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Debra Ginsberg knows most everyone assumes that if you are a waitress or waiter you are just passing through before you move onto a real career. But as Debra tells us in her book, waiting, being a waitress is a career. From details of a restaurant's nightly theatre, to personal moments of victory, and everything in between, Debra takes us into the …
 
In an unassuming stucco building on a quiet piece of the Hudson River in upstate New York, there is a general store with a small pub in the back. The locals call it the Little Chapel on the River. Author Gwendolyn Bounds introduces us to all the "parishioners" and the two generations of the Guinan family who keep it feeling like home in Garrison, N…
 
This episode is the first of a series that focus on women that contribute to our personal toolkit: ways to navigate life’s challenges, tips on how to find those people who you can lean on and guide you, inspiration to persevere through challenges, how to be brave, courageous, and never quit. In The Bridge Ladies, Betsy Lerner brings us into her mot…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book Spymistress: The True Story of the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II, by William Stevenson. We meet Vera Atkins, a British spy. Vera’s work has never been given the same spotlight as that of other spies or resistance fighters who were part of the war effort. Perhaps that is because she was …
 
We have explored the stories of many Modern Athenas throughout history. In this podcast, we thought we would take a bit of a different approach and talk about the book Feminist Fight Club, by Jessica Bennett. The book started as a monthly huddle of a group of women in a friend’s apartment burning off steam about their frustrations with their sexist…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book An Improbable Friendship, by Anthony David. Friendships can happen in the most unlikely of places, in the most unlikely of times. Like romance, it is hard to predict who our friends will be, and even harder to ignore forces that make a friendship blossom. Such is the case of Ruth Dayan, an Israeli Jew…
 
Esme Raji Codell's book, Educating Esme, is about her first year teaching fifth grade in a rough and tumble area of Chicago. Esme takes the reader along during the summer before her teaching career starts, as she accepts a position in a new public school. Esme has the tireless energy of all young, new teachers and a deep-rooted belief that no matte…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book "A Nurse’s Story: Life, Death, and In Between in an Intensive Care Unit", by Tilda Shalof. A Nurse’s Story is Tilda’s part memoir, part thought-provoking discussion about her life as a Canadian Intensive Care Unit nurse and the challenges and rewards that come with the job. The book also tells heart-b…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book “Canyon Solitude,” by Patricia C. McCairen. Canyon Solitude takes the reader through Patricia’s journey of self-discovery as she leaves her life of comfort and stability and heads West. She lives a life of adventure out west, drifting through the high plateaus of Colorado, learning how to be a river g…
 
In this episode, we are joined by a guest, Alekzandra, or Alleigh, Thoms. Alleigh is co-host Sonja’s niece and an artist who enjoys drawing, painting, sculpting and writing. She is about to enter her second year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Alleigh recently self-published a book of poetry entitled "If the grass can hold its ground,…
 
Irena’s Children, is the story of Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic woman and Modern Athena. In her early 20s during the time period covered by the book (Irena's Children by Tilar J. Mazzeo), and standing 4’11” tall, Irena was not physically imposing. But anyone that underestimated her was sorely mistaken. It was this young woman’s iron spirit, sens…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book “A Little More About Me,” by Pam Houston. Pam Houston is a well-known fiction writer. In A Little More About Me, Pam uses essays to tackle the transformative moments of her life and to reflect on the decisions she has made and the various twists and turns her life journey has taken. As Pam takes the r…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book “The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter: The Remarkable True Story of American Heroine Ida Lewis,” by Lenore Skomal. Lenore tells the story of Ida Lewis, whose father was responsible for keeping the light burning in the Lime Rock Lighthouse outside of Newport, Rhode Island in the mid-1800s. When Ida was you…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book Special Agent: My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI, by Candice DeLong. When Candice DeLong joined the FBI, she was one of the few female agents. At that time, women represented less than 4% of a total agent force of 8,000. Today, women remain a minority—there are 1,700 women, representing…
 
Please note that some of the descriptions in this podcast are graphic and may not be appropriate for children. In this episode, we discuss a book about Ama Adhe, a Tibetan woman who was imprisoned by the Chinese and subjected to inhumane treatment in labor camps for over twenty years. Adhe’s courage, perseverance and strength throughout her impriso…
 
Christy Orser is a Major in the US Army. She is also a wife and a mother to two children, William, 5, and Caroline, 2. She graduated from UMass Amherst with a double major in communications and political science. She was also an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate. She holds a Masters in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University. …
 
We chose Susan Spencer-Wendel as a Modern Athena because in the face of a diagnosis of a terminal illness (ALS), she chose to live a life of joy, building memories, making special moments, and surrounding herself with her family and friends. Susan also took a special trip with each of her children, and with each of her close friends. Knowing her il…
 
Not every Modern Athena is a woman who has become a well-known warrior. Sometimes, Modern Athenas can be found quietly persevering through life’s never ending twists and turns. Making it through one day, and another, until they have passed through darkness, light, and time. In The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy begins the book talking about the los…
 
The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, tells the story of Kamila Sidiqui and her sisters, who, under Kamila’s bravery, courage, and perseverance, were able to survive under the Taliban rule in Kabul, Afghanistan once their parents and older brother were forced to flee. Charged with her family’s survival, Kamila invented a way to pro…
 
In this podcast, we will be discussing the book Year of No Clutter, by Eve O. Schaub. We chose this book because it addresses ideas around clutter- clutter that inhabits all of our lives. Eve takes a year to declutter her home, most particularly a room she calls the Hell Room. Through her decluttering journey, we learn about Eve’s family’s habits o…
 
A Year by the Sea, by Joan Anderson In the year following a separation from her husband, Joan weathers loneliness and makes new beginnings. She spends intentional time reflecting and discovering her needs, possibly for the first time in decades since becoming a wife and mother. She learns through all of her trials in the year by the sea, that there…
 
The Center Cannot Hold is a book about Elyn Saks’ journey living with schizophrenia. Elyn has survived decades of learning to accept, and living with, her illness. Her book takes the reader through her journey of diagnosis, treatment, and living day-to-day life. She struggles with whether she is defined by her illness, or whether her illness is a p…
 
Life in Motion is about Misty Copeland, the first African-American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, or ABT, in New York. The books winds its way from Misty’s childhood, when she first took up ballet at the local Boys and Girls Club at the urging of her Drill Team instructor, to her first competitions, her first auditions for prestig…
 
Gertrude was a true Modern Athena in the way she took on risk, stereotypes, and challenging situations. Her work brought new archaeological finds, destroyed stereotypes of what women could be, brought closure to families during World War I, and ended up shaping the modern Middle East. Georgina Howell's book, Gertrude Bell: Queen of the Desert, Shap…
 
Runner takes us along on Lizzy Hawker’s ultra running journey, from her first ultra race, the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, through her racing career, including five first place finishes in the UTMB, three runs from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu, Nepal, a Spartathlon win, and a 100km World Championship. Lizzy’s running journey is like many of the cha…
 
As a young teenager, Sarah was a competitive figure skater with her sights set on the Olympics. Her parents both worked in law enforcement and continue to be strong role models for her. Sarah is a CPA and the CFO for a Veteran Owned business in Philadelphia, PA. Sarah has over 26 years in corporate finance, has run for public office, married for 24…
 
Expecting Adam is the journey of Martha Beck and the pregnancy and birth of her son, Adam, who has Down Syndrome. The book opens with Martha taking the reader back to the start of her pregnancy, when she was a PhD student at Harvard. The story winds its way through the triumphs and travails of her pregnancy, including when she received the news of …
 
Have you ever felt adrift and alone, as though you don’t belong to any one community? Have you ever been to a foreign country, and not known the language? Have you ever set out to learn a new skill or area of knowledge and been left frustrated by being unable to grasp the skill as quickly as you would have liked? In Other Words is centered around t…
 
Harriet Tubman was a Modern Athena because of her perseverance and warrior spirit. Harriet brought justice to those who could not obtain justice for themselves. Her tireless work to bring slaves to freedom, to assist those in need, and to always give of herself are qualities that are inspiring and extraordinary. We share the account of Harriet's li…
 
In this third episode, we discuss the experiences and contributions from the women at JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) and women of West Computing at Langley. We also share some questions and answers from our listeners. For more information, visit www.modernathenas.com Follow us on Twitter @modernathenas Like us on Facebook at Modern Athenas 00:00-00:49 In…
 
In this second episode of the Human Computers cluster, Modern Athenas discusses Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures. The book tells the stories of four African American women computers who worked at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in segregated Hampton, Virginia from 1943-1958. 0:00:00 - 0:02:33 Introduction and Summary of the Book 0…
 
In this inaugural episode, Modern Athenas will discuss the lives and contributions of Human Computers as portrayed in Nathalia Holt's Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars. For more information on Human Computers, visit www.modernathenas.comBy Modern Athenas
 
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