Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


September 3, 2002

Salisbury, Gleason tell their stories

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

The beginning of the 2002–03 academic year marks the 10th anniversary of the Emory Women’s Center. To kick off the yearlong celebration, Jan Gleason and Karen Salisbury are headlining the center’s fourth annual “Telling Our Stories” event, Tuesday, Sept. 10, at Miller-Ward Alumni House.

Gleason, associate vice president of Public Affairs, and Salisbury, assistant dean for Campus Life and director of Student Activities, said they plan to follow in the tradition of other participants with an informal discussion about their careers at Emory (both have been here almost 18 years), their backgrounds and their lives away from work.

“I think [our conversation] will be off-the-cuff to a certain extent, but it needs to be organized,” Salisbury said. “Other-wise it could go on forever.”

The two women’s backgrounds have both similarities and differences. Both women are Midwest natives (Gleason from Michigan and Salisbury from Minnesota) who have extensive experience in higher education. Away from work, the two have decidedly full, but different households: Gleason and husband Jeff have three children, and Salisbury and her partner Roger have three dogs and a cat.

“Jan and Karen both have jobs with a good deal of responsibility and a mirrored amount of pressure. And they have their share of responsibilities and interests outside of Emory, too,” said Ali Crown, director of the Women’s Center. “I hope they can share with us how they manage all the projects, people, partners, children and pets in their custody with such benevolence and skill.”

Both Gleason and Salisbury are extremely modest about touting their stories. They said initially they didn’t understand why anyone would want to hear about their lives. After meeting together and with a former participant, they gained some perspective.

“Having gone to the event for three years, I have seen that everyone has a story,” Gleason said. “Once you start thinking about the forces that shaped your life and influences, it gives you a sense of worth.”

With the advent of the Women’s Center 10th anniversary, Crown said “Telling Our Stories” has helped expand the center’s intention on presenting a realistic portrait of the complexity of women’s daily lives and providing the tools for dealing with day-to-day issues.

“‘Telling Our Stories’ offers the opportunity for us to see and hear up-close how women’s experiences have helped shape the different choices they’ve made. By focusing on the narrative form, ‘Telling Our Stories’ is contemporary women’s history in the making,” Crown said.

Crown encourages men to attend the event. The first year, two “brave souls” attended the event, and since then male attendance has steadily increased, Crown said. “This is not only good; it is important,” she added.

“Telling Our Stories” began in 1999 with Rebecca Chopp, former provost, and Johnnetta Cole, former Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and African-American Studies. In 2000, Patricia Hudgins, professor of radiology and otolaryngology, and Suzie Tindall, retired professor of neurological surgery, spoke. Last year featured Marion Dearing, executive assistant to President Bill Chace, and Catherine Howett Smith, associate director and director of academic services at the Carlos Museum.

Cost for “Telling Our Stories” is $23, which includes a three-course meal. A reception will be held at 5:30 p.m., and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. To make a reservation or for more information, contact the Women’s Center at 404-727-2001.