In Conversation with Caroline H. Van ’79, 2019 Recipient of the Yale Medal


Image courtesy of YAA

Recently, YaleWomen Council Member Akosua Barthwell Evans ’90 JD interviewed Caroline H. Van ’79 — whom she met several years ago when she was a delegate to the Yale Alumni Association (YAA) Assembly and Ms. Van was an officer of the YAA Board of Governors — about her entire “Yale life cycle.” 

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From Privilege to Activism: Sophie Ascheim ’22 Wins Oscar and Fights for Menstrual Equity

Can you change the world in 26 minutes? Sophie Ascheim ’22 did just that, by co-executive producing an Oscar-winning film: “Period. End of Sentence.” This short documentary, less than a half-hour in length, has nevertheless brought global attention to menstrual inequity – the inaccessibility of clean menstrual supplies for many women and girls. The film’s message, though, is one of hope and empowerment. As women in a poor Indian village use a machine to make clean menstrual pads, which they then sell, they decrease the stigma around menstruation and increase their opportunities for income, education, and greater participation in family and civic life.



Above: Sophie Ascheim ’22 talks about her activism with Joellyn Gray ’81 MBA at a YaleWomen Connecticut event in November. After viewing Sophie’s Oscar-winning documentary, “Period. End of Sentence,” and participating in a Q&A with her, attendees packed kits of menstrual supplies that were donated to a New Haven agency. The event was co-sponsored by 1stGenYale, the Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA) New England chapter, the Yale School of Nursing Alumni Association, and the Yale School of Public Health Alumni Association.

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Contribute to YaleWomen!

Connecting women, igniting ideas, transforming the world ...

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As Yale women alums, we share a responsibility and desire to make a substantial difference in the world. YaleWomen brings together the diverse perspectives and strengths of a community of women—you and each of us around the world—built through our common experiences at Yale. We seek to amplify the voices of and elevate the opportunities for women to transform the world—through this newsletter, webinars, chapter events, social media, and such events as the Award for Excellence.

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YaleWomen is an all-volunteer organization open to and serving the more than 50,000 women alums. We do not charge dues, and we are not financially sustained by the University. We rely on the generosity of alums, like you, who share YaleWomen’s vision and want to help move it forward.

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Support the Yale College Council (YCC) Womxn's Stipend Program!

Throughout the history of Yale College Council, womxn in government have been combatting challenges that disproportionately affect women and gender minorities. For example, it was womxn who were responsible for the installment of a sexual wellness machine in Bass Library as well as for ensuring the accessibility of the LiveSafe app, which offers resources to sexual misconduct victims. 

However, low-income students, particularly those who seek to serve at the highest echelons of student government, often come up against financial barriers that can strongly inhibit their ability to pursue leadership opportunities and fully meet their YCC responsibilities. In order to make YCC a more accessible space, we hope to implement a stipend program to support students while they serve on YCC. 

If you would like to support this stipend program and make YCC a more powerful incubator for student leaders, please email the Womxn's Affinity Network chair, Aliesa Bahri ’22, at [email protected]. Thank you so much for your consideration!

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A Call for Stories from Women’s Leadership Initiative at Yale (YWLI)



In recognition of 50 years of coeducation at Yale College and 150 years of coeducation at Yale University, the Women's Leadership Initiative at Yale (YWLI) will be publishing a book of stories from alumni and current students. YWLI is seeking to collect pitches from as many people as possible in order to make the book representative of the many students who have come through Yale in the last 50 years. Pitches can be submitted for consideration through the link below until January 15th; YWLI will notify submitters by January 25th if their pitch has been chosen. Please direct any questions or concerns to [email protected]. Please share this link widely!


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“A picture is worth a thousand words”

Among the abundance of riches on the 50WomenAtYale150 website are images from the 50th anniversary Commemorative Weekend that was held on campus September 19-22, 2019. Be sure to check the calendar for new events that have been posted, Projects to Preserve Our History, and videos as well as the History of Women at Yale.

Mark your calendars for the 50WomenAtYale150 Celebration Weekend, November 6-7, 2020. More information to follow!

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Dr. Deborah Rose ’72, Integrating Learning and Community

Deborah Rose has multiple and multidimensional connections with Yale. Let me count the ways: a First Woman who entered Yale College when doors were opened to women undergraduates in September ’69, Deborah has three Yale degrees: ’72, ’77 MPH, and ’89 PhD (in epidemiology). Her father, the late Frederick P. Rose ’44E, founding Chair of the Association of Yale Alumni (now Yale Alumni Association), received the Yale Medal in 1976. Husband Dr. Jan A.J. Stolwijk, now Professor Emeritus, was formerly Chair of the Yale Medical School Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. Daughter Sarah L.S. Rose ’17 now works on affordable housing, as does her uncle, Deborah’s brother Jonathan F.P. Rose ’74. Capping off this enumerative list, Deborah was the second woman of Yale College to receive Yale’s highest award for dedicated service to Yale in 2006, the Yale Medal, and half of the first father-daughter pair to be so recognized.

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YaleWomen DC Event Features Patti Russo, Executive Director of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale

On Tuesday, October 22nd, YaleWomen DC hosted Patti Russo, Executive Director of the Women's Campaign School at Yale. WCS is a non-partisan, issue-neutral leadership program with a mission to increase the number and influence of women in elected and appointed offices in the United States and around the globe. Ms. Russo was interviewed by Eleanor LeCain ’73, a founding member of YaleWomen and the founder of YaleWomen DC. Ms. LeCain has a long history of involvement with political campaigns. The event drew about 25 women and was held at Vital Voices, a DC-based organization that seeks to build female leaders globally. Ms. Russo spoke about WCS’s history and the formidable impact the organization has had in inspiring and training women to lead since its founding more than 20 years ago. Several WCS alums in the audience  shared their own experiences of the transformative nature of the week-long summer program. By the end of the evening, many attendees were inspired to investigate the WCS further and were considering attending WCS’ one-day intensive training (The Basics) or its week-long summer training session. 


Sara Romeyn ’91, YaleWomen DC Co-Chapter Head

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YaleWomen Connecticut Visits the Peabody Museum

Sarah Wakefield Adhya ’03 MEM shares her experience

On Sunday, November 10th, nearly 30 YaleWomen ​Connecticut alums, family and friends visited the ​Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. The visit included stops at the “Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks” exhibit, the entomology archives ​with Nicole Palffy-Muhoray '16 PhD (who is Assistant Director of Student Programs at the Museum), the Ladies First exhibit, which was mounted in conjunction with 50WomenAtYale150 to showcase women in STEM, and the Great Hall. We spoke with Sarah Wakefield Adhya '03 MEM, who joined the tour with her husband, Nilanjan Adhya '05 MBA, and their two children, aged 6 and 9.

(Yale Peabody Museum will soon undergo a comprehensive renovation. The Fossil Halls will close December 31, 2019 and the Museum will be closed to the public beginning July 1, 2020. Plan your visit soon!)

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Join the YaleWomen Council

Our Mission: “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."

As YaleWomen approaches its first decade (a noteworthy milestone for an all-volunteer organization!) its leadership body, the YaleWomen Council, is seeking strong, energetic leaders committed to helping us sustain our progress and support our important mission. Please consider joining us! Read more here about how to apply to the YaleWomen Council.

Applications are due March 15, 2020. 

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