Pushing Perspectives

A full slate of exciting and engaging guests and community members has made this new speaker series a rousing success.

At Marlborough, girls learn how to think, not what to think. Integral to this work is exposure to a wide range of enlightening and inspiring outside voices--speakers and leaders who add to a diversity of experience and points of view. To increase our opportunities to welcome such guests to campus and to provide another venue for our community members to share their talents and knowledge, this year Marlborough introduced the new lunchtime speaker series Pushing Perspectives.

Here, club presidents share their reflections about the guest speakers they have invited during this first year and the ways in which they helped us all to connect, reflect, learn, question, and push beyond what we think we know about each other and the world around us.


Rami Prochilo ’19, Girls Go Global Co-President

Girls Go Global is a student-run organization committed to the rights of women and girls globally. The club aims to educate and involve students of all grades through campus-wide dialogues, relevant speakers, and student-led discussion within our weekly meetings about issues that women and girls face across the world, as well as current events that have global impacts. We are also committed to fundraising for organizations that improve the lives of women and girls, including Room to Read, Girls Learn International, and Girl Up.

Many Marlborough students know about the ACLU, but I really wanted the Marlborough community, including myself, to learn more extensively about their work and their mission as it so heavily connects to the interests of students. Melissa Goodman, the Audrey Irmas Director, LGBTQ, Gender & Reproductive Justice Project at the ACLU, was the perfect person for this because she has been involved with the ACLU for so long and has worked in many different areas, such as immigration and LGBTQ rights.

Melissa shared stories of specific individuals and the limitations they encountered in the face of discrimination and injustice. From these stories, I was more fully able to understand the importance of knowing your rights and knowing that you have the power to stand up to institutions that are doing wrong. It was impactful to see the way that our rights, or lack thereof, can have consequences that might not be obvious from the surface but deeply affect people's lives in various ways.


Katerina Johnson ’18, EAST President

Exploring Asian Societies Together (EAST) aims to encapsulate the Asian-American experience at Marlborough and in the United States. Through open discussion, we encourage students to share their stories. Further, we discuss the plight of minorities in the United States and educate Marlborough students through open forums that pertain to Asian-American issues, such as the fetishization of the Asian-American woman. The club also hosts an annual feast each year to bring in money for organizations that support Asian-American women.

Writer, Cartoonist and Actress Lela Lee opens up debate about the role of Asian-American women in society – particularly that these women are often overlooked as society forces them into silence and submission. Her series of books titled Angry Little Asian Girls portrays Asian-American women in a powerful light. She suggests that Asian-American girls can speak up and do not need to fall in line with societal constructs. This was a perfect fit for EAST, as girls in our group sometimes feel constrained by society’s expectation of them to be a “model minority.”

Lela’s talk opened my eyes to the nation-wide issue of the treatment of minorities. Listening to her speech, it was fascinating that many parts of the country view Asian-American women as smart, quiet, and submissive. The speech also proved powerful for club members as many of them told me that she said exactly what they had been thinking for years.

Anna MacFarlane ’19, Amanda Oh ’19, Emily Yee ’19, Career Connections Club Co-Presidents

The Career Connections Club mission is to introduce various career paths to students by bringing in speakers from different fields. We hope these speakers will provoke questions, teach skills and lessons, offer knowledge, and provide the inside scoop about their occupations. Career Connections also offers resumé building workshops, help with networking, and interviewing practice. This club hopes to spark curiosity and teach life skills for the future in a fun and informative way.


Anna MacFarlane ’19

One of my favorite speakers that the Career Connections Club has hosted is Entrepreneur and Social Media Consultant Devan Sood. Devan began his career when he was a freshman in high school when he created and sold his t-shirt company. Since then, he has taken on additional entrepreneurial endeavors, such as his current project, a live streaming app. I found Devan's success story inspiring since it showed us that it's possible to run a start-up in high school. Devan's focus on the importance of failure when starting a business was also very interesting. He suggested that it's not only important to learn from your mistakes, but that true success comes from your ability to get back up as quickly as possible.

Amanda Oh ’19

We all love Susie Cakes, and always want to hear from people we admire! We invited Susan Sarich, founder of Susie Cakes because she embodies the values of a Marlborough girl. As an industry leader in the male-dominated business world, her ability to persevere despite facing numerous challenges was an inspiration, and the value she places in helping her community after it helped her is extremely admirable. Susan emphasized how hard you have to work to create a successful business. She was viewed as a wildcard, starting her business with nothing but recipes. She had to fight for funding and against landlords who refused to rent to her. She put lots of time and effort into expanding her business and shared tips for business success.

Emily Yee ’19

Due to the large gender disparity in STEM-related fields, the club wanted to hear from a well accomplished female scientist who could shed light on her story and what it took to break into this industry. Dr. Shivani Sharma was the perfect woman for the job as she has no shortage of accomplishments in science. She serves as Associate Director for the NanoPico Characterization Lab at UCLA, is a founding member of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles (ISEV), and is on the editorial board of two journals. Not to mention, her award-winning cancer research work has been featured worldwide and a new mother to twin girls.

Dr. Sharma talked about her story and how she works to educate people on gender bias in science. I was surprised when she said that in 2017 only 10% of students in Delhi University were women. Through passion and hard work, she managed to be where she is today. Despite her parents’ traditional expectations for her to get married right after college, she followed her passion all the way to Los Angeles in pursuit of higher education.



Other 2017 – 2018 Pushing Perspective Speakers Included:

Sharon Horgan, Writer, Actress, Producer, Director
Jeni Britton Bauer, Founder, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Nina Garduno, Founder, Free City
Annie Tevelin, Founder & CEO, Skinowl
Astrophysicist Dr. Rachel Paterno-Mahler ‘03
Katie Hill
, Congressional Candidate
Jamie Tarses, first female president of ABC, and Channing Dungey, first African-American president of the ABC Entertainment Group
Brian S. Bentley, former LAPD officer
Scot Jones, Executive Chef at Crossroads Kitchen
Ashley Bell, documentary filmmaker of Love & Bananas, and Lek Chailert, world-renowned elephant conservationist
Cynthia Germanotta, Co-Founder of the Born this Way Foundation
Melanie Stricklan, STO and Co-Founder of Slingshot Aerospace

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