Mills Quarterly, Spring 2014

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a l u m n a t r u s t e e e l e c t i o n      c r e at i v e e n t r e p r e n e u r s     t h e s t o r i e s w e s h a r e

Mills Quarterly Spring 2014

at home in the world Study abroad programs & international students create informed global citizens

Mills inspired me to find my voice in my work as a teacher and administrator in Oakland’s public schools. I want to help today’s students pursue the wonderful Mills education that I enjoyed. I had financial aid when I was a student, so it’s important for me to give back to the College that means so much to me.

Anita Aragon Bowers ‘63

behind every gift there is a story

Each gift to the College has a story—about a life-path discovered at Mills and followed into the world, about lifelong friendships and inspiring mentors, about a voice found or strengthened. These are the stories you make possible for future generations when you give to Mills. Each gift really does count: college assessors, including U.S. News & World

Report, consider graduates’ giving an important measure of a learning community’s excellence. Your gifts to Mills are a vote of confidence in the College’s future.

Give to the Mills College Annual Fund by scanning the code to the right with your smartphone, visiting, calling 510.430.2366, or returning the enclosed envelope.




Mills Quarterly

contents Spring 2014 3

A global reach

A message from President DeCoudreaux describes how Mills will encourage global literacy, a key component of success in today’s international, connected society.


Many countries, one destination by Linda Schmidt

Students from all points of the globe find knowledge and confidence at Mills to improve communities near and far.


A tale of two cities

Study abroad experiences enable students to open their eyes to a new sense of the world— and of themselves.


Feeding the artist by Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10

The “starving artist” is a thing of the past when a unique business course gives writers, musicians, and others the necessary skills to pursue their creative goals.


Alumna trustee election

Vote for your representative on the Mills College Board of Trustees and the AAMC Board of Governors. See your ballot on the inside back cover.


The Stories We Share

Reunion 2013 saw the launch of a new project to gather alumnae anecdotes and opinions on a variety of experiences. This selection of responses shows the diverse values of Mills alumnae.

Departments 2

Letters to the Editor


Mills Matters


Class Notes


In Memoriam

Cover illustration by Barıs Muratoglu/

Letters to the Editor

and using higher-level languages. Having attended a women’s college, I had a good amount of confidence and my experience

Thank you so much for the most recent

Volume CII Number 3 (USPS 349-900) Spring 2014 President Alecia A. DeCoudreaux Vice President for Institutional Advancement Tanya Hauck Senior Director of Advancement Communications and Outreach Dawn Cunningham ’85 Managing Editor Linda Schmidt Design and Art Direction Nancy Siller Wilson Contributing Writers Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10 Editorial Assistance Maggie Slover ’14 Russell Schoch 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. Copyright © 2014, 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: Phone: 510.430.3312 Printed on recycled paper containing 10 percent post-consumer waste.

(Please use outline)


was that being one of the boys was easy.

edition of the Mills Quarterly. I especially

Today it is the reverse. Gradually uni-

enjoyed the cover article, “Breaking the

versities offered computer classes and

Code.” I had forgotten that Mills was a

eventually one could major in computer

pioneer in offering a major in computer

science—at the cost of other courses. Jobs

science, and I’m glad that it is thriving

require very specific skills and experi-

with Dr. Spertus’s leadership. I love the

ence, and many programming jobs get

cover picture of Miya McClain, who looks

sent overseas. Now, of course, much of

like a quintessential Mills woman: intelli-

what one does with a computer is to use

gent, accomplished, beautiful, confident,

other people’s programs (that is what I

and part of the diversity that is Mills!

am doing as I write this letter).

—Gwen Jackson Foster ’67

Many women do become very com-

Oakland, California

puter literate and this is a good thing. But my guess is that women just don’t find

As a graduate student at Mills, I was

CS an interesting major when there are so

deeply offended by the cover of the

many other things to major in. —Bonnie Craig van Oosterom ’57

last issue. The statement “Funny, you

Beverly Hills, California

don’t look like a computer engineer...,” paired with the alumna pictured, communi-

Every time I read the Mills

cates a negative and degrad-

Quarterly I am amazed and

ing message about women,

delighted at Mills as it is

particularly black women.

today and furious at how

I question why the author

it was when I was a stu-

chose to quote a nameless

dent. The education was

bigot. Could not a positive,

poor, and the faculty and



students were all white,

been selected? It is my sin-

except for a few students


from China.

cere hope that in the future you will more carefully examine the

In 1947, Betty McCaughin ’48 and I

potential impact of the words chosen

met with Dr. White, the president. We

for publication—most especially those

asked him why there were no black girls

which appear so prominently.

at Mills. He replied that they had schools

—Sandy Bonshahi

of their own to go to. Betty and I left furi-

Pleasant Hill, California

ous. We were smart enough to ask the question but not sophisticated enough to

The article “Breaking the Code” was well

respond to his bigoted reply. Now, I love

written and had a lot to say, but it did

to see the women of various ancestries

leave out a few things. In the 1940s, ’50s,

working together at Mills. How Mills has

and ’60s many women were hired in com-


panies to program and use computers. It

When I first went to college my mother

was a new field without the old-fashioned

told me that if I wanted to work I had

ideas about women’s place in math and

three choices: teacher, secretary, or nurse.

science. The pay and respect were equal.

And she was right! Mills today offers pro-

The idea of a boy’s club wasn’t there. One

grams that enable women to do anything

learned to program on the job with a lit-

they want and they are doing it. It is the

tle training or just help from colleagues

major change of my lifetime and I am

and the manual that went with the early


computers, starting with gutsy machine language coding and later hearing about

—Ellen Myers Taves ’48 Redmond, Washington

Have an opinion or comment? Send it to Mills Quarterly, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakland, CA 94613 or Letters may be edited for clarity or length. M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

A Message from the President of Mills College

A global reach By Alecia A. DeCoudreaux All of us today, no matter what our age,

and American students alike. Our inter-

are challenged to develop greater global

national alumnae have many stories to

and intercultural competency than ever

share about how Mills shaped their lives,

before. For Mills students, this challenge

preparing them for careers that cross

has particular significance for the course

national and cultural borders. Many of

of their lives.

our current “domestic” students bring a

Many students have family or friends

global awareness informed by family ties

who live abroad, keeping in touch daily

and personal experiences: more than 40

through social media and email. They

percent of this year’s new students are

are tuned in to videos of dramatic events

fluent in a language other than English.

unfolding simultaneously in every region

Burmese, Laotian, Danish, Russian, Arabic,

with other colleges. We are also designing

of the globe. They listen to or play music

Mandarin, Cantonese, and Spanish are

new interdisciplinary majors and minors,

that combines Western, urban beats with

all spoken here. A mix of international

such as one on international develop-

melodies and instruments from places

students and globally aware domestic

ment and economics.

where electricity is a luxury. And many

students is essential in an educational

expect to pursue careers that involve

environment that values global literacy.

Finally, internationalizing Mills means providing opportunities for students and

some sort of transnational work: from

To increase the proportion of interna-

faculty to study, work, and attend con-

anticipating changes in global markets to

tional students at Mills, we are developing

ferences abroad. We are exploring ways

investigating global epidemics to collabo-

a targeted recruitment plan, partnerships

to establish new international exchange

rating with artists in the Global South.

with universities in Turkey, Hong Kong,

and internship programs—as well as to

Our students’ success in life depends

and China, and programs to support the

provide students with the financial sup-

upon acquiring and strengthening, while

success and retention of our international

port to participate in such programs. We

at college, the intellectual and leadership


also encourage our faculty to travel for

To further encourage global literacy,

international research, conferences, and

we are seeking to create a curriculum

teaching. These activities help attract and


that equips students to communicate

retain students as well as faculty, enhance

College’s 2013–18 Strategic Plan, alum-

effectively with people from different

global competency, and help increase

nae, faculty, staff, and students identified

backgrounds; analyze the international

Mills’ visibility internationally.

the need for the College to have a more

context of various issues, events, and

Our strategic plan quotes President

global focus, including strengthened for-

relationships; and act upon a sense of

Aurelia Henry Reinhardt in 1927, who

eign language instruction and increased

global responsibility. Language study and

called for “the linking of all campus

recruitment of international students.

multilingualism are at the core of global

activities with the needs and opportu-

That’s why “Internationalizing Mills” is

literacy, so we are investigating how

nities of the great world.” We continue

one of six imperatives which together

best to expand the foreign languages we

to strengthen those links, even as they

will ensure that the education we provide

offer—for example, through partnership

become more complex and numerous.

skills to learn from, and make a difference in, this global context. During




is increasingly relevant and powerful for our students in the years ahead. The number of students on campus who are not US citizens or permanent residents has been low in recent years, making up less than 2 percent of our student body (in many colleges, international students make up 10 to 15 percent). Nevertheless, we know the Mills experience has helped broaden the perspectives of international

Visit to read about all six imperatives of the 2013–18 Strategic Plan: • • • • • •

Developing a curriculum with a purpose in a changing world Creating more flexible ways to obtain a Mills education Strengthening our commitment to inclusion, social justice, and sustainability Internationalizing Mills Promoting a vibrant and inclusive campus life Developing and sustaining partnerships SPRING 2014


Mills Matters Contributions support student scholarships and academic programs Mills College gratefully acknowledges

Project, which offers English graduate

ous support of the Math and Science

the following gifts, grants, and pledges

students the opportunity to lead writing

Summer Bridge Program and contributed

of $50,000 and more received between

workshops in underserved communities

to the Janet L. Holmgren Presidential

July 1 and December 31, 2013.

in the Bay Area. A gift from an anony-

Scholarship. The Walter & Elise Haas Fund

mous donor to the English Department

extended its grant in support of the Mills

several new scholarships and fel-

will support the enhancement of literary

Teacher Scholars program, which provides

lowships: Samuel Nakamura, son of

studies over the next three years.

professional development for urban public

Alumnae and friends have created

Toshiko Nakamura ’33, established the

Linda Borick ’74 and her husband,

school teachers who work with children

S. Colburn and Toshiko Eto Nakamura

William Davidson, contributed support

from vulnerable populations in Alameda

Health Sciences Scholarship in memory

for the Dance Department through the

and Contra Costa counties.

of his parents. The scholarship bene-

Liatis Foundation and the Louis L. Borick

fits students in the College’s Nursing

Foundation. Their gifts will provide

ous gift to Mills’ Greatest Need, as did

Program. Venky Aiyar established the

funding for a visiting assistant professor-

Joyce Virginia Barnier ’46 and Jacklyn

Meenakshi Jemboonath and Annis

ship, the Liatis Foundation Fellowship in

Davidson Burchill ’44.

Venkatram Aiyar Scholarship in memory

Dance, new equipment for the depart-

of his mother and wife, respectively;

ment, and an artist-in-residence.

Annis Aiyar served for many years on

Splunk, Inc., made a gift to the

Betty and Gordon Moore made a gener-

The College received an unrestricted bequest from Patricia “Pat” Tiggard Boese ’50, who served as president of the East

the staffs of the Alumnae Association of

Department of Mathematics and

Bay Mills Branch for many years. In addi-

Mills College (AAMC) and the College’s

Computer Science in support of the

tion, the College received unrestricted

Office of Institutional Advancement. This

work of the department head, Professor

bequests from G. Patricia Beckman ’55 of

scholarship supports students with dis-

Almudena Konrad. The Hellman

Corona del Mar and Flora Provis ’27 of

abilities. Patricia Collins Gabbe ’64 and

Foundation continued its gener-

Felton, California.

her husband, Steven, created the Sherla and John F. Collins Endowed Scholarship, named in honor of Patricia’s parents, for students majoring in the sciences. Mei Kwong ’70, a member of the Mills College Board of Trustees, and her husband, Laurence Franklin, made a gift through the Morris S. Smith Foundation to support the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business, Mills’ Greatest Need, and the President’s Fund for Innovation. Another trustee, Barbara Ahmajan Wolfe ’65, and her husband, Thomas, made a gift in support of recruitment and outreach, graduate program marketing, and the development of the College’s brand platform. Brion and Sabrina Applegate, P ’15, also made a generous contribution to the President’s Fund for Innovation. Carol Davis, MFA ’12, made a gift to support Mills’ Greatest Need and two English Department programs: the distinguished visiting writer appointment and the Community Teaching


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

Honoring a legacy of leadership, collaboration, and innovation Mary Ann Childers Kinkead ’63, MA ’65, a fixture in the Dance Department for nearly a half century, demonstrated an unwavering devotion to the faculty, students, and mission of Mills College throughout her life. Although she passed away in spring 2013, her connection to Mills endures in the form of the Mary Ann Childers Kinkead Initiative for Faculty Innovation (MACK Faculty Initiative), which will encourage faculty leadership, collaboration, and innovation. The initiative will refresh the College’s curriculum by funding innovative projects proposed by faculty, such as new courses, collaborative research, and exploration of effective teaching practices and technologies. It will support one of the key imperatives of Mills’ strategic plan: to develop a curriculum that prepares students to succeed in a changing world. Mary Ann’s husband, Jordan Kinkead, and family members have provided initial funding to endow the initiative; Professor Nancy Thornborrow, head of the Economics Department, and her husband, Stephen, have also made a commitment to the MACK Faculty Initiative. “This fund is such a fitting way to honor Mary Ann, and, along with her many years of service, this initiative will enable her to continue to serve her beloved College into the future,” Kinkead says. “She loved Mills and what the institution stands for. She always encouraged the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees to fully appreciate and support the special qualities of Mills College.” The MACK Faculty Initiative will enrich the experience of both students and faculty alike. In addition, the initiative will fund the MACK Award for Faculty Leadership to recognize faculty members who show a deep commitment to shared governance. Kinkead also created the Mary Ann Childers Kinkead Endowed Fellowship for Dance to benefit graduate students in the Dance Department.

New VP leads fundraising and alumnae engagement efforts Tanya Hauck will soon become a familiar

At Cal Poly, Hauck worked with the

face to Mills alumnae. When she joined

senior leadership team to generate

the College on April 1 as vice president

unprecedented support for academic

for institutional advancement, Hauck

programs; established strategic annual

took responsibility for a wide range of

plans, fundraising goals, and perfor-

programs that connect alumnae with

mance metrics for the advancement

Mills and encourage philanthropic giv-

department; and successfully launched

ing to the College.

the university’s $500 million Learn by

Hauck came to Mills from California

Doing Promise Campaign.

Polytechnic State University, where she

“Mills will gain much from Tanya’s

was most recently associate vice presi-

ability to interest external stakeholders,

dent for development—the latest in a

including those outside the normal

20-year career of progressively respon-

circles of donors, and convince them to

sible leadership roles in advancement.

invest in the College in transformational

“As a first-generation university

ways,” says President DeCoudreaux, who

graduate, I am inspired by Mills’ story of

chaired the search committee for this

providing educational opportunities for

critical position. “She has had success as

women and its commitment to diversity

well in developing creative outreach

and inclusivity,” says Hauck. “And I am

activities for alumni that engage their

excited by the opportunity to partner

talents and imagination.”

advancement efforts with the College’s

Additional members of the search

Tanya Hauck

Renée Jadushlever, Assistant Professor of Government Martha Johnson, and

current strategic imperatives related to

committee included Art Museum

Liz Parker ’85, who also heads the Mills

increasing enrollment and broadening

Director Stephanie Hanor, Chief of

College Board of Trustees’ Advancement

community and global engagement.”

Staff and Vice President for Operations


S te v e Babul jak

Congresswomen convene on campus A standing-room-only crowd gathered in the Mills College Student Union February 1, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee ’73 returned to her alma mater with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other dignitaries to unveil the new postage stamp honoring Shirley Chisholm. In 1968, Chisholm became the first African American woman elected to Congress; Lee began her political career as a volunteer in Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign after meeting Chisholm during a campaign stop at Mills. A panel discussion on women’s Oakland Postmaster Daryl Trujillo, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, and President DeCoudreaux

economic empowerment, moderated by well-known Bay Area journalist Belva Davis, followed the unveiling. SPRING 2014


Calendar Senior Dance Concert April 4, Lisser Hall, 7:00 pm

MFA Thesis Dance Concert April 17–19, Lisser Hall, 8:00 pm $10 general, free to Mills students and alumnae. For information, contact 510.430.2175 or

Mills College Art Museum April 1–20  Senior Thesis Exhibition May 4–25  MFA Thesis Exhibition For more information, see or contact 510.430.2164 or 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.

Daljit Bains ’99

Commencement 2014 May 17, Holmgren Meadow, 9:45 am Daljit Bains ’99 will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Commencement ceremony. As chief compliance officer for the Peace Corps, Bains is responsible for the management and global compliance of Peace Corps programs in 70 countries.

Songlines Series April 7  Shackle: Flute, electronics, and laptop-instrument. All events start at 7:30 pm in the Ensemble Room. Admission is free. For information see or contact John Bischoff at 510.430.2332 or

In addition, she founded a fair trade textile business in 2006 that provides a living wage to hundreds of women weavers in rural India. Bains educates these women in international marketing and trade and mentors them in growing the business. With her focus on equity, women’s rights, and human dignity, Bains is a wonderful example of the power of a Mills education.

Contemporary Writers Series April 8  Kelsey St. Press 40th Anniversary Readings and talks celebrating four decades of publishing collaborations between women poets and artists. Heller Rare Book Room, 5:30 pm, free. For information, contact Stephanie Young at 510.430.3130 or

? Save the dates for reunion 2014 September 18–21 Convocation on September 19

At Mills, for Alumnae Alumnae Relations 510.430.2123, Alumnae Admission Representatives Vala Burnett, Assistant Director of Admissions 510.430.2269, Career Services 510.430.2130, Giving to Mills 510.430.2366, Library Services 510.430.2377,

M Center/Transcripts 510.430.2000, Pool and Gym Trefethen Aquatic Center 510.430.2170, Haas Pavilion Fitness Center 510.430.3376, Alumnae Association of Mills College   (AAMC) Lucy Do ’75, President 510.430.2110, AAMC, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., MB #86, Oakland, CA 94613-1301

For more information on these and other alumnae services at Mills, visit 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.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

Celebrating alumnae from class years ending in 4 or 9, including the Golden Girls of 1964 All alumnae are welcome! A Reunion schedule and registration form will be mailed in early summer to alumnae in reunioning classes. For further information, contact the Mills College Office of Alumnae Relations: or 510.430.2123.

Campus kudos A selection of recent achievements by faculty, staff, and students James Fei, associate professor of elec-

ties, solution labs, collaboration grants, a

tronic arts in the Music Department,

growing research and learning platform,

received a $30,000 Grants to Artists

and a funding marketplace. As part of

Award from the Foundation for

this effort, Mills aims to graduate 100

Contemporary Arts. Awardees are

math and science teachers in the next

nominated by a group of distinguished

five years.

artists and arts professionals and are

Meredith May, lecturer in journal-

selected on the basis of the merit and

ism, was awarded a three-week writing

imaginativeness of their work and the

residency at Hedgebrook, a program

effect such support might have at this

for women writers on Whidbey Island,

point in their careers.

Washington. May will work on her

Percussionist and Mills music instruc-

memoir, “The Honey Bus.” Later this

tor William Winant, MFA ’82, was nom-

spring, she will discuss beekeeping as a

inated for a 2014 Grammy Award in the

speaker at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s

“Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble

Cooking for Solutions, a three-day sym-

Performance” category for his work on a

posium of celebrity chefs, wine tasting,

recording of The Ten Thousand Things by

and food talks.

John Cage. Dissident Writings of Arab Women:

Sheldon Smith, visiting assistant professor of dance, was named on both

Voices Against Violence, the latest book

the San Francisco Chronicle’s and Bay

by Professor of French and Francophone

Guardian’s “10 Best of 2013” lists for

Studies Brinda Mehta, has been pub-

his evening-length dance-theater work,

lished by Routledge Press.

Father On, created in collaboration with

The 2013 book Why Prison?, part

choreographer Scott Wells. In November,

of the Cambridge Studies in Law and

Smith’s algorithmically generated dance

Society series, features the article “Why

video installation, Endless Gestures of

No Prisons?” authored by Professor of

Goodwill, was installed at the Museum

Ethnic Studies Julia Chinyere Oparah.

of Contemporary Art in Chicago; a new

Oparah is also co-chairing the National

evening-length production, created with

Association for Ethnic Studies annual

his wife and partner, Lisa Wymore, will

conference, which will be held at Mills

premiere at CounterPULSE Theater in

in April.

San Francisco in May.

The Mills College School of Education

James Fei

Julia Chinyere Oparah

The artwork of Professor of English

has been selected to become a partner

Ajuan Mance was featured in the Arts

with 100Kin10, a network of educa-

and Theater section of the San Francisco

tional institutions, government agencies,

Chronicle in January. Mance has created

foundations, and nonprofit organizations

more than 600 portraits in a planned

working to recruit and prepare 100,000

series of “1001 Black Men,” based on

science, technology, engineering, and

real people she encounters in daily life.

mathematics (STEM) teachers by 2021.

Several of her paintings were exhibited

Partner organizations are accepted based

as part of this year’s Art of Living Black

on their track record of developing

open studio season, presented by the

outstanding STEM teachers. They gain

Richmond Art Center.

access to exclusive research opportuniWilliam Winant



Many countries, one destination by Linda Schmidt


rom its very inception, Mills College has been a small school with an international reach. Founders Cyrus and Susan Mills had served as missionaries and educators in Ceylon and the Sandwich Islands—known to us today as Sri Lanka

and Hawaii—and their overseas ties brought students from abroad to study at the new seminary alongside the daughters of local miners, farmers, and merchants. Today, Mills continues to attract women from all over the world who seek exceptional opportunities for classroom learning and personal expression. On these pages, you’ll meet three extraordinary alumnae whose differing paths have led them all to the idyllic Oakland campus redolent of eucalyptus. Their pursuits are as diverse as their nationalities but, as they move through the world, their stories all show how each individual can make a significant difference in communities near and far. Johanna Paillet-Growl ’07, originally from France, earned her degree in anthropology-sociology and has been an aid worker in Africa and South America. “I enjoy doing direct service and interacting with people,” she says. “Going into the field and doing humanitarian work allows me to apply the theoretical understanding I acquired at Mills and become a vehicle for tangible change.” Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, MA ’00, didn’t realize her true role until she saw the interplay of cultures between her native Mexico and her new home in the Bay Area. “If I had stayed in Mexico, I’m sure I would be doing great things, but not at all what I’m doing now. I love my cultural and musical roots and want to be able to transmit that love to others,” she says. “Coming here really helped me discover my calling in life.” “Mills offers a high-caliber education that allows students to develop and bloom,” says Inge Hendromartono ’81, who found that options for higher education were limited in her home country of Indonesia. “There are so many students who can truly benefit from studying in the US. Mills can offer the world a great place for education for women.” American students also benefit from the presence of students from overseas, who bring their unique perspectives to discussion in and out of the classroom. “To be leaders in the world, all students need exposure to the global community— through study abroad, international internships, and a diverse student body,” says Vice President of Student Life Eloise Stiglitz. “International students are an important part of the richness of the campus community and help create a truly multi-cultural environment. Everyone learns when multiple perspectives are a part of our daily dialog and we see how values and history shape our knowledge. That awareness can be eye opening.”


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

s a young girl of eight, living

mom had said as you travel abroad, you

in a small town on the north

will be exposed to many different things;





be open to all of it.”

Hendromartono knew that she wanted to

After beginning as an art major, she

see the world. “One of my uncles, a sea cap-

spent a semester abroad at the Sorbonne

tain, came back from his travels and gave

in Paris and completed her degree in eco-

me a book showing children of the world,

nomics, went on to earn an MBA from

with their costumes and customs,” she

UCLA, and soon found herself moving to

says. “‘Whoa! There’s a whole world out

Switzerland to join the international mar-

there with all these people who are differ-

keting division of Procter and Gamble. “I

ent than myself,’ I thought. How fascinat-

met people there from literally all over

ing, how I wished to get to know them.”

the world,” she says. “It was an amazing,

Her parents were well-known batik art-

wonderful time—a dream come true.”

ists who encouraged her to study hard

This was not the end to her travels,

and learn English. Inge did well in school,

however. Three years later, by chance,

but was crushed when, as a woman

she met up in New York with Christopher

of Chinese descent, she was denied

Senn, a half-Swiss, half-British former col-

entrance to a high school study abroad

league from Geneva. They had remained

program and again when quotas kept her

in touch and “it was just the right time

from attending the national university.

when we met again,” Hendromartono

“The culture was very divided; discrimi-

says. A whirlwind romance followed

nation was much stronger then than it is

and, spurred by a shared entrepreneurial

now,” she says.

spirit, they decided to get married, ditch

One of the foreign visitors who frequently came to their house to buy fabrics, a man from San Jose, California, suggested the possibility of study in the US. He helped Inge apply and gain admittance to UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and Mills. “Mills gave me nearly a full scholarship,” she says—an offer that made her continuing education possible.

dana davis


their corporate jobs, move back to the Bay Area, and start a business.

Follow your heart Inge Hendromartono ’81

“I was so excited. I had always heard that the US was the melting pot, and it was. I met students from so many

“I had felt my artistic side was sup-

porate beading, silk, leather, Swarovski

countries—to me it was just heaven!”

pressed,” she explains. “For me, our

crystals, and other materials, in 1999

Hendromartono says. “I thought my

business had to be something creative

they acquired Whiting and Davis, a metal

English was good enough, but it was a

in order to give me happiness. For him,

mesh handbag company that had been in

struggle to understand lectures and do all

any industry was OK as long as it was

existence for over a century, and set to

the reading. I had to use my dictionary,

his own. Naturally, I decided on fashion

reinvigorating the brand with new colors

but I managed.”

accessories because I didn’t want to deal

and designs.

Mills offered a wide-ranging academic

with sizing!”

“Having the chance to cultivate inter-

and social education and its supportive

Their new venture, IngeChristopher,

national friends provides an invaluable

environment increased her confidence

reflected the couple’s international expe-

lesson that you just cannot possibly learn

and independence. “I loved the small

rience. They began by designing and

in a classroom,” Hendromartono says.

classes and the way the liberal arts curric-

producing sterling silver jewelry from

“We’re all connected; the world is get-

ulum enables you to explore various sub-

Bali, beaded handbags from China, and

ting smaller and smaller. When you get to

jects and broaden your mind,” she says.

antique rattan handbags from Indonesia.

know or live in another country, it makes

“I was so busy adapting and learning. My

After specializing in handbags that incor-

the world come alive.”




artha Rodriguez-Salazar is the daughter of a prominent engineer and professor in Mexico

City. But she came to love opera through the influence of her mother and a singer with whom she took voice lessons; she also became an accomplished flutist. “Music turned out to be my passion,” she says. “My father, he makes bridges structurally, but I create them in a different way. I create them artistically.” am y fowler

Her musical career began with a stint in the Mexican navy, which offered the chance to work in choirs and an orchestra, and then 10 years touring Mexico as part of a flute and gui-

Martha Rodriguez-Salazar, MA ’00

tar duo. But, she says, “I came to a point in my life when I felt it

was the moment to leave and go pursue

amazing to have my peers compos-

apparent in two other efforts: With her

a dream.” She applied to Mills in order

ing for me and wanting to collaborate.”

chamber group, the Bernal Hill Players,

to study with Angela Koregelos, a flute

These teachers and peers connected

she has initiated a project to commis-

player who teaches at Mills.

her to a wider community of artists,

sion pieces by San Francisco composers

“Coming to Mills changed my life,”

including Priscilla Call, who introduced

inspired by neighborhoods in the city.

Rodriguez-Salazar says. Her transforma-

her to the Community Music Center in

The next stage of the project will bring

tion was not just artistic. After the hectic

San Francisco’s Mission District, where

in composers from Mexico City, with an

bustle of Mexico City, the Mills campus

Rodriguez-Salazar now teaches flute,

ultimate goal of sponsoring a musical

seemed peaceful and beautiful. The Bay

voice, and piano and a scholarship Latin

exchange program.

Area’s multicultural environment helped

music program for local teenagers. Many

And her work curating the San Francisco

her gain a new appreciation for her

of her pupils are second-generation

Symphony’s Day of the Dead festival,

Latina heritage. And the vibrancy of the

Latino students. “When they learn to

which combines classical and traditional

gay community gave her a deep sense of

play Latin music they begin to identify

works from both Latin American and other

strength. “It was very inclusive,” she says.

with their roots and understand where

composers, brings the Latino community

“I lived with a lot of social pressure in

their parents come from,” she says.

to a type of performance that can be seen

Mexico, where it was not at all easy to be

Her work spans generations: She is also

as intimidating or inaccessible. It also

myself as an artist and as an ‘out’ person.

directing four groups that are participat-

offers the opportunity to mediate between

Mills gave me the freedom to just feel at

ing in a five-year study by UCSF to evalu-

differing standards and expectations.

ease.” (She married her partner in music

ate the cognitive and physical effects

“Some of our Mexican cultural tradi-

and in life at the Mills Chapel in 2009.)

that singing in a choir has for adults over

tions surrounding death are at odds with


60. “Working with older adults has been

North American approaches to the sub-

academic support at Mills equalled the

one of the best gigs,” she says warmly. “I

ject, such as when I proposed creating an

social support. “It was not the stressful,

love the stories of older people, I love the

altar honoring deceased San Francisco

competitive atmosphere that you would

effect that music gives them instantly.”

Symphony musicians,” Rodriguez-Salazar




find at a conservatory,” she says. “It was

Her function as a “bridge” may be most

smiles. “But it’s my seventh year there now, and they’re starting to understand

Bridging cultures, creating communities 10

M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

what the culture is about. And I’m understanding them as well. “I get such energy from doing what I like in life and the amazing possibilities here,” she says. “Working with the community and seeing the joy that music produces in people really feeds me. I see that I’m planting seeds that are growing into beautiful flowers.”

Recognizing human dignity an income-generation program in a

continents (so far) and being

region of chronic conflict. She also



earned a master’s degree from the

Johanna Paillet-Growl is a bona fide

Monterey Institute of International

citizen of the world.

Studies in Monterey, California.



A native of Montpelier, France, Johanna

Underlying all these activities is

grew up hearing stories of colonial influ-

a dedication to human rights that

ence in Africa and of independent Senegal

was honed at Mills. “The guiding

from her mother, who had been born and

thread is recognizing human dig-

raised in Senegal. Her family frequently

nity and enabling people to change

discussed world events and they were

their situation,” she says. “Change is

able to visit many different countries

slow,” she adds thoughtfully. “In any

throughout her childhood. “That defi-

of the work I do, I always ask—is it

nitely opened up my mind,” she says. “I

really making an impact? Is it really

had a lot of interest in Africa and other

sustainable?” Paillet-Growl moved to California

countries and wanted to go abroad.” from

with her family in 1996 and earned

Mills, she received a fellowship from the

a degree in documentary photogra-

Washington DC–based Advocacy Project

phy from the Academy of Art, but

and her ability to speak French virtually

her desire for a more intellectually

guaranteed a placement in Africa. She

substantial education led her to

traveled to Cameroon, where she evalu-

Mills. Small classes and outstanding

ated an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign,

professors—she cites Fred Lawson,

produced a bilingual documentary about

among others—provided her with a

women market traders, and provided

solid footing.





those women with training in communi-

“Mills was critical in terms of

Dana davis


aving lived and worked on four

my coming of age as a person,” she

cations and fundraising. “My time in Africa was definitely life changing,” she says. “I so admire the courage and humility of the women market traders. Despite challenges of literacy

Johanna Paillet-Growl ’07

or age or children to support, their desire

says. “It was the foundation for me to

lingual immigrants, so the job allows her

to learn and power to move forward was

pursue the work that I’ve done, and it

to use her Spanish skills to help youth in



really developed my desire to focus on

a meaningful way.

Cameroon also brought her first-hand

women’s rights and women’s empower-

She and her husband are now busy

experience of the legacy of colonialism.

ment. Other experiences have continued

raising two young children of their own,

“There is still a lot of negative French

to layer over that—and hopefully will

but she already foresees a return to work

influence in the country; people were

continue to do so.”

in the international arena. “Living abroad



very guarded at first, and it took a while

She currently lives in Alameda and

is a gift you can give to your children.

to gain their trust,” she says. But by the

works with the Seneca Center, helping to

It expands your mind and it makes you

time she left Cameroon, the women had

connect children living in out-of-home

question who you are,” she says. “There’s

warmed to her, learned grant writing, and

care, such as those in the foster system,

a lot of beauty in incorporating different

are continuing to grow their businesses.

with relatives who can provide a sense

cultures and influences—you try to take

The following year, she traveled to

of meaningful family connection and

the best out of all of them.”

Colombia to evaluate the effectiveness of

belonging. Many of her clients are mono-



A tale of two cities Cristina Wallace ’10 spent a summer taking classes in Hong Kong. Rosanne Cunningham ’90 studied and worked in London during her junior year. Although their experiences are separated by two decades and 6,000 miles, both women cite their time abroad as perhaps the most valuable episodes of their academic careers.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

“I had always been really interested in East Asian culture, and

there, so much opportunity in this world.

the diversity of the city of Hong Kong was fascinating,” says

“Coming back I was definitely more confident, more willing to

Wallace. “I wanted to be immersed in a culture so different from

put myself out there and try something new,” she continues. “I

what I’m used to in the US—and I definitely got it.”

went out and got a job off campus and started making money so

The classes she took at Lingnan University—on cultural differ-


I could get a car. I loved that independence so I worked for it.”

ences and gender roles in Hong Kong society—were conducted in English, but her classmates were local or from mainland China. “I liked taking classes that were relevant to my experience there.

Christina Wallace now serves as assistant registrar at Mills,

I wanted to know, culturally, what was going on,” she says.

where she oversees the student application process and serves

As an outspoken Mills student, she was surprised to find that

as secretary to the International Study Committee, the group of

most students did not speak up in class. She also found herself

faculty advisors who oversee programs in various regions. “I’m

confronting strongly held beliefs shaped by traditional Chinese

very passionate about study abroad—and secretly wish it were a

culture, such as the assumption that a woman will work only

requirement for all students,” she says.

until she gets married. “Hearing those very different opinions

Students can choose from programs in more than 60 countries

was part of the experience that I wouldn’t have gotten else-

through partnerships with international study organizations and

where,” she says. “It taught me how to keep an open mind, ask

individual institutions. Domestic exchanges are also available

questions, be respectful, and try to understand.”

with colleges within the US. “There’s been a real growing interest in the more experiential and field-based programs, such as the

“Study abroad made me recognize that there’s so much out there, so much opportunity in this world.” —Rosanne Cunningham, shown at left with her daughter while visiting India in 2012

ecology programs offered by the School for Field Studies and programs focused on social justice and human rights through the School for International Training,” Wallace adds. “Students want to be immersed in a place where they can make a difference.” But the pressure of trying to fulfill all major requirements and graduate on time can make it difficult for students to participate in study abroad programs and, since institutional aid cannot be applied when a student goes overseas, the financial obstacles can be significant. For these reasons, Wallace says, the College is working to expand summer programs and options for shorter-term placements. Students studying at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of

One of her most memorable moments, however, happened

Business, for example, can take advantage of a summer exchange

when she boarded the wrong city bus. “I had gotten those ‘teach

program with the École Supérieure de Commerce de Pau in

yourself the language’ CDs, so I had all my phrases down and

southern France. With its focus on international business the-

felt like I was a step ahead...until I got lost,” she laughs. A cell

ory and practice, the school attracts students from throughout

phone call to a local friend who acted as translator sorted out the

Europe, the US, India, and South America.

problem. “But that actually felt so empowering,” Wallace says. “I had to take care of myself, and I made it back!”

“Mills students come back having gotten to work with an international team of students and having developed skills that

Rosanne Cunningham, who is now an independent media pro-

they just can’t get from working in local companies or with only

ducer in Los Angeles, also gained valuable insights in her time

California students,” says Assistant Professor of Business Carol

overseas, which combined classes at two London universities

Theokary, who advises participating MBA students. As more and

with an internship at Island Records. The internship gave her

more businesses operate on a global scale, such understanding

a first taste of the entertainment business, but her experience

becomes not only important, but necessary.

overall provided a new sense of possibility and self-confidence. “I grew up on Oahu, in the middle of the ocean, and felt physically and culturally isolated,” she says. “I was curious and wanted to see the world.”

“The experience really increases their cross-cultural competence,” Theokary adds. “These students learn that the rules that apply here aren’t always applicable there.” Whatever study abroad duration or destination a student

Living in central London, she got a job as a waitress and spent

chooses, the rewards are lasting and significant. “After I gradu-

most weekends exploring new towns. “It was so easy to get

ated, I made a resolution that I would travel at least four weeks

around, and doing so gave me a great sense of independence,

every year,” says Cunningham. “Study abroad had a profound

of freedom, of how to improvise and be innovative,” she says.

effect on my life by instilling a drive to keep exploring and learn-

“Study abroad made me recognize that there’s so much out

ing and growing.”

◆ SPRING 2014


t E i n t i L

When creative entrepreneurs learn to build a business, starvation becomes a thing of the past By Jessica Langlois, MFA ’10  •  Photos by Dana Davis hen Kiala Givehand speaks, she tents the

weeks, her journal had a name, Generations; and in less than a

long, slender fingers of one hand on the

year, she had published her first issue.

t w t i n w t i n w i n

tabletop before her, working them across its


surface. As she considers a new idea, or casts

w w

about in her mind for the perfect words to

Nancy Thornborrow, head of the Economics Department,

express her next thought, she leans back in

had recognized the need to create a course for students like

her chair and smiles, delighted to be considering new approaches.

Givehand. In a conversation with Professor of Music Fred Frith,

At her side, she keeps a small notebook, ever ready to jot down

Thornborrow learned that MFA music courses don’t cover

the name of an article to read later, a business model to research,

the practical issues of being a working artist. Thornborrow, a

or a new person to contact. When her phone buzzes (every 10

lover of opera and the arts whose late son had been a practic-

minutes or so), she gently taps it, looks at the incoming message,

ing painter, and Frith, who is also an actively touring musi-

and seamlessly returns to her conversation. On a sunny winter

cian, joined forces to fill the need of students who wanted to

morning, Givehand is sitting in a Jack London Square café, both

gain the necessary skills to launch and sustain their artistic

discussing and enacting creative entrepreneurship.

endeavors. The College’s strengths in both art and business

When Givehand came to Mills as an MFA poetry student

provided a natural setting for them to create a course answer-

in 2008, she was already a seasoned writing instructor at the

ing that need; and so, in 2008, the course The Business of Being

secondary and college levels, and had traveled widely to train

an Artist was first offered.

faculty and administrators in teaching strategies. At Mills, she

“We asked Mills faculty to participate, and Fred talked to

was planning to hone her craft as a poet, and also hoping to

people he knew, artists who have day jobs,” says Thornborrow.

discover ways to make her art a part of her professional life. She

She selected over a dozen guest lecturers for the course, artist-

had a vision to combine her passions for education and poetry

businesspersons who could speak from experience. Today, the

by founding a literary journal that would publish both young

lecturers for the class represent many fields in arts and busi-

and established writers. She served as poetry editor of the cam-

ness—from dance to visual arts and from marketing to taxes—

pus literary journal 580 Split, working closely with Professor of

and focus on the diverse topics that go into learning how to

English Juliana Spahr, who offered a decade’s worth of experi-

make a living as a creative entrepreneur. By putting artists in

ence in small press publishing. But, still, the idea of starting her

conversation with business students and professionals commit-

own journal was daunting. It remained unnamed, more a cluster

ted to the arts, the class is not only giving individual students

of possibilities and hopes than a concrete product. Then, in her

the tools to become self-sufficient in pursuing their art, but

final semester at Mills, Givehand enrolled in a new interdisci-

also helping to ensure the sustainability of the arts in today’s

plinary course, The Business of Being an Artist. Within a few

technology-driven, entrepreneurial landscape.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

w i n

w t

Kiala Givehand, MFA ’10



What sets this course apart is the way it zeros in on the intersec-

The first step, he explains to the artists in the class, is building

tions among all artistic fields; musicians, dancers, photographers,

and carefully tending to an audience, as through it were a gar-

painters, poets, and sculptors all find a space in the class. “To be

den. “People feel like there’s no grey area between being silent

in community with folks who are in a creative process made me

and being an egomaniac,” says Cohen, who speaks quickly and

look at my own creative process differently,” Givehand recalls. She

fluidly in well-crafted sound bites. But everyone has their own

discovered that the elements are the same across the disciplines:

“communication superpower,” he says—whether it’s attending

engaging in artistic practice, creating a product, sharing that prod-

events regularly or sending out tweets. “You might be a hand-

uct with the public through exhibition or publication, and seek-

shake person or you might be a digital person,” he says.

ing recognition or compensation.

Other visiting speakers bring their own experience to bear on

It was within this community that Givehand was finally able

how to build a successful life in the arts. Accountant and tax

to realize her vision. She hadn’t thought of herself as an art-

expert Andrew Stern has been a musician most of his life; his

ist when she came to Mills; her identity as a writer and poet

recent tax guide for self-employed artists, Z Art of Taxes, has

had always been secondary to her paid work as an educator.

been lauded by Bay Area authors and musicians. Cheryl Clarke,

After taking Thornborrow’s course, Givehand came to recog-

a grant writer and published short story author, shares her

nize herself as a working artist—an essential concept that helped

knowledge of how skills in fiction can be used to improve grant

her apply a practical approach to her creativity and recognize

proposals. “Funders always say, just tell us your story,” explains

the financial value of her literary efforts. “I don’t think only of

Clarke, who answered her phone on the first ring late on a Friday

Generations as a business,” she says. “I think of the writing life

and happily made time to talk between client consultations. “A

itself as a business.”

proposal is a story–in the traditional sense–with characters, plot

w i n w i n w i n

w wt t ehe w t

arc, antagonists. It’s all integrated,” she says. Givehand used such lessons in launching Generations.

Assistant Professor of English Kathryn Reiss, a widely published

Building an audience meant tapping into the existing literary

young-adult author, speaks to the Business of Being an Artist class

scene, as well as establishing an online presence and a commu-

about finding an agent, working with an editor, and negotiating

nity presence. She kept the first issue of Generations manageable

contracts. Still, she emphasizes the importance of not letting the

by soliciting work from writers and visual artists she admired;

business side of things outweigh artistic development. “Before

she also reached out to local high school teachers in search of

such work becomes a business, it’s an art,” says Reiss, who sets

young voices.

w i n

Responsible business practices are an implicit lesson

aside several days each week for writing, settling into

throughout the class. Jillian Roth, who took the

her backyard garden and tuning out domestic

course while studying for her MBA, points

and other demands. “You need to hone your craft and put in the time that writing and revising a book requires before you look for an agent,” Reiss says. Appropriately, that’s what professors like Reiss and Frith teach in their fine arts classes at Mills. The Business

of Being an Artist provides an advantageous



the professional world. “In this

class, I’m looking at the very

end of the process of being a writer,” Reiss says.




For many artists, the synthesis of a creative lifestyle and prudent business practices doesn’t come naturally.


Cohen, principal of Full Court Press


Visiting speakers bring their own experience to bear on how to build a successful life in the arts.

Communications, approaches his lec-

ture in the course each year with an under-

standing that, for many artists, the synthesis of a

out that many of the students and lecturers include some mechanism for giving back to the community in their work; the business plan for Roth’s online jewelry store, JillyBeads4Justice, also includes a charitable giving element. Even though the course isn’t explicitly focused on social

justice, Roth says, “Mills is just

good at bringing people with

those kind of values together.” Givehand




money to produce the first issue of

Generations, but drew on the resources

she had gained from her conversations

with Spahr and from Thornborrow’s class. She

composed contracts for her writers based on a lecture

creative lifestyle and prudent business practices doesn’t come

from a music contractor, and employed a graphic designer she

naturally, or willingly. “What’s more challenging than talking

found through another student in the course. Such connections

to a playwright about economics?” Cohen muses. He notes that

are another valuable aspect of the class. “You start networking

few professional artists have the means to fund ongoing, pro-

before you even mean to start networking,” Givehand says.

fessional marketing campaigns and that artists, in particular,

Once the first issue was minted—perfect bound with glossy

are passionate about their voice and may not want to work with

color images—Givehand felt confident enough to begin asking

an intermediary in making key decisions about their business.

for both subscribers and submissions and set to finding ways


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

for future issues to fund themselves. She sent thoughtful emails

She had done enough grant writing for charter schools to know

to everyone she knew through the Mills English Department,

the pressures of depending on outside funding, so she devel-

in addition to MFA program administrators around the country,

oped a business plan that relies on subscriptions and sales of

high school teachers and librarians, and online literary commu-

the journal to cover costs. She has also diversified her sources of

nities. “I flooded the universe and asked others to do the same,”

personal revenue by teaching workshops on writing, leading a

Givehand says. The first wave of subscriptions provided enough

creative life, and generating “visual business plans.”

money to produce issue 2, which combined solicited writers with submissions that came from an open call.

After going through the process of developing her own business plans, launching her journal, and teaching those skills to

The next step was to create a website and look for free advertising through magazines and websites. To her surprise, Poets & Writers magazine featured her call



on the front page of their email newsletter, generating of


hundreds submissions

that month. To manage the influx of interest, Givehand


w i n


to an online submission manager she had learned



another speaker in The Business of Being an


Artist course. By the time issue 3 came out, in early 2012,



Nancy Thornborrow, Kiala Givehand, and Kathryn Reiss


three genre editors, a designer, and a copyeditor on board, plus a team of readers. Her journal now had a community invested in

aspiring creative entrepreneurs, Givehand’s purpose became

its content and its success. She decided to celebrate with a read-

clear. She understood that the journal was just one product, and

ing and launch party, bringing together the voices of the young

that the company she wanted to build over time was a small

and established writers she was publishing. On a brisk March

press. So, later this year, Generations will host its first poetry

evening, a dozen writers took the mic at Oakland’s Numi Tea

chapbook competition, and one young writer will win the

Garden cafe. Each approached the stage backed by a song that

chance to work closely with Generations editors in publishing

marked their generation—from Lulu’s 1967 “To Sir with Love”

his or her first poetry collection. Givehand also remains com-

to Alanis Morrisette’s 1995 “You Oughta Know”—before address-

mitted to supporting the local literary community by using part

ing the standing-room-only crowd. Many attendees were Mills

of her profits to provide a scholarship to Voices of Our Nation,

professors or alumnae, happy to catch up on one another’s work

a Bay Area summer writing workshop, and by offering scholar-

and lives. The physical gathering ended up being even more

ships to her own workshops.

beneficial to the journal than all the online outreach. Givehand

“Seeing these other writers in print feels even better than see-

earned more money by selling individual copies of her journal

ing my own work in print,” Givehand says. “This is what I love

at the launch party than she had in subscription sales for the

to do: to provide a space for seasoned and young writers, and by

whole year. By the end of 2012, her new business had made its

publishing their work to bring communities together.” In addi-

first small profit.

tion to publishing Generations, Givehand is now also a visiting

w n w i n wi i n

w t w ehe t w t

assistant professor in the English Department and a guest lecturer in Thornborrow’s course. “I talk about how to navigate the

Once Generations had established a following, Givehand looked

literary landscape in order to sustain a life as a writer,” she says.

for ways to continue to sustain both the business and herself.

“I go back because I want people to know it can be done.” SPRING 2014


Judith James ’74 Strasburg, Virginia Education: BA in cultural anthropology/sociology, Mills College, 1974; master of arts in education/secondary teaching credential, Holy Names University, 1975; doctorate, organization and leadership in higher education administration, University of San Francisco, 1989.

elect your

Alumna Trustee one of the three women described on these pages will be your next alumna trustee. Help determine who it will be by taking part in this important election to ensure that alumnae continue to provide a strong voice in the leadership of the College. Serving for three years (July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017) as a full member of both the Mills College Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors of the AAMC, this alumna trustee will help ensure that alumnae are well represented in the leadership of the College by conveying the views of the AAMC board to the College board. She will join continuing alumnae trustees Molly Fannon Williams ’75 and Melissa Stevenson Dile ’91. We also offer our thanks to Diana Birtwistle Odermatt ’60, who is concluding her 2011–14 term. Note: We now offer two ways to vote—by paper ballot or online at the Mills College Alumnae Community (a simple registration is required if you are not already a member of the online community). See detailed instructions on how to cast your vote on the inside back cover of this magazine! Whether you vote online or by paper ballot, only one vote per alumna will be accepted. Any alumna casting multiple votes will invalidate all of her votes. All ballots must be completed and received at Reinhardt Alumnae House by 5:00 pm (PST) on Friday, May 9.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

Employment: Project Director, Department of Labor Northern Virginia Credentials to Careers Consortium, Annandale, Virginia. Volunteer experience: Board member, Apple Country Head Start; community member, Highland Presbyterian Church Food PantryStrategic Futures Planning/Visioning Committee; co-founder, Northern Shenandoah Valley Advocates for a Beloved Community. AAMC involvement: Participated in establishing the Mills College Alumnae of Color Scholarship, 2011; liaison to the offices of the vice presidents of student life and enrollment management on behalf of the Alumnae of Color Committee, 2011–12; member, Washington DC Metropolitan Area Mills Club. How has Mills affected your life? At age 15, my life was first changed when I, as a first-generation college-going student, was admitted to the Mills College Upward Bound Program. That open door, and my subsequent admissions to Mills as an undergraduate student, prepared me for lifelong intellectual, personal, and professional growth. Notable achievements include earning a doctorate and acquiring an extensive professional background in higher education administration at the national, state, and campus levels. How do you view the future of the Alumnae Association and its relationship with the College? Given the turbulent economic, social, and political climate of 21st-century independent colleges and universities, the AAMC of the future must be fully synchronized with the College and its internal and external communities—nationally and globally—to ensure the ongoing support and achievement of Mills’ mission, governance, and, in particular, each of the six strategic imperatives identified for 2013–2018. As the goals in the strategic plan include increasing enrollment and retention and developing and sustaining partnerships, my background in higher education administration at the national level and as a senior-level administrator in two state community college systems (California and Kentucky) will be an asset. What are your hopes and expectations for the future of Mills College? President DeCoudreaux has established a variety of meaningful opportunities designed to foster communication and collaboration with every member of the College’s constituency (internally and externally; among and across all constituent groups). I am hopeful and expectant that this ongoing and meaningful dialogue will facilitate “active” engagement that results in creative solutions to challenges, and philanthropic and other positive commitments and outcomes that will continue to elevate the College’s greatness (academically and otherwise) and ranking, both nationally and regionally.

Corinne Sklar ’04

Wendy Stoltz ’98, MA ’06 San Francisco, California

Davis, California

Education: BA in intermedia arts/journalism, Mills College, 2004.

Education: BA in political, legal, and economic analysis, 1998; MA, liberal studies, 2006; MBA expected 2014, Mills College.

Employment: Global chief marketing officer, Bluewolf Global Business Consulting, San Francisco. Volunteer experience: Participant, MS Waves to Wine charity bike ride; coach and mentor to at-risk youth, the Community Technology Network; board president, Women Innovators Network (WIN). AAMC/Mills College involvement: Student leader, senior class president. How has Mills affected your life? There is before Mills—and there is after Mills. A defining moment for me was sitting in Orchard Meadow on my first day. I was sitting with six or seven other women who were having the same experience as me. I knew right then that I would know them for the rest of my life. Learning to be 1,000 times myself is one of the critical effects Mills had on my life. The amazing environment, the supportive staff, and the deep-rooted focus on innovation and thinking differently is what allowed me to find my voice. How do you view the future of the Alumnae Association and its relationship with the College? There is an amazing global network of Mills alumnae. My vision is to look at how we build stronger connections between students and this network. I have had a chance to develop several programs with other universities, including UC Berkeley and Northwestern University’s Co-Op Program, and would like to develop a deeper social network of alumnae-to-student community to encourage sharing and provide reciprocal opportunity for our global network. What are your hopes and expectations for the future of Mills College? My hopes are that Mills continues its focus on pushing boundaries and allowing students to “go beyond.” From the avant-garde to the entrepreneurial, our roots have been focused on defining new genres and promoting leadership across all disciplines. I want to ensure that our roots are deep and are far reaching across the globe.

Employment: Development analyst, University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management. Volunteer experience: Member, UC Davis Committee on the Status of Women; member, UC Davis Citations for Excellence Committee; member, Davis Arts Foundation Board; member, Davis School Foundation Board. How has Mills affected your life? The master in business administration degree program at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College has provided me with cutting-edge skills and knowledge. The MBA program has also given me an opportunity to train through my business education and work in higher education finance to make a greater contribution to society. Mills College has offered me a unique educational experience that has given me new eyes to see the world and its many facets. Moreover, it has given me a new relationship with myself, as I have truly grown and matured and gained confidence that I have the knowledge, skills, and values that will make me able to make an important contribution to others. My Mills education is making it possible for me to implement my goal of service to others. How do you view the future of the Alumnae Association and its relationship with the College? The AAMC will continue to be an extension of the Mills community, bringing alumnae together who share pride in their association with Mills and who wish to share their values and ongoing support for a Mills education. The AAMC will continue to serve the alumnae community and reach out to students and potential students in order to share the passion and purpose of the Mills community. What are your hopes and expectations for the future of Mills College? I have been a member of the Mills community since 1996. Over these years I have seen the College community grow and change, effectively and gracefully adapting to regional and international change including changing demographics, technology, and globalization. At the same time, Mills maintains and has strengthened its role in women’s education, excellence, and growing graduate programs such as the MBA, Nursing, and doctorate program in education. I foresee Mills continuing to be successful in pursuing its mission and prepared to adapt to new opportunities as they become available.



I’m leaving a legacy so future students can attend a women’s college.

Amy discovered an empowering environment at Mills. Mills empowered me as a woman and gave me the desire to help other women. After retiring from a research and development career in Silicon Valley, I became a Certified Financial Planner. I love financially empowering women in high tech. Naming Mills as a beneficiary of my IRA lets me leave a legacy of my commitment to women and still leave a legacy to my family. – Amy Pearl ’83

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 If you’ve recently included Mills in your estate plans, please let us know. Learn more about planned giving at

Designating Mills College as a beneficiary of your IRA or other retirement account will benefit the College and your heirs. At the time of your death, your retirement plan assets will be transferred to Mills tax-free. This will lower the amount of your estate subject to estate tax, and your heirs will avoid income tax on distributions from your plan.

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, To submit notes for publication in the next available Quarterly, send your update to

In Memoriam Notices of death received before December 21, 2013 To submit listings, please contact or 510.430.2123

Alumnae Katherine Curran Kremer ’26, February 1, 2013, in Evanston, Illinois. Dorothy Jean Fuller Elliott ’42, September 30, in Arlington Heights, Illinois. A longtime resident of Deerfield, she was a member of Alpha Phi and a leader in St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church and the American Association of University Women. She is survived by her husband, G. Thomas; four children; and two grandchildren. Annabelle Autzen Houser ’42, December 4, 2012, in Portland, Oregon. She was a member of the Portland Junior League, world traveler, gourmet cook, and a master gardener and flower arranger. She is survived by three sons and eight grandchildren.

Hannah-Lou Freeman Reed ’46, October 5, in Black Butte Ranch, Oregon. She was a hospital volunteer, a longtime member of the Multnomah Athletic Club, and owned a ranch in Central Oregon. She is survived by her husband, Bill; a son, Mike; and three grandchildren. Harriet Ruff Roberts ’46, August 2, in Fresno, California. She supported several local arts and preservation programs, was active in Junior League and other community organizations, and enjoyed golf and bridge. She is survived by three children and five grandchildren. Elisabeth Price Wilson ’46, November 11, in Los Altos, California. She had a long career in healthcare for the elderly, notably as the assistant administrator at Channing House, a retirement and continuing care center in Palo Alto. She is survived by a son and three grandchildren.

Natalie Storer Morris ’42, October 30, in Englewood, Colorado. She took great delight in flyfishing as a hobby and was a member of the Colorado Potters Guild. She is survived by three sons and six grandchildren.

Janet Clark McCoy ’47, October 27, in Stockton, California. She spent 28 years as a buyer for Macy’s in Kansas City and San Francisco and, in retirement, ran a small farm. She enjoyed prospecting for gold as a hobby, supported a variety of humanitarian organizations, and helped raise money to restore the stained glass windows of a 13th century church in Remy, France. She is survived by several extended family members.

Helen Jane Chapman Ehrlich ’43, September 20, in Kansas City, Missouri. She was a member of the New Reform Temple and gave of her time to many charitable organizations, particularly the Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross. Survivors include her two sons.

Joan “Joey” Rosenstock Goldsmith ’49, in October, in Lincolnshire, Illinois. She took many continuing education classes and was fond of aqua aerobics, the theater, symphony, opera, and writing songs. Survivors include three children and four grandchildren.

Alma Gardner ’44, June 10, in Berkeley, California. She earned an MA in Biblical studies and a certificate of advanced professional studies, and taught Bible study at the Pacific School of Religion and other Bay Area locations for three decades. She is survived by her daughter, Karyn Gardner Mandan ’68.

Frances Green Snyder ’49, in November, in Salt Lake City, Utah. After raising her family, she completed her degree in education at the University of Utah in 1980 and taught elementary and special education classes. She served as a church music director and participated in many church service groups. She is survived by her husband, Conway; six children; and 22 grandchildren.

Sarah Chun MacIvor ’44, July 28, 2013, in Nutrioso, Arizona. Survivors include her husband, Thomas. Margaret Nielsen Stiegely ’44, March 11, 2013, in Montecito, California. She is survived by four children, two stepdaughters, and nine grandchildren. Jane Adams Temple ’44, January 18, 2013, in Three Oaks, Michigan. She ran a new and used bookstore for 20 years, served on the school board for 12 years, and made 13 volunteer medical mission trips to Jamaica. Survivors include three children and three grandchildren. Martha Alessi Clague ’45, November 26, in Eureka, California. She was an active member of the Humboldt–Del Norte Medical Auxiliary, Christ Episcopal Church, and the Humboldt Arts Council, serving in various areas of leadership and volunteering. She is survived by five children and five grandchildren. Joyce Cox Green ’45, October 10, 2013, in Lakewood, New York. An active tennis player into her 80s and a lifelong bridge player, she attended St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, was a member of the 210 and Livingston Clubs, and a member of the board of WCA Hospital. She is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. Helen “Coco” Dyer McCann ’46, October 20, in Newberg, Oregon. She taught biology at the University of Oregon and was an avid equestrian, competing in horse shows until the age of 82. She was active in Oswego Lake Garden Club and Oswego Hunt Club and was a talented potter. She is survived by three children, including Karen McCann Lachman ’72, and nine grandchildren.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

Zoe Townley Murray ’50, March 8, 2013, in Lincoln, California. Survivors include three children. Patricia Holcomb Jacobson ’51, October 28, in Palo Alto, California. Survivors include her husband, David, and two daughters. Elizabeth Ross McCormick ’51, September 26, in Fullerton, California. Known as the “Turtle Lady of Southern California,” she was an expert on turtle and tortoise behavior, and at various times had over 250 turtles. President of the Care Society for the California Turtle and Tortoise Club, Orange County chapter, she was active in PEO and AAUW and served as a leader for Girl Scouts and Camp Fire Girls. She is survived by three children, five grandchildren, her sister Margaret Ross Roberts ’49, and her cousin Joan Thompson Armstrong ’51. Sara Davis Rockwell ’51, October 22, in Medford, Oregon. She was active in community theater and had many sailing and hiking adventures. Survivors include her husband, Jim, and other family members. Joanne Redak Lyon ’52, May 5, 2013, in Aspen, Colorado. She worked as a real estate agent and public television fundraiser, ran an art gallery for 16 years, and served as president of Anderson Ranch Art Center. A strong outdoor woman, she was a co-founder of the Forest Conservancy, a volunteer-based wilderness program. She is survived by her husband, Lee; two children; and seven grandchildren.

Gifts in Memory of Received September 1–November 30, 2013 Annis Aiyar by her husband, Venkatram Aiyar, her son, Michael Aiyar, her brother-in-law, Radhakrishna Aiyar, and Helen Hogan Paul Armstrong, husband of Joan Thompson Armstrong ’51, by Jane Simonton Abts ’51 Jeanne Aurel-Schneider ’51 by the Mills College Club of New York

Elaine Johnson Gutleben ’44 by her husband, Chester Gutleben Mary Eleanor King Holmes ’43 by her cousin, Sharon King Halpern ’58 Meenakshi Jemboonath by her sons, Venkatram and Radhakrishna Aiyar, and Helen Hogan Mary Ann Childers Kinkead ’63 by Ann Mary Carney, MFA ’92, Rebecca Fuller, MA ’54, Carolyn Richter Kelemen, MA ’74, Mary-Ann MilfordLutzker, P ’93, Ruth Olsen Saxton, MA ’72, Craig Schoof

Timanna Bennett ’02 by Kristie Kern ’02, MBA ’08, Marcia Randall ’02

Betty Pease Krahmer ’51 by Rena Houston Du Bose ’51

Cynthia Black ’74 by Betty Chu Wo ’46

Susan Roe Lathrop ’69 by Jorie Bolton Townsley ’69

Grace “Kathy” Burden, mother of Laurel Burden ’68, by Susan “Susy” Stern Fineman ’68, the Los Angeles Mills College Alumnae

Eleanor Lauer, MA ’40, by Rebecca Fuller, MA ’54

Marian Van Tuyl Campbell by Rebecca Fuller, MA ’54 Doris Dennison by Rebecca Fuller, MA ’54 Jaye Evans, MFA ’68, by his partner, William Barham Kay Fraser Gilliland ’50 by Julia Antoniades, Diane Briars, Yvonne Steele Byron ’50, Cecile Carraway, Margaret DeArmond, Mark Driscoll, Dorothy Finger and Family, Shirley Frye, Virginia Grove, Sally McKinstry Hall ’50, David Hawes, Beth Keer, MSC ’10, Vicki Du Vall Luibrand ’75, Alison McDonald ’05, Mari Muri, Teri Perl, Julianne Ryan Beate Sirota Gordon ’43 by John Feerick

Anne Wilbor Lunghino ’48 by Gene Stockton Bozorth ’48 Christina Miller ’71 by her sister, Kathleen Miller Janes ’69 Virginia Gertmenian Nahigian ’32 by Randall Becker, Ronald Dahlquist, Jerry Farr, Juneal Ferguson, William Frey, Susan Hull, Rachel Morgan, Virginia’s son, Diran Nahigian, and nephew, Jack Nahigian, Karen Pigott Winsome Nembhard by her daughter, Lois Nembhard ’90 Eleanor Stein Rusnak ’36 by Susan Kahn Ellen Spector Silverglat ’64 by her husband, Michael Silverglat Elizabeth Ginno Winkler ’30 by her son, John Aronovici

p=parent. For information about making a tribute gift, contact 510.430.2097 or

Nan Senior Robinson ’52, November 14, in New York City. She served as vice president for planning at the University of Massachusetts in Boston, where she played a key role in landing the JFK Presidential Library on campus and later was vice president for administration of the Rockefeller Foundation in New York City. She is survived by her husband, David; two sons; and six grandchildren. Mary “Susan” Spangler Turner ’57, December 4, in Visalia, California. She was dedicated to church and family, loved music, and aided the needy. She is survived by five children and 15 grandchildren. Sarah McNay Crossland ’63, November 11, in Kerrville, Texas. She taught elementary school for 22 years and was a founding member of Seminars In Adult Growth and Education at the University of Texas. She was a member of the Junior League and helped found the Eanes History Center in Austin. Cynthia Black ’74, September 13, in North Plains, Oregon. As president of Beyond Words publishing company, she was instrumental in bringing The Secret to print and was named one of the 10 Outstanding Women in Independent Publishing by Independent Publisher. She maintained homes in Hillsboro, Oregon, and in Honolulu. She is survived by her mother, a sister, and brother. Laura Childs Patterson ’75, July 5, in Dallas, Texas. She worked in design and display for Crate & Barrel and the Container Store. Valerie Jacobson Anderson ’76, October 28, in El Dorado Hills, California. Survivors include two sisters. Laana Condon Waters ’78, June 24, 2013, in Alameda, California. Survivors include her husband, William; and two sons.

Catherine Brown Meyerson ’82, January 31, 2013, in Mountain View, California. She established a career as a hospital pharmacist, most recently at Stanford. Survivors include her husband, Howie, and two daughters. Linda Brooks-Burton ’84, September 19, in Fairfield, California. In her career with the San Francisco Public Library, she was instrumental in developing the Bayview branch, instituted an award program recognizing community leaders, and was central to the African-American Center. She also served on the board of Family and Child Empowerment Services. Survivors include her husband, John, and three children.

Spouses and Family Beryl Adams, husband of Betty Adams ’52, June 11, 2012, in Sacramento. Phillips Baker, husband of Elizabeth Lane Baker ’38, in San Jose, California. Dorothy Simpson Myers, mother of Brooke Myers Wickham ’74, December 18, in San Francisco.

Faculty and Staff Marilyn Mary, December 1, in San Lorenzo, California. As the administrative assistant of the Department of Art and Art History for almost 30 years, she ensured that everything ran smoothly and all deadlines were met. She had a phenomenal memory for detail and took a personal interest in all members of the department, particularly the graduate students for whom she was a surrogate mother. SPRING 2014


In launching the “Stories We Share” project at Reunion 2013, we asked alumnae to “fill in the blank” with their own answers to the query “I value Mills because Mills values...” Their responses are as individual as they are!

The Stories We Share celebrates the voices and life paths of Mills graduates while connecting graduates to each other and the College. Visit to see more stories and to share your own.


M i l l s Q u a r t e r ly

Alumna Trustee Ballot Nominee statements for the 2014–17 alumna trustee are printed on page 18.

To vote on paper:

We now offer two ways to vote—online and by paper ballot!

  Judith James ’74   Corrine Sklar ’04   Wendy Stolz ’98, MA ’06

• Use this printed ballot and indicate your choice below:

To vote online: • Go to the Mills College Alumnae Community,

NEW: Vote online or on paper by May 9

• Please mail ballot in a private envelope to: Chair, AAMC Nominating Committee, Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd, MB #86, Oakland, CA 94613

• Alumnae must be registered with the online community in order to cast their vote online. • Registration is free and easy! Visit alumna-trustee-ballot to register and to vote. Your alumna ID is required to register and can be found at the top of your Quarterly mailing label.

• Paper ballots must include the mailing label on the reverse side. To maintain confidentiality, voter names will be inked out before passing ballots on to the Nominating Committee chair. • No faxed ballots or call-ins will be accepted. • Ballots must be received at Reinhardt Alumnae House by 5:00 pm (PST) on Friday, May 9.

• Online voting will end at 5:00 pm (PST) on Friday, May 9.

NOTE: Whether you vote online or by paper ballot, only one vote per alumna will be accepted. Any alumna casting multiple votes will invalidate all of her votes. Upon request, the Alumnae Association of Mills College will send a spring Quarterly to replace the one from which you have removed this ballot. Call 510.430.2110 or email

Alumnae tr avel 2014 National Parks and Lodges of the Old West

Sicily and the Amalfi Coast

July 26–August 4, 2014 Uncover the legendary American West as you explore the unspoiled wilderness of Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and other national parks.

September 26–October 5, 2014 Immerse yourself in the ancient ruins, stunning museums, and idyllic piazzas of this beautiful sun-drenched region.

Grand Danube Passage

Treasures of India & Nepal

August 7–22, 2014 Opulent palaces and elegant cathedrals highlight this land and cruise journey through celebrated European capitals.

October 19–November 3, 2014 Delhi’s lively markets, the romantic Taj Mahal, a family dinner in Jaipur, and sacred sites of Kathmandu provide a window on a fascinating culture.

Alaska’s Inside Passage August 23–30, 2014
 Small ship cruising allows you to get up close to this rugged and majestic landscape of glaciers, mountains, seas, and wildlife.

Village Life in Dordogne

September 25–October 3, 2014 Fascinating lectures enrich your stay in France’s picturesque southwest region, famed for prehistoric cave paintings and enchanting small towns.

See the AAMC travel website at for full itineraries of these and other upcoming trips. For reservations or additional information, call the Alumnae Association of Mills College at 510.430.2110 or email

Amalfi Coast

Alumna trustee election inside See candidates on page 18, ballot on inside back cover

Mills Quarterly Mills College 5000 MacArthur Blvd. Oakland, CA 94613-1301 510.430.3312 Address service requested Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, CA, and at additional mailing office(s)

The Russell Women in Science Lecture

Black Holes, Galaxies & the Evolution of the Universe: An Observer’s View April 29, Lokey Graduate School of Business Gathering Hall, Mills College 5:00 pm; doors open at 4:30 pm for a pre-lecture reception RSVP at

Astrophysicist Meg Urry is an expert on actively accreting supermassive black holes, also known as Active Galactic Nuclei. In this public address, she explains what black holes are and how we can “observe” them using a variety of different telescopes. She will also describe her research that sheds new light on the growth of black holes and share computer simulations of how galaxies grow and merge.

Dr. Meg Urry, who became the first female tenured faculty member in Yale’s physics department in 2001, is director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, a member of NASA’s Science Advisory Council, an American Women in Science fellow, and incoming president of the American Astronomical Society. She has published over 200 refereed research articles. A strong advocate for increasing the number of women in science, she launched the first three national meetings on women in astronomy and led the US delegations to the International Conference on Women in Physics in 2002 and 2011. In 2010, she was given the Women in Space Science Award from the Adler Planetarium.

NGC 1672, a barred spir al gal a x y that shows intense s tar form ation regions. im age courtes y NASA , ESA , and The Hubble Heritage Te a m (STScI/AURA ) - ESA /Hubble Coll abor ation

The Russell Women in Science Lecture Series is made possible thanks to the generous support of Cristine Russell ’71