On March 11th, a Panel Discussion was held, organized during a weeklong collaboration event by GEP, Daraja, I-India, and BIA. Thriving Alumni such as Heron Holloway, Anne-Marie Goetz, and Linda Steinbock (information about the alumni can be found below) spoke about their role as women in their career fields. Though the event was highly successful, the organizing process came with obstacles that GEP worked through.
The process of getting the discussion together started with planning. As the discussion was a part of a week of activities, we spent the initial meetings brainstorming ideas we wanted to carry out. It was the hardest step and took a long time, as we had to choose events that were possible to execute. After multiple meetings, representatives of services came up with a list of activities we would want to carry out during the week. Yet, the Panel Discussion was one of the first ideas that popped into our list. All our groups agreed that getting Alumni to speak about their experiences would inspire many in our community.
GEP was then assigned to handle the alumni discussion. Getting in touch with alumni was difficult at first. Some of the names on our list were unavailable or unresponsive. Through the alumni relations office, we were able to contact some of our guest speakers. Thankfully, our three kind alumni were able to make our time frame and excitedly reserved to speak. After confirming our alumni, our next step was to coordinate the venue and timing. After a multitude of email exchanges, we were able to conclude the final details of the event. GEP worked on creating posters and advertisements and as the day came closer last-minute details were sorted.
This entire discussion would not be possible without the help of many individuals inside and outside of our community. One such example would be Rudy Psillides, who skillfully hosted the panel discussion, constantly keeping the crowd engaged. Additionally, the Service and Sustainable Development Office, and those in it such as Ms. Katie and Mr. Hannah. Thanks to Ms. Wilson for advice throughout the process, and Nimisha Iyer for heading the whole International Women’s Day Week.
Linda Steinbock: Linda graduated from UWCSEA in 2006, and completed her BA in Geography and Developmental Studies at the University of Melbourne. She has worked with Save-The-Children in many countries including Sweden, Lebanon, Kurdistan, Philippines. She then worked in Singapore from 2014-2019 and moved to London to work as Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Evidence, Effectiveness and Accountability in the UK. Linda has also recently written a Children’s book inspired by the lives we have all spent in lockdown.
Heron Holloway: Finishing her UWCSEA HS Diploma in 2000, Heron graduated from Durham University with a BA in Anthropology and Sociology and a MA in International Relations. She joined the British Red Cross in 2006 and has continually involved service in her busy schedule. She got promoted many times and later became the CEO for Habitat-for-Humanity in Hong Kong in 2014. Now wrapping up her consultancy for UN-Habitat, she has recently started her new role as Director of Communications and Advocacy for WWF-Myanmar.
Anne-Marie Goetz: Anne Marie graduated UWCSEA in 1980, Anne Marie has a BA in Politics and English from Queen’s University in Canada, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and a Ph.D. in Social and Political Studies from Cambridge University, UK. She is a professor at NYU for 7 years now and has previously worked at the UN as the chief advisor on Women Peace and Security. Throughout her career, Anne Marie has focused on promoting women’s rights and gender equality, and spearheaded many initiatives to address women’s rights around the world.