Meet Our Alumnae
As a member of the restitution department, Christina conducted research to ensure that none of Sotheby’s art had been lost or stolen during World War II. While studying the provenance of paintings and other objects, she developed a passion for uncovering the history of each work of art, including learning about its artist, subject, and owner. Her unique research and storytelling talents led her to become an expert in her field, and Christina felt encouraged to start her own business. As the founder of On the Flip Side, she uses her expertise to tell the true stories behind individual works of art, increasing their value by adding a humanity and depth to each piece. Christina’s current clients include Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Roman Thomas, Warburg Realty, and Colnaghi, as well as private clients for whom she organizes fundraisers and special events.
Despite being a sought-after voice in the art world, Christina still finds time to volunteer as a member of the Young Patrons Circle Advisory Council of the American Friends of the Louvre, where she develops strategies to grow membership and expand programming. She also mentors young women who are about to graduate from college or who are just beginning their careers by helping them explore the variety of professional opportunities available to them in the art world. Given that Christina’s own career has taken an unconventional path, she believes it is important for young women to know that there is no single route to success. She especially enjoys teaching her mentees about her work as a provenance researcher, as art restitution is a subject not often taught in school.
Christina looks back on her time at Hewitt with great fondness. It is the place where her love of visual art blossomed, and where she was introduced to the performing arts by participating in the school’s drama program. Christina believes that the most valuable lesson she learned at Hewitt is that women can do anything. To that end, she is currently developing a series of gatherings styled after the Parisian salons of the 18th century which will encourage guests to engage in discussions that consider works of art from the female perspective.
Before writing for Forbes, Vivienne was vice president of sales at Soko, an ethical and sustainable jewelry and technology startup featuring items handmade by artisans in East Africa. In May 2018, she joined Hewitt’s upper school students for Sustainability Day to discuss how sustainability relates to fashion and the ways in which they can make fashion choices that are not detrimental to our environment.
Of her time at Hewitt, Vivienne has shared, “I am so thankful to Hewitt for giving me such a strong foundation, from my first day as a kindergarten student to today, when I visit the school as an adult. When I face obstacles or crossroads, I often hark back to our old motto, ‘By Faith and Courage’, and the image of a ship on stormy seas. In life, we cannot control all that comes our way, and in challenging times, picturing that very boat and saying those special words reminds me of how brave I am. Hewitt taught me to have faith and courage in myself, which is one of the greatest gifts I could ever ask for.”
As a student at Hewitt, Laurie knew that she wanted to pursue a career that gave her time in the classroom. She recalls her teachers fondly, including Anita Edwards, Dee Kittany, and Becky Strum, and considers them to be role models and mentors. When Laurie started teaching drama at summer camps during college, each day she thought about her time at Hewitt, asking herself, “Am I doing for my students what my Hewitt teachers did for me?”
Laurie explains that the confidence she gained at Hewitt allowed her to push herself out of her comfort zone and recover from setbacks. She remembers being asked to apply for head of middle school at Chapin: “That didn’t work out, and while that was hard, it motivated me to look elsewhere, which led me to Browning. At the time, I was teaching at a girls’ school, I had attended a women’s college, I went to a girls’ school, I had a sister... what did I know about boys? But, because of my time at Hewitt, I knew Browning from our partnership around performing arts, and I knew New York City independent schools. The move felt like a stretch within my grasp.”
That stretch led to a 22-year career at Browning, where Laurie had oversight of all lower school faculty and played a key role in Browning's strategic plan, professional development and hiring initiatives, and community-building efforts. Of her work as an administrator, Laurie says, “I love the triumvirate of working with parents, teachers, and students.” On her appointment as head of The Gateway School, a K-8 school for students who learn differently, Laurie explains, “I learned so much by working with Stephen M. Clement and John Botti, the two heads at Browning during my time, and I feel honored, humbled, and excited to join Gateway’s professional community. For 55 years, Gateway has been transforming the lives of students, and I am privileged to play a part in the next chapter.”
Laurie has served on the Hewitt Board of Trustees and Alumni Association Board. She finds her volunteer work with Hewitt both personally and professionally rewarding, and she enjoys staying in touch with classmates and former teachers. Her advice to Hewitt students and alumnae is, “Your lives may take different paths than you expect. To the extent that you can, remember the places that helped form you. Hewitt will be there for you; it’s part of your cornerstone.”
Photo credit: Leslie Delano '79
Morgan came to Hewitt in second grade, and she has fond memories of the close-knit community she joined here. Morgan remembers the meaningful relationships she formed with classmates and faculty as she worked on the yearbook, The Hewitt Times, student council, and the earth committee. Hewitt offered “a top-notch education in an encouraging environment. When I graduated from Hewitt, I was well prepared for the next step in my academic career, with a strong intellectual foundation that gave me the confidence to share my opinions and ideas. Hewitt helped me hone my voice as a feminist.”
At the New York City Mayor’s Office, Morgan’s project management team works with agencies throughout the city to help launch projects that cross multiple agencies’ jurisdictions. One such project, ThriveNYC: A Mental Health Roadmap for All, is an unprecedented, comprehensive mental health plan for all New Yorkers. With six guiding principles — change the culture, act early, close treatment gaps, partner with communities, use data better, and strengthen the government’s ability to lead — the plan depended on collaboration among several agencies including the department of health, department of education, emergency services, children’s services, and hospitals. “We function as internal consultants for the city. We bring everyone together to explain their roles and responsibilities and decide how to track progress over time, and we encourage people to adjust and improve work based on data. Our work, whether it’s mental health or modern infrastructure, is grounded in promoting economic opportunity and equity, particularly for marginalized populations.”
Morgan has advised on projects related to environmental conservation and criminal justice reform, and her advice to Hewitt students today is to “recognize that you have a role to play in affecting change. Decide which of the many problems facing society — racial justice, economic inequality, environmental sustainability — speaks to you. Figure out some way to have an impact. Volunteer your time, use what influence you have, make a difference. Make service the hallmark of a Hewitt girl.”