What advice would you give to your college self?
- Stop trying to be perfect. The novelist Anna Quindlen gave the 1999 Commencement address at Mount Holyoke College. I was a huge fan of hers in those days (still am). I remember reading it via a dial-up internet connection (remember them!?) in a hotel room while I was traveling for work. In it, she urged the graduates to put down the “backpack” of perfection because it robs life of authenticity. Her words, “The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself,” resonated with me, although I admit that it took me several years to really understand them fully and to have the courage to act on her advice.
- Don’t assume. Ask the question. When I was a first semester junior at Rosemont, I applied and was accepted to a second semester study abroad program at the University of Reading in England. Although I was thrilled beyond belief, I didn’t go. Why, you ask? Because I made the assumption that not being on campus at Rosemont for second semester of my junior year, when elections were held, would mean that I would not be able to run for the position of President of Student Government, something I had wanted to do since my freshman year. I never even asked if it might be possible for me to run in absentia. Rosemont being Rosemont, I have a feeling that I might have been given permission to do it, but I never even asked. I wish someone had told me not to assume and to ask the question! PS—I did win the election and loved being SGA President my senior year, but sometimes, I do wonder what it might have been like if I had also studied abroad.
- Take a business class. I was an English literature major at Rosemont. I ended up with
a double minor: Religious Studies and Women’s Studies. I say that I ended up with
those minors because they found me; I didn’t seek them out. I just happened to really
enjoy female writers, and consequently took many female author centered courses, which
gave me enough credits for the minor. And, I enjoyed taking religion courses, enough
so that the minor appeared on my transcript. In my sincere enjoyment of literature,
religion, and the liberal arts, I didn’t take a single business course during my four
years at Rosemont. When I started working, first at a non-profit, but especially from
1995 – 2001 when I worked in marketing for a large for-profit healthcare company,
I wished I had added a business course or two to my Rosemont course load. I was fortunate
to have been surrounded by terrific mentors who guided me and ambitious enough to
make it a point to learn what I didn’t know, so I certainly survived, but I know now
that taking a business course would have been well worth it.
How would you define “values?”
To me, values are a self-imposed way of being. We each set our values through determining what is important to us. Families, teachers, religions, educational institutions, organizations, and experiences of everyday life expose us to values. As we move through life, we determine which we’ll adopt and which we will not. The values we choose to adopt ultimately guide our every action and decision. The freedom we have to do so is one of God’s great gifts to us.
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Name 5 things you love (other than your family) or love doing?
- I love to cook and host gatherings—dinner parties, cocktail parties, any get-together, really!
- I love practicing yoga. It has taught me to be more intentional about living in the present moment, and that I can do anything, no matter how difficult, for just one more breath.
- I love to Google things. My search history must have Google very confused!
- I love having Friday night martinis with my husband. In the spring and summer we sit on our patio and in the fall and winter we sit in front of the fireplace to reconnect and rehash our weeks.
- I love good background music—Pandora Tropical House Radio is a current favorite!
What goal are you currently trying to achieve?
I have been trying to organize our home office for the last five years. Thankfully,
it is on the third floor of our house, so no one sees it. When we moved in, my husband
and I just ‘put’ files there and they are still just there! It is a work in progress.
Who or what inspires you?
Kindness inspires me. My favorite quote is by Henry James, “Three things in life are
important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to
be kind.” I try my best to live my life that way. And when I see others who do, in
big or small ways, it inspires me and fills me with admiration.
Where is the furthest place you have traveled?
True confession—I had to Google this one. Hawaii won! 4,908 miles from home.
Favorite college memory? (from which college?)
I have many wonderful memories from my four years as a student at Rosemont. But one
always stands out as a reminder of the incredible friendships that I formed between
1990 and 1994. The night before graduation, when my friends and I were filled with
dread at the prospect of leaving the College we loved so much and the friends who
we had lived with, laughed with, cried with—really who we grew into women with—and,
frankly scared, at the prospect of what our lives would become post-Rosemont, we all
moved our mattresses into one room in Heffernan Hall for one last act of togetherness.
We didn’t get much sleep that night, but we did spend the hours reliving our years
together at Rosemont and setting the stage for what is now 26+ years of friendship.
What does the Rosemont Mission mean to you?
The mission of the College is to educate women and men in an atmosphere of joy that
promotes a love of lifelong learning, and to empower all who connect with the College
to value their individual God-given gifts and the gifts of others, to stretch to become
their best selves, and to use their gifts to improve their own lives and the lives
of those around them. I’ve tried my best to promote this mission in my daily interactions—big
or small—and I hope that my example will encourage others to do the same.
If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?
I would be a 3 ½ inch heeled black patent leather pointed-toe pump because it will never go out of style, can be worn in any season, and looks great with anything.