Five women discuss post-graduation choices in ‘Composing a Life’ Nov. 15

Panelists have career experience in fields from nonprofit and law to business and medicine

Composing a life

Women undergraduate and graduate students at Washington University in St. Louis can discuss post-graduation choices and how to attain a successful, fulfilling life at “Composing a Life” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Anheuser-Busch Hall, Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom, on the Danforth Campus.

The discussion, hosted by the Women’s Society of Washington University, will feature five women with career experience in an array of fields. The women will discuss how they combined careers, personal lives and other interests to create a balanced life after joining the “real world.”

The panelists are:

Valerie Bell, JD, a native New Yorker, is a graduate of Princeton University, Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She was the first woman and first person of color to be elected president of the senior class at Princeton and the first female attorney at the New York law firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP to have a baby while practicing at the firm. Since moving to St. Louis 17 years ago, Bell has devoted 100 percent of her professional time to serving as a community volunteer and board member for many of the region’s not-for-profit organizations.

Rhonda Broussard, founder and president of St. Louis Language Immersion Schools (SLLIS), graduated from Washington University in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in French and secondary education, both in Arts & Sciences. She earned a master’s degree in French studies in 2002 from New York University. Before founding SLLIS, she held various teaching positions, including a World Languages Department coordinator and secondary French teacher in the New York City Department of Education and a French teacher in the Ferguson-Florissant School District in St. Louis. She also has been an independent study teacher with Options for Youth.

Ninoska Clarkin, a department leader at Edward Jones, is involved in boards and steering committees of not-for-profit organizations throughout the St. Louis region, including the National Hispanic Professional Organization of St. Louis and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business. Clarkin was born and raised in La Paz, Bolivia, and moved to the United States to earn a master’s in business administration. She has been a St. Louisan for more than 12 years. She previously worked as a coordinator of the International Business Programs for Missouri State University. Clarkin is married and moved her closest family from Bolivia to the United States after the death of her father.

Nancy Millsap Hawes, JD, attorney with The Stolar Partnership LLP, was admitted as partner in 2010. She was divorced in August 2001 and started law school the same day. She graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2004 at age 42. Hawes is a mother of three: Lee, 19; Lilly, 18; and Laura, 15. Hawes has enjoyed serving the St. Louis community for years as a volunteer and fundraiser. She recently flew in the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.

Teresa Knight, MD, with a master’s degree in neurobiology, serves as CEO of Women’s Health Specialists of Saint Louis and as medical director for UNITE The World With Africa. Her media experience currently includes monthly appearances on KMOV’s Great Day St. Louis, but she also has been featured on the Discovery Channel, NBC Nightly News and others. She previously was the co-host of the radio program Body Language and wrote a syndicated column called Woman To Woman. Knight is a private pilot but reports she was once hijacked in Mexico … on a bus.

After the discussion, participants and audience members are invited to a hot buffet dinner and a networking reception with the panelists and Women’s Society members.

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