Tuesday, March 31, 2015

One Multi-Talented STEM Student

Meet Victoria Connelly, a multi-talented biology senior at Saint Mary's College located in Notre Dame, IN. This soon to be alumna was busy this past weekend as she “played a leading role in the opera "Gianni Schicchi," presented her senior comprehensive biology project at Belle Biology Day, and played softball with her team.” POW!

But I'm not surprised, women who attend women's college are usually very active outside of the classroom. Just one of the reasons why Women's Colleges Rock!
And I’m happy to report that more and more young women are discovering the advantages of an academic rich environment at colleges for women. These institutions continue to prepare girls, like themselves, for meaningful lives and careers by providing a learning environment that fosters creativity, builds self-esteem, and promotes personal growth while affording numerous unique opportunities and experiences. Students at women’s colleges have more opportunities to take part in relevant research and internships (even as first-year students), develop leadership skills, and participate in study-abroad programs. These young women also are discovering that students  who graduate from a women’s college are well prepared to enter any graduate program or launch a career.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meet a Biology Professor Who Loves Plants

Meet Dr. Amy Faivre, a Professor of Biology. Dr. Faivre joined the college faculty in 2002. Learn more about her scientific interests here.

(As posted on the Facebook page of Cedar Crest College (CCC) located in Allentown, PA.)

From Northampton, Massachusetts, she completed her undergraduate degree at fellow women’s college, Mount Holyoke College. Then she did graduate research at the University of Arizona in Tucson and Costa Rica, and additional research at Ohio State University and in Panama.

Now, Dr. Faivre shares the experience of the Arizona deserts and mountains with students by teaching a field course every other year (pictured) and studies endangered plant species in Florida. She loves to travel to learn about other countries and cultures, and spend time in nature— hiking, looking at plants, birds, rocks, and insects— ideally with her husband and daughter!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

This Women’s College Student is Google-Bound

Most everyone knows that I love a good STEM story and today I'm sharing this one. Meet Mina Khan ’15, via the blog post, "She’s Google-bound." written by Keely Savoie.

Mina Khan ’15 remembers the time she spent working in Associate Professor of Physics Kathy Aidala’s lab at Mount Holyoke College as pivotal in her academic career.

Mentor and student were working on making denser, more stable material for magnetic memory storage when Khan had an epiphany about the connections between physics and computer science.

“We were working on ferromagnetic nanostructures,” she said. “It was physics research, but I realized that physics, math, computer science are all problem solving. It’s just a different kind of problem.”

Problem-solving is exactly what Khan does best—and it’s even better when she can do it across disciplines, drawing on her unquenchable curiosity and formidable intelligence for a fresh approach. No wonder, then, that as she completes her Mount Holyoke degree at MIT, she has a job at software giant Google waiting for her.

“It’s quite exciting,” said Khan, who is looking forward to the work itself and the company culture. “I like how Google is dealing with technology. They are combining academic research with industry, and taking things further than anyone would have imagined. They think about the future now.”

Continue reading here.

Women's colleges excel at educating STEM women. If STEM is your thing, consider attending a women's college like Mina did! And see what you could be doing over the summer via my blog post, What These STEM College Women Are Doing This Summer.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

This Comedian Graduated from a Women's College

Another wonderful story about a women’s college alumna, Karith Foster from Stephens College, located in Columbia, MO as posted on the Facebook page of She's Not Finished.

"As a comedian, I'm sensitive. It's part of my genetic makeup and it's what makes me good at my "art." That is what comedians do -- we find humor in life experiences and pain. " Karith Foster, women's college alumna Stephens College '96 is an American comedienne.

She became well known for being Don Imus’ sidekick on his nationally syndicated Imus in the Morning radio show on WABC Radio.

Karith has appeared on Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, NBC’s Today Show and Last Comic Standing, VH-1’s Best Week Ever, Awesomely Bad…and Black to the Future series.

Her comedy CD “Karith Foster: Straight Outta Plano is currently in rotation on Sirius/XM’s Raw Dog Comedy Channel. She is the author of "Laugh Your Way to Happiness: 101 Ways to Have a Great Laugh" and the soon to be released children's book "Lealah Finds Love."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Women’s Colleges: Empowering Women for Success

As a women’s college alumna and advocate I love reading articles about women’s colleges. This time the story is about NJ-based Douglass College; “Douglass Residential College sets up women for success” written by Staff Writer, Cheryl Makin.

And since I’m into STEM, below is the part I liked best:

For molecular biology and biochemistry major Ameema Zubairi, of East Brunswick, a Douglass woman "is a woman with a drive for success, however one wants to define it for themselves, and passion to change the world in a positive way, and by doing so, becoming a leader and inspiring others to do the same."

Since her matriculation at Douglass, Zubairi, who also is double minoring in chemistry and mathematics, credits the college with helping to mold her into the woman she is today. She recalled stepping onto the Douglass campus "hoping to stumble upon some motivation and inspiration."

"When I look back at my first year at Rutgers as a Douglass woman, I realize how fortunate I was to have a community of women supporting me in my endeavors," she said. "As a student, I not only gained the confidence and courage to challenge myself through my coursework, but I was motivated to make the most out of all of the opportunities available to me through Douglass."

Legacy Jennie Coulter, a sophomore majoring in physics, was no stranger to Douglass and its offerings because her mother graduated from Douglass, and had "always treasured her time there."

"Douglass has a unique ability to connect students with like-minded individuals that they would have never found otherwise, and in this way really builds an indispensable sense of community," said Coulter, who lives in Manasquan. "Douglass has given me opportunities to explore my academic and leadership abilities in a way that I might not have otherwise."

And since you don’t have to have an interest in STEM to attend Douglass, I encourage you to read the article in its entirety, here.

Plus it’s nice to see local journalists taking an interest in women’s colleges. Thanks Cheryl Makin!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Birthday Wishes for a Mathematician: Emmy Noether (March 23, 1882)

From the Agnes Scott College Web site:

Emmy Noether made many contributions to the field of mathematics. She spent her time studying abstract algebra, with special attention to rings, groups, and fields. Because of her unique look on topics, she was able to see relationships that traditional algebra experts could not. She published over 40 papers in her lifetime. She was also a teacher who was able to inspire her students to make their own contributions to the field of mathematics.

Emmy Noether taught at Bryn Mawr College until her death in 1935. Teaching at a women's college was very different for Noether. For the first time, she had colleagues that were women. Anna Pell Wheeler, another woman mathematician, was the head of the department at Bryn Mawr, and became a great friend of Noether. Wheeler understood about how Emmy had to struggle to have a career in mathematics in Germany, and about being uprooted from her homeland. Noether was still a caring and compassionate teacher.

Continue reading here.

Written by Mandie Taylor, Class of 1998 (Agnes Scott College)

Happy Birthday Emmy!
And Thanks for Your Contributions to the Field of Mathematics!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Naming Your Company with Your Alma Mater In Mind

The other day I came across an article published in The New York TimesCouple Gives Wellesley a Record $25 Million on April 16, 2000.

In the article I learned of the very generous donation from an alumna, Lulu Wang and her husband to her Alma mater, Wellesley College.

Here's the part I found most interesting:

Lulu Wang is the founder of Tupelo Capital Management, a name chosen tongue-in-cheek with reference to one of Wellesley's more girlish traditions. School legend has it that women must walk their ''young men'' around the school's large lake three times. If by the third loop he has not proposed marriage, she is allowed -- and encouraged -- to push him into the lake at the point on the shore where the tupelo tree stands.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Happy Belated Birthday!

Earlier this week I visited Barnard College’s Facebook page and saw this post:

Happy birthday Lauren Graham '88!

Lauren Graham ’88 was nominated for Golden Globe and SAG awards for her portrayal of Lorelai Gilmore in WBTV's Gilmore Girls, on which she also served as producer. She currently stars on the critically-acclaimed NBC series Parenthood. After graduating from Barnard with a major in English literature, Graham earned an MFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University. She has appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, Because I Said So, and the upcoming MGM movie Max. She made her Broadway debut as Adelaide in the 2009 revival of Guys and Dolls. Graham's first novel, Someday, Someday, Maybe, appeared on the New York Times Bestseller list, and her second novel is due to be released spring 2015.

Happy Belated Birthday Lauren!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Women’s College Hosting a Hackathon—Closing the Gender G(app): March 28–29

Photo Credit: Smith College

Women’s colleges play a critical role and are highly successful at attracting and graduating women interested in STEM careers that continue on to graduate school or launch a career after commencement. I’ve written several HuffPost blog posts about this connection, as well as referencing this synergistic effect on my blog: Advantages of a Women’s College.

Today I want to blog about an upcoming hackathon, Hack@Smith, which takes place on the Smith College campus March 28 and 29 in Northampton, MA. Designed to promote gender equality in computer science, the idea behind this women-focused event was envisioned by members of the computer science club at Smith College, “Smithies in CS.”

I spoke with Julia Edwards, one of the event’s co-founders, to learn more about the college’s first hackathon. This Smith senior, a Boston Marathon runner, is a computer science major and an economics minor with hands-on-experience at several top-tier tech firms.  Passionate about getting more women into the computer field, Julia established “Smithies in CS” in 2014.

During our conversation Julia said:

Smithies in Computer Science was founded to encourage women to pursue computer science, to diversify the tech industry, and to strengthen our CS community on campus. We decided that throwing a women-focused hackathon would be a perfect way to encompass all of our club's goals in one fun and powerful event. We're bringing 200 students from schools all across the East Coast to Smith’s campus for our 24-hour hackathon in March, and we hope to inspire a lot of women (and men!) to pursue CS degrees and promote gender equality in tech on their own campuses.

The mission of Hack@Smith is to get more women interested in CS and, in particular, hackathons. A hackathon is an event where students of all academic backgrounds—from computer science to art—come together to make cool apps and technology. Hack@Smith is not a competition to build the most complicated technology you possibly can. Hack@Smith is an effort to close the gender gap in tech; everyone will be working together and supporting each other to achieve this common goal.

Students with any interest in tech—from art students who love design to CS majors who love creating web apps—should attend Hack@Smith. Students who have never attended a hackathon should definitely attend; this event was designed to be friendly to students of all CS experience levels, from none (but interested in tech) to seasoned (this is your 100th hackathon). Because students work in teams, they can opt to work with other students of similar coding levels (i.e., to take things at an appropriate pace) or diverse coding levels (i.e., to use Hack@Smith as a learning and social experience). Plus, we’ll have an abundance of mentors at Hack@Smith, so people newer to CS can adopt a mentor for their team to help them overcome any difficult obstacles.

In addition to participating in the hackathon, students also will have the opportunity to meet and network with technical recruiters via companies that are sponsoring the event. So if you’re looking for a summer internship or job, this is an event for you; it is an excellent way to meet a future employer. 

And if you’re a Smith alumnae and/or software engineer, Julia encourages you to join the fun:

Smith College alumnae, whether you're interested in tech; work in tech; are a designer or  a manager, have a talent you would like to share with our attendees; or just think that this event sounds like fun—we would love to host you at Hack@Smith. Technical professionals who want to help students learn how to code should sign up to mentor. From teaching someone to write their first "hello world" program, to teaching them how to use your company's super-cool API, sign up to make an impact on a coder's life.

Computer science events, like Hack@Smith encourage women to consider a career in a STEM field; and this is a very good thing because today’s employers are looking for diversity within its work force. I for one, look forward to seeing more events like Hack@Smith.

Note: Additional details for this hackathon are available on the Hack@Smith Web site. It’s also where students can register. Alumnae and mentors can sign up by emailing Julia directly.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Women’s College Junior Planning and Directing Student Recital Celebrating 19th-Century American Female Composers

Earlier this week my blog post, Celebrating 19th-Century American Female Composers, was published on The Huffington Post.

Early female composers, while making significant contributions to the world of music, have often gone unnoticed. American composers such as Margaret Ruthven Lang (1867-1972), Amy Marcy Beach (1867-1944), Clara Kathleen Rogers (1844-1931) and Kate Vannah (1855-1933) are included on this list.

Learning about a musical event created to spotlight 19th century American female composers, including these five, I wanted to connect with the event's creative force, Ellen Pelos.

Ellen is a junior at Scripps College, a women's college in Claremont, CA, dual-majoring in music and psychology. Her interest in music and musical performances started early with piano lessons when she was 3 years old and private voice lessons in middle school and high school.

When it was time for college, Ellen was deliberate in her choice, "I chose Scripps because it provides a well-rounded liberal arts education in a collaborative, feminist environment, which is very important to me." And it is here that Ellen continues with her voice lessons and musical performances.

Ellen is planning and directing a student recital on March 26, 2015: Women in Music in Post-Civil War America 1865-1900, at the Balch Auditorium on the Scripps campus. Joining her are students from Scripps College, Pitzer College, Harvey Mudd College, and Claremont McKenna College.

Fascinated with Ellen's choice of composers, I wanted to learn more about this project that highlights women's contributions to late 19th-century American music. She explains:

Continue reading here.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Women’s College Sophomore Awarded a Research Fellowship in Archaeology

The other day I read this blog post, Stern College Student Awarded Ackerman Family Dig Fellowship in Archaeology and wanted to share it on my blog.

Congratulations Sima Fried!! How exciting!

Blog highlights include:

For Fried, a sophomore studying anthropology, the dig is a fascinating intersection of history, sociology, biology and psychology. “I have always had a passion for history, and archaeology is a unique and intimate way to interact with the past,” said Fried. “There is something truly awe-inspiring being the first one to unearth a vessel, or even a sherd of pottery, that has not been handled for thousands of years. There is also the adventure and sense of mystery that accompanies every sunrise—you never know what you might find.”

Continue reading the blog post here.

Stern College for Women is located in NYC, learn more about this women's college here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

International Women’s Day

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. It also was the day I learned that Forbes Magazine included on their list of the world’s most powerful women, the following seven women’s college alumnae. 

#2: Janet Yellen (Pembroke College/Brown University)
#6: Hillary Clinton (Wellesley College)
#26: Nancy Pelosi (Trinity College/Trinity Washington University)
#33: Drew Gilpin Faust (Bryn Mawr College)
#64: Rosalind Brewer (Spelman College)
#65: Phebe Novakovic (Smith College)
#78: Helene Gayle (Barnard College)

Friday, March 6, 2015

It’s Always Sunny

Don't you just love how members of this admissions team bring a ray of sunshine to campus? I do!!! Now, can you guess which women’s college they represent?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

More Renovations!

Generous donations benefit the College of Saint Mary. Renovations are happening at this women’s college including Dining Hall, Kitchen, Enrollment Services and Mercy Hall Meeting Room . . .  Very Nice!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2010 Women's College Alumna Has Her First Feature-Length Film

Check out Mount Saint Mary's alumna Lina So Myung '10, '12 MBA and her first feature-length film, "Anita Ho" via the trailer video below. Catch it on an exclusive run from February 27th till March 5th at the Laemmle Pasadena Playhouse 7!

Mount Saint Mary's University is located in Los Angeles, CA.

Monday, March 2, 2015

This Women’s College also has a 2015 Grammy Winner on Campus!

Meet Aaron Sheehan, awarded Best Opera Recording with fellow members of the Boston Early Music Festival. He’s also a member of the voice performance faculty at Wellesley College.

Learn more about his Grammy win here or his 10-year career at this women’s college located in Wellesley, MA here.