Politics/Community Involvement

In addition to a traditional focus on the public realm of governance and power structures, this theme should also reflect a feminist understanding of “the personal as political.” We are interested in women’s opinions, values, and activities as they relate to a broad sphere of social relations.

Andrea Healy

Director of Human Resources, Cutler Associates

You have to be able to stand on your own two feet and I think you need to encourage your kids to do the same thing. So for me, I think that probably the best advice is to really just take control of your life, control the things you can control, and leave your kids with good lessons.

Andrea Maria Healy was born in 1970 and is currently the Director of Human Resources at Cutler Associates, a construction company in Worcester, Massachusetts. She was born and raised near Worcester, in Boylston, and currently lives on the Paxton-Worcester line. Andrea became a mother at the young age of nineteen years old. She raised two daughters, Courtney and Lindsey, on her own, having never married. Although she would never change this aspect of her life, she confesses that becoming a mother so young was a challenge, especially balancing motherhood and her career.

Interview Date: 
Thu, 02/11/2016
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Deborah Gavron-Ravenelle

Chief Compliance Officer, Reliant Medical Group

I guess I don’t want anyone else to feel as though they aren't worthy and that somebody has their back. So I want everyone—I want all the young girls that you get to work with to realize that they have a lot of value and that someone really cares about what they are doing.

Deborah Gavron-Ravenelle was born in New Jersey in 1965 and raised in that state. Right out of college she moved to Worcester, but then resided in various other locations. When she married Bob Ravenelle, she moved back to the city, joined by their two dogs. She attended St. Michael's College in Vermont and majored in both journalism and political science. Working hard academically, she was thoroughly involved in the school community. Wanting to further her education, she attended law school and eventually became a lawyer for an insurance company.

Interview Date: 
Tue, 02/02/2016
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Marjorie Cohen

Community Activist for Children with Special Needs

To me you're a life learner and that’s what I want for my daughter and anybody else.

Marjorie Cohen was born in Worcester in 1949.  In this interview she discusses the tremendous amount of work she has done for families whose members have both mental and physical disabilities. Her daughter, Caroline, was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, setting in motion her continuing mission to make the world a better place for handicapped individuals.

Interview Date: 
Thu, 02/11/2016
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Alicia O'Connell

Lawyer, O'Connell and O'Connell

I honestly couldn’t be happier right now. Growing up, I never thought I would be in the Worcester area. I never thought I would be a lawyer. I never thought I’d be working with my father. But I feel like my days are magic. I get to go to work, get paid, feel proud to be a professional, and then make a difference in the community, and work with amazing women while doing it.

Alicia O’Connell was born in Worcester, MA in 1979, and raised in Auburn, MA. She attended Auburn High School, then graduated from Bowdoin College in Maine with a degree in Women’s Studies and English. She later attended New York Law School. She is currently a real estate attorney at a local firm, called O’Connell and O’Connell. In 2014 she was selected as a Worcester Business Journal 40 Under Forty awardee. Alicia discusses her involvement in the Worcester community at length, volunteering at numerous organizations within the city.

Interview Date: 
Sat, 11/07/2015
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Leanore Bona

President, League of Women Voters Worcester; lawyer, community volunteer

When I was working for the medical society, a lot of the community outreach I did, over and above working with the clinics directly, was with what I called, ‘shadow communities.’  Those are people you wouldn’t even know exist in this city, but there are thousands of them.  You know, all the people who work in the kitchen of a restaurant, that kind of thing.  And I’m sure—I never asked, I never asked—but some are illegal, most are not, just trying to seek out a living on the first generation level so the kids can do a little bit better later.  So those are the people I worked with.

Leanore F. Bona, known by most as Lee, was born on Long Island, New York in 1949. Lee is the President of the League of Women Voters in Worcester, Massachusetts. She defines herself as a nontraditional woman who has never married or had children, but rather has dedicated her life to helping those around her.

Interview Date: 
Sun, 10/18/2015
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Amanda Beaver

College of the Holy Cross Administrator

There's actually a quote that I love and I never get it quite right, but it’s something along the lines of,  "Life is the constant act of juggling balls. You just have to know which ones are glass." I think that is so beautifully said because my family is always that one I can't drop. But the other ones, sometimes it might be that I don’t get to pay attention to the Republican debate or I don’t get to go listen to this. It doesn’t mean that it’s not important, but it just, it didn’t rise to the top quickly enough.

Amanda Beaver was born in 1981 and currently lives in Natick, Massachusetts with her family. She holds a bachelor of arts in German from Holy Cross and a MBA from the University of California Irvine.  She now works at the College of Holy Cross as a Leadership Giving Officer and for the Holy Cross Fund, which is their annual fund. Amanda also addresses the issue of priorities in work and life, her volunteer activities, singing, and running the Boston Marathon.

Interview Date: 
Mon, 11/16/2015
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Victoria Waterman

CEO, Girls Inc.

I would say that women have made a tremendous amount of progress.  Some things haven’t changed, the way we love our families, and the sisterhood that happens among all of us is--that hasn’t changed over the years and generations.  All of that still remains.  When you educate a woman, you educate a family. 

Victoria Waterman was born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1963 and is now the CEO of Girls Inc.

Interview Date: 
Wed, 10/22/2014
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Gloria Hall

Community Organizer

Gloria Hall was born in Moncrief Quarters, Sylvania, Georgia in 1954.  Her mother’s mother then raised her in the countryside in Millhaven, Georgia.  When it was time to go to college, she attended Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, Georgia for three years.  Then she decided she didn’t want to be a nurse and moved to Boston where her sister was living.  While in Boston she worked for a real estate company that was based in Worcester.  She met Joseph, her husband, when she sold him a house in Worcester.  After twelve years of living in Boston, Gl

Interview Date: 
Fri, 11/21/2014
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Ellen Dunlap

President, American Antiquarian Society

I also feel that when you’re responsible for a big organization and lots of people’s livelihoods depend on me and the success of this organization, I kind of have this responsibility not to wallow in any frustrations, shortcomings, or trials.  You just got to—you know a lot of people are counting on you.  And this institution is two hundred years old, and we have a lot of continuity to maintain, so it kind of puts whatever I’m going through in perspective, and I think that’s useful to get a grip on what are the big issues here, not the little ones.

Ellen Smith Dunlap was born in Nashville, Tennessee in 1951.  She currently is President of the American Antiquarian Society [AAS] in Worcester, Massachusetts, an historical organization that was awarded the 2013 National Humanities Medal at a White House ceremony.  She married Art Dunlap, became widowed, and remarried Frank Armstrong.  They have a daughter named Libby Armstrong.  They moved to the Worcester area in 1992 and then relocated to West Boylston, Massachusetts.  Before moving she had lived in Waco, Texas and Lawrence, Kansas with her parents.  She th

Interview Date: 
Fri, 11/07/2014
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Louise Charbonneau

Director, Holden Senior Center

We work for the government, okay?  But we make a difference every day.   And we can see it.  We never have the same day two days in a row.  Here.  Ever.  But because we deal with people and their lives—okay, we deal with the elders, we deal sometimes with their families, trying to help the elders.  We get a lot of feedback that says, especially after someone’s lost a spouse, “I don’t know where I would have been if you people in this building weren’t here.”  So you make a difference every day.  And that’s important to us.  And it’s gratifying.  It really is.  They are a very grateful population, I mean a lot of people will say, “How do you do what you do?  Old people are cranky.”  And yes they are, some of them, but not all of them.  In fact, a very few of them are.  Most of them are quite good-natured and very happy just to be able to come here every day.  It's important to me to make a difference.  And I can honestly say that my staff and I do.   

Louise Charbonneau was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1954.  She is the daughter of Blanche and Wallace Seager, of Swedish and German decent, and originating from Holden, Massachusetts.  Louise grew up in a Protestant home where she attended church every Sunday.  She has two older siblings, one brother, and one sister.  Louise started her working profession for WPI [Worcester Polytechnic Institute] as a secretary for the president.  She married soon after graduating from a two-year college, Becker Junior College, continuing to work for WPI.  Some years lat

Interview Date: 
Mon, 11/17/2014
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