Globe West People

Author discusses women over 60 in workplace

Elizabeth Fideler will discuss her book about women over 60 in the workplace Tuesday.
Elizabeth Fideler will discuss her book about women over 60 in the workplace Tuesday.

WOMEN’S WORK: Four years ago, Elizabeth Fideler of Framingham was conducting education research when her grant ran out and the job ended. Finding something else was difficult, but she wasn’t ready to retire.

“I thought, I’m only 65 and I feel as though I’ve been put on a shelf,” recalled Fideler, now a research fellow at the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College. “I wondered what other women my age were doing.”

The experience led to her new book, “Women Still at Work: Professionals Over Sixty and On the Job,” published in June by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.


While every woman’s story is unique, Fideler said, a common theme is the satisfaction and fulfillment they receive from their professions, even while juggling family, volunteer and other responsibilities.

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“The vast majority are delighted to be working, and as long as they have the energy and good health, they plan to continue,” said Fideler, who also is chairwoman of the Framingham Public Library’s board of trustees, and the Framingham Reads Together program for next year. “They’ve worked very hard to get where they are, maybe in a second or third career. They love what they do, and they’re good at it. They’re at the top of their game.”

For her part, Fideler has no plans to slow down, either. Her next project: a study of older men in the workforce.

Fideler will discuss her book on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 1 Worcester Road in Framingham.

REWARDING HISTORY: Newton resident Matthew Weinstein, who graduated from Belmont Hill School in 2011 and now attends Harvard University, was recently selected as one of six winners worldwide of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, awarded by the Concord Review, based in Sudbury.


Presented to 88 students since 1985, the Emerson Prize is given annually to students published in the quarterly journal during the previous academic year who have shown outstanding promise in high school history.

Weinstein’s 11,181-word essay, “The Political Tipping Point: How the Kennedy Family Defeated the Lodges in the 1952 US Senate Election in Massachusetts,” ran in the Concord Review’s winter 2011 edition. The other recipients of the $1,000 prize live in Arkansas, Maryland, and Hong Kong.

According to Will Fitzhugh, editor of the Concord Review, the journal has published 1,022 works from students in 46 states and 39 countries since it was founded in 1987.

“Most competitions stop with the paper being submitted,” he said. “I’m interested in using these students’ exemplary papers to inspire their peers.”

For more information, visit www.tcr.org.


OUTSTANDING STUDENTS:Sarah Tollman of Winchester and Tess Bissell of Pittsfield, juniors at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, recently earned Student Advocate Awards from Arts|Learning of Natick for their work leading the school’s Community Service Association.

The students designed and oversaw a 16-week arts education program at Lilja Elementary School in Natick involving 20 Walnut Hill students and more than 40 elementary school students who took classes in theater, dance, writing, and visual art. Other projects included a scarf-knitting fund-raiser and bicycle helmet campaign. For more information, visit www.artslearning.org.

SUPPORTING CHILDREN: When Newton15-year-old Valerie Herman was planning her Fashion Rocks benefit for the music therapy program at Franciscan Hospital for Children, she turned to a familiar face for assistance: Steven Siagel, founder and head of Newton-based Siagel Productions.

Siagel offered the services of DJ Kenny Morris and a live performance by the award-winning junior hip hop team of which Valerie is a member. The fund-raiser, which Valerie recently cochaired with 15-year-old MaddePontin of Lincoln, raised $3,500 from a catered champagne brunch, fashion show, auction, and sales at the Bloomingdale’s store in Chestnut Hill.

Valerie, who first visited Franciscan Hospital for Children with Madde last winter, said she was inspired to help by her own love of dance. She has studied at the Dance Academy of Siagel Productions for more than six years, taking modern dance, tap, jazz, and hip hop.

“I have a huge smile every time I go to dance,” she said. “I wanted to share that joy with the children at the Franciscan Hospital.”

Siagel said the fund-raiser was “the perfect match for us” because of his company’s 35-year history supporting youngsters through music and dance.

“This is the essence of who we are as a school," he said, "and as a company."

SCHOOL’S IN: The Nashoba Valley Technical High School’s summer program of 15 technical topics is open to area students entering sixth through ninth grades in the fall.

The courses at the regional school in Westford begin Monday and continue on weekdays through Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“These classes could spur a career choice or a lifelong hobby,” said Joann Sueltenfuss, director of continuing community education for the Nashoba Valley school district. “The goal is to open the doors and encourage students to think outside of the traditional school offerings.”

Students may explore two topics per week, with the courses covering animation, automotive basics, computer movie-making, cosmetology, culinary basics, cupcake and cake decorating, game design, digital imagery and design, digital photography, fitness and games, machine-tool technology, robotics, teaching tots, theater arts and crafts, and Internet graphics and design. For more information and to register, visit www.nashobatech.net.

LIFE IN AFRICA: Last June, Newton resident Josie Greene and her family traveled to Tanzania on a tour organized by Unite the World with Africa, combining a traditional wildlife safari with visits to organizations serving women and children in rural villages. This week, she is hosting an informational session on Cape Cod to raise awareness of two organizations fighting poverty.

On Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. at 9 Penzance Point in Falmouth’s Woods Hole section, Greene will introduce visitors to Cheryl Kyle, founder of the Enduputoo Primary School in Tanzania, and Anne Wells, founder and executive director of Unite the World with Africa, which advances women’s health, education, and micro­finance initiatives.

Wells will discuss the challenges of life in East Africa, and display photography, jewelry, sandals, belts, and bags made by East African artists. Also, Greene will be collecting supplies such as crayons and markers, pens and pencils, soccer balls, jump ropes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and first aid products.

For more information, ­e-mail Greene at gbajbg@comcast.net.

People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@ globe.com.