The imposing Harkness Tower, looms above us daily, a pillar of excellence and a stark reminder of the special place we had the joy of calling home for four "bright college years". Over the course of those 8 semesters, we learned, we loved, we failed, we excelled - but most of all, we challenged ourselves daily, in a continuous effort to be better.
I would be remiss not to remark that the brilliant professors, rigorous coursework and unique internship opportunities offered at Yale did not constitute a big part of that transformation. In my mind, however, those will only come second to the kind, empathetic, intelligent, and (yes) flawed people I found myself surrounded with during my precious Yale journey.
Over the course of those four years, I had the privilege of getting to know some of the most special humans I have ever encountered. People who, when initially crossing my path, I considered to be too cool/intelligent/funny/special to spend their time around me. Gradually, however, those people made Yale home. And, gradually, each and every one of them allowed me to see their not-so-perfect side; and to encourage me to embrace my own imperfections.
I learned to open my heart wide open - even though that always carried the risk of having it get broken. I learned to approach others without expectations, and to allow them to blossom and impress me with their wonderful colors and brilliant hues. I learned to always speak my mind, with courage but with caution - willing to allow others to question or challenge my views. And I learned that, while being there for others is important, it is not always possible, nor is it always the right thing to do.
Yes, at Yale I learned how to be better. More importantly, however, I accepted the fact that, while I can always improve, I will never be perfect. And I learned that being imperfect is a crown to wear proudly on my head, not a secret to be hiding away in some dark corner of my being, masked behind a constantly smiling facade.
To arrive at Yale means to already be accomplished, but to be striving for more, for better, for greater. These are admirable traits, and characterised the way I approached extracurriculars, leadership roles, campus jobs and the eventual career search. Outside the classroom, I filled my days to the brim with these commitments, social engagements and trips to Blue State Coffee. But, color-coded Google calendar aside, what will always stay with me were the four years of unquantifiable joy that being an English major brought me.
YaleWomen Global Newsletter | Winter 2020
- Thank You to Our Donors! You Make Our Work Possible
- 2020 Yale Medal Recipient Judith Ann Schiff, Chief Research Archivist of the Yale University Library and Unofficial Yale Ambassador
- 2020 Yale Medal Recipient Alice Young ’71: Trailblazer, Groundbreaker, History-and-Difference-Maker
- Meet Teresa Leger Fernandez ’82, the First Latinx Yale Alum Elected to Serve in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Join the YaleWomen Council! Application and Information Now Available!
- More Webinars Now Available on the YaleWomen Website!
2020 Yale Medal Recipient Judith Ann Schiff, Chief Research Archivist, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, the New Haven City Historian, and Unofficial Yale Ambassador
The AYA Board of Governors has the responsibility for selecting Yale Medalists, with over 300 individuals so honored since the award began in 1952. President Peter Salovey ’86 PhD and YAA Board of Governors Chair Jerry Henry ’80 MDiv presided over the celebration honoring the five Medalists, of whom Judith Ann Schiff was one of two women. This year, this special event was held virtually—but no less memorably, with tributes, photos, videos, and Yale-themed music—on December 8, 2020.Read more
The tributes were laced throughout the closing segment of the December 8 (Virtual) Yale Medal Celebration, which focused on Alice, resplendent in red, and wearing the silk scarf commemorating the September, 2019 50th Anniversary Celebration of Women in Yale College, as well as a prominent blue “Boola Boola” pin with the symbol for female under the “oo.”Read more
Meet Teresa Leger Fernandez ’82, The First Latinx Yale Alum Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives
In the U.S. elections this past November, four Yale alums were elected to significant governmental positions:
- Daniella Levine Cava (YC 1977; Berkeley) became mayor of Miami-Dade County—the first woman ever to serve in that capacity.
- Carolyn Bourdeaux (YC 1992; Morse) flipped Georgia’s 7th District from Republican to Democrat (one of only three red-to-blue flips nationwide) to win her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Teresa Leger Fernandez (YC 1982, Davenport) became the first Latina from her district (and the first Latinx Yale alum) to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives by winning her first term in New Mexico’s 3rd
- Katie Porter (YC 1996; Grace Hopper) won re-election to her seat representing California’s 45th Congressional District.
Over the next several issues, we’ll be presenting an in-depth look at these women in their own words. First up: Teresa Leger Fernandez.
Teresa Leger Fernandez: “Ahora es cuando” (It’s time now).
Leger Fernandez, a progressive Democrat, is Representative-elect of New Mexico’s 3rd District, which includes Santa Fe and Taos, as well as a significant part of the Navajo Nation’s Tribal Lands. She is an attorney (Stanford Law School) who, prior to running for office for the first time in 2020, had focused her 30-year, New Mexico-based career on community-building and tribal advocacy. Her campaign platform included support for a “New Mexico Green New Deal,” Medicare For All, a transition from fracking to green energy, comprehensive immigration reform, and passing of the DREAM Act. Leger Fernandez was a White House Fellow during the Clinton Administration and later served on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation during the Obama Administration; she has also served as a liaison between the White House Office and United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. This was her first run for elected office.Read more
YaleWomen’s mission is “To create a vibrant, engaged community of alums, drawn together by the common thread of our Yale experiences, that is committed to advancing women's voices and perspectives and to enriching and inspiring one another, Yale, and the world.”
The Council is responsible for advancing this mission. Consider joining us!
- Click here for our 2021-2022 Overview
- Click here for our 2021-2022 Statement of Expectations
- Click here to apply to the Council
Applications are due March 15, 2021.
Dear Yale Women,
It has been 10 years since the formation of YaleWomen. It has been an incredible decade of connecting women alums, sharing in conversation and celebrating women who have made a positive impact. Our last strategic plan was instrumental in guiding YaleWomen’s efforts and growth and was based on the input, feedback, and aspirations of a wide breadth of community members.
We have launched a strategic planning process this fall that will allow us to build upon the existing strengths of our historic institution and make it an even more extraordinary platform to create positive change in ourselves, our communities, and the world.
Our strategic planning committee includes women across different generations, schools, backgrounds, and geographic locations. We will be reaching out to the wider community through a variety of meetings and interviews.
The first of these opportunities is a community brainstorming session. We will engage you through some exercises to get your reflections on YaleWomen and your ideas for how we might move forward as a community. Three sessions will be offered to encourage as many community members as possible to participate in the process. We invite you to attend one of the following community brainstorming sessions:
- Thursday, December 3rd, 12 pm EST / 9 am PST - Register here.
- Thursday, December 10th, 6 pm EST / 3 pm PST - Register here.
We would like to hear from women alums who are very involved and also those with a healthy skepticism or feedback. This is your opportunity to speak up and help us figure out how we can use our incredible platform and resources to create programming and initiatives that can uniquely make a positive impact.
Thank you for joining us in conversation - we are excited to hear from you!
YaleWomen Strategic Planning Committee
YaleWomen Global Newsletter | Fall 2020
- Help Create the Future of YaleWomen! Participate in our Strategic Planning Survey or Community Discusion
- Meet YaleWomen's Officers and Council Members for 2020-2021
- YaleWomen Hosts October 1st Webinar, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling," at 3PM EST
- COVID-19 on Campus: Three Undergraduate Women Talk Life at Yale During the Pandemic
- Women's Health Research at Yale Hosts October 1st Webinar, "The Way Forward," at 4 PM EST
- Women's Leadership Initiative at Yale Publishes "Remembering 50," a Book Commemorating Coeducation at Yale
- YaleWomen is on Cross Campus! Join Us!
- YaleWomen Hosts Zoom Get-Togethers — Register Online to Participate and Connect with Other Yale Women
Join WHRY on Thursday, 10/1, at 4 pm EDT for "The Way Forward," a lively discussion on how science drives discovery, how studying the biology and social experience of women makes it better, and how better science leads to better lives. This webinar, co-sponsored by the Yale Alumni Health Network, will include an introduction by Dr. Nancy J. Brown, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Yale School of Medicine, and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine, followed by a panel discussion with Dr. Carolyn Mazure, Dr. Megan Smith, and Jocelyn Maminta.
Click here for panelist profiles and to register.