In the Arcidi Center’s second-floor lounge, more than 120 female staff and faculty gathered to listen to the personal and professional journey of President Christine Riordan of Adelphi University, Superintendent Cynthia Paris of Lawrence Public Schools and Merrimack College’s women’s ice hockey Head Coach Erin Hamlen. The program was moderated by Trustee Marybeth McInnis H’17, who guided panelists through a list of questions submitted by attendees prior to the event.
Topics ranged from personal experiences such as “who inspired you the most” and “describe a daily habit,” to professional experiences including “how do you know when to push or walk away” and “who took a chance on you, and who did you take a chance on?”
Panelists provided thoughtful and personal responses about themselves, their decision-making and how they navigate the balance between their personal and professional lives.
To start the discussion McInnis asked each panelist to share the name of their favorite book and why. Hamlen said, “Boys in the Boat” resonated with her due to the story of personal grit and determination against unimaginable odds. Superintendent Paris said the children’s book “Stellaluna” was her favorite as she reflected on parts of the story that represented resilience amongst adversity. Riordan described how Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning” has provided her great insight into human behavior, which she turns to as a leader and manager of a complex organization.
After the discussion, attendees joined the panelists for a networking reception allowing them to speak with each guest.
Personal HERstories is a programming element of Create Your Impact, an initiative created by the Office of the President.