February 22, 2017

Strong Women

Over the past few months photographer Beth Perkins has been on assignment for several Colleges and Universities shooting successful alums. Here is a collection of some of Beth’s favorite subjects.  She has put together bio's and information on each of these strong women.



Kimberly Drew ‘12– Smith Alumnae Quarterly – blogger and social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art – Major was Art History and African-American Studies with Museums concentration.


Her first blog post—while she was still at Smith and smitten with art history—was a photo of some artwork, accompanied by the artist’s name and a link to the artist’s website. Five years later and that’s still what Kimberly Drew ’12 is doing, only now that same blog has become an influential encyclopedia of black contemporary artists. Her stylish Instagram account @museummammy has nearly 100,000 followers. One blog calls her “one of the art world’s rising tastemakers.”


Small wonder that she landed a job managing social media for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Deanna Fei ‘99– Amherst Magazine - Author and Speaker

Girl in Glass is a riveting story of one child’s harrowing journey and a mother’s impassioned defense of human worth against corporate disregard.




Nina Munk ’88 – Smith Alumnae Quarterly – Journalist


After following economist Jeffrey Sachs who wrote The End of Poverty on his heralded plan to end extreme poverty, she found there are no shortcuts and no easy answers.  Initially Nina followed Sachs for six months reporting for Vanity Fair. The six months then stretched into six years and resulted in her book The Idealist. “ In his (Sachs) books and in his speeches, Sachs assures audiences that the problem of poverty can be solved by 2025, and that it can be solved ‘easily’. By contracts, my book makes clear that there is nothing easy about ending poverty.”


“In Africa, I saw too many well-intentioned outsiders, bolstered by money and certitude, misjudge or oversimplify the coomplex reality of problems they intended to solve. If we hope to end extreme poverty, we have to do more than provide aid or charity. We need to learn how real, sustained economic development takes root."



Emily Wiest ‘12– Smith Alumnae Quarterly – Playwright


Story about the influence of professors extending far beyond the classroom and long after graduation as they become mentors, counselors and friends.




Geri Mariano ‘89 – Smith Alumnae Quarterly - Inspirational Speaker


Born with diastrophic dysplasia, a skeletal disorder that severely impacts bone and cartilage development, Geri has limited mobility due to her short stature (4 feet, 6 inches on her prosthetic legs) and limbs. She speaks at schools and organizations about her well-lived life with disability and her passionate message that despite physical differences, we’re still all the same.  When asked what she prefers to be called – handicapped? Disabled? Little person? Her answer is always : “Just call me Geri.”





Kiara Gomez ‘ 14 – Smith Alumnae Quarterly - a Fulbright Fellow, Geosciences Major and Minor in Marine Science and Policy


A Queens NY native, Gomez is the first in her family to attend college and worked night shifts to send money home.  Nevertheless, her achievements as an undergraduate were extraordinary; A geosciences major and minor in marine science and policy, did research in the Bahamas and went to Belize for student-teaching. She became a Mellon Mays fellow, presented at conferences, and graduated with honors. She won the Fulbright grant to study in Samos, Greece. When I met her she said she wants to help save our environment.




Aimee Christensen ‘91– Smith Alumnae Quarterly– Ecostrategist


Aimee Christensen helps corporations see that reducing their environmental footprint is smart business through her company Christensen Global Strategies.