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Mary Talks

Mary Talks: Round 1

9-10:15 a.m., Integrated Science Center (ISC)

Room 1: ISC 1127            

Stop Standing Yourself Up
Jamia M.T. Crockett ’00, Manager, Community Benefits at Mary Washington Healthcare

We all have an important role to play in life, and most of all, we have the most important role to play in our own lives. In this talk I’ll examine how to treat ourselves with compassionate curiosity, optimistic bravery and some TLC.

Yoga & Meditation for Health and Well-being
Christine Yvonne Paradis ’84, Lacrosse Coach/Wellness Director, Amherst College

Striving to be healthier and happier? In this Mary Talk, I will introduce participants to the ancient practices of yoga, pranayama and meditation, as well as recent research on the science behind them. From flexibility and balance to stress relief and greater resilience, the evidence shows that making time for these practices may positively influence your health and well-being. The session will be both experiential and educational. Easy movements and breathing practices will be explored and you will leave curious to examine ways to implement such practices into the busyness of your daily routine! No experience or special clothing required.

The Power of She
Lisa Green ’83, Associate Rector, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church

In “The Dance of the Dissident Daughter,” Sue Monk Kidd writes, “When we truly grasp for the first time that the symbol of woman can be a vessel of the sacred, that it too can be an image of the Divine, our lives will begin to pivot.” Female language and imagery for God is a missing link in women’s flourishing. It’s a practice with plenty of precedent in Jewish and Christian Scripture and tradition, yet mostly absent in personal and congregational prayer. If we believe we all are created in God’s image (Genesis 1:28), more expansive naming and picturing of God better reflects divine and human reality. It also helps us remember that all our words and images are glimpses of a much bigger mystery beyond knowing. Most importantly, by helping free women and men from unhelpful hierarchies, a wider understanding of God can inspire deep inner and outer transformation, leading us toward healing and justice.

Coping To Conquering: Learning to Thrive After Autism Changed Everything
The Honorable Helen Elizabeth Hoens ’76, Justice, Supreme Court of New Jersey (ret.)

Everybody envisions a perfect life, that planned and predictable path to success, but sooner or later everyone is confronted with a crisis that disrupts our plans, derails our dreams and dashes our hopes for the future we dreamed about. Whether crisis comes clothed as job loss, divorce, a health setback, the death of a loved one or more, it can be overwhelming and might even seem to be insurmountable. Using the life-altering lens of my son’s autism diagnosis, I will describe how I learned to use crisis as the catalyst to creating a life that I hadn’t even dared to dream was possible, and show you the steps you can take to conquer crisis in your life.

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Walking Each Other Home: How to Hold Space for Meaningful Friendships (and Maybe Change the World)
Amy Beth Steindler ’80, Founder & CEO, The InsightOut Life, EQ Insight Coaching, and Through Your Own Lens Workshops

Spiritual teacher Ram Dass wrote, “We’re all just walking each other home.” In my emotional intelligence coaching practice, the profound truth of his words became clear as I realized that many of my clients lacked deeply satisfying friendships characterized by transparent, authentic and open interactions free of drama or competition. In this talk, which combines practical emotional intelligence with personal and spiritual growth in a global context, I’ll describe how to do the one thing that’s necessary for having amazing friends: be an amazing friend.

Writing Your Last Chapter
Tracy Lyn Stauffer ’98, Medical Social Worker, Amedisys Hospice

If tomorrow you could not speak for yourself, who would be your voice? Would they know what you want and why? 80 percent of Americans want to spend their final days in their home; yet, 80 percent of us actually die in hospitals and nursing homes. Our society doesn’t discuss death despite it being one of the few things we all share. Let’s start the conversation about planning for your last chapter.

Husbands are More Dangerous Than Terrorists: What We Can All Do to Break the Cycle of Family Violence
Melanie Karyn Morgan ’84, J.D. ’87, Staff Attorney, Family Law, Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

Statistically, family violence kills more people each year than terrorists. It affects our society at all economic levels and disproportionately affects women. In this talk, I will confront misinformation about family violence and explain practical steps anyone can take to help victims break free.

Leadership Traits: Gen X and Millennials
Elizabeth Nieto P ’14, Global Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, MetLife
Maite Montes-Nieto ’14, Complaints Officer, MetLife Gulf

There are abundant leadership competencies models that can help us understand the capabilities required to be successful in global corporations. However, we have found self awareness of leadership styles and preferences is helpful in guiding the development of your own leadership identity. As a global Gen X executive and an up-and-coming professional, we will share our own leadership identity journeys and the tools we use to adapt to our environment while maintaining an authentic self. The dynamic conversation will present new research on leadership, gender and generations. 

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Righting What’s Gone Wrong with Youth Sports: The Secret to Keeping Kids in the Game
Wendy Rilling LeBolt ’83, Founder, Fit2Finish LLC

Sports used to be so good for kids, but today’s youth sports environment — with its increasing focus on developing championship athletes — has ushered in an adult approach to training which features too much, too early, too often and at too high a price. Everywhere, kids are dropping out, sitting out or sidelined with injuries. The key to recovering a healthy approach to youth sports lies in recognizing that growing children are fragile because that’s the nature of all growing things. They need to develop at their own pace to gain their footing in sports and to reach their potential in life. In this presentation, we will look at how a simple and successful approach to training kids for healthy fitness and injury prevention can also communicate a powerful and encouraging message for life. Sports are still good for our kids. We all win when we can keep them in the game.

Make Working Remotely Work for You
Lizzie Dabbs Salita ’15, Lead Technologist, Booz Allen Hamilton

How do remote employees stay productive and advance their careers? Do the pros of full-time teleworking ever outweigh the cons? Whether you have remote colleagues, manage teleworkers or are considering making the switch to a non-traditional work environment, this talk will cover strategies to make working from home work for you.

Refusing to “Play the Maid’s Part”: Women in the Shakespearean Theatre
Charlene Victoria Smith ’05, Founder/Artistic Director, Brave Spirits Theatre

Shakespeare is the most performed playwright in the world and is taught in classrooms across the nation. But though women make up 51 percent of the population, only 16 percent of Shakespeare’s characters are female. This talk will consider the trends of crossgender casting, regendering characters and all-female productions to look at the hidden tradition of female performance in the past and how women today are creating a new Shakespeare canon for actresses.

The Secret to Thriving: How to Hack Your Brain and Tame the Inner Critic
Dorian Patrizia Baroni ’81, Founder, Dorian Baroni LLC; Women Agents of Change

You are smart and competent, but you find yourself at times thinking and doing things driven by the fear of being an impostor. You are in a meeting and it is only later that you think of what you should have said or done to turn things around. You are feeling ‘in the grip’ too much of the time and you wish you could find the space or time to think more clearly and with greater ease. If any of these scenarios ring a bell, this session is for you.

In this session, you will learn about the tri-motive brain systems — threat, drive and safe — and how they are activated by both outer complexities and the inner critic. You will discover how to find your clarity and access your knowhow more of the time, so as to navigate real or internally constructed challenges.


Mary Talks: Round 2

10:30-11:45 a.m. in the Integrated Science Center (ISC), Rooms 1127, 1221, 1280

Room 1: ISC 1127 

Feminism, Suffragists, Money Woes and the Spanish Flu: The Transformation of William & Mary in 1918 
Professor Emerita Jayne W. Barnard, Chair, Commemoration of 100 Years of Coeducation, William & Mary

What happened in 1918 that caused the Virginia General Assembly and the William & Mary Board of Visitors suddenly to decide to admit women? Who were the movers and shakers who were influential in this momentous change? Who were the beneficiaries? Who were the critics? What happened next? Travel back in time to 1918 and learn how the Marys came to join the Williams.

Manage Your Money: What to Do First
Frances Jones Aylor ’71, Managing Director, Hastings Bay Capital LLC

Should you manage your own money or pay someone to do it for you? This talk will focus on beginning investment strategies, including the importance of saving and having a balanced portfolio. I’ll also share tips on how to invest in stocks, exchange traded funds and mutual funds, as well as robo-advisors, which are growing in popularity.

How To Count Your Eggs Before They Hatch
Dr. Marcelyn Carol Hawkins Molloy ’92, Physician, AmeriCares Free Clinics Incorporated

Women today have a greater ability to control their future fertility success and preserve their fertility. What are these fertility preservation options and at what cost? Why aren’t we talking more about these options? Do these options guarantee fertility success in the future? What is the impact of the infertility business on women’s physical and psychological health? Preventive health education needs to include fertility awareness and preservation so that all women are empowered to make family planning choices that include options for now and in the future.

Jeanne McPhillips ’86, Founder, SuperGirlls

This talk will feature SuperGirlls — a movement to inspire college women as they launch into the real world — but aren’t we always either launching or re-launching something, someone? The focus will be on the role women can play for one another as we navigate the complex challenges of life.


Room 2: ISC 1221

A Post-Truth World Survival Guide
Rebecca Kate Miller ’04, Head of Library Learning Services, The Pennsylvania State University

In this Mary Talk, I will address the realities of the rise of fake news and a “post-truth” outlook — specifically, the types of information behaviors and technologies that enable the spread of misinformation. I will outline the skillsets, mindsets and behaviors that allow literate individuals to distinguish trustworthy information from unreliable information, and identify existing resources for battling misinformation and building information literate individuals and communities. You will leave with the confidence that you can do something to change the current information landscape and the resources to empower that action.

Sharon (Teddy) Hall McBay ’63, Commercial Real Estate, Three Peaks Inc.

Helen Keller said, “Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Giving a Mary Talk here at William & Mary Women’s Weekend is a daring adventure for me as I discuss my lifelong secret. I am no longer satisfied with the vanilla answer, “I am FINE” — knowing full well that FINE is an acronym for F'ed Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Exhausted.

Feminism, Suffragists, Money Woes and the Spanish Flu: The Transformation of William & Mary in 1918 
Professor Emerita Jayne W. Barnard, Chair, Commemoration of 100 Years of Coeducation, William & Mary

What happened in 1918 that caused the Virginia General Assembly and the William & Mary Board of Visitors suddenly to decide to admit women? Who were the movers and shakers who were influential in this momentous change? Who were the beneficiaries? Who were the critics? What happened next? Travel back in time to 1918 and learn how the Marys came to join the Williams.

The Body is a Journey of Empowerment
Christina Lyn Cox Lebreton '00, Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Riverside Partners in Women's Health

No one knows your body better than you and your OBGYN, but tackling good health and cancer prevention as a team takes commitment. As you age, the importance of education, regular testing and honest conversation will strengthen your resolve to live a healthier, happier life.