STATE OF THE COLLEGE ADDRESS 2011 Dean Lynn M. Gangone
Welcome to the 2011 Fall Luncheon and our annual state of the college address. Welcome to our amazing students, our dedicated faculty and staff, our generous donors and dear friends. A special welcome to our dean emerita Mike Bloom; Mike, we are grateful for your leadership and your vision—to our current students, it was under Dean Emerita Bloom’s leadership that TWC was founded and that our home, the Chambers Center for the Advancement of Women, was created. Thank you!
Gratefulness. Gratitude. In these times, we often think about what we don't have, what we have yet to achieve. We sometimes see the world as a place of deficit, and we worry. Yet as I consider our college and the state of our college in 2011, I want to be abundant, to think about what we have, what we are grateful for. Gratitude—join me in watching this video by Louis Schwartzberg as we collectively contemplate gratitude.
Gratitude. In the video, our narrator asks--What do you see? What is the uniqueness of this day? Let me tell you what I see as I look around, as I reflect on the gratitude that I feel as dean of this extraordinary college...
Today I see the faces of our glorious students, our committed, dedicated, resilient students. I see students like...
Kristen Luevanos, employed by Delta Air Lines Global and a retired Army veteran with 22 years of service, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Claudia Villalba, a business major with a passion to become a family law and immigration lawyer, working full time and raising her children in partnership with her fiance.
Kayla Salmon, a communication major and one of our community-based research scholars—I watched Kayla as a panel participant for the GALS outreach program and as I watched her interact with our eight grade visitors I was impressed all over again.
Tricia Stevens, a law and society major and a student who dared to take my leadership studies course last spring, now the district office manager for Congresswoman Diana DeGette.
Sandra Padilla, an information technology studies major, recent graduate of Community College of Denver, a consummate volunteer, and mother to two nieces and a nephew.
These women I see today are just a few examples of our amazing TWC students, and for each of you, I am grateful.
Today I recall the faces of our accomplished, supportive, and inspirational alumnae from both Colorado Women's College and The Women's College—and I see so many of you in the room today—thank you so much to all of our alums. Let me take a moment to brag about a few of them. Women like
Anya McManis, BA in communication with her own business, Kreative Keystrokes, who is traveling to Florence, Italy later this year to take part in the Florence Biennale International Art Show.
Julia Parsley, a BBA graduate working at the Nike Foundation as a brand communication manager; Julia is going to Rwanda for two months to work with adolescent girls there and in other developing countries.
Carter Prescott BA from Colorado Women’s College—Carter is not only an accomplished entrepreneur with an international consulting practice, she is an accomplished game show contestant who donated her winnings from “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” to TWC.
Another CWC alumna, Annie Christopher, who with her husband founded Annie’s Naturals, a company that claimed nearly 50% of the natural food salad business market before selling the company in the early 2000s.
Bridget Van Doren, BBA and former Quinette Scholar, now working as a cost analyst for CH2MHill, joining three other Women’s College alumnae at CH2MHill, a Catalyst-award winning company for it support of the advancement of women.
And while IBM has finally named a woman to lead the company after only 100 years, I see our own Carita Watson, BBA graduate and a University College master’s graduate, who is the highest-ranking executive for IBM in the state of Colorado!
For these alums, and all of our alums from CWC and TWC, those of you fueling mentoring programs, connecting across the country, and keeping women’s education relevant and treasured, I am grateful.
A recent graduate, Melody Ruark, BA in communication, is currently with the State Department's Foreign Service Institute. Melody wrote to me this week about her experience—and she said:
Of all the lessons that I am learning while working at the State Department, it is that women-led households will transform villages in Africa if they are empowered to become entrepreneurs. Of course, under your leadership at TWC this is nothing new . . . More than ever I believe that passionate people with forward thinking and innovative ideas, especially those at TWC, will be the ones to propose and implement holistic solutions to bring peace and prosperity to those fighting to survive. We need to hold corporations in all industries accountable for their role in perpetuating instability and corruption abroad and leave Africa a better place then when they arrived. Finally, I love the positive outlook and spirituality of Africa. We have so much to learn in terms of living balanced lives within our communities. As TWC students and alumnae we need to use our power to empower others to revolutionize their communities in our global village, or as TWC promotes, "Advancing the world, one woman at a time."
Speaking of advancing the world, one woman at a time, let me take a moment to thank a TWC donor who has created the capacity to expand our students’ undergraduate education through scholarships for international travel and study. This donor, who I adore, chooses to remain anonymous, but that doesn’t stop me from telling you all about our first program using scholarship support from this deeply generous and compassionate philanthropist!
In March 2012, TWC students will travel with Professor Tiffani Lennon, chair of our law and society program, and Professor Nilsa Mahon, founder and president of Mahon Consulting, a bilingual professional who has worked extensively with companies in Latin America, Europe, and Asia. Our faculty will lead students as they visit entrepreneurship incubators, human resource strategists, explore comparative labor law, convene with scholars at the University of Uruguay, as well as explore national museums and other treasures. Each student will have the experience of staying with a host family, so that their experience will be one of immersion in culture. For 2013 we are currently in conversation with EducoAfrica and exploring a possible collaboration with the University of Cape Town law and society program for a trip to South Africa. The broadened capacity this college has to take our students beyond our borders is due to this donor, and for this I am grateful.
About our donors. Talk about gratitude! Can I tell you a little bit more about what I see as a result of their generosity and belief in our college and our students?
A former Colorado Women’s College administrator is creating, with the University of Denver match, an endowed scholarship of nearly $1 million.
Another former Colorado Women’s College faculty member is partnering with a CWC graduate and that graduate’s husband, a DU Sturm College of Law alum, to create a scholarship at the college of law expressly for a TWC student.
A Daniels College of Business graduate has just endowed another scholarship at our college in her family’s name.
A Daniels faculty member who teaches at TWC has just added even more funds to an endowment that bears his sister’s name, and a TWC faculty member has just established an endowed another scholarship in honor and memory of her grandmother. Talk about gratitude!
And let me not forget to tell all of you that nearly all of the TWC staff and faulty are donors themselves, participating in the university’s ASCEND campaign—100% of TWC staff and faculty have committed to support the campaign—and may I personally thank Shelley Popke for leading through her example and efforts to achieve such a remarkable percentage of participation! For all of this, I am deeply grateful.
Gratitude. I am so grateful for the inspiration, dedication, and tenacity of the staff and faculty of The Women’s College. Their collective efforts have given us programs to support and challenge our students as scholars, courses and academic programs to strengthen our students’ academic and intellectual competencies. In this past year
A dual degree in information technology studies with University College was created, and we will develop additional dual degrees with UColl, as well as develop the capacity to share online courses between our two units.
A chapter of the international business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma, was established at TWC with five students inducted this spring.
Our honor students, the Community-Based research Scholars, are working with the Colorado Special Olympics on Project Unify; Colorado is one of eight programs chosen as a High Activation state in this national initiative, which promotes inclusive educational environments. Our CBR students developed an assessment manual to evaluate the effectiveness of Project Unify, and will continue work on this project throughout the year.
Programs like Emerging Scholars and TWC 101 continue to set our students up for academic success.
Our first class of students completed their entrepreneurial studies certificate, and our center for women’s entrepreneurship—ABLEforWomen—continues to thrive and grow. We will celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week in November with partners like the Canadian Consulate, Public Service Credit Union, and speakers CEO Sue Allon and Dr. Jana Matthews.
Our newest visiting scholar, Professor Anne Munch, is here with us today –Anne would you please stand? Anne is an internationally recognized speaker, trainer and consultant committed to eradicating sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, and Anne has developed and delivered training on crimes of violence against women in the majority of the United States, Europe, and Asia for both civilian and military audiences. Anne will be working with our law and society program examining issues of policy and advocacy.
I have just appointed an associate dean for inclusive excellence. Professor Art Jones, would you please stand? It is with gratitude that I acknowledge Art for his commitment and for taking on this critical leadership role at the college. Under Art’s leadership TWC will be a DU leader as a college committed to inclusive excellence.
For this work and all the work of our dedicated faculty and staff, I am grateful.
Liz Miller and Roseanne Jeurgens talked about the Half the Sky fair, their commitment to women globally, and their philanthropy in support of Project Education Sudan, Half the Sky, and scholarships at The Women’s College. Lambda Pi Eta, our communication honor society, and Women in Communication, set the bar for student engagement in philanthropic work. As the college instills in its students the capacity to be entrepreneurial, to exercise leadership and engage in public policy, and to be intentional philanthropists, endeavors like the Half the Sky fair are evidence of the deep commitments our students and alumnae make, and for this I am grateful.
To again quote our video narrator, gratitude is living each day to our fullest potential, living as if this day were the first day and the last day of our lives. I want to acknowledge two alumnae, each of whom lived each day to their fullest, two extraordinary women from the class of 2004 we lost this year.
Stephanie Lynch BA summa cum laude from The Women’s College and Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado Law School. Stephanie passed away in August, and is survived by her two children, her husband, her mother and her siblings. I first came to know Stephanie in 2008 when she was the alumnae representative to the college’s strategic planning process. Stephanie lived each day to the fullest with passion and with deep commitment to be the change she wanted to see in the world. After her younger son was diagnosed with autism in 1996, Stephanie began a life-long commitment and zeal for fighting for the rights and concerns of children and parents with special education needs. She was a dedicated volunteer, and in addition to graduating from TWC with honors her other achievements included the University of Colorado Law Review, the Board of Editors, and the Resource Editor. She was admitted to the Colorado Bar in October 2007. Stephanie worked at the Colorado Department of Education as a senior consultant in civil rights, a dream of hers, achieved.
Just several weeks ago on October 10 we lost Janna Shaver. Janna is survived by her father Jack, former Colorado State Legislative Director, her mother Barbara, and her sister, Lisa, and her grandmother. Janna would have graduated from the university’s Sturm College of Law next May and was pursuing a master’s in legal administration. Janna achieved her BBA with honors from The Women’s College, and her parents noted that after honing her ‘women’s rights’ advocacy from an early age, attending “The Women’s College” was an ideal environment for her education (read the card). Her work at the Sturm College of Law was focused on improvements in the legal system, and law school Dean Marty Katz was working with Janna and members of the faculty on a significant legal reform project. Janna was not only an advocate of the underserved in the judicial system, she was an enormous lover of pets, in particular, her beloved chocolate cocker spaniel “IZZY.” Janna remained active in the TWCAA and as a mentor in the Mentoring Program.
There is a poem by Mary Oliver that I believe represents the qualities of Stephanie and Janna and all of the alumnae and students of The Women’s College.
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
For The Women’s College student, her one wild and precious life includes the achievement of her undergraduate degree and it is I who am honored, and deeply grateful, that I can stand witness to the work of our students, our alumnae, our donors, and our friends. That this college continues to educate women to boldly lead in the communities where they live, work and engage in this century is a testament to the tenacity, belief, and commitment of each and every one of you in this room that I see today. In closing, it is with gratitude that I say thank you for all you do and for celebrating this day with me and The Women’s College of the University of Denver.