“Women’s Colleges: Necessary and Invaluable” – Essay Competition Winner Erica Rice Reflects on Women’s Education

“There is no greater inspirational force than that which comes from surrounding
oneself with individuals whom she admires.”

Erica Rice, Class of 2017

Erica Rice, Class of 2017

We are excited to announce the first of the two winners of the third annual essay competition of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, sponsored by The Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library. Our student winner, freshman Erica Rice, responded thoughtfully to the prompt “Women, education and the future… what do women’s colleges have to offer?” In her essay, she asserts that “equality means not only the freedom to be the same, but also very much the freedom to be different.” The benefits to be reaped from a women’s college education are not a uniform commodity, but are rather the extent to which the college culture and experience allow each individual to avidly pursue a  chosen path and excel in the areas in which she is most passionate. Congratulations, Erica!…

Women’s Colleges:
Necessary and Invaluable

The college experience can very easily become a paradox, as a college education should be what equips a young person to accomplish whatever they wish, yet during the time spent earning a diploma, a great deal of pruning other dreams and aspirations is necessary to earn the title of college graduate. The ability to focus and make decisions about one’s future is indeed important, but all too often in the college setting, in the process of becoming a college graduate, pieces of the individual dissolve. Colleges and universities have plenty to offer the future, but people have more. At women’s colleges, the student body is made up of individuals willing to identify as different and who believe that it is their individual aspirations combined with a college diploma that will be what changes their world. The college experience for these women will be a tool, not an identity; because their identity is something they are not willing to compromise.

In addition to bringing together an impressive and self-selecting group of individuals, the experience of women’s colleges is a precious commodity that will become no less important in the future. That women have come to assert themselves as intellectual assets on college campuses across the world is wonderfully exciting and an absolutely necessary aspect of global progress in every way. Leveling the gender discrepancy in education continues to be a process that demands the support of groups and individuals in every sector. However, it is vital to remember that equality means not only the freedom to be the same, but also very much the freedom to be different. This is where the experience of women’s colleges is so important. Women’s colleges provide that opportunity to both learn and live as part of a community aware of both its uniqueness as well as its absolute viability in an academic setting without ever asking the individual to sacrifice her identity as she knows it.

This corner of the educational landscape is incredibly valuable and that it be preserved is necessary. As a member of such a community, I can speak personally to the value of the institution of a women’s college. By making the decision to be a part of a community which is so deliberately unique, I have placed myself among the ranks of women who are united in our common goal of wanting to be agents of change and progress in our worlds. There is no greater inspirational force than that which comes from surrounding oneself with individuals whom she admires. At women’s colleges, peers serve as motivators because passion is contagious and I have experienced no shortage in a women’s college community.

Women who make the choice to attend all women’s colleges do not do so with the intention of being ignored. We plunge into our identities as we see them with confidence and live in our community with purpose. At women’s colleges, the product is not simply a college graduate. Rather, women’s colleges produce something far more influential: educated women who have reached their respective goals in their own ways. Women of this kind are what shape the world and that they have every resource to cultivate their aspirations is crucial. The accomplishments of graduates of women’s colleges are too many to count, as will be the contributions of future women in these institutions. Some things, however, are certain: these institutions offer something to their students that is unique and precious, and the world waits with bated breath for what the individuals who make these colleges what they are will offer next.

Do you have thoughts about the place of the women’s college in the twenty-first century educational landscape? Have there been aspects of your experience that have shaped your understanding of education for women in the world today? Respond in the comments, or tweet us @GreenfieldHWE!

The annual essay competition returns! Bryn Mawr College students, enter for a chance to win $500

Essay Competition Poster 2013

It’s that time again…. we are announcing the third annual essay competition of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, kindly sponsored by Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library. As with last year, there are two categories of winners: current students and alumnae.

The title this year is: “Women, education and the future…. what do women’s colleges have to offer?”

With the number of women’s colleges declining on a yearly basis, this year’s essay competition asks you to reflect on what role existing women’s colleges may play in women’s lives in the future. Will the trend in converting to coeducational institutions continue? Do women’s colleges offer a unique enough experience to survive? What are their particular strengths as we look towards the demands of the future on women? Will they fuel women to inhabit leadership roles on a larger scale or will they cluster women in certain sections of the economy and political life? As always, you are welcome to take this title as a prompt for your own thoughts and opinions and you are free to offer positive or negative predictions for the fate of women’s colleges. We intend this title to be expansive, to include reflections on education, employment, societal norms, women’s leadership … anything you wish to address with regard to the role that women’s colleges may play.

So, if you would like to have your say then we want to hear it! Your essay will be published on the site of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education and the winner of the undergraduate section will receive a $500 cash prize; the winner of the alum section will win a selection of prizes, including a copy of the college history, Offerings to Athena. The competition is open to all current undergraduate students of Bryn Mawr College and the closing date for entries is October 21st 2013 so hurry up and get writing!

Essay Competition: Submit by the End of the Month

Margaret Bailey Speer at her desk in Yenching

The November 30th deadline is approaching for the second annual essay competition of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education! We would like to remind and encourage both current students and all alumnae to submit essays addressing the topic of:

‘Transformations: How has the Bryn Mawr College experience made you the person you are today?’

Consider how your experience at Bryn Mawr has shaped you, be it academically, personally, professionally, or otherwise. What have been the most surprising challenges? How have the people you met changed you? How has Bryn Mawr served as a lens or an entry point into the world? We want to hear your stories, memories, and reflections.

Prizes have been kindly sponsored by the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library: the winning student essay will earn a prize of $500, and the alumna winner will receive a gift pack including a copy of Offerings to Athena, among other items related to the college’s history. All entrants will also have the chance to have their work published on the Greenfield Center website. Past entrants Kai Wang, Wendy Chen, and Emily Adams had their essays on the relevance of single-sex education posted on this blog.

Please submit essays of no more than 2,000 words to the Director of the Center, Dr. Jennifer Redmond, at jredmond@brynmawr.edu, by Friday, November 30th, 2012. See our earlier post for more information.

How has Bryn Mawr transformed you? Announcing the Second Annual Essay Competition, deadline November 30th

Undergraduates and alumnae of Bryn Mawr College are invited to write an essay on the topic of:

‘Transformations: How has the Bryn Mawr College experience made you the person you are today?’

The essay competition’s theme is ‘Transformations: How has the Bryn Mawr College experience made you the person you are today?’ The competition this year is open to current students and to alumnae; the student prize is $500, the alumna prize will be a gift pack including a copy of Offerings to Athena edited by Anne Bruder and issued for the 125th Anniversary celebrations of the founding of the college. All entrants will have the chance to have their work published on the website.

This is the second annual essay competition of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education, and this year we are delighted to welcome alums to join in after the many requests we received last year to hear your voices.

As with last year we have partnered with the Friends of the Library in running this competition. Last year, we asked students to consider the relevance of single-sex education in the twenty-first century. The winner was Kai Wang ’14 and her essay can be read here. Two other entrants to the competition also published their pieces on the blog: Wendy Chen, Class of 2014, published her reflections on the importance of single-sex education in her experience, which can be read here; Emily Adams , also class of 2014, looked at the issue from multiple perspectives, saying she wouldn’t have it any other way (click here to read her post).

We invite you to think about all aspects of your college experience, either presently or in the past:

  • What made you choose Bryn Mawr over other colleges?
  • How has your Bryn Mawr experience shaped your life?
  • Did you learn any surprising lessons? About yourself? Or other people?
  • Was it a culture shock or a nurturing haven, or both?
  • What are your abiding memories of your time here?
  • In what ways has it been a transforming experience for you?
  • What are the key moments of your time at the college?

The essays should be no longer than 2,000 words and all essays must be submitted by Friday, November 30th, 2012 via email to the Director of the Center, Dr. Jennifer Redmond at jredmond@brynmawr.edu

Click here for the essay competition poster and be sure to tell all your friends:

Essay Competition Poster 2012 FINAL

Winner of the inaugural student essay prize, Kai Wang ’15 on why single sex education matters today.

Kai Wang, winner of the undergraduate essay prize 2012

As we welcome new students to Bryn Mawr College this week, we thought we would feature the work of a current student. This post is brought to you by Kai Wang ’15, a current Bryn Mawr College undergraduate student and winner of the inaugural Essay Competition of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education. Kai won a $500 cash prize, sponsored by the Friends of the Library at Bryn Mawr College, and the opportunity to publish her essay here. Kai was also honored in the annual prize giving ceremony. The judging panel was comprised of the Director of the Center, Dr. Jennifer Redmond, Ms. Jen Rajchel ’11, at that time Digital Initiatives Intern, Mae Carlson ’12, representing the Student Government Association, and Professor Sharon Ullman of the History Department. We all thought Kai’s essay connected the past with the present landscape of women’s education in interesting ways. Well done Kai! If you are new to Bryn Mawr College, keep an eye out for the posters this semester announcing the second competition.

Kai spent this past summer doing an exciting short self-initiated extern at the Beijing Cancer Hospital in the Department of Hepatic, Biliary and Pancreatic Cancer. At the hospital she could closely observe and learn more about the doctors’ jobs from a more authoritative perspective, in addition to familiarizing herself with the procedures in a hospital setting, interacting with patients and building more experience for a potential career in the medical field. After this, she returned to Canada to spend the rest of the summer break helping with her small family-operated plant nursery, soaking up the Summer sun, and cracking a  few books in preparation for another beautiful semester back home at Bryn Mawr.


Kai Wang: Why Single Sex Education Matters Today

With the hot debate on the significance of single-sex education, dominating public opinion questions the necessity of continuing this rigid and even antiquated tradition. Thus the persisting query is: Why should single-sex education matter today?

Globally, problems of gender bias have always existed, including in earlier Western society (this is especially evident in former education systems, though it is much overlooked these days due to the supplantation of single-sex education by co-education). Thus, the importance of single-sex education cannot be so easily dismissed as great gender inequality still exists in many regions of the world such as in impoverished and rural areas of India and China. This inequality between male-female education remains a stark reality especially for women, who are most often the victims of social discrimination. Yet through its focus on the importance of learning for each and both genders, single-sex education demands equality between sexes and thus contests the culturally embedded notions of gender discrimination. Through teaching women, for instance, single-sex education discourages gender stereotypes through paralleling females’ proficiency to that of their male ‘superiors’. Hence, the development of single-sex education (again, chiefly for women) in this area is very much a means of liberation from gender inequality. Single-sex education, then, is indisputably a crucial element in bringing about recognition for education and equality between genders; it allows for the autonomy of individuals entrapped in cultural bias to reach out towards a change and a future against the flawed perceptions of gender prejudice.

The significance of single-sex education for women in particular has a deep rooted aspect of representation. Since academies for women’s higher education have opened on a socially accepted level, the continued existence and flourishing of all-females institutions attest to the decisive successes against past struggles for the recognition of intellectual equality and freedom from social inferiority. Through my own experiences at Bryn Mawr College, I am continually inspired by my peers’ dedication to their work as well as their confidence and vivacity in interaction. For those of us attending all women’s academic institutions, we bear witness to the legacy of spirit, independence, and dignity of women that these academies uphold.

While the popularity of co-ed systems seems to have rendered single-sex education obsolete, there is no doubt that it is still an important component of educational success. Often, criticism directed at single-sex education argues that it offers a false impression of the world in that its very selectivity of gender and sheltered learning environment does not reflect the real-world challenges as does, for example, the way a co-ed environment imitates a microcosm of society. Consequently, single-sex education is not realistic in preparing students for ‘real’ life and the facilitation into society with its frustrations, some of which are not introduced to students within their educational experience. Yet this argument fails to consider the rebuttal; in a single-gendered setting, there is undeniably greater freedom permitted to the student in terms of release of self expression, a cause contributed to by the elimination of societal pressures for restraint and conformity.

With the focus on single-sex education, students at these institutes are encouraged to explore greater fields of academia, thus propelling the development of single-sex communities to extend in all areas of learning. Many reports evaluating the performances of student in single-sex institutions in comparison with co-ed institutions confirm a significant rise not only in learning efficiency but also in interest of subjects: in a single-sex environment, more women tend towards science courses than in co-ed institutions, showing that what has traditionally been seen as the academic territory of one gender can be managed as adeptly by the other. This support for diverse learning thus mirrors the world within a single gendered space and serves as an outlet for self discovery and expansion of potential. The experiences acquired from a single-sex environment allow its’ students to pursue new and budding interests, thereby contributing to the odyssey of self-realization. The onslaught of new responsibilities and social activities that come with this period of college life also marks a great transitional stage into adulthood whereby one defines individuality and manages independence within the sphere of a single gendered community, and later, in the greater societal world. Thus, not only do these experiences gained through the single-sex environment offer insight and practice in handling future challenges –just as in a co-ed setting- they also invalidate the argument against single-sex education about false-preparation for integration into society.  

Yet why must we only measure the value of single-sex education in comparison to co-ed systems in order to appreciate its importance? The significance of single-sex education lies not in its point-to-point advantages or disadvantages over co-ed settings but rather, in the unique experience it provides its’ students. It is this experience that determines value. Experiencing education in a single-sex community is only a short fragment of time in one’s life, yet it creates unique memories of exploration, self-discovery, and lasting friendships in the distinct context of a single-sex setting. In society, there will always be chances for interactions with members of the other sex, though, with time, there will likely be fewer chances to experience single-sex education because of the dwindling number of single-sex educational institutions throughout the nation.

A spring of exploration, boldness and vision, single-sex education realizes within each single gendered community greater potential for growth, liberation from stereotypical constructs, and development of distinct individuals that other modes of education could never mimic. In the end, there will always be skeptics and critics of this approach, but it is time for single-sex education to take a decisive stand for its existence and its merit. What is needed on our part is an adamant persistence and belief in the values of single-sex education against the overwhelming odds of societal demands for conformity. The question should be: Why shouldn’t single-sex education matter today?


For editorial policies on guest blogs please see http://greenfield.blogs.brynmawr.edu/sample-page/

Reflecting on the place of single-sex education today, Emily Adams ’14 says ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way’…

Emily Adams, Bryn Mawr College Class of 2014

In this post, guest blogger Emily Adams, BMC ’14 reflects on the issue of single-sex education, arguing for the necessity to examine the corporeality of femininity in its fullest sense. Drawing on an essay she wrote for The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education Undergraduate Essay Competition this year, Emily explores her thoughts on the often contentious topic of single-sex education today.

Emily Adams is an English major with minors in Russian and Spanish. She has spent the summer interning at a non-profit mental health organization in San Francisco. This fall she will be studying abroad in St. Petersburg.

Feminine Bodies: The Physical Presence of Women’s Colleges

The world is consumed with interest in female bodies. They serve as a constant source of fascination, revulsion, concern and controversy. In pregnancy and childbirth, women’s bodies are worshipped as the origin of life. Through miscarriage, they are condemned as scapegoats for premature death. Nearly ninety percent of those who suffer from eating disorders are women. Teenage girls worldwide are more likely to engage in self-injury than any other demographic. Through Eve, women are even blamed for the genesis of shame and the subsequent covering of the human body. It is clear from these statements that, in much of the world, prospects for women are not overly optimistic. However, at a handful of colleges across the nation, women have been working for over a century to overturn Eve’s sin and reclaim the female form.

It would be absurd to believe that women’s colleges are free from these body-centric obsessions, that the mere existence of a single-sex environment somehow transforms an institution into a secure bubble in which all of the world’s ills can be cured. Single-sex colleges serve, not as a protective sphere to shield students from these issues, but as a stable center from which to confront them. For a young woman leaving high school, undoubtedly self-conscious about her body and her mind, it is an incredible experience to enter a women’s college, a place where every classmate, every friend, and every leader on that campus is another young woman in the process of self-discovery like herself. It is life-changing. The greatest education students of these institutions receive is in coming to accept the female body not only as the center of great suffering, but also unimaginable grace, beauty, and strength.

Studying at a women’s college means being able to lift weights in the gym without competing with male bodybuilders. It means walking into any class, whether it’s computer science or French literature, and knowing you won’t be the only woman. It means being certain that your peers will not take your gender into account when evaluating the merit of your opinions. It means watching the Vagina Monologues and later discussing at the dinner table which monologue rang true for you. Would these conversations take place at co-ed schools? Possibly. Would they invoke the same levels of pride, honesty, and sincerity? Probably not.

A single-sex education means being surrounded by bright, passionate, involved women— not just in classrooms, but at work, at mealtimes, and in the dorms. It means entering into an enormous sisterhood which extends across all fifty states and most nations of the world, which encompasses several generations of intellectual women and will hopefully grow to include several more in the coming years. It means realizing in the middle of a lecture that, one hundred years ago, a young woman just like you was sitting in that same chair — learning just as you are, rediscovering herself in new and fantastic ways like you — and taking a moment to bask in the glory of our collective history.

For that woman, as well as the millions who have come before and after her in the history of women’s education, every day of her college career was a celebration of her femininity. The simple fact of being at a school filled entirely with women was an affirmation of the power of her gender. She greeted every day with the realization that she was surrounded by people who understood and appreciated what it means to be a woman, what it costs to be female in a male world, and what it takes to change that world for the better. And whether all of those women went on to be rocket scientists or mothers or both, they carried that knowledge with them for the rest of their lives. They knew that, just as their gender should never define them, it should also never be forgotten. They never forgot, and neither will we.

With that in mind, I declare that to live as a woman is the most difficult and most beautiful way to live, and that to spend four years learning with other women is the very best way to understand what that means. I, along with countless others, wouldn’t have it any other way.

For editorial policies on guest blogs please see http://greenfield.blogs.brynmawr.edu/sample-page/

“People today wonder whether a single-sex education is still a relevant institutional environment…” Wendy Chen, BMC ’14 reflects on single-sex education in the 21st century.

In this post, guest blogger Wendy Chen, BMC ’14 reflects on the issue of single-sex education in the twenty-first century. Drawing on an essay she wrote for The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education Undergraduate Essay Competition, Wendy reveals why she thinks it’s important to keep reflecting on single-sex education and studying at a women’s college today.

As an undergraduate student majoring in the History of Art and minoring in Economics, I decided to enter this essay competition as a way to reflect on what I’ve learned from attending a single-sex institution. When I look back on the period prior to the emergence of radical feminist movements in the 1960’s, women today have attained more rights and liberties compared to women who lived through the historical period of patriarchal dominance. People today wonder whether a single-sex education is still a relevant institutional environment, as some may think that single-sex institutions merely exacerbate gender stereotypes and inflate sexist attitudes. But I believe that is a general misconception people have about single sex institutions, and that the option of being able to choose single sex schools should still be available for individuals interested in learning about existing gender norms and female empowerment.

A single sex institution is a unique environment where one is made aware of the heterosexual dichotomy between males and females, femininity and masculinity. This past semester I had an extremely rewarding experience in Professor Saltzman’s contemporary art history class where we talked about the body politic in relation to performativity. We had the privilege of reading Gender Trouble and listening to Judith Butler’s enlightening theories on the “gender performative”. It changed my notion of “gender” as an irreducibly, fixed truth and I began to view gender as of more of an expression, a social performance. Butler defines gender to be a “repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts within a highly rigid regulatory frame that congeal over time to produce the appearance of substance, of a natural sort of being” (Butler, Gender Trouble, 45). I now understand “gender” to be socially constructed and linguistically reinforced. The societal practice of vicious regulating gender norms can sometimes lead to the victimization and discrimination of individuals who do not conform to the binary categories, and are in the end deprived of their rights. It is why women in many impoverished, developing countries are still oppressed by men and why homosexuals and transsexuals are deemed as secondary citizens. For example, in Afghanistan, women are still considered deeply inferior to males to the point where parents have to masquerade their girls as boys because sons are more highly valued in society. Obama’s recent announcement for his endorsement on gay-marriage is being criticized because society’s notion of gender is still heavily influenced by the regulatory systems of the heterosexual dichotomy.

In art history class, Butler’s readings break down these gender binaries by conveying the need for a permanent end to the policing and ordering of gender. Even in Professor Rock’s environmental economics class, I learned the importance of combating gender norms and promoting women’s empowerment and education. Countries such as Afghanistan have been shown to have a problem of overpopulation due to young marriage ages and high fertility rates which affects women’s chances for education. It is through being in an institutional environment that advocates female empowerment, and taking academically enriching courses that help me learn about the pervasive nature of gender ordering, that I realize at Bryn Mawr College we are not celebrating the differences between genders. I feel that we are unraveling the social construction of ‘gender’ and throwing it out the door completely.


For editorial policies on guest blogs please see http://greenfield.blogs.brynmawr.edu/sample-page/


Updates on the Essay Competition!

Many thanks to all who entered the recent Greenfield Essay Competition for undergraduates at Bryn Mawr College. We received some really interesting, thoughtful entries and look forward to announcing who gets that cash prize soon.

The judging panel will be meeting on February 29th 2012 to decide on the overall winner. The winner will be announced in March as part of the Digital Center’s Women’s History Month activities (for more on this annual event, see http://womenshistorymonth.gov/).

As the the Women’s History Month site says, our history is our strength, and part of the impetus behind the essay competition was to give students the opportunity to reflect on the history of women’s education in a single-sex environment and what this means to them today.

Many of the essays mention the importance of role models, of how seeing a woman being able to achieve something is inspirational, and allows for others to imagine their own success.This strikes me as one of the most important aspects of higher education for everyone.

Keep an eye on this blog for the winner’s essay, and other updates, including the first Advisory Committee meeting, the launch of the website and other exciting events!




Single sex education in the twenty first century – undergrads of Bryn Mawr College, what’s your opinion?

There seems to be a particularly enduring interest in debating whether single-sex education at any level is beneficial or harmful for students. Does the media attention to this issue reflect real concern, or an ongoing narrow focus on gendered divisions in educational experiences that has existed since before M. Carey Thomas’ time? Whatever your opinion, it’s important to celebrate how far we’ve come from the times when a Philadelphia doctor told M. Carey Thomas that students of Bryn Mawr would be physically damaged by studying at college level … if you don’t believe us listen to the woman herself in this extract from a radio speech in 1935…mcareythomas1935

A quick google scan of news articles reveals a steady stream of studies and academic debates about the pros and cons of having separate educational environments for girls and boys. It seems that this discourse knows no geographic boundaries – research has been conducted worldwide with no overall conclusive results being offered. Jaclyn Zubrzycki on the Education Week site discusses a report on the publicly run schools in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago which found that while single sex education benefits some girls, it doesn’t prove beneficial to all girls or boys (see http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/01/18/17singlesex_ep.h31.html) and, as previously referred to, our own President McAuliffe contributed an important piece to a series of articles in the New York Times last semester (see President McAuliffe’s recent piece in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/17/single-sex-schools-separate-but-equal/bucking-the-trend-at-womens-colleges)

So what do you think? We’ve come a long way since women were banned from entering the male bastions of higher education and single-sex education emerged as a remedy to counter the prejudiced policies of these all-male institutions. So, what now? Maybe the fact that Bryn Mawr was a single-sex college did not enter your decision making process to attend …. or maybe you specifically wanted to come here because of this. Maybe you never thought about this until you got here…. maybe you think co-education as you experience through the tri-co is a positive experience you would like more of …. If you would like to have your say then we want to hear it! Your essay will be published on the new site of The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education (coming soon!) and the winner will receive a $500 cash prize. The competition is open to all current undergraduate students of Bryn Mawr College and the closing date for entries is January 27th 2012 so hurry up and get writing! (see here for the poster originally announcing the competition which you should have seen all over campus Greenfield Essay Competition)


The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center for the History of Women’s Education announces its first undergraduate essay competition!


Photo courtesy of the Bryn Mawr College Archives

Want to win $500? Got something to say about studying at a women’s college? Then enter the inaugural undergraduate essay competition for a chance to express your views and win a prize!

Bryn Mawr College was recently awarded funding from The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation to initiate an exciting new venture in digital humanities – the launching of the Digital Center for the History of Women and Higher Education. The Digital Center will comprise of an online portal to promote and support original research, teaching, and the exchange of ideas about the history of women’s education, both in the United States and worldwide.

Given recent media attention to the issue of single sex-education (see President McAuliffe’s recent piece in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/17/single-sex-schools-separate-but-equal/bucking-the-trend-at-womens-colleges) we want to hear what current students think about the impact of studying and living at a women’s college in the twenty-first century. Does it matter whether an institution is single-sex or co-ed? What is the impact for young women attending a single-sex college? What do you think is the future? We want to know!

So, for this competition we invite you to address the following topic in 1,000 words or less:

‘Why single sex education matters today’

Agree? Disagree? Have a persuasive argument either way? Write it down and be in to win.

The winner will receive a $500 cash prize, kindly sponsored by Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library, and the winning entry will be posted on The Albert M. Greenfield Digital Center’s website. The deadline is Friday 27th January 2012 and all entries should be emailed to me, the Director, at jredmond@brynmawr.edu

This competition is open to current undergraduates of Bryn Mawr College only, but please check back for alum related events and get in touch if you are an alum with an idea for the Digital Center

Get involved! Have your say!