sheryl Gillett Caudana ’72, Nancy Cherney, Ida Erlanger Scott ’42, Katherine Zelinsky Westheimer ’42, Patricia Willmann, Ann Sulzberger Wolff ’42 Laura Balas, MA ’92, by Helen Hovdesven Patricia “Pat” Tiggard Boese ’50 by Leah Hardcastle Mac Neil, MA ’51, P ’75 Willa Wolcott Condon, MA ’32, by her daughter, Ann Condon Barbour ’69 Evelyn “Peg” Deane ’41 by Mary Hart Clark ’42 Kay Anderson Douglas ’67 by Alta Ronchetto Mowbray ’67 Sybil “Syb” Johnson Dray ’41, P ’72, by her husband, Lester Dray Margaret Hincks Dyer ’43, P ’73, by Thera Cornelius Joy Waltke Fisher ’55 by Diane Smith Janusch ’55 Virginia Fleming by Anne Lehmer ’89 Cameron Fuller-Holloway, son of Melody Fuller-Lewis ’82, by Alison Dong Chambers ’83
support group. She is survived by her husband, Ralph; four children; and six grandchildren. Elizabeth “Dibby” Owen ’48, April 7, in Seattle. She worked as a special assistant of international affairs for the US State Department. She is survived by her dear friend, Marilyn Wilson Newland ’48. Joanne Beckley Newkirk ’49, February 5, in Bend, Oregon. She was a concert pianist and is remembered for her musical brilliance and her dedication to her children. She is survived by her daughter. Patricia “Pat” Tiggard Boese ’50, April 25, in Oakland, California. An active volunteer with the Girl Scouts, she worked as an adult education teacher. Vylma Zotti Weeks ’51, March 24, in Atlanta. She was a talented needle worker and quilter, a generous Mills supporter, and an active traveler who visited Greece, Turkey, and Japan. She is survived by her husband, Milton, and two daughters. Shelia Hair Ross ’56, November 14, 2009, in Laguna Beach, California. Ruth Nemoede Jepsen ’58, April 3, in San Jose, California. A lover of books and crossword puzzles, she enjoyed traveling to experience other cultures. She is survived by two sons and four grandchildren. Helen Meisnest Morse ’52, April 29, in Seattle. She worked at Harborview Medical Center and King Broadcasting and was station manager of King FM. She is survived by her daughter. Marcia Lou Herring Marsh ’56, March 24, in Green Valley, Arizona. A teacher in Arizona, she earned a graduate degree in Spanish American culture. Marva Swearengin Harris ’56, December 11, 2011, in Vancouver, Washington. A high school teacher and counselor, she was an avid fan of Notre Dame and 49ers football. She is survived by a daughter, two grandsons, and a great-granddaughter.
Ruth Gage by Shannon Wolfe ’96
Carol Lennox ’61 by Barbara Li Santi and Lydia Mann ’83
William and Helen Gaw by their daughter-in-law, Jane Farrell Gaw ’52
Lydia Nelson McCollum ’43, P ’70, by June Holden Schneider ’43
Helen Geldhof by her granddaughter, Katja Geldhof ’03
Julia Mies by Beverly Pachner
Mildred Downey Grenfell ’32 by Karla Knapp
Christina Miller ’71 by her sister, Kathleen Miller Janes ’69
Blythe Miller Grogan ’38 by the Mills College Club of New York
Isabel Schemel Mulcahy ’44 by her husband, Thomas Mulcahy
Mildred Rodgers Hauck, MA ’39, by the Mills College Club of New York
Elizabeth Pope by Elaine Bowe Johnson ’62, Marion Osmun ’76
F. Warren Hellman by Terry Hinkle Fairman ’68, Judy Greenwood Jones ’60, P ’92
Daphne Richmond Rockwell ’41 by Mildred Eberle Rothrock ’41
Marcia Gambrell Hovick ’45 by Patricia Boadway Cox ’43, MA ’44
Susan “Sue” Rubenstein Schapiro ’52 by June Holden Schneider ’43
Nancy Parsons Jones, mother of Margot Jones Mabie ’66, by the Mills College Club of New York
Luceen Schmelke by her granddaughter, Erin Beardsley, MBA ’12
Rebecca “Beccy” Davidson Karlson ’69 by her husband, Douglas Karlson
Israel Tribble by Deborah Wood ’75
Doris Ellsworth Rogers ’47 by her husband, Joseph Rogers
Ida Shimanouchi ’38 by Sarah Wong Soong ’71
Valerie Tognazzini Kieser ’59 by Hope Mason Pracht ’59, Barbara Christy Wagner ’59
Vylma Zotti Weeks ’51 by Martha McMaster Quimby ’51, Jeanne Thomas ’51
C. Rodgers Kines, husband of Barbara Newman Kines ’55, by Diane Smith Janusch ’55
Ruth Siren Wheeler ’43 by Patricia Boadway Cox ’43, MA ’44
Marjorie Woolwine Knightly ’56 by Linda Denny Knox ’56
Imogene “Imy” Fluno Whipple ’43 by Jack and Lynn Broadbent, Barbara Coler, Jennifer and Dan Cooper Aquilino Zarazua by his daughter, G. Albertina Zarazua Padilla ’78
p=parent; For information about making a tribute gift, contact 510.430.2097 or email@example.com.
Leanne Haney Rhodes ’62, May 12, in Nipomo, California. She earned a PhD in special education and worked as an infant educational consultant. She enjoyed opera, antiquing, and hosting holiday dinners. She is survived by her husband, Richard; her daughters Shannon and Alisha Rhodes ’93; and four grandchildren. Martha Miller Evans ’63, May 13, in Oakland, California. She raised four children then earned a BFA in metalsmithing from Portland School of Art. The family moved to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Minnesota before settling in Maine, where she lived for 30 years. She is survived by her husband, Jef; four children; and five grandchildren. Margaret Cockrell, MFA ’86, March 12, in Walnut Creek, California. A Catholic poet, she participated in chapel programs at Mills along with her husband George, and served as an unofficial mentor to many students, faculty, and staff.
Spouses and family Henry Blauer, husband of Geri Green Blauer ’52, June 6, in Portland, Oregon. Philip Burchill, husband of Jacklyn Davidson Burchill ’44, June 6, in Los Angeles.
Joe Shuttleworth, husband of Rebecca Marsh Shuttleworth ’64, April 17, in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. Mary Disney Vansant, daughter of Beverley Berry Disney ’44, August 20, 2009, in Atlanta. Jerry Werlin, husband of Barbara Gilinsky Werlin ’50 and father of Andrea Werlin ’76, May 10, in Los Angeles.
Faculty Elbert G. Smith, professor of chemistry, died on March 18 in Oakland. He was 98. Smith earned his doctorate from Iowa State College and taught at Hamline University, the University of Denver, and the University of Hawaii before joining the Mills faculty in 1958. In his 20-year tenure at the College, he often served as head of the department. Smith helped develop and disseminate Wiswesser Line Notation, a chemical notation system which was readily searched by early computers and was capable of identifying specific molecular fragments of larger structures. His two books detailing this notation system were translated into many languages. He also combined the principles of line notation and his love of music to develop “Tunefinder,” a computer program that identifies musical pieces based on a series of notes.
Philip Lathrap, father of Robbie Lathrap Davis ’71, February 28, in Lafayette, California. Earl Loomis Jr., husband of Muriel Peabody Loomis ’52, May 10, 2011, in Greenport, New York. Lloyd Portis, husband of Leal Davidson Portis ’55 and father of Amy Portis Lovin ’90, March 28, in Nevada City, California. Irene Sachanko, mother of Barbara Sachanko Dalmau ’75, April 4, in Henderson, Nevada. fa l l 2 0 1 2
What the body craves by Tarin Griggs ’12 foreword
do not worry if this makes no sense if this makes you feel senseless in your brain and your mind because this is not about that this is not meant to be crystal or clear it is not glass though it has been shattered and it is fragmented this is not about that this is about the body yours and mine and the ones over there distant blurry miragelike visions those peering over your left shoulder there are many things being said often simultaneously it is overwhelming that is okay how many messages confront you daily hourly this second by the color screens and your boss and your ex and your mother’s father and the glossy publications consuming privates for public regurgitation when do you have time to process this is a process not of elimination because this won’t stop this is not for your comprehension but it is for your eyes your ears your mouth your limbs your loins these are the things my body craves what do you crave? … racing you are lost racing you are lost you are lost racing you are lost Drifting upward Ignore this beating Focus in— Pulse point behind ear lobe this heartbeat Touching knuckle beat Rapidfire this heart Through the chest wall beat A hollow delay heart Fingertips diffusing beats Carpal tunnel vision slowing this beat Rhythmic blindness beats this heart Remains: resting places t-shirt cotton Rougher surfaces skin raked linen
Raised in Richmond, California, Tarin Griggs ’12 earned a BA in English with a minor in dance choreography. Her interests include contemporary fiction, poetry, sociolinguistics, and literary criticism, and her work was published in the 2011 edition of The Walrus. The excerpts on this page are from the poem that earned her this year’s Mary Merritt Henry prize for undergraduate poetry. 32
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Alumnae tr avel 2013
Waterways of Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg July 24–August 3, 2013 Join President Alecia A. DeCoudreaux on this cruise aboard a 56-cabin deluxe river ship, featuring visits to several UNESCO World Heritage sites and extensive guided tours of Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the State Hermitage Museum. Additional offerings for 2013: • Australia and New Zealand, January 17–30 • Treasures of Ecuador, February 5–16 • Sorrento on the Divine Amalfi Coast, April 17–25 • From Cannes to Venice: Jewels of Antiquity, May 28–June 12 • Cruising the Baltic Sea: Changing the Tides of History, June 13–24 • China: The Yangtze River, September 10–23 • Villages & Vineyards of the Mosel, Rhine & Main Rivers cruise, October 14–22 • Treasures of East Africa featuring Tanzania & Kenya, October 19–November 12 See the AAMC travel website at aamc.mills.edu for dates, prices, and full itineraries as they become available. For reservations or additional information, call the Alumnae Association of Mills College at 510.430.2110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring Mills Home! Show off your enthusiasm for your alma mater. The Alumnae Association of Mills College offers a variety of items for purchase, with revenues benefiting alumnae and student activities such as professor talks, book discussions, social gatherings, the Pearl M Dinner, and Winter Celebration for December Graduates.
Eucalyptus pins silver $30, gold $35 Print, sketch of Mills Hall by Roi Partridge $20 unframed Print, photo of Mills Hall circa 1873 by Eadweard Muybridge $20 unframed Canvas totes $15 Ornaments of campus landmarks (Campanil, Mills Hall, Music Bldg, Art Bldg, eucalyptus trees) $20 each To order: Please indicate which items you wish to purchase and the address where they will be sent. Mail payment in the form of a check to AAMC, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, MB#86, Oakland, CA 94613 For more information contact the AAMC at email@example.com or 510.430.2110.
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Mills Quarterly Mills College 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613-1301 510.430.3312 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mills.edu Address service requested Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, CA, and at additional mailing office(s)
The Fine Arts Division celebrates Pauline Oliveros and John Cage October 5: Sixteen Dances (Cage), Rock Piece (Oliveros), Event with Canfield (Cunningham) October 6: Cistern Simulation (Oliveros), Variations IV (Cage), Event with Canfield (Cunningham) Both performances begin at 8:00 pm in the Jeannik MĂŠquet Littlefield Concert Hall and continue in Haas Pavilion To honor the 80th birthday of Pauline Oliveros and the 100th birthday of John Cage, the Mills College Departments of Music and Dance and the Mills College Art Museum present two evenings of music by the two renowned composers. Both evenings will culminate with a performance of Event with Canfield, featuring choreography by Merce Cunningham accompanied by Oliverosâ€™s soundscore, In Memoriam: Nikola Tesla, Cosmic Engineer, and original lighting design by Robert Morris. All works will be performed by Mills faculty, students, and guest artists. Join us to pay tribute to the indelible influence of these groundbreaking artists and their role in making Mills College a leading source of innovation in the fine arts. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors and non-Mills students, free to alumnae with AAMC card. They may be purchased at the door or online at www.boxofficetickets.com. For additional information visit musicnow.mills.edu.
photo by vinciane vergue then
Two Evenings of Artistic Innovation