Hesse-Biber Named to Newton Panel

Newton Mayor David Cohen has appointed Prof. Sharlene Hesse-Biber (Sociology) to the city's Commission for Women, a 10-member group Cohen formed to advise him on issues and concerns relating to women.

Although she is not a Newton resident, Hesse-Biber said she accepted the post because her academic and research interests coincide with the commission's charge. Among the areas she and the members will likely explore are mental health, child care, ethnic and race relations, elderly issues and balancing family-career needs.

"Newton is perceived as a mostly white, upscale suburban community," Hesse-Biber said, "but there are many kinds of lifestyles, encompassing a range of social and economic factors. How to reach across those differences and provide a forum for all women in Newton? But this is a conversation which ultimately involves many others, not just Newton women, and that is something we also will address.

"Serving on the commission offers a way for Boston College to reach out to Newton, in a way it has done elsewhere," she continued. "If our experience and knowledge can contribute to the discussions going on in these communities, then BC fulfills an important part of its mission."

-Sean Smith

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