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Women Funding Women’s Education
The Sunflower Initiative logo
Women Funding Women’s Education

2016/09 The Sunflower Initiative Quarterly

The Sunflower Initiative Quarterly
Autumn 2016
Ilse Meiler Goes to Smith
As we were assembling articles for the fall newsletter, an email arrived from our newest scholar, Ilse Meiler, with photographs of her first days at Smith and this note: “I wanted to thank you again for helping me reach for my dreams to attend Smith, especially since I just arrived on campus and cannot be more grateful for this opportunity.” A glance at Ilse’s photos reveals a young woman eager for her next adventure. The Sunflower Initiative is proud to be a part of that adventure. 

Ilse spent part of her summer with the Smithsonian Latino Center’s Young Ambassadors Program at the History Colorado Center in Denver in a summer internship program for graduating seniors to “foster the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts, sciences, and humanities via the Smithsonian Institution and its resources.”
Excerpts from her blog tell of her experience: “I’ve learned so much over the last month and I’ve had so much fun. This week we celebrated Colorado Day, the 140th anniversary of Colorado’s admittance to the Union. About 2,100 people came to the museum on Monday…. I spent time handing out water, talking to vendors, and manning the general store in an exhibit called Keota, where kids can exchange eggs from the barn for coins and see what they could have bought in 1925. I’ve enjoyed every moment…. Everyone here has been so supportive and kind, from teaching me how to use the microfilm machines in the library to answering my random questions about clause 11 of the Dawes Act.”
Ilse’s list of accomplishments is impressive. She is fluent in four languages, winner of the Colorado State Science Fair in physics, a participant in statewide history competitions, and has served as a substitute teacher for history at the 8th and 9th grade level in her high school. 
She is our choice for the Harriet Fitzgerald scholarship, and we are thrilled to support her choice of Smith, a woman’s college.
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From the President
by Betsy Gordon McCrodden ’66

As we enter the eighth year, I’d like to recognize some of the people whose dedication to our mission and our work has been invaluable.

Our Board of Directors has always remained lean and effective. On the first board were two women who established the early workings of our scholarship process, Sarah Gordon and Molly Westling and one who helped our organizational thinking, Anita Brearton. Becca Peterson added her superb expertise in the management of our organization, and Lee Hawthorne stepped in to switch our scholarship application process from paper to computer. 

Past Board members Geri Cecil, Heather Lyons, Katy Bunder, Muffie Moroney, Linda Westbrook Weinstein, Kathy Worm, Debbie Wooten, Helen Regan, and Mary White have also served our cause with enthusiasm. Support for the Board has come from committee members who took their tasks seriously: Karen Bush Everett, Beth Zielinski, Christine Stenger, Whitney Jones, and Jane Rinden have all served on the Scholarship Committee, one of the most challenging and rewarding aspects of our existence. Melinda Donovan, Beth Wahlig and DeLynn Russell, a Financial Advisor at Crowell, Weedon & Co., have assisted us in making wise investment decisions to grow your contributions for future scholarships. I take my hat off to Kristin Hodges and Nahid Hamzei who have served on the board almost since the beginning. Kristin and Nahid remain on the board as secretary and as treasurer/finance director respectively. Their willingness to perform tasks beyond their “job descriptions” has helped keep us moving in the right direction.
Our current organization has two additional board members. Meg McKean, retired Duke professor, joined the Board last year as Scholarship Chair, and her attention to detail is stellar. Ellen James Ramsburgh has just come on board, is in charge of communications, and is already making headway in getting our message out. Backing up Meg are previous Scholarship Committee members, Jane Rinden and Whitney Jones. We are happy to report that Carolyn Wilkerson Bell has joined that Committee. DeLynn Russell continues to consult with Nahid on financial matters. Laura McCrodden’s assistance with Facebook has opened up new avenues of communication. And our list of contributors would not be complete without mentioning Meredith Dixon whose work with our database has been indispensable. It is also Meredith who is responsible for the layout and distribution of this e-newsletter each quarter.
Members of the Board of TSI are pleased that we are primarily a volunteer organization, spending very little money on administrative fees. We could not do what we do as well as we do without our volunteers and without those of you who contribute to our cause. I thank you all.