Girl Power: New Women’s Network Celebrates Alumnae

“Brandeis’ own Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

That’s how Amy Cohen ’85, co-chair of the new Brandeis Women’s Network, introduced Dona (Seeman) Kahn ’54, at the network’s launch event in New York City. The volunteer-led effort brings together aspiring and inspiring Brandeis alumnae and friends to share ideas, insights and experiences through engaging events and programs.

At the launch, Kahn told a large audience about hunting for her first job in the 1950s and being rejected by federal agencies because she was a “girl.” Today, Kahn is a pioneering employment attorney.

The network’s second event featured Posse Foundation founder and Brandeis Trustee Deborah Bial ’87, H’12, talking about her work to build a more just and diverse leadership pipeline in America.

According to co-chair Talee Potter ’97, the network is a grassroots effort. “The power of the Brandeis experience is steeped in the deep relationships and special connections we made at school,” she says. “This is our way of taking that to the next level and facilitating women helping women. I hope we will consider our fellow Brandeisians when selecting business associates, hiring, networking, mentoring and more.”

Cohen and Potter also hope the network’s launch in New York City will inspire Brandeis women in other cities to form their own chapter. Email to learn more.

Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations; Talee Potter ’97; Dona Kahn ’54; Amy Cohen ’85; and Nikki Mannathoko, associate director of alumni relations, at  the launch of the Women’s Network in New York City

Patsy Fisher, vice president of alumni relations; Talee Potter ’97; Dona Kahn ’54; Amy Cohen ’85; and Nikki Mannathoko, associate director of alumni relations, at the launch of the Women’s Network in New York City.

Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16
Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16

The Path Forward

When I think back on my time as a Brandeis student, I know it was truly some of the best years of my life. I never thought why — like my classmates, I just enjoyed the ride. After I graduated and entered the working world, I soon realized my Brandeis experience wasn’t like that of my colleagues who went to other schools — it was so much more.

Fast-forward to this fall, when I attended my first Board of Trustees meeting. President Ron Liebowitz’s Framework for the Future was a topic of much discussion, including what steps we should take to improve the student experience, support collaborative research and innovation, and honor our founding values.

And then the proverbial lightbulb went off — these three elements, when experienced in unison, are what made the Brandeis experience so wonderful for all of us. This experience is unique, and we need to ensure it continues for future generations of Brandeisians.

I am inspired daily by stories of alumni who are still living by Brandeis’ founding values — people like my Alumni Board colleague Risa Levine ’83, who was recently recognized for her tireless advocacy on behalf of fertility patients. Jon and Melissa Cordish, both ’90, whose generosity has transformed Brandeis’ tennis facilities. The many alumni who recruited students for jobs and internships at on-campus career fairs this fall. The alumni volunteers in New York City who relaunched the LGBTQ+ Alumni Network. And the others you’ll read about (in the story on this page) who launched the first-ever Women’s Network.

The path forward relies on each and every one of us to do our part. I know we can join together to make sure Brandeis remains such a special place, because in so many ways we already do.


Lewis Brooks ’80, P’16
President, Brandeis Alumni Association

Here Come the Judges

Brandeisians converge, at gatherings near and far.

A group of people stand at the door to the Mark Taper Auditorium

Over the summer, alumni and friends participated in a guided tour of the historic main branch of the Los Angeles Public Library and a discussion, led by Robin M. Katz ’06, about “The Library Book,” by Susan Orlean, which chronicles a devastating fire that occurred at that branch in the 1980s.

Three men and women stand in front of the Fenway grounds at night

Brandeis International Business School alumni celebrated at Boston’s Fenway Park this fall, part of the school’s 25th anniversary festivities.

Two men address an audience on what looks like a small stage with "Stonewall" visible in the background

Event co-chairs Jeremy Gonzales-Gottlieb ’10 and Abel Flint ’15 (along with third co-chair Matt Lee ’15) welcomed attendees to an LGBTQ+ alumni mixer at New York City’s Stonewall Inn this fall. The event relaunched the region’s LGBTQ+ Alumni Network.

Large group of adults and kids surround people dressed in Elmo and Cookie Monster costumes

“Sunny day, sweepin’ the clouds away.” More than 70 alumni and friends enjoyed the Alumni Association’s annual outing to Sesame Place, in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania.

Two smiling men and a smiling woman

More than 60 alumni who graduated in the 1990s attended an annual cocktail party in New York City hosted by Talee ’97 and Harvey Potter ’95, with a trivia game presented by Julian Zelizer ’91.

A man talks with a woman while seated in front of a blue Brandeis backdrop

Stephen Cecchetti, the Rosen Family Chair in International Finance at Brandeis International Business School, leads a discussion with former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, now a distinguished fellow-in-residence at the Brookings Institution. Yellen appeared at Spingold Theater before a crowd of more than 600 to commemorate the school’s 25th anniversary, delivering an insightful analysis of the U.S. economic outlook and talking about her close friend Rachel McCulloch, the late economist and Brandeis professor. The formation of the Rachel McCulloch Endowed Scholarship Fund at Brandeis was announced during the school’s anniversary celebration.

Four men and two women pose with plaques

Six outstanding former student-athletes were inducted into the Joseph M. Linsey Brandeis Athletics Hall of Fame during Homecoming. Back row, from left: Barry Harsip ’73, men’s soccer; Misa Fossas ’85, men’s cross-country, and track and field; Matthew Christian ’05, men’s swimming and diving. Front row, from left: Jerrion (Benjamin) Forrester ’96, women’s track and field; Hal Appel ’56, football; Lorraine (Wingenbach) Maxwell ’09, volleyball.


A bride in a white dress holding a bouquet of white and magenta flowers, and a groom in a white suit with his hands around her waist.

Lesly Joseph, MS’16, and Valesca Saint Cyr were wed in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, on Sept. 6.

Large group of people, a bride and groom, stand behind a large Brandeis banner.

A bountiful number of Brandeisians were in attendance when Victoria Jonas ’15 and Yoni Sebag ’13 exchanged vows in Boston on June 30.

Bride, groom and five others stand with arms around one another's shoulders in front of window that looks out onto night sky.

Sam Greenblatt ’06, MA’06, and Allison Demas tied the knot in July with ceremonies in Minnesota and Vermont.

In a wood-paneled room, a group of people pose around a bride and groom holding a Brandeis pennant.

Jacquelyn Murphy ’05 and Daniel Gandhi ’06 were surrounded by friends and family at their June wedding in Dover, Massachusetts.

Group of people pose around a groom giving a thumbs up and a bride pointing at the camera.

Jill Van Denburg ’97 and Jason Paris ’92 were married on Aug. 24 at the Taconic Hotel in Manchester, Vermont.

Large group of people stand behind a crouching bride and groom.

Matthew Naturman ’14 and Jessica Granville ’12 celebrated their wedding at the Kimpton Marlowe Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 26.

Large group of people pose around a woman in a white wedding dress who's holding a small Brandeis pennant.

Rachel Goldenberg and Alex Pilger, both ’13, were married on July 7. The couple lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Two men clasp hands and smile under a white chuppah.

Stuart Appelbaum ’74 and Michihito Osawa were married over Labor Day weekend, with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy officiating.