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WREI UPDATE— Issue 18

 

October 2003

IN THIS ISSUE
Did you know?
WREI Presents the American Woman Award to Marsha Johnson Evans
WREI's Congressional Fellows on Women and Public Policy
Fellows Reunion Postponed
The American Woman
Women in the Military
Women Writing Africa
WREI Interns

 

DID YOU KNOW?
A Halloween factoid: The last witches to be put to death in
America were hung on September 22, 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts. Not all
were women, by the way: the nine victims included two men and a dog.

 

WREI PRESENTS THE AMERICAN WOMAN AWARD
TO MARSHA JOHNSON EVANS

Once and future feminists, soldiers, sailors, Scouts, troop leaders, blood donors,
and Red Cross volunteers filled the Mayflower Ballroom at WREI's Gala on October 20th. They came to salute Marty Evans, retired two-star Navy admiral, former head of the Girl Scouts, and current president of the American Red Cross.

Young Scouts from local troops 2821, 4074, and 4234 led guests in the Pledge
of Allegiance. Former WREI Fellow TRENACE RICHARDSON (Class of 2002 and Ph.D. candidate in educational administration at George Washington University) sang a rousing a cappella rendition of "If I Can Help Someone."


In her acceptance speech, Admiral Evans sang WREI's praises: "For more than
a quarter of a century, WREI has brought together and analyzed information
to take the place of myth--facts to replace theories--for everyone from
lawmakers to the healthcare community. . . . The factual and trusted
information generated by WREI has, in effect, helped immunize public debate
from the ugliest contamination--and that is the contamination of
misinformation."


WREI's CONGRESSIONAL FELLOWS ON WOMEN AND PUBLIC POLICY

Following the most competitive selection process in the program's history, we have
selected the seven outstanding women who'll form the Class of 2004.

VICTORIA BRESCOLL describes herself as a "researcher-activist." She is pursuing her doctorate in psychology at Yale University, where she edited the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism and received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to support her research. At Yale, Tori also received the Jane Olejarczyk Award for co-founding the psychology department's student/faculty diversity committee, and the William Kessen Award for excellence in graduate student teaching.

Tori graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan. While there, she served as a live-in house mother at Father Patrick's, a home for pregnant and parenting teenage girls; worked on the crisis line at a domestic violence shelter; and volunteered as a counselor at the university's Girls in Math and Science Camp. In her spare time, Tori enjoys composing music for the piano and restoring old furniture.

CHRISTIANNE CORBETT, an engineer with Ball Aerospace and Technologies in
Boulder, CO, holds bachelor's degrees from Notre Dame in both government/ international relations and aerospace engineering. Among her accomplishments: leading mechanical design teams of engineers to design and produce space flight hardware. Christi has recently earned a master's degree in cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado, with a focus on women in the technical workforce. She has also volunteered for the Society of Women Engineers' "Girls in Science" program.

From 1992-1994, Christi was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, where she taught math and science to 170 high school students and organized a support group for the 30 girls in the student body.

Christi is also an officer and active member of the Toastmasters Club in Boulder. In 1995, she spent "a very long summer" working as an organic farmer in New Jersey.

ANN GAVAGHAN is working toward a master's degree in public health/ international affairs at Columbia University. She spent the summer of 2003 in South Africa with the Mpondombili Peer Education Project, working on an HIV and pregnancy prevention project with secondary school students. In 2002, she was selected for a graduate research assistanceship at the Heilbrunn Center for Population and Family Health, where she organized and helped edit articles for the Journal of the American Medical Women's Association.

A Pennsylvania native, Ann graduated summa cum laude in political science and classics from Villanova University. As a Fulbright Fellow in Taiwan, Ann-who is now fluent in Mandarin- co-founded the Living Care Association, a grassroots AIDS service organization, and coordinated a human rightscampaign to reform discriminatory marriage and immigration restrictions on HIV-positive individuals.

In 2000, Ann joined the Sunset Park Community HealthCorps as an AmeriCorps volunteer, where she offered HIV counseling and testing to a predominately Chinese population. In her spare time, Ann enjoys watching East Asian films and listening to independent and underground music.

POLINA MAKIEVSKY is a master's candidate in social policy/ international development at the Institute for Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University. As an intern at Close to Home, a domestic violence prevention initiative in Boston, she spent the summer of 2003 developing websites and designing a communications strategy for diverse audiences.

Born in Ukraine and raised in New York, Polina graduated cum laude from Smith College in government and Russian civilization. In 1998, she began work for Project Harmony, a U.S. State Department-funded professional training and community development program in Russia and Eastern Europe. Starting as a program coordinator in Odessa, Ukraine, Polina went on to become director of the Georgia Women's Leadership Program, and finally was named the program's country director for Georgia. She established the first Caucasus regional office in Tbilsi, bringing thousands of local business people, lawyers, journalists, healthcare workers, and teachers to America for training. Polina is fluent in Russian and speaks Ukrainian as well. Among her many hobbies are photography, cooking and belly dancing.

Since completing her master's in public policy/women's studies at the George Washington University this year, ERICA SWANSON has worked at the Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL) in Washington, DC. She coordinates WiLL's bipartisan state legislator program, whose members advocate for redirected federal spending priorities and reduced militarism and violence. Erica graduated summa cum laude in sociology and political science from Central College in Pella, Iowa, her native state Her political credentials include coordinating a 1000-delegate county convention as interim executive director of the Polk County Democrats, serving as vice president of the Iowa Young Democrats, and helping recruit 20,000 supporters for "Iowans for Sensible Priorities" during the 2000 presidential caucus. Erica volunteered as a counselor for behaviorally and psychologically disturbed adolescents in Des Moines and, during a semester abroad at a domestic violence shelter in Wales.

REENA SHAH received her master's in public affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, where she was a Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellow. Her interests in sustainable development took her to Kenya for a summer, where she researched and wrote on the merits of eco-tourism at the African Conservation Center and organized and trained two women's groups in business management and conservation practices. Having been a member of a student task force that advised Afghanistan on crafting an effective disaster management strategy, Reena also traveled to Ethiopia during an ongoing famine to research how best to assure that internally displaced people-mostly women and children-are considered in disaster management planning.

Before graduate school, Reena served in the Peace Corps in Nepal as a soil conservation extension volunteer, overseeing 30 community development groups and the construction of 28 development structures that increased community access to water, improved health and sanitation practices and reduced soil erosion. She was also active in the Women in Development Committee that granted full scholarships for continuing education to over 200 underprivileged Nepali girls annually.

Reena graduated magna cum laude in environmental studies and religion from George Washington University. While at GWU, as a member of AmeriCorps, she established after-school and in-school tutoring programs for over 500 students in an underserved elementary school. In 1996, she interned at the White House in the office of the First Lady, scheduling and writing letters. She speaks Hindi, Nepali, and Gujarati as well as some Swahili. Outside of school, she known for her flair for all kinds of dancing-from swing to belly to capoeira; she is also a budding amateur photographer and cherishes trekking in the great outdoors.

A Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Public Policy and International Affairs, JOCELYN
YEE
just completed a master's of science in public policy and management at the H. John Heinz III School at Carnegie Mellon University. There she served on the Graduate Women Advisory Board and as the graduate student representative on the finance committee of the university's Board of Trustees. Her year-long capstone project was developing a website for the Allegheny County Agency on Aging that links the elderly and their caregivers to information about home-based health care, community resources, and service referrals. Jocelyn began her undergraduate studies at Santa Monica College, where she helped establish the Asian Pacific Islander Task Force, before obtaining her B.A. at the University of California at Berkeley in political science and ethnic studies.

Her extensive experiences in government offices include a summer at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington, tracking appropriations bills, budget authority and outlays; seven months as a field representative for California State Assemblywoman Wilma Chan, staffing constituent workshops on elderly health care, insurance, and wellness; six months at the U.S. Department of Education, analyzing civil rights litigation and legislation; and a summer working in Senator Diane Feinstein's Washington office, answering constituent mail and monitoring committee hearings onwelfare and education.

This is the second "sister act" in the WREI Fellowship program. Jocelyn's older sister, Evelyn Yee, was in the Class of 1997-98.

 

FELLOWS REUNION POSTPONED

Due to scheduling conflicts with reunion sponsor Altria Services, the reunion of former Congressional Fellows on Women and Public Policy has been postponed until 2004. Please watch these spaces for a new date.

 

THE AMERICAN WOMAN

On September 8, Anne Stone joined fellow editors Cindy Costello and Vanessa Wight at Barnes and Noble's downtown Bethesda store to talk about our ninth edition, "Daughters of a Revolution." About 55 people attended the event, billed as a "book-signing," and, indeed, the editorial trio signed a good many copies. Sales of the 2003-2004 edition of The American Woman have been going well; Palgrave,
our publisher, has informed us that there will be a second printing.

 

WOMEN IN THE MILITARY

As more American women soldiers, sailors and
airmen head for Iraq, Lory Manning, the director of WREI's Women in the
Military project, has become a go-to source for the media. Check out this
month's issue of the "Ladies Home Journal" for "When Jenny Comes Marching
Home," about health lessons we are learning from military women that apply
to civilian women as well. While Lory is quoted in the article, this is
just the tip of the iceberg of assistance she provided its authors, editors
and fact-checkers.

 

WOMEN WRITING AFRICA

In August, scholars from Morocco came to Washington to work at the Library of Congress on the northern Africa volume of "Women Writing Africa." WREI has begun planning an event in January for Congressional staffers and our WREI fellows about this ten-year project on African women's literature. In addition, we have been invited by the Gateway Foundation of the World Bank Group, an on-line information service to developing countries, to post articles and information about the Women Writing Africa project on their website.

 

WREI INTERNS

WREI is proud to welcome JENNIFER DEZARN and ADELA DE LA TORRE to our offices. Jennifer is an alumna of Bates College who spent the last year doing domestic violence research at Harvard. She graduated summa cum laude in women's studies and is weighing graduate school and a variety of career options, but she came to WREI and Washington to learn about public policymaking. Under the guidance of senior researcher Anne Stone, Jennifer's focus will be interpreting statistical data to update key demographic profiles of women, including many of the most important tables and charts from the ninth edition of "The American Woman."

Adela, a junior at The George Washington University, is pursuing a double major in international affairs and Spanish. Adela will be spending her spring semester in Central America and her WREI projects will focus on all aspects of the Crossing Borders project with Dr. Marjorie Lightman.