Alumnae Association Committees

Alumnae Association Volunteer Position Descriptions

Each year, the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke College seeks alums to serve in a variety of positions on its Board and committees, as well as in the role of alum-nominated trustee of the College. Alum volunteers are essential to keeping our vibrant global community connected. And our volunteers find supporting our alma mater and alum community immensely rewarding.

Would you like to serve on the Board or on a committee, or do you know another alum who might bring vision and voice to the Association’s work? We invite you to apply or recommend an alum for any of the nearly 20 board and committee roles which come open each year for terms starting July 1.

Committees and Membership

Select a committee name below to reveal a list of members, role description and skills or qualifications being sought for open positions. 

Alum Trustee Nominating 
This committee recruits, researches, interviews and selects alums to serve on the Mount Holyoke College Board of Trustees. Candidates are required to be former Trustees or Medal of Honor winners or to demonstrate broad Alumnae Association experience.

Alum Trustee 
In addition to the need for committee members, the Alum Trustee Nomination Committee is seeking alums interested in serving on the College’s Board of Trustees. This is a special six-year term, which includes one year on the Association Board followed by five years on the Board of Trustees. Alums interested in serving in this particular role must have outstanding leadership skills and experience serving the Alumnae Association. Details of this position and the selection process are described in Section VIII of the Association’s Bylaws

Chair (2023–2026)

Deborah A. Northcross ’73, Memphis, Tennessee, is the executive director of TRIO Training at the Southeastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel. She majored in French at Mount Holyoke and has a master of education degree from the University of Memphis. Northcross is a former member of the Alumnae Trustee Nominating Committee, the Alumnae Trustee Task Force and is the former chair of the Black Alumnae Advisory Group. She is also a former alum trustee, former vice president of the Alumnae Association Board of Directors, and former chair of the Program Committee. She is a current member of the ALANA Committee as well as her class Nominating Committee and serves as a class agent. She is a former class vice president and reunion gift caller. She received the Medal of Honor in 2003, Alumnae Admission Recognition in 2000, and the Outstanding Leadership Award in 1989.


  • Akilah Charlemagne ’00, 2023-2027, Buford, GA
  • Tamara Dews ’06, 2024-2027, London, England
  • Cynthia L. Reed ’80, 2023–2026, Lexington, MA
  • Lisa Utzinger Shen ’02, 2024-2027, Cambridge, MA

Staff Liaison: Trisha Tanner ’00

Classes and Reunions
Support and encourage alum class activities, especially Reunion planning. Members should have a history of involvement in their own alum class activities and commit to volunteering during Reunion each year.

Chair (2022-2025)

Sabrina L. Maurer ’90, Guilford, Connecticut, is a senior portfolio director and team lead at Envision Pharma Group, a multinational medical communications company. Prior to joining Envision, Maurer worked for several other medical communications companies since joining the industry in 1997. Maurer holds an BA in biological sciences from Mount Holyoke and a PharmD from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, where she received a student leadership award. Maurer was the recipient of Alumnae Association's Loyalty Award in 2015. She serves on the Board of Directors of Temple Beth Tikvah.


  • Patrice F. Behnstedt FP’00, 2022–2025, Bartow, FL (1984-1993)
  • Lisa Morrow Buffitt ’93, 2022-2025, Sandwich, MA (1974-1983)
  • Caissa McClinton Hadash ’97, 2024-2027, Jupiter, FL
  • Susan Conway Jablonski ’80, 2023–2026, Hilton Head, SC
  • Phoebe O. Murtagh ’21, 2024-2027, Chicago, IL
  • Sarah E. Paquet ’03, 2023–2026, Providence, RI

Staff Liaison: Laura Minsky

Clubs and Groups 
Support alum communities organized around geographic proximity or shared interests, encouraging ongoing activities and helping new groups to organize. Valuable skills include experience in club/group activities, building/leading networks and growing professional or shared affinity communities.

Chair (2022–2025)

Naomi M. Barry-Pérez ’96, Washington, D.C., served as the director of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Labor and has been a member of the Senior Executive Service since 2012. Barry-Pérez serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Labor and Departmental leadership on civil rights and equal employment opportunity with regard to entities receiving federal financial assistance from the Department of Labor as well as employment with the Department of Labor.

Barry-Pérez holds a B.A. in politics (cum laude) from Mount Holyoke and a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. In addition, she held a Public Interest Law Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she received a Juris Doctor degree. She has served on several committees for Mount Holyoke, including the Legacy of Diversity Committee.


  • Cydney Forrest Albert ’07, 2022–2025, Little Elm, TX
  • May (Zhaoyuan) Chen ’21, 2024-2027, San Francisco, CA
  • Kayla R. Jackson ’86, 2023–2026, Mitchellville, MD
  • Courtney D. Kaufman ’16, 2022–2025, Bronx, NY
  • Harriet K. Winer ’79, 2023–2026, Weymouth, MA

Staff Liaison: Kelly Uccello FP’03

Community & Belonging 
With a new mandate to help broaden engagement among alums worldwide, this committee focuses on reaching alums whose voices may be underrepresented in the Alumnae Association’s work. Valuable expertise includes constituent relations, facilitation and equity-centered design. Recent graduates, alums of color and trans and gender nonconforming alums are especially encouraged to apply.

Chair (2023–2026)

Diane Jones Lowrey ’83, is a global brand marketing and social impact leader with extensive experience guiding the operations of global marketing organizations, building global brands and forging meaningful partnerships to accelerate growth and impact. Jones Lowrey is currently the head of diversity equity & inclusion at Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology. Before Common Sense, Jones Lowrey held several roles at Levi Strauss & Company, leading global marketing operations for the Levi’s brand. She led diversity marketing, which included Latino marketing for the United States, as well as marketing for Latin America. Jones Lowrey was the marketing lead for the team that launched Levi Strauss Signature, the first new global brand from Levi’s designed for the value channel. Prior to Levi’s, she worked in advertising at DDB Needham and Carol Williams Advertising.

Jones Lowrey's community and volunteer service focuses on equity, education and the arts. She has served as a trustee of the French American International School in San Francisco and as an Alonzo King Lines Ballet Board member. Jones Lowrey attended Mount Holyoke College and the University of Michigan Graduate School of Business Administration.


  • Quanita R. Hailey FP’14, 2024-2027, Brooklyn, NY
  • Yvonne Williams Neal ’95, 2024-2027, Washington, DC
  • Lynette P. Rizzo ’96, 2023–2026, Jackson Heights, NY
  • Liz Sevigny ’23, 2023-2026, Portsmouth, NH
  • Kati Stadum ’10, 2023-2026, Berkeley, CA

Staff Liaison: Trisha Tanner ’00

External Achievement Awards
Mount Holyoke alums are amazing. Help us find and celebrate noteworthy professional or volunteer contributions beyond Mount Holyoke. Requires strong research and evaluation skills, as well as a commitment to diplomacy and confidentiality.

Chair (2023-2026)

Melissa Sherman Tassinari ’75, Harwich Port, Massachusetts, is retired from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration where her last position was senior clinical advisor for the division of pediatric and maternal health. She majored in biology at Mount Holyoke and has a Ph.D. from the Medical College of Wisconsin. She has been a member of the Alumnae Association’s External Achievement Awards Committee and is a class agent as well as a former reunion gift caller.


  • Jessica Pacheco Estévez ’96, 2023–2026, Riverview, FL
  • Viviana Mauri Ibarra ’14, 2024-2027, Pasadena, CA
  • Lisa A. Kroll ’88, 2024-2027, Richmond, VA
  • Michelle Yun Mapplethorpe ’96, 2024-2027, Weston, CT
  • Graham Ray ’83, 2022–2025, Denver, CO

Staff Liaison: Jess Ayer

This committee monitors the Alumnae Association’s financial health and performance, recommending relevant policies and supervising its assets. Valuable skills include knowledge of resource allocation, risk mitigation, auditing and financial best practices.

Chair (2024-2027)

Combining 20 years of Wall Street experience with an elite customer service background, Shelly (Xiaosong) Wu ’93 brings together a deep knowledge of the both Southern California and New York City real estate markets and a global network of contacts to deliver top-tier results for buyers, sellers and renters alike. Licensed in both New York and California, she is able to open doors for her global clients in two of the most desired real estate markets in the world.

In her two decades as a bond and foreign exchange salesperson for top investment banks, Wu cultivated a comprehensive understanding of financial markets as well as a commitment to delivering the highest level of customer service. As a real estate investor herself — both domestically and internationally — Wu is both personally and professionally able to advise her clients on everything from major sales decisions to small financial details to real-life insights.

Originally from China, Wu has lived and worked all over the world, from Hong Kong and Tokyo to London and Beijing, allowing her to offer clients a strong international perspective as well. Living bi-coastal in San Diego and Manhattan, she is especially adept at introducing international clients to the California and New York market.

Wu graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in statistics and economics.


  • Sweta Adhikari ’10, 2023–2026, New York, NY
  • Yakut Z. Akman ’80, 2022–2025, Darien, CT
  • W. Rochelle Calhoun ’83, 2024-2027, Princeton, NJ
  • Maureen Harrigan ’77, 2023–2026, Dennis Port, MA
  • Lynne Inman ’86, 2022–2025, Evanston, IL

Staff Liaisons: Trisha Tanner ’00 and Kathy Cadorette, South Hadley, MA

Internal Achievement Awards 
Identify and research alums to honor for volunteer work done on behalf of the Association and its committees, classes, clubs and groups. Strong research and evaluation skills, objectivity and confidentiality are crucial. Candidates are generally recipients of a volunteer award.

Chair (2023-2026)

Marianne DePatie Fouhey ’78, New York, New York, is a former member of the Alumnae Association’s Internal Achievement Awards Committee and the Board of Directors. She is currently serving as co-head class agent and is a former head class agent/reunion gift chair as well as former member of her class Nominating Committee member. Other previous volunteer positions include chair and member of the Alum Development Committee and member of the Mount Holyoke Fund Volunteer Steering Committee as well as the Mount Holyoke Fund Committee. She received the Medal of Honor in 1998.


  • Elaine C. Cheung ’09, 2023–2026, Queens, New York
  • Sarah B. Michalec ’76, 2022–2025, Boise, ID
  • Joan Ford Mongeau ’80, 2024-2027, Gloucester, MA
  • Linda Ing Phelps ’86, 2024-2027, Manhasset, NY
  • Alyssa Whitbeck Rose ’02, 2022–2025, Colorado Springs, CO

Staff Liaison: Luisa Tavares

This committee is responsible for recruiting alums to fill open positions on Alumnae Association committees and its Board of Directors. Requires strong research, communication and organizational skills as well as dedication to ensuring that the Association board and committees represent the diverse backgrounds, voices and perspectives of our community of alums.

Chair (2024-2027)

Alessandra Hickson ’09 has worked at Apple since 2018. Her current focus is strategy, programming and editorial integration for the Retail Engagement and Marketing team.

Prior to joining Apple, Hickson served as a leader on Refinery29’s marketing team, where she steered the strategic development of new channels. She established the brand R29Unbothered, a platform that celebrates the strength, power and beauty of Black women, femmes and nonbinary folks.

Additionally, Hickson worked as a digital producer for NBC News — and later MSNBC — where her storytelling focused on U.S. immigration policy and reproductive rights. She won the NBC News GEM Award in 2013.

Hickson majored in art history at Mount Holyoke College and has a master’s degree from the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Former volunteer positions within the Alumnae Association include membership on the Nominating and Communications Quarterly Committees. She is also a former admissions representative and book award sponsor.

Hickson was a co-founder of BRN GRL SPK, an NYC-based creative arts collective that empowered and supported women of color by building community, organizing events and fundraising for progress.


  • Addison Theodore Beaux ’99, 2023–2026, Mill Valley, CA
  • Lucy Effron ’78, 2023–2026, Port Washington, NY
  • Mayra L. Garcia ’74, 2022–2025, La Jolla, CA
  • Alessandra Hickson ’09, 2022–2025, Sunnyvale, CA
  • Holly Hughes ’75, 2024–2025, New York, NY
  • Nilufer Lakhani ’07, 2024-2027, Houston, TX
  • Nancy G. Rosoff ’78, 2024–2025, Malvern, PA
  • Gretchen Schmelzer ’87, 2023–2026, Philadelphia, PA
  • Martha A. Segovia ’13, 2024-2027, Snoqualmie, WA

Staff Liaison: Trisha Tanner ’00

Volunteer Experience
Helps design and recruit for dynamic new micro-service opportunities and support the growth of meaningful alum volunteer engagement. Vital experience for this committee includes equity-centered operational design, volunteer service and/or management. We are especially seeking alums skilled in using technology to support volunteer and training programs at scale.

Chair (2023-2025)

Janice Abert ’82 retired from working as an executive recruiter for more than 20 years in New York City with a focus on placing institutional marketing professionals at asset management firms. In addition to being a partner at major global firms, TMP Worldwide and DHR International, she ran her own firm, Abert Associates, LLC for 12 years. Prior to becoming an executive recruiter, Abert was the national sales manager for the retirement business at PaineWebber.

In NYC Abert was a board member for High Water Women, where she ran the Backpack Drive initiative by raising funds and organizing corporate assemblies providing more than 150,000 children in need with fully supplied backpacks to start the school year.

Abert holds a B.A. in biology from Mount Holyoke College, where she has been a longtime volunteer serving as the co-head class agent for more than 30 years, setting records for participation and giving for numerous Reunions and March4MHC challenges. She has also served two terms as a member of the Mount Holyoke Fund Committee and been involved with local clubs. Abert received the Loyalty Award at her 30th Reunion.


  • Katherine O’Brien ’00, 2022–2025, Newark, DE
  • Anne Mercogliano ’04, 2024-2027, San Francisco, CA
  • Christina Petrigliano ’02, 2023–2026, Waban, MA
  • Rehat Thussu ’23, 2023-2026, Gurugram, India
  • Nicole Villacres-Reyes ’18 (Co-Chair), 2023-2026, Portland, ME
  • Zoe Zelkowtiz ’19, 2024-2027, New York, NY

Staff Liaison: Leslie Green ’94

This faculty committee of the College invites an alum representative to participate in the process of selecting alum recipients for various College and Association fellowships. Strong research and evaluation skills are required; academic background is a plus.

Chair (2023-2025)

Maryse Jayasuriya ’97, El Paso, Texas. Professor of English, University of Texas at El Paso. M.A. and Ph.D., Purdue University. Class: Former scribe. Awards: Class of 1905 Fellowship. Community/Professional Associations: Associate editor, South Asian Review; member, Board of Directors, Humanities Texas; member, Grants Review Committee; member, Education Committee.

Open Board and Committee Positions

Why now? The world needs Mount Holyoke alums. The Association’s mission to uplift our community of current and future alums is ever more urgent and meaningful. Now is your chance to help deliver on your Association’s new strategic direction to Build Belonging, Enrich Lives and Broaden Opportunities for all alums.

Why me? Serving as a volunteer leader matters. It is a wonderful way to expand your networks, grow skills, connect with other alums and be engaged with the Association and the College. You have skills and expertise that our community needs, and you likely know other alums who do too.

What’s the time commitment? Most board and committee roles are currently three-year terms, with primarily virtual meetings. Some roles include the opportunity to return to campus. Board and committee tasks also include independent work between meetings.

What’s new? Delivering on our new strategy, the Association has redesigned its nominating processes to be more transparent and inclusive and to ensure that our body of alums is fully represented in our board and committees. Our commitment to diversity includes nominating candidates from a broad range of generations and geographic locations.

Sign me up. Please review the brief role summaries above and  apply and/or recommend another alum by September 30, 2023. All volunteer leaders should share the Association’s commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive Mount Holyoke environment. This includes living our values by thoughtfully countering bias and addressing barriers to access, wherever they may arise in the course of board and committee work. Review our Volunteer Handbook.

What to expect. Responses will be reviewed on a rolling basis ahead of the deadline, and nominating committees can reach out to recommended alums as nominations are received. Alums selected for interviews will be contacted in fall/winter, with Board review of selected candidates taking place in winter/spring. The candidate slate is shared with alums in April for election at the Annual Meeting of the Alumnae Association during Reunion in May. The nomination and election process is described in Article VII of the Association's Bylaws. Your responses are tremendously helpful in ensuring an inclusive and transparent process — thank you!