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Xiomara Hall ’97
Preschool Teacher in Manhattan

Major: I was an English literature major with a concentration in Shakespearean studies and a minor in political science. I studied abroad in Bath, England.

Leadership roles: I was on WS Congress all 4 years.  I served as WS Treasurer and also as a WS Student Trustee. I'm honored to have had the opportunity to meet and work with William Scandling. He was a kind, charismatic and generous spirit. He had a tradition of inviting the student trustees for lunch aboard his boat and I am glad I was able to have such an experience. 

Favorite professors: Elena Ciletti inspired an appreciation of opera. Through her first-year seminar, we spent a weekend in NYC to attend a performance of La Traviata at the Met. I'm also a great fan of professors Lee Quinby, Jodi Dean, Juan Liebana and Chaplain Lesley Adams.

First job after College: Assistant Director of Admissions at HWS

Further education: After working for one year at HWS, I became a legal assistant in NYC and began law school.  That same year, I began teaching preschool while going to law school part time. I fell in love with teaching and haven't looked back.

On leadership
Beginning in my sophomore year, I became very involved in diversity and cultural awareness initiatives. I was one of the first participants in "Making Connections" and then went on to become a trained diversity facilitator.  I was also part of the group who designed "The Culture of Respect," a first year seminar that tailored the "Making Connections" objectives to fit a seminar framework.  The proposal was presented to HWS administration and approved.  The administration invited the 11 students who designed the course to team-teach with a professor.  It was a landmark opportunity for current HWS students to be able to help design a course and then be invited to teach it as well.

Being a Student Trustee is a tremendous honor and privilege, because after spending your junior year shadowing the trustee process, you are then allowed full voting rights in your senior year.  I attended a national student trustee conference in San Francisco and learned that many student trustees on other campuses are only a representative voice without voting rights on their school's Board.

From these experiences, I learned that HWS really puts great faith and trust in their students.  From designing a course to voting as a trustee, HWS takes its students and their ideas seriously.  It is impossible to measure just how powerful of an impression that makes on a young idealistic person, seeking to find their voice.  Plus, the coordinate system encourages both women and men to work cooperatively on a level plain, respecting what both groups have to bring to the table.  There is room for sharing suggestions, perspectives and goals equally.

Also as a woman of color, it was really empowering to have the opportunity to be in leadership positions. I was elected by my peers for my input and ideas. Younger students of color entering HWS are encouraged to be involved when they are able to witness leaders of color contributing to the cultural, social and academic climate on campus and enacting positive initiatives.

On the coordinate system
Focusing on diverse issues as a facilitator really heightened my awareness of those around me.  The coordinate system is a living embodiment of a conscious effort to promote that which is unique and at the same time communal about men and women.  By having certain elements of campus life together while others operate distinct from one another allows for the nuances that exist between men and women whether in sports, government, academic life and residence living.

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