Alumnae Profiles – Summer 2016

on September 1 | in Web Only | by

Mary Terrell Joseph ’66

Mary Terrell Joseph

A political science major, Joseph earned a J.D. from Louisiana State University in 1970. She was the first woman invited to practice with a large law firm in Baton Rouge. In 1983 she formed a new firm, Rubin, Curry, Colvin & Joseph, and has amassed more than 40 years of experience in the area of collections and creditors’ rights. Joseph was recognized with the Lawyer Monthly’s 2015 Women in Law award and received the Crystal Gavel award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. She has been ranked in The Best Lawyers in America and Louisiana Super Lawyers for banking law. In addition, Joseph has been a dedicated Hollins volunteer, trustee, and Alumnae Association Board of Directors member. Her work as a volunteer extends to service on numerous other boards: chair of the board for the Capital Way; secretary of the board for the Foundation for Excellence in Public Broadcasting; and member of the board for the Louisiana State Arts Council, Leadership Alumni Association, and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge.


Jane Goshorn Smith ’66

Jane Goshorn Smith

Smith is the retired executive director of the Samantha Smith Center. Named in memory of her daughter, the Maine center was founded in 1985 to foster better relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1982 Samantha Smith wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, the president of the Soviet Union , about her concerns over the USSR and the United States starting a nuclear war. Andropov wrote back, inviting Samantha and her family to visit the Soviet Union. Samantha became an international celebrity and a worldwide representative for peace. She wrote a book about her experience, Journey to the Soviet Union. After Samantha and her father were killed in 1985 in a plane crash, the Soviet government issued a stamp in her honor and named a diamond, a flower, a mountain, and a planet after her. For 10 years, the Samantha Smith Foundation sponsored a student exchange program between the two super powers.

In addition to her work with the Samantha Smith Foundation, Jane Smith completed coursework at the University of Connecticut (social work), the University of West Virginia (English), and Harvard University (education).


Mary D. Ellison ’76

Mary D. Ellison

After graduating with a degree in biology, Ellison joined the Peace Corps and taught biology and chemistry in French to high school students in the Republic of Zaire. She currently serves as chief external relations officer for the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). From 2003 to 2011 she was the assistant executive director for federal affairs and project director for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). From 1996 until 2003, Ellison served as director of the UNOS research department, overseeing OPTN-related data analysis and research activities. She has also been an external affiliate assistant professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her M.S. degree in health administration and Ph.D. in anatomy.


Sharon Donnelly Love ’71

Sharon-Yeardley-LoveFollowing graduation, Sharon Donnelly Love ’71 received a master’s degree from Western Maryland College in education with a focus on education for the hearing impaired. She taught sign language for 25 years. In 2010, Love’s younger daughter, Yeardley, a senior at the University of Virginia, was beaten to death by her ex-boyfriend. In the years since Yeardley’s death, Sharon Love has made it her mission to end relationship violence. Toward this goal, she created the One Love Foundation, whose mission is to educate, empower, and activate campus communities in a movement for change, especially to galvanize silent in dividuals to speak. To honor Yeardley’s dedication as a lacrosse player at UVA, the foundation awards the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award to two student-athletes (one male, one female) each year who demonstrate the qualities Love valued in her daughter: dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness, and sportsmanship.

(Photo credit: One Love Foundation)


Laura Johnson Waterman ’ 62

Laura Waterman

Much of what’s been written about Laura Waterman focuses on the dramatic end to her marriage. In February 2000, Laura said goodbye to her husband, Guy, as he left for a hike in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, knowing he deliberately planned to freeze to death. Now 76, the mountain climber, environmentalist, and writer has lived a rich life outside of that tragic day. The wandering spirit in her inspired her to choose Hollins primarily because of the abroad program. While finishing her sophomore year in Paris, in an attempt to make international friends, Waterman found herself living at the Switzerland headquarters of the Moral Re-Armament, a spiritual movement described by some as a cult. Waterman’s mother heard of her daughter’s whereabouts and promptly flew to Europe, where she joined Hollins professor Louis D. Rubin Jr., who happened to be teaching that summer at the University of Marseilles. Together, they took Waterman on a drive to Monte Carlo and talked her into leaving the MRA. As she wrote in her 2005 memoir, Losing the Garden, “I’d been unbrainwashed.” In the early 1970s, Waterman, then a New York magazine editor, fell in love with speechwriter and climber Guy Waterman. They traded the Big Apple for the life of homesteaders in the mountains of Vermont. Their rustic existence, one without the comforts of running water and electricity, afforded them the time to write and climb. Together, the couple penned several books on the outdoors. Following Guy’s death, Laura moved to a nearby, less remote cabin. She allows for electricity and plumbing in her new home, as well as a landline. She continues to raise much of her own food and still types on a typewriter, although she does regularly make the 10-minute trek to the village library to send emails. “I made sort of a stand toward living in the 21st century, choosing bits and pieces that work for me,” she says. It was in her newer home that Waterman wrote her deeply personal and well-received memoir, in which she examines her marriage and her role in Guy’s suicide, from the inside out. “I really did my super darnedest to dig down to a very deep level,” she says.“ I know that when I was in tears, that was good because I was getting down there to the truth of the emotion.” Currently, Waterman is putting the finishing touches on a the last draft of a historical novel called Starvation Shore, about the Greely Expedition in the Canadian Arctic during the early 1880s. Now in her seventh decade, Waterman says she finally feels confident about writing. “You don’t sit at your desks every morning basically for years without loving it, without being driven by it in a wonderful way.”

Profile of Waterman by Beth JoJack ’98

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