Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
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Author Archive


by Marleen Levi, Woodhull Alumna

At some point in your (or someone you know) professional career, you maywell lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control. Being a victim of corporate downsizing is a periodic, common (mainstream) reality shared ‘en masse’. Your life suddenly, swiftly and radically changes overnight – on all levels. Understanding the dynamics of a job loss/job quest can significantly minimize the trauma and enable the job seeker to successfully move forward!

How do you effectively deal with this dramatic and emotionally-charged (albeit temporary) lifestyle change? This 12-point self-help guideline can better equip you with ‘action tools’ and positive mindset to empower change and desired goals. You can survive a job layoff with your self-confidence; self-esteem and ego still in tact; move forward (even ‘reinvent’ yourself) to an even more exciting, rewarding and satisfying career closer to goals, desire, passion and interest.

Read on for the 12 points!


Category : Careers | Community Member Projects and Updates | Blog

Courtney Martin, Woodhull Alumna, releases her new book “Do It Anyway”

From www.doitanywaybook.org :

That age-old quest for meaning—Who am I? What is my calling? How can I make the world better?—gets a 21st-century makeover. Courtney E. Martin abandons the empty “save the world” rhetoric and ’60s nostalgia that her generation was raised on and doggedly pursues the gritty truth about social change in contemporary America. It’s complicated. It’s challenging. And, yet, it’s still possible.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Media | Blog

by Lori Sokol, Woodhull Alumna

Originally published in The New Agenda on September 3rd, 2010 & in The Huffington Post on September 7th, 2010.

On Tues. Aug. 31, after more than seven years of war, President Obama officially ended the U.S. combat mission in Iraq. It’s something to celebrate, the end of a war, except for the 4,746 deceased American combatants for whom this decision has come too late.

So how do we learn from this experience of the wasted and lost lives of mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, in a war where questions still remain as to why it was ever launched in the first place? Simple. Ask a woman.


Category : News | Blog

by Barbara Victor, Woodhull Board Co-President

Originally posted to her blog Mecca: The Heart of the Matter on September 7th, 2010.

Larry Ashmead. Photo by Chrys Ingraham

After a hiatus of several months, this is a bittersweet way to begin my first blog. The promised new design page is not yet visible and all the political, cultural, and social events of the past few months are still on a list next to my computer. Something monumental in my life occurred on 3 September 2010 that I knew deep down I had to recount, even to all the people who did not know the man about whom I am writing.

Larry Ashmead was my first American editor. He bought my first novel when it was in its raw, badly structured form. He saw something in Absence of Pain that countless other editors apparently missed and ultimately passed on the manuscript. Larry’s belief in my book validated the notion that I was or could be a writer whose dreams of reaching people through my experience and words became a reality.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Media | Blog

Successes and Challenges of Women in Leadership Roles in Traditionally Male-Dominated Environments
A Forum on the Empowerment of Women
Wednesday – 15 September 2010
1:00 – 2:45 PM
United Nations Church Center
777 UN Plaza, 8th Floor – Boss Room
(44th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenues)


Category : Events | Women | Blog

by Donna Decker, Woodhull Alumna

Originally posted to Ms. Magazine Blog on September 1st, 2010

“Women I admire have gone through hell to get their work out there,” Erica Jong told us this past weekend. “I’d like to change that for you.”

Despite its sale of 20 million copies worldwide, Jong’s 1973 feminist novel Fear of Flying provoked a backlash, the vestiges of which still own a sliver of Jong’s soul. She quotes verbatim the vitriol of critic Paul Theroux, who called Jong’s heroine, Isadora Wing, “a mammoth pudenda.”

Yet here is Jong nearly 40 years later, having gone through hell, trying to set forth a cooler path for women writers. She and Barbara Victor–the first person to interview Moammar Ghadaffi after the American bombing in Libya in 1986–acted as facilitators for the Master Class Writers Retreat at the Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership in Ancramdale, New York. The institute is named after Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for President of the U.S. in 1872, 48 years before women could vote.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Featured | Past Programing and Retreat Reflections | Women | Woodhull in the News | Blog

This past week marked the end of our internship program for our final 3 summer interns: Arielle Algarin, CUNY Macaulay Honors College ‘12, Roya Nazarian, Barnard College ‘12, and Ali Carr, Barnard College ‘11. We would like to show our appreciation and extreme gratitude for all of their efforts and hard work! We may be full of cake, but we’re never full of recognizing achievements!  Check out only SOME of the enormous contributions these wonderful women have given to the Woodhull Community:


-Wrote tons of outreach letters and facilitated partner discounts!

-Set up our Registration forms for our Fall Seminars! View them/Register here!


- Check out Arielle’s weekly news updates! July 9July 17July 23 July 31August 8


- Blogged about her experience in Israel! Read her article here!

- Created our “Causes” page on facebook! Check it out and spread the word!


If you are interested in applying for a fall or winter internship with us, please see our internship program!
Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Blog

By Lori Sokol, Woodhull Alumna

Originally published in The Newswomen’s Club of NY’s Blog on August 23, 2010

Illustration by Tracey Berglund

The media frenzy over actress Portia de Rossi seeking to change her name to Portia DeGeneres is sure to infuriate long-standing feminists who have fought long and hard for women to keep their maiden names. Or not?

The issue of marital name change can strike near to the hearts of women journalists who often struggle when they marry with whether to give up the bylines that they’ve worked hard at establishing.

De Rossi, 37, recently filed a petition in a Los Angeles court to legally take the last name of her famous same-sex partner, Ellen DeGeneres. California Assemblywoman Fiona Ma introduced a bill that would make California the seventh state to give married spouses and domestic partners equal opportunity to take their surname of choice. Ma says the proposal is really about “equality in relationships.”

But would pioneering feminists like Lucy Stone agree?


Category : Careers | Community Member Projects and Updates | Culture | Women | Blog

by Deborah Grayson Riegel, Woodhull Alumna

Originally posted to The Jewish Week on August 20th, 2010

Deborah Grayson Riegel

I’ve heard some great one-liners in my life that have driven me to the kind of laughter that makes my lungs ache. Brilliant observations by Chris Rock, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have made me burst into giggles that speed up, slow down, stop…and then pick right back up again, sometimes for days. But few lines made me giggle as long as the innocent observation made about me by a fellow Little League mom sitting next to me in the bleachers:

“With what you do for a living, I guess you never fight at home.”

Excuse me. I think I still need another minute to recover from that one.

Yes, I am a professional coach and facilitator who helps people and organizations communicate more effectively and improve their personal and professional relationships. So, one might assume that I am the Mistress of Interpersonal Communications and Queen of Human Relationships, keeping conflict at bay with my Superpowers: finely honed listening skills, profound curiosity, and genuine compassion for how people feel.

Yes, one might assume that. And one would be wrong. Dead wrong.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog

by Natalie Gratkowski, Woodhull Alumna

GO GO GO…that’s been my mentality since, well, a while. Don’t get me wrong. I’m an “expert” on meditation, or rater its philosophy.  I find that sitting in my yoga class, I can do quite well in meditation, which my yoga teacher attributes to a collective energy, but on top of that I think it’s also because it correlates with a school like environment. Ever since kindergarten I have had the understanding that school is a responsibility and you do your best because it is important. That’s me. I give 110% when something is important.  And let me mention that I consider myself pretty well rounded- in that my goals span many areas mainly academic, professional, spiritual, personal and social. They are all important and they all require grit and systematized effort. Obviously, I have a planner.  And a compartmentalized life, well, its effective if you are on a deadline but from time to time an internal voice steps in and reminds me to slow down, even if just a tad bit.


Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog
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