Woodhull Institute for Ethical Leadership
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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

Originally posted to my blog ReelGirl on August 15th, 2010

I’m thrilled that Chief Judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, Vaughn Walker, lifted his temporary stay on his brilliant ruling striking down Prop 8. His eloquent, almost 140 page decision is now a part of America’s history of civil rights and makes me proud to be a San Franciscan.

My Wedding pic

I disagree with one major point Walker made: his implication that allowing gays to marry doesn’t affect heterosexual unions. On the contrary, I believe his decision profoundly and permanently pushes all marriages’ potential much further towards something sacred.


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

In a recent interview with Magazine Editor,  Taiia Smart Young she shares her secrets to have a great career, loving family, and the importance of “ME” time.


Q. What is your current position?

A. I am the Managing Editor of XXL Magazine, which is the nation’s number one Hip- Hop magazine and I am the Senior Editor of Juicy Magazine, both magazines are Harris Publications.

Q. Can you please describe to us what your responsibilities entail?

A. Sure, as Managing Editor, I am responsible for all administrative and editorial decisions. I ensure that the magazine is published on time, within budget and all our deadlines are met.  Editorially, I make sure that the reader comes away with the story that is relevant to our brand.  As, Senior Editor of Juicy magazine, I pitch, write, and edit stories that are based on African- American and Latino celebrities.

Q. You are on the top of your career now, How long did it take you to reach this level of success?


Category : Living | Blog

by Cindi Cook, Woodhull Alumna

Originally posted to The Huffington Post on August 11th , 2010

Five months ago today I found out I’d be blogging for this website. I was thrilled, happily stunned, and felt a sudden sense of serenity upon hearing the news. Although I’d already held the top position at a regional luxury magazine, I couldn’t help but feel that this was another huge step up the editorial ladder. As a freelance writer, my days are occupied composing in front of the computer, sending out ideas and interacting with editors in the process, with nothing but the need to refill the coffee cup or run to the post office to interrupt my day. Obtaining a blog at a top news outlet is a coup for any writer. Isn’t this what I’ve always wanted? One would think so, but as it has many times, fear stepped in and took hold. Five months later I finally sent in my post. And it took me about one hour to write when I sat down to do it. It seems fear still has its iron grip held tightly around my subconscious.


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

by Nancy Matsumoto, Woodhull Member

Originally posted to her blog “Walking and Talking” on July 28th, 2010

I love it when my articles connect me to interesting people from different walks of life. Food historian and lawyer Sandra Sherman contacted me through my blog recently after reading my Joe Baum article, explaining that she was fascinated by Baum’s entrepreneurial spirit and connected it with her latest book, Invention of the Modern Cookbook. In her book, Sherman examines how 17th- and 18th-century chefs became some of the earliest entrepreneurs, using promotional (and self-promotional) strategies that presaged Baum’s imaginative brand of restaurant showmanship. Sandra wrote, “It’s amazing how quickly capitalism and foodie culture grew together.”
We might think that today’s celebrity chef and cookbook mania is unique. In 2006 alone, Americans spent over half a billion dollars on cookbooks, Sherman writes in her fascinating history, and almost 2,000 cookbooks were published that year. This when more than 38,000 were already in print! It’s hard from our perspective to imagine a time more cook and cookbook crazy.

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

By: Adonica M. Brereton

On July 28, 2010 several dozen women graced the Jeunesse Spa and Salon at the Empire Hotel at Lincoln Center to receive mini-spa treatments of blowouts, chair messages, and manicures. Why was this day so special at the salon? It was the annual summer benefit for the non-profit REVEAL-NYC.

REVEAL- NYC started in the winter of 2006 to provide women survivors of sex trafficking, domestic abuse, and sexual exploitation a day where they can be celebrated. Every Valentine’s Day Reveal hosts a complete makeover to these women who would otherwise be forgotten. Women come from the New York City shelter system and are primed and coiffed by the city’s leading make-up, hair stylists, and fashion stylist. When their make-over is complete they walk out of place not only with new clothes, makeup, and a hairdo but a renewed sense of self and purpose.


Category : Living | Blog

Our very own Woodhull faculty and board member Jacquette Timmons is quoted in the following article on “Financial Infidelity” between partners.

“It’s no secret that money is something of a taboo topic in many social settings. But in a recent survey, American Express found this to be true even between partners. Of the 2,000 individuals surveyed, 91% said they avoid money talks with their spouse or significant other.”

Check out the full article here by Susan Johnston on MintLife, a blog about Personal Finance, news and life!

Category : Community Member Projects and Updates | Living | Blog

by Tara Sophia Mohr, Woodhull Alumna

Originally posted to The Huffington Post on July 21, 2010

I coach brilliant women, lots of them. Dedicated, talented, brilliant women.

Most of the time, they don’t know their brilliance. They are certain they “aren’t ready” to take on that next bigger role. They are more attuned to the ways they aren’t qualified than to the ways that they are. They are waiting for someone to validate or discover them. Sound familiar?

It’s a huge loss. Collectively, we miss out on the contributions of thousands of capable leaders. Brilliant women themselves miss out on the fulfillment that comes from using their abilities fully.

Let’s set ourselves on a different path, with these 10 rules for brilliant women:


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

Weekly News Wrap Up – July 16, 1010

FEATURED STORY: On Thursday, Argentina became the first country in Latin America to legalize gay marriage!


This achievement was made additionally significant when the strong presence of the Catholic Church in Latin American countries is taken into account.  Read Article Here and Watch Video

How long until other Latin American countries and the United States can follow in their footsteps?

Read more about the Supreme Court, Reproductive Autonomy, Women in today’s Economy and Business, Women’s Rights around the world & Religion…


Category : Living | News | Blog
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