Read the latest on Brown Women
Women's Leadership Council newsletter


Alumni Fall Weekend & Volunteer Celebration
September 23-24
The Brown Alumni Association and Division of Advancement invite all alumni leaders and volunteers to the annual summit for workshops, faculty sessions, a block party, and more.

125 Years of Women at Brown Conference
May 5-6
Brown and the WLC invite you to celebrate the outstanding accomplishments, contributions, and history of women at Brown. Join the event Facebook page for up-to-date information on keynote speakers, panelists, and other exciting developments!

Council News

Shelley Fidler ’68, P’09
Many, many thanks to Shelley Fidler ’68, P’09 for her dedicated and loyal service as co-chair of the Council. Shelley will continue as Chair Emerita and a member of the Operating Council, for which we are all grateful.

Brown Women in the News

Oldest living American Goldie Corash Michelson ’24 passes away at 113 years old.

Meet Tony Award-winning Jill Furman ’90 who helped bring Broadway sensation Hamilton to the stage.

WLC member Joelle Murchison ’95 named Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at UCONN.

Extreme pilot Emily Biss Wilson ’96 tests planes before airline delivery.

Actress Yaya DaCosta ’04 stars in her first full-time cast role on NBC’s Chicago Med.

Nicole Pollock ’08 to join Providence Mayor as Chief of Staff in September.

Women’s Crew alumna and three-time All-American Tessa Gobbo ’13 is on her way to the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Varsity Co-ed Sailing alumna and three-time All-American Louisa Chafee ’14 is going to 2016 Summer Olympics in a new discipline.

Immunobiology concentrator Jahnavi Rudrakshala ’17 shares her personal story about her love of Brown.

Incoming first year Nicolaia Rips ’20 publishes memoir about growing up in the infamous Chelsea Hotel.

Join the WLC on



Member Spotlight: Alexandra E. Mandis ’95

Alexandra E. Mandis

As an international student, Alexandra E. Mandis was President of the Brown International Organization, Photo Editor of the Brown Daily Herald, and Co-Chair of her Annual Fund Senior Class Gift Campaign, among other activities. Though Alexandra departed Brown through the Van Wickle Gates in 1995, she has remained ever true as an active alumna leader in the Brown community, which has remained an integral part of her life. Alexandra is on the Women’s Leadership Council Executive Committee and serves as the Communications Co-Chair. She is also a member of the 125 Years of Women at Brown Conference Steering Committee, a member of the University‚Äôs Advisory Council for the College, a member of the Brown Annual Fund Leadership Council, Vice President of the Class of 1995, and a member of the Alumni Interviewing Program. Alexandra has made a tremendous impact as an alumna, and has proven time and again what it means, and what it takes, to be a leader.

Achieving Career Goals as a Working Mom

Pamela Lenehan

In her Huffington Post article, executive, author, working mother, and WLC member Pamela Lenehan ’74, AM ’74, P’03, P’06 discusses prejudices against mothers in the workplace. Pam explains that regardless of how "family friendly" your company claims to be, if you are overwhelmed with being both a mother and a career-woman, confiding in someone in the office isn’t always the best option. It could hurt your career or stunt professional growth because employers may decide that a higher-level job would be too challenging for you as a working mother. Instead call a friend or someone outside of the office who supports you. As Pam states, "The important thing is that the decision about your career trajectory should be your decision — not someone else’s."

Howard ’70 LHD’16 hon. Receives Honorary Degree

Jean Howard

Jean Howard ’70 LHD’16 hon., a loyal Brown alumna, was one of eight Brown University honorary degree recipients in the 2015-2016 academic year. As a scholar, teacher, and administrator, Howard has advocated for diversity in higher education and has made significant contributions to the fields of early modern literature and the history of drama.


Spotlight: Givens Parr ’16

Givens Parr ’16 was introduced to Brown by her tenth grade English teacher, a Brown graduate. Givens researched the University and felt it was a strong fit, and two years later was accepted. Givens, an East Asian Studies concentrator, had many mentors while attending Brown, who taught her lessons of Dostoevsky, Classical Chinese, Chinese vernacular literature, Tang Dynasty poetry, and most important of all, sticking to her guns, having confidence in her own intelligence, and how to use sass when she needs to. Givens joined the Women’s Launch Pad for an opportunity to be connected to a "wise, interesting Brown alumna." Not only did she get wonderful guidance, but she also made a connection with a lifelong mentor.

Brown Welcomes Young Scholars Conference

What does it take to thrive in academia? Meredith Hastings, associate professor of earth, environmental and planetary sciences at Brown, convened the second annual Young Scholars Conference (YSC) at Brown in June. The YSC offers support and professional development for graduate students and post-doctoral researchers as they prepare to enter the workforce. Hastings emphasizes the importance of mentorship for succeeding in academia. She is also one of the founders of the Earth Science Women’s Network, a nonprofit peer-mentoring group.

Join the Women’s Launch Pad on LinkedIn for mentor-focused articles and opportunities.


BrownConnect: Beyond the Classroom Challenge

BrownConnect logo The WLC is thrilled to announce the success of the BrownConnect: Beyond the Classroom Challenge! Thanks to the generosity of the WLC, the $1 million Challenge inspired the creation 25 new BrownConnect Internship Funds by members of the Brown community. The WLC gives special thanks to Chair Emerita Shelley Fidler ’68, P’09 for her rigorous planning, execution, and successful implementation of the Challenge. Congratulations and many thanks to all involved in this important initiative!

Sustainable Investment Fund (SIF)

Sophie Purdom The Sustainable Investment Fund is a student-initiated effort that includes senior administrators and faculty in an undergraduate course focused on sustainability-based investing. Sophie Purdom ’16, an environmental science concentrator with a focus on economics and policy, led the initiative in an effort to explore investment options that would resonate with students and alumni. SIF also complements Brown’s effort to promote sustainability on campus and beyond, in accordance with the University’s strategic plan, Building on Distinction. Unlike most endowed funds at Brown, SIF welcomes gifts of any size.

The Power of Women

COP cover Matthew Lambert, Vice President for development at the College of William and Mary, told the Chronicle of Philanthropy that in many cases, women have "decision-making power over couples’ wealth." The June 2016 edition of COP, edited by WLC Executive Committee member and Philanthropy Co-Chair Stacy Palmer ’82, explains the power of women in nonprofits, and the impact female-based fundraising has on the success of an organization.