Candidates for the Wellesley Alum Pride Alliance Governing Board (2018-21)
In accordance with the WAPA Bylaws, WAPA's Nominating Committee has submitted a slate of candidates to serve as WAPA's Governing Board for 2018-2021. All members of WAPA are invited to record their vote regarding this slate. The voting period shall be open from June 9, 2018 to midnight Eastern time on June 25, 2018.
Submitted by WAPA’s Nominating Committee on June 5, 2018:
Polly Munts Talen ’77 - Minneapolis, MN
Sarah Warn ’96 - Seattle, WA
EB Lee ’17 - Boston, MA
President: Malinda Lo ’96
I am honored to be nominated to serve as WAPA's President for 2018-21. As a founding member of WAPA and the Acting President for 2017-18, I know there's still so much to be done in building this shared interest group. I envision WAPA as a diverse and inclusive group that can connect LGBTQ+ alums with each other and with current LGBTQ+ students for mentoring and support. Moving forward, I'd like to survey WAPA members on what they want WAPA to do for them. I also hope to build on the connections I've made with the Alumnae Association and continue to represent WAPA to them as they learn more about Wellesley's LGBTQ+ alums.
Professionally, I'm a writer; my books are about queer girls and women. I co-founded Diversity in YA, a project that celebrated diversity in young adult literature, in order to advocate for marginalized voices within YA. Previously, I was managing editor at AfterEllen, a website that covered the representation of lesbians and bisexual women in entertainment. More information about me and my work can be found at my website, malindalo.com.
Vice President for Programs: Jessica (Planos) Sirizzotti ’10
New York, NY
As the first LGBTQ Events Chair for the WNYC Club, I've loved meeting alums from all class years, many of whom were attending their first official alum events after years of not feeling part of the network. I've had the pleasure of helping organize 8 Pride events for WAPA in 2018, and headed Wellesley's first official participation in NYC's Pride March last year. I look forward to working with regional reps to bring queer community events to our global network of alums!
At Wellesley, I served for several years at Spectrum Secretary and also wrote the first-ever Queer Cultural Show. When not event-planning, I work at a financial literacy program for unbanked people, answer reference letters for NYPL Correctional Services, write for Wellesley Underground, jeerlead for Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and expound lovingly about MTA station artwork.
Vice President for Membership: Ellie Smith ’14
I’ve had the opportunity to serve on WAPA’s interim board for the past year as a VP of Membership with a focus on connecting with our members and getting the word out about this brand new group. Some of my contributions thus far include: creating a newsletter template, updating the website, promoting WAPA-related news through eblasts and on Facebook, participating in board meetings, and planning a pride event for alums in Washington, DC. I sincerely believe in WAPA’s mission to “build a community with LGBTQ+ alums by providing opportunities to share experiences, support each other, and connect with current students.” I think WAPA has an opportunity play an important role in recognizing existing communities of LGBTQ+ alums, in addition to building community and visibility among a wider circle of alums. I’m involved in several Wellesley alum groups, including WLAN and WAAD, and I’m on the current board of the Washington Wellesley Club.
I live in DC and work in public sector consulting. Outside of work, I enjoy hiking and backpacking, painting (mostly watercolor and acrylic), taking care of my collection of succulents, and being involved with several LGBTQ+ groups in my community.
Vice President for Communications: Liz Wright ’13
Hi, WAPA! I'm Liz Wright, class of 2013, and I'd love to be your Vice President of Communications. Since graduating from Wellesley, I've worked in independent bookstores in my hometown of Houston, worked as my department's Dean's Fellow getting my MFA in Writing for Children at Simmons College, and am staying in Boston to work as a production assistant for scientific journals.
As a bookseller, I sent out our store newsletters weekly; as a dean's fellow, I organized events for the program and worked on our academic conferences; and now I work supporting authors through the publishing process. All my jobs have involved reaching out to people and making sure they either knew about the fun events I was organizing for them, or helping someone get something they needed. I would love to bring these skills to WAPA!
In my personal life I write queer YA, and would love to maybe work out a virtual WAPA book club or something like it. I also live with a chronic illness and would especially love to reach out to other ill or disabled LGBTQ+ alums so we can plan some online or low-key events for those of us who can't always go out and boogie. Thank you for considering me!
Pronouns: she/they (either is fine)
Secretary: Shirley Li ’15
I just graduated with my Master’s in education from Harvard for school guidance counseling. Since leaving Wellesley, I am always looking to be around other queer individuals with whom I can develop a support network. I created Boston’s Premier LGBTQIA+ - focused A Cappella group, Kinsey Scales, for which I am now the president. And as much as I enjoy singing with fellow LGBTQ+ folks, I miss my Wellesley support network.
As a school counseling intern this past school year, I started a middle school Gender Sexuality Alliance counseling group for students in 6th through 8th grade. As the group facilitator, the students have been able to create their own support network among other LGBTQIA+ identified individuals and student allies. This work, creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for all marginalized students, is something that I am extremely passionate about. My life goal is to create more caring and empathetic supportive environments in all aspects of my life: socially, academically, and professionally. As the secretary for WAPA, I would like to build my own supportive network within the queer community with my other wonderful and LGBTQIA+ siblings. I want to continue this important work and make sure all queer Wellesley sibs are welcomed and included.
Treasurer: Michelle Gillett ’95
Hello All! My name is Michelle "Animal" Gillett '95. I am delighted to continue with the WAPA governing board in the role of Treasurer. It has been my pleasure to help get WAPA up and running over the past couple of years. My hopes and dreams for this board and this organization are to become a real and virtual home for us to make connections and support each other in our shared Wellesley-ness and different-ness. As Treasurer, I can honestly commit to maintaining our $0 account balance. More importantly, and far more seriously, I will look to establishing a fiscally-viable future for the organization. We have already done a lot with so very little, I can only imagine the ways we will make a difference with a little more. If you have any ideas, knowledge of available grants or other sources of seed or on-going funding, please reach out to me at any time. I welcome each and every suggestion you may have to offer.
On the personal front, I live in Framingham, MA and recently took on a new position at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where I am the Sr. Project Manager for the Workday HR, Payroll, Finance and Student implementations. Life’s real moments, though, are at home with Heather Woods ̕̕̕ 97 and our two active children, aged 10 and 11. Forget Uber and Lyft, these lives are the true adventures of a personal shuttle service! #FreeRidesbyMama&Mummy.
Preferred Pronouns: ze/hir or she/her
Regional Representative for Southern California: Malique Carr ’05
Los Angeles, CA
I was recently reading an article about Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown’s personal decision to use the phrase “letting people in” rather than “coming out,” and the concept resonated with me. This is my opportunity to let you all in – to share who I am and why I am running for WAPA Regional Rep. Being openly queer has been a large part of my personal and professional narrative. In my role as a psychologist, I dedicated much of my time to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, coauthoring the first definition for lesbianism in the Encyclopedia of Psychology, participating in research around family diversity, and having this work recognized and awarded by the American Psychological Association.
Personally, while at Wellesley and beyond, I have been fortunate to have support from a queer community, which is something I hope to foster for SoCal alum as Regional Rep. I intend to host inclusive and varied events, recognizing the diversity and vast interests of Wellesley alum; build safe spaces to share experiences; and connect with current and prospective students who may find a home with us in the future. Thank you for your consideration and for “coming in” with me.
Regional Representative for Northern California: Amelia Manderscheid ’08
San Francisco, CA
I am interested in continuing service to WAPA as we build this organization from the ground up. I served for the last year on the Founding Committee and worked alongside the rest of the founding members on getting this organization started. As Regional Rep for Northern California, I hope to develop programming in the Bay Area that alums are interested in attending and provide ways to support one another. I will act as a voice for WAPA alums in Northern California and bring their concerns and interests to the larger WAPA community.
I am a member of the class of 2008 and double majored in the most Wellesley things possible: Economics & Art History. Despite my parents’ misgivings on that second one, I used both every day (until recently) as the head of ecommerce for contemporary art at Christie’s in New York. Last year I graduated from Columbia Business School and recently relocated to San Francisco. I look forward to new adventures on the West Coast with my wife, Erin Wilson.
Regional Representative for Greater New England: Jennifer Gresham ’94
As a recent transplant to Vermont from Massachusetts, I’ve happily turned in my 1 ½ hour commute (each way) for green mountains and a fantastic job with the Agency of Education. My new surroundings connect me with the natural environment that I'm passionate about and the new job allows me to support schools and students across the state in developing and sustaining equitable practices. I’m here with my wife, dog and cat in a great little town in Central Vermont.
I like the idea of being a Regional Rep for WAPA as another way to engage with my new community and Northern New England and to re-connect with Wellesley and other alums. I think it’s important for people to share ideas, spend time together (either virtually or in person) on things that matter, and connect over fun and festivity. If selected to be a Regional Rep, I’ll work hard to engage alums in all manner of activities and communications with each other around those ideas and fun things that matter.
Regional Representative for Boston Area: Stephanie Ayers ’10
Hi all! My name is Stephanie (Class of 2010—yay purple!) and I am running for the WAPA Regional Rep for the Boston Area.
Wellesley College was the first place that I felt safe enough to be honest with myself and allowed me to recognize my own queerness. I would like to be able to give back to the Wellesley queer community in helping to create more safe spaces for alums as we all continue to grow, expand, and reshape our ever-evolving identities. I think we as a community should give particular support to our queer siblings of color and our trans, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming (GNC) siblings.
Since graduating Wellesley, I've been an active participant in corporate diversity and LGBTQ affiliation groups at the local, regional, and international level. I was on the Board for Capital Pride in Washington, DC and spearheaded the Women’s Committee under Education & Cultural Events. I am also the co-marshal for the Wellesley contingency in the Boston Pride Parade this weekend (6/9). I look forward to putting all of the skills I’ve learned to good use combining two of my favorite things: Wellesley and being gay!!
Regional Representative for New York City: Jaymee Sheng ’16
New York, NY
I was born in Beijing and moved to Southern California when I was fifteen. Living in the U.S. and later traveling all over the world during college opened up new perspectives and ways of living and being for me. I graduated from Wellesley in 2016 and as a math major who’s inclined to humanities, I develop data-driven marketing strategies for a financial services company (for now) and read feminist literature and writings as pastime. I take full advantage of the amazing NYC Wellesley Friends of Art events and walking is my favorite activity in the city.
I have met a few LGBTQ+ alums by chance since I moved to New York – how nice would it be to have a network so we can connect with each other more easily and keep in touch? WAPA is making that happen and I would love to be a Regional Rep to bring together alums across generations and professional interests to help foster new relationships and strengthen old ones; to have invigorating dialogues and extend the love and support we give to each other beyond Wellesley.