Read about the inspiring achievements of Douglass alumnae and spread the news about their accomplishments.
Dr. Linda Caldwell Epps ’73 was awarded a Doctor of Humanities honorary degree from Princeton University at its Commencement on May 16, 2021. Throughout her career of more than 40 years, she has been dedicated to public service and to leading the charge of diversity and equity in higher education. She is CEO of the New Jersey Historical Society and is CEO of 1804 Consultants. Linda serves as the current Vice President for Development on the AADC Board of Directors. A distinguished alumna, she was inducted into the AADC Society of Excellence in 2014, served as Chair of the AADC 95th Anniversary Committee and was also a Gold Sponsor of the AADC Forward Together Gala in April 2018. She was inducted into the prestigious Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance, Inc., Hall of Fame in 2019. In addition, Linda was received a New Jersey Women of Achievement Award in 2015 from the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC and Douglass Residential College. She also received the Beulah Oliphant Award from the Old Barracks Association in Trenton, NJ, where she was recognized for her dedication to New Jersey history as a consultant for various museums and institutions.
The Associate Alumnae of Douglass College (AADC) was honored to have Emma Andrews Warren ’49 return to campus to talk with alumnae gathered at the Ruth Schilling Hennessy Alumnae Center to share her experience as one of the first African-American undergraduates at what was then the New Jersey College for Women (NJC). The AADC Black Alumnae Network (BAN), created nearly 40 years ago, hosted Emma, who was accompanied by her daughter, Lorraine Warren ‘86, in observance of Women’s History Month in March 2018. Emma is believed to be the oldest known living African-American Douglass alumna. She recalled her undergraduate years with gratitude and acknowledged a sense of “working harder” and staying the course for the times as one of the first African-American undergraduates to live on Douglass Campus. She also noted her classmate and roommate, another trailblazer, the late Evelyn Sermons Field ’49, as well as having followed in the footsteps of her late sister, Constance Andrews Lambert ‘45. Emma also came back to celebrate her 70th reunion at AADC Alumnae Reunion Weekend 2019 along with two classmates. She relished the memories and created new ones at the Vanguard Reunion Luncheon and again the next day as she joined in the celebration with other Milestone Reunion Classes as they processed down the center of Voorhees Chapel. She was greeted with awe and admiration by decades of alumnae who felt privileged to meet her.
In recognition of Black History Month, the AADC salutes Emma and the many women of color who have made an impact on our Douglass alumnae sisterhood. “As an African-American alumna, it has been an honor to meet someone who overcame a lot of obstacles and became a pioneer as she made history. Emma paved the way and serves as a role model for all alumnae, especially for alumnae of color,” says AADC Executive Director Valerie Anderson ’81. In addition to Emma, the AADC honors alumnae like the late Julia Baxter Bates ’38, who was inducted into the AADC Society of Excellence. AADC BAN established the Julia Baxter Bates Fellowship through the AADC in her name as the first known African-American graduate of the New Jersey College for Women. She was also prominent in the Civil Rights Movement and a role model. The fellowship is for an African-American graduate pursuing an advanced degree who exhibits community involvement and leadership skills.
We are grateful for the involvement and leadership of countless African-American alumnae who share their time and talents with the AADC and through transformative BAN programs such as the Jewel Plummer Cobb Sisters Conference and the Evelyn Sermons Field ’49 Literary Society. Notable African-American alumnae who have been inducted into the AADC Society of Excellence include: Inez Phillips Durham ’57, Bernice Proctor Venable ’62, Diane Holmes Barbour ’63, M. Wilma Harris ’66, Dr. Carol Sampson-Landers ’69, C. Maxene Vaughters-Summey ’70, Hon. Paulette Sapp-Peterson ’71, Joyce Wilson Harley ’72, Jewel V. Thompson-Chin ’73, Linda Caldwell Epps ’73, Julane W. Miller-Armbrister ’74, Linda D. Jackson ’74, Margaret A. Gillis ’75, Lezli E. Baskerville ’76, Cheryl A. Washington ’76, Hon. Greta Gooden-Brown ’82, Jennifer Lewis Hall ’85, Shireen K. Lewis ’86, Justice Cheri L. Beasley ’88, Gwendolyn R. Keyes Fleming ’90, Phuti Mahanyele ’93, Rochelle I. Brown ’93, and the late Julia Baxter Bates ’38, Evelyn Sermons Field ’49, Yolanda Jones Mapp ’53, Brenda Frazier-Clemons ’60, Dr. Leah Gaskin Fitchue ’63, Hon. Golden E. Johnson ’65, and Karen Predow ’70.
Christiana Foglio-Palmer ’84, CEO of Community Investment Strategies, Inc., who serves on the Rutgers Board of Overseers, was appointed to the Rutgers University Board of Trustees as an Alumna Trustee for a five-year term as of July 1, 2019. Chris has built a remarkable career serving in some of the highest levels in government and business. She has distinguished herself as a leader in affordable senior and multi-family housing development and urban revitalization in New Jersey. She has grown her company’s diverse portfolio now valued at over $600 million. Chris delivered an inspiring keynote address, “Fear is Just Excitement Without the Breath,” at the 2019 Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt ’42 Workplace and Professional Development Symposium. “I believe in leaving a place better than when you found it,” says Chris. She encouraged attendees to surpass the challenges of a new position and to aim high to meet professional goals. “If a new job does not scare you to death,” she says, “then it’s probably not the right move or the right time.”
Cheri Beasley ’88 launched her 2022 U.S. Senate campaign in April 2021, seeking to become North Carolina’s first African-American senator. She is former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina and the first African-American woman to serve in the position. She was inducted into the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni in 2019, the AADC Society of Excellence in 2015 and the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance Hall of Fame in 2013. She is active with the AADC North Carolina Regional Connection Group in Raleigh/Durham and has welcomed alumnae into her home for a gathering. She celebrated her milestone 30th Reunion last April, where she served as a panelist at AADC Alumnae Reunion Weekend 2018 and attended the highly-successful AADC 95th Anniversary Forward Together Gala. With a judicial career spanning some 20 years, Justice Beasley has shaped jurisprudence of the State of North Carolina. She was elected in 2014 to continue service as an Associate Justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court after having been appointed in December 2012 by the state’s Governor. Justice Beasley was only the fifth African-American and seventh woman to serve on the state’s highest court. Previously she was an Associate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals to which she was elected statewide in 2008. Her election to the Court of Appeals makes her the only African-American women elected in any statewide election without an initial appointment by the Governor. Prior that that, she was a District Court Judge in the Twelfth Judicial District, Cumberland County, appointed in 1999 and served for 10 years, after being an Assistant Public Defender.
Dr. Rosemarie Truglio ’83: An AADC Society of Excellence member, Dr. Rosemarie Truglio authored a new book, “Sesame Street: Ready for School! A Parent’s Guide to Playful Learning for Children Ages 2 to 5,” published by Running Press in September 2019. She is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Content at Sesame Workshop responsible for the development of the interdisciplinary curriculum on which Sesame Street is based and oversees content development across platforms such as television, publishing, toys, home video and theme park activities. She also oversees the curriculum development for all new show production, including Esme & Roy, airing on HBO. Dr. Truglio has written numerous articles in child and developmental psychology journals and presented her work at national and international conferences. Additionally, she is co-editor of “G is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street” (2001) published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dr. Truglio has appeared on numerous broadcast, cable and radio news and talk programs and has been interviewed by reporters from a variety of national newspapers and news agencies.
Hon. Harriet Farber Klein ’70: The New Jersey Essex County Bar Association installed the Honorable Harriet Farber Klein ’70, J.S.C. (ret.) at its awards dinner on April 29, 2019. The Hon. Harriet Farber Klein retired after 15 years on the bench of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Essex County and two years serving on recall. She joined the New Jersey law firm of Wilson Elser as an arbitrator and mediator, where she is a valued resource, providing colleagues with judicial insight. While on the bench, Judge Klein was a faculty member for the training of new judges and law clerks assigned to the General Equity Part. Prior to serving as a judge, she was in private practice as a commercial and employment litigator with two New Jersey-based firms for a combined total of 25 years. Judge Klein has been a frequent speaker at bar association programs on the state and local levels as well as a panelist at continuing legal education seminars for lawyers and judges. Her memberships and affiliations include the New Jersey State Bar Section on Women in the Profession, Trustee; New Jersey State Bar Section on Dispute Resolution, Board Member; and the New Jersey Women’s Lawyers Association; as well as additional memberships and affiliations. She served a one-year clerkship for the Hon. Irwin I. Kimmelman in the Chancery Division, General Equity Part, immediately following law school at Rutgers School of Law.
Dr. Shireen K. Lewis ’86: AADC Society of Excellence member Dr. Shireen K. Lewis ‘86, J.D., Ph.D., who has devoted more than 20 years to mentoring and coaching women and girls, was the guest speaker at Hollins University’s 177th Commencement Exercises in Roanoke, VA, in May 2019. Dr. Lewis has been a tireless advocate to form women throughout her career. She serves as Executive Director of EduSeed, which promotes education in historically disadvantaged and underserved communities, and she is the founder of EduSeed’s SisterMentors program, which supports learning among women and girls of color. She returns to campus often for AADC events and programs and serves as a leader of the AADC Washington, D.C., Regional Connection Group. With a focus on Francophone West African and Caribbean literature, Dr. Lewis has taught at several universities and has presented her scholarship widely. She is past co-president of the Washington, D.C., branch of the American Association of University Women. She has helped raise funds for a teenage pregnancy program at a high school in her hometown of Fyzabad, Trinidad, and for the first school in a village in Tibet that has the unprecedented requirement that 50 percent of its students must be girls. She has also served on the boards of several community organizations in the U.S. that promote education and equity for women and girls.
Mary I. DiMartino ’85: Douglass alumna Mary DiMartino ’85, executive director of J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC, was named to the Rutgers University Board of Governors for the term July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2025. A Lawrenceville, N.J., resident, Mary has served as chair of the Rutgers Board of Trustees and on the trustees’ executive committee, nominating committee and task force on assessment. She also has served on the Board of Governors’ committees on audit, athletics and health affairs. Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, Mary served as a member of the AADC Board and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Tina B. Gordon ’72: Douglass alumna Tina B. Gordon ’72 received a 2019 New Jersey Women of Achievement Award sponsored by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs of GFWC and Douglass Residential College. The award was presented at the Federation’s annual convention in Atlantic City in May. Tina is an extraordinary Douglass alumnae leader. She has served in various leadership positions on the AADC Board of Directors for more than a decade, including as a two-term AADC President and currently as Vice President of Marketing and Communications. In addition, Tina is active with the Cagers Club – the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Fan Club – and served on the Board of the Community Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset and Middlesex Counties in New Jersey for 30 years, including two terms as president. She is also being recognized for a distinguished 34-year career in communications at Johnson & Johnson in New Brunswick. She has led the AADC to increased levels of success and is instrumental in keeping alumnae informed and connected. The AADC salutes Tina in recognition of her outstanding leadership and contributions to the citizens of New Jersey.
Kathi Love ‘75: Kathi was appointed to the Board of Directors for Comscore, Inc., a media measurement and analytics company. She has over 30 years of industry experience. Previously, she served as president and CEO of GfK MRI for 13 years and held executive leadership positions at EMAP Petersen USA. Kathi was instrumental in developing and launching the highly successful AADC Mabel’s Alumnae Mentoring Program in 2016, part of the AADC Women’s Life-long Learning Initiative. She serves as Chair and a Mentor. A professional executive coach with her own practice, Motherwell Resources LLC, Kathi has made presentations and conducted seminars at Alumnae Reunion Weekend and the Victoria Dabrowski Schmidt ’42 Workplace and Professional Development Symposium, where she donated coaching sessions. She is past chair of the AADC Strategic Planning Committee.
Mary Norris ’74: The author of the best-selling “The Comma Queen,” Mary Norris ’74, published a new book, “It’s Greek to Me,” in March 2019. The Amazon website says this about the book: “Filled with Norris’s memorable encounters with Greek words, Greek gods, Greek wine—and more than a few Greek men—Greek to Me is the Comma Queen’s fresh take on Greece and the exotic yet strangely familiar language that so deeply influences our own.” Mary delivered the 2016 Zagoren lecture, one of the AADC’s special programs.
Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin ’67: As one of the producers of a new Broadway show, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: The Life and Times of the Temptations,” Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin ’67 continues to make her mark as a Broadway producer. The musical traces the formation of the group, its challenges and, most importantly, its music. If you love Motown, you will love this exciting new show. The AADC New York Regional Connection Group hosted a Brunch and Broadway Gathering on March 31, 2019, to attend a performance and raved about the show. Sharon is a four-time Tony Award winner and producer of 25 Broadway shows, including “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Network,” “Burn This” and “The Band’s Visit.” Sharon is an active alumna and a member of the AADC Society of Excellence.
Dr. Ellen J. MacKenzie ’72: Douglass alumna Dr. Ellen J. MacKenzie ’72, Ph.D., ScM, was named Dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2017, and is the first woman to serve in this leadership role. She delivered the Zagoren Lecture hosted by the AADC on March 12, 2019. Dr. MacKenzie, a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor, is a leading injury prevention and trauma services research expert. The school’s announcement notes her undergraduate days, saying, “MacKenzie’s path to trauma care can be traced back to her foundation interest in numbers. The Long Island native majored in mathematics at Douglass College before diving into the world of bio-statistics as a Ph.D. student, then faculty member, at Jons Hopkins in the late 1970s.”