April 03, 2012

Women @ Wentworth

Wentworth celebrated 40 years of women at Wentworth with a brunch event on March 31 in Watson Auditorium.  More than 75 alumnae, staff, faculty, parents, students, and friends of the Institute listened to a Q&A panel discussion called “Breaking the Glass Ceiling While Maintaining a Work/Life Balance,” moderated by Rose Conti, BCN ’92, ABC ’09, president of the Wentworth Alumni Association.

The first half-hour of the brunch was dedicated to networking, with four businesses either run by or geared toward women—Catalyst, MAKE.GOOD studio, Melaleuca, and Razz-M-Tazz—sending representatives to show their support for Women @ Wentworth. A panel discussion focused on the importance of mentorship; prioritizing work, family life, and personal life; and how to overcome the glass ceiling. Participants included Pamela Delphenich, Massachusetts Institute of Technology director of campus planning and design; Susana Pereira DeVoe, AET ’94, ARC ’97, adjunct faculty member, Wentworth; Norma Hanson, business manager, Holland & Knight LLP; Shannon O’Brien, former Massachusetts state treasurer; Michele Whitham, partner, Foley Hoag LLP, and Wentworth board of trustee member; and Conti.

Women @ Wentworth’s sixth annual Woman of the Year award went to Karen Arpino-Shaffer, AET ’79, AEC ’00, who has more than 30 years of professional experience in design and construction management. She began her career working on the Red Line extension with Perini Corporation in 1979, and quickly developed a passion for the transportation industry. Her contributions to Boston transit through her career include the Blue Line Modernization Project, the North Station Reconstruction, and the impending Green Line extension, among other infrastructure projects. Arpino-Shaffer has worked for the MBTA, New England design firm SEA Consultants, and Gilbane Building Company.

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