News Menu

Three Proven Steps to Advance the World's Women on International Women's Day

March 8, 2010
Op-Ed Columnist
Today is International Women’s Day, and in fact the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. It’s a date that is much better known abroad but is beginning to get more traction in the U.S. as well. So what interventions get the most bang for the buck in raising the status of women around the world? What is most helpful in overcoming injustices such as human trafficking and acid attacks? I’d welcome your ideas below, but let me toss out a few of my suggestions for most effective interventions:

Women Home From War

From the Chronicle of Higher Education

March 7, 2010
The first time I heard a woman describe her deployment in glowing terms, I was taken aback. Marine Colonel Jenny Holbert told me that being in charge of public affairs for the second battle of Fallujah was "probably one of the biggest events of my life, other than birthing two children." I thought, cynically, that this enthusiasm was all part of her role as a public-affairs officer. It took me a while to understand how compelling the experiences of being in a combat zone could be for the women I talked with. Colonel Holbert's enthusiasm for deployment was only one of many surprises I encountered over the course of the 52 interviews I did with women soldiers, sailors, coasties, airmen, and marines across the eastern seaboard.

Risk and Opportunity for Women in 21st Century

March 5, 2010
PARIS — Daniel Louvard does not believe in affirmative action. Time and again, the scientists in his Left Bank cancer laboratory have urged him to recruit with gender diversity in mind. But Mr. Louvard, research director at the Institut Curie and one of France’s top biochemists, just keeps hiring more women. “I take the best candidates, period,” Mr. Louvard said. There are 21 women and 4 men on his team.

President Obama Names Simmons College Graduate Ann Fudge ‘73 to National Bipartisan Commission to Reduce Federal Deficit

From Simmons
Ann Fudge, Simmons '73

March 2, 2010
BOSTON (March 2, 2010) — Simmons College graduate Ann Fudge, former CEO Young & Rubicam Brands, one of the world's leading global marketing communications groups, has been named to the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

Bryn Mawr Alumna Named to Obama Administration


March 1, 2010
Alice Rivlin ’52, a senior fellow in the Economic Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington and visiting professor at Georgetown University, had been named by President Barack Obama to serve on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Rivlin is one of two women’s college alumnae named to the Commission. The other is Ann Fudge.

Taking on the B-School Boys Club

Interest in business programs is growing at women's colleges, and a second one recently won AACSB accreditation. More are expected to follow

February 24, 2010
By Alison Damast
When Deborah Merrill-Sands became dean of Simmons College's School of Management in 2004, she quickly got to work on the school's effort to become accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Obtaining accreditation was a crucial step for the women's college, which competes with several other accredited business schools in the crowded Boston education market. She wanted to counteract any perception that the school didn't offer as rigorous a curriculum as its coed neighbors. "I was concerned that some people may perceive it as a soft MBA or an MBA-lite and imbue it with certain gender stereotypes," she says. "By having the accreditation, that question is off the table."

As Girls Become Women, Sports Pay Dividends

February 16, 2010
Almost four decades after the federal education law called Title IX opened the door for girls to participate in high school and college athletics, a crucial question has remained unanswered: Do sports make a long-term difference in a woman’s life?

The Devoted: She Spent Her Life Transforming Trinity

From the Washington Post

So where does Pat McGuire -- and the university she rebuilt -- go from here?
February 14, 2010
By Daniel de Vise
A dusting of snow had thinned the crowd that turned out to watch the Trinity Washington University women's basketball team play Valley Forge Military College on a gloomy Saturday afternoon. But one fan at the far end of the court made the most of the game, and followed the players patiently with her camera lens as she cheered a bit louder than everyone else.

Two Trinity Washington University Alumnae Named to Obama Administration

Trinity Washington University

February 12, 2010
The U.S. Senate has confirmed two Trinity alumnae, M. Patricia Smith '74 and Ellen Gloninger Murray '70, to serve in top posts in the administration of President Barack Obama. Smith was confirmed by the Senate on February 4 to serve as Solicitor of the U.S. Department of Labor, the third highest position in the department. Murray was confirmed on February 11 by the Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Women Will Double the World's Supply of Ideas

February 12, 2010
Excerpted from SONIC BOOM: Globalization at Mach Speed Copyright 2009 by Gregg Easterbrook, Published by Random House

Home prices keep falling, but productivity is rising fast. GDP grew 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter, yet unemployment remains stubbornly high. Inflation is nonexistent, while the consumer confidence index just rose to 55.9 from 53.6—whatever that means. Can't make sense of these economic indicators? Don't worry, because nobody else can, either.

Here is what you really need to know: a Sonic Boom is coming. It will be caused by globalization. And while globalization may be driving you crazy, it's just getting started. Thirty years ago, Shenzhen, China, did not exist; today, it has nearly 9 million residents, roughly the same as New York City. In a single generation, it has grown from a village of tar-paper shacks into an important urban center. It has become the world's fourth-busiest port, busier than Los Angeles and Long Beach combined. Never before has a great city been built so fast, nor a productive economy established from so little.

Measuring Success for the Real Majority in Higher Education Today

by Patricia A. McGuire
Trusteeship Magazine, January/February 2010

Yvonne is a typical college student in 2010. She’s working on a paper due in her american Fiction course. She has to finish some reading for her gender communication course, and has a nagging worry about passing statistics. She turns away from her computer to help her son, a second-grader, with his spelling homework, and then is distracted by her pre-school daughter’s insistence that she give equal time to her crayon drawing. Yvonne also remembers that she promised her boss that she’d be at work early the next day to help prepare an important contract presentation. Yvonne, a single parent, knows that her collegiate studies are a good example for her children, but she feels stressed about balancing all of the many demands on her time and energy—being a good mother, successful student, and productive worker.

Responsibilities: College and Triplets

February 5, 2010
When Carmen Twillie Ambar tells people about her job, they’re impressed. When she tells them about her kids, they’re impressed, too. So when they put the two together -- that she’s a college president and the mother of triplets who aren’t quite three years old -- they’re in awe.

“I get a lot of 'wow's,” says Ambar, 40, who’s been president of Cedar Crest College, in Allentown, Pa., since August 2008. “People just can’t believe that I’m the president of a college, the mother of young triplets and somehow put on shoes that match each other.”

A Working Parent's Babysitter Blues

From the Washington Post

February 3, 2010
By Ruth Marcus

My husband and I were away last week -- working, but away. My mother was watching the kids, but she also works. So it was particularly important, I told my new but already somewhat spotty babysitter, that she turn up on time, every day. Monday, she came. Tuesday, there was trouble with her own child care; she is a single mom of a 2-year-old. Wednesday, her car broke down. Thursday, the car wasn't fixed. Friday, she came but had to leave early; child-care issues, again.

Julie Anna Potts (Bryn Mawr College ’91) Appointed Chief Counsel to Senate Agriculture Committee

January 29, 2010
Julie Anna Potts ’91 has been named chief counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who chairs the committee, announced Potts’ appointment in December.

Potts, an Alabama native who majored in English at Bryn Mawr, earned her law degree from George Washington University Law School. Before her appointment, she served as general counsel to the American Farm Bureau Federation. She sits on the advisory board of the National Agricultural Law Center.

Where are the Women on Wallstreet?

January 27, 2010
When Sallie Krawcheck was hired six months ago as president of global wealth and investment management at Bank of America, she was besieged with e-mail messages from current and former Wall Street women celebrating her return to the fray. Ms. Krawcheck had been forced out as head of a comparable unit at Citigroup in August 2008, a highly publicized departure. Hers has been the only comeback among the three highest-ranking Wall Street women removed during the financial crisis.

She Works. They're Happy.

January 22, 2010
EVER since Betty Friedan urged women to leave the house and pursue careers, people have argued over whether women’s marriages and romantic prospects would suffer for it. Was a financially successful woman a threat to her husband or a relief?

Last week, a report from the Pew Research Center about what it called “the rise of wives” revived the debate. Based on a study of Census data, Pew found that in nearly a third of marriages, the wife is better educated than her husband. And though men, over all, still earn more than women, wives are now the primary breadwinner in 22 percent of couples, up from 7 percent in 1970

Faculty and Student Researchers at Hollins University Study Bacterial Contamination from Soda Fountain Machines

January 12, 2010
-Tiffany O'Callaghan

E.Coli in the fountain soda supply?
Soda fountains may dispense more than Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper, according to new research to be published this month in the International Journal of Food Microbiology. In an analysis of 90 soda and water samples taken from fountains in 30 different fast food restaurants in the Roanoke Valley region of Virginia, researchers from Hollins University found that 48% tested positive for coliform bacteria, or bacteria found in human and animal feces, 11% tested positive for Escherichia coli, and more than 17% tested positive for Chryseobacterium meningosepticum, which has been shown to cause pneumonia and even meningitis in people with compromised immune systems. So, how are these microbes ending up in our cokes? And, what does it mean for public health?

Female Power

From The Economist

December 30, 2009

Across the rich world more women are working than ever before. Coping with this change will be one of the great challenges of the coming decades.

The Love's Baked In

by Aimee Lee Ball for
After her son's diagnosis, Gretchen Holt Witt had a sweet idea: a cookie business that raises funds for pediatric cancer.
For Gretchen Holt Witt, life is divided neatly into before and after February 2007. That's when her 2-year-old son, Liam, was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma, a cancer of the nervous system. "It's like a bomb went off in my life," she says. "As a parent, the last thing you want to hear is that your child has the C word."

Making Flex Time a Win-Win

December 13, 2009
THIS fall, I spoke at Women on Wall Street, an annual event in New York that attracts some 2,000 women, most of them executives in the financial sector. As a wrap-up to the program, the moderator threw me a softball question: What do women like me do to unwind?

Teachers as Students

December 10, 2009
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The dozen or so buildings that make up the core of the small, tree-dotted campus of Saint Joseph College create the ideal environs to get lost in a world of books, art and ideas. But while the women’s college’s grassy quad and brown brick Georgian architecture may seem distant from reality, one of its newest academic offerings is firmly rooted in the here-and-now: helping teachers and parents understand autism spectrum disorders as diagnoses, if not the rate of incidence, continue to rise.

A Place Where Violence Against Women Has Doubled: On TV

With Incidents Doubling In Five Years, It's Fair To Question Effect On Culture
November 29, 2009
You might think any community would be outraged to discover that violence against its women had more than doubled during a five-year period. Our nation has seen such an increase in the on-air television community, but no outrage has yet materialized.

Four Women’s Colleges Among US Colleges with the Most International Students in 2008-09:

Mount Holyoke College (22%), Wellesley College (9%), Smith College (8%) and the College of Saint Benedict (7%)
November 16, 2009
By Karin Fischer
The number of foreign students attending American colleges hit an all-time high in 2008, capping three consecutive years of vigorous growth, according to new data from the Institute of International Education. Some 671,616 international students attended U.S. institutions in 2008-9, an increase of almost 8 percent from a year earlier. First-time-student enrollments grew even more robustly, by nearly 16 percent.

The Mismeasure of Woman

October 24, 2009
FINALLY! I hear we’re all living in a women’s world now. For the first time, women make up half the work force. The Shriver Report, out just last week, found that mothers are the major breadwinners in 40 percent of families. We have a female speaker of the House and a female secretary of state. Thirty-two women have served as governors. Thirty-eight have served as senators. Four out of eight Ivy League presidents are women.

Introduction: A Different Kind of College Ranking

September / October 2009
by the Editors

In the space of a little more than a week this past June, two university presidents revealed just how cynical they’re willing to be.

First, Clemson University President James F. Barker admitted to rating Clemson as the single greatest university in America—better than Harvard, Yale, or any other—when he filled out the reputational survey that drives the annual U.S. News & World Report college rankings. Soon after, a newspaper investigation uncovered similar shenanigans at the University of Florida, where President Bernie Machen ranked his institution as equal to the Ivies while downgrading all other public institutions in Florida as mediocre at best.