By Nicole Anderson ’12JRN, Editor-in-Chief

Nicole Anderson with Harriet Newman

I am coming up on my fourth year at the Magazine, and funnily enough, I often feel as if I am still new to Barnard. I suspect this feeling stems from the fact that there is always so much to uncover about the College’s vast ecosystem: new courses and programs, innovative partnerships and initiatives, and most of all, a community of people with fascinating careers, interests, and life stories. 

This semester, though, does indeed represent a new moment for the College, as we welcome President Laura Rosenbury to Barnard. In this issue, you’ll find a thoughtful conversation between President Rosenbury and Trustee Marcia Sells ’81, P’23, who is the Metropolitan Opera’s chief diversity officer. The two women — both of whom have served as deans of major law schools — had quite a bit to talk about, from President Rosenbury’s mission to get to know the College’s many constituents to why empathy is so critical when engaging with different perspectives, particularly in an academic setting. It is an illuminating discussion and will make you as excited as I am for what’s to come under President Rosenbury’s leadership. 

Before I started working here at Barnard, I spent nearly a decade editing and writing for architectural trade publications and shelter magazines. Changing gears from design to higher education seemed, on the surface, to be a significant change. While there are certainly differences, I have found that the two worlds overlap more than I anticipated. They intersect at telling good stories and, occasionally, even in subject matter. The Fall issue sits right at this intersection. We have two design stories that feature alums — architect and Olympic skateboarder Alexis Sablone ’08 and architect Jane Lea ’01 — working to transform the way we engage with public space and, through their own respective projects, make it more inclusive, equitable, and accessible to different communities. 

We are also introducing a new column, “Perspective,” that highlights women whose diverse life experiences have given them a unique point of view. To kick it off, we profiled the incredible Harriet Newman Cohen ’52 (above, right), whom I had the pleasure of meeting during our photo shoot at her Upper West Side apartment. As one of the top women lawyers in the city, she has worked with many high-profile clients. With five decades of practicing family law under her belt, she has the expertise, ambition, and outlook that is not just admirable but inspiring. I was struck by the compassion and empathy with which she spoke about her work. 

As we photographed Cohen standing before the Manhattan skyline — the place where she built her thriving practice — it made me think about the impact women, and particularly Barnard women, have had on this city. It is why Lea’s All Along Project, whose goal is to address the paucity of women’s monuments, is so necessary. But at Barnard, the power of women and their contributions are everywhere in plain sight. You need look no further than our cover.

Nicole Anderson ’12JRN, Editor-in-Chief

Latest IssueWinter 2024

Award-winning music producer Ebonie Smith ’07, museum curators on objects of interest, a dance course brings students to the stage, and more!