Reconnect, Share, and Network:
Women's Studies, Gender Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies Concentrators
The Pembroke Center has created this page where alumnae/i can share information, build your network, and reconnect with friends.
Although the Pembroke Center cannot give out personal contact information, we urge all alumnae/i to register in Brown’s Alumnae/i Directory so that your friends can find you.
Visit our Events Page to learn more about events the Pembroke Center sponsors for alumnae/I. These events are sponsored by the Pembroke Center Associates, a group of alumnae/i and friends that support the work of the Pembroke Center. The Associates are a membership organization and we invite you to join us.
The Pembroke Center Associates also have a group page on Facebook.
If you would like to provide an update to be posted on this page, please send an e-mail to: Pembroke_Associates@brown.edu.
Biographical Information Shared by Alumnae/i, organized by class year:
Madina Agénor (2005)
I am currently pursuing a Doctor of Science degree in Society, Human Development, and Health at the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in Women, Gender, and Health. Upon graduating from Brown in 2005, I served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center. During my time as a Fellow, I engaged in research and advocacy promoting the nutrition, food security, and development of very young children of color and children living in low-income households. I then enrolled at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, from which I received my Master of Public Health in Sociomedical Sciences with a focus on social science research in public health. While at Columbia, I served as a research assistant on a number of gender and sexuality related projects, including one focusing on the welfare-reform family-cap policy and poor women's sexual and reproductive health and rights. Presently, I am also serving as a Research Assistant at Ibis Reproductive Health.
I am particularly interested in gender and racial inequality, poverty, social policy, and health-with a particular focus on the sexual and reproductive health of poor women and women of color. Concentrating in Gender Studies greatly shaped my current research and policy interests. Specifically, the concentration provided me with the lens that I need to critically approach women's health issues from a perspective that emphasizes gendered power relations, as well as the intersection of gender with other dimensions of social stratification, including race/ethnicity, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Moreover, it engrained in me an appreciation for feminist theory and women's historical struggles and triumphs, which guides the way that I approach my research and life! Outside of the classroom, I am passionate about dance, animal welfare, films, music, and good food.
Joanna Kels Albright (2004)
I am currently Vice President of Glocap. I married Luke Albright'04 on July 2, 2005.
Bonnie Kwon (2003)
I am currently studying for the bar and earned my J.D. from the University of California -Berkeley School of Law. I was a Fulbright Fellow to South Korea in 2003-2004. My interests include worker and immigrant rights, community economic developement, and worker-owned businesses.
Ashlee Piper (2003)
I attended the University of Oxford, UK and earned my MSc/MSW in Evidence Based Social Work in 2004. I now manage the Health and Human Services practice at a boutique government consulting firm in downtown Chicago.Prior to my current position, I was a child welfare and workforce development advisor to Governors Romney and Patrick in Massachusetts, the Director of Public Affairs and Field Services for the MA Office for Victim Assistance, and the Deputy Budget Director at the MA Department of Early Education and Care. Most of my work has revolved around women's and children's health and welfare issues in government.
I just adopted a dog, Banjo, and she can really rock a bandana! I'm still deeply involved with Best Buddies, which I led when I was at Brown, and do a lot of volunteering with animal shelters and international human welfare organizations, such as Oxfam and the UN.
My time at Brown was fun and informative. Unlike other times in your life when you're bogged down with a demanding job, Brown was an opportunity to explore and study what really interested me. And the Gender Studies group was so creative, diverse, and supportive. It was good fun!
Colleen Cary (2002)
I am a clinical social worker at the Children's Aid Society in NYC, conducting psychotherapy with kids in foster care. After graduating from Brown in 2002, I worked in the field of domestic violence (mainly working in emergency shelter settings) and attended Columbia School of Social Work between 2005 and 2007.
Emily Blistein (2001)
I am currently the Executive Director of The Hicks Foundation, a small non-profit in Burlington Vermont that works to educate and eradicate cervical cancer through education and advocacy. www.freepap.org <http://www.freepap.org>
Since graduating, I worked at two domestic violence organizations in Boston directly after graduation and went to law school the following year. After law school I worked at Vermont Legal Aid representing clients in domestic abuse and government benefits cases. I then took a job at Planned Parenthood of Northern New England as their Vermont Public Affairs Director where I worked on reproductive health policy as well as lobbying at the state and federal level. I came to the Hicks Foundation in December of 2008.
I attended Vermont Law School, graduating in 2005
I also completed a 200 hour Yoga teaching program in 2007 that was a perfect antidote ('er balance) to my life as a lawyer.
I live happily in Vermont with my partner, Drew, his two little boys, Owen and Lucas, and our somewhat loyal dog, Casey. I started sewing again after finding a beautiful old 1943 singer featherweight machine at an antique store in Burlington. I chronicle a lot of my sewing (and family life) adventures on a blog named for my grandmothers: http://sophieandeleanor.blogspot.com/
I loved Brown but really felt that I found my academic home with my gender studies work. I was volunteering in the RI women's prison teaching art and writing classes through SPACE, a Brown program, before deciding to be a gender studies concentrator. Choosing gender studies while working with actual women was a perfect balance for me. Since then the ideas and diversity of women's experiences that I learned have infused all of the work I've done. I have focused on domestic violence and women's health, Brown has left an academic light on during all of my life and work experiences. My studies at Brown situated me intensely in women's history, struggles and experiences while leaving me the ability to critique and feel secure in the choices I make. I'm always drawn to that (Steinem?) quote that I'll paraphrase: Feminism is not about the choices we make but about our ability to make choices. I left Brown with a firm belief that we should all have the opportunity and experience to make life choices, perhaps being lead or guided but never beng boxed in by our gender. I happen to love sewing and wearing skirts, but I'll still critique the hell out of gendered baby toys and glass ceilings. Oh, and thanks to Emily CB's thesis presentation (which I still remember vividly!), I have no plans to give birth on my back. Unless, of course, I want to.
Melissa (Sontag) Broudo (2001)
I am currently a staff attorney at The Children’s Law Center in Brooklyn. I represent children in Brooklyn Family Court In custody, visitation, paternity, and family offense cases. I have been at this office for 2 years and while we have extremely high caseloads, it’s a great work atmosphere (30 women, 1 man!) and the cases (generally) tend to be extremely interesting and dynamic.
After Brown, I worked at the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development During law school in D.C., I volunteered at Different Avenues, an organization that aids individuals involved in survival sex, specifically transgender youth. During law school, I spent a summer interning at MFY Legal Services, which is a non-profit that houses numerous legal projects. I worked in MFY’s Mental Health Project and aided in advocating for disabled individuals living in adult homes. I also spent one summer during law school interning at the Neighborhood Defenders Service of Harlem, a public defender organization, where I shadowed the senior trial attorney in Manhattan Criminal Court. During law school, I was part of the Georgetown Criminal Defense Clinic, in which I was able to represent individuals arrested of misdemeanors in D.C.. After law school, I interned at the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center for a few months until beginning my current position at the Children’s Law Center. The Sex Workers Project is a legal project that represents individuals engaged in sex work on a variety of legal issues (housing, employment, domestic violence, trafficking, etc.)
I graduated from the joint JD/MPH program at Georgetown University Law Center and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 2006.
I got married last summer (August 2008) to Aaron Broudo. Aaron is also an attorney, and he works in finance. We live in Park Slope, Brooklyn and love the neighborhood.
I have been involved in the sex workers’ rights movement for the last 10 years (my senior thesis at Brown was on stigmatization of sex workers!). My Master’s thesis was about the public health impact of criminalization on those involved in the sex industry. During law school, my law review article in the Georgetown Journal of Gender and the Law was a review of laws on Prostitution. I was also the Symposium Editor of the Gender Journal and organized a symposium on sex work at the law school. I am still very involved with the Sex Workers Project, where I used to intern, and am currently helping to organize their first annual fundraiser (which is coming up soon on April 23rd). I am an active member of the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project of NYC, the local chapter of a national empowerment/activist organization for sex workers and allies. We have monthly meetings, attend rallies, create position statements, and partner with other relevant organizations on pertinent issues.
My experience at Brown studying women, gender, and sexuality has continued to inform my understanding of the world, my work, and my personal life everyday. My interest in sex workers’ rights, for example, began during sophomore year in Carolyn Dean’s Women in Modern European History class (I can’t recall the exact title of the class, but it was something like that), as we were studying the Venereal Diseases Acts that were enacted during the early 20th century. It was from there that my interest in sex workers’ rights blossomed into something that has lasted for 10 years, and will continue to grow. If it were not for Brown and what I learned from classes,peers, professors, and the experience in general, I wouldn’t have been so sure that I wanted to go to law school and pursue public interest – Brown (specifically the Gender Studies experience) just made this choice so clear to me. I think because of this I was one of the only people that was truly happy in law school and fundamentally enjoyed learning, as I had a clear idea of why I was attending law school and what types of endeavors I wanted to pursue after graduation. Finally, I also learned how to think critically and push the envelope in regards to political activism, but ultimately to respect and value diverse worldviews.
Jamie Crook (2001)
I am an attorney. I am about to begin a six-month clerkship with the South African Constitutional Court, clerking for the Honorable Chief Justice Langa. I have a Fulbright grant to stay in South Africa for an additional four months researching land reform and rural poverty.
After graduation I taught for one year in New Orleans. Then I attended one year of a two-year masters program in creative writing at the University of Texas, Austin. I decided to pursue a law degree instead, which I received from the University of California, Berkeley. After law school I clerked fir the Honorable Richard Paez, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Curcuit. I just finished an almost 2-year fellowship in San Francisco, during which I practiced environmental law and employment law (representing workers).
My gender studies degree and my time at Brown more generally have influenced my personal and professional paths in so many ways. At core, my time at Brown, and the gender studies program, inspired me never to stop questioning, to be endlessly curious, and to work for social justice--both in terms of my career and how I live my life.
Michelle (Gross) Lilly (2001)
I am currently a post-doctoral fellow at a psychotherapy clinic at the University of Michigan. In August of 2009, I will become an assistant professor of clinical psychology at University of Northern Illinois.
Following graduation from Brown, I moved to Boston for two years where I worked as a research assistant at McLean Hospital. After Boston, I pursued a joint doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. My dissertation was successfully defended in June of 2008. I am currently completing a clinical post-doc in order to apply for licensure and wait for my husband to complete his degree in Chemical Engineering.
I got married in the summer of 2007 to my husband, G. Daniel Lilly. He is defending his dissertation in Chemical Engineering in the summer of 2009 before we move to the Chicagoland area.
My doctoral research focused on women who were involved in violent relationships. I interviewed women through out the greater Detroit, MI area, focusing on how women cope with, and recover from, violence in intimate relationships. I am deeply passionate about my research despite the fact that it can be somewhat depressing at times. I have also been involved in a project in South Africa that focuses on HIV/AIDS education in impoverished factory workers using art and photo voice to increase communication and community learning with some colleagues at University of Michigan. Through this project, we became acquainted with a number of particularly resilient women who we went back to interview in the summer of 2008. We are currently pulling the project together to form a book that includes these incredibly womens' stories and photographs.
My studies at Brown have intimately informed my thinking about myself, my studies/research, and the contributions of my work. As a joint doctoral student, the preparation that I had at Brown to engage more fully with feminist theories and issues, as well as integrate this into my work, was invaluable. I believe that I carry with me a significantly different perspective than many in my field and am therefore able to contribute uniquely to research on violence against women. What I learned most from my studies of women and gender at Brown was always to question everything and never be satisfied with simple explanations, always considering how intersections of every level of identity and experience impact an individuals' lived experience.
Carmel Drewes (1998)
I am expected to graduate with my MSW from Smith College in August 2009! While in the program I have completed two full-time clinical placements in Atlanta, Georgia; first at Families First where I worked in school-based intervention as well as traditional office-based counseling and then at Jewish Family and Career Services where I did home-based assessments with older adults as well as psychodynamic outpatient counseling. I have just completed my master's thesis on Anonymous Sperm Donor Preferences of Non-Genetic Mothers.
Immediately after graduation from Brown, I worked at the Women's Center of Rhode Island, where I had done an academic internship during my senior year. I then traveled in Central America for a year and worked at various short-term volunteer positions. When I returned to the states in 2000 I moved to Austin, Texas where I worked at the Migrant Clinicians Network addressing the public health response to migrant and immigrant healthcare
My partner Jess and I live in Charleston, South Carolina where she is a professor at the College of Charleston (and let me guest lecture to her Intro to Women's and Gender Studies class this past year!). We have a soon-to-be three-year-old named Garin and are expecting another baby in December 2009.
I have done significant volunteer work with Mexican and Central American immigrants as well as other social justice work related to race and ethnicity. I also devote a lot of time to issues of women's assertiveness and self-defense after having earned my black belt at a feminist karate dojo in Austin. In 2008 I designed a peer-led self-defense program though the Women's and Gender Studies program at the College of Charleston.
I have incorporated a more nuanced view of the construction of gender and sexuality into all areas of my life. In my personal and professional worlds I am attuned to the performance of gender and how to challenge the social constructions that I encounter.
Shira D. Epstein (1994)
I am currently Assistant Professor of Jewish Education, Jewish Theological Seminary
I earned an MA in Educational Theater at NYU in 1996. I received my Ed.D from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2003
I conduct research on adolescent girls and gender issues, and have developed a project titled "Evaded Issues in Jewish Education - aimed at training educators to reflect upon how they might better attend to gender issues that arise in their teaching. www.jtsa.edu/evadedissues