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Photos courtesy of Heatherjean MacNeil.

In 2008, Heatherjean MacNeil '08MBA, won the Simmons College Silverman Business Plan Competition, which awarded her with funding to launch Proxy Apparel, a socially responsible accessories and apparel line whose mission is to empower and employ women in developing countries throughout the world.

Only a couple years have passed since graduating from the Simmons entrepreneurship program and business is booming for Heatherjean. Proxy Apparel has partnered with women-owned cooperatives in Guatemala, such as The UPAVIM Cooperative and Mayan Hands, to produce sweatshop-free, sustainable fashion and accessories, which you can now purchase directly from Proxy Apparel's online shop. In addition, Heatherjean recently debuted Proxy Apparel's Spring collection at SXSW's first annual Syle X showcase in Austin, TX.

Amidst all the buzz, Stacey Gualandi of The Women's Eye caught up with Heatherjean to talk about what it means to be a social entrepreneur:

Continue reading Proxy Apparel empowers women through sustainable fashion.

The Simmons lacrosse team finished out the regular season on Saturday with a 17-7 win over Emmanuel College. The Sharks will take on Mount Ida tonight (Wednesday, April 27) on their home turf in the first round of the GNAC playoffs.

Although the lacrosse team is just in its third year of existence, Captain Jen Skoltz says she has witnessed tremendous growth.

"Over the last three years we've grown so much as a team. We've really made a huge impact in our conference. We've won huge games over the past two years. So, I think right now we have a lot of intensity both in and out of conference. As long as we keep this up, I think the rest of the season will go just as well."

To stay informed on how the Sharks do in this year's GNAC playoffs, like Simmons athletics on Facebook, and visit the website for news updates.

While the Class of 2011 is busy getting ready to graduate, we asked Bryn Adler '11 if she had any advice for the new incoming class. With four years of experience behind her, it's no surprise that Bryn knows the secrets to surviving college.

Without further ado, here are 10 helpful tips for navigating your way through your first year of college... from a senior who's been there!

1. Embrace the estrogen

We have a saying at Simmons: "It's not an all-girls school without men, it's an all-women's college without boys." Skip the stressing, ladies. It's Boston, and there's certainly no shortage of men. Participating in a learning environment that is specifically for empowering women is an unbelievable advantage. Class becomes a unique experience, one aimed not only at learning but at creating professional, successful women. Plus, we have clean bathrooms!

Continue reading 10 tips for surviving your first year of college.

Simmons Softball

With a 15-3 in conference record, the Simmons softball team looks for their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference championship. The Sharks have six regular season games left before beginning the GNAC playoffs on Friday, April 29.

They will most likely enter the playoffs as the third seed and get a first round bye to automatically advance to the double-elimination tournament. Head Coach Anne Hennigan talks about how the program has grown since she took over in 2009.

"I think we are seeing more competitive athletes who come in and are talented and are ready to make an impact as soon as they enter the program. That has added a lot. It makes the returning players work even harder and makes for an overall competitive, strong team."

Continue reading Sharks battle for GNAC championship.


With its intricate web of conspiracies, the story of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination has fascinated Americans for nearly a century and a half.

In an attempt to shed even more light on the subject, Robert Redford's new civil war-era movie, The Conspirator, explores the lesser known story of Mary Surratt, the only woman tried by the military tribunal for the murder, and the first woman to be federally executed in the United States.

Mary Surratt owned a boardinghouse in Washington D.C., where John Wilkes Booth, and other co-conspirators, including her son, plotted the assassination. Immediately after Lincoln's death, Washington panicked and reacted accordingly. The Conspirator suggests that authorities avoided a long, fair trial for the accomplices in fear that it would encourage rebel opposition.

How historically accurate is the film?

Continue reading Expert historian believes Mary Surratt guilty in 'Conspirator'.


This year, Simmons is joining together two of its annual events, the Undergraduate Conference and Global Service Day, into one day-long event, Scholarship and Service.

The inaugural event aims to bring Simmons' students, faculty, staff, and alumni together to honor the achievements of its undergraduate students and to celebrate its commitment to community service.

Scholarship and Service will be held Friday, April 29, and there are several participation opportunities for the entire community.

Continue reading Scholarship and Service aims to bring community together.

After graduating from Simmons in 1993 and floundering at a small New York ad agency, Ali Brown did what most women are too afraid to. She quit her full-time job and ventured out on her own, determined to make it big as an entrepreneur helping other women entrepreneurs. Nowadays Ali is everywhere - blogging for, speaking at conferences, and selling her own magazines.

But, throughout all this, Ali says she has had one experience that has drastically altered her outlook on life forever.

She was asked to be featured on ABC's new hit show "Secret Millionaire." The episode, airing on Sunday, April 10 at 8 p.m., is the season finale and will show Ali as she goes undercover in Venice, California, lives off minimum wage and gets to know the locals who may need and deserve her help. In the end, Ali gives away part of her fortune.

In a recent blog post about her upcoming debut, Ali explains why she does not plan on throwing a party for the big show:

"During my week of living in poverty, surviving on welfare wages, and volunteering in some hard situations, my life was changed forever. You'll have to watch my episode to learn more, but let me just tell you the true stars of my journey were the amazing people I encountered who give endlessly to make their worlds a better place."

Watch the full episode of Ali's incredible journey and see how she chooses to use her money to help others. Also, learn about being a successful entrepreneur through her website, personal blog, and blog and make sure to follow her on Twiter, like her on Facebook, and watch her on YouTube.


There are several research studies that examine the link between video game violence and aggression in children. But, Professor Edward T. Vieria's new study takes a different approach and says children's exposure to violent video games can impact their ability to develop empathy and sympathy for others.

The study, published in the 2011 spring/summer edition of the Journal of Children and Media, is the first of its kind to examine how violent games affect the development of moral reasoning in children ages 7-15. It found that kids who play video games for long periods of time can perceive that some types of violence are O.K., or "right."

Professor Vieria says:

"Certainly not every child who continues to play violent video games is going to go out and perpetrate a violent act, but the research suggests that children -- particularly boys -- who are frequently exposed to these violent games are absorbing a sanitized message of 'no consequences for violence' from this play behavior."

Read more about the study:

Violent Video Games Can Hinder Development, Simmons Study Finds

Violent games linked to lowered sympathy in kids

772356138.jpg It's Sexual Assault Awareness month, and the Simmons chapter of Girls' LEAP is doing its part to raise awareness.

We sat down with program member Jackie Hernandez '12 to talk about Youth Speak Out, a youth-led interactive workshop to raise awareness about how common violence is in the lives of young women, and why it is important to speak out on the issue.

"I think what people don't know is that sexual violence against women is usually by someone the victim knows. Most people think it's a stranger you meet down a creepy alleyway. 86% of sexually assaulted women aged 12-17 knew their attacker."

That is certainly an alarming statistic! The event is being led by teen mentors who work with Simmons students at schools throughout the Boston area to empower young women. The program teaches girls self defense, self reflective skills, saying no, setting personal boundaries, and self confidence.

Continue reading Girls' LEAP speaks out on violence against women.

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