Where Are They Now?
by Paige P. Parvin and Stacey Jones
Many students, both undergraduate and graduate, have worked at the Center for Womenover the last two decades. We caught up with several of them recently.
GINA HELFRICH 09PHD
Position: Inaugural CWE graduate fellow, 2007–2008
What she did: A little bit of everything. Since I was the first graduate fellow, there wasn’t yet a clear understanding of the role I would play. I wound up doing a lot of work supporting the undergraduate students. I helped them to apply for and receive official recognition as the Feminists in Action group, which I believe is still active today. Two major things I accomplished were getting the CWE library documented into an electronic database as well as sorting through and organizing all of the office’s old files. The last time I visited the CWE, I was pleased to see that my instruction on how to file archive documents were still posted on the filing cabinets!
Fondest memory: The thing I remember most about the center was how enthusiastic and engaged everyone was. I met so many people—administrators, graduate students, undergrads, alumni, and community supporters—who were committed to the center and went out of their way to donate their time, resources, and money to support us. It was very inspiring, and it gave me a broad perspective on what goes on at a university that I never would have experienced otherwise.
Where she is now: Currently I am starting my second year as director of the Harvard College Women's Center. Working at the CWE was my first real exposure to the administrative side of higher education and showed me that there were ways to engage with the issues I encountered in my women's studies graduate courses other than scholarship and teaching.
LINNEA MCCALLA 09C
Position: Work-study student, junior and senior years
What she did: I performed general offices duties such as filing, answering phone calls, front desk receptionist, preparing/delivering mail, and writing the newsletter. I would also assist with projects regarding publicizing and day-of preparation and execution of events. I also assisted with getting books into the library system.
Fondest memory: Many, much-needed, one-on-one sessions with Roslyn and Sasha really helped me to keep things in perspective. Being involved with the CWE exposed me to another level of social awareness and involvement. The center breeds a unique type of student and really fosters a proactive spirit—mainly due to the fact that the center is made up of women who embody the same characteristics. I loved my time with the center. It was the perfect place for my professional and personal growth. I am extremely grateful for their wisdom, guidance, and support.
Where she is now: In graduate school at the New School, working toward a master’s degree in urban policy analysis and management
JENNIFER FEDEROVITCH MALEY 04CPosition: Work-study student assistant from my freshman year to graduation. Program coordinator, 2004–2005
What she did: As the Special Projects Coordinator, I took fuller responsibility for the initiatives that I had helped with as a work-study student assistant, planning and implementing over 50 programs annually, supporting the advisory board, and supervising interns and volunteers. I also served on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at Emory.
Fondest memory: It would have to be moving from the trailer. Ali taught me how to seal a box using just two pieces of tape. As idealistic as it sounds, I remember being constantly inspired—by the women with whom I worked at the center, the board, the incredible speakers at our events. My work at the CWE inspired me to be better and do more. The Center opened my eyes to innumerable stories of women making a difference, and I hope to be one of them both in my career and personal life. It also led me to some of my best and truest friendships, for which I’ll forever be grateful.
Where she is now: I continue to support Emory’s mission by working in the Office of Annual Giving here; and I recently served on the CWE development committee to help plan its 20th anniversary celebration. Within the last year, I’ve also started a small business, Local Market South, an online retail site selling artisan foods produced in the Southeast.
MASSIEL RAMOS 11C
Position: Work-study student, freshman year to graduation
What she did: Everything and anything . . . I helped archive. I helped organize and prepare for different events. I gave tours of the CWE. I helped advertise for all the events. I helped with V-Day. I was an usher for multiple events. On some mornings, I was the one who opened the center, and on Wednesday nights I was usually the one who closed the center. And, most important of all, I helped Sasha get her desk organized. (I fear what it looks like now that I’m not there.)
Fondest memory: I loved the CWE. The staff is so supportive and vested in the issues that concern women of all communities. Working at the center was very empowering. You're surrounded with powerful and passionate women every day who are really trying to make a difference. Had it not been for the center, I don't think I would have gained as much knowledge and experience in advocacy. I'm excited to continue as an advocate through my law career.
Where she is now: A second-year student at Brooklyn Law School. I’ve already joined the Legal Association of Women and am excited about working with their Uncontested Divorce Project as well as with their Courtroom Advocates Program.
BRANDY LIN SIMULA 12PHD
Position: CWE graduate fellow, 2011–2012
What she did: I particularly remember the many events I worked with Shannan [Palma, the current program coordinator] and Tiffany [Grant, a student programming assistant] and the collaborative conversations we shared. I learned a lot about programming from each of them and especially enjoyed the events we worked together. I valued working with Lauren Bernstein, the Respect Program coordinator at Emory, to develop and facilitate the Great Sex Series. I’m very proud of the important work we were able to do through those workshops and thankful for the opportunity to get to know such an amazing person.
Fondest memory: Holding the CWE graduate fellowship allowed me to complete my dissertation on schedule. My experiences at the CWE also helped me to get to see students’ lives and interests in a way that I hadn’t as an instructor. My experiences working with students outside the classroom have influenced my teaching philosophy and helped me better understand the broader contexts that influence their experiences and interest, and I think this makes me a more effective teacher.
Where she is now: Visiting assistant professor, Emory Department of Sociology
Paige Parvin joined Emory Magazine, Emory’s central alumni quarterly, in 2000 and has served as editor since 2007. Her work in Emory Magazine has won two CASE Circle of Excellence medals for feature writing, and the magazine was recognized in 2012 with a silver award for periodical special issues. Before her arrival at Emory, Paige was a staff writer at Southern Voice newspaper and a public relations officer for American InterContinental University and the High Museum of Art. Her writing also has been featured in several Atlanta-based magazines and the Huffington Post. She lives in Atlanta with her partner and their fifteen-year-old son. Stacey Jones serves on the Center for Women at Emory (CWE) Editorial Advisory Board and is a member of the CWE Awards Committee. She is associate director for editorial services in Emory Creative Group, a division of the Office of Communications and Marketing.