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It's been one month since Occupy Boston protesters set up camp in Boston's Dewey Square as part of a national movement that's speaking out against economic inequity. Since then, Boston's "tent city" has grown into a community of nearly 200 members, with its own security team, medical tents and food stations.

To keep a peaceful environment, demonstrators say they're trying to live day-to-day operations in a "horizontal democracy" where there are no leaders and everyone has an equal voice. However, with hundreds of people living in such close quarters, many of whom are under economic stress, conflicts naturally arise.

Enter Simmons School of Social Work Professor Dawn Belkin Martinez, and social work students Emily Balazs and Chloe Frankel. They've been volunteering their time to offer emotional support, defuse potentially dangerous situations, and provide mediation training to members of Occupy Boston.

Continue reading Simmons social workers volunteer at Occupy Boston camp.


Although the Egyptian revolution is far from over, it is evident that women have played a critical role in the process thus far. In the early protests, only 10% of the demonstrators were women, but in the days leading to the fall of Mubarak women participation grew to represent nearly 50% of the protestors.

Egyptian women broke boundaries and went to extreme efforts to have their voices heard. They participated in debates, took on leadership roles, and shared live reports from the protests via social media outlets.

"Women played a wonderful role in the making of the Egyptian revolution," says Egyptian politics expert and Political Science and International Relations Professor Kirk Beattie. "Whether as key figures masterfully employing social network technology for the mobilization of the Egyptian people, or as active participants in the massive demonstrations that brought down the Mubarak regime, women from all walks of life courageously assumed positions of tremendous importance."

Continue reading Women break boundaries to play critical role in Egyptian Revolution.

Simmons Volleyball

The Simmons Sharks supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month by raising money for the American Cancer Society during the month of October. Volleyball, Field Hockey, and Soccer held "Think Pink" games. Players wore pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness and volunteers collected donations.

thinkpink2.jpgThe Volleyball team's "Think Pink" game was Tuesday, October 18 against Emmanuel College and the players raised $164 for breast cancer research. In total, the "Think Pink" games raised $774 for The American Cancer Society. Although the game was a loss for Simmons, it was a win for the battle against breast cancer.

Despite Tuesday's upset, the Volleyball team is having a strong season. With an overall record of 17 - 8 and an in conference record of 7 - 3, the Sharks are well positioned to make the Greater Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament. New head coach Alesia Vaccari says as long as the ladies give 100% they're bound for success.

"Someone once told me that practices are for the coach and games are for the players, and I have really tried to own that. You know, just let the girls play. We just have to give 100%, and when we give 100% we are successful."

Continue reading Simmons athletics supports breast cancer awareness.

Welcome to 300 The Fenway's first installment of "Know Your Professor." Here's your opportunity to get to know Simmons' professors on a more personal level. You'll get the inside scoop on their favorite books, music, hidden talents, and more!

First up is Professor David Browder from the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science. Professor Browder is perhaps best known for carrying the academic mace during the Convocation and Commencement processions, and for eating lunch with his students every Friday in Bartol. But did you also know he's an accomplished jazz musician?


What is your favorite class to teach?
Introduction to Real Analysis

What book are you currently reading?
Barney Frank, by Stuart Weisberg.

What's your favorite book?
The World According to Garp, by John Irving.

Do you have a favorite TV show?
Northern Exposure (1990-1995)

Continue reading Know Your Professor: David Browder.

S/RC for Community Service

The Scott/Ross Center for Community Service (S/RC) celebrated its 10th anniversary of service to the community yesterday. The center has been integral in connecting Simmons students with volunteer and service learning opportunities. It works with more than 60 community-based organizations and provides countless ways for students to get involved, make a difference, and learn leadership skills.

certificate.jpg In honor of this event, Mayor Menino has named the week of October 17 to October 21, Scott/Ross Center for Community service week!

Simmons has been connecting students with service opportunities for more than 100 years, but the Scott/Ross Center for Community Service was established ten years ago with the help and oversight of Board of Trustees member Emily Scott Pottruck '78. The S/RC has consistently been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and is the only school in Massachusetts to receive this "Honor with Distinction" four times.

Continue reading Boston Mayor Tom Menino recognizes Simmons' 10 years of community service.

John Simmons founded Simmons College at a time when women were vulnerable to the decisions of others, with very little capability to fend for themselves or seek protections for their own rights under the law.

The woman's role was in the home and most women worked only because they had to, not because they wanted to. As a result, women's representation in the workforce was small (10 to 15%) and the conditions were harsh. They received unequal pay, menial wages, and meaningless work.

"I believe it is not a big stretch to think that John Simmons was well aware of these realities for women when he decided to endow the College," says President Helen Drinan in her 2011 Convocation speech.

One hundred years later, we've seen major advancements in women's rights, but in spite of all these gains, President Drinan says women have still not achieved their full potential in the U.S. economy.

Continue reading Simmons President Helen Drinan explains why women's education is still important.


Did you know that despite making up half the U.S. population, women make up only 10 to 20% of contributors to key opinion forums? Why are women so reluctant to share and state their opinions?

That's what Simmons College, along with the OpEd Project and Women Act Media, is trying to change.

To help women experts find their voice, Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change has partnered with The OpEd Project for a day-long seminar, "Write to Change the World".

The OpEd project aims to increase the number of women thought leaders by training women experts in all industries to write op-eds and think about how to take on more thought leadership positions in their fields.

"Write to Change the World" will focus on how to present effective arguments under pressure and how to make a greater impact. Participants will be encouraged to use their voice to make a difference. They will learn the skills and tools to form and express their ideas thoughtfully to make their voices heard. All participants leave with an op-ed draft and have a full year of access to Project OpEd mentors.

Since The New York Times recently decided to expand its Opinion Pages, there's no better time for women to get their ideas and opinions out there.

Visit the Project OpEd website for more information on the seminar, and follow the organization on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Continue reading Simmons works with OpEd Project to train women thought leaders.

alibrown.jpgWhen we last caught up with entrepreneur Ali Brown '93, she was about to be featured on ABC's "Secret Millionaire." On her episode, Ali lived in poverty for one week and ended up donating $50,000 to Harvest Home.

Last week, Ali returned to Simmons to talk to the community about her success in marketing and entrepreneurship. She had a tour of the campus, lunch with President Helen Drinan, and led a class discussion with Simmons School of Management (SOM) students.

The class was hosted by Entrepreneurship Chair and Director of the SOM's Entrepreneurship Program, Teresa Nelson, and was attended by MBA students who have visions of their own entrepreneurial success. During the class, Ali talked about her time at Simmons and her own progression as an entrepreneur and role model.

Continue reading Ali Brown talks to women about becoming entrepreneurs.

girlscouts.jpgWith their 100th anniversary quickly approaching, The Girl Scouts of the USA have completely revamped their badge offerings for the first time in twenty-five years. The organization's mission remains the same, but the new program offerings have been altered to focus on leadership and development skills that are more relevant to girls in the 21st Century.

The new badges encourage "the critical thinking, creativity and entrepreneurship that the next generation of leaders will need to make the world a better place," Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts USA said in a statement.

While several of the traditional badges such as Cook, Naturalist, and Athlete are still offered, new badges that focus on modern day and technology-driven skills have been added. New badges include, Product Designer, Digital Movie Maker, Money Manager, and the Science of Happiness. A "Make Your Own" badge option also has been added for all levels of Scouts, and it gives girls the opportunity to explore their personal interests.

The Girl Scout organization has empowered young girls since 1912 and has been able to modernize their curriculum to fit modern day demands. It's a mission that Simmons fully supports.

"We have a focused commitment to the advancement of women and girls, and we believe the [Girl Scouts] new badge offerings is an important step in the development of today's women leaders," says Diane Hammer, Director of the Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change.

What do you think? What badges would you like to see the Girl Scouts add?

Interested in getting involved with the Girl Scouts? Volunteer at the Girl Scout Leadership Conference held at Simmons College on Jan. 29, 2012. For more info, contact Denise Pearl Dixon at

Photo: AP file


Forget cookbook lab instruction. Simmons' science program has transformed the way students learn chemistry, physics, and biology by combining lab training with original undergraduate student and faculty research projects. The innovative curriculum introduces students to the fundamentals of research starting their first semester at the College.

In a recent article in Chemical and Engineering News, Chemistry and Physics Department Chair Rich Gurney says the lab-research approach better prepares students for a career in science.

"Our students need to be trained to enter the workforce immediately, and to do that in chemistry they need to know how to do research when they graduate," says Gurney. "More learning takes place when students experience the ins and outs of an experiment and have to work through or around problems that arise."

Continue reading Science at Simmons integrates lab training with original research.

miss representation

Miss Representation premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and has been causing a movement ever since. The documentary, written, directed and produced by filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, explores the impact media messages have on the perception and expectations of women.

While we live in an age where people are learning more from media then any other single source of information, it is crucial to understand how the images in television and advertising are shaping the values and norms of society.

Continue reading Documentary explores the misrepresentation of women leaders.

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