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Janet Yellen, Gov. Raimondo to speak at women’s conference

Conference to celebrate role of women at Brown, bringing together alums from across classes

Women who have played a critical role in shaping Brown on and off campus will be celebrated early May. The 125 Years of Women at Brown Conference will bring around 700 alums back to campus May 5 and 6 for a series of lectures, panels and events.

Speakers include Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen ’67, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage ’86 P’20 and R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo.

The conference, led by the Women’s Leadership Council, will be an opportunity to celebrate the role of women at Brown over the last 125 years and for alums from all classes to connect with each other and share their experiences, according to the conference website.

The conference offerings will include panels led by Brown alums and faculty on subjects ranging from “Work and Life: How Working Women Manage Demands on Their Time in a 24/7 World” to “Celebrating Brown’s Female Athletes” to “The Value of Gender Diversity in STEM Fields.”

Dean of the College and Professor of History and Judaic Studies Maud Mandel will lead “What’s New at Brown in Educational Innovation,” a panel featuring three other deans on recent developments at Brown.

“I thought it might be useful for this panel to have the people … (who) actually have been former students here,” Mandel said.

The attendees will hopefully benefit from “really hearing from people who are on the ground doing this work everyday,” said Carol Cohen ’83, senior associate dean for class advising and for personal and health issues, who will also speak on the panel.

Conference attendees will also have the chance to “attend a class” taught by a faculty member. The TED talk-style offerings will be led by Dean of Public Health and Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice Terri Fox Wetle, Professor of Political Science Wendy Schiller and Senior Lecturer in Theatre Arts and Performance Studies Barbara Tannenbaum P’10.

“I love teaching, and I think it’s an opportunity for the attendees to see faculty who are currently actively engaged in (it),” Wetle said.

Panelists look forward not only to sharing their own expertise but also attending other talks. “I’m as excited to be there to meet other women and be inspired by other women as I am to come share my own experiences,” said Cheryl Houser ’83 P’13 P’19, partner and executive producer at Creative Breed, Inc., who will participate in two panels, including a shark tank-style forum for students to pitch their ideas to entrepreneurial alums. “I see it much more as a kind of symbiotic thing.”


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