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Results tagged “women's 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?.

bruinShop-1.jpgFor many high school students, prom is a right of passage, but the cost of attending can quickly add up. According to a recent survey by Visa, money spent on buying tickets, attire, flowers, limousines, photographers, and after-parties cost an average family an astonishing $807 in 2011. The high costs are causing many students to opt out of the experience due to financial constraints.

In 2005, Anton's Cleaners created the Belle of the Ball program, which helps to alleviate the costs of attending prom by asking people to donate gently worn, prom-appropriate dresses to various locations throughout eastern Massachusetts.

The program concludes with a day-long boutique held at Simmons College, who has been the proud host of Belle of the Ball by donating the use of its gym in the Holmes Sports Center. From February to April, donation boxes were placed around the Simmons campus, and more than 25 prom gowns were donated from the Simmons community. This year's event on April 14 is expected to draw more than 400 young women who will shop for their perfect prom dress, free of cost.

An added bonus? The young women will be assigned a personal shopper and stylist who will help them through the dress selection process!

Anton's Cleaners initially chose Simmons College as the host for Belle of the Ball's "Boutique Day" because of its central location in Boston and because its a women's college who supports young women in the community. Earlier this month, Simmons hosted the first annual fundraiser event for Belle of the Ball, which was a huge success.

Watch video of this year's Belle of the Ball event!

Interested in helping the cause? Be sure to check out the Belle of the Ball website for information on volunteering and donating.


Did you know that despite making up half the U.S. population, women make up only 10 to 20% of contributors to key opinion forums? Why are women so reluctant to share and state their opinions?

That's what Simmons College, along with the OpEd Project and Women Act Media, is trying to change.

To help women experts find their voice, Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change has partnered with The OpEd Project for a day-long seminar, "Write to Change the World".

The OpEd project aims to increase the number of women thought leaders by training women experts in all industries to write op-eds and think about how to take on more thought leadership positions in their fields.

"Write to Change the World" will focus on how to present effective arguments under pressure and how to make a greater impact. Participants will be encouraged to use their voice to make a difference. They will learn the skills and tools to form and express their ideas thoughtfully to make their voices heard. All participants leave with an op-ed draft and have a full year of access to Project OpEd mentors.

Since The New York Times recently decided to expand its Opinion Pages, there's no better time for women to get their ideas and opinions out there.

Visit the Project OpEd website for more information on the seminar, and follow the organization on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest news and events.

Continue reading Simmons works with OpEd Project to train women thought leaders.


Today is Women's Equality Day! It has been 91 years since women were granted their voting rights on August 26, 1920. To commemorate the day and to celebrate the courageous and innovative women that will lead the future of the Women's Rights Movement, we wanted to remind readers how far women have come. Here are five major advancements women have made in the history of women's rights.

1. The first ever Women's Rights Convention (1848)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and four other friends organized the first ever Women's Rights Convention on July 19 and 20 in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Stanton wrote a Declaration of Sentiments which was signed by more than 300 women and men.
2. Women gain the right to vote (1920)
72 years after the signing of the Declaration of Sentiments, women are finally given the right to vote. Women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth led the movement, traveling across the country, lecturing and organizing protests.
3. Title VII prohibits employment discrimination (1964)
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, race, and national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was established to investigate discrimination complaints.
4. Title IX gives women equal access to higher education (1972)
Finally, equal access to higher education and professional schools became the law. The number of women doctors, lawyers, engineers and architects has doubled. Athletics has become a hot issue for Title IX as universities must show a relatively equal number in male and female athletes in order to received federal funding.
5. Sandra Day O'Connor is elected to the Supreme Court (1981)
Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace Potter Steward, and she became the first female Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. In 2004, Forbes listed her as the sixth most powerful woman in the world.

Check out Simmons' history and read about how founder John Simmons had a vision to education women for their own empowerment, decades before women gained the right to vote.

2011 Commencement

Simmonsness: (n.) - A thirsting desire for knowledge, for a better community, for a better world, for more. A relationship with classmates in which they push each other towards excellence, in and out of the classroom. The seizing of every opportunity, and in more cases than not, the creation of opportunities. - Darcie Guilbert '11

2011 Commencement Student Speaker Darcie Guilbert began her address by sharing her first Simmons memory. At 17 years old, on her way to a Simmons College campus tour she told her parents:

"I am not going to an all-women's college, so why are we wasting time even looking!?"

Continue reading I am not going to a women's college.

Arts and Entertainment critic Joyce Kulhawik '74 joined the Student Government Association on Monday night for an exciting kick-off to Women's College Week. Other speakers included SGA President Rosy Gonzalez '11 and Simmons College President Helen Drinan.

It is a tradition for the Simmons Student Government Association to hold Women's College Week during the month of March to celebrate the past and present accomplishments of women. It's not a coincidence this week falls during Women's History Month, and Monday's kick-off event fits right into this year's theme, Piecing together the Elements of Success.

Simmons College prides itself on being a place that prepares students to become leaders. When speaking with Simmons women, a reoccurring theme is how being surrounded by powerful women in the classroom helped them find their voice and their confidence.

It is important for women's colleges to celebrate the impact this educational environment has on advancing women in the workplace. Make sure to attend at least one, if not all, the Women's College Week events the SGA has planned for this week. (Open to all COF students!)

Send them a message if you have any questions and let us know what your favorite part of Women's College Week is.

The 106th Simmons Commencement speakers have been announced! The theme this year is "Celebrating Boston & Massachusetts," and these women could not be more prepared to speak to our coming graduates about their future life's work. Commencement will be held on Friday, May 20 at the Bank of America Pavilion in Boston's Seaport District.

During the undergraduate ceremony starting at 10 a.m., recently retired Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall will speak to graduating seniors about being the first woman to have served as the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. In a time when there are still many firsts for women, who better than Chief Justice Marshall to inspire our graduates to pursue their dreams. Maybe the first woman president of the U.S. is among our Class of 2011? (Hey, you never know!)

Continue reading Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall to speak at Commencement.

sonya.jpgSonya Kojevnikov '13
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Major: Nursing
Activities: Model UN; COF Dance Project; Real Life Boston Christian Fellowship; Work Study

I had the pleasure of meeting Sonya about a week before she was scheduled to be a student panelist at our November Open House. Although it was our first meeting, I felt like we were old friends catching up over a cup of coffee. She's laid-back, extremely articulate, and she offers a unique perspective on the whole "going to a women's college" thing. Plus, she made it past her first year as a nursing major... and lives to tell the tale!


You're in your second year of nursing. How's it going?

Sonya: It's going well! I struggled a bit during second semester of my first year, but I think in general that semester is the hardest because you've gotten over the excitement of the first semester then you realize there's still four months to go.

But, I got a lot of help from faculty, student life, and basically everyone. It's definitely great that I'm here because if I had struggled as much anywhere else, I have a feeling I would've been dropped by the wayside.

Have you completed your science requirements?

Continue reading Meet Sonya, sophomore nursing student.


John Simmons founded Simmons College on the outrageous idea that women would "acquire an independent livelihood." In 1902, a time when women weren't allowed to vote, to build an institution which would shape women into scholars who could work professionally and provide for themselves was on the cutting edge of education. Simmons College, in following its founders inspiration, has continued to remain a pioneer - not just in higher education, but also in society.

The Simmons community honored John Simmons' birthday yesterday during the annual Founder's Day celebration. The school unveiled the new class flags and provided plenty of cake and sparkling cider for everyone's enjoyment. After all, it is the College's founder whose influence has shaped Simmons into a world-class institution.

Learn more about the history of Simmons College, and let us know what makes you proud to be part of the Simmons community.

Wondering what a Simmons athletic career could offer you? How about a chance to play a competitive sport for four years, while still having the opportunity to achieve everything you want to academically?

Simmons athletes are looked up to on campus. Being an all women's college means female sports teams don't have to take a back seat to men's athletics, as is with most colleges and universities. There is a certain camaraderie that comes with being a Shark. Each team is committed to supporting their fellow athletes during games, matches, and meets.

Continue reading See what it's like to be a Simmons Shark.


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!

On a recent flight to Boston, Jeremy Epstein (a.k.a Jer979) met our very own Chair of the Board of Trustees Lauren Brisky. As it happens, Jeremy's mother was a graduate of a women's college, so he immediately bonded with Lauren over the power of a women's education and shot this quick 4 minute interview. She says Simmons is a gem of an institution and she credits the College for her success. Jeremy is convinced... maybe he'll send his daughters here? ;) Check it out!


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