While Torchbearers 2010 featured several new components, the March 9th event sustained its annual tradition of honoring donors and friends and recognizing student recipients of scholarship, internship, and fellowship funds at Barnard. The Torchbearers cocktail reception and dinner celebrated the bonds between students and supporters in The Diana Center, which provided a fitting venue for such consequential meetings. A panel about social justice education and a concurrent Career Development internship poster session and reception made for a particularly robust day of events.
President Debora Spar spoke at Torchbearers, as well as Ms. Nina Shaw ’76, on behalf of donors and friends, and Dina Georgas ’11, on behalf of students. A dedicated scholarship donor and alumna, Ms. Shaw has established two scholarship funds at Barnard: the Nina L. Shaw ’76 Residential Scholarship Fund to support commuting students and the Mary Catlett Hardy Scholarship Fund in memory of her great-grandmother. Ms. Shaw shared memories of her great-grandmother, who has motivated her commitment to financial aid and opening student access to education. Ms. Georgas is a student recipient of the Lillian Goldman Scholarship Fund and the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women Internship Fund. She discussed pairing her interests in science and art through her coursework at Barnard and her internship in the Department of Scientific Research at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As a stimulating start to the series of events, Professor Lee Anne Bell, the Barbara Silver Horowitz Director of Education, and five alumnae of the Barnard Education Program conversed with an audience of alumnae and friends during a panel session. Professor Bell, Kelly Gavin, a 2006 graduate of Columbia, Meredith Hill ’07, Payal Kapadia ’09, Ybelka Medina ’08, and Brett Murphy ’09, shared their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges of teaching in New York City. Professor Bell moderated the conversation and was joined by Ms. Gavin, an English and dance teacher at Marble Hill School for International Studies; Ms. Hill, an English language arts teacher, Coordinator of the Creative Arts Program, and creator of the Environmental and Sustainability Education Program at the Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science, and Engineering; Ms. Kapadia, a global history teacher at the Academy of Innovative Technology; Ms. Medina, a social studies teacher at Innovation Diploma Plus High School; and Ms. Murphy, an Advanced Placement United States history teacher at the Academy for Social Action. Career Development coordinated an event concurrent to the panel, where fall and spring internship grant recipients presented at a poster session and reception.
Torchbearers 2010 proved and inspiring event, and the College looks forward to continuing the tradition next year and many years to come.