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More than 1,400 men and women ventured to the MassMutual Center in Springfield on April 6 for Bay Path University’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference. The theme of the day-long conference was “Be Curious,” and the event featured two keynote speakers — social psychologist and author Amy Cuddy, and writer, producer, and actress Lena Waithe — as well as a number of focus sessions with topics ranging from “Curiosity at the Core: Cultivating Innovation” to “Reality-based Leadership: Ditching the Drama” and a women leaders panel.
Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago recently addressed a standing-room-only crowd at Holyoke Community College’s Leslie Phillips Theater, many clutching copies of her 1994 memoir, “When I Was Puerto Rican,” to be signed. Santiago grew up in Puerto Rico in a one-room shack with a dirt floor and tin roof, the eldest of 11 children. Her family moved to Brooklyn when she was 13. In her talk, titled “Writing a Life: A Transcultural Journey,” she described how she learned English from children’s books in the Brooklyn public library, and attended New York’s famous High School of Performing Arts and Manhattan Community College before transferring to Harvard University. She also talked about teachers and mentors and how meaningful they were to her as she adapted to life in the continental U.S.