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Fall 2019

Features

After earning her performance studies master's degree, actor and writer Ashley Nicole Black ’08 MS became a TV star. She hopes her career sets an example for other diverse voices.

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When Claudia López ’19 PhD began her doctorate in political science at Northwestern in 2011, she was already well known in her native Colombia as an activist, political researcher and fearless investigative reporter. Before López was awarded her degree last June, she had also served four years as a Colombian senator, beat cancer, run as the vice presidential candidate for the Green Alliance Party in 2018, triumphed over stereotypes as a proud lesbian and inspired a new generation of voters.

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claudia lopez mayor-elect bogota, colombia
Northwestern neurobiologist Martha Vitaterna ’92 PhD helped discover the first molecular piece of the mammalian clock. Since then, research with Clock mutant mice has shown that circadian rhythms are important to almost every physiological process — from sleep to digestion to mood and more.

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In 1869 the Northwestern University Board of Trustees voted to admit women as students. This academic year we are commemorating 150 years of women at Northwestern, to celebrate the individuals who have taken risks, charted their own course and inspired great change.

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Blaze Pizza started with a trip to Chipotle in 2011. Looking for a no-wait pizza lunch, Elise Wetzel ’87, ’92 MBA and her husband, Rick, ended up eating burritos, but the made-your-way format sparked an idea.

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Northwestern alumna Jolene Loetscher ’01, namesake of South Dakota's Jolene's Law, spearheaded a campaign to end child sexual abuse in South Dakota. Loetscher, a former TV reporter and CEO of Mud Mile Communications, was named a 2019 Presidential Leadership Scholar.

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Villy Wang ’90 JD founded the Bayview-Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology (BAYCAT), a nonprofit social enterprise in San Francisco that helps young people from low-income communities capture and tell untold stories and create social change.

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Northwestern All-American Kristen Kjellman Marshall ’07 remains active in the lacrosse world, helping to grow the sport and mentor young women as a coach, camp organizer and children's book author.

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Jody Gerson ’83, the first woman to be named CEO of a major music publishing company, wields enormous influence in the entertainment industry as chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group. She has transformed UPMG into a billion-dollar–plus company.

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After overcoming adversity in her own life, Jade Maze ’08 MMus is mentoring promising musicians at the Merit School of Music, a community music school in Chicago that serves talented youth in its tuition-free college-prep conservatory.

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Emily Harburg ’18 PhD built Brave Initiatives, a series of workshops and camps for girls designed to promote self-efficacy and develop confidence in coding.

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When Sheila Gujrathi ’92, ’96 MD was a student at the Feinberg School of Medicine, she took a year off between her second and third years to live in an ashram in the south of India. Her mother, a pediatrician, was so worried about Gujrathi that she called the ashram and asked them to send her daughter home to finish school, but Gujrathi wanted to lead a more centered life.

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Northwestern alumna Karen DeCrow led the National Organization for Women in the mid-1970s, when she campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, defended Title IX and ran the first Take Back the Night march.

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Voices

Northwestern professors weigh in on how parenthood has changed in the past generation — and the advantages and drawbacks of 21st-century parenting.

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Lori Post, an architect of the prototype for the patient protections section of the Affordable Care Act, says the creation of a federal universal background check is imperative to stop mass shootings because a patchwork of federal and state laws has created loopholes.

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Kellogg School of Management professor and Apostolic Church of God pastor Nicholas Pearce finds common ground — and inspiration — in the pulpit, the classroom and the boardroom.

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Discovery

Northwestern researcher Galen Bodenhausen says that despite women’s political gains, an economic crisis can spark gender stereotyping.

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Innovation

Sahar Jamal, founder of Maziwa, is creating a battery-powered breast pump so new mothers in East Africa can return to work. Maziwa’s design includes a cooler and pump so that women can collect and store breast milk even if they have no access to electricity or refrigeration, and the pump’s sleek, compact design also allows women to pump more discreetly.

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Student Vishaal Mali's startup puts pedal power to good use. PedalCell provides cyclists with reliable onboard power during their ride.

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News

Earth and planetary sciences graduate students Leah Salditch and Molly Gallahue spent a week in September hunting down earthquake anecdotes on California excursion. The memories they gathered will help inform state hazard maps of quake-vulnerable areas.

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Northwestern students, alumni and professors share insights into their research and performance around the world.

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Alumni

Many Northwestern alumni consider themselves Wildcats for life, but when you spend three years playing the role of Willie the Wildcat, it becomes part of your identity. Zoe Goodman proudly served as the University’s mascot from 2010 to 2013.

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Flanked by an arch of rainbow-colored balloons, David Waymer ’14 had an exciting announcement for the nearly 70 members of the class of 2019 standing before him. As president of the Northwestern University Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association (NUGALA), he was speaking at Lavender Graduation — a ceremony held June 18 to celebrate the achievements of graduating students in the University’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual and ally community.

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NUPAC

“We Will” Update

A transformative gift from two longtime donors will help generations of highly qualified students obtain a Northwestern education. Trustee and alumnus Jeff Ubben ’87 MBA and his wife, Laurie, have made an estate commitment of $50 million to support scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and professional school students.

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Inspired by their families, a love of Northwestern and the desire to make the University and the world a better place, women philanthropists have created exciting new spaces, programs and opportunities for students.

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At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 17, Northwestern benefactors, trustees and administrators joined with other Chicago and Illinois dignitaries to officially open the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K.

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