Meet Our Alumnae
After graduating from Hewitt, Lynda Pires ’91 went on to receive her B.A. in political science and economics from Wellesley College. She completed her M.B.A. with a sub-specialty in business intelligence and consumer research/behavioral modeling at the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, where she graduated with Pi Sigma Alpha honors. As a graduate student, Lynda was president of Thunderbird’s chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) as well as the first female president of the school’s LGBTQ+ student/alumni leadership group. Her affinity for working in the corporate industry was influenced by her involvement with the school’s Latin American Fintech/Venture Capital alliance.
A veteran digital customer experience strategist, Lynda has developed an expertise in leading customer experience program implementation in the banking, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and consumer packaged goods industries. She has held positions at Intuit, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, and JP Morgan, and most recently served as the global head of customer experience insights at Grupo Santander Digital. Lynda also makes time to mentor with LISTAS, an organization that helps Latinx teen girls realize their full potential and attain entry into college and STEM2 (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Management) programs.
Lynda’s love for travel and her work have brought her to 15 countries, introducing her to diverse cultures and impacting her personal and professional perspectives. A passionate researcher with a love for storytelling and global organizations, she is currently completing her masters in psychology. She aspires to complete a Ph.D. and apply her corporate and clinical experience to mental health programs globally. “I was inspired to pursue graduate work in psychology because it was a natural extension of the research and insight work I was doing at the corporate level. I see an ever-increasing need for support and services, especially when it comes to women and children's health. I would like to focus my academic, personal, and professional efforts to help in these areas.”
Reflecting on her time at Hewitt, Lynda shares, “My experience at Hewitt was extraordinary. It was not always easy, but it was certainly an excellent education that gave me an outstanding academic foundation as well as lifelong friends. Now that I have two daughters of my own, I have even greater clarity on the importance of Hewitt’s supportive faculty members and administrators — wonderful models who showed up in ways that are immeasurable — and a community of strong, smart, funny women. If I had to identify one lesson learned at Hewitt that really stayed with me it would be this: Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes it really is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”
Tracey joined Hewitt in 1968 as a seventh grader, and in 1973 she became the School’s first Black graduate. “Being educated in a predominantly white space during the 1970s was challenging, but I found allies among students, faculty, and staff who helped make my daily life easier." As an upper school student, Tracey observed that, “There were often two sets of rules - one for my white counterparts and one for a Black student in white spaces. It seemed no one understood how a three-hour commute, class, extracurricular activities, and homework could be draining for a teenager.”
Though her time here was often difficult, Tracey sees value in her Hewitt experience. “I learned how to compete at Hewitt, how to survive as an outsider both at school and in my home community, where I was treated differently because I attended a private school. Fortunately, I had a family who loved, supported, and propelled me to the finish line. I have never regretted a moment and have always been proud of my Hewitt education. I was preparing for the world in ways I could not begin to understand.” As she navigated her Hewitt experience, Tracey also found support and comfort in Black students from peer schools who shared some of the same challenges she was facing. “Black students in independent schools found one another—we had to. We had our own group outside of school.”
Contributing to Tracey’s joyful experiences at Hewitt were the supportive relationships she had with her teachers. She has fond memories of her eighth grade homeroom teacher, Elizabeth Delman, who also taught English and served as a faculty advisor to several school publications. Tracey remembers happily working alongside her teacher on the newspaper (then known as The Sparklet) and the Hewitt yearbook. Another faculty member who made a significant impact on Tracey is Señora Pizarro, a Latin teacher who unlocked the secrets of ancient Roman culture and the origin of words for her. Tracey also relished her experience participating in Hewitt’s student council during her senior year and serving as the head of both the glee and athletics clubs, and she appreciated Hewitt’s many community traditions. “I was always touched by the first graders who belted out ‘The Turkey Song’ before Thanksgiving break and the adorable kindergarteners who gave graduating seniors the sweetest send off ever.”
After graduating from Hewitt, Tracey left New York to attend Boston College, where she pursued her B.A. in political science and government. While at Boston College she worked in the department of public relations and in the office of the dean at the college’s Carroll School of Management, where she began to hone the relationship-building skills that would become instrumental in her professional success. After graduating, Tracey returned to NYC and later moved to California, where she spent the following 10 years establishing a sales career in equipment and college textbooks before returning to Boston to work in the pharmaceutical industry. Tracey currently resides in Virginia, where for the last three years she has worked as an area business manager at biotech company Heron Therapeutics.
Whether securing multi-million dollar hospital contracts, coaching and developing oncology sales professionals, or launching the sale of innovative oncology medications, Tracey attributes her achievements to her strong relationship management skills and her ability to connect with people from all walks of life. During her tenure at Eisai, Inc., a research-based healthcare company, Tracey was appointed field-based advisor to the corporate compliance team, selected as regional sales leader to the patient advocacy group, and honored with the Nightingale Award for sales excellence for elevating her sales ranking to third in the nation.
Tracey’s interest in health and wellness extends beyond her professional pursuits. Inspired to help save and improve the quality of life for women diagnosed with breast cancer, her volunteer history includes working with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, METAvivor, and The Tiger Lilly Foundation, all of which provide support for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and their caregivers throughout their experience of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.
In August 2020, Tracey joined the Hewitt Alumnae Council, a leadership group committed to creating engaging and diverse programming for alumnae and strengthening the relationship between alumnae and students. When asked what inspired her to join,Tracey responded, “Though the daily experience of attending Hewitt is in my distant past, the value of a Hewitt education has been enduring. As I listened to the passion (and sometimes the pain) of my fellow alums during the recent time of unrest, I realized that many [of our shared] experiences crossed time's boundaries. Joining the Hewitt Alumnae Council is a chance for me to give back and get into ‘good trouble.’”
In addition to her work with the Alumnae Council, Tracey is also a member of Hewitt’s recently established Anti-Racism Task Force. In this role, she is working alongside Hewitt students, alumnae, faculty, staff, parents, and trustees to evaluate and recommend schoolwide protocols, policies, systems, and infrastructure to ensure that Hewitt becomes an actively anti-racist school. Through her impressive commitment to giving back to her school, Tracey hopes that her energy and perspective will help create an environment of awareness, equity, and inclusivity at Hewitt.
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.”