Congratulations to Wellesley alum Kate Freeman ’84, who was elected to the National Academy of Sciences! The astrobiologist says she “is stunned and was last seen wandering aimlessly through the labs gurgling happy nonsense words.  She is also grateful to her wonderful students, friends and colleagues.”

(via Freeman elected to National Academy of Science)

Thanks to Rosa Lafer-Sousa ‘09 (@RozFranklin51) for this month’s pick!


(left to right: Marg Garascia ‘09, Liz Good ‘09, and Eloesa McSorely ‘06)

This past month Elizabeth Good ’09 set two ambitious goals: 1. Raise $5,000 for the South Boston Neighborhood House. 2. Finish the 2013 Boston Marathon. After meeting her first goal(!), Liz lined up with thousands of beaming marathoners in Hopkinton and hit the ground running. Meanwhile, I drove out to mile 18 with Julia Kean ‘08, Marg Garascia ‘09, Eloesa McSorely ‘06, and a cooler full of beer and snacks to cheer her on. For everyone, the Boston Marathon is always a deeply inspirational event and a joyful celebration. But for Wellesley alumna, the marathon holds an extra-special place in our hearts. So I was particularly proud this year to be holding a sign for our very own Liz Good (with a hand a drawn Wellesley ‘W’ in the corner).

Just minutes after jogging alongside Liz somewhere near mile 18 of the Boston marathon (to the tune of an impromptu acapella rendition of America the Beautiful by Marg Garascia ‘09 and Eloesa McSorley ‘06), the bombs at the finish line went off and pretty soon police cars were zipping down the marathon route. I was instantly relieved to know that Liz was okay, though only a few miles from the finish line. But my heart was still lodged halfway up my throat as I thought of the folks who awaited her at the finish line—her parents in the grandstands, directly across the street from the first bomb; her Wellesley brothers and sisters who had followed her all day, from Hopkinton, to Wellesley, and now to the finish line; and the nameless supporters who had come out to cheer on all the marathoners, not just the elite runners. After hours of phone calls, texts, and social media updates, we knew that our most beloved were safe and sound, albeit emotionally rocked.
But what inspired me most was that, when the dust and the smoke settled, Liz, without hesitation, committed to running again, to finishing.

So proud, so inspired,

p.s The outpouring from Wellesley alumna across the globe was a tremendous reminder of the community we have.
p.p.s this story also goes out to Hillary Chu, and any other young alums who ran the marathon!! Very proud of my sisters who did something I could never even try to wrap my head around!


Many of us here at WU are class of ‘08 and some of us are kind of excited about this thing called REUNION! So if you haven’t done so already, can you please register so we can all hang!


WU Staff from ‘08

Kacie Lyn Kocher is a 2009 alumna recently broke away from the LSE library to give a TEDx speech in Istanbul on her work against street harassment and other forms of gender-based violence. Over the past two years, she has founded Canimiz Sokakta (the Istanbul branch of Hollaback!), which uses technology to give voice to those who experience street harassment.

Together our stories have significance and worth, and we can use crowd sourcing and mobile technologies to bring these stories together, to bring them to light and to color our world. This is impossible in a world of silence.

Check out her previous posts for the Wellesley Underground.

Submit your story of harassment today, no matter where in the world it happened.

See the Istanbul movement here.


We would like to visit an alternate universe in which College Hall did not burn down.



Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) no. 2, 1986

Adrian Piper was a professor in Wellesley’s Philosophy department until 2007.



Adrian Piper, My Calling (Card) no. 2, 1986

Adrian Piper was a professor in Wellesley’s Philosophy department until 2007.

Caroline Rose, Class of 2011, has released the video for “America Religious,” the first single from her forthcoming album.

Read more about Caroline and the video over at Paste Magazine.

I first heard that a form of hate speech against Muslim students at Wellesley had occurred last weekend. As a Muslim Wellesley alumnus, my anger, frustration and urge to speak out immediately rushed through me. As an American who grew up feeling victimized in the aftermath of the hate expressed against Muslims and any deemed as ‘exotic/foreign other’ in the nation’s discourse after 9/11, I felt paralyzed. In the past, I might have sat down and shut up while the events played themselves out naturally. In the face of the hate now, I refuse to be quiet any longer.  I refuse to allow this discourse to only affect Muslim students on campus. I refuse to allow Wellesley to tacitly allow hateful speech, intolerance, racism and xenophobia to color any student’s experience, regardless of their background.

The need for a respectful, open discourse on differences, power and an accepting environment must be recognized, and this instance of hate only serves to underscore it.

The initial tweet occurred on Saturday, one that fed in to the general, uninformed discourse that promotes hate against a group of people due to the identification of the bombers as being Muslim.

One thing differed, however, and that was that the person behind the tweet was a Wellesley student, and a senior, at that.image


Accompanied by the tweet was an earlier blog post, iterating 10 signs of going to a college ‘rife with liberal pestilence’.  Of all the points, the tenth stands to be related to the tweet. The student had felt this way for a while, and it was only when her tweet was made (publicly) that people began connecting the dots.

In response, College Government’s Multicultural Affairs Coordinator released a statement both condemning the Boston attacks as a tragedy and acknowledging the effects of hate speech, while discussing the need for solidarity and pushback against intolerance. The MAC did so in spite of initial pushback by some students on campus as it being a case of freedom of speech. A section is included below.


… I cannot express in words what it means for me as a Muslim to see people so determined and committed to making people aware of xenophobia and Islamophobia and that they not only are not okay, but that Wellesley is better than them. As a Wellesley student, I see this allyship happen against homophobia, racism, sexism, and so many other negative reactions to happenings. As a MAC, this allyship just confirms to me how amazing Wellesley siblings are at standing up and saying something in the face of anything that threatens the safety and respect of our community.


 At Wellesley, there have previously been instances of hate speech and we need to be prepared to address any that occur now and in the coming days. The response to these statements has always been with the intention and commitment to making these instances teaching moments not only for individual people, but for the campus community at large. That is why I am reaffirming my commitment to all communities on campus and to making Wellesley as safe an environment as possible for all communities: because a threatening statement or a feeling of insecurity to one of us or to a group of us, however small, is actually a threat to all of our abilities’ to feel safe and to come together in the face of external conflict and issues…


When the student learned that Al-Muslimat, the Muslim Students Association, actually did take offense to this so-called incident of ‘freedom of speech’ and that they were working to file an Honor Code violation, she deactivated her social media and wrote them personally an apology, one that could frankly be seen as half-assed, to say the least.


Hello there Al-Muslimat,

This is [name removed]. I am writing to apologize to you about the immature, inflammatory nature of a tweet I sent out the other day. The tweet was written hastily and carelessly. No one should be proud to be prejudice. I have a hard time dealing with Wellesley’s culture, so sometimes I lash out. I want to be the type of person who thinks for herself and draws her own conclusions. But prejudice is not the way to do this. Please email me if you have any more concerns or would like to talk to me more about my political beliefs.


To further underscore my point, she went ahead and blogged about the tweet making her infamous for speaking ‘the uncomfortable truth’.



There is no excuse for speech found to be hateful against a group of people.

In moving forward, a few things need to be considered and discussed. Why was this instance initially pushed aside as a ‘matter of free speech’? Must the only students to feel the pain of this occurrence be Muslim? Ultimately, what are constructive steps that Wellesley College can take in moving towards not only a more respectful and open discourse, but in also instilling a socially conscious and less indiscriminate mindset in its students?

I am tired of having to explain to individuals why their hateful speech against the Islamic faith is nothing more than hate, an expression of which is furthest from freedom. Having opposing opinions on the gun control debate can be recognized as freedom of speech. Expressing intolerant beliefs on a faith or group of people cannot be recognized as such. To fall back on this weak excuse, for example, is not allowed if we were to replace the word ‘Muslims’ with ‘African Americans’ or ‘gay students’. Intolerance is intolerance, across the board. As a college focused on instilling power and self-acceptance within its students, we cannot allow for hate of any kind to be passed off as anything more than it is: hate.

An event like this affects more than the Muslim students on campus. It affects any self-respecting, forward-thinking Wellesley woman, because an event like this has, in effect, marginalized, devalued and pushed aside a very diverse group of students who identify with the Muslim faith.

As a college priding itself on educating strong Wellesley siblings, we cannot sit idle any longer. It is certainly telling that even with the current multicultural requirement set in place, a senior felt it within her current mindset and place to publicly instigate feelings of hate towards Muslim students on and off campus. Short of anything, this only serves to underscore the dire need for a strengthened, affirmative multicultural requirement, focusing not simply on fluffy topics akin somewhat to Disney’s ‘It’s a Small World After All’. Students must be given the chance, during those four incredibly short years, to be presented with concrete and pressing issues of race, minority struggles, othering and power.

Wellesley College purports to instill in its students the power to WILL. It’s telling when it instills in only some of its students the power to will, while they marginalize and disallow other students to be nothing more than others on campus. Wellesley, I call upon you to make a difference in the world, by instilling the passion for open discourse and true diversity acceptance within your own students. Make a difference. Take a stand.


Laila Alawa is a member of the Class of 2012. You can follow her on Twitter and read her writing in the Huffington Post.


To:             The Wellesley College Community
From:        H. Kim Bottomly
Subject:     A Statement of Support
Date:         April 24, 2013

Since the Boston Marathon tragedy last week, statements against Muslims have begun to appear on public forums and in the media.

All members of our community should resist the impulse to stereotype or make unsupportable generalizations of any group. Such actions have no place in an academic environment. Expressions of group hatred diminish our community, damaging the sense of trust and mutual support that characterize Wellesley.

As I said at Senate on Monday, what makes our community so special and strong is our commitment to supporting one another. Maintaining such a supportive community is an ongoing effort that takes continual work and vigilance. We take pride in our multifaith, multicultural, and diverse community. In times like these, it is especially important to embrace this diversity in order to have a thoughtful, constructive, and respectful dialogue—that is the hallmark of the Wellesley community.

On-campus, you may view the latest post at
or, from off-campus you can log into MyWellesley and view the post.
Editors Note: The term “hate crime” in the original post has been replaced with the author’s permission the term “hate speech.” 

Move over Jaime Escalante. Samantha Brewer McKay c/o 2007 showing her teaching skillz (Samantha cameo at 2:46).


Last Sunday, I attended a prospective students event for my alma mater, Wellesley College. I always look forward to meeting the newly accepted students from the Chicagoland area. I remember what an exciting but anxious time this was for me back in the day, so I’m always happy to answer their questions and share what my experience was like at Wellesley.

Well, I barely walked through the door before a proud, amiable Pops (father) of a prospective student introduced himself to me. He asked if I enjoyed my experience at Wellesley, and I told him that I had very much. He then pointed in the direction of his daughter and proudly said, “That’s my daughter. She’s been accepted to Wellesley. Make sure you speak to her.” I smiled and congratulated him, and said I looked forward to introducing myself to her. Then the conversation took an interesting turn. “Wellesley is a great school, Pops said. “My wife and I are excited about her going there, but I’m concerned about the all-women’s environment, especially with the push for marriage equality and everything. I’m nervous and don’t want her pressured into anything. What do you think?” I politely asked him to clarify what he was truly asking me. He said he was nervous about the push for gay rights and the permissive culture in the country towards gays and lesbians and how this would play out at Wellesley. In other words, he didn’t want his daughter to become a “lesbo,” because you know that’s what happens to all women who attend women’s colleges, right?!

I must admit that I found this conversation amusing for a couple reasons. First, of all the people in the room that Pops could have raised this issue with, it would be me- the only lesbian alumna in the room. Second, this scenario made me chuckle because my mom had the same concern about Wellesley. She thought that something in the Seven Sister water would turn me into a full-fledged, unapologetic feminist Sappho. Uhhhh…well…I suppose she was right in my case. I’ve been in situations like this before with people who made similar comments to those of Pops. There were times when I wasn’t bothered by their statements and even engaged the person in dialogue- especially when their comments didn’t appear to be motivated by meanness or disrespect- and other times when I flat out challenged him or her. But I’ve also had moments when diplomacy and being above the fray were not my priority, and I happily and quietly dismissed folks to leave them alone with their thoughts, or lack thereof. In that moment with Proud Pops, however, I gave him a warm smile and told him that, like many colleges, Wellesley has people from different backgrounds and walks of life, including people of different sexual orientations, and that this diversity is one of the things I most cherished about my life and friendships there. “Your daughter will meet lesbian and bisexual women at Wellesley,” I told Pops.” But don’t worry; they’re not recruiting. I think she’ll be just fine.”

I found out that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been surrounded and subsequently captured, alive, last night while watching Pitch Perfect in my Manhattan apartment with my roommate. I had spent almost the entirety of the day glued to MSNBC, CNN, Boston.com, and Twitter – graduate school reading piled untouched at my feet – and had only taken a break to walk along the Hudson in the late afternoon and then to watch the movie with my roommate. As Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson sang for their lives in the final climactic scene of the movie, my cellphone vibrated with texts from my mom and friends. As soon as the movie ended, I flipped on the news and felt my heart swell at the sound of Mayor Menino’s mumbles. I felt pride, love, and relief. I felt oddly upset I had missed the moment of capture itself, after following the news all day. I felt disturbed that Tsarnaev is only 19 years old, and that he had been found, bleeding and hiding in a boat. I also felt lonely in New York, wishing I was at home, drinking a million Sam Adams in a Southie bar and hugging my Boston family and friends.

These are just a few of the feelings I have experienced since the two bombs went off on Monday afternoon at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. There have been more feelings in the air than have names. There was fear, of course, and disbelief and panic and shock. There was grief, of course, and sadness and anger and confusion. There was patriotism, of course, and camaraderie and resilience and calm. There were also endless combinations of these, and even more complicated, convoluted emotions that could not be expressed in words. The overarching feeling right now though is, thankfully, relief, after the marvelous work of the law enforcement officials statewide. It’s still too soon to know many things – if Tsarnaev will survive his debilitating injuries, if there are more bombs, if this is part of a larger terrorist network, hell, we don’t even have confirmation yet if Tsarnaev is the right guy (remember that whole innocent-until-proven-guilty thing we’re so proud of?) – but at least in this moment we can breath a little more freely. But even so, there is another feeling creeping in under it all: guilt.

Growing up in Lexington, Massachusetts, for a long time for me the third Monday of April had been more about minutemen than runners. I would wake up in the dark to walk to Lexington center with my dad, where we watched adults in 18th century clothing play-fight on the town green. The smell of gun powder and wet grass were the smells I associated with the day, and even on the years that I didn’t feel like getting up early, the sounds of muskets and cannons woke me up anyway. In high school, I made friends who had grown up outside of Paul Revere’s territory. While I still enjoyed heckling Red Coats with childhood friends at the Concord parade, I learned about the greatness of the Boston Marathon. A close friend had grown up on the Marathon route in a house at the top of Heartbreak Hill and she had been handing out orange slices to runners since she was in the womb.

Only when I became a first year at Wellesley College, though, did Marathon Monday become my day. Fellow 2010 alumna, Makkah Ali, wrote an incredible piece that captures the spirit of Marathon Monday on the Wellesley campus. It’s a beautiful day to connect with friends and strangers alike, a day that moves even the most stone-cold-non-criers (such as myself) to tears at so many humans trying to achieve something incredible, a day to drink beer in the sunshine and scream and cheer and kiss and be so damn happy to be alive. I was at Wellesley for three marathons, and the day I felt the most homesick for Boston while living abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, was April 20, 2009. The year after I graduated, I was inspired to run from Hopkinton to Wellesley with Allison Broadwater, ’09, and this year, when Liz Good, ’09, was training to run all 26.2 miles, I said, yes, of course I would blow off a day of my grad school classes and come up from New York to run the Newton Hills with her.

For all of this personal history, the events of Monday, literally, struck close to home. When I returned to New York late on Tuesday night, my roommate, who had also grown up in the Boston area, had waited up for me. We talked, and she, too, was shaken up as I recounted my luck that Liz had been running slowly, so we were only at mile 19 when the bombs went off. But my roommate, who has a Masters in International Relations and keeps Al Jazeera as her web browser’s homepage, reminded me that in the scheme of things, three dead and over a hundred injured is not so bad. This is, sadly, very true. I thought of Glenn Greenwald’s article on The Guardian that mentioned how on Monday, in Iraq, a series of car bombs killed 42 and injured more than 250. An event that already would have gotten minimal press coverage got almost none, since the whole world was standing with Boston instead.

This is when the guilt began. It makes me sick that the “Marathon Mondays” happening every day in Syria and Iraq, amongst other places, do not get the kind of attention and care that the bombings in Boston did. No one, ever, in an ideal world, should have to feel unsafe in the place they call their home. I can only hope that because so many Bostonians felt what it was like to have such a horrific event in their own city, that perhaps they will feel more empathy for the events in other countries and bring them the attention and support they deserve. We are a city of cowering liberals without guns, right, Nate Bell? But, unfortunately, that probably won’t happen. Boston residents will go back to school and work and daily trips to Dunkin’ Donuts and the violence and terror will fade from their minds, because, it’s hard to care about places to which you are not connected. It’s awful, and as a “diehard liberal communist” (my grandfather’s description of me), I know I should say otherwise, but I think it is human nature.

Yesterday, as I tried to work on a research paper for class, in between refreshing the news headlines, I GChatted with a grad school friend. What are you up to today, she asked, what’s going on. I was startled that anyone could be having an average, normal Friday with the ongoing lockdown and manhunt in Boston. I explained the headlines to her, and how I was in a news black hole, and she expressed her sympathies, saying she wanted to give all of Boston a “big hug.” But then she went back to work. She is from Seattle. She lives in New York. She’s never been to Boston. It’s not her place, and so even as much as she tries to care, it’s not the same as when it happens on your own turf. In 2010, when multiple bombings ravaged the Moscow subway system, I was a wreck. I had spent over a year living in Russia in college, including a month-long course in Moscow, and as I saw images of bleeding civilians in the very Metro stops I had frequented regularly, I wrote frantically to Russian friends to ensure their safety and tried to make sense of the violence. However, to my friends who had never been to Russia, Moscow was just a faraway place, full of vodka and snow, where everything took place in sepia-tone. Not their place. Not their home.

I have spent all but two years of my life living in or around the Boston area. I was just down the street from the explosion. I have so many people that I care about who live within a 20-mile radius of the Marathon finish line. As much as my academic, liberal, pacifist, democrat brain wishes it were otherwise, I can’t help feeling more intensely about Marathon Monday than an Iraq car bombing. I hate that about myself, and I will try my hardest to do otherwise, but it is human nature, and until, one day, I get to visit the Middle East myself and feel a personal connection to the place, it will be hard to break that instinct.

— E.B. Bartels, Wellesley College ‘10 
Twitter + Tumblr: @theeeebster // www.ebbartels.com


 I’ve created these flyers for a school activist project where I bring more attention to the women in history that have been forgotten or ignored. This blog will be an extension of those flyers where I post longer biographies of these women and other bad-ass women like them. Too often women’s achievements have been pushed aside, either by others in their lives, or else by the historians who choose to ignore them. This tumblr is dedicated to celebrating them and bringing their achievements to light!

(via lawd-knows)


REBLOG for a chance to win LADYPOINTS SWAG!

Our Kickstarter is ending soon! We’re so excited about the support and feedback we’ve gotten that we want to give you a chance to win some LADYPOINTS prizes. Here’s how:

One winner from each social media site will be randomly chosen to get a limited edition LADYPOINTS tote bag and a LADYPOINTS bundle that includes items from our talented reward bundle contributors, listed here.

Follow and repost on all three sites, and you’ve got 3 chances to win!

You have until the end of our Kickstarter, Sunday April 21st at 12pm, to enter! Good luck!

You obviously want to reblog this post for the chance to win one of their very cool bundles.  Check out the ladypoints tumblr for all of the awesome features of the bundles!

It’s the last week of the Ladypoints Kickstarter campaign. Check it out and support feminist filmmaking!

Wanna win some lady-art swag? REBLOG THIS POST!

REBLOG THIS POST, PEOPLE. There are only 4 days left to donate to this awesome webseries and score some awesome stuff while supporting women’s representation in media!!

So. Do it.

Only 3 days left to support this awesome Kickstarter and win some some fantastic swag!

Check out the wonderful LADYPOINTS Reward Bundle Contributors to see all the cool things you could win!

And again, their pilot episode features Wellesley’s own Nicole Drespel!