Education

We are interested in understanding how women and girls in Worcester have experienced learning, both through formal institutions and through life experiences and relationships. This theme includes women and girls’ experiences within, and access to, schools and higher education, as well as other avenues to knowledge and skills.

Claire Constantin

Retired Government Worker, Volunteer at the Deaf Senior Center and the Rape Crisis Center

It would be really nice if the hearing people could understand the deaf people more, for communication, I think that’s what needs to change. A lot has changed. We have interpreters now. We have a lot of deaf services such as the Mass Rehab Commission. We have the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We have the Center of Living and Working, the Senior Center -- there’s so many services now, not like it was a long time ago.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Thu, 03/06/2008
Interview Focus: 
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Constantin

Ann Louise Flynn

College administrator, Assistant Vice President of United Way. Community Volunteer

That’s where discrimination plays in some. When going through public high school I liked math, and I liked sciences, and everybody was equal and there was no issue of discrimination. Going to a women’s college at the time when I was going to college, there were a few schools that I looked at, and this was in an era when there were many more all-women colleges.… so I could have gone to numerous colleges if I wanted to major in education or nursing, but I didn’t and I wanted liberal arts, and I wanted physics or math. So that pretty much geared you towards women’s colleges in that era. I graduated from high school in 1958.

Ann Louise Flynn was born in 1940 in Chelmsford, Massachusetts and moved to Worcester in 1983. She is currently the Assistant Vice President at Worcester’s United Way and serves on the board of numerous voluntary organizations and community initiatives. In this interview, Ann talks about her experiences growing up as the youngest of seven children, emphasizing the importance of education, community service, and the Catholic religion in her family.

Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Tue, 03/21/2006
Interview Language: 
English
Interview Focus: 
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Flynn

Charlene L. Martin

College Dean;Founder of Worcester Institute for Senior Education; Co-chair of Worcester Women’s Oral History Project

"I think for me success is being challenged with what I’m doing … it’s more the challenge of doing something interesting and helping someone else. And I always felt that about education while working here at Assumption, that I was helping adult students get their lives back on track or retool to get a new career. And then later with the older students I really felt like I was making a big difference in the latter half of their lives. They would tell me things like, 'I don’t know what I would be doing if I didn’t have WISE to come to.' So for me, it was to be able to offer something to other people and to be challenged with something new. And that is what I am finding now with my new career, as I slowly build up this business, that it’s nice to be challenged and I still like to be doing something that is helping other people hopefully."

Interview Date: 
Fri, 10/17/2008
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Martin

Betty B. Hoskins

First woman professor at WPI

I came to Worcester in 1973. [Imitating people’s reactions] ‘You’re coming to WPI? It’s a boy’s-- men’s school.’ But utterly welcoming …It was a curious experience and let me just preface, each college did their own way of going co-educational or integrating. Holy Cross had hired a dean of women and started planning before they brought students…. But WPI had had some applications from women, and my guess is they said, ‘Well, you know, no reason to turn them down, they’re good,’ and then they said ‘Oh my goodness, we need women’s facilities.’ Originally, I was in a lab building which had no women’s room so they had to designate one of the men’s rooms. And there were grumbles like, ‘Oh, you know the secretaries didn’t mind going to the next building, even in winter.’ Yeah, they’d put their coats on and walk through the snow to go to the bathroom. I said ‘What’s it coming to?’ That’s funny, in a way, but it’s also, it meant that I got called ‘the one who’s not smart enough to stay in her own department.’ Because I’m in the Women’s Movement …

Born in 1936 in Baltimore, Maryland, Betty B. Hoskins grew up with her parents, John and Bessie Miller, and a younger brother and younger sister. Betty attended Goucher College, an all-women’s school at the time, graduating at 19 years old with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Shortly after, she obtained a master’s degree in embryology at 21 years old from Amherst College. She eventually married and moved to Texas with her husband, Godfrey Curtis, earning her doctorate from Texas Women’s University.

Interview Date: 
Thu, 11/13/2008
Interview Focus: 
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Hoskins

Joan Webster

Educator, mother, activist, founder of Clark University literary magazine

"And so there were several projects that I got involved with, in addition to teaching, but as part of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, I was one of the people who worked on the booklet for sexual harassment that was aimed at employers to let them know why they needed a policy and what sexual harassment was."

Interview Date: 
Mon, 11/13/2006
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Webster

Sandy Scola

Assistant Director, Early Childhood Center, Jewish Community Center
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Mon, 04/10/2006
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Scola

Linda Antoun Miller

Teacher, Worcester Art Museum Docent; Co-Chair WWHP Women 2000
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Mon, 10/29/2007
Interview Focus: 
Name Sort: 
Miller

Laura Howie

Assistant Buyer, Filene's; Home Economics Teacher
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Fri, 10/19/2007
Interview Focus: 
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Howie

Nora Antoun Hakim

Taught in Japanese Internment Camp;Recreational Coordinator for Red Cross WWII
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Mon, 03/05/2007
Interview Focus: 
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Hakim

Brenda Gordon

Receptionist; Medical Biller
Interviewer: 
Interview Date: 
Sun, 10/15/2006
Interview Focus: 
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Gordon

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