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
“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
“‘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.