Interviews by Topic: Open Curriculum

25th Reunion, class of 1984

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1984 captures the experiences of Jean Eastman, Kristen Duckett, Amy Hayes Davidsen, Marcia May Brown, Patti Schallman, Maria Denise Mileno, Surrenthia Renee Parker, Barbara Reid Norris, Karla Elrod, Pamela Arya, and Joy Brownstein, at their 25th reunion.

25th Reunion, class of 1985

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1985 summarizes the economically, socially, and racially diverse undergraduate experiences of Frances S. Lee, Suzanne Beth Goldberg, Margaret E. Rosen, Karen Smith, Allyson Tucker, Katherine Sabin Melchoir, and Jill Anne Hereford, at their 25th reunion.

First, the interviewees are asked why they chose to attend Brown and what their thoughts and experiences were concerning the “new curriculum” that abolished course requirements and allowed for a more open exploration of subjects.

25th Reunion, class of 1987

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1987 encapsulates the undergraduate experiences of Carol M. Snow, Kim S. Reuben, Mary Lou Jepsen, Valerie T. Tutson, Trinita E. Brown, Baishali Rinku Sen, Stephanie L. Grace, Rebecca M. Zeigler, and Pamela D. Gerrol, at their 25th reunion.

25th Reunion, class of 1989

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1989 summarizes the undergraduate experiences of Angela Thomas, Karen Brown, Marlena Schoenberg, Karen Jason, Brunilda Amarilis Lugo Pagan, Suzanne Ort, Carolyn Ou, Stephanie H. Sanchez, Karen Lisa Schiff, and Kimberly Weisul, at their 25th reunion.

25th Reunion, class of 1991

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1991 captures the undergraduate experiences of Sharon Louise Besser, Christina Anne Valeo, Pamela Bass, Prudence Carter and Triane Chang, at their 25th reunion.

The interviewees begin by introducing themselves, sharing their majors, and briefly describing what attracted them to Brown. They laud the university’s focus on undergraduate experiences and education and share some of their most influential professors including Martha Joukowsky, Anani Dzidzienyo, and Arlene Gorton.

25th Reunion, class of 1994

This interview with members of the Brown University class of 1994 documents the undergraduate experiences of Jessica Rachel Arons, Daphna Caperonis Cox, Gladys Mendez, Ava Natasha Nepaul, and Gladys Xiques, at their 25th reunion.

Alpha Kappa Alpha, class of 1976-1977

In this interview recorded during the 2018 Black Alumni Reunion, Arlean Leland and Lavdena Adams Orr, class of 1976, and Robyn Jones and Patricia Darlene Elliot, class of 1977, discuss their membership in the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and how it impacted their lives during and after their time at Brown.

Beatrice Wattman, class of 1935

Beatrice "Bea" Wattman was the daughter of a jeweler who immigrated from Moldavia in 1895  at age 18, and a mother who came from Austria as a young child. Raised in Providence along with two younger brothers, she attended Hope High School, where her classes in the "Classical" curriculum track were taught by several Brown alumnae. This interview touches on many subjects relating to her family, education, and work. 

Candace Heald, class of 1974

In this interview, Candace Heald, Brown University class of 1974, discusses her experiences as a member of the last Pembroke College class, as well as her experiences learning about and adapting to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Delores A. Bennett, class of 1997

In this interview conducted as a result of the 2018 all-class Black Alumni Reunion, Delores A. Bennett, Brown University class of 1997, discusses her path to becoming Vice President of Cloud Sales at Oracle.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, class of 1979

In this interview recorded during the 2018 Black Alumni Reunion, Teresa Cheeks, Renee Hill, and Lori Hollins, members of the Brown University class of 1979, discuss their membership in the historically Black Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and how it impacted their lives during and after their time at Brown.

Donna Zaccaro, Class of 1983

In this interview, Donna Zaccaro, Brown University class of 1983, discusses her life on the campaign trail with her mother, Geraldine Ferraro – the first woman Vice Presidential nominee on a major party ticket; her path to becoming a documentarian; and the impeachment trial of United States President Donald Trump.

Jessica U. Meir, class of 1999

In this interview, Astronaut Jessica Meir, Brown University class of 1999, discusses her experiences as an undergraduate student at Brown, the steps she took to become a NASA Astronaut, and her life and work completing a mission on the International Space Station.

Karen T. Romer, Staff

In this interview, Karen T. Romer, a Brown University administrator of 29 years, describes life for women on campus between 1972 and 2001, as well as her own experiences in postwar Europe in two separate years before college during the 1950s.

Mary Carpenter Emerson, class of 1927

In this interview, Mary Carpenter Emerson tells of her family’s tradition of attending Brown University, which included her mother, her maternal uncles and her maternal grandfather. Like her mother, Emerson became a science teacher, teaching biology, geometry, general science, chemistry and physics. She speaks of her early life: losing her father at age 11 while living in Louisiana, then moving with her mother to Rhode Island to be close to her mother’s family.

Miriam "Mimi" Dale Pichey, class of 1972

Miriam Dale Pichey’s interview is an energetic insight into the politics of student life at Brown University in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She describes both the campus atmosphere of gendered social rules and struggling for equal representation after the Pembroke-Brown merger, the founding of Women of Brown United, and the broader political environment of student activism during the Vietnam War and Civil Rights movement.

Noa Mintz, class of 2022

In this interview, Noa Mintz, Brown University class of 2022, shares about her love for Brown University and higher education while detailing her experience living through the COVID-19 global pandemic and falling ill from the virus.  She recounts managing the business she owns and maintaining Jewish traditions and community during this difficult and historic time.

Please note that Mintz's audio and transcript files are restricted. Please email [email protected] to request access.

Northrop/Forman Family, 1954, 1981, 2013

Conducted in 2013, this interview records three generations of Brown University graduates who share their individual and collective experiences at Brown from the 1950s to 2013. Interviewees include Diane Lake, class of 1954, her daughter Melanie Northrop, class of 1981, and granddaughter Sarah Forman, class of 2013.

Santina L. Siena, class of 1973

In this interview, Santina L. Siena begins with a discussion of her life before college and her reasons for choosing to attend Brown University. She describes the dormitories that she lived in, the requirements at Brown, and the dramatic changes in relationships between men and women during her four years of college. She also discusses becoming a doctor and the lasting friendships she has sustained with her classmates.

Shibei Guo, class of 2020

In this interview, Shibei Guo, Brown University class of 2020, shares her experiences as an international student from Wuhan, China, during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Susan Cowell, class of 1969

In this interview, Susan Cowell explains her reasons for choosing to attend Pembroke College, her expectations for campus culture, her roommate's struggles with class differences, and the social life of Pembroke. She also discusses her own her peers' efforts to protest the Girls School culture, including stealing the chimes, and a march to the Dean's house.

Susan Friedman, class of 1970

In this interview, Susan Friedman, Brown University class of 1970, describes her role as a leader in the creation of the open curriculum and details her professional trajectory since Brown.

Susan E. Graber, class of 1971

Susan E. Graber begins Part 1 her interview by sharing some family background information such as her mother’s college education and the expectation that her children would also attend college. She explains why she chose to attend Pembroke College and recalls some difficulties she faced as a woman pursuing science. Graber remembers her ambivalence about pursuing graduate school and the overall assumption that Pembroke graduates would go on to a career or graduate work.