Academic Homecoming Celebration

On Friday, September 11, we celebrated the success of our Making Education Work Campaign! At the Academic Homecoming Celebration, our attendees had the opportunities to:
  • Network with hundreds of other Simmons alumnae/i
  • Learn about academic innovations from Provost Katie Conboy in a conversation with WBUR’s “All Things Considered” anchor Lisa Mullins ’80, ’05HD 
  • Participate in academic panels and master classes with Simmons deans and faculty
  • Toast to the future of Simmons University at a cocktail celebration under a tent on the quad

Photos from the celebration are now available on Flickr.  If you have any additional questions about the Campaign celebration, please contact us at

Day at a Glance

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
School of Management & Academic Building, Lobby

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast and Provost Katie Conboy in Conversation with Lisa Mullins '80, '05HD
Main College Building, Linda K. Paresky Conference Center

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Academic Panels

  • Growing Global Citizens - M-501/502, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building
  • Interprofessional Education (IPE): The Future of Health Professions Education - M-222, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building
  • Managing Your Visibility - Kotzen Room, Lefavour Hall

12:15 – 2:00 p.m.
Lunch and Keynote Address by President Helen G. Drinan ’75LS, ’78SM
Academic Quad, under the Tent

2:00 – 3:15 p.m. 
Academic Panels

  • Lead Teams that Deliver Results - Kotzen Room, Lefavour Hall
  • Social Justice - Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Main College Building
  • The Mystery of the Disappearing Woman: Keeping Women and Girls in the STEM Pipeline - M-501/502, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building

3:15 – 4:30 p.m. 
Conversation with Simmons University Deans
Academic Quad, under the Tent

4:30 – 7:00 p.m. 
Cocktail Celebration
Academic Quad, under the Tent

Academic Panels

Opening Session

9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Provost Katie Conboy in conversation with Lisa Mullins '80, '05HD
Main College Building, Linda K. Paresky Conference Center

Lisa Mullins is a highly-regarded public radio journalist with roots in Boston. She is anchor of WBUR's "All Things Considered" and guest anchors NPR's "Here and Now," which airs on nearly 500 stations around the country. For 15 years, Mullins was chief anchor of the BBC-PRI news magazine, "The World." She has reported from Cuba, Hong Kong, Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Northern Ireland, South and North Korea, and elsewhere. In 2012, Mullins was awarded the highly coveted "Gracie Award" honoring women who have made major contributions to the field of programming and journalism.

Morning Academic Panels

11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Growing Global Citizens
Panel: Renee White, CAS; Eileen Abels, SLIS; Janet Ceja, SLIS; Michele Cloonan, SLIS; Cathie Mercier, SLIS; Zinnia Mukherjee, CAS; Joe Stanley, Study Abroad and International Programs; Janie Ward, CAS and SSW
M-501/502, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building

From the advent of the steam engine to the increasing affordability of the smart phone, the world has quickly shifted from local citizenship to global. But being a global citizen is more than just connecting to the internet. In this panel, faculty and staff will present a variety of global initiatives from our undergraduate and graduate curriculum, our study abroad office, and from faculty research that both broadens Simmons's connection to the wider world and provides our students with an international perspective.

Inter-professional Education (IPE): The Future of Health Professions Education
Panel: Judy Beal, SNHS; Gary Bailey, SSW; Teresa Fung, SNHS; Pat Rissmiller, SNHS; Patricia White, SNHS
M-222, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building

This interactive panel presentation will present state of the art and science of IPE in health professions education, including its origins, rationale, best practices, and future mandates. Exemplars from collaborations among SNHS, SSW, and the medical schools at Tufts, Dartmouth, and Harvard will be highlighted. Faculty presenters have led the SNHS initiative to require achievement of inter-professional core competencies for all SNHS students. Barriers and strategies to overcome the challenges of integration will be discussed.

Managing Your Visibility
Master class: Stacy Blake Beard, SOM; introduction by Cathy Minehan, SOM
Kotzen Room, Lefavour Hall

Do you as a leader find yourself "ping-ponging" between being invisible to colleagues, and being too visible? Women leaders, and their male managers and colleagues, need to understand this reality and how to deal with it. This eye-opening master class will define a middle path, one that we call "tempered visibility" which involves aspects of both standing out and blending in. You'll identify your multiple social identities to understand how the resulting group memberships inform your behavior, feelings, and attitudes. You'll also assess the resources and stakeholders that are important, and identify actions you can take to manage your visibility.

Afternoon Academic Panels

2:00 - 3:15 p.m.

Lead Teams that Deliver Results
Master class: Mary Shapiro, SOM; introduction by Cathy Minehan, SOM
Kotzen Room, Lefavour Hall

When given a team assignment, most people jump right into the task: What do we have to produce? Who will do what? What's the timeline? But hold on! The success of a team is significantly determined by the work you do upfront in creating the team's "infrastructure" (its goals, roles, and operating rules). Derived from 25 years of working with corporate and nonprofit teams, and captured in Shapiro's book The Harvard Business School Press' Guide to Leading Teams, this fun, highly interactive master class will share exercises to build your team's infrastructure, and for holding individuals accountable to doing good work and maintaining solid relationships.

Social Justice
Panel: Eileen Abels, SLIS; Cheryl Parks, SSW; Suzanne Sankar '77SW, SSW; Johnnie Hamilton Mason, SSW; Em Claire Knowles, SLIS; Laura Saunders, SLIS
Linda K. Paresky Conference Center, Main College Building

National events of the past year have focused our attention on serious social injustices: institutional discrimination, a broken criminal justice system, racial injustice, and systemic poverty in our cities. Educational institutions have a pivotal role to play in tackling societal inequalities. This panel will address current initiatives targeting the promotion of social justice at Simmons University, including: an "undoing racism" training, curriculum offerings that engage students in examining racism and inequity at all levels, student co-curricular engagement with diversity and inclusion, and innovative methods for assessing classroom learning climate. Future initiatives will be discussed by SSW Dean Cheryl Parks and SLIS Dean Eileen Abels.

The Mystery of the Disappearing Woman: Keeping Women and Girls in the STEM Pipeline
Panel: Panel: Renee White, CAS; Anne-Marie Barron SNHS; Amber Stubbs SLIS; Liz Scott, CAS; Jenna Canfield, CAS; Margaret Menzin, CAS; Donna Beers, CAS
M-501/502, Simmons School of Management and Academic Building

Even though high schoolers of both genders perform equally well in math and science, only 18 percent of bachelor's degrees in engineering and computer science are earned by women. What happens to girls and women who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Why do girls report being less interested in math and science by high school? At what points in the STEM pipeline do women leave STEM fields, and why? This panel will address the challenges women and girls face as they pursue STEM fields, and Simmons faculty will discuss practical solutions for keeping girls and women in the STEM pipeline from K-12 through post-docs, research, teaching, and applied fields.


There are a number of hotels with rooms available close to Simmons University.

Courtyard Marriott, Brookline 

Residence Inn, Back Bay

Sheraton Boston Hotel

The Eliot Hotel

The Inn at Longwood Medical

The Westin Copley Place, Boston