William Smith Women Talk About Taking the Road Less Traveled – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

William Smith Women Talk About Taking the Road Less Traveled

A Buffalo pediatrician and a Web site founder return to their alma mater to share stories of “Taking the Road Less Traveled.”

February 6, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—Dr. Nancy Perez-Senn chose to practice medicine at an inner city clinic instead of operating a more lucrative private practice. Rachel Bell took a break from getting her undergraduate degree to start a million dollar company and then returned to earn her degree. Last night, Perez-Senn and Bell, both alumnae of William Smith College, told stories of “Taking the Road Less Traveled” as the featured speakers of William Smith College’s annual celebration of Founder’s Day, which pays tribute to the founder of the College during an evening of social time, dinner, and distinguished alumnae speakers.

Perez-Senn, a 1987 William Smith graduate, is a pediatrician and clinical instructor at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo’s West Side Health Center. She discussed specifically choosing to practice medicine at an inner city clinic rather than in a more lucrative private practice. While attending William Smith, Perez-Senn, a biology major with minors in anthropology and Spanish, was active in the Latin American Organization, was a member of the senior honor society Hai Timiai, and received a variety of awards for her academic accomplishments. In addition, Perez-Senn was a member of the Heron basketball team, serving as co-captain for two years. She continues to be active with Hobart and William Smith Colleges, serving as an admissions volunteer and returning to campus for multicultural weekend.

Rachel Bell, a member of William Smith Class of 1996, co-founded JobDirect.com, an entry-level recruiting Web site, while taking time off from William Smith in 1995. The company was sold to Korn/Ferry International in 2000 for $35 million. Bell was the recipient of the Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and won Inc. magazine’s Marketing Master’s Award. Her story was featured in Business Week, The Los Angeles Times, and on CNN, ABC, and NBC, as well as on MTV. She has been involved with organizations that help empower young women and girls such as An Income of Her Own and Camp Start-Up. This fall, she came back to William Smith to complete her teaching certification, which included teaching at West Street School in Geneva.

Kathy Regan, director of Alumnae Relations and a 1982 William Smith graduate, introduced Perez-Senn and Bell to a room filled to capacity with students who attended the dinner. “Each year we welcome back alumnae to share their experiences and celebrate the founding of William Smith College and, our Founder. This year’s theme was particularly appropriate as our founder, William Smith, was a man who clearly took the road less traveled,” said Regan, referring to William Smith College being one of the first institutions founded to educate women.