Women's Leadership Council newsletter

Upcoming Event

The Value of Gender in STEM Fields

Wednesday, November 15
6:30 p.m. | San Francisco
Brown Women’s Network of San Francisco event hosted by Holly Hagens ’93, Libby Heimark ’76, P’11, P’14, P’17, and Mandy Tachiki ’95 featuring guests Tejal Desai, Ph.D. ’94 and Preetha Basaviah ’91, MD’95

Recent Event

Women’s Heart and Brain Health

Tuesday, October 3
6:30 p.m. | Los Angeles
Brown’s Women Network of Los Angeles event hosted by Sarah Bremner ’07, Natalie Edmonds ’86, P’15, Tamara Horwich, M.D. ’94, Niija Kuykendall ’01, and Donna McGraw Weiss ’89 with featured speakers Tamara Horwich, M.D.’94 and Linda Liau, M.D. ’87

Council News

The WLC is proud to announce that two members have been elected to the Corporation of Brown University:

Bernadette Aulestia ’94

Libby Heimark ’76, P’11, P’14, P’17

Congratulations to our WLC members who have received 2017 Brown Alumni Association Awards:

• Karen Conway ’84, P’16, Alumni Service Award

• Shelley Fidler ’68, P’09, Brown Bear Award


Cara Mund ’16 named North Dakota’s first Miss America.

Monica Owusu-Breen ’90 is executive producer and showrunner of Amazon’s “Midnight, Texas.”

Sophie Hawley-Weld ’14 and her Sofi Tukker bandmate Tucker Halpern ’14 are featured in the new ad for Apple’s iPhone X.

Ashley Stark ’04 creative director of STARK, discusses career lessons, work-life balance, and goals for the future.

Hallie Cantor ’11 talks about writing for The New Yorker and tracing it back to her writing days for the Brown Noser and Brown Jug.

Melanie Whelan ’99 shares her thoughts on work/life balance as a mother of two and CEO of SoulCycle.

Do you have news about yourself or another Brown alumna? Please share it with us to be featured on the WLC website, WLC social media, and future WLC newsletters.

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The Women’s Leadership Council consists of a group of Brown women appointed by the President of the University who, through their leadership, philanthropy, and volunteerism, work toward enhancing Brown by inspiring and engaging the alumnae community as active participants in the life of the University. The Council accomplishes this by demonstrating and encouraging a commitment to philanthropic and volunteer leadership at Brown; providing opportunities to connect Brown alumnae with students as mentors, role models, and advisors; and organizing events, activities, and initiatives that engage Brown alumnae with each other and with the intellectual excitement of the Brown community.


Welcome to our New Members

New Members

This summer, nine new members accepted President Christina H. Paxson’s invitation to serve on the Women’s Leadership Council. The Council is pleased to welcome (from left to right) Lianne Merchant ’82, Kim Wright-King ’90, Grace Song Park, M.D. ’90, Amy Wolf ’90, Sole Feliciano Anselmi ’86, P’18, Ali Fidler Metzl ’04, Vickie Bruhn ’92, and Ellen C. Hunter ’04. (Not pictured: Claudia Palmer ’85)

Join the Brown Women’s Network

In the fall of 2016, with the support of President Paxson, the WLC launched the Brown Women’s Network. Building off successful alumnae engagement activities in New York and Boston, the Brown Women’s Network aims to deepen alumnae engagement and expand our national footprint in four additional regions: Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. These initial chapters provide an opportunity for Brown women to connect with each other at local events and become more engaged with the University and the WLC. Sign up to learn more.

Brown Women Together Challenge Success

As part of the celebration of 125 Years of Women at Brown, the WLC challenged alumnae to donate to the Brown Annual Fund. Over 7,500 women gave nearly $10 million to the Brown Annual Fund in response to the WLC’s Brown Women Together challenge, shattering the 7,125 alumnae participation goal. By exceeding the goal, members of the WLC provided $1.25 million to mark this milestone. The momentum from this challenge influenced nearly 10,000 women to give to the Annual Fund by June 30, 2017.


Member Spotlight: Marcy Sandler ’86, P’15, P’18

Marcy A. Sandler '86, P'15, P'18 When Marcy A. Sandler ’86, P’15, P’18 passed through the Van Wickle Gates and became a part of the Brown alumni community, it felt natural to stay connected to Brown. A self-proclaimed cheerleader for Brown since her days on campus as a tour guide, Marcy has explored all avenues of the Brown volunteer experience, and has found ways for her engagement with Brown to evolve and grow in the 30-plus years since her graduation. She has always made Brown a volunteer priority, and enjoys giving back to a place that has impacted her life in so many ways. As a Brown volunteer, Marcy has delighted in reconnecting with former classmates and making connections across classes in her various roles. In addition, Marcy has valued the relationships she has developed with Brown staff, and says she has been “lucky to get to know well so many of the wonderful people who work so hard on behalf of Brown.” For Marcy, Brown remains a special community that embraces connections, provides opportunities, and feels like family.

Student Spotlight: Xe Chang ’20

Xe Chang '20 When she began looking at colleges, Xe Chang ’20 was unfamiliar with Brown. During her campus visit, however, Xe immediately felt at home. From her first impression of campus to the comforting words of President Paxson’s address to prospective students, Xe quickly found Brown rising to the top of her list. To top it off, Brown’s Swearer Center is host to the nationwide Bonner Fellowship Program, a community engagement program that matches students’ academic interests with their career goals. Despite demanding requirements and eight hours of service each week in addition to regular coursework, Xe is no stranger to a packed schedule. Based on her Minnesota high school experiences with Youth Leadership Alliance and Breakthrough Collaborative, Xe actively sought community service and engagement experiences at Brown.


Welcome Class of 2018 Mentees

New Members

This fall we welcome the 11th class of the Women’s Leadership Council’s mentoring program to the Women’s Launch Pad. Since its inception, the Women’s Launch Pad has grown steadily each year and is now a community of over 1,800 women. Mentees have varied career interests, but the top three for the Class of 2018 are nonprofit, communications, and consulting. The success of the program relies on mentor/mentee matches, a process that includes combing through applications and individually pairing a senior woman with an alumna.

What Are You Reading?

New Members

This year we asked mentees, “What is your favorite book and why?” Read some of our mentees’ recommendations and continue the conversation on the Women’s Launch Pad LinkedIn.

Brown Students for Saving Mothers

After an inspiring service project at the 125 Years of Women at Brown Conference and in partnership with Saving Mothers, former WLC intern Scarlett Bergam ’20 has founded Brown Students for Saving Mothers. With help from classmate Klara Wichterle ’21, Scarlett was motivated to form a student chapter interested in public health, medicine, international relations, and feminism who together would bring the work of Saving Mothers to a college campus. Brown Students for Saving Mothers acts on three principles: education of key issues in global maternal health; fundraising in support of Saving Mothers; and service projects that directly assist women affected by morbidities. In its inaugural year, the student chapter already has 20–30 committed members, including men and women.


Supporting Brown in the Year Ahead

Stacy Palmer ’82, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy and WLC Philanthropy Committee co-chair, envisions the year ahead as an opportunity to educate Brown women about the impact of philanthropy. “We hope to serve as mentors in philanthropy to women across the Brown family,” Stacy said. Stacy notes that philanthropy happens in various ways. Writing a check is important, but so too is serving as a mentor for the WLC’s mentoring program, interviewing prospective students, encouraging classmates to give to the Brown Annual Fund, and so much more. As Stacy highlights, “the message of #BrownWomenTogether is that our collective effort will help ensure our alma mater continues to produce exceptional women who change the world, such as Conference keynotes Janet Yellen, Ph.D. ’67 LLD’98 hon. and Cecile Richards ’80 LHD’10 hon.”

The Brown Promise: The Future of Financial Aid at Brown

Meghan Mozea '19Upon meeting its $120 million fundraising goal, the University will be able to replace loans with scholarship funds in financial aid awards building on need-blind admissions, and other initiatives to make a Brown education more accessible to moderate-income families. If $30 million is committed by calendar year end, The Brown Promise will be effective for the 2018-2019 academic year. Make a gift to support this initiative and have an immediate impact for Brown’s future.

Philanthropic Education

Caitlin Heising '10 Caitlin Heising ’10, Vice Chair of the Heising-Simons Foundation, is featured in the New York Times for her work with her family’s foundation. A panelist at the Conference, Caitlin says she always took interest in her parents’ philanthropic efforts and was involved with international nonprofits as a Brown student. When she joined the board of her family fund, she helped spearhead a grant-making effort focused on human rights.