Writer and Colebrook native Cady Stanton. Photo submitted.
Writer and Colebrook native Cady Stanton. Photo submitted.

Cady Stanton is a Colebrook native who is the co-author of the recently released book “Georgetown McDonough School of Business: 60 Years of Alumnae: Memories, Milestones, and Momentum.” The book captures six decades of experiences, stories, and memories from the past six decades shared by Georgetown McDonough alumnae. “This project was a perfect combination of my two passions — women’s and gender studies and journalism,” Stanton said about the book. Stanton is also a co-editor at The Winsted Phoenix. In this interview, Stanton talks about her writing process, Colebrook, and her influences.

How long have you lived in Colebrook, and what do you enjoy about it?

“I’ve lived in Colebrook at least part-time since I was born, so a total of 22 years! I left the town to go to boarding school in high school in Lakeville and moved away for college to Washington, D.C., but came back during the pandemic to spend time with family. One of the things I love most about the town is the beautiful foliage in autumn and the stark change in seasons overall throughout the year. While the winter can certainly get gray and dreary, the snow-covered trees can be gorgeous in December, and it’s always fun to be here year-round to see the progression towards greenery and warmer temperatures. I’m moving back to Washington, D.C. for my full-time job in just a few weeks, so I’m taking in all the nice features of town while I can.”

How long have you been writing – what are some of your favorite past projects?

“I first got interested in writing my sophomore year of college in my introduction to journalism course at Georgetown University. At the time, I was trying out a variety of courses to determine what my major would be and immediately fell in love with the process of interviewing and writing articles as a journalist, both in terms of feature-length stories and shorter news pieces. I soon joined my school newspaper, The Hoya, where I wrote about a variety of topics on campus including Graduate student unionization and student human interest stories before becoming news editor for the publication, and I’ve since done a variety of journalism internships, including at The Hill and the Washington Monthly.

One of my favorite projects was a thesis I wrote while abroad in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where I interviewed sex workers in the city about the way the media portrays them and the challenges they face as a result. I learned so much as a journalist and as a feminist while working on that project, and it turned into a 40-page essay that I still see as one of my proudest moments as a writer three years later. While I was editing at The Hoya, I was also able to do a lot of writing and news coverage, including of the student government races at the time. I profiled candidates and spent late nights waiting for votes to be counted in the election, and there’s a certain unmatchable rush to that kind of breaking news coverage that is hard to recreate. In case you need one more, I also had a chance to write some really fun pieces last year while interning at the Washington Monthly, including interviewing Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton of Washington D.C. on the push for D.C. statehood, as well as a deep-dive into vote-by-mail data in Florida during the pandemic.”

Tell me about 60 Years of Alumnae, what is it about – what inspired your involvement?

“The summer before my senior year of college, I joined a research project through Georgetown’s business school aiming to conduct interviews and do archival research into the history of women students in business courses and their careers after graduation. I spent that summer and the months afterward interviewing over 40 alumnae, faculty members, and staff about their time at Georgetown, the challenges they face as women in male-dominated fields, their career achievements, and more. I spoke to women in C-Suite positions, some who had left the business field for another career, stay-at-home moms, and early career recent graduates. The book itself explores the history of women in the business school through interviews but also includes history chapters for each decade from the 1960s to the present that features context on historical events, women’s history, and the school’s history during that period. 

I majored in women’s and gender studies in college and minored in journalism, so this project was the perfect intersection of my two passions, to say the least. It was an honor to share the stories of such inspiring women and to hear the ways that being a woman student in Georgetown’s business school has changed over the years, and the many ways the women had shared experiences across a 60-year difference in time. I loved being able to hear what made every woman’s path during and outside of college unique and special and putting it into a form that allowed others to hear about their experiences.”

What was the research & writing process like for this?

“Most of the process centered around interviews, either in person or over the phone, with various alumnae across the six decades of the school’s history. After the interviews, we wrote up profiles using their answers and gathered photos of them at Georgetown and in their careers afterward. In addition to the profiles, we also wrote six historical chapters — one for each decade of the school’s history enrolling women students — that required calculating enrollment rates based on numbers from the archives, reading books on the history of the university, and integrating major events in women’s history into a cohesive narrative. It’s also important to underscore how much of a team effort the project was, as myself and my co-lead, Lydia Franz, led a team of students who also helped with interviews and profile writing and there is a whole team of editors, publishing staff, and other members of the school’s communications team who did the legwork on laying out the pages, editing the copy, making big design decisions, and more. I also want to particularly thank Prof. Michael O’Leary, who hired me to work on the project and who has been an incredible mentor and supervisor on such a groundbreaking project for the business school.”

Where can readers get a copy?

“Our website, mcdonoughwomen60.com, has pages with the alumni featured in each decade of the book, and includes a link to order a digital and/or hard copy in the top right corner!”

Any future projects or plans you are excited about?

“I currently work full-time as a social media specialist and am moving to Washington, D.C in April! On the side, I’m working as a freelance writer and journalist on evenings/weekends for some magazines and the Phoenix when I can. I have an article coming out in Georgetown’s Foreign Service alumni magazine on multilateralism and global institutions, and I hope to continue writing as much as I can in the future! You can see all of my work on my website, cady-stanton.com, and feel free to reach out if you’re looking for a writer.”

Winsted resident Erica Taylor wrote for several years for The Winsted Journal and studied Journalism at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.