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AAVC Corner: January Winterim

Greetings from a cold and snowy Poughkeepsie.

Winterim. What is it? A term coined to signify the long break between semesters during COVID, three weeks longer than usual for Vassar students (classes resume on February 17). And most notably, a unique, silver lining opportunity to tap into the talents of our remarkable alumnae/i and parents for the benefit of students in the virtual space.

Among the array of offerings hosted by the Career Development Office (CDO), three new workshops focused on enabling students to hone skills related to their personal and professional development: “Owning the Virtual Room: Presentation Skills in the Age of Pandemics” with Anne Green ’93, Principal/Managing Director at G&S Business Communications; “Unleashing the Power of Storytelling to Land Your Dream Opportunity” with Mario Arthur-Bentil ’10, Data Scientist at Deloitte Consulting; and “Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking” with David McWilliams P’24, Founder and CEO of Leadership Concepts. All of these programs were opened up for the benefit of young alumnae/i and well attended.

In addition, students had the opportunity to join alumnae/i and listen in to two “Fireside Chats” featuring alumnae/i who were recognized for their remarkable achievements by the AAVC’s Alumnae/i Recognition Committee.

The first, held on January 9, was titled “Battling for Sex Education in Public Schools:” and featured Susie Neuberger Wilson ’51, recipient of the AAVC Spirit of Vassar Award for 2020. Rebecca Edwards, Professor of History on the Eloise Ellery Chair, and Leila Barnes ’23, a student fellow in Raymond House and President of Vassar Squirm, led the lively chat with Susie. If you missed the program, the recording is now available at:

Curious about the Big Bang? On January 21, AAVC bestowed the Distinguished Achievement Award for 2020 at a fascinating program titled “From Vassar to the Cosmos: A Conversation with MacArthur 'Genius' Astrophysicist John Carlstrom ’81." Professor Carlstrom, who teaches at the University of Chicago, was interviewed by Debra Elmegreen, Professor of Astronomy on the Maria Mitchell Chair, and Emily Frank ’21, a physics and astronomy major. You can catch this stellar program at:

Last but by no means least, we invite you to read this month’s featured Stories article which speaks to the ways in which 100 alumnae/i and parents mentored nearly half of the Sophomore Class during the 7th Annual (and first-ever Virtual) Sophomore Career Connections program.

We are indebted to all of the Vassar alumnae/i and parents who contributed their time and talents throughout the month of January, enriching our students’ lives immeasurably. Thank you!

Vassar always,


Steve Hankins ’85, P’13,’17

AAVC President


Lisa Tessler

Executive Director of the AAVC and Associate Vice President for Alumnae/i Engagement