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With the school year now officially underway we thought it would be great to meet and introduce some of the newest members of the Simmons community, our incoming class of 2017. We all know that starting a new chapter can be nerve racking and even a bit scary, but there is also a lot of optimism and hopefulness. We thought hearing from them would at least calm some fears and build excitement.
Woman on Campus, Sarah Galvez '14 got behind the camera to meet and talk to a few students around the residence and main campus. These students shared their reasons for attending Simmons, what most excites them about attending school in Boston and of course what they will miss about being home. It's not too surprising what these women already have in common.
Make sure to welcome these students if you see them around and help to foster their already budding Simmons pride. Also good luck first years with your first semester at Simmons!
Earlier this summer, Simmons hosted the "Women Changing the Face of Leadership Program", a program designed and funded by the Study of the U.S. Branch at the U.S Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and we introduced program participants. Twenty-five enthusiatic women brightened up the Simmons College campus, with their willingness and eagerness to change their lives and the lives of others.
The program included four weeks of classes at Simmons taught by faculty from the Simmons School of Management, the Department of Political Science and International Relations, the Department of History, and the Simmons School of Social Work, along with several educational tours. It also included a week visiting popular historic sites and tourist attractions in Atlanta, GA. and Washington DC. The 25 women participated in the Study of the U.S Institute on Women's Leadership closing conference, shared their experiences and networked with women from all over the Middle East, Asia and other African countries.
During the program, I was able to sit with a few of the women, who described some of their favorite and most inspiring parts of their experience, what they would love to take back to their home countries, and what they learned about leadership.
Continue reading "Changing the Face of Leadership" Changes Lives.
For the second year, Simmons is hosting "The Study of the U.S Institute on Women's Leadership" program, more affectionately called Women Changing the Face of Leadership (WCFL). This five-week program, sponsored by the U.S State Department, brings together 20 women from five African nations and five Simmons students, with the goal of strengthening global awareness and developing future leaders. The women from Africa are all undergraduate students from varying universities in Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Sudan.
The program, now in it's 4th week, has included volunteer projects with Boys and Girls Club, Women's Lunch Place, Project Projection and field trips to various local historic sites, such as the Massachusetts State House and the Women's Heritage Trail in downtown Boston. In addition to participating in thought-provoking classroom discussions and lessons with Simmons faculty, the participants have met powerful and inspirational women, such as State Representative for Needham Denise Garlick and Simmons alumnae Oby Ukadike, co-founder of The WAWA Project. The African students also got the opportunity to completely submerse themselves in American culture during a weekend-long home stay visit with Simmons community members.
The program will continue to foster and cultivate their leadership potentials with even more activities and explorations. The final week of the program includes travel to Atlanta and Washington DC where they will tour several other historic sights and present their plans for becoming future leaders. A few of these amazing women were kind enough to share with me their thoughts on leadership, as well as some of their highlights of the experience so far, view the slideshow to see what they had to say.
But what is life really like as a Simmons student? We chatted with current undergraduate students to get the all details!
What is it like living with a roommate?
One of the biggest anxieties for the majority of college students is living in a dorm and sharing a room. "I have found Simmons residence halls are a very relaxed, clean, safe, and a comfortable place to unwind after a busy day on the Academic Campus," says Kendall Bauer '16. The most important aspect of living at Simmons is that students feel they are part of a community. "The residence halls here have a homey feel, and Resident Advisors really work to foster a sense of community amongst their residents," says Molly Maidman '13.
What do you do for fun?
Since Simmons is located in the heart of Boston, students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities on and off campus. Some of their favorite things to do include going out for dinner with friends; exploring the city; shopping on Newbury Street; going to the movies (students get discounted tickets!); and attending different concerts and shows. "I love exploring new areas of Boston I've never been to," says Chelsea Keyes '14. "I also enjoy visiting friends at neighboring colleges since there are so many nearby."
What do you like about living in Boston?
Although the greater Boston area is home to 4.5 million people, Boston is a "city of neighborhoods," and many students say it's easy to get around. "Everything here is very accessible, so I can get almost anywhere I need to either by walking or taking the T," says Molly '13. "I feel comfortable walking around the city, and I know I can always stop someone on the street if I need help with something." With all that Boston has to offer, it's no surprise that many students stick around to find jobs and internships. "I can see myself staying here after I graduate because the city has so much to offer," says Kendall '16. "The longer I am here, the more I want to stay!"
How would you describe the Simmons community?
As a Simmons student, you are a member of a tightly-knit community of current students, faculty, staff and alumnae who are there to support you throughout your career. "At the beginning of my college experience, I wasn't sure where I fit in the Simmons community," says Kendall '16. "But now I feel I belong here at Simmons because of the guidance of women leaders, faculty, and friends who all care about my personal well-being and success."
- Is it easy to get involved on campus?
At the beginning of each semester Simmons hosts the Connections Carnival, which gives students the opportunity to learn about and sign up for different organizations and groups on campus. "It is so easy to get involved," says Nerissa Chan '14. "With the right organization you can really find yourself having the time of your life in college." There are more than 70 organizations on campus and if students can't find exactly what they are looking for, they can create a new organization. "I think that getting involved was the best thing I could've done as a first-year," says Kendall '16. "People who are the most involved feel a connection to the Simmons community right away, which will lead to their success and overall happiness."
Content for this post was contributed by:
Kendall Bauer '16, Public Relations/Marketing Communications
Chelsea Keyes '14, Public Relations/Marketing Communications
Our Faces of the Future students from the Class of 2014 are halfway through their college careers. It seems like only yesterday these four accomplished women agreed to blog about their Simmons College experiences. The transformation they have made in the past two years has been incredible to experience with each woman.
To follow along as they compete for athletic championships, conduct chemistry research, excel in academics and lead clubs and organizations has been thrilling. We can't wait to see where the next two years (and beyond) will take them.
Members of Save Fenway Park! rally on Lansdowne Street in 1999. Photo courtesy of Erika Tarlin '85LS.
On the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, it's hard to believe that America's most beloved ballpark was almost destroyed due to a stadium proposal in the late 1990s that sought to demolish the park and build a new, larger stadium adjacent to the old one. At the time of the proposal, the Fenway neighborhood was concerned about how a larger stadium would affect the community.
To save the ballpark, members of the Fenway neighborhood rallied behind a small nonprofit group, Save Fenway Park!, and Simmons Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) alumna Erika Tarlin '85 was a key member of the group who petitioned for Simmons College to host a design symposium that would allow members of the community to share alternative ideas for saving the stadium. Other local organizations were hesitant to support the symposium for fear of angering city officials who supported replacing Fenway.
Sometimes being an adult undergraduate student leaves little time to get involved on campus. Many adult students have family and job responsibilities outside of class. But, adult student Melissa Tanguay '14 found a way to bring her outside interests to campus. She recently started "Fit at Simmons," an organization aimed at encouraging students to incorporate health and fitness into their every day lives. We sat down with Melissa to pick her brain about what it's like to be an adult student and what she hopes for for "Fit at Simmons."
- Why did you decide to return to college as an adult student, and why Simmons?
- Before coming to Simmons I worked for 10 years in animal welfare, but several years ago I discovered a love for running and triathlon. With that came a genuine excitement for trying to help those around me integrate fitness into their own lives to help with their heath and wellness. For example, at my last job, I formed a running group to help my coworkers tackle their first 5K road race.
This encouraged me to pursue a degree in Exercise Science to launch myself on a new career path. Being an adult returning to college for my second degree, I ultimately chose to attend Simmons College because the Dix Scholars program seemed like the perfect fit for students like me.
Non-profit management and entrepreneurship MBA student Obiageli Ukadike recognized a serious education gap in Ghana, Africa. People with physical disabilities are often shunned from mainstream society and denied access to quality education.
To combat this injustice, Oby co-founded The WaWa Project, a non-profit organization aimed at providing education to physically disabled children in Ghana. The WaWa Project plans to raise approximately $2.5 million over the next five years to build a handicap accessible secondary school for children grades six through twelve. The non-profit will build the school, hire local staff and administrators and create education plans to teach students skills they can use post graduation. Oby is ecstatic about the attention her cause has received.
Students build homes with Habitat for Humanity during Alternative Spring Break (ASB).
Naomi Chick '14 blogs for Faces of the Future and chronicles her life as a Simmons College student. Naomi helped organize this year's Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip to Waynesburg, PA. ASB is a trip that occurs every year when students travel with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild homes in underserved communities. Rather than taking spring break to stay at school, relax in Florida, or go home to spend time with family, students choose to spend their time helping those in need. Naomi says her trip was an eye-opening experience.
"On the second to last day of work, the new owner of the home we were building, Cheryl, showed up to the site. She was in her late 60's, and had just broken her knee in the snow a few weeks earlier. Tears immediately flooded to my eyes as she struggled to walk on the gravel to bring us lunch. Talking to her during lunch made everyone smile, and made us have a greater connection for what we were actually doing for Habitat....On the last day of the trip, and while we got back on the plane to head back to Boston, each one of us had a new sense of ourselves, and of humanity, and why helping our community should be a huge part of everyone's lives."
The Faces of the Future blog details the Simmons College experience through the eyes of four students. The students began blogging during their second semester at Simmons and will continue to share their experiences through their four years at the College. Sandy, Andree, Naomi, and Tania are incredible women, involved in all aspects of the Simmons community, and this blog is a way for them to share their college journey.
Public health major Rebecca Walmer '12 with her mentor Kathie Westpheling '71.
Research from the American Society of Training & Development shows that 75% of executives point to mentoring as playing a key role in their careers. But how does one find the right mentor and gain professional exposure?
The Simmons Success Connection Program is a unique job-shadowing and mentoring opportunity that matches current seniors with highly accomplished Simmons alumnae. We had the chance to chat with Rebecca Walmer '12, a current Success Connection mentee from Farmington, ME, who is majoring in public health. Through the program, Rebecca was connected with Kathie Westpheling '71, executive director at the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved.
- Q. What made you decide to sign up for the Success Connection program?
- I was abroad when I signed up for the Success Connection program, and I was feeling really unsure about what I wanted to do after graduation. I lacked a practical understanding of the demands in public health, and I was at a point where I needed exposure and feedback from someone in the field.
- Q. Why do you think mentorships are important?
- A good mentorship is important because it gives you the opportunity to learn from an individual who has the knowledge base to answer questions and provide career guidance. Developing a relationship and maintaining contact is beneficial for both the mentor and mentee.
- Q. How did your mentorship relate to your professional interests?
- I was matched with Kathie Westpheling '71 MPH. Kathie is an experienced non-profit executive director and advocate for health equity with long-time interests in nutrition and prevention. This placement aligned particularly well with my own interests and career goals, as well as my passion for health disparities and underserved populations. Through her work with the Association of Clinicians for the Underserved, Kathie has improved the development and support of health care clinicians serving these populations. I also had the opportunity to shadow Kathie at Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), an organization that provides a better understanding of health care information and management systems.