BOSTON (February 14, 2013) — Jennifer Siebel Newsom, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, actress, and advocate for women and girls, will deliver the Simmons College 108th Commencement address Friday, May 10 at Bank of America Pavilion in Boston.
Siebel Newsom is the writer, producer, and director of the 2011 Sundance documentary film Miss Representation, which explores how the media's inaccurate portrayals of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence. She is the keynote speaker for the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony. A separate ceremony for Simmons College graduate schools at 2 p.m. features keynote speaker Anne Jardim, Ph.D, activist, author, and founding dean emerita of the Simmons School of Management.
(Note: Simmons will be streaming live video of both Commencement ceremonies on its website. The college also will be live tweeting from the ceremony at @SimmonsCollege and #Sims13.)
Siebel Newsom is executive producer of the Oscar-nominated documentary The Invisible War, which investigates the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. She is in production for her next film, The Mask You Live In, which explores America's divergence of gender and the extremes of masculinity imposed on boys and men. Siebel Newsom is the founder and chief executive officer of Girls Club Entertainment, LLC, a film production company established to develop independent films focused primarily on women that educate, activate, and transform culture.
Named among "The League of Extraordinary Women" by Fast Company, Siebel Newsom also has been recognized as one of the "Most Influential Women in Business" by the San Francisco Business Times. In 2011, Newsom was named one of "150 Fearless Women Who Shake The World" by Newsweek Daily Beast. She has been featured in such news outlets as, O Magazine, NPR, ABC's Top Line, MSNBC Live, The Huffington Post, Forbes, The Daily Beast, Fox News, Vogue, and SELF.
Jardim is the co-founding dean of the Simmons School of Management and co-author of the groundbreaking New York Times best-selling book, The Managerial Woman. She is the keynote speaker at the 2 p.m. graduate school ceremony.
Jardim graduated from Harvard Business School, where she was one of the first women to receive a doctoral degree; she later served as a faculty member there. Frustrated by the male-dominated culture at Harvard, Jardim and her colleague Margaret Hennig founded the Simmons School of Management, which became the nation's only business school educating women for leadership success. The program sought to offer the quantitative courses of a typical MBA program along with curriculum grounded in organizational management and gender differences. Her book The Managerial Woman is considered to be the first to take a serious look at women in business.
During Simmons's Commencement ceremony, Simmons College Board of Trustees Chair Lauren Brisky and President Helen G. Drinan will award Siebel Newsom and Jardim honorary doctoral degrees. The following individuals also will receive honorary doctoral degrees:
- Dr. Geraldine Bednash — One of the foremost voices for nursing education in the United States; CEO of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which sets standards for nursing education and is the leading national advocate for nursing education.
- Fran Froehlich — Co-founder and director of the Boston-based group Community Works; a 30-year advocate of social justice addressing issues ranging from hunger and homelessness, to healthcare and civil rights.
- Dr. Carol Tavris — A noted author with a focus on psychology and gender; co-author of one of the first books of its kind in this field, "The Longest War: Sex Differences in Perspective."
- Reverend Dr. Gloria White-Hammond — A noted human rights activist, co-pastor of Bethel AME Church in Boston, and a pediatrician who retired from the South End Community Health Center after serving almost 30 years caring for some of Boston's neediest and most vulnerable residents.
Founded in 1899, Simmons College (www.simmons.edu) is a nationally ranked university located in the heart of Boston with a history of visionary thinking, a focus on leadership development, and social responsibility. It offers undergraduate education for women, and renowned coeducational graduate programs in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, as well as the nation's first MBA program designed specifically for women. Follow Simmons on Twitter @SimmonsCollege and @SimmonsNews.
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Kalimah Redd Knight