Jessica Halem ’94

Jessica HalemJessica Halem ’94, MBA, is the founding LGBT Program Director at Harvard Medical School. Most recently, she secured a major grant to overhaul the entire curriculum to integrate sexual and gender minority health equity. Jessica has published essays on treating transgender patients, optimism, and mentoring across difference. She is also a volunteer for Reunion 2019!

Why did you choose Sarah Lawrence?

No SAT scores? No grades? Choose your own adventure liberal arts degree? That's me! I knew right away that I found my place—a place full of other creative, independent thinkers.

Did you have a favorite class?

My first year seminar was American History with Priscilla Murolo ’80 and she and that class forever changed how I read and digested information, understood history, had political conversations, and how I write.

What was your favorite spot on campus?

I loved sitting on the stone ledge around Westlands and watching the world walk by. I finally felt like I didn't have to have my guard up all the time at Sarah Lawrence. I finally felt like I belonged and could be myself.

How did your time at Sarah Lawrence influence your career?

I always laugh and say I felt like I didn't need a graduate degree until I was about 40 because my education was like a graduate degree already. There wasn't a conversation or space I didn't feel like I could enter and make a difference because of the well-rounded, deep way of thinking I acquired in college.

What are you most looking forward to at Reunion 2019?

Sitting on the ledge and making new friends from other times.