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.
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.
YaleWomen's mission is to create a vibrant, engaged community of alums, drawn together by the common thread of our Yale experiences, and the newest tool in our toolkit is Cross Campus, Yale’s new alum and student networking platform. If you haven’t already joined Cross Campus - often described as “a cross between Facebook and LinkedIn” - you should. And if you haven’t joined the YaleWomen Cross Campus group, you really should!
We invite you to:
- Connect with women alums and students in our Members section.
- Join the conversation - or start one of your own - by visiting the Discussion section of our group. Answer one of the questions or ask one of your own. We're especially interested in your thoughts on how we can ensure the sustainability of YaleWomen as it enters its second decade.
- Learn more about YaleWomen and 50WomenAtYale150 in our Resources section.
- Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn in our Resources section.
We look forward to building a strong community of women alums on Cross Campus with you! Join Cross Campus, then navigate to Groups to join the YaleWomen group!
“Remembering 50” is a striking, curated collection of first-hand, personal and profound recollections by Yale College alums. It unfolds chronologically, starting with the first women who were admitted to Yale College in September 1969 as undergraduates in the class of ’71 through the most recent 2020 graduate; it also includes the stories of alums from various Yale professional schools over the last 50 years.
In addition to the detailed, “behind-the-scenes” narratives themselves, the book is remarkable for its whirlwind, 11-month journey to publication from its conception in late September 2019 by two rising juniors, Ananya Kachru ’22 and Jen Huang ’22. Ananya and Jen are co-presidents of the board of the Women’s Leadership Initiative at Yale (WLI), an undergraduate organization founded in 2006 that seeks to empower future womxn leaders by providing professional and personal development opportunities, and creating a campus culture that emphasizes and promotes womxn’s leadership at Yale and beyond.
On September 10, “Remembering 50” was formally launched at a 90-minute online event attended by 200 online participants. It featured 17 of the book’s 45 contributors reading excerpts from their narratives as well as brief video appearances from additional contributors, who spoke about what “Remembering 50” means to them. The launch also gave participants the backstory of the genesis of the book—and a glimpse at how its content will be expanded into other media in the future.
The making of “Remembering 50.” The idea of finding a meaningful way to understand more about the “trailblazing,” resilient women who overcame myriad obstacles in paving the path to full coeducation at Yale began as a conversation between Ananya and Jen during a weekend trip to New York City in late September 2019. Earlier that month, they had attended the “50 Fest,” an evening hosted by Yale College on the Old Campus so undergraduates could meet the women from the first classes (’71, ’72, ’73) who were at Yale to celebrate the anniversary of the 50th year of Yale undergraduate coeducation.
Ananya and Jen had been disappointed that the event, which featured rather loud music, had not been sufficiently conducive to conversation. The two undergraduates agreed that they wanted more of an opportunity to understand how Yale both evolved over time and, in some ways, remained the same; how the university had been impacted by social and cultural events; and how all of this was reflected in the first women undergraduates’ experiences.
Paradoxically, then, the “disappointment” of “50 Fest” was a catalyst for Ananya, Jen, and Avery Arena, the previous WLI president, to brainstorm about other ways to commemorate the 50th anniversary and better understand the women who came to Yale before them. They arrived at the exciting but challenging idea of producing a book “which would have lasting impact.”
They decided to aim for two stories per undergraduate class for 50 years (while there were ultimately some gaps, these were beautifully filled by stories from graduates of professional schools). The process that unfolded included emailing all alum organizations, asking interested alums to submit a “story pitch” about their experiences at Yale and selecting which pitches would be invited for elaboration into longer stories. Submissions were edited twice. Then began the complex navigation through the legal process, involving the Office of Risk Management, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Dean’s office.
How could an organization at Yale publish and distribute a book? WLI applied for, and received, a grant for monetary support, and found a great independent publisher who guided them through the publication process. Jen and Ananya also attributed their success to a strong support network of women at Yale, the energy and enthusiasm of the book’s contributors, and the “awesome team and family at the WLI,” in particular the past president Avery, to see the project through to the delivery of five large boxes of books at Jen’s house in early September.
The story continues. The book’s publication marks a milestone—but there’s much more to the journey. During the launch party, WLI Communications Director Julia Zheng introduced several projects that will expand on the book. These include a podcast series, “The Womxn of Yale” which features conversations with the book’s contributors and WLI board members; there are two episodes currently accessible through the WLI website to play on Spotify or Apple TV, with more to come.
A documentary “companion” film based on the anthology is now in the planning stages, in collaboration with film director/ producer Jodi Binstock (“Call Waiting”) and award-winning pianist/composer Amy Rubin, Yale School of Music ’76, who is also one of the book’s contributors. Speaking during the launch, Jodi explained that a documentary film is a great way to “get the word out there,” and is especially welcome during this time of pandemic shutdowns and isolation.
Read more about and buy the book on the WLI website here.
(They will deliver anywhere in the U.S.; international shipping possible upon request)
— Dr. Lydia Temoshok ’72 is a YaleWomen Council member and “Remembering 50” contributor.
Meet the women behind YaleWomen! Click here to learn all about them: who they are; where they live; what they do; and some other interesting/unexpected details about their lives!
YaleWomen Global Newsletter | Summer 2020
- YaleWomen Thanks Outgoing Council Members, Welcomes Incoming Council Members and Officers
- Celebrating the Legacy of Women at the Yale School of Music
- 50WomenatYale150 Celebration Goes Virtual
- Women at Yale Virtual Tour Takes You Around Campus On-Line
- YaleWomen Hosts Zoom Get-Togethers Thru End of July — Register Online to Participate and Connect with Other Yale Women
- YaleWomen Hosts, Sponsors Webinars to Connect Alums While Social Distancing
- Join YaleWomen Houston & The Yale Club of Houston for Virtual Discussion on Sunday, June 28 at 3:00 pm CST
Our YaleWomen Zoom Get-Togethers started at the end of March, as the shutdown tightened its grip all over the world. The first round of sessions, held Sunday and Wednesday evenings April 1 through May 3, attracted an enthusiastic following of alums. In fact, they’ve proved so popular that we’ve recently started a second round for June and July. Hosted by Lisa Fabish, SOM ’99, they’re scheduled for:
- Every other Wednesday starting June 3rd at 4:30 pm Pacific, through July 29th
- Every other Wednesday starting June 10th at 10:30 am Pacific, through July 22nd
Register here to attend upcoming sessions: https://www.yalewomen.org/calendar.
The time, talent, and commitment of many alums make the increasingly important work of YaleWomen possible. As the 2019-2020 year draws to a close, we are especially grateful to Council members whose terms of service come to an end. They leave with our heartfelt thanks and best wishes.
Ursula Burton ’88
Jennifer DeVore ’87
Chelsea Doub ’14 MPH
Shannon Foucault ’06
Susan Lennon ’85 MPPM
Carol Reis Whitehead ’72
As YaleWomen’s visibility and reputation have grown, so, too, has interest in serving on the Council. This year, we had a deep pool of talent to draw on. We are thrilled to announce the results of this year’s election for Council members and officers, for terms that will begin July 1st (* indicates current Council members who have been re-elected for successor terms).
Amy Armitage ’86 MBA*
Seyma Aslan ’10 PhD*
Anne Boucher ’80*
Jessica Demmo Drbul ’96
Emily Friedrichs ’07
Heidi Fung ’03
Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar ’88*
Jane Fincke Orenstein ’78
Sue Pepin ’87*
Claudia Rosenthal ’08, ’14 MMus
Lisa Beth Friedman Savitz ’88*
Lydia Temoshok ’72*
Brenda Ventura ’16 MBA
Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar ’88, Sue Pepin ’87, Lauren Graham ’13 MEM and Dana Allen Sands ’83 have been elected to serve as chair, vice chair, secretary and treasurer, respectively.
This year has been a challenging one for many, if not most, of us. From the devastating and ongoing loss of life, economic turmoil, and social disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, to the worldwide uproar over systemic racial injustice, 2020 has most definitely not been the year that any of us hoped or thought it would be. It is hard to believe that 2020 - which is less than half over - started with the Australian wildfires, which already seem to be such a distant memory; so much has happened since then. And who knows what the rest of the year will bring? Much better, we hope.
Through it all, YaleWomen has been there for the Yale women alum community.
- We have hosted a well-received Climate Emergency: Practical Actions, Equitable Solutions webinar.
- We have co-sponsored a range of webinars on a variety of topics: Women, Men, and Food; Navigating and Thriving in Remote Work Environments; Career Transitions II - How Yale Alumni Successfully Navigated Professional Change; Food Fight: How the Restaurant and Catering Industry is Pivoting to Survive in a COVID-19 World; and Bienvenida Salud: Sustainable Change for Indigenous Women and Their Communities.
- We have launched a series of informal Zoom get-togethers to enable women alums throughout the United States and world to discuss whatever happens to be on their minds, sometimes confronting the issues of the day, sometimes providing a respite from them.
- We have launched the YaleWomen Cross Campus group, providing another way for women alums to connect.
- And we have supported the 50WomenAtYale150 celebration of the 50th anniversary of undergraduate co-education and 150th anniversary of gradual and professional school co-education at Yale.
And we will do even more in the upcoming year.
- We will continue to host or co-sponsor webinars on topics of particular interest to women alums.
- We will continue to host informal Zoom get-togethers and work towards building a truly dynamic virtual community for alums who can’t attend chapter events (whenever we can again host chapter events).
- We will continue to build our online capabilities, including our social media infrastructure, to give women alums more ways to connect with us and one another, whether it be via our website, Cross Campus, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
- And, perhaps most excitingly and most importantly, we will build on the solid foundation of YaleWomen’s original 2011 strategic plan with a new plan that reflects the interests and needs of today’s YaleWomen community. We will incorporate the results of the survey we conducted in September 2019, as well as additional input that we will seek in the coming months, into our new strategic plan. Our goal? An even more engaging, interactive, and relevant YaleWomen, sustainable through the rest of this decade and well into the future.
We have been fortunate to have the support of so many women alums to bring YaleWomen to the point where it is now. And we hope that we will have the support of even more women alums to move YaleWomen into the future. We realize that this is a difficult time for many; if you aren’t in a position to contribute to our fiscal-year-end fundraiser, we understand, and we will continue to be there for you. But if you can contribute, we would be so very grateful. YaleWomen receives no financial support from the University; rather, we rely on contributions from alums to support the work we do, and to advance the work we aspire to do. YaleWomen is truly at an inflection point, and we hope, with your support, to emerge stronger than ever.
Jennifer Ebisemiju Madar, B.A. 1988, Chair
Susan Pepin, B.A. 1987, Vice Chair
Susan Lennon, M.P.P.M. 1985, Secretary and Immediate Past Chair
Dana Allen Sands, B.A. 1983, Treasurer
A visually impressive and remarkably informative virtual campus tour, highlighting the contributions of three centuries of women’s accomplishments at Yale, is au courant with both the current emphasis on nearly everything needing to be virtual in response to COVID-19 public safety recommendations, and with 2019-20 commemorating 50 Women at Yale 150 (50WAY150, now also going virtual). What makes this Women at Yale Virtual Tour particularly prescient is that its website was inaugurated ten years ago, in 2010, featuring a downloadable audio tour and full-color, illustrated brochure with a walking tour and map. This interactive multimedia resource was a gift to the Yale Women Faculty Forum (WFF) from Nancy Alexander ’79, ’84 MBA, and Phillip Bernstein ’79, ’83 M.Arch., co-sponsored by the Yale Visitor Center and the Office of the Secretary.
There are 49 notable spaces, places, and artworks, with historical commentary, of which this writer’s personal favorites include: the quietly moving “Women’s Table” sculpture by Maya Lin ’81, ’86 M.Arch.; Yale Women’s Center (basement, Durfee Hall), home to a number (6 to 25) of women’s groups in residence, and instrumental in making sexual harassment on campus more visible, a legacy initiated in 1977 by then-undergraduate Ann Olivarius ’77, ’86 JD, ’86 MBA; the site of the Yale crew team’s Title IX protests for equality in athletic facilities in 1976, portraits of Yale first women PhDs; and especially appropriate in these multi-challenging times, the Rose Center, conceived by Deborah Rose ’72, ’77 MPH, ’89 PhD, and dedicated in 2006, which incorporates a community component—the Dixwell-Yale University Community Learning Center, into a state-of-the-art Yale Police Department.
— Dr. Lydia Temoshok ’72