Campus Currents

From women in government to women in hip-hop to a true Barnard pioneer, this fall’s campus events celebrated leaders from a wide range of fields

By Abigail Beshkin

Women in Public Service Project

United Nations representatives, former heads of state, and other global leaders joined student delegates from across the country for a day-long discussion on how to grow the ranks of women in government leadership positions worldwide. The Women in Public Service Project (WPSP) conference, held on September 26 at Barnard, explored what it takes for women to achieve success on the political stage at all levels. The participating students, chosen by a competitive application process, came from Barnard, Bryn Mawr, City College of New York, Mills, Mount Holyoke, Mount St. Mary’s, Scripps, Smith, Stephens, University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth, and Wellesley.

Early in the afternoon, the student delegates gathered for workshops. Later, students and public guests listened to Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and craigconnects, as he discussed social media and the new frontier of global leadership. In the evening, global leaders and U.N. representatives met to address topics of significance for women leaders and take questions from student delegates.

Gender Amplified Music Festival

A festival designed to introduce girls to music production and support women already in the field, drew more than 200 participants to Barnard’s campus in September for a day of workshops, discussions, and performances. Organized by Barnard Center for Research on Women Alumnae Fellow Ebonie Smith ’07, the Gender Amplified Music Festival featured classes on such topics as how to create music using turntables and smart phones, and how to get music published. Also included were discussions on how women can own studios, and gender justice in hip-hop music. The young women attended through several community organizations, including Black Girls Rock!, The Sadie Nash Project, and The Fiver Children’s Foundation.

Speakers included engineer, producer, and studio owner Abhita Austin, who has worked with such artists as Missy Elliot; artist and producer Erica Glyn; and producer Pri the Honeydark who did a discussion/performance with producer, activist, and hip-hop artist Invincible. The day finished with a concert by THEESatisfaction. While still a Barnard student, Smith founded Gender Amplified as a way to develop a pipeline for women who want to work behind the scenes in the mostly-male music industry. For more, see

Millicent Carey McIntosh Student Dining Room Dedication

Barnard recently named the student dining room on The Diana Center’s second floor in honor of Millicent Carey McIntosh, who served as Barnard’s fourth dean and first president between 1947 and 1962. Informally known as “Mrs. Mac,” she was a beloved role model and an early advocate for the creation of social structures that would allow women to have jobs as well as families. At a celebratory reception, which was attended by several McIntosh family members, guests also viewed a permanent exhibition outside the dining room that includes photos of Mrs. Mac throughout her years at Barnard.

President Spar spoke with guests and opened the short program, which included remarks by trustee and the center’s namesake Diana Touliatou Vagelos ’55 who praised the alumnae for their efforts to have the space named for McIntosh. Vagelos also recalled the former dean and president as a woman “ahead of her time” and a role model for generations of women striving to find a balance between career and family.

Latest IssueSpring 2021