About the Visiting Fellows Program
For more than 45 years, the Visiting Fellows Program (VFP) offered through the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders, and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students, faculty members and the local community. The program exposes students to outstanding individuals in professional fields to discuss and contemplate the sometimes irregular paths Fellows took before achieving eminence in their chosen vocations. Through a weeklong residential program of classes, seminars, workshops, lectures, and informal discussions, the Fellows create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds. The CIC Visiting Fellows program is on hiatus for the 2022–2023 academic year.
The Visiting Fellows Program Sponsors
Virginia Cornyn ’62, Nancy Cheski ‘65, and Linda Alvarado
spring 2022 - theresa brown
The Women's Leadership Institute was thrilled to bring Theresa Brown to Mount Mary University March 14 - 17, 2022. Theresa Brown is a PhD, BSN, RN, and NY Times Bestselling Author of The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives. The Shift portrays one real shift worked by a hospital nurse. It shows a day-in-the life of an RN, but also all the life in one day in the hospital. Brown is a frequent contributor to the New York Times. She speaks nationally on topics relating to nursing, health care and end of life. Her first book, Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between (2010), is used as a text-book at schools of nursing around the country.
On March 14, 2022, the Women's Leadership Institute was pleased to have over 60 community members, students, faculty, staff, and alumnae join us for Brown's keynote presentation. This complimentary live keynote event was followed by a Q&A session moderated by Dr. Jennifer Dahlman, an assistant professor at Mount Mary University and Co-chair of the COVID Task Force for the university. The keynote, titled "Healing the Health Care System" discussed the crisis within the health care system. Brown's keynote asked us to consider our health care problems in terms of values, and discussed how renewed dedication to health care's core mission of caring could go far toward healing our broken system.
During the week Brown participated in a Women in STEM Industry Panel discussion with the Jewel Scholars Program, was a guest lecturer for six courses including Introduction to College Writing, Nutrition Communication and Education, and Technology & Communication and Nursing Leadership, among others. Brown had lunch with the Caroline Scholars where she discussed her call to service and how social justice comes into play in the healthcare industry and hosted an open house meet-and-greet/book signing lunch for the Mount Mary University nursing program.
Spring 2021 - Callie Crossley
The Women's Leadership Institute was excited to bring Callie Crossley to Mount Mary University February 15-18, 2021. Callie Crossley is a Boston based radio and TV host, commentator, and public speaker. Currently, she is the Host of Under the Radar with Callie Crossley on WGBH Radio. She also authors a weekly on air commentary, which airs Mondays during WGBH’s Morning Edition. Crossley is a producer, an award winning journalist, and a documentary filmmaker. Crossley is a frequent guest on national and local programs offering commentary on politics, society, race, and pop culture. As a Visiting Fellow, she guest lectures at colleges and universities about media literacy, media and politics, and the intersection of race, gender and media.
She appears on WGBH-TV’s Beat the Press, examining local and national media coverage, and hosts Basic Black, which focuses on current events concerning communities of color. A frequent commentator on television and radio, she is regularly quoted in the national media.
Callie is a former producer for ABC News 20/20, and is a multiple awarding winner journalist and documentary filmmaker, including a National Emmy, Gold Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award, Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion Awards, and top honors for commentary from the Public Radio News Directors. She is the first African-American to win an Oscar nomination in the Documentary Feature category for her work as a Producer on “Bridge to Freedom,” and her hour in the documentary series, "Eyes On the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965." She also earned a National Emmy and the Alfred I Dupont-Columbia Award( Gold Baton) for this work.
In January of 2019, Cinema Eye awarded the Legacy Award to Crossley and other members of the Blackside Inc. creative team for nonfiction filmmaking. Crossley won a 2017 Award from National Association of Black Journalists for Hosting in the Television Public Affairs: Interview Discussion for the program “Basic Black: Celebrating a Prince, a Queen and a General." Crossley was honored with the 2017 Open Door Award from Old South Church whose previous winners include former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Reverend Frank Schaefer, and Sarah Ann Shaw. Crossley is the recipient of the 2017 Barbara Stone Hollander Award for Women’s Leadership from the Women’s Institute at Chatham University.
Crossley won the 2016 Best Commentary award from the Public Radio News Directors organization for "Tomorrow Is Not Promised: Life After Hurricane Katrina." She was also awarded both the 2016 and 2015 National Association of Black Journalists’ Salute to Excellence Awards for a compilation of commentaries, “Observations on Ferguson: America’s Racial Ground Zero” and “Race Matters: Echoing History.” In 2014 Crossley earned three awards – the Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow, and Clarion awards for writing, producing and co-hosting the hour radio documentary, “Witness to History: WGBH’s 1963 Coverage of the March on Washington.”
She is a graduate of Wellesley College, and holds two honorary degrees, a Doctor of Arts degree from Pine Manor College and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Cambridge College. Crossley has been honored with many community awards including the 2016 GK100 List, identified as one of Boston’s Top 100 Influential People of Color.
On February 18, 2021, the Women's Leadership Institute was pleased to have over 75 community members, students, faculty, staff, and alumnae join us for Crossley's virtual keynote presentation. This complimentary live stream event was held in a Q&A format and was moderated by award winning CBS 58 Anchor, Amanda Porterfield. Crossley and Porterfield discussed politics, media and society, and women and leadership, among other topics.
Fall 2020 - Eleanor Clift
The Women's Leadership Institute was thrilled to welcome political reporter, television pundit, and author, Eleanor Clift, to Mount Mary University October 5-9, 2020. Eleanor Clift is a columnist for the Daily Beast, an online publication. She writes about politics and policy in Washington. Clift has covered every presidential campaign since 1976. Clift is perhaps best known as a panelist on the syndicated talk show, “The McLaughlin Group”.
Formerly Newsweek’s White House correspondent, Clift also served as congressional and political correspondent for six years. In June 1992, she was named Deputy Washington bureau chief. Clift worked at Newsweek for 50 years as documented in her article, The Magazine That Was: Eleanor Clift on Her 50 Years at Newsweek.
Clift and her late husband, Tom Brazaitis, who was a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, wrote two books together, “War Without Bloodshed: The Art of Politics” (Scribner, 1996), and “Madam President: Shattering the Last Glass Ceiling” (Scribner, 2000). Clift’s book, “Founding Sisters,” is about the passage of the 19th amendment giving women the vote (John Wiley & Sons, 2003). Her book, “Two Weeks of Life: A Memoir of Love, Death and Politics” (Basic Books, 2008) is about the loss of her husband together with an examination of how we deal with death in America. “Selecting a President,” a civics series geared towards high school seniors and college freshmen, written with Matthew Spieler (Thomas Dunne Books), published in 2012, and examines the process that for all its flaws is better than the alternative.
Clift came virtually to campus and participated in 13 separate events to discuss the women’s vote centennial. Through a variety of programs on campus, Clift worked to create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds by sharing her journey as a political reporter, pundit, and author. These programs included eight guest lectures focusing on Clift's experiences in journalism and politics and how they related to a variety of Mount Mary University courses such as Introduction to College Writing, Introduction to New Media Writing, College Research Writing, Social and Political Philosophy, Communication Theory, and Mount Mary's signature Leadership for Social Justice course. Clift also spoke with students in the Honors Program, the Grace Scholars Program, as well as Arches, Mount Mary's award-winning student magazine and companion website. Clift also headlined a special live stream conversation with event sponsors and donors about the current election, racial injustices, and the volatile political climate and how it relates to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
On October 5, the Women's Leadership Institute was pleased to have 295 community members, students, faculty, staff, and alumnae join us for Clift's virtual keynote presentation. This complimentary live stream event featured Eleanor discussing the women's suffrage movement, the women's vote centennial and analyzing the current political and social climates. Following Clift's keynote, Shannon Sims, co-anchor of TMJ4 news, moderated the Q&A session between Clift and the audience.
Fall 2019 - Fania Davis
Mount Mary University welcomed Restorative Justice Scholar Fania E. Davis to campus October 7-10, 2019, to explore restorative justice and how it relates to Mount Mary’s founding principle of social justice. As a social activist and civil rights attorney, Davis co-founded the Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth and has received many humanitarian awards. Through a variety of programs on campus, Davis worked to create better understanding and new connections between the academic and nonacademic worlds by sharing her social and restorative justice journey. These programs included two guest lectures focusing on Davis' experiences and how they relate to Mount Mary's signature "Leadership for Social Justice" course, a lunch with our Caroline Scholars, a conversation about restorative justice and trauma with our Trauma Informed Care graduate students, and a workshop for faculty and staff introducing restorative justice practices.
The WLI was pleased to have over 275 community members, students, faculty, staff, and alumnae join us for Davis' community keynote presentation called “Interrupting the School-to-Prison-Pipeline through Restorative Justice” with a moderated Q&A session. At this presentation, participants heard Davis' story and listened to the concepts and development of restorative justice approaches. Discussion included ways to actively engage families, communities, and systems to repair harm and prevent re-offending.