All Simmons Newshttp://www.simmons.edu/{065E0B6A-9C32-4874-8FFF-7EC89D1F55CC}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/campus%20life/2018/december/year%20in%20reviewYear in Review: The Best of 2018<p>2018 was a monumental year for Simmons! From becoming a university, to climbing the ranks in&nbsp;<em>U.S.News &amp; World Report</em>&nbsp;&mdash; it's been a busy year. In celebration of the end of the year, we're taking a look at our biggest moments and stories from 2018.&nbsp;</p> <h3><img height="300" alt="Academic Campus" width="350" src="~/media/E79FF0AE3EBE4651BA606D61EAB56A5A.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" />1. Simmons College Announces University Designation</h3> <p>On September 1, 2018, we officially became Simmons University. This university designation also included the creation of four new colleges &mdash; making this the most comprehensive academic redesign in more than 100 years!&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Key quote:</strong> "Given the size and scope of our programs, including online graduate programs with national and international reach, &lsquo;university&rsquo; is a more accurate description of who we are and where we are going. We&rsquo;re looking forward to a very exciting future." &mdash; Helen G. Drinan, President of Simmons University</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/messages-to-the-simmons-community/2018/may/simmons-announces-university-designation">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Headshot of Emma Willmann at the Comedy at the Knitting Factory" width="350" src="~/media/9AA29985171A4D1BB744658B7732C095.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" /></span></p> <h3>2. From Simmons to Standup: Emma Willmann '08 Arrives on Netflix</h3> <p>We joined Emma during Boston's Women in Comedy Festival and learned about her journey into comedy. It wasn't always easy, but Willmann kept her goal of success at the forefront of her mind&mdash;a tactic she learned at Simmons. Today, you can find Willmann on the final two seasons of <em>Crazy Ex Girlfriend</em> and Netflix's <em>The Comedy Lineup: Part Two</em>.</p> <p><strong>Key quote:</strong>&nbsp;"There&rsquo;s such an importance placed on intersectionality at Simmons. You&rsquo;re constantly deconstructing race, class, gender&mdash;and you see it in every class you take. Simmons cultivates critical thinking and I try to be very critical of that lens when doing stand-up." &mdash; Emma Willmann '08</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/alumnae-i-and-friends/2018/september/emma-willmann">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <h3><img height="300" alt="University Celebration following Convocation 2018" width="350" src="~/media/7F65D33378A34B62BA8E4219CA218279.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" />3. Simmons University Ranked by U.S.News &amp; World Report</h3> <p>Simmons earned an impressive #4 ranking for Best Value in the 2019 <em>U.S.News &amp; World Report</em> rankings in the Regional Universities North category &ndash; the most competitive higher education region in the nation! This marks Simmons' highest-ever ranking in the Best Value category, rising from the #5 spot in 2017.</p> <p><strong>Key quote:</strong> "Our combination of rigor, exceptional student experience, value, and range of programs is being recognized by national evaluators. Simmons is a force in today&rsquo;s competitive higher education landscape, further elevating the stature of our distinctive undergraduate program for women and our nationally-recognized graduate programs."&nbsp;&mdash; Helen G. Drinan, President of Simmons University</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/campus-life/2018/september/simmons-university-ranking">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <h3><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Professor Gary Bailey" width="350" src="~/media/202E18F7F226405BB8839B00F5CD6466.ashx" /></span></h3> <h3>4. Professor Bailey Named One of Boston's Most Influential People of Color</h3> <p>Gary Bailey, DHL, MSW, ACSW, Professor of Practice at Simmons School of Social Work, was named one of Boston&rsquo;s Most Influential People of Color. This year marked the 10th anniversary of the GK100 list of Greater Boston&rsquo;s 100 Most Influential People of Color.</p> <p><strong>Key quote: "</strong>We do not view the GK100 as a popularity list, but more of an opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of culturally diverse talent in Boston who are contributing to the economic and social fabric of the city across various industries &ndash; including academia, business, health care, innovation and technology, and philanthropy."&nbsp;&mdash; Colette Phillips, CEO of Colette Phillips Communications and Founder of Get Konnected!</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/faculty-and-research/2018/april/gary-bailey">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <h3><img height="300" alt="Michelle Obama and Helen Drinan speaking during the Simmons Leadership Conference. " width="350" src="~/media/C8663E77AA92435FA4D5E4AAE2EE8574.ashx" />5. Looking Back at the Simmons Leadership Conference</h3> <p>The Simmons Leadership Conference was filled with inspiring messages and powerful leaders. The day featured incredible speeches from Gretchen Carlson, Nely Gal&aacute;n, Valerie Plame, Edie Weiner, and Former First Lady Michelle Obama.</p> <p><strong>Key Quote:</strong> "The arc of history is long. What we're here to do is make a mark."&nbsp;&mdash; Former First Lady Michelle Obama</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/leadership-and-change/2018/april/leadership-conference-2018">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <h3><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Abigail Flinn, Katelyn McCarthy, Julianne Pondelli '18C and Samantha DeLucca in ice skating rink" width="350" src="~/media/C5FC41CD451847A0B70523F2C7A114C6.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" /></span></h3> <h3>6. Inspiring Change: Julianne Pondelli '18C Takes Nutrition to the Ice</h3> <p>To her students, Julianne Pondelli '18C is much more than a skating coach&mdash;she&rsquo;s a source of support and refuge in the rigorous sport of figure skating. Between her passion for skating, dedication to nutrition, and value of higher education, Pondelli&rsquo;s students recognize and admire her unique approach to coaching.</p> <p><strong>Key Quote:</strong> "Nutrition education is so important in an athlete&rsquo;s life. If I can give my students a positive experience in the nutrition field and show them how to have a positive attitude towards food, that would be great in addition to just teaching them how to skate."&nbsp;&mdash; Julie Pondelli '18C</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/student-stories/2018/march/julie-pondelli">Read the full story.</a></p> <hr style="clear: both !important;" /> <h3><img height="300" alt="Helen Drinan" width="350" src="~/media/FC761DB82D8B409AA81090C555DCDCCD.ashx" />7. What You Can Do: Five Ways to Respond</h3> <p>After the many horrific events that occurred in October, President Helen Drinan encouraged the Simmons community to take action. Writing with a deep sense of purpose, President Drinan gave us five ways to respond to the hateful rhetoric we hear nearly every day.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Key Quote:</strong> "At Simmons University, we aspire to be the most inclusive campus for all members of our community, physically and virtually. While that will take time, the most important impact will be felt as each one of us decides to join in that effort. I believe we can model the kind of community we wish our world to be. It starts with each of us as a leader of one." &mdash; Helen G. Drinan, President of Simmons University</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/voices-of-simmons/2018/november/what-you-can-do">Read the full story.</a></p>2018-12-14T00:00:00-05:00{39ADE118-B986-49E6-AE89-176793E2EE71}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20library%20and%20information%20science/2018/december/a%20loss%20for%20simmons%20slisRemembering Former SLIS Faculty Member, Terry Plum<p>Simmons grieves the loss of Terry Plum, former director of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) West and faculty member, who passed away peacefully on December 10 after a long illness.</p> <p>Terry came to SLIS (then GSLIS) in 2000 as an assistant professor, teaching courses in reference, management of information technology, and user instruction. In 2002, he became program director of the SLIS West program in Western Massachusetts.&nbsp;</p> <p>2013 saw him take on the role of Assistant Dean for Academic Initiatives, where he oversaw online programs and technology, in addition to leading international projects. With his steady, thoughtful guidance, the SLIS West program grew into a nurturing community of students, faculty and staff, due in no small part to Terry's teaching ability, leadership and sense of humor.</p> <p>Colleagues have praised Terry for his friendship and professional guidance. Eric Poulin, Lecturer and Site Coordinator at SLIS West, shared these thoughts: "There is not a single institute of learning or information in the western New England area that hasn&rsquo;t been positively influenced by Terry and his work. I learned more from him and his easy-going yet determined spirit than I probably have learned from anyone else in my professional life. He guided SLIS West not only with integrity and the highest academic standards, but with good nature and positive humor. I will miss him with all of my heart."</p> <p>Our thoughts and prayers are with Terry's wife Sydney and their family at this difficult time. Everyone who had the privilege of working with Terry will remember the positive impact his kindness has had on their lives and work.</p>2018-12-14T00:00:00-05:00{16DC886C-C90D-4295-89B7-9B56845C6A13}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/alumnae%20i%20and%20friends/2018/december/beatriz%20datangelBeatriz Datangel '11 on the Power of Using Your Network<h4>Tell us a little bit about your background.</h4> <p> I&rsquo;m a San Francisco native and originally wanted to study <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/exercise-science-bsphysical-therapy-dpt">physical therapy</a> at Simmons. After my first year, I really gravitated toward <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/chemistry">chemistry</a> and later to <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/chemistry-management">chemistry management</a> after realizing the &ldquo;business&rdquo; impact of research and development. This interdisciplinary approach to problems gave me an advantage in the start-up world. Graduating in 2011 was tough for most undergrads. Thankfully, my hometown still had the tech scene as an economic driver. I was able to use my analytical and communication skills as an analyst and then rose to the position of product manager.</p> <h4>What has been your biggest &ldquo;aha&rdquo; moment?</h4> <p> I&rsquo;ve had a few &ldquo;aha&rdquo; moments that stem from a common theme: &ldquo;People understand stories.&rdquo; After studying chemistry, finance and economics, I realized that I was studying different ways to calculate and formulate a number. However, people don&rsquo;t understand numbers &mdash; they understand stories. I have to create a compelling story so the number matters to audiences. This means I have to provide context to a pH level, number of app installs, or purchase probability in the form of a story.</p> <h4>What is your &ldquo;one word&rdquo; to describe Simmons?</h4> <p> Network. There was a feeling of community from the moment I stepped onto campus as a prospective student. When I realized I was alone for the first time &mdash; away from family and friends three hours behind me in California &mdash; that feeling definitely came back. The sense of teamwork and community exposed itself in the dorms and when studying for exams. Now as an alumna, that community has transformed to a &ldquo;network&rdquo; spanning all graduating class cohorts and even branched out to alumnae of other women-centered colleges.</p> <h4>Was there ever a time you wondered if you were on the right path?&nbsp;</h4> <p> Yes! When I realized I didn't want to be in a lab anymore and decided to pursue industry. I had a similar time of reflection after working as an analyst and making the move into product management. I sought advice from people in the industry, either people I heard speak on a panel or who recently published an article. Just like raising your hand in a class &mdash; just ask them! I reached out to people via Twitter, LinkedIn, or just approached them in person after a meet-up. Use your confidence and trust your gut. You don&rsquo;t know when you&rsquo;ll get another chance.</p> <h4>What advice would you give your 21 year-old self?</h4> <p> Don&rsquo;t just work hard&nbsp;&mdash; work smart.</p>2018-12-11T00:00:00-05:00{3A459EA7-807D-4965-A4AA-E1EB1669C4C1}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/ifill/2018/december/deborah%20porterDeborah Z Porter '01MA '15HD On Founding the Boston Book Festival<h4>What would you title your autobiography?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Out of Cleveland.</p> <h4>When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Freedom fighter, labor leader, constitutional lawyer, or dog breeder.</p> <h4>What accomplishment are you most proud of?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Founding and building the <a href="https://bostonbookfest.org/" target="_blank">Boston Book Festival</a>.</p> <h4>If success were guaranteed, what new career would you choose?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Ceramic artist.</p> <h4>What Simmons course or professor had the biggest impact on your future?&nbsp;</h4> <p>The <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=F3AD95EEFA144280BDA7CE997B28675B&amp;_z=z">master&rsquo;s program</a> at the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=5CD457AAEA8A403285C71DDF76917413&amp;_z=z">Center for the Study of Children&rsquo;s Literature</a>. Because of it, I truly became a book person.</p> <h4>What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Have fun and do things that interest you.</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s the best advice you&rsquo;ve ever been given?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Someone once told me: &ldquo;Stop saying you&rsquo;ve been lucky&mdash;only women ever say that.&rdquo; But I still say it.</p> <h4>If you could take credit for any existing work of literature or art, what would it be?&nbsp;</h4> <p><em>Middlemarch</em>.</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s the latest addition to your &ldquo;bucket list&rdquo;?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Learn to meditate.</p> <h4>Whom would you most like to sit next to on a long flight?</h4> <p>Michelle Obama.</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s the most beautiful place you&rsquo;ve ever been?&nbsp;</h4> <p>The island of Patmos.</p> <h4>Would you rather spend a weekend 100 years in the past, or in the future?&nbsp;</h4> <p>The future. The triumph of hope over experience.</p> <h4>What are your two favorite movies?&nbsp;</h4> <p><em>Wings of Desire</em> and <em>Blade Runner</em>.</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s next on your must-read list?&nbsp;</h4> <p><em>The Prison Letters</em> <em>of Nelson Mandela</em>.</p> <h4>Which historical figure would you like to be?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Golda Meir.</p> <h4>What fictional character do you wish you could meet?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Mr. Darcy. If he&rsquo;s not available, George Emerson.</p> <h4>If you could add one hour to every day, how would you spend it?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Throwing pots.</p> <h4>Would you rather win an Oscar, an Olympic medal or a Nobel Prize? For anything specific?&nbsp;</h4> <p>A Nobel Prize&mdash;for anything.</p> <h4>What personal quality would you value most in a prospective hire?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Determination.</p> <h4>If you won a $10 million lottery prize, what philanthropic dream would you fulfill?</h4> <p>I would put a windfall towards solving climate change, although $10 million would only be a drop in the bucket of what&rsquo;s required.</p> <h4>What question would you ask John Simmons?&nbsp;</h4> <p>How do you feel about so many women running for office, including the highest office in the land?</p> <hr /> Read more in the <a href="https://magazine.simmons.edu/" target="_blank">Simmons Magazine</a>.2018-12-07T00:00:00-05:00{8F22367A-FDB3-4CC6-92B7-8D4B0F770F03}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/student%20stories/2018/december/pam%20qianPam Qian '19: Computer Science Changes Lives<p><strong>ON CHOOSING SIMMONS:</strong> I took a college trip in my junior year of high school and fell in love with Boston. I was so impressed that everyone on the T was reading books or newspapers &mdash; I later learned that this wasn't always typical! I applied to several schools in Boston and in the end, I chose Simmons because I liked the supportive and close community.</p> <p><strong>ON PURSUING COMPUTER SCIENCE:</strong> I interned at an educational technology startup in China the summer after high school and saw the power computer science has to change lives. My dream is to provide underserved communities with free, quality educational resources so I chose to major in <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/computer-science">computer science</a>. Halfway through my first year at Simmons, I decided to double major in <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/mathematics">mathematics</a> because I just find it so fascinating!</p> <p><strong>ON HER WINNING PROJECT: </strong>This November I was selected to participate in a team project at the <a href="https://sc18.supercomputing.org/" target="_blank">International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis</a>, known as SC18, in Dallas, Texas. My team presented in the "computing4change" competition &mdash; only 16 competitors were chosen from a pool of 250 applicants worldwide.&nbsp;</p> <p>The title of our project was "Resisting Cultural Acceptance of Violence." We researched how certain forms of violence are more socially acceptable in different cultures &mdash; for example, gun violence is more acceptable in the United States compared to other countries. Since my teammates were from Hawaii, California, and Guam, we focused on domestic violence in Hawaiian culture, mass shootings in American culture, and self-inflicted (suicide) violence in Guam.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="From left: Nilo Jayr Rivera Espinoza, University of Guam, Peizhu &quot;Pam&quot; Qian, Simmons University, Claire Fiorino, San Diego State University, Hoano Rosario, Chaminade University of Honolulu at SC18" width="350" src="~/media/6C36A91D7C4B4C33A4BBF5F85A8F2220.ashx" /></span></p> <p>We used Tableau and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/cocis/2018/november/teaching-with-r">R</a> to analyze raw datasets and animated the results to improve the visual effects of the final delivery. For my individual contribution, I gave three technological designs and violence interventions:&nbsp;</p> <ol> <li>Implement GPS receivers in guns and automatically disable any firearms detected in school zones, so we can prevent school shootings.&nbsp;</li> <li>Implement biometrics (fingerprint and palm print) in guns to decrease underage shootings (when kids accidentally fire guns that belong to their parents) and stolen guns (more than 300,000 guns are stolen every year in the United States and 80% of them were never found).</li> <li>Utilize AI therapists that people can call or text to help with their anxiety, stress, and other mental discomforts, especially when users are not comfortable speaking to human therapists.&nbsp;</li> </ol> <p>I didn't expect to win but I was so excited! This is a big milestone for my career and it encourages me to pursue my dream of utilizing technology to empower and transform the world around us.</p> <p><strong><img height="300" alt="Pam Qian '19 with teammate at SC18." width="350" src="~/media/F0022883BBE1464BB45D6C70C50CA70B.ashx" />ON HER INTERNSHIP:</strong> At the University of Memphis, I worked on an intelligent tutoring system called AutoTutor, which adapts and personalizes students learning in a various range of subjects. Students can interact with AutoTutor through either spoken or written communication in English or Chinese. I built a natural language processing semantic space for the system on Google App Engine, did a lot of debugging, and wrote the software requirements specification documents for AutoTutor authoring tool.&nbsp;</p> <p>Additionally, under the supervision of Dr. Xiangen Hu, I researched and constructed a language network using natural language processing techniques to simulate human social networks, as well as other real networks. This research received the runner-up of the Castellan Award for the best student presentation with special recognition at the Society for Computers in Psychology's 48th Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The full research paper is currently under review by the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech, and Signal Processing.</p> <p><strong>ON HER PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: </strong>My short-term goal is to find a PhD program that aligns with my interests in creating educational technologies. I'm currently in the middle of my application processes. My long-term career goal is to become a professor. My ultimate dream is to ensure that all children have access to equal, quality educational resources and to create ed-tech tools that personalize the student learning process.</p> <p><strong>ON HER FAVORITE SIMMONS MEMORIES:</strong> There are so many! I enjoy all the time spent with my professors, computer science and math peers, my roommates (since my first year), my teammates on the crew team, and my international friends from the International and Multicultural Students Organization (MISO)... I can&rsquo;t pick just one!</p> <hr /> <p><em>Second photo, from left: Nilo Jayr Rivera Espinoza, University of Guam; Peizhu "Pam" Qian '19, Simmons University; Claire Fiorino, San Diego State University; and Hoano Rosario, Chaminade University of Honolulu.</em></p> <p><em>Third photo, from left: Claire Fiorino, San Diego State University and Peizhu "Pam" Qian '19, Simmons University.</em></p>2018-12-07T00:00:00-05:00{C6ADD0DB-3065-45DB-BA28-838B54A0B22A}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20library%20and%20information%20science/2018/december/iraqi%20librariansConnecting Culture and Knowledge Through Libraries<p>The <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/school-of-library-and-information-science">School of Library and Information Science</a> (SLIS) has trained librarians and archivists in Iraq since 2004. After the American invasion, SLIS received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other sources to assist Iraqis in the rebuilding of their libraries. Professor Emeriti Pat Oyler and Professor Harvey Varnet met with librarians to support them in the endeavor. Two of the early trainees, Falah Almosalhi &rsquo;13PhD and Abdulateef Khairi &rsquo;13PhD, later earned their doctorates from Simmons.</p>2018-12-04T00:00:00-05:00{0D1943BB-B153-4013-BE7C-574DBAA02C7D}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/cocis/2018/october/sherry%20seibel%20q%20and%20aSherry Seibel '18 Researches Women in Coding<p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/admission-and-financial-aid/undergraduate-admission/for-students-over-24">Dix scholar</a>, Sherry Seibel '18 is researching how the motivations of women who attend coding bootcamps differ from the motivations of women who attend undergraduate computer science programs. She presented her preliminary research at SIGCE 2018 in Baltimore in February 2018 and her work was <a href="https://medium.com/bits-and-behavior/coding-bootcamps-women-overcoming-intimidation-cbbcac9080c2" target="_blank">featured</a> on a blog run by the Code &amp; Cognition lab at the University of Washington Information School. We&rsquo;ve asked her to share a bit about her research.</p> <p><hr /> </p>2018-12-03T00:00:00-05:00{6DBD92CB-B54E-4078-8251-CFE291A292F2}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/voices%20of%20simmons/2018/november/world%20aids%20dayConfronting AIDS in the Black Gay Community<p><img height="300" alt="Professor Gary Bailey" width="350" src="~/media/202E18F7F226405BB8839B00F5CD6466.ashx" />December 1 marks the 30<sup>th</sup> commemoration of <a href="https://www.worldaidsday.org/" target="_blank">World AIDS Day</a>. In honor of 2018's theme, "Know Your Status," Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Gary-Bailey">Gary Bailey</a> shares his personal experiences and thoughts on the effect of AIDS in the Black community. Learn how education, outreach and being a good friend can help end this disease.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>Since 1988, significant progress has been made in response to AIDS. Today <a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/featurestories/2018/september/20180917_WAD_theme" target="_blank">three in four people</a> living with HIV globally know their status. But despite this important success, the latest <a href="http://www.unaids.org/en/20180718_GR2018" target="_blank">UNAIDS report</a> shows that we still have much more work to do in this area. This includes reaching out to people living with HIV who don't know their status and ensuring that they're linked to quality care and prevention services.</p> <p>For me, this issue is a personal one &mdash; I became actively involved in the 1980&rsquo;s when many of my friends in Boston&rsquo;s LBGTQ community began dying from AIDS. One of the earliest losses I experienced occurred in the spring of 1986. I found myself in the intensive care unit at Boston&rsquo;s Tufts New England Medical Center where I was the only person visiting a very good friend. Five days prior, my friend had been diagnosed with <a href="http://www.aidsinfonet.org/fact_sheets/view/515" target="_blank">pneumocystis pneumonia</a>&nbsp;&mdash; an indicator that he had AIDS. I listened to the respirator that helped him breath and watched helplessly as his life ebbed away. I had no idea that this was not just one heartbreaking loss, but rather the beginning of a period of intense grief that would last for years as countless friends died of the disease. My youth was spent grieving for those who had been lost too young and too soon&nbsp;&mdash; and who too few seemed to care about.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>In those very early days, the Black community received very little outreach about HIV/AIDS. In fact, it was hard to find any information at all. But then I met Larry Kessler, who had founded the Boston <a href="https://aac.org/" target="_blank">AIDS Action Committee</a>. I first became involved as a volunteer, specifically to inform communities of color that HIV/AIDS was something we needed to pay attention to, and was not a disease that only affected white gay men.&nbsp;</p> <p>There I met other Black gay men and we formed support groups specifically for this community. It was so desperately needed. Due to the stigma of HIV/AIDS, many of my friends&rsquo; families were unwilling to admit what was happening to their sick loved ones. After they died, family members often refused to acknowledge the cause. My friends and I quickly learned to speak in code about &ldquo;<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1989/01/22/books/booksspecial/aids-and-its-metaphors.html" target="_blank">cancer funerals</a>&rdquo; when we were with our extended families, in our places of worship, or out in the larger community.</p> <p>When we were in more inclusive and safer gay spaces, such as local gay bars and clubs, we also found that few people wanted to talk about HIV/AIDS. Although the intersection of race and HIV/AIDS was acknowledged at AIDS Action, it was obvious that Black gay men were more likely to get sick and die faster than white gay men. We needed to give each other support and find ways to get around the race-based barriers we faced in accessing information and health care.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"People who know better, do better. We owe it to those who didn&rsquo;t make it, to do what we can now, to end this disease&nbsp;&mdash; after all, that&rsquo;s what friends are for."</h3> <hr /> <p>Three decades later, that greater vulnerability to HIV among Black gay men still exists. In 2015, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/newsroom/2015/nhpc-press-release-hiv-diagnoses.html" target="_blank">great news</a>: rates of new HIV diagnoses had dropped 19 percent between 2005 and 2015. But new diagnoses were up among Black gay men by 22 percent, and had increased an astounding 87 percent for young Black gay men aged 13-24 years old.</p> <p>The biased belief that Black gay men are more likely to contract HIV because they take greater sexual risks has been thoroughly debunked by <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470628/" target="_blank">careful study</a>. The simple truth is that the <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/aids/resources/exchange/2012/04/minority-stress.aspx" target="_blank">stress</a> of racism continues to play a significant role in the lives of gay men of color, making them more vulnerable to HIV. Historically, Black gay men have had much lower rates of health insurance coverage, and when the coverage was there, <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/racial-bias-affects-how-doctors-do-their-jobs-heres-how-to-fix-it-27b36272f26c/" target="_blank">implicit bias</a> in some parts of the health care delivery system generally resulted in poorer health outcomes for people of color.</p> <p>Practically speaking, Black gay men living with HIV are less likely to have suppressed the virus with medication and are more likely to transmit HIV to a sexual partner. This explains the higher rates of HIV among this community.</p> <p>The work of raising awareness and eliminating barriers to health care and medicine is not over. Getting Black queer men tested and treated with <a href="https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/bioethics/resources/culturally-competent-care/" target="_blank">culturally sensitive</a> and informed medical interventions is critical to lowering rates of HIV. It&rsquo;s also important to encourage sexually active Black gay men who don't have HIV to ask their doctor about <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/prep/" target="_blank">pre-exposure prophylaxis</a> (PrEP), an anti-retroviral medication that, if taken daily, makes it nearly impossible to acquire HIV.&nbsp;</p> <p>Just as important, although more difficult to achieve, is reducing racism and homophobia, both explicit and implicit, among health care providers and support staff. A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318301/" target="_blank">2015 study</a> published in the American Journal of Public Health found that nearly 29 percent of Black gay and bisexual men had encountered racist or homophobic behavior in health care settings. As a result, they were much less likely to seek out preventive care, such as HIV testing and treatment, on a timely basis.&nbsp;</p> <p>People who know better, do better. We owe it to those who didn&rsquo;t make it, to do what we can now, to end this disease&nbsp;&mdash; after all, that&rsquo;s what friends are for.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><em>Gary Bailey, DHL, MSW, ACSW is the Director of the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/graduate-programs/social-work-msw-urban-leadership-certificate">Urban Leadership Program</a> and Professor of Practice at the Simmons <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/school-of-social-work">School of Social Work</a> and the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/school-of-nursing">School of Nursing</a>. He is a past Board chair of the AIDS Action Committee-Massachusetts; and was a member of the AIDS Action Advisory Council.</em></p>2018-11-30T00:00:00-05:00{7AF76BC8-F289-4157-8A08-521DC06E4D04}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20library%20and%20information%20science/2018/november/slis%20community%20news%20november%202018SLIS Community News, November 2018<p>Congratulations to <strong>Professor Jeannette Bastian</strong> on the publication of&nbsp;<em><a href="http://litwinbooks.com/caribbean.php" target="_blank">Decolonizing the Caribbean Record, An Archives Reader</a></em>, edited by Jeannette A. Bastian, John A. Aarons and Stanley H. Griffin (Litwin Books). This somewhat hefty volume (over 800 pages) speaks to many information and cultural heritage concerns about underrepresented communities. It includes 40 original essays written primarily by academics and archivists from within the Caribbean with some contributions from the diaspora. The essays cover a broad spectrum of cultural heritage and records issues for former colonial entities, illustrating dilemmas but primarily demonstrating how the decolonized society re-conceptualizes its records and re-constructs its archives.</p>2018-11-29T00:00:00-05:00{7CD2A253-FE45-4026-8671-5BF9BF7469A4}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/voices%20of%20simmons/2018/november/communications%20alumnae%20dinnerCOMMing Back to Simmons: The Importance of Networking<p><em>Written by: Claudia Chick '19</em></p> <p>Students sat with communications alumnae/i at the fifth annual networking dinner on Thursday, November 8 to talk graduation, careers and life after Simmons.</p> <p>The dinner, hosted by the Communications Liaison was a mix of 45 students, 14 alumnae/i and faculty members. President of the liaison, Catelyn Kimball '19 kicked off the event, followed by Chair of Communications <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Ellen-Grabiner">Ellen Grabiner</a>, who welcomed attendees to the first of these dinners in the new <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/colleges/ifill">Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>The alumnae/i came from a variety of industries, from health care to finance. Students moved from table to table, asking about the careers of the graduates, living in Boston and life after they turned the tassel.&nbsp;</p> <p>"We talked about the adjustment from college to adulthood and the challenges they faced. These were valuable and genuine conversations that I&rsquo;ll remember after I graduate," said Caroline Smith '20.&nbsp;</p> <p>While students inquired about post-grad life, alumnae/i shared their experiences of navigating the job market as recent graduates. Some alumnae/i had even attended previous networking dinners as students and were now returning as full-time professionals.</p> <p>"I loved attending as a student and it was great to be able to return and offer advice to the current communications students. It&rsquo;s also a great way to reconnect with friends and make new professional relationships," said Madison Florence '18, who now works at Boston Lyric Opera.</p> <p>There were seemingly endless laughs and embraces in the room, creating a palpable sense of community. By 8 p.m., students and alumnae/i had exchanged cards and LinkedIn accounts.</p> <p>"The network at Simmons is really great and viable. Use it to your advantage," said Dana Robie '12, Public Relations Manager at Parexel.</p> <p>Opportunities like this are unique to Simmons and show the strength of the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/communications">Communications Department</a>. The dinner provides students and alumnae/i a place to share stories and maintain a strong communications network.</p> <p>"After each of these events, I have grads tell me how much fun it is to reconnect with classmates and talk to current students," explained&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Andrew-Porter">Andrew Porter</a>, Associate Professor of Practice and Internship Director in the Communications Department. "And students love hearing from our grads. You don't get this sort of engagement in other schools. It's a strength of Simmons."</p> <hr /> <p><em>Pictured above:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/student-stories/2015/january/kendall-bauer">Kendall Bauer</a> '16 and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/student-stories/2015/march/becca-ruesch">Becca Ruesch</a> '17</em></p> <p><em>Photo courtesy of Katelyn Kalliel '21</em></p>2018-11-29T00:00:00-05:00{3F22491F-006E-4A23-86A5-6D0763C557D8}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/cocis/2018/november/teaching%20with%20rNew Technology for Statistics Courses<p>Beginning this fall, all undergraduate statistics courses implemented <a href="https://www.r-project.org/" target="_blank">The R Project</a> statistical package &mdash; a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics. To support the move, a site devoted to The R Project now has over 30 members, including faculty in biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, history, library and information science, political science, psychology, public health, social work, sociology and, of course, mathematics &amp; statistics.</p>2018-11-27T00:00:00-05:00{6E5FEB8E-DAFA-4146-8728-B20B86AEDEA6}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/campus%20life/2018/november/make%20a%20difference%20this%20thanksgiving3 Ways to Make a Difference This Thanksgiving<p>Whether you're looking forward to a few days of relaxation with friends and family or you'd like to give back this Thanksgiving &mdash; there are plenty of ways to make a positive impact in your community! From volunteering your time, to reducing your food waste this holiday, you can easily make a difference.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h5>VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME</h5> <p>Volunteering your time and skills is a great way to give back to your community and build your own local network. According to Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Kristina-Pechulis">Kristina Pechulis</a>, a great place to volunteer is <a href="https://www.servings.org/" target="_blank">Community Servings</a>&nbsp;&mdash; a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Community Servings is one of the largest volunteer programs in the area with plenty of ways to get involved.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you&rsquo;re looking for something a little different, several websites can match you with volunteer opportunities in your local area:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.idealist.org/en/?type=VOLOP" target="_blank">Idealist</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="https://www.volunteermatch.org/" target="_blank">Volunteer Match</a>&nbsp;</li> <li><a href="http://www.pointsoflight.org/" target="_blank">Points of Light</a></li> </ul> <hr /> <h5>BE MINDFUL OF FOOD WASTE</h5> <p>Food waste is already a pervasive problem in the United States, and food waste on Thanksgiving is no exception. Thankfully, with a little advance planning, avoiding excess waste can be an easy task. Although many of us look forward to Thanksgiving leftovers, try preparing your dishes with a specific headcount in mind &mdash; chances are, you'll still have enough for the next day.</p> <p>Speaking of leftovers, get creative! You might get sick of turkey sandwiches after a few days, so don't be afraid to try something different. There are <a href="https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/15335/holidays-and-events/thanksgiving/leftovers/?page=2" target="_blank">countless recipes</a> that will inspire you to reassemble your leftovers in new and interesting ways.&nbsp;</p> <p>Still have leftovers of vegetables you didn't finish in time? Or food scraps from your Thanksgiving prep? Consider composting, it's easier than you think and the <a href="https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home" target="_blank">Environmental Protection Agency</a>&nbsp;(EPA) has great tips on how to get started.</p> <hr /> <h5>AVOID SINGLE USE TABLEWARE&nbsp;</h5> <p>Let's be honest, no one wants to tackle a mountain of dishes after eating an enormous meal. Sadly, most of this single use tableware ends up in landfills &mdash; in fact, paper products make up 28% of all trash sent to landfills each year according to the <a href="http://www.dempseyuniform.com/Portals/0/PDF/Brochure_PaperVsClothLinen.pdf" target="_blank">EPA</a>.</p> <p>An easy (and cheaper) solution is to use your own dishes and cutlery. If you don't have enough for everyone, ask your guests to bring some extra. Also, instead of using plastic bags or plastic wrap for leftovers, encourage guests to bring their own containers and/or invest in reusable beeswax wrap &mdash; both will help cut down on your overall waste.&nbsp;</p> <ul> </ul>2018-11-20T00:00:00-05:00{E71E6497-F105-41B5-947C-583D573733EF}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/cocis/2018/november/mcs%20community%20news%20november%202018Student Accomplishments from the Division of Mathematics & Computer Science<p>Simmons is proud of our undergraduate students for engaging in impressive research projects, presenting papers, and offering their knowledge to others in the form of workshops and publications. Do you have news about a recent paper, award, invitation to speak, volunteer work or other accomplishment? <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfY3WvO2ssaqLlvEZCw4dpx-2oUbTS3tv-oIba99tV5qz9BVQ/viewform" target="_blank">Please share with us</a>!&nbsp;</p> <p><hr /> </p> <p>Computer science students&nbsp;<strong>Eva Lynch</strong>&nbsp;(pictured) and&nbsp;<strong>Nicole Rasmussen</strong> presented a workshop called &ldquo;Musical Bears&rdquo; to local high school students on&nbsp;October 26 at Simmons. They introduced Python and electronic projects through the use of Raspberry Pis, which are small computers the size of credit cards, and gummy bears.</p>2018-11-20T00:00:00-05:00{7C3627F4-02A1-41F1-9725-DD8A9F9DAA7D}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/alumnae%20i%20and%20friends/2018/november/meredith%20mccarrollMeredith McCarroll '03MA: Director of Writing and Rhetoric at Bowdoin College<h4>Tell us about your current work.</h4> <p>I am the Director of Writing and Rhetoric at Bowdoin College. I work with faculty and students across disciplines on writing and communicating clearly and ethically. I teach courses in literature, film and cultural studies.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What attracted you to the MA in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/graduate-programs/gender-cultural-studies-ma">Gender/Cultural Studies</a> (GCS) program at&nbsp;Simmons?</h4> <p>After I completed a MA in English, I knew that I needed a stronger background in gender studies to do the sort of work with literature that I wanted to do. I remember my thesis director in that first program saying, "You know you can't make these generalizations about gender?" and I really didn't know. So I sought out an interdisciplinary gender studies program that would help me understand why not.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Did your studies at&nbsp;Simmons&nbsp;have a specific area of focus?</h4> <p>I worked with Loretta Williams to write a thesis on Multicultural Education and Whiteness. The work I did around whiteness studies was absolutely formative and shifted my focus &mdash; I thought &mdash; from gender to race. I continued with a PhD in literature where I focused on representations of whiteness in literature. It came full circle, eventually, and the theory I learned at Simmons informed <a href="http://www.ugapress.org/index.php/books/index/unwhite" target="_blank">my future work</a> in a way that allowed me to address intersectional representation.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h4>How did&nbsp;Simmons&nbsp;prepare you for your current job?</h4> <p>The size and faculty access of Simmons helped me understand that I wanted to work at a small liberal arts college like Bowdoin. The area of study grounded me deeply in cultural theory, which informs all of my current scholarship, much of my teaching and &mdash; frankly&nbsp;&mdash; the way that I look at the world.&nbsp;</p> <h4>In your experience, what was the best feature of the program?</h4> <p>The emphasis on activism and the high expectation of students paired with incredible support.&nbsp;</p> <h4>Describe the personal and professional relationships you cultivated within your&nbsp;GCS&nbsp;cohort.</h4> <p>The cohort with which I entered challenged one another, supported one another, and still remains in touch. We've talked to one another through grad school, jobs, marriages, kids, illnesses, family loss... We bonded in our work together at Simmons, and in the brave move that many of us made in continuing our educations. Even though it was a short time, those experiences connected us deeply.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What was your favorite class during the program?</h4> <p>"Whiteness, Antiracism, and Justice."</p> <h4>Are there any faculty members that especially impacted you in your time at&nbsp;Simmons?</h4> <p>Loretta Williams, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Renee-Bergland">Renee Bergland</a>, Jill Taylor, and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Diane-Grossman">Diane Grossman</a>.</p> <h4>What advice would you give to a prospective student who is undecided about applying to the&nbsp;GCS&nbsp;program?</h4> <p>Having earned degrees from three different colleges, and taught at four others, there really is something hard to describe about Simmons. The faculty are brilliant&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;accessible. The vibe is somehow both chill&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;challenging. Students are kind and supportive, but expect you to be your best person and push you to ask hard questions. The flexibility of the degree was also important for me.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What do you believe was your greatest accomplishment at&nbsp;Simmons?&nbsp;</h4> Learning to listen.&nbsp;<br /> <br />2018-11-19T00:00:00-05:00{0DA41C43-E91B-4618-ABC7-A1C57944375E}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/ifill/2018/november/alexandra%20bohananAlexandra Bohanan '19 Looks to Gwen Ifill as an Icon<h4>As you look to the future, what are your goals and dreams for yourself?</h4> <p>My dream is to have enough money and stability to create art freely and help the next generation of artists of color realize their dreams. I also hope to work with museums to attempt to dispel the stigma around African arts and advocate for the equal value of art created by artists of color and women.</p> <h4>What professors have helped you reach your goals?</h4> <p>My <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/communications">communications</a> family consists of Luke Romanak, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Briana-Martino">Briana Martino</a>, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/James-Corcoran">James Corcoran</a>, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Ellen-Grabiner">Ellen Grabiner</a>, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Andrew-Porter">Andy Porter</a>, and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Judith-Aronson">Judith Aronson</a>. All of these people have provided emotional support, helped me get crucial job opportunities and supported me as an artist. Most notably, Luke and Briana have acted as mentors and guiding hands to help me achieve my goals while also providing emotional support. Without them I wouldn't be able to be successful on a daily basis and I'm forever grateful for what they&rsquo;ve done in my life.&nbsp;</p> <p>My <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/arts-administration">arts administration</a> family includes <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Margaret-Hanni">Margaret Hanni</a>, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Edith-Bresler">Edie Bresler</a>, <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Heather-Hole">Heather Hole</a>, and Bridget Lynch. All of these people have seen me at my worst and best, always helping me become a better version of myself. When I was lonely and depressed, Margaret provided so much support and care for my well-being, I owe her so much. Margaret is someone I see as a mentor and a strong woman who has educated me and loved me as her own. She took special care to integrate people of color into classroom discussions and is always available to provide academic and emotional support. Edie and Bridget have pushed me to become a better artist and Heather has been a great advisor.</p> <h4>What does the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/ifill/2018/november/ifill-scholarships">Ifill Scholarship</a> mean to you?</h4> <p>As an African American student from Oklahoma, adjusting to the fast-paced city lifestyle has been a real challenge. I have found comfort in the legacy of Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD and the lessons that the strong women in my life share with me. I know that when you try your best as often as you can and work hard, good things are bound to come your way. As I began this year, I took on two jobs and a full course load. When my computer stopped working, I knew it was going to be a rough one.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I received the Ifill Scholarship, I was honored but it also felt like a blessing. All the hard work I&rsquo;ve put in has paid off and now I&rsquo;ll be able to more easily move through my last semester and into post-grad life. I look to Gwen as an icon of what is possible. That through all the hardships I have and will face as a Black woman operating in a society that wasn&rsquo;t built for me, I can do anything I set my mind to. A strong conviction and the ability to produce quality work will get me far. Thanks to this scholarship, I'm closer to being able to create the quality work that will propel me into the professional world.</p> <h4>How do you think this scholarship will impact you, in terms of increased opportunity or the removal of barriers?</h4> <p>This scholarship will put me in a better position to graduate with less debt but also allow me to purchase a computer, something I've been without all semester. This is so crucial for me especially because of my field, digital communications. Without this scholarship, it would be difficult for me to be successful in my field post-grad because I wouldn&rsquo;t have the necessary tools to create artwork.</p> <h4>How do you think students in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/colleges/ifill">Gwen Ifill College</a> will carry on her legacy and impact the world?</h4> <p>Gwen&rsquo;s legacy is carefully represented every day in the faculty and staff of the arts administration and communications programs. The students feel it every day in the support and care that they provide as well as the energy they bring to the classroom. The mentorship in these departments pushes students to embody the values Gwen did and therefore, you can see a piece of her in ever Gwen Ifill College student. Just as Gwen changed landscapes and broke barriers, the students of this college will follow suit because it is at the core of our education.&nbsp;</p>2018-11-16T00:00:00-05:00{D0110CD8-4327-41DD-87D7-431C9D5F82D5}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/ifill/2018/november/priscilla%20wiltshire%20blandPriscilla Wiltshire-Bland '20 on the Impact of a Simmons Education<h4>As you look to the future, what are your goals and dreams for yourself?</h4> <p>I'm interested in student affairs and helping adult learners/non-traditional students navigate college life. As a nontraditional <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/for-students-over-24">adult student</a>, I understand the challenges that adult students face. I imagine myself telling stories, doing research or documentaries to tell stories of those whose stories may not have been heard.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What professors have helped you reach your goals?</h4> <p>Overall, most of the professors in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/communications">Department of Communications</a> have influenced me positively one way or another. Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Erica-Moura">Erica Moura</a> is my advisor and has taught most of my courses at Simmons &mdash; she's been a great guide. She taught me how to dig deep, how to not give up, how to be resourceful and to look at other avenues to get situations resolved.&nbsp;</p> <p>I consider <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Theresa-Perry">Dr. Theresa Perry</a> in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/africana-studies">Department of Africana Studies</a> to be my mentor. I've learned so much from her and the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. Dr. Perry fostered my passion for knowledge. She took an interest in me as a whole person and she's interested in helping me achieve my goals. Because of her knowledge and wisdom, I've become more enlightened. Because of her, I'm a better decision maker inside and outside of school.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Briana-Martino">Dr. Briana Martino</a> definitely helped make my transition to Simmons much easier. She helped me choose a major. Dr. Martino&rsquo;s "Visual Communications" class was the first class that I took at Simmons. Her teaching style, her patience, her open-door policy and acceptance of each person&rsquo;s individuality made me feel even more comfortable at Simmons. Once in a while she'd check-in with me just to make sure I was alright.</p> <p>I interned for Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Kelley-Chunn">Kelley Chunn</a> during the summer and she was a great teacher and guide. She really cares about you and wants the best for you.&nbsp;</p> <p>Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Rachel-GansBoriskin">Rachel Gans-Boriskin</a>&nbsp;is a wealth of knowledge &mdash; her passion and enthusiasm is infectious. She really wants her students to be well-informed and well educated. She's passionate, authentic and cares about her student&rsquo;s overall development as individuals. Professor Gans-Boriskin willing meets with me and takes an interest in how I'm doing both in school and in life.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What experiences have impacted your time at Simmons?</h4> <p>I'm grateful to Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Kris-Erickson">Kris Erickson</a> for selecting me to go on a study abroad trip to Kenya in Spring 2018. While waiting to board our flight I told myself: "I'm with 15 other students who I barely know and I need to get along with them &mdash; the outcome of my experience will be determined by my mindset and my attitude while on this trip." I forced myself to adapt, remain calm, focused and open-minded.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h4>You met with Bert Ifill, the brother of Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD. Is there anything from that conversation that was particularly meaningful to you?</h4> <p>I really enjoyed learning about <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/colleges/ifill/meet-gwen">Gwen Ifill</a>. One of the stories that resonated with me was when she worked at the <em>Boston Herald</em> and a note was left on her desk saying, &ldquo;N&hellip;. go home.&rdquo; The way she handled the situation with such strength and grace was amazing. She didn't let it discourage her. Gwen remained focused and determined. She instinctively had the wisdom of how to act, she didn't allow the opinions of others to affect her emotions. She was courageous and mentored a lot of people &mdash; community was important to her. She was full of integrity and people trusted her.&nbsp;</p> <p>I asked Bert if Gwen knew that she was known around the world. He said she didn't realize the impact that she was making. When she did realize she was shocked. But being known was not important to her. It was doing her job to the best of her ability.&nbsp;</p> <h4>How do you think students in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/colleges/ifill">Gwen Ifill College</a> will carry on her legacy and impact the world?&nbsp;</h4> <p>In the Department of Communications, students not only learn the technical skills of each course, but are encouraged to stretch themselves, try their best, take risks and take charge of their own destinies. The lessons we're learning are helping us become leaders who will be well-equipped to impart the knowledge we've been given.&nbsp;</p>2018-11-16T00:00:00-05:00{BC21F74A-01FA-4C52-8D9C-7C3D0CF153E3}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/campus%20life/2018/november/shaun%20kingSimmons Welcomes Civil Rights Activist Shaun King to Campus<p>"In the grand scheme of human history, are we the peak of humanity?"</p> <p>Throughout his Community Keynote on November 13, Shaun King continuously posed this question to attendees.&nbsp;A modern civil rights activist, King is&nbsp;known for his efforts in the Black Lives Matter movement and is currently&nbsp;a columnist for&nbsp;<em><a href="https://theintercept.com/" target="_blank">The Intercept</a></em>&nbsp;and a writer-in-residence for the&nbsp;<a href="http://fairpunishment.org/" target="_blank">Fair Punishment Project</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p>Jumping headfirst into the discussion, King began by imploring the audience to take an honest look into the current state of human affairs, both in the U.S. and the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>"We are living in a deeply disturbing time," explained King. Increasingly frequent mass shootings, occurrences of police brutality, the rise of white supremacy, the demonization of immigrants &mdash; it's impossible to keep track of every calamity when they occur at an alarming rate.&nbsp;</p> <p>In order to survive the bleak news cycle, we've learned how to pivot our attention elsewhere. King admitted that he also operated in this way &mdash; until he hit a breaking point. During a typical work day in the summer of 2014, King watched the video of Eric Garner's death.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I can't explain what happened, but I struggled to complete the rest of my day," said King. "I decided that I needed to find out more about this man and tell his story. I thought that if I shared that video, maybe we could contextualize this tragedy."</p> <p>Demanding justice for Eric Garner eventually expanded to include John Crawford, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice &mdash; the beginnings of the Black Lives Matter movement. Unfortunately the justice he fought for never came, and since 2014 the list of injustices has only grown longer.&nbsp;</p> <p>King paints a bleak but honest portrayal of humanity&nbsp;&mdash; admitting that he'd like to spread a message of hope rather than a list of endless tragedy. But he does this for a reason: to help us understand our place in the grand scheme of human history.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"I believe in you and I'm excited to see what&rsquo;s ahead of each of you," concluded King. "It's going to be hard to move forward, but I feel good about the direction we&rsquo;re going in."</h3> <hr /> <p>"Unlike technology, humanity does not get better and better," explained King. "We like to think that we have evolved upwardly, but are we really the peak of humanity? Depending on where you think we are in history effects the decisions you make."</p> <p>According to King, it's extremely easy to fall into these dips in humanity &mdash; and incredibly challenging to dig ourselves out. In order to overcome slavery there was the Civil War. In order to overcome Jim Crowe we had the Civil Rights Movement. What will it take this time?</p> <p>Even though it feels like we've hit rock bottom, King is still hopeful for our future. Although the quality of humanity isn't continuously on the rise, there is no dip that we didn't overcome.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I have hope because we're starting to understand the radical effort it will take to shift the direction of our country," said King.&nbsp;</p> <p>As an example, King listed the strides made in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/voices-of-simmons/2018/november/midterm-elections">midterm elections</a>. From a historic turnout of voters, to a more diverse representation of Americans in Congress, these are significant changes.</p> <p>King ended his message with his hopes for the Simmons students in the audience. Wishing them successful college careers and encouraging them to learn as much as possible while they're here.&nbsp;</p> <p>"I believe in you and I'm excited to see what&rsquo;s ahead of each of you," concluded King. "It's going to be hard to move forward, but I feel good about the direction we&rsquo;re going in."</p>2018-11-15T00:00:00-05:00{C4D5F287-022C-4BFA-A010-ED9DF3B680C0}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20business/2018/november/business%20school%20community%20newsSchool of Business Community News, November 2018<strong> <h4>Faculty News</h4> </strong> <p>Lecturer&nbsp;<strong>Todd Herrmann</strong>&nbsp;received the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.neshs.org/healthcare-strategist-of-the-year-recipients/" target="_blank" style="color: #1155cc;">Healthcare Strategist of the Year</a>&nbsp;award from the New England Society for Healthcare Strategy, a 250-member organization of practitioners in planning, business development, and physician relations in the health care arena. The award was presented to Herrmann on October 19 at the Fall Conference: Making Sense of CINs: Winning Strategies for the Next Evolution, in Westborough, Massachusetts.</p>2018-11-15T00:00:00-05:00{0B8E1A37-594F-4F09-AC38-51D323C3DC1F}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20business/2018/november/christina%20parisEmpowering Young Entrepreneurs with Christina Paris '19MBA<p><strong>ON STARTING HER BUSINESS:</strong>&nbsp;I always knew that I wanted to start my own business, but I felt that I wasn't ready or that it was too risky. However, during my entrepreneurial journey, I was able to align myself with people that were able to provide me with guidance and motivation to start my business. I know so many young people that want to start a business, but they don&rsquo;t know where to start and who to talk to about it.&nbsp;</p> <p>The mindset around entrepreneurship has to change, we need to encourage young people to look at it as a career. This is the reason why I created <a href="https://www.facebook.com/becoachedforentrepreneurs" target="_blank">Be Coached for Entrepreneurs</a>: to help young entrepreneurs get the resources necessary to start or expand their business.</p> <p>Be Coached is an online platform that enables young entrepreneurs to find 24/7 guidance through coaching. We offer goal tracking and productivity tools to help entrepreneurs with time management. Our platform promotes entrepreneurship and gives access to networking opportunities. We're currently in the initial stage of product development.</p> <p><strong>ON HER POSITION: </strong>I love the different components that make up my position as a CEO/ Founder of Be Coached &mdash; I'm involved in the operational, marketing, financial, and creative side of the business. I enjoy getting to see my business ideas become reality.</p> <p><strong>ON EMPOWERING OTHERS:</strong> It feels rewarding to have a company that is directly impacting people and helping them achieve their goals. I'm happy that Be Coached can provide a community for entrepreneurs looking to support each others' business ventures.</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Christina Paris and Nam Pham at Be Coached's networking event. " width="350" src="~/media/88CE2AD1863A42F292A08F2DB7F6B8B1.ashx" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON HOSTING NETWORKING EVENTS:</strong> This summer we held a networking event for young entrepreneurs at home.stead bakery and cafe in Dorchester, MA. Attendees connected with other entrepreneurs in their community and had an opportunity to expand their network. Nam Pham, the Assistant Secretary of Business and Development and International Trade, discussed the current state of business and the resources available to them in Massachusetts. Our goal was to introduce Be Coached&rsquo;s mission and vision while connecting with potential customers.</p> <p><strong>ON JOINING THE SPARK BOSTON COUNCIL: </strong><a href="http://www.sparkbos.com/spark-boston-council.html" target="_blank">SPARK Boston Council</a> is made up of young leaders advising the mayor's administration on city policies and programs affecting Boston&rsquo;s millennials. We also think of new programs and policies that could be implemented to further improve Boston. I was very excited to be selected as a council member, and I'm looking forward to serving my community.</p> <p><strong>ON ATTENDING SIMMONS:</strong> When I started the program, three years had passed since I graduated with my bachelor&rsquo;s degree. I was unsure if I'd be able to handle the <a href="https://online.simmons.edu/mba/">MBA program</a>. However, my journey at Simmons has erased this doubt. The program has challenged me to get out my comfort zone.&nbsp;</p> <p>Simmons has given me the tools and knowledge to move to the next level in my career. I feel so much more confident in myself than I did before starting at Simmons.</p> <hr /> <em>Pictured above: Christina Paris '19MBA with Nam Pham at Be Coached's networking event.</em> <div> <div> </div> </div>2018-11-15T00:00:00-05:00{07E921D7-7EC1-48A8-8818-068F904162A3}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/ifill/2018/november/ifill%20scholarshipsSimmons University Awards First Ifill Scholarships<p>Simmons University is proud to announce <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/ifill/2018/november/priscilla-wiltshire-bland">Priscilla Wiltshire-Bland &lsquo;20</a> and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/ifill/2018/november/alexandra-bohanan">Alexandra Bohanan &lsquo;19</a> as the inaugural recipients of the Ifill Scholarships, named in celebration of pioneering African-American journalist and distinguished Simmons alumna, Gwen Ifill '77, '93HD. In remembrance and honor of Ifill's legacy of excellence, these scholarships were conferred on the second anniversary of her passing.</p> <p>Ifill Scholarships are awarded to students in <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/colleges/ifill">The Gwen Ifill College of Media, Arts, and Humanities</a>&nbsp;who displayed academic excellence and vast potential inside the classroom and beyond.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The Ifill scholarship aims to make a difference for promising students in the Ifill College who demonstrate academic excellence and great potential for future work in the world,&rdquo; said Brian Norman, Dean of the Gwen Ifill College. &ldquo;We hope these Ifill Scholarships will support our students as they prepare to connect their passion to lifelong purpose at Simmons and beyond.&rdquo;</p> <p>Wiltshire-Bland, a senior majoring in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/communications">communications</a>, came to Simmons from the Caribbean. As a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/for-students-over-24">Dix Scholar</a>, she is committed to helping other non-traditional age students by serving as a peer mentor. She recently met Ifill&rsquo;s brother, Dr. Roberto Ifill, when he came to Simmons to share his vision for how Gwen Ifill College students will help carry his sister&rsquo;s legacy into the future.</p> <p>When asked about her own goals, Wiltshire-Bland replied, &ldquo;I am interested in student affairs and helping adult learners/non-traditional students navigate college life. As a non-traditional adult student, I understand the challenges that adult students face. I imagine myself telling stories, doing research or documentaries to tell stories of those whose stories may not have been heard.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Bohanan, originally from Norman, OK, is a senior in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/undergraduate-programs/arts-administration">arts administration</a> program. She is currently serving as the Dean&rsquo;s Fellow in the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/communications">Department of Communications</a> and was selected to lead CommWorks, the annual spring event that showcases student work in journalism, public relations, and media.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;As an African-American student from Oklahoma, adjusting to the fast-paced city lifestyle has been a real challenge,&rdquo; remarked Bohanan. &ldquo;I have found comfort in the legacy of Gwen Ifill and the lessons that the strong women in my life share with me. I look to Gwen as an icon of what is possible. That through all the hardships I have and will face as a black woman operating in a society that wasn&rsquo;t built for me, I can do anything I set my mind to. Thanks to this scholarship I am closer to being able to create the quality work that will propel me into the professional world.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Ifill Scholarships have been funded, in part, by a group of donors led by some of Ifill&rsquo;s high school classmates from Classical High School in Springfield, MA. &ldquo;Over the years, we took pride in Gwen&rsquo;s many accomplishments as a journalist and newscaster. To us, the qualities we saw in her at Classical remained throughout her life and contributed to the fine work she did professionally,&rdquo; said Cynthia Reed, one of Ifill&rsquo;s high school classmates who organized their contribution to the Ifill Scholarships.&nbsp;</p> <p>Their gifts, combined with the support of Simmons alumnae/i and friends, form the foundation of the scholarships, which will be awarded annually to students who embody the academic excellence and integrity that were hallmarks of Gwen Ifill&rsquo;s academic and professional career.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <em>Pictured above:&nbsp;Priscilla Wiltshire-Bland &lsquo;20 and&nbsp;Alexandra Bohanan &lsquo;19</em>2018-11-14T00:00:00-05:00{7A672A9E-E717-49EE-8E4D-6BE6F72EF649}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/leadership%20and%20change/2018/november/national%20urban%20fellowNational Urban Fellows: A Win-Win Partnership<p>Meet Maria Arettines and Fielding Vaughn, our two National Urban Fellows at Simmons. Celebrating its 50<sup>th</sup> anniversary this year, the <a href="https://nuf.org/" target="_blank">National Urban Fellows Program</a> is a leadership program for mid-career professionals, in particular people of color and women. Its mission is to &ldquo;develop leaders and change agents in the public and non-profit sectors, with a strong commitment to social justice and equity.&rdquo; The program lasts 14 months and consists of mentorship placements with organizations as well as online and remote classes toward earning a master&rsquo;s degree in public administration.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s really a partnership,&rdquo; says Fielding, &ldquo;We&rsquo;re able to bring our experience from various career backgrounds to an organization and in return receive mentorship as well as an irreplaceable opportunity to develop professionally.&rdquo; Fielding&rsquo;s placement is in Human Resources, where he&rsquo;s working with the new Committee for Inclusive Excellence in Hiring and researching best practices in hiring.</p> <p>Maria is working in the newly created Office for <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/about-simmons/culture-inclusion-equity">Organizational Culture, Inclusion, and Equity</a>&nbsp;(OCIE). Her previous work included connecting displaced students from Syria to higher education opportunities. As she notes, &ldquo;Much of my work has revolved around trying to make higher education more accessible, but never in an office solely committed to diversity, equity and inclusion.&rdquo; Maria has been instrumental in the launch of this new office at Simmons and works closely with <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/news/leadership-and-change/2018/september/debra-perez">Debra Perez</a>, a former Fellow herself, who has mentored over 20 Fellows since her own fellowship.</p> <div> <p><span>For more information about this leadership program, visit <a href="https://nuf.org/" target="_blank">National Urban Fellows</a>.</span></p> </div>2018-11-13T00:00:00-05:00{7E4C3AF0-AE2F-4A0D-8746-786B2131EEFF}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20library%20and%20information%20science/2018/november/q%20and%20a%20new%20faculty%20part%20twoMeet the New SLIS Faculty<p>We caught up with Assistant Professors <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Donia-Conn">Donia Conn</a> and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Rebecca-Davis">Rebecca Davis</a> for mini interviews as a way to welcome our new faculty and get to know them better.&nbsp;</p>2018-11-13T00:00:00-05:00{C4060B87-2F03-49A7-957B-E2D9AB65BA42}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20business/2018/november/health%20care%20forumIs Bigger Better in Healthcare?<p>Experts visited Simmons to share their insights on the complexities of mergers in health care markets. To help make sense of this complex topic, Professor <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Robert-Coulam">Robert Coulam</a> shares his key takeaways from this event.</p> <hr /> <p>The 10<sup>th</sup> semi-annual Health Forum of the <a href="https://www.simmons.edu/academics/schools-departments/school-of-business">School of Business</a> &ldquo;Is Bigger Better in Healthcare?&rdquo; was held on October 29. This year's forum, sponsored by the Center for Research in Health Policy and Management, focused on the heightened concern as mergers and acquisitions increase concentration of hospitals and physician groups in health markets throughout the U.S. Three nationally recognized researchers &mdash; Roger Feldman, PhD, of the University of Minnesota; Monica Noether, PhD, of Charles River Associates; and Deborah Haas-Wilson, of Smith College &mdash; came to Simmons to discuss this problem in light of their research findings and their experience in key enforcement actions in this field. </p>2018-11-13T00:00:00-05:00{E20FB8E4-E6E6-4652-B262-E9077E0BDA6C}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/school%20of%20social%20work/2018/november/sharalis%20canalesA Voice for Veterans: Sharalis Canales '20MSW on Social Work in the Military<p><strong>ON HER JOURNEY INTO THE ARMY:</strong>&nbsp;Starting at the age of 14, I lived in a foster home for six years. I went to college while living in the foster home, but there were only a handful of people of color at this school and I honestly felt lost. I decided to drop out of college and made a spontaneous decision to join the Navy. I needed direction in life after leaving the foster care system and college. Ultimately, I was discharged a month later because of a lesbian tattoo.&nbsp;</p> <p>Upon returning from the Navy's Boot Camp, I became homeless because I aged out of the system. I lived in the Covenant House in Times Square for about six months and then joined the United States Army. I wanted to change my life around.</p> <p><strong>ON PURSUING A GRADUATE DEGREE: </strong>After serving 11 years on active duty, I decided it was time to leave the military. I moved to Boston from Hawaii in 2017 because the Boston Vet Center, Department of Veterans Affairs gave me an opportunity. I'm currently a Readjustment Counseling Technician and Outreach Specialist.&nbsp;<span class="image-right">&nbsp;<img height="300" alt="Sharalis Canales skydiving for the 22Kill Boston Organization to raise Veteran suicide awareness." width="350" src="~/media/41B2379EAADC4A8D8A52622C0E899EA6.ashx" /></span></p> <p>My new boss, an Army veteran and a licensed independent clinical social worker (LICSW), made me apply for graduate school during our first supervision meeting. Other members of my team, all of whom are veterans, encouraged me to become a social worker and attend Simmons University because of the <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/academics/graduate-programs/social-work-msw">excellent program</a> that was offered.&nbsp;</p> <div> <p><strong>ON BECOMING A STUDENT AGAIN:</strong> Initially it was very challenging for multiple reasons. I'm older than most students. I've also been the only veteran in all my classes which has often made me feel out of place. I'm still experiencing readjustment challenges. Although there's only a small population of student veterans at Simmons, their warm welcome has made things a lot easier for me.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Abbie-Frost">Dr. Frost</a> and <a href="http://www.simmons.edu/Faculty/Beverly-Sealey">Dr. Sealey</a> continue to advocate for veteran issues within our community and I admire their work. I've been successful thus far because of the support from Simmons Student Veterans of America&rsquo;s President, Will Delaney (Marines) and Vice President Kenneth MacIntosh (Navy). The empowerment and motivation I receive from the friends I've made here has been helpful.&nbsp;</p> <p><span><strong>ON PURSUING SOCIAL WORK: </strong>Social work chose me. I was a foster child, lived in a homeless shelter and was in the military. I've been in the system and now I'm a part of it. I've been in the field for 13 years and I'm passionate about helping people. I want to be the voice for veterans and I want to fight for the things they believe in!</span></p> <p><span><strong><img height="300" alt="Sharalis Canales attending the 2018 Pride Parade with the VA and her classmates from Simmons." width="350" src="~/media/3507ED602C0040728C2477A274E4530D.ashx" />ON HER MILITARY EXPERIENCE:</strong> My ability to utilize my military experience in the social work program has been so helpful. I was a Mental Health Technician in the Army and my background has allowed me to use my skills and knowledge in my studies at Simmons University. My professors find value in what I have to share. I'm also interning at the New England Center and Home for Veterans as a case manager &mdash; this allows me to advocate for homeless veterans and connect them with their benefits.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span><strong>ON THE IMPORTANCE OF VETERAN'S DAY:</strong> It's a day to honor not only my service but to honor the sacrifices my battle buddies have made for our country. It's a day of reflection. This year&rsquo;s Veteran&rsquo;s Day is special because it is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>I usually volunteer on this day and like to surround myself with my fellow veterans. I'll be volunteering with the <a href="https://www.boston.gov/departments/veterans-services" target="_blank">City of Boston Veterans Services</a> for Operation Thank A Veteran. We'll be knocking on doors, delivering service packages, shaking hands, and thanking veterans in Roxbury for their service.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span></span></p> <hr /> <p><em>Main photo: Sharalis planting U.S. flags at the Boston Common during the weekend of Memorial Day.</em></p> <p><span><em>Second photo: Sharalis skydiving to raise money for veteran suicide awareness with <a href="http://www.22kill.com/" target="_blank">22Kill</a> Boston.</em></span></p> <p><span><em>Third photo: Sharalis attending the 2018 Pride Parade with the V.A. and her classmates from Simmons.&nbsp;</em></span></p> </div>2018-11-12T00:00:00-05:00{9F221493-D3FC-4038-A6A5-DE4291A59F0E}https://www.simmons.edu/en/news/alumnae%20i%20and%20friends/2018/november/taylor%20paige%20nealandTaylor '14: Simmons Made Me a Strong Business Woman<p><strong style="font-weight: bold;">ON CHOOSING SIMMONS:</strong><strong>&nbsp;</strong>I fell in love with Simmons the moment I stepped foot on campus. At the time I didn&rsquo;t know it, but going to a women-centered college was so integral to my growth and I'm so proud to be a Simmons alum. What attracted me to Simmons right away was the location &mdash; obviously! And the fact that it's a small school in a big city. I felt welcome and safe the minute I arrived.&nbsp;</p> <p>Simmons taught me to be a strong woman. I meet a lot of different people every day &mdash; some are great and kind, and some are pushy and hard. Simmons taught me how to stick up for myself and handle myself as a strong business woman.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON STARTING A BUSINESS:</strong> I started <a href="https://www.taylorpaigephotography.com/" target="_blank">Taylor Paige Photography</a> while at Simmons because I knew I'd have four years to grow, learn, build my network and have so many mentors at my fingertips. I worked for a photographer in high school, then friends and family started to hire me to photograph their weddings and special events. Eventually I thought, &ldquo;hey, I can do this.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>It was tricky to be a full-time student and athlete AND run my business. At times I was definitely overwhelmed and didn&rsquo;t know how to do it all. I remember from day one I had to be really organized with taking jobs because I had class and regattas on the weekends &mdash; those where my first priority. After a while you just figure out to have a great planner, stay organized, and make sure your priorities come first.<span class="image-right">&nbsp;&nbsp;<img height="300" alt="Taylor Paige Nealand '14 with her dog, North" width="350" src="~/media/8D71EA06B2D84561A8C3D24076C8F0DE.ashx" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON BECOMING AN ENTREPRENEUR:</strong> When I graduated I felt the societal pressure to get a &ldquo;real&rdquo; job. I felt like if I didn&rsquo;t give it a shot I'd never know what I was missing. So I took a job as a real estate photographer while still photographing weddings on the weekends. I quickly realized that working for someone else wasn&rsquo;t for me and after six months I made the decision to put all of my effort into my business and work for myself 100%.</p> <p>My favorite part of working for myself is the flexibility. I try and map out my year in advance and put in any events I want to go to, vacations I want to go on, trainings and trips, etc., then I schedule my work around that. It&rsquo;s a blessing to be able to say yes and no to certain jobs &mdash; and I&rsquo;m still learning when to say no. I also love the freedom it allows me to have with who I work with. If I want to donate a session to a small new business I can, and if I want to turn down a job because it doesn&rsquo;t feel right I can also do that.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON ADVICE FOR STUDENTS: </strong>Find a mentor in the field you want to get into. Having multiple mentors changed the game for me and I believe that&rsquo;s what allowed me to be very successful right out of Simmons.&nbsp;</p> <p>You should also learn to be okay with failure. Expect mistakes and tough moments because they will happen. I learn the most when I mess up or fail, and as bad as it feels in the moment, there's a greater lesson the universe is trying to teach you. Don&rsquo;t let it ruin you, allow it to make you stronger and a better business woman.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><img height="300" alt="Taylor Paige Nealand '14 with her fiance, standing in front of &quot;Bruce the Bus&quot;" width="350" src="~/media/D26C3F74C0344D7BA2BA0061B1D661C8.ashx" />ON TURNING A BUS INTO A HOME: </strong>I've always had a vision to travel the world for a long period of time. Not just for one month or two months, but years. There is a huge community of (mostly) millennials who are living full time on the road, working for themselves and living their dream life each day. After about a year of research and planning we found this bus in Los Angeles and decided it was the right time for us to begin this dream. We flew out there on a whim and made the trek back to New Hampshire on "Bruce the Bus."&nbsp;</p> <p>Yes, we broke down twice and had many struggles, but we're still working on our dream and we've learned a LOT along the way. Bruce is now in New Hampshire at my family house where we are demoing him and making him our full time home.&nbsp;</p>2018-11-09T00:00:00-05:00