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Getting the Facts Straight

I was pleased and honored to be included in your magazine’s cover story on women editors and publishers [“Making Headlines,” spring 2003]. Author Jenny Hontz (J93) is a perceptive interviewer and a fine writer.

There is, however, one misstatement that I feel compelled to correct. I was quoted as saying that I understand the need for diversity because, for a long time, “I was the only woman in the newsroom.”

This is certainly not the case. For several years I was the only female senior editor included in daily news meetings, thus “the only woman in news meetings.”

Quite the contrary was true in the newsroom as a whole. For decades under my predecessor and friend, Murray B. Light (J49), a great many female reporters and editors worked at the Buffalo News, or the Buffalo Evening News as it was known until the early 1980s. In fact, Light appointed the first woman editorial page editor and hired and promoted many women into other key editorial positions. And of course, there were women journalists at the paper before his tenure as well.

Margaret M. Sullivan (GJ80)
Editor and vice president
Buffalo News

Thanks very much for the nice write-up on me and other women editors. I just wanted to note for your readers that the unidentified Post-Dispatch managing editor photographed with me is also a Medill alumnus, Arnold Robbins (J75).

Ellen Soeteber (J72)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis

NAA Helps Alumna Land Job
I began using Northwestern CareerNet [“Job Search: The NAA Can Help,” winter 2002], the Northwestern Alumni Association’s online networking resource, and the online alumni directory after being downsized out of my position with General Mills last summer as part of a merger and restructuring.

Following months of unsuccessful searching using more traditional methods, I decided to shift my job search strategy and use the NAA as my primary tool. It was then that things drastically turned around.

I am happy to report that I’ve joined a pharmaceuticals company in New Jersey as a sales representative and will be based in suburban Detroit. The many Northwestern alumni whom I contacted during the course of my job search never ceased to amaze me with their willingness to help. It is important to point out that I had never met, talked to nor seen these individuals before, but we all shared one common bond — Northwestern.

I would like to express my gratitude to all who helped me. Thanks to Northwestern and the NAA, I am well on my way to a rewarding career with a great company.

Rachelle D. Smith (GJ01)
Dearborn, Mich.

Leopold a Caring Mentor
“Mentor, Intellect, Friend” [spring 2003] by Scott Martin (WCAS84) is a marvelous testament to Richard Leopold, one of Northwestern’s greatest teachers and scholars. I would only add that Dick was also a superb doctoral adviser, someone who remains part of my world of teaching and scholarship after nearly 35 years.

I only hope it will not be amiss to question the subhead “Alumnus pays tribute to history professor Richard Leopold, who always has time — and wisdom — for everyone.” Dick always had time for the serious student and took enormous pride in his undergraduate seminar; he expected a great deal, as any brilliant teacher should.

Yet he certainly did not appear to have time for everyone. He told me that he did not take time off for holidays, had me deliver a chapter of my dissertation to him first thing in the morning on Christmas Day and sent me on my way. A few months later I was off to Yale University as an assistant professor of history.

I cannot imagine a finer, more thoughtful, more genuinely caring mentor than Richard Leopold.

David Culbert (G70)
Baton Rouge, La.

Fighting Fears — with Words
I was very touched to read about senior Lucila Pulido [“Bridging Two Worlds,” Student Life, spring 2003] and to read how my books helped her find her voice. It’s not often a writer gets such a lovely affirmation.

I, too, had a difficult time when I was a college student, often feeling out of place and less than others. It was precisely from this feeling of inadequacy that The House on Mango Street (Knopf Publishing Group, 1991) was born. Please relay to Pulido how proud I am that she used her fears to a positive end.

Sandra Cisneros
San Antonio

Safety First
I enjoyed reading about the exciting nanostructure work being performed at Northwestern [“Small Is Big,” winter 2002], but I cringed when I saw the photo. Neither student was wearing safety glasses.

Having worked with air-sensitive equipment as a chemistry graduate student, I know firsthand that this type of glassware can unexpectedly break, leak and explode. It’s apparent that the photo was not impromptu, but that is all the more reason to show the proper safety equipment.

Joseph M. Towarnicky (WCAS72)
Corporate health and safety officer
Sharp & Associates
Columbus, Ohio

Soccer Standout
As parents of a Northwestern student, we appreciate receiving your magazine.

I read the article on running back and Verizon Academic All-American Jason Wright [“The Wright Stuff,” News on Campus, spring 2003] with interest. I was also glad to see the update on the men’s soccer team because our son Jeremy is on that team. Unfortunately, his being named second-team Verizon Academic All-American was not mentioned.

Jeremy is a junior chemistry major with a cumulative GPA of 3.95. I hope this was simply an oversight because we are very proud of his accomplishments both on and off the soccer field.

Annette Cook
Hudson, Wis.


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