Five women: each with a different educational background, each at various places in their professional career and each with a distinct passion. However, all five of these women are Westminster alumna, all are excelling in their various fields and all are attributing a degree of their success to the experience they gained as a student at Westminster College.
Rachel Kopper ’91: Kopper advanced her goal to promote women in life science careers with her acceptance of the Women in Bio (WIB) national presidency in 2019, according to a Westminster College press release. WIB is a nonprofit professional organization devoted to encouraging careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women working in the life sciences.
The presidency is Kopper’s largest role in the organization yet, although she began supporting its mission as a volunteer in 2011. She co-founded Pittsburgh’s chapter of WIB in 2012, and she went on to serve as chair of the local chapter from 2016 to 2019. In addition to Kopper’s WIB responsibilities in Pittsburgh, she has also served as the national vice-chair of the WIB Membership Committee, a Westminster College press release detailed.
Kopper earned her Bachelor of Arts in public relations from Westminster College in 1991. She credits her professional success to the liberal arts education and diverse coursework within the public relations major that she experienced at the College, according to a Westminster College press release.
Kathryn Patterson ’15: Patterson earned a Pittsburgh Business Times (PBT) 2019 “30 Under 30” award for her work as supervisor of patient transition at Allegheny Health Network, a Westminster College press release stated. The award is presented annually by the PBT to honor leaders in Pittsburgh’s business and nonprofit communities who are under 30 years old.
As supervisor, Patterson is responsible for safely transitioning patients from the hospital to their homes and ensuring that all post-acute care needs are organized before anyone is discharged. She also analyzes data to create work plans and processes to increase productivity in her role. Additionally, she has worked on a women’s health initiative with postpartum mothers, according to a Westminster College press release.
Patterson received her Bachelor of Arts in history and political science from Westminster in 2015. She highlights the interdisciplinary learning she experienced at the College as transformative throughout her career and life after college, a Westminster College press release explained.
Ashlyn Brown ’17 & Melissa Egan ’17: Brown and Egan collaborated with Dr. Deanne Buffalari and Dr. Sararose Lynch when they were undergraduate students to write a cross-disciplinary article about preschool brain education. They saw their work come to fruition when the article was published in a national journal in 2019, according to a Westminster College press release.
Neuroscience and Education Colleagues Collaborate to Design and Assess Effective Brain Outreach for Preschoolers, published in the spring 2019 edition of the Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, unites the fields of neuroscience and education to explore brain outreach among preschoolers. Brown and Egan designed six basic lessons on brain function and health, which they taught to students in a preschool setting. Their resulting paper details how the lessons improved learning in preschool students, as well as guidance and examples for other educators, a Westminster College press release reported.
Brown earned her Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from Westminster in 2017. She appreciates the empowering mentorship she experienced at the College, which played a crucial role in getting the research published, according to a Westminster College press release.
Egan received her Bachelor of Arts in early childhood and special education from Westminster in 2017. She draws on her experiences completing the project as she now teaches in schools and continues researching educational practices, a Westminster College press release explained.
Emily Bondi ’19: Bondi launched her career as director of media relations for the National Arena League (NAL) in early 2020. The NAL is a professional indoor football league that includes seven teams throughout the country, according to a Westminster College press release.
In Bondi’s new position, she will oversee the social media accounts of all teams in the league, specifically by creating and posting content for them. She will additionally write press release, produce videos and take photos for the league, a Westminster College press release detailed.
Bondi earned her Bachelor of Arts in broadcasting and media production from Westminster in 2019. The experiential learning that Bondi engaged in at the College with Titan Radio and the Westminster College Network provided her with the necessary experience and opportunities to begin her career after graduating, according to a Westminster College press release.
Copyedited by Jasmine Woodings