We Are Westridge

A community blog featuring Head of School Elizabeth J. McGregor, the Westridge Leadership Team, our esteemed faculty members and occasional special guests


Mentorship, Technology & Glee: The Westridge Alumnae Connection

A key part of my job as Director of Alumnae Affairs is to connect with Westridge alumnae, from Baby Boomers up through New Millennials. It’s a fun challenge, given our 100+ year history and large alumnae pool that at times, can feel a bit segmented as I approach alumnae by class year, decade, or through Young Alumnae Circle events geared toward the past 10 years of graduates.

I began thinking about connecting on a whole new level after reading a recent Washington Post blog highlighting the importance of engaging girls with tech education and leadership early on. In his blog, reporter Chris Boulton stressed the fact that “technology education must start as early as middle school” and that “girls, especially, need to be kept engaged to help address today’s tech gender gap.” But what sparked my interest most, was his point that mentoring in early education is critical.

I couldn’t agree more, and see great value in the mentoring that occurs when alumnae return to campus for the Alumnae Luncheon Speaker Series that allows juniors and seniors to hear an alumna’s first-hand account of college and career.. In November, we had  Kristen Brown, from the Class of 1986, speak to juniors and seniors about her path from Westridge to Caltech, where she now heads the Marketing and Communications Department. We also had a noteworthy group of seniors speak at a recent Open House about the research they’re participating in at esteemed institutions, including Caltech. They are receiving excellent mentoring in this wonderful Westridge program and are already sharing their passion for research on our campus.

Boulton's blog also brought to mind my one of my favorite alumnae moments thus far, one that encompassed both mentoring and technology, with a touch of glee. This particular connection occurred during a Boston-area gathering of alumnae, where I witnessed a unique moment between a Class of ’61 alumna and Class of ’11 alumna. Never mind their 50 year age gap; all it took was mention of MIT and they were connected, bonding over a mutual affinity for science. Next thing I knew, they were tinkering at the piano, their bond further cemented after discovering they both were members of the Westridge glee club.

My hope is to build connections in other parts of the country where Westridge alumnae reside, and to bridge the gaps between class years. Meanwhile, I hope these two Boston-based science buffs stay connected as the soon to be MIT graduate navigates graduate school, career and hopefully returns to Westridge one day to mentor our budding scientists!

Lisa Vandergriff
Director of Alumnae Affairs

For more information, visit the Alumnae Events page. 

Posted by We Are Westridge on Monday January, 19, 2015 at 09:00PM


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