Shereen Marisol Meraji (she/hers)
Shereen Marisol Meraji is an audio producer and reporter who has told stories with sound for twenty years, most recently as the co-host of NPR’s critically acclaimed Code Switch podcast. As a founding member of the Code Switch team, Meraji has reported on issues of race, racism and racial identity formation since 2013. In 2020, Apple Podcasts named Code Switch its first-ever podcast of the year. Currently, Meraji’s a Nieman Fellow working alongside a cohort of 21 brilliant journalists spending an academic year at Harvard focusing on, “some of the most urgent issues facing the industry, ranging from racial justice to disinformation.” In July 2022 she’s headed to the University of California, Berkeley where she’ll be an assistant professor of race in journalism, training the next generation of audio journalists while continuing to publish her own work. When Meraji's not telling stories that help us better understand the people we share the planet with, she's dancing to salsa music, baking or kicking around a soccer ball.
2023 Workshop and Mainstage Speakers
Julia Barrett (she/they)
Julia Barrett (she/her) has worked to infuse sexual violence prevention into her career and daily life since graduating from her undergraduate position at the Boston College Women's Center in 2019. She has taught history and health at various schools to K-8 students, all while incorporating conversations around consent, sexual violence prevention, bystander intervention, and healthy relationships. Both in her personal and professional lives, Julia advocates for restorative justice, ending sexual violence, and comprehensive sexuality education for all.
Marian Concepcion (she/hers)
Marian is a Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry and a Master of Social Work dual degree student at Boston College, who is grateful to be back at the Heights after graduating with a double major in Management and Theology in 2019. After graduation, she pursued stints in ecommerce in Manila, Philippines, and graduate studies in Toronto, Canada, before deciding to pivot and return to Boston. Marian hopes to eventually work at the intersection of faith and social justice. In her free time, she loves visiting her family and friends scattered across the world–Jakarta, Manila, Montreal, Singapore, New Jersey, and more!
Kelly Dalton-Clooney (she/hers/they/them)
Kelly Dalton-Cooney graduated from Boston College CSON in December 2009. Kelly began her career at Boston Children’s Hospital on the bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit. In 2015, Kelly transitioned from pediatric BMT to adult outpatient oncology. Kelly’s career has taken her from Boston, to NYC, and back again. She currently works at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In addition to oncology, Kelly is also passionate about advocating for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2018, Kelly joined the BC LGBTQ NYC Alumni Chapter planning committee, to foster community, plan events, and connect with queer alumni. Kelly currently serves as a member on the Executive Committee of the BC LGBTQ+ Alumni Council. Kelly lives in Massachusetts with her wife, Erin, and son, Brooks.
Laura DelloStritto (any pronouns)
Laura DelloStritto's experience advocating for groups with unmet needs at Boston College motivated them to pursue a degree in public health in Boston University with the goal of improving health outcomes. After graduating, Laura managed research projects within Dana-Farber Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Genomics before joining Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, where they now manage research projects related to infectious diseases. Laura has served in various roles at LGBTQ+-focused organizations since 2011: as a peer listing line volunteer and research intern at Fenway Health, a member of the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ+ Youth, and a board member and coordinator of the annual #BiHealthMonth campaign at the Bisexual Resource Center. Laura currently serves as the co-chair of Boston College's newest alumni affinity group, the LGBTQ+ Alumni Council, and in their free time enjoys breaking out of escape rooms.
Rachel Dibella, Moderator (she/hers)
Rachel DiBella is a licensed psychotherapist, group facilitator, and part-time faculty at Boston College. Rachel currently serves as Associate Director for Prevention & Education for Harvard University's Office for Gender Equity. Prior to joining Harvard, Rachel oversaw LGBT health, violence prevention, and gender justice initiatives in higher education, healthcare, and legal systems. Rachel is currently a Doctoral Fellow in the Center for Multicultural and Global Mental Health at William James College, where she is pursuing a Doctor of Psychology, examining the roles of leadership in organizational trauma and resilience.
Emily Egan (she/hers)
Emily Egan serves as a Campus Minister at Boston College where she directs the Arrupe International Immersion program. Emily received her B.A. and M.A. in Theology from Loyola University Chicago where her love of Ignatian spirituality began. Her commitment to a faith that seeks justice has informed her vocation as a spiritual director, interfaith community organizer, service-learning educator, and retreat director.
Cassidy Gallegos (she/hers)
Cassidy Gallegos is an Assistant Director in the Center for Student Wellness, overseeing the mental health and wellness division. A passionate advocate and educator with a Masters's degree in Mental Health Counseling, Cassidy is creating and implementing a comprehensive approach to mental health promotion and suicide prevention on campus through the installment of training, workshops, and mental health awareness events. Cassidy's goals for the BC community stem from both her personal and professional experiences learning about, advocating for, and directly addressing mental health needs on this campus: she pulls from her time as an undergrad at BC as well as from her role as a clinician in the Sports Counseling Clinic last year as she strives to facilitate and promote a culture of vulnerability, authenticity, and transparency. She believes in the importance of fostering spaces where individuals are empowered to care for and prioritize their holistic health and well-being and is excited to be in a community with students who inspire and motivate her daily.
Macie Gettings (she/hers)
Macie Gettings, MCAS '22, is currently attending Boston University School of Medicine pursing her medical degree. Through an unexpected path of taking a gap semester in the middle of undergrad, Macie has ultimately ended up in a field where she is constantly challenged, inspired, and driven more than she could have ever hoped for. In her time at BC, Macie developed a passion for trauma informed care and working with survivors which has transitioned well into her current work. She conducts research with trauma surgery patients and volunteers with NICU babies who are experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome. Outside of her career pursuits, she loves trivia, making cocktails, and going on coffee walks. Feel free to chat with her about coping with indecisiveness (a battle she has yet to win), discovering what you're passionate about, or keeping up with latest tiktok trends as she struggles to stay up to date with pop culture.
Djanan Kernizan (she/hers)
Djanan Kernizan is an Administrative Business Partner at Google based in New York City. She graduated from Boston College in 2019 with a BA in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. During her time at BC, Djanan was the President and Co-Captain of Females Incorporating Sisterhood Through Step, an undergraduate staff member in the Boston College Women’s Center, and an Orientation Leader. After graduation, she began her career at NBCUniversal and later transitioned to working in the technology industry. She is extremely passionate about empowering women, fostering equitable opportunities for Black women within the tech industry, and cultivating communities of genuine support and love.
Janasia Little (she/hers)
Janasia Little graduated from BC with a degree in African and African Diaspora Studies and Biology on the pre-med track in May 2022. With these two majors, she plans on using an intersectional perspective when it comes to pursuing her interests of medicine and minority communities. She is taking time before medical school to gain clinical experience. Outside of academia, she loves to do her makeup, cook different cultural meals, and spend time with her family and friends.
Tess Murphy (she/hers)
Tess (she/her/hers) graduated from Boston College in 2019 with a degree in International Studies and Faith, Peace, and Social Justice. At Boston College, she was most involved with the Women’s Summit and Campus Ministry. After graduation, she moved to Nashville, TN where she taught sixth-grade Social Studies and English Language Arts. She is now studying Education Policy Analysis at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and hopes to navigate the inclusion of topics, such as religion and LGBTQIA+ rights, in public school curricula post-graduation.
Siobhan Pender (she/hers)
Siobhan Pender is a member of BC's Class of 2022, where she double majored in Environmental Studies and Economics with a concentration in Environmental Policy. Originally from New York, Siobhan now lives in Boston and has been working at Ramboll as an Environmental Consultant starting in September. She was an EcoPledge Co-President during her senior year at BC, and has continued to cultivate her passion for sustainability and environmental awareness in both her career and in her personal life. She loves spending time outside (especially the beach), going to concerts (used to be a DJ at WZBC!), and going on walks with her family dog, Hercules.
Virginia Mahoney (she/hers)
Virginia Mahoney, MSW, LCSW is the Assistant Director of Health and Wellness in the Center for Student Wellness at Boston College. As a passionate Social Worker and Double-Eagle herself, Virginia aims to enhance student awareness and education about wellness-focused behaviors and activities. Virginia oversees the management and direction of the Institute for Wellness Coaching and works to infuse health and wellness across the University through consultation and campus-wide events. Virginia is honored and excited to be a part of the 2023 Women's Summit.
Amaka Nnaeto (she/hers)
Amaka currently is a product manager at BlackRock based out of New York and has been working in the financial technology industry for 3 years. While not working, she’s constantly trying to figure out her Life (capital L on purpose). In the time in between, she enjoys reading, outdoors, and health and wellness, joking about and hanging out with friends.
Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez (she/hers)
Andrea Perdomo-Hernandez is a freelance producer for WBUR, the Boston-based NPR member station.She is from South Florida, where she was a reporter for public radio stations in Miami and Fort Myers. She also produced for regional and statewide public affairs programs. Andrea has won regional and national awards for her reporting on the environment, education and migrant communities."
Alison Marshall (she/hers)
Alison Marshall is a board-certified, practicing Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP). She earned her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Sociology with Honors from Boston College in 2000, and her Master’s in Nursing from Yale University in 2005. She has completed her Ph.D. coursework at Boston College and is working on her dissertation. Alison has practiced at the South Boston Community Health Center since 2005. She is a full-time Clinical Instructor at the Boston College Connell School of Nursing as well as Faculty at The Sylvie Ratelle STD/HIV Prevention Center of New England, a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded national training organization for practicing providers.
Amirah Orozco (she/hers)
Amirah Orozco is a graduate of Boston College BA Philosophy and Political Science '19 and Master's of Theological Students '21. She is now getting a PhD in Theology at the University in Notre Dame where she studies Feminist Latina Catholic Theology. She has experience working with college women as a member of the Women's Center staff and a Sexual Assault Network Advocate. She also works with Latine Catholic leaders to help envision what a Catholic Church that is radically accepting would look like in a post-colonial world. Her strongest held belief (besides that God is love) is that Fleabag Season 2 is a perfect season of television (check out her Medium article online.)
Saturday, February 4, 2023
Breakfast sponsored by The Council for Women of Boston College
Registration in Gasson Hall Rotunda
WELCOME AND MORNING KEYNOTE
Opening Remarks and Opening Keynote
11:15 - 12:00 p.m.
Workshop 1, Various classrooms in Fulton Hall and Gasson Hall
12:00 – 12:45 p.m.
Lunch (Fulton Hall Library)
12:45 – 1:30 p.m.
Workshop 2, Various classrooms in Fulton Hall and Gasson Hall
1:45 - 2:30 p.m.
Mainstage Panel Conversations Gasson 305/Gasson 100
2:45 - 3:00 p.m.
Student Performances and Closings
3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Student Vendor Fair, Gasson 112
Addressing the Elephant in the Room: Authenticity & Vulnerability at BC: Virginia Mahoney (she/hers) & Cassidy Gallegos (she/hers)
Addressing the Elephant in the Room
In this session, Cassidy and Virginia will lead the group through a stimulating conversation aimed at addressing topics that are often overlooked or misunderstood. We hear about the importance of vulnerability all the time, but what does it actually mean to embrace vulnerability? What does it look like to show up authentically on a competitive college campus amidst a culture that emphasizes perfection? Cassidy and Virginia will incorporate their own experiences from their time as undergrad students at Boston College to anchor the group in a reflective, discussion-based workshop to develop insight, create connection, and identify strengths and barriers in their own mental health journey, culminating in the creation of a mental health toolbox to improve functioning and holistic wellbeing.
Identifying and Integrating Your Passion into Your Life Beyond the Heights: Laura DelloStritto (any pronouns) and Kelly Dalton (she/her/they/them)
Identifying and Integrating Your Passion into Your Life Beyond the Heights
There are many paths to pursue after graduation and it can feel overwhelming and stressful to decide what to do next—how will you choose? In this workshop, two alums will share how their campus experiences informed their post-grad journeys, how they integrated their passions into their professional lives, and how their shared interests helped them stay connected with the BC community through the LGBTQ+ Alumni Council. Participants will engage in a personal reflection activity to recognize what activities inspire them and leave the session with a list of the next steps to explore translating them into a career.
The Importance of Advocating for Yourself in the Workplace and Beyond
Entering the “real world” can be overwhelming and daunting, but learning how to advocate for yourself can help you find the people and resources to guide you throughout your journey. In this interactive workshop, we will explore what it means to “advocate for yourself” while navigating the workplace and finding mentorship and community.
A Feminist Spirituality of Everyday/Lo Cotidaino
Catholics believe that God is to be found in the world if only we have the contemplative eye to see Her. While we often think of contemplative people in a far away, secluded place, Latine theologians in the United States have brought our attention to everyday life (lo cotidiano) as a space where deep mysticism happens. They make the admittedly anti-establishment assertion that our grandmothers (abuelas) are just as connected to God as the Pope. This will be a workshop on contemplative practices using the texts of our lives as starting points for understanding our relationship with God. Students will be asked to do a personal reflection. We will end with a contemplative practice to help us think about the way spirituality is tied to social justice and our own embodied identities. Students of all faith traditions and worldviews are welcome.
The Art of Quitting
In this workshop, attendees will hear from alumni who have found themselves in the boat of knowing when it is time to continue fighting the fight and when it is time to leave, and how they navigated these questions both while at BC and in post-grad.
The Mystery of Recycling (and why it shouldn't be a mystery)
We’ve been told to reduce, reuse, and recycle since our elementary school days. However, this narrative is so often pushed by “Big Oil” corporations. We are led to believe that their plastic bottles, containers, and other goods can be recycled, but also that it is the consumer's responsibility to deal with plastic waste. In reality, this is a much larger issue that cannot solely be placed on the back of the individual- a reality that our society has been coming to terms with only recently, when it seems as though our plastic problem has gotten too out of control to handle, potentially leaving us in a position where it is too late to change. In this workshop, we will navigate ways that we can hold large corporations accountable for environmental pollution and waste they have caused, and also learn to recycle the best that we can- because individual actions do matter.
How to Figure Out Your Life When You Barely Know What's Going On
As we enter the glorious and strange chapter of life that is early adulthood, between friendships, interests, and purpose, it can sometimes feel like we barely know what’s going on. This workshop aims to empower you to start asking the sometimes intimidating and always necessary questions about yourself as well as give you a framework to figure out this beautiful thing called your life.
The Anatomy, Physiology and Functioning of the Human Genitalia
This workshop will highlight the biological functioning of human genitalia, including normal growth and development through the lifespan, sexual function and reproductive function. Socially constructed norms such as femininity/masculinity, sanctioned sexual activity and the dynamics of pleasure vs power will be examined in relation to genital health and wellness.
Storytelling in News Media: Building Trust in a Community
In this session, we discuss the importance of providing reliable, accurate news to underserved communities and how a journalist can gain the trust of a community while telling stories that are authentic. Attendees will learn how to cultivate sources and how to resist taking the easy road when reporting on marginalized communities.
Restorative Justice after Sexual Trauma
Restorative justice is increasingly recognized throughout the world as a means of healing after trauma, and yet most survivors of sexual violence are not offered restorative justice options as a path towards healing. This workshop will build from an understanding of restorative justice broadly into an examination of how restorative justice can play a role in healing after sexual violence - both at a structural and personal level. Attendees are encouraged to participate in this timely, important, and forward-looking workshop to whatever extent feels appropriate and safe for them as an individual.
2023 Summit Planning Team
Director, Womens Center
Assoc. Director, Women's Center
A huge thank you to all of our co-sponsors, for their generosity and encouragement!
Office for Student Involvement, Council for Women of Boston College, and Undergraduate Government of Boston College, Center for Student Formation, Graduate Student Life, Center for Student Wellness, Residential Life, African and African Diaspora Studies, and Pulse