coffee with cool women

The SIUE Women’s Studies Program is proud to sponsor


coffee with cool women

conversations with women of imagination and accomplishment

This program originated in a series of conversations with successful women about their career paths.  As one might expect, many cited long-term relationships with mentors in their field as crucial to their choices, but, more surprisingly, they also spoke about much briefer encounters with women who made them think, “Wow.  I want to do that.  I can do that.”  Coffee With Cool Women, then, is a series of one-hour conversations in which “cool women”—women who have chosen interesting, challenging, and sometimes unconventional careers—meet with a small group of SIUE students to talk about the pleasures, frustrations, and surprises of their professional lives thus far.  The setting is casual, the conversation is candid, and the coffee is fresh.

All cwcw sessions are held in the Women’s Studies Office (Peck 3407) and seating is limited.  To reserve your space, contact Prof. Alison Reiheld at

spring 2015 cwcw events…

thursday, february 13, 2:00-3:00

dr. dolores cantrell, family practitioner

Dr. Delores Cantrell is a board certified family practice physician. She graduated from SIUE in 1981 with Biology/Premed degree, and after earning her medical degree, she completed her residency through the SIUE School of Medicine, specializing in family practice.  In her cwcw session, Dr. Cantrell will talk overcoming obstacles throughout her training and practice, as well as balancing her roles as a doctor, wife, and mother of three children.


thursday, march 26, 2:00-3:00 pm

prof. ladonna long, academic and advocate

LaDonna Long grew up on the south-side of Chicago and received her Ph.D, in Criminology, Law and Justice from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2009. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Roosevelt University. Inspired by her internship with The Chicago Metropolitan Rape Crisis Hotline as a graduate student, she has combined her research interest in victimization with activism.  Currently, LaDonna is a certified medical advocate with Rape Victim Advocates, and her research focuses on advocates’ experiences volunteering in the emergency room with rape survivors and their interactions with law enforcement and medical staff.

In her cwcw session, LaDonna will talk about the motivating factors to volunteer as a medical advocate and what are advocates’ experiences in the emergency room with rape survivors.


thursday, april 16, 2:00-3:00 pm

michelle krusiec, actor and advocate

Michelle Krusiec began her professional acting career at the age of twelve, and she has acted on stage and in numerous films, including roles in Sweet Home, Alabama, and Sunset Stories, among others.

In her cwcw session, Michelle will talk about the many hats she wears as an actor, writer, and advocate for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault.   Check her website for a glimpse into her work:


fall 2014 cwcw events…

thursday, sept. 18, 2:00-3:00 pm

jennifer lee, filmmaker

Jennifer Lee stated her career at Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light and Magic, helping to create special effects for films that include Forest Gump, Ghost, and The Hunt For Red October, among others. This work lead to a career at a number of major studios as a visual effects producer, compositor, and editor.   While working in Hollywood, Jennifer began to work on a small independent film about southwestern architect Mary Jane Colter. This experience allowed her to make the film Feminist: Stories From Women’s Liberation, which won “Best of the Fest” for documentary at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival among other honors. (This film will be screened on campus on September 16th.)

In her cwcw session, Jennifer will be talking about navigating Hollywood and about the challenges and rewards she has encountered as an independent filmmaker.


thursday, sept. 25, 1230-1:30 pm

trish cheatham, ceo of think tank public relations and marketing

Trish Cheatham was raised as a military brat, moving around the world throughout her childhood. (She attended high school in Japan.) Early in her career, she worked extensively with non-profit groups as a marketing specialist. This work lead her to open Think Tank, a “non-traditional boutique type agency, a firm that has recently been named the top marketing firm in St. Louis by St. Louis Small Business Monthly and the #1 “Best Place to Work in St. Louis” by the St. Louis Business Journal in the “Tiny” category.

In her cwcw session, Trish will talk about the challenges faced by an entrepreneur to create a successful business as well as opportunities suggested by creating a unique corporate culture.


tuesday, oct. 7, 1:00-2:00 pm

megan smith, women’s advocate, st. martha’s hall

We’re thrilled to welcome Megan Smith “home”: she graduated from SIUE in 2013, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Women’s Studies. Inspired by a talk given by Mary Jacobs of Oasis—you can catch her this year on Thursday, October 16—Megan focused on sexual and domestic violence in her senior year. As part of her Women’s Studies practicum, Megan worked with Safe Connections, an organization that works with sexual and domestic violence survivors. After graduation, she began working at St. Martha’s Hall, a domestic violence shelter for women and their children in St. Louis, and she recently accepted a full-time position there.

In her cwcw session, Megan will talk about the rewards and very real challenges of non-profit/community activist work, and she’ll provide a fresh perspective on navigating the world after college graduation.

Our cool woman Hall of Fame:

Karin Caito, US Drug Enforcement Agency

The Hon. Ann Callis, judge, 3rd judicial circuit

Nancy Cambria, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter

Dail Chambers, Artist/Activist, and Co-Founder of YeYo Arts Collective and the Gya Galllery,

Joann Condellone, Midwife, Activist

Dr. Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe, Assistant Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology at Indiana University

Bev George, enterpeneur

Prof. Jennifer Horney, Deputy Director, UNC Center for Public Health Preparedness  

Elizabeth Massie, Writer, Producer, and Director (Here’s a link to her documentary Companeras)

Tanya Patton, Principal N.O.  Nelson School

Caroline Pender, Owner, 222 Bakery

Lt. Carole Presson, Madison County Sheriff’s Office

Andi Smith, entrepreneur/owener Beyond Timbuktu

Monica Stump,  Human Trafficking Specialist, U.S. Prosecutor’s Office

Veronique LaCapra, biologist and science reporter for 90.6 KWMU St. Louis Public Radio.

Elise Waldman, Genome Analyst


WMST Office ~ Peck Hall 3407 ~ Campus Box 1350  ~ siuewmst@gmailcom