Alumnae/i Feature

Naisha Bradley '06MA Director of Harvard College Women's Center

In GCS, Naisha sought to understand all who identify under the umbrella of womanhood.

What attracted you to the MA in gender/cultural studies (GCS) program at Simmons? 

I wanted a program that allowed me to explore the intersectionality of gender and culture to better understand the textured experience that women have based on their cultural backgrounds. 

How did Simmons prepare you for your current position? 

Currently I work as the director of the Harvard College Women’s Center, so my passion for women’s equity has remained a focus in my career. My time at Simmons allowed me to approach my work critically — specifically I sought to better understand the experiences and challenges for all who identify under the umbrella of womanhood. 

In addition, the nurture I received from the faculty and administrators at Simmons prompted me to change my career and move outside of the non-profit arena into higher education. I wanted to be for others what some of the community at Simmons was to me – a support system, an anchor that caught you before you fell, and an honest ear that corrected you when you made blunders. 

Describe the personal and professional relationships you cultivated within your GCS cohort. 

I still connect with my classmates from Simmons. I celebrate their lives and they celebrate mine. We have seen each other through marriage, children and additional academic achievements. I feel blessed to know them. 

Are there any faculty/staff members that especially impacted you in your time at Simmons? 

Christina Brinkley was my thesis advisor. Her warm but stern demeanor kept me on track and able to complete the program on a full-time schedule while working full-time. 

What advice would you give to a prospective student who is undecided about applying to Simmons? 

The professors at Simmons gave of more than just their intellectual resources; they gave of their time and attention. I was educated at Simmons but I also developed and was nurtured there. For that, I will always be grateful.  

What do you believe was your greatest accomplishment at Simmons? 

I am one of the first people in my family to attain a master’s degree. My greatest accomplishment was completing the program. In addition, I have no doubt that my time at Simmons played a large part in developing my critical thinking in preparation for my current studies in Public Administration at Harvard University.

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