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.

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2020 Yale Medal Recipient Alice Young ’71: Trailblazer, Groundbreaker, History-and-Difference-Maker

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.”

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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.

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Apply for the YaleWomen Council - March 15, 2021 DEADLINE

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!

Applications are due March 15, 2021.

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Strategic Planning - Community Discussions

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.
If you are unable to attend the sessions, we would love to hear your thoughts through this short survey

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! 

With gratitude, 

YaleWomen Strategic Planning Committee 

Emily Friedrichs B.A., 2007
Heidi Fung B.A. 2003
Lauren Graham M.E.M. 2013
Jennifer Madar B.A. 1988 
Susan Pepin B.A. 1987
Jane Fincke Orenstein B.A. 1978
Brenda Ventura M.B.A. 2016



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YaleWomen Global Newsletter | Fall 2020

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Women's Health Research at Yale Webinar

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. 

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YaleWomen Hosts Zoom Get Togethers

Stephanie Rosenkranz, BA ’02, will host a Zoom get together on 10/5 at 8PM SGT (Singapore). This is a wonderful way for women alums in Asia (8 pm SGT) and Europe (1 pm BST) to chat.  Alums in the Americas who are up for an early morning get-together (8 am EDT) can join the conversation, too.

Emily Friedrichs, BA ’07, will host on Thursdays at 9:00 pm EDT on 10/8 and 10/22.

And Claudia Rosenthal, BA ’08, MMus ’14, will continue to host every Wednesday at 7:30 pm EDT through 11/25.

Register here for these and other YaleWomen events. (You'll receive an email with the login info after you RSVP.)

We're hoping to add more dates and times as more alums volunteer to host. Email [email protected] if you're interested in hosting!

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COVID-19 on Campus: Three Undergraduate Women Talk Life at Yale During the Pandemic

Headshots of the Interviewees

In photo, from left to right: Caroline Magavern BK '21, Stephanie Corona SB '23, Grace Dietz '24 BF

Everyone is masked; everyone is tested for COVID-19 twice a week; everyone tries to maintain a 6-foot distance and meet, eat, and socialize outside where it’s safer. While Yale University has, in a limited way, welcomed most students back to campus, student life is anything but normal.

Most classes are held via Zoom; dining halls are “takeout only;” most facilities are closed; and any gatherings are limited in size and held under strict social distancing rules. How is this affecting Yale students? Recently, we caught up with three undergraduates to find out first-hand.

Here’s what they had to say.


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YaleWomen Hosts "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" Webinar

YaleWomen will deliver a webinar as an encore event to the 50 Women at Yale 150 program on October 1st at 3 pm EDT: “Breaking the Glass Ceiling.” The webinar will feature an exceptional panel of YaleWomen alumni and Yale faculty who have shattered glass ceilings in a variety of fields: finance, academia/medicine, legal/judicial, Corporate America, and management consulting/entrepreneurship. Panelists will share candidly not only the challenges they overcame, but also advice and insights on implementing successful career paths. The panelists and moderator will be:
• Ranji Nagaswami MBA ‘86, Senior Advisor, SVP Global
• The Honorable Denise Page Hood ‘74, Chief Judge, Eastern District of Michigan
• Dr. Inginia Genao, Associate Professor of Medicine, Associate Chair for Diversity and Inclusion, Medical Director, Adult Primary Care Center, Yale School of Medicine
• Moderator: Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans JD ‘90, CEO, The Barthwell Group, YaleWomen Council, Co- Chair Yale Women Programming Committee, President, Yale Club of Michigan, former Yale Alumni Association Board of Governors
• Seyma Aslan PhD ‘12, Senior Project Leader at L'Oreal Research & Innovation, YaleWomen Programming Committee Co-Chair
• Jennifer Cruz, 50WAY150 Program Manager, Yale Alumni Association

This webinar is brought to you in partnership with the Yale Alumni Association Shared Interest Groups and 50WAY150. 

Register here:


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