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maguire.jpgMore than 400 scholars, critics, and literary professionals are expected to attend the 39th Annual Children's Literature Association Conference hosted by Simmons College and featuring renown author Gregory Maguire. Maguire is a Simmons alumnus and former children's literature professor whose book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West was adapted into a hit Broadway play.

The three-day national conference will be held June 14-16 and Maguire will deliver the distinguished Francelia Butler Lecture on Friday, June 15.

SIMMONS Magazine recently caught up with Maguire who credits Simmons with expanding his literary viewpoint while also honing his skills as an author and storyteller:

"I had splendid professors at Simmons: kind, devoted to students individually, knowledgeable without being lofty, inclusive," says Maguire. "They taught me, by their example, not just to know the subject, but to know how to think further, ask deeper questions, and, incidentally, quite a bit about how to teach."

Continue reading Wicked author Gregory Maguire speaks at national Children's Literature Conference held at Simmons College.


With the upcoming presidential election, it seems that everyone is talking about the "War on Women." As a women's college that has a track record of caring and speaking out about women's issues, we have to ask ourselves: why is this happening? We sat down with our resident expert in U.S. politics, Associate Professor of Political Science Leanne Doherty, to find out what's really going on.


Is it true that women will decide this year's election?

Women decide pretty much every election. They turn out to vote more often than their male counterparts, and when it comes to presidential elections, especially since 1980, we've seen a gender gap, one gender votes for one party and the other gender votes for another. So the idea that there would be a gender gap towards Barack Obama is not what interests me. What is interesting is the level of scrutiny on laws like the Violence Against Women Act, which is to protect women from assault and battery. The Republican Party is trying to undue the expansion of that.

When media say the election is going to be decided by women, it's married women who tend to vote Republican who are now siding with President Obama and the Democratic Party based on arguments about contraception and equal pay. This is probably going to change now that Mitt Romney is the nominee, because he is going to have to bring it back to the center a little more. He is in a tough situation because the rhetoric has been so far right of center.

Have women's issues been ignored in past elections?

The term women's issues is tough. Women care about economy and jobs just as much as men do, because it's the number one issue in the country. If you look at Massachusetts Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren, she is running on the economic platform based on her experiences as an advocate in the Obama Administration. Women aren't an interest group. Women are a demographic that cannot be easily understood on how they are going to vote.

What is different about this year?

You're talking about birth control pills, and the visual of the all white male panel talking about birth control really sparked things. It also has to do with the Komen Foundation pulling out of Planned Parenthood and the comments made by Rush Limbaugh. All those factors came into play to create this perfect storm, that the Democrats seized upon. The Democrats said, Obama is your guy if you want to maintain your rights as a citizen.

What does Romney need to do to win women over?

Romney has to bring the discussion back to the center. He needs to talk about women and the economy, not women and social issues.

Dr. Leanne Doherty's teaching is centered around the American political system, with a concentration on gender and politics, popular culture, and public policy.

This is going to be an interesting election, and we'll be following it closely. We'd love to hear what you think about the "War on Women." Leave comments below, Tweet to @SimmonsCollege, or share your thoughts on the Simmons College Facebook Timeline.

Continue reading What is the War on Women really about?.

Meet Professor Bob White. Professor White has taught in the Simmons Communications Department for more than 40 years. He's best known by Simmons students, faculty, staff, and alumni for his animation skills, cheerful attitude, and teaching the crowd favorite, Communications Media. But did you know he wants to travel to Avalon and has an extremely useful hidden talent? Plus, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear who he wishes every boss in the world was!


What is your favorite class to teach?
Communications Media which I have taught for 40 years.
What's your favorite book?
The novelization of the screenplay for Forbidden Planet, the movie that burned the back of my eyes and the edges of my brain away when I was 10 and a half years old.
Do you have a favorite TV show?
I wish every boss in the world was Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS.
Fill in the blank: When I was in college, I ____
Learned to perform for the public while working in college radio, and by reading my poems & stories, and by being a student teacher, and screening my films, and by serving as acolyte in the Jesuit Cloister before dawn as Mass was celebrated.
What's your favorite band/artist?
I have loved Kind of Blue by Miles Davis ever since I saw tears running down a woman's face while she listened to it.

Continue reading Know Your Professor: Bob White.

Watch the video created by Simmons College to contribute to the It Gets Better Campaign in support of The Trevor Project, an organization aimed at preventing suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth.

Columnist and author Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller launched the It Gets Better campaign as a response to a rash of LGBTQ suicides, which were the result of bullying and harassment at schools and campuses across the country. The project aims to turn the tide of self-destruction by reaching vulnerable youth with the voices of survival and accomplishment. This video is Simmons' contribution to this important effort, by adding our voices of hope, encouragement, and achievement.

Simmons student ambassador Sarah O'Reilly '14 was involved with the project at Simmons from the beginning. She says movements like this are so important for college campuses.

"College is the place and time in which people start to grow into the people that they will live their lives as," says Sarah. "This project gives the people who have been voiceless in the past a way to speak out and be a part of a positive force in the community. It also helps to show people the parts of their own lives that are getting better and raises awareness of discriminations and hateful behavior."

Simmons' It Gets Better team is hoping this project will continue to grow, and create open dialogues around LGBTQ issues. To follow the movement at Simmons be sure to Like the Simmons College It Gets Better Facebook page and watch full interviews of the project's participants on the Simmons College It Gets Better YouTube channel.

To contribute suggestions or get involved, please email

Many students say they decided to attend Simmons because it just "felt right" when they first visited the campus. It's often hard to communicate that feeling, so it's important to come and visit Simmons to experience it for yourself. Meeting professors, talking to current students, and seeing what it's really like to attend a women's college in Boston will have a major impact on your decision. Here are four reasons to come visit the Simmons College campus:

Get to know Boston.

Boston is a big city with more than 40 colleges and universities. Many students choose to come to Boston because of the vibrant college life. But, it's important to see where in the city you'd be living. Get to know the Fenway neighborhood. Walk down the street to Fenway Park or next door to the Museum of Fine Arts. Take the T to the Prudential Center and do some shopping. Decide if you can picture yourself living here for the next four years.

Meet the professors.

If you come visit Simmons, you have the option to sit it on a class and see one of our amazing professors in action. Simmons is a small college with a 13:1 student to faculty ratio. Our professors really get to know their students and care about their academic performance. Get to know Simmons professors!

Get a sense of the community.

We know there are many preconceived notions about women's colleges. Come see for yourself what it's really like. See if you get that "just right" feeling like so many other students do when they experience Simmons-ness for themselves.

See the campus.

Moving out on your own for the first time can be scary, especially moving to a major city. The Simmons campus takes every precaution to keep you safe. The residence campus is a gated community with nine residence halls, an athletic center, and a dining hall. Take a tour and test out the food. Talk to students about what campus life is like and see the dorms.

You can plan your visit to Simmons online. In the meantime, contact your admission counselor with any questions, and be sure to Like Simmons on Facebook and follow the College on Twitter to hear from and interact with other prospective and current students.

As acceptance letters (hopefully!) start pouring in, high school seniors are faced with the task of picking the right college. It's important to think about what type of environment will help shape you into the person you want to become. It's a tough choice, and with so many colleges and universities out there, where do you even start?


It is important to know if you want to attend a large or small college. Both options have their pros and cons. If you like personalized attention and the opportunity to build relationships with your professors, then a small college or university is right for you. At Simmons, our student to faculty ratio is 13:1, so students are never just a face in the crowd.


Would you rather be in a small town with your campus as your go-to for everyday life, or would you rather be located in a city with tons of other college students and plenty to do in the area surrounding your campus? Many people are more prone to a country-like location, but others crave the hustle and bustle of the big city. Simmons is located right in the heart of Boston, America's college town. The city is full of activities.


Of course, if you know what you want to major in, or concentrate on during college, you need to make sure the college you choose has a reputable program in your major. Simmons has more than 50 undergraduate majors and programs. Many athletes choose Simmons because they're able to play Division III athletics while pursuing a physical therapy or nursing degree from a world-renowned institution.

Continue reading How to choose the right college for you.

The Chemistry Department at Simmons is doing something incredible! Students are conducting serious research and are being asked to present their findings at national conferences. Since Simmons is committed to going green, this particular project is important.

Science students are taking the plastic cups that are distributed around the Simmons campus and turning them into a cleaning solution that is comparable to Lysol, 4-in-1 all-purpose cleaner, and other similar products. The Cups to Cleaners: Trash to Treasure project was spearheaded last year by Cassandra Cocoq '10 who worked on the project as her senior thesis, under the tutelage of Associate Professor and Department Chair Rich Gurney.

Continue reading Science students turn trash into treasure.


Design Professor Judith Aronson's intimate portraits of poets and artists from her book Likenesses caught some major attention this summer when she was asked to showcase her work at Christ Church - one of the largest colleges in the University of Oxford. Deirdre in the communications department tells us more:

Aronson was amazed when she arrived at Oxford to help hang the show and saw where her photographs would be shown. The curator, Jacqueline Thalmann, pointed at a famous Salvator Rosa and said that it was going to be replaced with two of Aronson's color photographs. She then watched as Thalmann directed gallery workers to move all of the Michelangelo and da Vinci works out of the drawing gallery to make room for her show.

The exhibition runs until October 19, but since many of us can't make it to the UK (bummer!), Judith is holding a reception and book signing for Likenesses on Wednesday Nov. 3 at 5:45 p.m. in the Trustman Art Gallery.

Read more about the story behind Likenesses.

Time magazine recently interviewed our resident expert on diet and nutrition, Professor Teresa Fung, for a segment they produced about the importance of eating a well-balanced diet. In the video, Teresa talks about her new study, which found that people tend to live longer if they get more of their protein from veggies rather than from meat (when associated with a low-carb diet). Interesting, right? Watch the video to learn more about her research and to hear some tips about what to look for when shopping at the grocery store.

P.S. Anyone else dying to go to that store? It looks amazing!


On Friday, I mentioned that the SOM's entrepreneurship program was ranked one of the top 25 programs in the entire nation. But, what's even more exciting is that it's the only program designed specifically for women to make the list.

Later that day, SOM Professor Teresa Nelson joined NECN's Laytoia Edwards to discuss exactly how we tailor our program to meet the needs of women. She says the SOM's program is unique because it focuses on teaching students how to navigate through their social realities. For example, women entrepreneurs typically receive less than 10% of venture capital compared with 90% for men. When asked how the SOM helps women tap into more funding, Teresa says we do what any good business school does: we help students to understand what the issues are, build competitive business plans, and how to "talk business." Enjoy!

Congratulations to the School of Management! Its entrepreneurship program was just ranked by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review as one of the nation's top 25 programs. A big deal considering it's the only program on the list specifically designed for women.

We shot this video last year (when we introduced the entrepreneurship minor) of SOM Professor Susan Duffy, who says teaching entrepreneurship at Simmons is important because entrepreneurship is the "great equal opportunity employer." She says anyone can be an entrepreneur! Even me? You know, I have been wanting to start up my own 24-hour coffee shop/lounge in Charlestown... hmmm... *wheels spinning*... At any rate, Susan says the time for women entrepreneurs is now, so what better place to gain the knowledge and skills than at Simmons? After all, it is one of the best!


If you ever need a reminder of why you should be proud to be a Simmons student, just look to our own research legend, Emerita Professor Helen Reinherz, Sc.D. Dr. Reinherz was the director of the Simmons College Longitudinal Study from 1977 until July 1 of this year. Today she was honored for her 33 years of groundbreaking research.

Professor Reinherz spoke this morning to a small crowd of family, friends, and colleagues about the ups and downs she experienced throughout the years. You wouldn't believe that she could barely think of a negative experience - her attitude was 100% positive.

"So, I was thinking about lessons learned and true to my own overly optimistic nature, I could only think about the positive things I learned."

Since Professor Reinherz began a career in social work, her passions have been the prevention and treatment of mental health problems. The Longitudinal Study is one of the longest running community studies in the United States. Over the past 33 years, the study has followed a working class community group as they grew from five-year-old children entering kindergarten to adults starting their own lives and families.

The study has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as book chapters. Incredible, right? Results have been shared all over the world! Isn't it amazing to be part of a community that is producing such significant contributions to society?

Continue reading A pioneer in social work.


[Ed. note: Professor Teresa Fung's study also made headlines this week in The New York Times: "Nutrition: Risky Additions to a Low-Carb Diet"]

I've been noticing many changes in The Fens and Java City. For example, in The Fens, my much-loved mango smoothies have been replaced by a fresh-rolled sushi station (I'll take it!) and on some days you can make your own yogurt parfait (I'll take that, too). The Fens also has an assemble-your-own mediterranean bar with hummus, tabouli, and pita bread, and although Freshens is gone, rumor has it that we can get froyo by the ounce at a "Healthy Balance" station. Anyone know if this is happening, yet? I need my afternoon pick-me-up!

Another big change is... wait for it...

Continue reading Changes in main campus dining.


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