Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula Officers 2019-2020
President: Peri Caylor ’83 <email@example.com>
Hiking above the fog on Mount Tamalpais one Mountain Day, Peri Caylor ’83 was inspired to join the Mount Holyoke Club of Northern California. She enjoyed cultivating friendships with women of different generations whose backgrounds and interests—aside from Mount Holyoke—differed from her own. Being involved in club events transported her beyond her daily work as a full-time mom and housewife, and her life grew richer for it. Peri has been part of the Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula since 2011, and this year is thrilled to be working with a group of talented women to further strengthen ties among area Mount Holyoke alumnae. With twins Mia and Eric now 20 and off on their own life adventures, she’s also building skills for a new job, pondering the state of the world, exploring the Bay Area with husband Scott, and indulging her passions for cooking, and staying physically fit.
Co-vice president: Trudy levy ’69 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Trudy Levy ’69 has been active in her MHC Class since graduation, holding many positions, but it was not until she hit San Francisco in 1990 that she discovered the clubs, the perfect place to meet like-minded interesting women. Shortly after moving to San Jose, she was invited to join the board by Barbara Monks as Secretary. Finding this a less than ideal position for herself, she created a new position the following year, the co-communications position responsible for electronic communications or social media. Trudy had been interested in technology since her architectural practice in the ’80s and ’90s. Then the internet hit town and she became an avid proponent of global knowledge through the web.
Co-vice president: Tasha Bergson-Michelson ’93 <email@example.com>
Tasha Bergson-Michelson ’93 (she/her/hers) is thrilled to be reconnecting with our MHC community and local club. Her MHC experience taught her that as a woman, she could do anything she set her mind to doing. Initially that meant researching Chinese Sign Language, but eventually her interest in research itself prevailed and she became a librarian. In corporate libraries, research skills camps and classes, tech company outreach activities, and now schools, Tasha investigates and teaches how expert researchers get the job done. A passionate believer in the power of women’s education and gender diverse learning communities, Tasha finally settled down to apply her content, skill, and attitudinal learning from MHC in her job as an instructional librarian at a local girls’ school. In her free time, Tasha enjoys hiking, board games, quilting, and … thinking about research.
Treasurer: Marie McElligott ’10 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Marie grew up in Watsonville and her first introduction to the Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula was the new student send off in the fall right before leaving for her freshman year at MHC. She went on to graduate as a physics major from MHC in 2009. She has been involved with the club since moving to San Jose in 2014. After attending a few events, she joined first as a member-at-large, then Young Alum Coordinator and eventually transitioning to Treasurer in 2017. She is working as an engineer at a genetics lab designing and building interfaces for electronic lab results and order delivery.
Secretary: Helen Wills Brown ’71 <email@example.com>
One of Helen’s mother’s friends in the Navy—they worked adjacent to actual “code girls”!—had gone to MHC. Her mom was so impressed by her friend that she encouraged Helen’s older sister, DD, to attend, and she did. Helen followed DD. There are reasons it was not the best choice for her, but she made good friends and loved being in the modern dance club, Glee Club, Chamber Singers, and V8s. She was a Montessori teacher for a few years, and also worked as a medical transcriptionist. In addition to singing with California Bach Society, Helen has a permaculture garden, reads and does crosswords voraciously, and goes dancing and hiking when her knees allow it! She has not in the past been an active alumna, but she’s now enjoying getting to know the Peninsula club members and serving as the board secretary.
Communication Co-chair: Michelle Lepore ’86 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
After moving from the Boston area to the Peninsula in 2013, Michelle Lepore ’86 began attending club events, joining the board in 2015 as a member-at-large and starting a club tradition of attending Menlowe Ballet shows (former Torrey Hall mate Lisa Shiveley ’88 is executive director). For the 2017-18 board cycle, Michelle became co-communications chair. She enjoys helping area alumnae connect to local MHC events. After working in student affairs and teaching communications and leadership at a number of women’s colleges, Michelle now enjoys doing strategic planning and traveling for her job at Stanford. She loves to explore farmer’s markets, taste wine from the Russian River and Sonoma, hike, swim, and cook.
Communication Co-chair: Ning Pu ’07 <email@example.com>
Ning was introduced to Mount Holyoke by MHC alumna, Gretchen Hays ’64, during a group study tour in China in 2002, and has since been a huge fan of her alma mater. Since graduating in 2007, Ning has worked for an economic consulting firm in NYC, obtained a PhD in finance, moved to the Bay Area, gotten married, and become a mother of two children. Recently, Ning joined the board as the communication co-chair to help foster more closely-knit interactions among local alumnae. Ning is a lecturer in the Finance department at Santa Clara University and lives in Cupertino with her family.
Membership chair: Laura Prentiss ’91 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Serving as the Membership Chair for the Mount Holyoke Club of the Peninsula has been a great opportunity for Laura Prentiss ’91 to meet local alumnae and to learn more about Mount Holyoke in the 21st Century. Raising three daughters, ages 10, 14, and 17, keeps Laura busy, but she makes sure to get to the annual Fog to Foliage send off for new students and the Founder’s Day ice cream social! Laura stays engaged with issues that are important to her by running education workshops for parents on “How to Talk to Children About Healthy Relationships and Sex,” serving as a parent representative on the Palo Alto School District’s RISE Task Force addressing sexual assault/harassment, and serving on the board of the Mid-Peninsula YWCA’s Donor Advised Fund.
Young alumnae coordinator: Patricia Walchessen ’16 <email@example.com>
After graduating Mount Holyoke in 2016, Patricia Walchessen immediately missed the feeling of sisterhood that Mount Holyoke provided. She was a member of the Chicago and Baltimore alumnae groups and, when she moved to Monterey, jumped at the chance to join the Northern Peninsula board when she heard the young alumnae position was vacant. After graduating from Mount Holyoke, she completed her masters in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and is currently working as a data scientist at Northrop Grumman. In her spare time she loves baking and enjoying the outdoors.
Members-at-large: Eila Phailbus Latif ’83 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eila Phailbus Latif ’83 grew up in Lahore, Pakistan, and was delighted to find more uncommon women at our Mount Holyoke club’s ’80s decade brunch. She studied psychology at MHC and in graduate school, and works in the mental health field, helping individuals with many challenges and barriers get back to work. Eila has worked for Catholic Charities for the past 26 years. There, she builds and supports teams that have fun together and are committed to providing quality care and support for people with mental illness, and for citizens who have been released from prison or jail and need assistance returning to work. She looks forward to becoming more involved and reconnected with Bay Area MHC alums. Eila lives in Scotts Valley with her husband, two daughters, and cat.
Members-at-large: Jamie Schwarzfeld ’70 <email@example.com>
- Advisers: Barbara Monks ’70, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Betty Cheng ’83 <email@example.com>
- Rose Drop Volunteers: Anne Raphael ’62 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Joanne Petersen ’71 <email@example.com>
- Past President: Kiri Petersen ’12 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- NorCal Club Connections:
- Area Alumnae Rep. (AAR): Eliz Adem ’13 <email@example.com>