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October 2013 Archives

Watch: Simmons Speaks Founder's Day Video

Every October 30th, we celebrate the birth of the College's founder, John Simmons. He was an innovative businessman who made his fortune in the mid-1800s by inventing ready-to-wear suits in standard sizes. Decades before women were allowed to vote, Simmons had another revolutionary idea: that women should receive a college education in preparation for a life of independence and purpose. His will established Simmons College, setting the stage for generations of learning and empowerment. As we honor Simmons's legacy, see what our community has to say about the transformative power of the education he made possible.


Decades ago, breast cancer was a topic so taboo that it wasn't discussed in polite society. As a result, many cases weren't found early enough and women suffered when they might have been saved. Now October is awash in pink, the signature color of the Breast Cancer Awareness movement. This ubiquity represents years of positive action in women's health and reflects our shared passion for improving the lives of women and girls worldwide.

But did you know that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in every 4 adult women has experienced intimate partner violence, physical or sexual assault at the hands of a spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. And women who are assaulted before age 18 are twice as likely to have abusive partners as adults. It's a public health crisis claiming almost 2,500 lives a year, and a vicious cycle that can only be stopped when we address the issue together.

Continue reading Take the RESPECT! Challenge.

Support our Sharks as they row their way into Boston history during the storied Head of the Charles Regatta October 19-20. This iconic race is the largest of its kind, featuring more than 8,000 rowers from around the world and drawing an anticipated 300,000 spectators. Current students, alumnae, and even Coach Nik Kurmakov will be competing throughout the weekend.

To help promote the race, the Simmons crew team created a 60-second video of the course from a rower's perspective for

"This is a very exciting weekend for Boston and for the world rowing community," explains Coach Kurmakov. "Simmons has been training well and looking forward to competing."

See the full schedule of races featuring members of the Simmons community.

Pull for our Rowers

Simmons alumna -- and former crew team member -- Amanda Milad '11, shared some insider tips for watching the race:

This is the best weekend of the year--go out and enjoy it! The Weeks footbridge near Harvard and the Elliot Bridge near the finish line are the best spots to watch the regatta (and occasionally you can see a good crash on those two turns). Head over to the finish line area (known as FALS) to check out the Expo tent full of good vendors and see all the different teams launching. Over 100 boat trailers are parked near the finish line and it's really great people watching.

My favorite thing to do regatta weekend is get out early--even before racing starts, get a coffee and walk around and enjoy the first few races before it gets too crowded. The first races on Saturday are the veteran singles--amazing men and women who have been racing for decades and Sunday morning are the para races (para is the new term for adaptive rowing). If you only have a few minutes to watch--the BU bridge is just a short walk from Simmons and if you stand on the downstream side (which is the side that looks over the BU boathouse), you can see the boats lining up and starting the race. Hundreds of boats in the Charles River basin, ready to start the race of their lives.

It's time for our latest installment of "Where are they now?" This series chronicles the amazing things Simmons College women are accomplishing after graduation.


Meet Brittany (Oheim) Reese [right, with Rachel (Shafman) O'Neill, '07, at Brittany's June 2013 wedding], a Chemistry major from the Class of 2008. She currently works as a Associate Account Manager at Dovetail Health, a care management healthcare company that partners with major insurance companies to offer readmission prevention care to recently discharged hospital patients. We had the chance to ask her a few questions about what it's like to work in the healthcare industry.

What is a typical day like at your job?
A typical day here really doesn't exist. The culture is so friendly and people oriented that everyone is always willing to wear multiple hats to support others in accomplishing a project or task. Everyone is also focused on a main goal, which is helping people. My regular day to day functions include organizing meetings, interfacing with clients, and doing what I love most - crunching numbers in Excel.

How was the job application process like for you?
Like anyone who has graduated in the past four years, I struggled when I was out of school. I lived at home for a bit and it took me a solid six months before I landed my first real job. At Dovetail, the application process was so easy. My husband had actually applied first in the IT department and I followed suit when I saw its openings. We got hired a week apart! He has since moved on to a different company, but it was fun to work together for the time we did. Having tools like LinkedIn for networking are also great; I was able to connect with lots of wonderful people in the industry and got recommend for this job by a former employee. One of the things to really set you apart is creating a unique cover letter for each application. Every company has different styles and you never know what might pique their interest so you don't get lost in the mass pool of candidates. I also love the blog Ask A Manager (, written by Alison Green. It's filled with tons of valuable advice and she answers any questions you could possibly have. I feel like I've learned so much from it, especially questions I thought I knew the answer to already but ended up being totally off base.

Continue reading Where are they now? Brittany Reese '08, working in the healthcare industry.

Watch: Highlights from 'Colors of Success'

Each fall, the Multicultural Affairs/Office of the Dean for Student Life gathers the Simmons community for "Colors of Success" - a celebration of the myriad achievements of our diverse student body. One of our most powerful and touching traditions, the event brings together students, faculty, administrators, and even some returning alumnae to share in and support each other's successes.

This year's event began with an ice-breaker designed to build connections among participants by exploring the origins of their names. Jordan Peterson, a member of the student Slam Poetry group, performed a spoken word piece about her namesake Michael Jordan that united the room in rousing applause.

A common theme of the evening was the importance of mentorship.

A panel of undergraduate students from several multicultural student organizations - such as Organizacion Latino Americana (OLA), the Asian Students Association (ASA), the Black Students Organization (BSO), and the Like Minds Coalition - praised the role models and organizations that helped them succeed at Simmons. They cited the Admissions team, the Scott Ross Center for Community Service, counselors, faculty, and the Multicultural Overnight Student Travel (MOST) program as key players in their development, and encouraged others to get involved.

Dean Renee White recognized the many ALANA (Asian, Latino, African American and Native American) students who made the deans list last Spring - a list almost three pages long.

Renee Gadsen, assistant director of undergraduate admissions, acknowledged our Boston 2013 Scholars, who received full scholarships to attend Simmons. Gadsen also encouraged students to be mentors and seek mentors during their time at Simmons and beyond.

Students put those recommendations into practice at the end of the event when they each exchanged contact information with another attendee they'd never met. Each promised to keep in touch, forging more bonds within our multicultural community of mentors, supporters, and friends.

Watch: The Simmons Community weighs in on their favorite women in politics.

The Simmons College community has a long tradition of political awareness and empowerment; we've been educating informed, independent leaders since before women had the right to vote.

It's important to remember how far we've come, recognize how much is still yet to be accomplished, and realize what inspires women and girls to get involved in the political process. That's why Simmons worked with the Grimke Event Committee to present How Women Become Political on Monday, October 7.

The event marked the 175th anniversary of when Angelina Grimke became the first woman in the United States to address a legislative body. Grimke delivered a series of powerful speeches to the Massachusetts state legislature in opposition to slavery. Her courage and convictions have galvanized generations of women. What other trailblazing women inspire our students, faculty and staff? Hear about them in the first video from our new Simmons Speaks series.

Event Information

Speakers and panelists included:

    • Gloria Steinem, feminist, activist, author
    • Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
    • Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor at-Large
    • Ambassador Swanee Hunt, Chair, Political Parity
    • Kerry Healey, President, Babson College, co-Chair, Political Parity

Watch all the speeches, panel conversation, and discussion with the audience.

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