All Simmons News{1CCDCFC0-1365-4CC5-956D-8B08AEA07B99} Caryn Anderson '04MS Selected as Fulbright Specialist<p>Adjunct Faculty Caryn Anderson '04MS was accepted to the U.S. Fulbright Program as a <a href="" target="_blank">Fulbright Specialist</a>. The Fulbright Specialist Program offers U.S. academics and established professionals the opportunity to attend two- to six-week, project-based exchanges at host institutions across the globe. The Fulbright Specialist may visit institutes of higher education, government, medical or cultural institutions, or non-governmental organizations including issue-centered think tanks.</p>2019-02-19T00:00:00-05:00{ED1E3B7C-3386-4F42-8CAF-7D86F3A60911} Gellman-Danley '75MS Named PTK International Honorary Member<p>Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley '75MS, president of the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago, Illinois, has been named an International Honorary Member of <a href="" target="_blank">Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society</a> (PTK).&nbsp;</p> <p>PTK is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.5 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 nations.</p> <p>This recognition is considered PTK&rsquo;s highest honor for a non-member. The award is not given every year, but only when the Society identifies an individual who has provided extraordinary support to Phi Theta Kappa. In Phi Theta Kappa&rsquo;s 100-year history, fewer than 40 International Honorary Members have been named.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;I am deeply honored by this recognition,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;The real winners are the community college students who demonstrate a commitment to excellence in academics. I remember fondly their great pride during Phi Theta Kappa ceremonies. I am always touched and excited about these students&rsquo; remarkable success stories.&rdquo;</p> <p>Gellman-Danley was named president of the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Higher Learning Commission</a>&nbsp;(HLC) &mdash; the largest of the seven regional higher education accreditors &mdash; in 2014. HLC is responsible for accrediting post-secondary institutions in 19 states.</p> <p>She holds a bachelor&rsquo;s degree from Syracuse University, a master of <a href="">library and information science</a> from Simmons University, a masters degree from Oklahoma City University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She also did post-graduate work at New York University and earned continuing education from Cornell University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago.</p> <p>Gellman-Danley earned her credential as a Certified Professional Coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in 2016 and as an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation in 2018. She also earned certification in Social and Emotional Intelligence assessment from the Institute for SEI in 2018.</p> <p>She is currently enrolled in the Happiness Studies Academy, positive psychology coaching. Her coaching focuses on executive coaching for college presidents.</p>2019-02-18T00:00:00-05:00{475736C4-C6D5-49D5-83EC-F02E897D67F2} Biberdorf, PhD on Women She Admires<p>Kate Biberdorf, PhD, also known as "Kate the Chemist," is an award-winning instructor of general chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. In her additional role as Director of Demonstrations and Outreach in the Department of Chemistry, Biberdorf has developed a series of fascinating demos that have been featured on CNN, The Discovery Channel, <a href="" target="_blank">NBC Nightly News</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Late Show with Stephen Colbert</em></a>.</p> <h4>Which female leader do you most admire and why?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Notorious&nbsp;R.B.G. I think about her story frequently: a brilliant, fiery woman who refused to allow her gender to limit her career path. She used her skills to methodically attack laws that enforced traditional gender roles, and my generation is reaping the benefits of her life's work.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What&rsquo;s the best piece of career advice you&rsquo;ve gotten along the way?</h4> <p>"Try. Just do your best." I try to be a good scientist, I try to be a good professor, I try to be a good friend/wife. At the end of the day, nothing else really matters.&nbsp;</p> <h4>If you could dine with anyone, past or present, with whom would you dine and what would you like to ask him or her?&nbsp;</h4> <p>I would like to dine with Hertha Ayrton and ask, "You were the first woman allowed to present your research for the Royal Society in 1904. How did the audience receive your lecture, and what did you learn from that experience?"</p> <h4>Fill in the blank. People would be surprised to know that I&hellip;</h4> <p>Used to be a fitness instructor. I loved to teach kickboxing classes &mdash; it was incredibly rewarding to take part in someone else's fitness journey.</p> <hr /> <p><em>For recent news about the&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Simmons Leadership Conference</a>, make sure you're following SimmonsLeads on&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>,&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>!</em></p>2019-02-15T00:00:00-05:00{995D1616-2DDA-4BA6-858E-84A1FB033373} Koss '19 Establishes American Marketing Association Student Chapter<p><a href="">School of Business</a> student Abby Koss '19 is working with Professor Vieira to establish the American Marketing Association Student Chapter at Simmons (a sect of the Business Liaison). We spoke with Koss about how joining this group can benefit students.</p> <h4>Can you tell us about the American Marketing Association Student Chapter and who should join?</h4> <p>The American Marketing Association is an incredible, national community for marketers. All majors are welcome! I would encourage all <a href="">marketing</a> and <a href="">public relations and marketing communication</a> majors and minors to join to build their network for post-graduation.</p>2019-02-14T00:00:00-05:00{140E5AB6-64F1-48DA-B776-FBD046F9D483} the Narrative of Slavery with Cheyney McKnight '11<p><img height="300" alt="Headshot of Cheyney McKnight '11" width="350" src="~/media/40EFE6D7E4E545A8885A6ED2D20E0C64.ashx" />At the edge of the Boston Common amidst the commotion of the Park Street T station is where we meet Cheyney McKnight '11. Dressed from head to toe as an 18<sup>th</sup> century enslaved woman, she stands out among the frenzy of Boston's many commuters. But McKnight doesn&rsquo;t notice the inquisitive glances from onlookers &mdash; because as a living historian and owner of <a href="" target="_blank">Not Your Momma's History</a>, this is her typical uniform.</p> <p>"Not Your Momma's History consults with museums, historical sites, and schools in order to help them discuss slavery," says McKnight. &ldquo;Whether it's through lectures, staff training, interpretations or hearth cooking &mdash; the purpose is to encourage these sites to have a meaningful conversation with their guests about the enslaved community."</p> <p>As a living historian, attire is an integral component of her lectures. McKnight focuses on every detail to ensure an authentic representation. Today her outfit includes a reproduction of a runaway slave's blue and white checkered neckerchief, and a charm hanging from her waist that was traditionally worn for protection. Often, she uses these details as a starting point in her historical interpretations &mdash;&nbsp;18<sup>th</sup> and 19<sup>th</sup> century African <a href="" target="_blank">headwraps</a> being her specialty.</p> <p>"I attack a topic from all sides," explains McKnight. "People might come in expecting a lovely, frilly message about headwraps. Instead, I start in Africa with the different ethnolinguistic groups and the purpose of headwraps there. Then I&rsquo;ll discuss headwraps within enslaved communities, as well as the accounts of white observers and their perception of headwraps. Having a well-rounded interpretation is important to me."</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Close-up of charm worn by Cheyney McKnight '11. Made of string, shells, a mail and a metal leaf." width="350" src="~/media/9B11186A1BF046519C3E6BEFD906DFBE.ashx" /></span></p> <p>McKnight has built her career around changing the narrative of slavery in America. When you attend one of her lectures, you're presented with a multifaceted understanding of the subject matter. There&rsquo;s a story, a person and a purpose behind each article of clothing and every recipe. By approaching the subject of slavery in this manner, McKnight&rsquo;s historical interpretations challenge listeners to recognize the humanity of the enslaved community.</p> <p>"These narratives are powerful and bring a more nuanced view of our history," says McKnight. "If you see a human being and not a caricature, it changes how people see racism and how they interact with society."</p> <p>Although McKnight&rsquo;s lectures are rooted in history, she also highlights the lasting legacy of slavery in today&rsquo;s politics. In her ongoing performance art series entitled, <a href="" target="_blank">#SlaveryMadePlain</a>, McKnight connects participants with the past. Launching this series on July 4, 2017, McKnight dressed as an enslaved woman, stood in lower Manhattan and held a sign with Frederick Douglass' famous quote: "What to a slave is the 4<sup>th</sup> of July?"</p> <p>"The rhetoric of the Revolution was 'we're fighting for our freedom,'" explains McKnight. "But the men who were fighting against English oppression, were themselves oppressing and enslaving people. I wanted to dig a little deeper&nbsp;&mdash; not ruin everyone's holiday &mdash; but recognize that this is our history. We&rsquo;re Americans now because of the Revolution, but let&rsquo;s not lose sight of what led us to today and all the work we still have to do."</p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"These narratives are powerful and bring a more nuanced view of our history," says McKnight. "If you see a human being and not a caricature, it changes how people see racism and how they interact with society."</h3> <hr /> <p>In today's charged political climate, not everyone is receptive of McKnight&rsquo;s message. She&rsquo;s no stranger to harassment, bigoted comments &mdash; and even threats of violence. Because of these negative reactions, McKnight must continuously remind historical sites that her safety is an issue during her visits.&nbsp;</p> <p><img height="300" alt="Cheyney McKnight '11 wearing a red headscarf and blue checkered neckerchief." width="350" src="~/media/4B883387DF78411E889EEA765CC7F4D3.ashx" />But this doesn&rsquo;t discourage McKnight. If anything, it proves the importance of the mission of Not Your Momma&rsquo;s History.&nbsp;</p> <p>"It can definitely be traumatizing," McKnight admits. "I've actually been collecting data on other Black costumed interpreters, and I'm finding high rates of depression and anxiety. But I think this work is needed and it&rsquo;s a message that everyone needs to hear. We just need to show our support."</p> <p>McKnight attributes much of her success to the support she has received from others. Friends and colleagues have provided her access to research and materials because they find value in the work she's doing. Despite some negative reactions, there are plenty of people who are eager to discuss the lasting impact of slavery in today&rsquo;s society.&nbsp;</p> <p>"You have to remember that there are people out there who support you," says McKnight. "And that's one of the things that makes Simmons so great. Whenever anything happens, my Simmons ladies will send me messages on Facebook, and I got a few letters from some women from Simmons in support, and I feel very confident that I'll have that for the rest of my life."</p> <p>With a growing community of supporters, McKnight continues her mission of educating the public about slavery. For her, the message is what matters most &mdash; and the potential to change people's minds is what keeps her going.&nbsp;</p> <p>As she puts it, "I think I'm making a difference. In the end, that's what makes this all worth it."</p>2019-02-13T00:00:00-05:00{3986EA65-0FE2-48C3-8016-924E0E90910C} Meyer on Using Your Passion to Solve Problems<p>Pamela Meyer is an internationally known expert on trust and deception. As founder and CEO of Calibrate, Meyer provides business executives and human resource professionals&mdash;particularly at financial institutions, insurance companies, and law firms&mdash;the tools and techniques they need to root out lying, cut down on fraud, and identify inside threats.</p> <h4>Was there a moment when you realized that you needed to alter the course of your career?</h4> <p>Yes! I chose to become an expert at deception detection and trust specifically when thinking through the next steps for a career that I was eager to pivot into a new direction.</p> <p>I had just exited out of the social media world, had sold my social networks and was looking for something with more human interaction and less focus on search engine optimization, coding, and software testing. I was sitting at a Harvard Business School reunion with my roommate Ellen Guidera. We watched in amazement as a room full of 500 career over-achievers sat transfixed listening to a professor talk about his research on deception. Here were all these captains of industry who normally are in the hallway on conference calls, reading the Wall Street Journal, texting vigorously throughout a presentation&mdash;and they were all looking up paying attention!&nbsp;</p> <p>I realized in that moment that the findings on deception were fresh and new for a group of savvy professionals for whom nothing was ever new! I dug further and discovered a treasure trove of well-funded research on deception. I made it my mission to raise the moral bar by translating this complex material previously only found in academia, law enforcement, and the intelligence world for everyday people.</p> <h4>What did you learn from that experience?</h4> <p>I learned that when something is fascinating to you, and to others&mdash;that there is usually an unsolved problem people need help with. There are so many products and businesses in the world that one can start. But first you must ask if you are solving a problem that actually exists! If you want your endeavor to succeed ask yourself two questions:&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>What problem does it actually help solve?</li> <li>Am I truly interested in this?&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p> If you get ambiguous answers to both, don&rsquo;t move forward. You need to offer up something useful and you need to be engaged enough in it to suffer hard and work hard when there are big hurdles. Don&rsquo;t waste your time on a solution to a problem that does not exist. </p> <h4>Any tips for work/life integration?</h4> <p>Hire people who make you laugh&mdash;life is short and there are plenty of talented people out there but few who will really make you enjoy your work. When you laugh with your team mates, your work and your life will feel integrated in subtle but powerful and transformative ways.</p> <h4>People would be surprised to know that&hellip;</h4> <p>I am exceptionally good at pinball, am a lifelong classic rock girl, and am a huge fan of eating the unexpected for breakfast.</p> <hr /> <p><em>For recent news about the <a href="" target="_blank">Simmons Leadership Conference</a>, make sure you're following SimmonsLeads on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>!</em></p>2019-02-13T00:00:00-05:00{C8A6B09B-58AE-44B0-9C15-2CDDBD4D24CC} Jeanette Bastian on Decolonizing the Caribbean Record<h4>Can you tell us a bit about your book?</h4> <p><em><a href=";qid=1549033504&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=decolonizing+the+caribbean+record" target="_blank">Decolonizing the Caribbean Record, An Archives Reader</a></em>, was initially envisioned as a text for the Masters of Archival Science (MAS) degree at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica. In 2014, I was part of a UNESCO-funded team designing MAS curriculum in the UWI Department of Library Studies (I am also a graduate of the University of the West Indies with a Master of Philosophy in Caribbean Literature).&nbsp;</p> <p>The team focused on designing a curriculum that was sensitive to the cultural heritage of the Caribbean as well as to the archival concerns of small former colonial islands in tropical climates. One huge issue was the lack of relevant readings that spoke to these concerns. So three of us decided to create a text. My co-editors, Stanley Griffin and John Aarons, both archivists and educators at UWI, and I have been working on this book for the past four years. The book, over 800 pages, includes 40 original essays, the majority by Caribbean authors&mdash; not only archivists, but historians, anthropologists, museum curators and humanists. The essays cover a wide range of topics including reparations, music, oral tradition, performance, tropical preservation, genealogy, monuments, archival history, as well as essays from the Caribbean diaspora. Although it was initially designed to support the MAS program, we feel that this Reader is widely applicable to postcolonial communities generally, and should be of interest to scholars and students of the Caribbean in addition to archivists.</p>2019-02-12T00:00:00-05:00{32983EE6-5FA4-4FEA-8F2B-1D37FB18F9A1} Borges '20 on the Enriching Environment of Simmons<p><strong>ON HER COMMUNITY COLLEGE EXPERIENCE: </strong>Being a member of the Massasoit Community College STEM Internship was certainly a unique learning experience. It's an internship in which students work in a position related to their career interests, linked to classroom learning, to gain knowledge of the working world. This internship really helped me become more responsible and professional, and allowed me to grow not only as a student, but also as a person. Through this internship I was able to improve my communication, problem solving and critical thinking skills, which I&rsquo;m now able to apply to my learning experience at Simmons.</p> <p><strong><strong>ON HER TRANSITION TO SIMMONS:</strong>&nbsp;</strong><a href="">Transferring to Simmons</a> was a very manageable process. The admissions faculty were helpful and supportive and they made the transferring process easier. Anytime I had a question, I'd email them and they'd readily respond. I was able to turn in all the admissions required credentials on time and almost all of my community college credits transferred.</p> <p><strong>ON CHOOSING SIMMONS:</strong> I always believed that Simmons would be the perfect fit for me. When I first visited the campus for orientation, the staff and faculty were very welcoming and made me feel like I was home. During the application process, Simmons was one of my top choices because of the small class sizes and student-to-faculty ratio, allowing students to have meaningful connections with professors. It also has a very diverse and culturally enriched student body &mdash; which I think is important because I really value and appreciate interacting with people from different countries and backgrounds.&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, and maybe my greatest reason for choosing Simmons, is because it's conveniently located and a part of the <a href="" target="_blank">Colleges of the Fenway</a>, which is a consortium of 6 schools in the Fenway area. My decision to come to Simmons was not only based on the fact that the University provides outstanding academics and research opportunities, but also because I believed it would be enriching to live and learn alongside students from all over the world.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Andrea Borges and other STEM interns at Massasoit." width="350" src="~/media/E17BB05DB3214F4F9186F1BC77F5DD67.ashx" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON PURSUING BIOCHEMISTRY:</strong> I&rsquo;m majoring in <a href="">biochemistry</a> and enrolled in the <a href="">pre-health advising program</a> because it provides the preparation I need for future admission into a medical school. Simmons&rsquo; pre-health advising program is made up of a solid foundation in the natural sciences and mathematics along with a background in the social sciences and humanities, which will help me fulfill the prerequisites required for medical school and prepare for the MCAT, the standardized admission test.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON HER PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: </strong>After graduating I&rsquo;m planning on applying to medical schools. I also hope to volunteer in hospitals in Cape Verde to contribute to an improvement of the health care system in my country.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON TRANSFERRING ADVICE:</strong>&nbsp;Consult the Simmons course catalog of your intended major so you know which courses are required and which credits will be able to transfer to Simmons. Ask questions and seek for help when needed&nbsp;&mdash; the Simmons <a href="">admission team</a> will be more than happy to advise you.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON HER FAVORITE SIMMONS MEMORY:</strong> When&nbsp;<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=1D24D7E6440F4E1E9FF13B8D6AEBD3F5&amp;_z=z">Former First Lady Michelle Obama</a>&nbsp;participated in the <a href="">Simmons Leadership Conference</a>, a forum devoted to empowering women to become leaders in their fields. During the conference, Obama stated that her goal is to energize, educate and empower leaders at every stage of their career; and inspire people to embrace a different vision of leadership, and not be blinded with the idea that only males can be leaders. That conference was really memorable for me because as a black woman. She increased my self-confidence and inspired me to be a leader.</p> <hr /> <em>Pictured above: Andrea Borges '20 with&nbsp;STEM interns at Massasoit.</em><br /> <div><br /> </div>2019-02-11T00:00:00-05:00{9ACFC3A1-5F7B-4F02-B532-A2A276413707} Ifill Papers Open to Researchers<p>Generously donated to the&nbsp;<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=CCA2F391B0E840E1B44043139EC4BA1D&amp;_z=z">Simmons University Archives</a>&nbsp;in 2017 by&nbsp;<a href="~/link.aspx?_id=B2BECE84234F4DB8A152DFB954BD350D&amp;_z=z">Gwen Ifill</a>'s brother, Bert Ifill, the collection documents the career of&nbsp; Gwen Ifill '77, from her earliest work as a student through her groundbreaking success as a national newspaper reporter and television anchor.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Containing writings, photographs, memorabilia, and other items, the <a href="" target="_blank">Gwen Ifill Papers</a>&nbsp;offer insight into the life and career of a trailblazing journalist.</p> <p>Interested researchers should consult the <a href="" target="_blank">finding aid</a> and contact the <a href="">University Archives</a> for more information.&nbsp;</p>2019-02-08T00:00:00-05:00{66EB0BE2-A767-4C9D-8BC6-8605299478B4} Trump’s State of the Union: A Little Light, A Lot of Dark<p><img height="300" alt="Headshot of Professor William Bellamy" width="350" src="~/media/A0073F5B744642ABA79B9C89DC01322F.ashx" />After being delayed due to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, many were interested to finally hear President Trump's views on the state of the nation. Several issues were addressed, including the cost of prescription drugs, infrastructure, the Mueller investigation&nbsp;&mdash; and, of course, the border wall. To help make sense of the State of the Union, Professor Bellamy shares his thoughts on the address and the border crisis.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <h3>Moments of hope overshadowed by negativity</h3> <p>By delivering a soaring vision of shared values, common goals and national unity, and calling for less partisanship, this strange discourse offered a glimpse of what a repurposed Trump presidency might look like. The oddity is that this new gentleness contradicts everything he has said and done since becoming a candidate in 2016.</p> <p>The State of the Union will more likely be remembered for its negativism, especially President Trump&rsquo;s discussion of immigration &mdash; a warning of lawlessness on the border, of &ldquo;large caravans&rdquo; of drug dealers, human traffickers and hardened criminals headed our way who will drive up crime and violence in cities nationwide.</p> <h3>The misrepresentation of the border crisis</h3> <p>As expected, President Trump spent time during the State of the Union trying to justify the declaration of a national emergency that does not exist. Illegal border crossings have been declining for two decades. Arrests of illegal migrants in 2017 was at the lowest level since 1971. Study after study has shown that immigrants (legal or illegal) and refugees do not drive up crime in the U.S.&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s true the number of families fleeing violence in Central America is up, but very few are trying to sneak into the country. The majority are presenting themselves at the border to U.S. officials in order to have their asylum claims processed &mdash; a fundamental right guaranteed to them under international law. The U.S. has both a moral and legal obligation to treat these asylum seekers in a humane fashion.&nbsp;</p> <p>If there is a crisis at the border, it stems from the Administration&rsquo;s misrepresentation of reality and its chaotic handling of innocent people asserting their rights. Nothing in this speech suggests the President will stop scapegoating migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. It remains a surefire rallying cry for his political base.&nbsp;</p> <h3>After the dust settles, the tweeting resumes</h3> <p>Supporters and opponents will find what they want in this address. Few Democrats will mistake it for an overture, and few Republicans will regard it as a realistic bid to break the partisan gridlock. Its impact will diminish quickly once the tweeting resumes.</p>2019-02-08T00:00:00-05:00{44D3D0FF-8138-4A45-98E0-6B51A5036A2F} for Students from the SLIS Alumni Board<h4>Can you tell us about your position on the School of Library and Information Science Alumni Board?</h4> <p> </p> <p>I've been on the board since 2015, first as a Director-at-Large, then as Vice President and currently as President for the 2018-2019 year. In this capacity, I'm responsible for organizing and overseeing our meetings (generally six per year) as well as the events that we arrange for alumni and current LIS students. Each member of the board plays an important part in the creation and roll-out of our events. The current board is made up of a great cross section of LIS professionals, who are dedicated to sharing their expertise with alumni, and current students. It's been great getting to know them and working with them on a variety of initiatives.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>2019-02-05T00:00:00-05:00{29C4E47D-7187-4E2B-B5D9-BEC7FCC6859A} Ghosh '99 on Her Commitment to Social Change<h4>Tell us a little bit about your background.</h4> <p> After graduating from Simmons with degrees in <a href="">sociology</a> and <a href="">women&rsquo;s studies</a>, I moved back home to New York City. I started volunteering for local agencies that worked with immigrant women experiencing domestic violence, and domestic workers who were experiencing workplace abuse. My first job was as a program assistant at Sakhi for South Asian Women. I helped with both outreach and responding to the needs of survivors of intimate partner violence.&nbsp;</p> <p>Over the years I continued to work as a community organizer on post 9/11 hate crimes, specifically on intersectional issues in immigrant and refugee communities. I also managed a public health project in the South Asian community and started Shakti Peer Group, a grassroots project of new immigrant women who were trained to raise awareness of gender-based violence. I just returned to the U.S. after spending almost 8 years in Toronto, Canada where I managed a provincial program on violence against women with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. I also made policy recommendations to the government as a member of the Provincial Violence Against Women&rsquo;s Roundtable.&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p>I recently joined the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project (DVRP) in Washington, DC as its executive director. In this role I continue to expand the programs of the agency, including our recent grant from the TIME&rsquo;S UP Legal Defense Fund to do work on the #MeToo campaign. We're focusing on immigrant and marginalized women, and have trauma arts therapy workshops across DC, Maryland and Virginia.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h4>What has been your biggest &ldquo;aha&rdquo; moment?</h4> <p> The realization that successful social change, especially when it comes to ending gender-based violence, involves change on several levels. We need changes in direct services, like engaging our communities in discussions to change beliefs and behaviors, as well as on a systemic level, where we have bills, laws and regulations that protect the interests of survivors.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Also, in order to engage communities, it has to be done from a survivor-centric lens using creative strategies. This led me to develop a multilingual graphic novel on sexual violence last year, which has been used for outreach and education across Canada.</p> <p>Finally, developing leadership skills of others and learning from their experiences will ensure the continuity of the movement.</p> <h4>What is your &ldquo;one word&rdquo; to describe Simmons?</h4> <p>&ldquo;Illuminating&rdquo; because in many ways, I discovered who I was at Simmons and developed confidence, leadership skills, life-long friends and more. I learned so much in all my classes, and that knowledge has stayed with me throughout my life.&nbsp;</p> <p>I was also very active in various student organizations &mdash; I was the president of both the chorale and Model UN, and it taught me immense leadership skills.</p> <h4></h4> <h4>Was there ever a time you wondered if you were on the right path?</h4> <p>I strongly believe in the work I do. However, the non-profit industrial complex can be very challenging and at times, an abusive space, especially for Black, Indigenous, Queer, people of color, etc.</p> <p>I've left abusive work places when the internal politics took more of my time and energy than my actual work. I sustained myself by doing grassroots work on my own at the same time. I pushed through because I was surrounded by amazing friends and my chosen family who were there to support and listen to me.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?</h4> <p>Hold on to that belief in social change and your desire to transform the world. You're going to go through many challenges in life, but you'll get through it.&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;</p>2019-02-01T00:00:00-05:00{4032700D-13E2-41BD-A933-BEB037081F67} the Future of Artificial Intelligence<p>The <a href="">College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences</a> Dean Marie desJardins presented at the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Annual Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 29.&nbsp;</p> <p>Dean desJardins was on a panel to present the interim results of the 20-year AI (Artificial Intelligence) Research Roadmap. There was remarkably strong interest in the session, with approximately 600 people in attendance.</p>2019-01-31T00:00:00-05:00{A550ACB1-0279-411B-A255-91E406032B98} Alicia LaPolla: Assistant Dean of First Year Programs<h4>Where did you go to college and what did you study?</h4> <p>I attended Boston College and studied psychology there. I also have a masters in human development and psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I&rsquo;m currently working on a doctoral degree in higher education at Northeastern.</p> <h4>Tell us about your role at Simmons.</h4> I&rsquo;m the Assistant Dean of First Year Programs, working with first year students to navigate the transition to college, which can be so exciting and challenging at the same time. <h4>What's your favorite thing about Simmons?</h4> <p>I came to Simmons at the beginning of this academic year and it has been wonderful to see how close-knit this community is. There are so many friendly faces and opportunities for collaboration.&nbsp;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m also a big fan of the pistachio muffins in Common Grounds!</p> <h4>What inspired you to work in your field?</h4> <p>My own college experience opened my eyes to the experiences of people with different backgrounds than my own&nbsp;&mdash; this really shaped my sense of self and worldview. I decided I wanted to make a career out of helping students learn and grow throughout that process.&nbsp;</p> <p>The best part of my job is meeting a student who feels like they really belong here and knows that their voice is important on campus.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What advice would you give to students considering Simmons?</h4> <p>Think critically about what you want out of your college experience, but also keep an open mind. It can be difficult to know what a college is like until you&rsquo;ve been on campus for a few months. Embrace the unexpected and allow yourself to explore all kinds of <a href="">fields of study</a>, <a href="">organizations</a>, and groups of friends.</p> <h4>How should prospective students connect with Simmons?</h4> <p>Connect with current students! Follow Simmons on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Instagram</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a> to get a taste of campus life.&nbsp;</p> <h4>How can students get in contact with you?&nbsp;</h4> <p>Students can <a href="">email me</a>. I&rsquo;m also on <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook</a>!</p> <h4>If we visited your office, what would we see?</h4> <p>Pictures of my kids and a mini skee ball game.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What's your favorite thing to do in Boston?&nbsp;&nbsp;</h4> <p>I love trying new restaurants and just wandering the city. I&rsquo;m particularly partial to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain. It&rsquo;s so beautiful and it&rsquo;s where I got married!</p> <h4>What's your favorite book and TV show?</h4> <p>I love <em>The Year of Magical Thinking</em> by Joan Didion, and lately I've found myself curling up with some Netflix on the couch.</p> <h4>What's your favorite local lunch?</h4> <p>I could eat the halloumi salad from Tatte every day of the week. It&rsquo;s the best!</p>2019-01-31T00:00:00-05:00{C62E44EB-46DD-4AE6-802E-DDA5FE0EC6E8} Community News, February 2019<h3>Faculty</h3> <p>Associate Professor <strong>Naresh Agarwal </strong>gave four talks this winter. He was the Keynote Speaker at the International Conference on Library and Information Science, January 19-21 in Sapporo, Japan (pictured). The title of his speech was, "Disconnectedness in a connected world: Navigating between the physical and digital contexts." Agarwal gave an invited talk, "Understanding Context in Information Behavior: Does Context matter in Research Data Management?" at the Winter Conference of the New England Chapter of the Association for Information Science &amp; Technology (ASIS&amp;T) on January 11 in Worcester, MA. At the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of ASIS&amp;T, January 3-4, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, he made a remote presentation on the South Asia Chapter of ASIS&amp;T. He also presented a co-authored research paper, "Is there a mantra for successful collaboration? Mapping faculty experience in facilitating cross-culture collaboration.&rdquo; On December 9, 2018, Agarwal gave an invited talk &ldquo;Teaching Innovation in Information Science: Curriculum and Course Development&rdquo; remotely at the Curriculum Development Workshop (&ldquo;Excellence through Innovation: Re-envisioning Information Science through Curriculum in Bangladesh&rdquo;) held at the Institute of Information Sciences, Noakhali Science and Technology University, Noakhali, Bangladesh.</p>2019-01-29T00:00:00-05:00{03CDFC3D-6B59-4C9B-B0D4-4C98F7C320C4} Best-Selling Author Mackenzi Lee '14MFA Talks Upcoming Projects<p><a href="" target="_blank">Mackenzi Lee</a> '14MFA is author of <em>New York Times</em> Best Sellers <em>The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue</em> and <em>The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy</em>, as well as <em>Bygone Badass Broads</em>, <em>This Monstrous Thing</em> &mdash; and much more! Taking the literary world by storm, Lee has several exciting projects in the works, including historical novel <em>Semper Augustus</em>, nonfiction book <em>The History of the World in 50 Dogs</em>, and an upcoming series for Marvel Press! Learn more about Lee and her work in literature.&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p><img height="300" alt="Headshot of Mackenzi Lee '14MFA" width="350" src="~/media/EB4E11077B75496BA1A0D3FCCD4DDA33.ashx?h=300&amp;w=350" class="image-left" style="height: 300px; width: 350px;" /></p> <h3>Cultivating her writing skills</h3> <p>I loved being part of the Simmons&nbsp;<a href="">MFA program</a>&nbsp;because it gave me two years to dedicate myself to my writing and do it while surrounded by so many brilliant people who wanted to help me learn to do it better. I loved the community I found at Simmons, and how supportive the community was.&nbsp;One of my mentors at Simmons told me to enjoy every stage of the process. I&rsquo;m the kind of person who is always so focused on what&rsquo;s next that I forget to look at where I am.&nbsp;</p> <p><span>I&rsquo;m still in touch with so many of my classmates and it&rsquo;s been so exciting to see so many of us find success in writing and publishing. I&rsquo;m so proud to be an alumni of the program.</span></p> <h3>The power of young adult fiction</h3> <p>The books we read as young people are the books that really shape us in crucial times in our lives. They&rsquo;re the books we carry with us for the rest of our lives. And even if you&rsquo;re an adult reading YA, the genre is defined by coming of age stories, and I think we all constantly feel like we&rsquo;re coming of age all the time. The big secret of life is that no one ever feels like they have it all figured out.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t think I ever had a conscious moment of deciding that I was going to write YA. I did a history degree in undergrad with the hopes of becoming a historian, but I had a professor tell me my papers read more like novels than academic papers. It was definitely a moment I recognized that there were other places I could channel my love of history that may be more suited to my voice and the stories I wanted to tell. I sort of stumbled into writing YA &mdash; I was just writing the kind of books I wanted to see in the world, and they happened to fit in YA.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Writing <em>The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue</em></h3> <p>I wanted to write a genre entry &mdash; I love love love historical adventure stories and I wanted to write a trope-y, kind of silly and self-aware one, but I wanted to write a story featuring characters who don&rsquo;t usually get to be the main characters of historical adventures. I honestly wrote the book just for fun &mdash; something I didn&rsquo;t think anyone would read, it would just be for myself. So the fact that it not only exists as a book but that so many people have read it and said so many nice things about it is surreal and weird and awesome and still feels fake sometimes!&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue books by Mackenzi Lee." width="350" src="~/media/D3197AEBDFA144989849A35FA258ECC3.ashx" class="image-right" /></span></p> <h3>The impact of representation</h3> <p>It's so rewarding when I speak with to teen readers about the books and hear about the impact my work has had on them. Especially hearing from queer teens who don&rsquo;t always see themselves represented in historical narratives.&nbsp;</p> <p> <h3>Finding inspiration in others</h3> </p> <p>I&rsquo;ve spent so much time over the last several years researching incredible women in history, and they all inspire me in their own way, not to mention all the women alive today who are kicking ass and taking names in so many fields, and the many incredible women who I'm lucky enough to know and work with in my day to day life.&nbsp;</p> <p>In our current political climate, I've found myself thinking a lot about Irena Sendler, a social worker in 1940s Poland who used her position to smuggle thousands of Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation. She is such an example of the importance and value of individuals not only standing up against injustice, but taking action and using their privilege to help those who don&rsquo;t.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h3>Getting noticed by Marvel</h3> <p>I was approached by Marvel Press to write a series about their sympathetic villains. It was so surreal &mdash; I didn&rsquo;t believe it was happening at first, and then was completely sure it was going to fall through, so I didn&rsquo;t let myself get excited until all the contracts were signed. The editor at Marvel who initially approached me about the project had had it in mind for a long time and just happened to read <em>The Gentleman&rsquo;s Guide to Vice and Virtu</em>e at the same time she started looking for a writer for the project. The timing was kismet.&nbsp;</p>2019-01-28T00:00:00-05:00{B4E816C4-B2D7-4BD3-9600-9E88227B7A25} a Simmons Triple Major to a PhD at Harvard<h4>Can you tell us about your career since graduation and your current position?</h4> <p>I graduated from Simmons in May 2017 with degrees in <a href="">nursing</a>, <a href="">mathematics</a>, and <a href="">biostatistics</a>. That summer I was a post-baccalaureate intern in the Harvard Summer Program in Biostatistics and Computational Biology, working on the impact of air pollution on maternal health outcomes. After that I worked as a bedside nurse at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital until beginning the PhD program in Biostatistics at Harvard University in August 2018.</p>2019-01-23T00:00:00-05:00{3F112A82-2812-4C7D-B6B7-42107FF58413} Excellence Update<p>Change can be the sign of a healthy institution, and a healthy organization and culture is one that includes the entire community and is self-reflective, so that we can learn from what we do. As we reflect on these changes, we are mindful that we all have more work to do to advance our diversity equity, and inclusion. </p> <p>Diversity, equity and inclusion is integral to our culture, who we are, how we live and work, and who we are becoming.</p> <ul> </ul> <p>Do you have questions or want to learn more? Follow us on <a href="" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="">send us an email</a> or call us at 617-521-3688.</p> <hr /> <h3>Our Department, Mission and Philosophy</h3> <p>In September 2018, we created the <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=472A422C5DF54082A772C702AED115BA&amp;_z=z">OCIE</a> to continue and expand the work of diversity, equity and inclusion in the Simmons community. OCIE is dedicated to upholding Simmons&rsquo; commitment of providing a transformative and supportive learning environment. </p> <p>We seek to facilitate fundamental cultural and institutional changes necessary to establish and maintain a fully inclusive campus, and to promote ongoing, meaningful, and engaged diversity. Diversity includes race, color, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, veteran status or class/SES.</p> <p>By approaching diversity work in a systemic and multidimensional way &mdash; so it is embedded in all we do &mdash; we will demonstrate the tremendous educational and cultural benefits that equity and inclusion initiatives have served and will continue to serve the Simmons community, the U.S. and the world.</p> <h3>Our Newest Team Member</h3> <p><img height="200" alt="OCIE newest team member" width="200" src="~/media/39EE04B81F5E4F0EB4CC93A3B53E8B31.ashx" class="image-left" />Karene Alexander Thorne joins us as the Executive Assistant in the OCIE Office and is a valuable addition to the team. Her primary role consists of project management and administrative support for all events, initiatives, and matters pertaining to the OCIE mission.</p> <p>Karene is a graduate of Babson College, grew up on the island of Jamaica, and lives in the Boston area with husband Kurt and daughter Lys. Fun fact: She loves designing diaper cakes for baby showers!</p> <br clear="all" /> <h3>The Diversity Equity Inclusion Strategy</h3> <p>Simmons University is committed to building a community that is equitable and inclusive. As an integral part of strategy 2022, we are charged to create the conditions that enable Simmons to be the most inclusive campus in New England.</p> <p>A <a href="~/link.aspx?_id=2F3B7CA737CB453CA5AE4C813F7D8F3B&amp;_z=z">core architecture</a> has been established that identifies the appropriate goals, tactics, implementers, and accountability partners for our work. The following framework identifies how the work is currently outlined in the five-year vision and will serve as our foundation as we operationalize specific tactics and actions.</p> Activities thus far:<br /> <ul> <li>During the fall semester we gathered, reviewed, and presented demographic data of all constituencies to the Student Government Association, Staff Council, and Faculty Senate.</li> <li>In partnership with Human Resources, we convened a committee across departments to establish programs and services that support retention, engagement, and the experience of faculty, staff, and administrators of underrepresented groups (see Partnerships below).</li> <li>We collected qualitative data through focus groups for all constituencies during fall 2018 to assess progress and inform priorities and methods for DEI dialogue moving forward. We plan to publish a report with our findings. </li> <li>We conducted extensive research to identify high-impact practices for civil discourse and respectful dialogue.</li> <li>We introduced fall orientation programming and Simmons PLAN (Purpose Leadership ActioN) course curriculum and reinforced principles of diversity, inclusion, and social justice.</li> <li>This semester we are launching intensive work on respectful discourse. We are calling this work The Journey to Respectful Discourse. This Journey will include inter-group discussions, activities and practices to advance how we mitigate the impact of discrimination, racism, bias while creating a practice of community, belonging and collaboration.</li> <li>Together these efforts contribute to putting Simmons University on the path to inclusive excellence. </li> </ul> <h3>Connecting and Engagement with the Simmons Community</h3> <p>The OCIE team recognizes that we have to be in the community to hear and feel what is going on in the community. Shifting community culture is a tall order and we are taking on the task with fervor and look forward to the participation of every single member of the Simmons community to realize our shared goal.</p> <h3>Fall 2018 Actions</h3> <ul> <li>Community Open House (October 24, 2018): We invited the Simmons community to hear about the office and the work being planned in the community.</li> <li>Fall Social for Employees of Color (October 25, 2018): We hosted a fall social in the Multicultural Center to meet and greet the faculty and staff of color and affirm their presence in our community. </li> <li>Pop Up Meetings: We are committed to hearing from community members in &ldquo;real time&rdquo; on critical topics. In the fall we offered two Pop Ups on October 4, 2018 and December 5, 2018. We enjoyed the conversations and appreciated the feedback about individual experiences and suggestions for collective experiences.</li> <li>Focus Groups: We want to hear from you! In November and December we hosted numerous focus groups for students, faculty, and staff to provide an informed backdrop for the work yet to occur.</li> <li>Online Open House: In a first-of-its-kind event, on December 5, 2018, the OCIE team hosted an online open house/webinar for our students who are members of the nationwide Simmons community. We plan to stay connected with this group as the work continues.</li> </ul> <h3>Partnerships</h3> <p>One of our early partnerships and collaborative work has been with Human Resources and other colleagues. The Committee on Inclusive Excellence in Hiring, Employee Engagement &amp; Experience engages the community in Simmons&rsquo; effort to create and recruit from more diverse pools of candidates and to participate in creating a more inclusive environment that helps us develop and retain employees from under-represented groups. The goal of this committee is to enhance best practices in each area of the employee experience.</p> <p>The committee consists of members from the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion and Equity, Human Resources, and representatives from our faculty, staff, student and alumnae/i populations.</p> <h3>Professional Development</h3> <strong>Full-time Faculty</strong> <p>Romney &amp; Associates, Inc., in partnership with the Simmons Center for Excellence in Teaching, continues to provide professional development for faculty to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion in their pedagogy and the learning environment utilizing AAC&amp;U&rsquo;s Teaching for Inclusive Excellence framework. We are currently offering Teaching for Inclusive Excellence Seminars (TIES I &amp;II) to accommodate new faculty and faculty who have not had the opportunity to participate thus far in the series that began in fall 2016.</p> <p>The Teaching for Inclusive Excellence Seminars are participant-centered and utilize a dialogue-based approach to explore equity and excellence in teaching and learning. Faculty will have the opportunity to reflect on how their identities have affected their experiences and will discuss challenges faced by marginalized, underrepresented, and other students for whom attention to equitable approaches is especially important in teaching and learning.</p> <strong>Staff</strong> <p>This past semester and summer, over 150 Simmons staff members participated in a day-long seminar that addressed diversity, equity, and inclusion &mdash; deepening awareness, understanding, and comfort with integrating these concepts into the work that we do. Using a social justice framework, the session explores multiple identities, intersections among identities, and experiences of privilege/oppression, and their impact on our lives and work.</p> <p>For this academic year, HR has identified a new online platform, Diversity: Inclusion in the Modern Workplace to assist staff in ongoing personal/professional development in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. A diverse campus must also be inclusive. By focusing on key concepts that shape our world and inform our shared values and experiences, this course explores the nature of diversity and provides practical strategies for workplace inclusion.</p> <p>We are offering this interactive training to further illustrate the benefits of an engaged and inclusive campus community. Please consider this training as introductory and the beginning of our journey together. OCIE will be offering additional support, opportunities, and trainings to build our capacity as a community committed to social justice and advancing an equitable and inclusive culture. While in-person experiences are ideal, this is a self-paced module to allow you to engage in deeper conversations aligned with our mission. </p> <h3>Special Events</h3> <p>On October 29, 2018, the African American Women in New England held their annual (full day) conference at Simmons University. More than 20 faculty and staff were able to participate due to the support of Provost Katie Conboy, Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Amy White, and the Office of Organizational Culture, Inclusion &amp; Equity.</p> <h3>Next Steps</h3> <p>Our team is inspired by making a difference in the lives of others, and is excited to facilitate this work with all members of the Simmons community. During this spring semester we will continue to make strides in the operationalization and implementation of the tactics that will accomplish our strategic goals. We look forward to sharing the space, conversation, and work with you as we integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into all that we do in and out of the classroom.</p>2019-01-22T00:00:00-05:00{78317B2A-6D12-4259-B7C7-291A6FB218DF} Day of Racial Healing: The Possibility of Human Connection<p><span class="image-left"><img height="300" alt="Headshot of Debra P&eacute;rez, Senior Vice President of Organizational Culture, Inclusion &amp; Equity" width="350" src="~/media/AEF258184E4C455195729D79930C35E7.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" /></span>January 22 marks the third annual <a href="" target="_blank">National Day of Racial Healing</a>, hosted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. In honor of this day, Senior Vice President of <a href="">Organizational Culture, Inclusion &amp; Equity</a>, <a href="">Debra P&eacute;rez</a>, shares her personal experiences with racial divide and healing, and encourages the Simmons community to take collective action toward a more just and equitable world.</p> <hr /> <p>When I was a kid growing up in Trenton, New Jersey, we were told that we should never cross the park. The park was the dividing line between the Italian neighborhood known as Chambersburg and the rest of Trenton. We were warned that it was dangerous for people like us. I lived in a segregated community of mostly Latinx families; we played, lived, and went to school on different streets than the white kids.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I went to middle school, everything completely changed &mdash; we had to walk across Chambersburg to get to our majority white school. It was scary and I was afraid that I wouldn&rsquo;t have anyone with me if something happened. On my first day in middle school, I met Juliet Zottoli. She was the first non-brown kid I met, and she was warm, funny, talkative and loving. She was also Italian and my first white friend.&nbsp;</p> <p>What I learned from this experience, and what has remained with me all these years later, is that I should never fear difference. In fact, I look for it, I am better for it, and I grow because of it. Although structural discrimination permeates all around us, everyone has the capacity to be my friend, ally and partner at work and in life.&nbsp;</p> <p>When I think about racial healing, I think about the possibility of human connection and the increased capacity to love. I think about the relationships, friendships, alliances and partnerships that aren't being formed because of bias, prejudice, discrimination and the false hierarchy of human value. I think about the oppression that divides us and the systems of racism which benefit from this false separation.</p> <hr /> <h3 style="color: #6e7377; font-size: 20px; line-height: 1.5; padding-top: 15px; padding-bottom: 15px;">"What I learned from this experience, and what has remained with me all these years later, is that I should never fear difference. In fact, I look for it, I am better for it, and I grow because of it."</h3> <hr /> <p>On January 22, W.K. Kellogg Foundation is hosting a National Day of Racial Healing, which includes a <a href="" target="_blank">live stream</a> curated by Ava Duvernay. This day marks an opportunity for communities to come together to talk about race and racism and of what could be possible if we could overcome racial hatred and this country&rsquo;s legacy of discrimination, and work towards becoming a country that celebrates our common humanity. Simmons University will be live-streaming&nbsp;<a href="">this event</a> as well as creating opportunities for sharing and exchanging ideas about what we can do to promote racial healing at Simmons.</p> <p>What would Simmons and the world look like if we took collective action toward a more just and equitable world? How would we look, feel and be different if every individual could honor the value of different races and ethnicities? If all of the institutions we belonged to were committed to undoing these legacies? What if we could truly bring our full authentic selves to every space we encountered?&nbsp;</p> <p>Why focus on racial healing? As we are working towards making Simmons University the most inclusive campus in New England across all areas of underrepresentation, it is important to acknowledge the unique challenges of advancing underrepresented racial and ethnic diversity on campus. As such, we must strike a "balance between the broad range of diversities we support and the need to develop targeted efforts to address the particular legacies of racial disparity," as Boston University notes in their <a href="" target="_blank">Diversity and Inclusion Report and Recommendations</a>.</p> <p>Juliet and I are still dear friends. And, like most good friends, she has been there for me in the highs and the lows. I can&rsquo;t imagine my life without her. Knowing her has made a difference in my life, and I know that when people overcome their biases and create relationships across differences, the possibilities and rewards are endless.&nbsp;</p>2019-01-18T00:00:00-05:00{C24969D0-B5DF-49B6-825E-9FE1B0C4D9F6} a Lasting Impact with Rural Librarians <h4>What is your current job?</h4> <p>In 2016 I began my current job at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) located in Austin, Texas, right next to the Capitol building. The State Library has four departments&mdash;Archives and Reference, State and Local Records, Library Development and Networking, and the Talking Book Program&mdash;to help fulfill its mission of serving all Texans. Before I started, I had never visited a State Library and had only a vague idea of what made it a unique institution. Now that I&rsquo;m here, I'm constantly amazed at the variety of projects that are supported and created by state libraries.</p> <p>As a Library Technology Consultant, I train and consult with staff from Texas libraries with a focus on digital inclusion. I organize and present in-person workshops and webinars on technology topics and answer questions from library staff about everything from digital literacy for seniors to internet policies and patron privacy to WiFi hotspots. I engage with our local and national community to build partnerships with those that share our mission, and engage with the technology and library community to better understand the needs of Texans now and in the future.</p>2019-01-15T00:00:00-05:00{4874AB6B-3E7C-447C-99E1-383B36BF41D5} Global: Gabby Freeman '20 Finds Empowerment Abroad<p><strong>ON COMING TO SIMMONS:</strong> I knew that Simmons would allow me to connect with my professors and give me opportunities to grow my leadership skills. I loved the location of Simmons in Boston and felt at home when I visited campus.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON PURSUING FINANCE:</strong>&nbsp;I entered Simmons on a pre-law track but intended to major in <a href="">finance</a>&nbsp;in case I didn't want to attend law school. As I got deeper into my finance coursework, I fell in love with finance, specifically investments.&nbsp;</p> <p>The <a href="">School of Business</a> at Simmons has given me confidence in myself and in my skills. The emphasis on principled leadership within my finance program and within the School of Business itself encouraged me to stick with the program.</p> <p><strong>ON THE HONORS PROGRAM:</strong> I joined the <a href="">honors program</a> to enhance my academic experience &mdash; and it has! Honors has pushed me to take classes outside of my business courses that are both interesting and challenging. My professors in the program have made me a stronger writer and pushed me to think critically about integral issues.</p> <p>The honors program has been my home and community over the last three years &mdash; the people are one of a kind. Everyone is doing awesome things and they drive me to do my best. There's an immense amount of support from the coordinator, Valerie Geary, and Director, <a href="">Dianne Grossman</a>. It's really nice to know that there's a group of people that will support you in all of your academic endeavors. I'm so thankful for the community of people that honors has put into my life.<span class="image-right">&nbsp;&nbsp;<img height="300" alt="Gabby Freeman, Olivia Klein and Lauren Kaye group photo on the balcony of the Management Building" width="350" src="~/media/7AC23B9210684E9DAA3D173A80639DCE.ashx" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON STUDYING ABROAD:</strong> I <a href="">studied abroad</a> in Granada, Spain for a summer after my first year at Simmons and I LOVED it! It was an immersion program so I lived with a host family and studied Spanish. At the beginning of the summer, my Spanish wasn't very good. In fact, I was the worst in my class and struggled to hold a conversation with my host mom. It was incredibly difficult because most people in Granada didn't speak English. But by the end of the program, I was much more confident when speaking Spanish and talking with my host mom. It was empowering. It was also really fun and interesting to learn and experience a different culture.</p> <p>I'm also studying abroad next semester in Sydney, Australia through a program called CAPA. I'm so excited to study abroad and learn about the history and culture of Australia as well as the other cultures in the pacific. I'll primarily take business classes to earn a certificate in International Business, but I'll also take an Australian history class while I'm there.</p> <p><strong>ON HER INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE: </strong>The summer before my junior year, I had the opportunity to work for Northwestern Mutual's Wealth Management Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Prior to the internship, I'd never been to Milwaukee and had no connection with Northwestern Mutual. It turned out to be an incredible experience! I learned a lot about the stock markets and managing people's money. I had a wonderful manager and mentor who made sure that I felt like I was a member of the team. I learned so much from everyone that I was able to meet.</p> <p>But it wasn't all work! Northwestern Mutual provided housing in a dorm with about 50 other Northwestern Mutual interns. We had a blast together hanging out after work, going to events and enjoying the surprisingly strong music scene in Milwaukee.</p> <p><strong>ON HER FAVORITE SIMMONS MEMORY:</strong> This year when the Red Sox were in the playoffs, my friends and I got $9 student tickets to see the second game of the American League Conference Championship. We got a text that they were selling $9 tickets and immediately ran up to Fenway without eating, without any Red Sox gear on and without jackets. It was pretty cold that night but it was worth it. That's a memory I'll never forget.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Second photo: Gabby Freeman '20, Olivia Klein '20 and Lauren Kaye '20 at the 2018 Honors Awards Dinner.</em></p>2019-01-15T00:00:00-05:00{B9A6BF0A-9D0C-4C44-A8B2-94CC4BEA6437} Antenor '15 on Gaining Confidence in Her Nursing Career<h4>Tell us a little bit about your background.</h4> <p> I'm Haitian-American. My parents emigrated from Haiti, so they could work at a chance for a better life. My mother is a certified nursing assistant and she taught me how to be a hard worker &mdash; I witnessed her working overtime and two jobs just to give my siblings and me what we needed.&nbsp;</p> <p>I&rsquo;m not sure if this exposure to the health care field made me realize I wanted to be a nurse at a young age, but ever since I can remember I wanted to do just that. I applied solely to colleges and universities that had nursing programs from high school, because I was adamant. I ended up at Simmons and I didn&rsquo;t realize how great the <a href="">nursing program</a> was until I experienced it for myself.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What has been your biggest &ldquo;aha&rdquo; moment?</h4> <p> I love to travel and one of my coworkers suggested I look into travel nursing &mdash; I thought she was out of her mind. How could I just get up and go, be separated from my family for months at a time, jumping from state to state? I thought about it awhile and came to the realization that this was just what I needed. I wanted to experience cultures and people from different states and see how other hospitals functioned.&nbsp;</p> <p>Then that &ldquo;aha&rdquo; moment came to me. I realized that although some places are nicer, bigger, more exciting etc., no matter what our differences, we are all the same. Fundamentally we want the same things: safety, health, joy, and love &mdash; and that helps me connect even if I&rsquo;m unfamiliar.&nbsp;</p> <h4>What is your &ldquo;one word&rdquo; to describe Simmons?</h4> One word I would describe Simmons, at least for the <a href="">school of nursing</a>: rigorous.&nbsp;<br /> <h4>Was there ever a time you wondered if you were on the right path?&nbsp;</h4> <p> I graduated from Simmons in 2015 and have now been a nurse for 3 years. The first few months transitioning into a nursing role were hard. I was unsure of myself or if I was good enough to be a nurse. I would come home saying, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m not cut out for this, I don&rsquo;t know how more seasoned nurses could be nurses for so long, I can&rsquo;t do this.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>I persevered and it took about 6 months to become comfortable in my nursing practice. My coworkers helped me a lot with that. Some of the new grads with similar feelings helped reassure me that this was just new and, as with anything else, it gets easier with more practice. The more seasoned nurses would tell me that they felt the same when they first started and that I was on the right path.&nbsp;</p> <p>Last but not least, I can remember when a patient would smile and say, &ldquo;Thank you for being nice and a good nurse,&rdquo; and another say, &ldquo;You must have been doing this a long time,&rdquo; that&rsquo;s when I felt like I could do it. It&rsquo;s the greatest feeling when someone calls me a good nurse, it humbles me and makes me want to be a better one. I work harder when those around me are positively affected by my presence and actions.</p> <h4>What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?</h4> <p> "Just do it." I&rsquo;m a very hesitant person and I know I could have gotten further in life had I not hesitated. It makes me work harder, so that I can stir up the courage to do things even when I'm afraid.</p>2019-01-07T00:00:00-05:00{A707A68B-FAAD-48E8-A755-90C2638CA48E} Enrichment in the Honors Program with Sarah Corbett '19, '21MS<p><strong>ON COMING TO SIMMONS:</strong> First and foremost, I&rsquo;ve known I wanted to be a nurse since my junior year of high school &mdash; the <a href="">nursing program</a> at Simmons is arguably one of the best! In addition, I love Boston. Not only are we located near some of the best hospitals in the world, but we're surrounded by wonderful restaurants, several different colleges and universities, and amazing landmarks like Fenway Park.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON PURSUING NURSING:</strong> The nursing program at Simmons has a wonderful reputation. We're lucky enough to be able to complete our clinical rotations in hospitals such as Brigham and Women&rsquo;s, Boston Children&rsquo;s Hospital, Beth Israel, Massachusetts General Hospital, and several others. I also knew Simmons had a five-year accelerated nurse practitioner program and this interested me. I felt like getting my NP degree would be something I would want to pursue, and excitingly enough, I have chosen to do so.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON THE HONORS PROGRAM:</strong> I joined the <a href="">Honors Program</a> because I wanted to be challenged. I knew that the courses offered within the program would involve content matter that extended beyond health studies, thereby enriching my entire self. The Honors courses I've taken so far are "Women Writers as Leaders," "Islamophobia," "'Talking' In the 21st Century," and "Honors Global Scholars"&nbsp;&mdash; I've learned so much from each of them.&nbsp;</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Nursing students." width="350" src="~/media/5A8E69D6AE5B4DB5858F1C5A61B7586F.ashx" /></span></p> <p>My favorite aspect of the Honors program is the people. I've met many new individuals in my classes who have inspired me with their strong views and powerful voices. In addition to my classmates, the professors have helped shape my point of view on many topics and issues &mdash; they've guided me to believe in who I am.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON HER CLINICAL EXPERIENCE:</strong> Last spring, I had my first clinical rotation at Boston Medical Center (BMC) on a Medical-Surgical floor. This clinical aligned with the Medical-Surgical course I was taking at the time and allowed me to utilize the information I'd learned and get hands-on experience in the hospital. I was able to obtain vital signs, help patients with their activities of daily living, and give medications, all under the supervision of my clinical instructor.&nbsp;</p> <p>This past summer, I worked at Massachusetts General Hospital in the Emergency Department as a Patient Care Assistant. I performed many of the same tasks as I did at BMC, but I'm doing new things as well, such as electrocardiograms. Overall I've had wonderful experiences and am able to learn new things each and every day.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ON HER FAVORITE SIMMONS MEMORIES:</strong> Sitting in the quad on academic campus spending time with my best friends. I'm blessed to have met such wonderful people here and have made friends that I know will last me a lifetime. After a long morning of class, a lunch in the quad on a nice day with people I care about is something I always look forward to.</p> <hr /> <p><em>Pictured above: Sarah Corbett '19, '21MS, Lexie Jarosz '20, Molly Hennessey '20, Rachel Gilbert '20, Emily Freedman '20, and Hannah Dagg '20.</em></p>2018-12-21T00:00:00-05:00{275D8EEB-3953-4ED9-9543-377AF4D0B1F5} Switzerland to the Ivory Coast: Lia Hollander '97 on Teaching Abroad<p><strong>ON TEACHING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE (TESOL):</strong> As an eligible family member in the U.S. Foreign Service (State Department), I have the honor of representing the United States overseas. Teaching TESOL combines my love for the U.S. and my students&rsquo; desires to study in the U.S.&nbsp;</p> <p>American students and universities benefit from the diversity. The international students have unforgettable experiences and gain knowledge and skills that they can use in their home countries. It&rsquo;s a win-win situation.</p> <p><strong>ON HER SIMMONS EDUCATION:</strong> Simmons taught me to listen before acting, to speak up against injustice, and to find solutions to problems instead of complaining.</p> <p><strong>ON WHERE SHE'S LIVED:</strong> I lived in the U.S. for 40 years before moving overseas. So far I&rsquo;ve lived in Geneva, Switzerland and Abidjan, Côte d&rsquo;Ivoire. After a few months in Geneva, I worried my heart wasn&rsquo;t big enough to hold both the United States and Geneva. But it turns out, your heart just gets bigger. Côte d&rsquo;Ivoire is in there now too!</p> <p><strong>ON LIVING IN CÔTE D'IVOIRE:</strong> Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire actually reminds me a lot of San Diego, California. The climate and plants are very similar. However, the disparity between the rich and poor is more obvious. You'll see a shiny Land Rover dealership next to a peanut/phone card/plantains/flip flop vendor in a building that looks like it is disintegrating. Côte d&rsquo;Ivoire is also a high risk zone for malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. Despite these hardships, everyone is very welcoming and friendly.</p> <p><span class="image-right"><img height="300" alt="Lia Hollander teaching" width="350" src="~/media/15C3850B9CEA453490614820976E13DF.ashx?h=300&amp;&amp;w=350" /></span></p> <p><strong>ON HER REWARDING WORK:</strong> I love having the ability to help change a student&rsquo;s life for the better. My Ivorian students want the opportunity to study in the United States so badly that they even attend English class while sick with malaria.</p> <p><strong>ON HER STUDENTS:</strong> I've taught American English to students from 39 different countries. I&rsquo;ve taught over Skype, Google Hangouts, at libraries, at a community college in the U.S., at the U.N. in Geneva, and at U.S. Missions and Embassies. I&rsquo;ve lost count of how many students I&rsquo;ve taught.</p> <p><strong>ON TESOL AND LIVING ABROAD ADVICE:</strong> The drawback with TESOL, as with most teaching jobs, is that it generally does not pay well. However, the non-monetary rewards are off the chart.</p> <p>As for living abroad, make sure to research opportunities very carefully, respect the local culture and customs, register with the U.S. Department of State&rsquo;s STEP program, and be prepared for culture shock.</p>2018-12-19T00:00:00-05:00{065E0B6A-9C32-4874-8FFF-7EC89D1F55CC} 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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">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="">Read the full story.</a></p>2018-12-14T00:00:00-05:00